Boasting 600 individual creative works, and with music reverberating from every corner, there’s truly something for everyone in the IFFR 2020 programme. To help music buffs find their way, we’ve laid out a roadmap to uncovering the music highlights at this year’s festival.
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra take on Crash
Howard Shore’s cinematic score to David Cronenberg’s 1996 cult thriller will be brought to life by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Mike Schäperclaus. This promises to be a tantalising live audio-visual experience not to be missed.
Crash with Live Score by Rotterdam Philharmonic OrchestraIFFR 2020
An exclusive screening of David Cronenberg's cult film Crash – with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
IFFR presents an exclusive screening of David Cronenberg's 1996 cult film Crash – with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. The score by Howard Shore will be performed live in ‘de Doelen’.
Rebel rebel with a feminist cause
Underground filmmaker Beth B presents an unruly tribute to provocative ’70s feminist punk icon Lydia Lunch with her documentary Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over. Don’t miss our Talk with Beth B & Lydia Lunch, in person or on live stream, and catch Lydia performing live in KINO.
Courageous is an understatement for Bollywood singer Sona Mohapatra, who uses her spotlight to take on feminist issues in India. Witness the controversy and resistance Sona faces in Deepti Gupta’s Shut Up Sona, and don’t miss your chance to see this trailblazer perform live after the film’s Wednesday evening screening.
Talk: Beth B & Lydia LunchIFFR 2020
Accompanied by Lydia Lunch, Beth B elucidates her selection of films that tie in with the ideas behind her recent work.
IFFR programme advisor and North America scout Ralph McKay probes the motivations underlying Beth B's new film on Lydia Lunch, and the films she selected to contextualise it further. With overarching themes of submission, power and manipulation, the films illustrate the central idea of a 'never-ending war' when it comes to women owning their voices and their bodies. In the presence of Beth B and Lydia Lunch.
Music documentaries for the ages
Dive right into the heart of pop culture history with Rebel Dread, a documentary by William E. Badgley on renowned director, DJ and musician Don Letts. The film shows his life on the frontline, from injecting Afro-Caribbean music into the early London punk scene, to making a name for himself as videographer for The Clash and his present day BBC 6 radio show.
Rebel DreadWilliam E. Badgley IFFR 2020 87′
Surprisingly, the video for 'Pass The Dutchie' was shot by a key figure in punk. Rebel Dread reveals Afro-Caribbean catalyst Don Letts' many facets.
When punk hit its peak, a smartly dressed DJ with Jamaican roots often spun reggae between the explosive band sets. And so began Don Letts' eventful career. A revealing documentary about the permanent fellow traveller for The Clash and many other bands he would go on to manage, film and accompany on stage.
Kamasi Washington’s artist collective The Ummah Chroma
The Ummah Chroma is an international artist collective made up of saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington and filmmakers Terrance Nance, Jenn Nkiru, Marc Thomas and Bradford Young. The collective present the music-driven short film AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF with accompanying participatory installation G/D THYSELF – a cosmic journey of sacred youth and meditations on raising Black children in freedom. Both works feature striking visuals, improvisational scores and tracks from Washington’s critically-acclaimed album Heaven and Earth (2018).
AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELFThe Ummah Chroma IFFR 2020 22′
The cosmic journey of sacred youth, during which pain, pleasure and sublimation are non-negotiable.
The cosmic journey of sacred youth, during which pain, pleasure and sublimation are non-negotiable. A transcending experience in striking visuals over an improvisational score.
House, techno and synthwave take the screen
Reclaiming house music’s progressive history, Phil Collins’ Bring Down The Walls documents his school-slash-nightclub project that examines America’s prison system through the lens of a genre devout to freedom and unity. At a revamped Manhattan fire station, Collins recorded a benefit album of the same name, featuring the likes of Empress Of, Nguzunguzu and Honey Dijon.
Bring Down The WallsPhil Collins IFFR 2020 88′
Artist Phil Collins uses house music to combat the racially motivated, overcrowded American prison system.
Two contrasting phenomena developed in early-1980s USA: freedom-loving house music and the prison-industrial complex that resulted in exponential growth of the prison population. Phil Collins links the two at his campaign centre in New York. During the day it is a stage for political reform. At night, it's a club where everyone can be themselves.
More club nights, music videos, docs and visionary art
The future-facing among us should attend a screening of Lawrence Lek’s AI-minded feature AIDOL, while music video enthusiasts can delve into our For The Record triptych. Moving from heavy metal to melodic French pop, Bruno Dumont returns with his anticipated sequel Jeanne d’Arc. Check out the entire music documentary lineup in Scopitone, including Japanese Led Zeppelin cover bands and the life stories of Beverly Glenn-Copeland and Donny Hathaway.
For those looking for nocturnal audio-visual explorations, be sure to visit the sound//vision nights in WORM and check out the lineup for Club IFFR: nine nights of live performances and DJs in Theater Rotterdam Schouwburg, including a club night filled with sci-fi soundscapes by Soho Rezanejad and eccentric local heroes Karel and Meetsysteem.
Jeanne d'ArcBruno Dumont IFFR 2020 138′
Bruno Dumont depicts Jeanne d'Arc’s later years, in which she was accused of heresy and witchcraft, in his signature way.
The story of 15th-century French national heroine Jeanne d'Arc has been filmed many times, but never this eccentrically and experimentally. After dealing with her youth in Jeannette, this sequel depicts her downfall when she was accused of heresy and witchcraft.
Photo in header: Still: Mr. Jimmy