Cross the doomy chiaroscuro and skewed perspectives of classic film noir with the cussed fatalism and strange apparitions of folk music and you have a seductively dark result that reflects a whole mess of contemporary sound and screen-culture.
Throughout April award-winning independent cinema Watershed is exploring Folk Noir in cinema from the roots of this hybrid film genre that lie in Terence Malick's stunning debut Badlands and stretch to cinema's most recent screen revisit - the timeless, cautionary tale that was Jeff Nichol's Mud set amidst the American Deep South.
This is Filmic, a unique collaboration between St George's Bristol, a Georgian church turned leading concert hall celebrated for the bell-like clarity of its acoustics, and Watershed. It is a different kind of film and music festival dedicated to pursuing the notion of 'the filmic', whether connected to an actual film or in a musician's head.
Along the way the violent and bloody folk-tradition ballads of the American West have been transplanted to the far reaches of the Australian outback via the darkly literate imagination of musician Nick Cave in The Proposition. And if Badlands is the template for American Folk Noir then The Wicker Man's amalgamation of horror and pagan rituals with infectious folk music, sets the mould for a distinctly British take on the genre.
This is the second half of Filmic - an explorative two-month long season celebrating the creative connections across film and music.
Music and film were of course inextricably linked from the early days of cinema. What excites and surprises me about this creative relationship is how musicians are constantly influenced by film or have found scoring for film a source of inspiration for their own creativity. Filmic 2015 is not only a celebration of the rich relationship of film and music but also brings together an impressive range of respected UK and international musicians from Matt Johnson of The The to The Handsome Family who all hold film and cinema close to their own creative practice.
So why not combine a film and a music performance to get a properly dark slice of Americana? Hip flasks of whisky and bourbon not required but, perhaps, appropriate...
Full programme and ticket information can be found at: