These things are always difficult to judge – what do we review? The film itself is nice – you know, if you like that “progressive” type of black and white film with a dark hidden message that examines the human psyche, but then, what if you don’t…?
If you are one of those people, then it’s a good job there’s a bloody good soundtrack created by one of the most innovative composers in recent memory accompanying the weird pictures isn’t there? The score has been created by Steven Severin (bassist and co-founder of Siouxie And The Banshees don’t ya know?) In equal parts his accompaniment to Jean Cocteau’s surrealist 1930 debut is dark and melodic, eerie and emotive. The film’s challenging visual imagery which features slightly sexual themes alongside ideas of suicide and the dual nature of human nature is obviously interesting to watch but without the intelligent electro soundscapes accompanying it and our desire to hear some good music, we’d be pretty lost here.
It’s obvious that Severin has been able to expand on ideas that he has looked at in previous soundtracks, and many Cocteau fans might argue that he has found the perfect visual accompaniment for his cold and challenging noise in the iconic director’s first effort. We’re not really sure about the impact of the film itself on the audience here tonight, but the soundtrack (composed entirely by Severin) certainly did its job and the artist should be more than proud of his latest work and its ability to invigorate and challenge the eager City Screen audience.
It’s a shame that there’s not so much action at an event like this (to be fair, it’s not like Severin can bounce around in front of the screen is it?), and the composer spends all of the event at his computer intense and focused, but long-time fans and those that appreciate good, challenging and apparently “revolutionary” cinema will surely find many positive things to rave about. In terms of how the music compliments the heavily debated imagery, Severin has achieved his main aim to create something that is “boundless” and constantly developing throughout the different parts of the film. Nice work, and it’s always good to see that establishments like the City Screen is open to putting on this kind of event for the benefit of the arts in York.
For more information visit the official Steven Severin website.