7 Must-watch Album-inspired Films - Raindance

Here are 7 films made by or in collaboration with musicians, inspired by or to accompany an album of theirs.

Noah and the Whale – The First Days of Spring (2009)

Directed by Charlie Fink

Featuring the members of indie darlings Noah and the Whale, The First Days of Spring depicts a man who has lost his love of his life, through emotive close-ups, intimate framing and Wes Anderson-esque framing. The accompanying album of the same title, acts as the soundtrack for the film – and does so with a certain poignancy. Portraying relationships, intimacy, loneliness. This may just appeal to fans of N&TW, anyone who’s been through a breakup, or someone who’d like to have a nice cry.

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The Flaming Lips – Christmas on Mars (2008)

Directed by Wayne Coyne

The film tells the story of ‘Major Syrtis’ during the first Christmas on a newly colonized Mars. Major Syrtis (played by Steven Drozd), is trying to organise a Christmas pageant to celebrate the birth of the first colonist baby. Very much like the music of The Flaming Lips, you’re in for a real trip here. Packed full of surreal visuals and enigmatic sound effects, you aren’t going to catch another movie like Christmas on Mars any time too soon.

Christmas on Mars toured with the band and was screened in circus tents after performances for audiences.

Outkast – Idlewild (2006)

Directed by Bryan Barber

A musical set in the Prohibition-era American South, where speakeasy performer and club manager Rooster must contend with gangsters who have their eyes on the club while his piano player partner Percival must choose between his love, Angel, or his obligations to his father.

The film Features much of the work of André 3000 (André Lauren Benjamin) and Big Boi (Antwan André Patton) together known as the hugely influential rap duo Outkast. Idlewild is a stylishly syrupy film, with very cool soundtrack.

Suede – Night Thoughts (2016)

Directed by Roger Sargent

Night Thoughts is made up of scenes from the dying memory of its protagonist. Man, as he is referred to, contemplates his relationship with his partner, Woman, as a terrible tragedy unravels their lives. Shot on British costal landscapes, the colour palette and framing, teamed with Suede’s soundtrack, creates a hauntingly beautiful work.

Night Thoughts will be screening at The Great Escape music festival in Brighton on Saturday 21 May. Find out more

Björk – Biophillia Live (2014)

Directed by Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton

This almost didn’t make the list, as it’s technically a “concert film”, but the film’s visuals and Björk’s performance are testament to her being one of the most important living musicians and creatives we have today. Musically and visually, Björk remains both other-worldly and startlingly relational in her approach. Standing amongst digital clouds, her body fading in and out of lightning bolts – an ethereal Goddess has come with a message, spreading an awareness for nature, compassion and relationships to others and the earth.

Sigur Ros – Heima (2007)

Directed by Dean DeBlois

Heima (meaning ‘Home’ in Icelandic) is a documentary film about a Sigur Ros tour around Iceland. The documentary also includes footage from an acoustic concert played for family and friends at Gamla Borg, a coffee shop in the town of Borg. The documentary shows Sigur Ros in their most fitting backdrop – the serene and placid natures of Iceland are made even more chilling and ecstatic by Jónsi’s lead vocals throughout the doc. You can enjoy the music of Sigur Ros easily enough on its own, but a whole new level of appreciation arrises once you see the band perform in and amongst the jaw-dropping landscape of their home country.

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Also check out their surreal music video for Fjögur píanó (2012) directed by Alma Har’el

Daft Punk – Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003)

Interstella 5555 is described as “a feature-length Japanese-French animated adventure fantasy science fiction musical film” – nice one, Daft Punk.

The film visualises the realisation of ‘Discovery’, the album by French electronic dance music pioneers Daft Punk. Each track from the album has its own animated narrative which relates to the story of the abduction and rescue of an interstellar pop band. The film was produced by Daft Punk’s Cédric Hervet and Emmanuel de Buretel with the help of Toei Animation, under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto. Running for 65 minutes the film has no dialogue and minimal sound effects. Beautiful and outstanding animation carries abstract landscapes and futuristic technologies – its very easily to get consumed by the world that Daft Punk have managed to create.

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