This August, the Irish Film Institute (IFI) hits the high notes with the release of England is Mine, a biopic of indie music icon Morrissey, and the latest offering from Terrence Malick, Song to Song. Amanda Lipitz’s acclaimed documentary Step, which delves into the competitive world of step dancing, also opens this month.
Some of the best examples of cinema have been defined by music, whether they are biopics of music legends, features starring musicians hoping to broaden their horizons, or simply films that have a kick-ass soundtrack. There are many ways that music can enhance a film and this August the IFI offers three different styles in all their glory, so turn it up to 11 and get ready to rock out!
Opening this Friday, August 4th, is Mark Gill’s England is Mine. (Review) This unofficial Morrissey biopic, which stars Dunkirk’s Jack Lowden, is, at once, both humorous and heartbreaking. The film perfectly depicts the singer’s early relationships, before he became the gladioli-wielding voice of nation whose image would come to adorn the bedroom walls of misunderstood 1980s teenagers. England is Mine serves as an origin story for a popular icon and is a real treat for Smiths fans. Tickets
In Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, which opens in two weeks’ time on August 18th, the director once again foregrounds difficult emotions, and realises them in bold, unconventional ways, examining the fine differences between love and falling in love. Faye (Rooney Mara), a young woman drifting at the edges of the Austin music scene, goes out with BV (Ryan Gosling), a gifted songwriter. When BV is signed by Cook (Michael Fassbender), a well-connected but ultimately dissolute music producer, the three become close, until the attraction between Cook and Faye breaks up her relationship with BV. Set against the backdrop of SXSW, the film includes cameos by Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lykke Li, and John Lydon. Tickets
Finally, Amanda Lipitz’s Step, which opens on August 11th, focuses on a group of dancers in Baltimore, Maryland as they prepare to take part in a nationwide step dancing competition. Made soon after the death of Freddy Gray in police custody in April 2015 led to a wave of protests across Baltimore city, Lipitz’s deeply affecting documentary follows students of the city’s Leadership School for Young Women over the course of their graduating year. While undergoing the stress of preparing applications for college, the girls let off steam by giving their all in ‘The Lethal Ladies’, the school’s impressive step dance team. The film offers a complex and engaging portrayal of a deeply sympathetic, supportive and inspiring community. Tickets