When music meets film

By Korea Herald

KT&G Sangsang Madang kicking off annual music film festival on Friday

  • Published : Jun 4, 2014 - 20:35
  • Updated : Jun 4, 2014 - 20:35
Music has been an indispensable element of movies from the very beginning. In the era of silent film, it played an important role of adding emotions and vitality to scenes as well as masking background static.

Now, it is beyond such mere seasoning. It supplements, enhances and expands upon the meaning of a film’s narrative.

KT&G Sangsang Madang is highlighting the combination of film and music with its annual music film festival, which will begin Friday.

The festival, in its seventh year, will open under the slogan “Glam,” depicting the glam rock period that originated in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. It was the time when artists like David Bowie wore outrageous outfits, platform boots, glitter makeup and bright hair, to redefine rock and roll and perform for sexual liberation. For the full cinematic experience of the glam rock period, “Velvet Goldmine” will be screened as the opening film. 
The remastered version of “Velvet Goldmine” will be screened at this year’s KT&G Sangsang Madang Music Film Festival. (KT&G Sangsang Madang)

In a remastered edition of the original 1998 film, director Todd Haynes combined his love for glam rock and the flamboyant visual style of the 70s to illustrate the story of fictional rock star Brian Slade, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Brian Slade, loosely based on David Bowie, is an androgynous glam rock superstar in 1970 U.K. who fakes his murder during a concert in front of his fans. Once the world found out it was a publicity stunt, Slade’s music career falls into the shadows.

Ten years later, Arthur Stuart, a journalist in New York played by Christian Bale, is in charge of writing a piece on Slade’s assassination hoax. Stuart, as Slade’s biggest fan growing up, has flashbacks of his teenage years as he interviews Slade’s ex-manager, his ex-wife (Toni Collett) and his ex-peer Curt Wild (Ewan Mcgregor) as each person recalls their thoughts and experiences with Slade.

Stuart takes this assignment personally as he is obsessed with finding out about his adolescent hero and realizes he was part of Slade’s biography, often in the background and sometimes as an observer.

The film swings easily between the present and the past, among wildly different themes of fantasy, sexual liberation, satire, romance, glitter and feathers, and most of all, music.

Myers and McGregor, fulfilling their roles as singers of the era, did not shy away from singing with unbridled passion ― nothing new to fans of “August Rush” and “Moulin Rouge”― or wearing lots of makeup and revealing body stockings.

Bale’s tight glitter tops, leopard scarf and flared pants may come as a surprise for viewers who are used to seeing him as Batman, as he plays a closeted teenager struggling his sexual identity.

The festival will also feature 23 other films that show a good combination of film and music, including the classic “Moulin Rouge,” by Baz Luhrman, recent box office hit “Her,” by Spike Jonze and the Academy Award-winning documentary, “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” by Morgan Neville.

KT&G Sangsang Madang Music Film Festival will run from June 6-15 at Sangsang Madang in Hongdae. To view the full festival schedule or for ticket inquiries, visit http://www.sangsangmadang.com.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)