David Lowery, Daniel Hart, Johnny Jewel, Nico Leunen and Fien Troch at FFG2022
'No film without film music' has been the unwritten motto of Film Fest Gent for decades. It is precisely the creative collaborations between composers and filmmakers that often lead to the most memorable and intriguing oeuvres. With Creative Partnerships Film Fest Gent wants to put exceptional collaborations in the spotlight. In October, Film Fest Gent 2022 will bring Chromatics frontman Johnny Jewel to Ghent for a Creative Partnerships talk with Belgian director Fien Troch and editor Nico Leunen. American composer Daniel Hart will also come to FFG2022 together with director David Lowery to talk about their long-standing and inseparable creative collaboration since Ain't Them Bodies Saints.
Creative Partnership: David Lowery & Daniel Hart
Director David Lowery and composer Daniel Hart will soon be celebrating their 15th anniversary: they worked together on Lowery's feature debut St. Nick in 2009 and became inseparable since Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013). Film and music are so intrinsically intertwined in their projects that it is impossible to imagine Lowery's work without hearing Hart's soundtrack. After all, who doesn't remember the Dark Rooms song "I Get Overwhelmed" from A Ghost Story (2017).
Their most recent collaboration was perhaps their most challenging. Thanks to a recorder quartet and the nyckelharpa, an obscure Swedish string instrument, the music in The Green Knight (2021) sounds both recognisably medieval and alienatingly contemporary. After Pete's Dragon (2016), a second Disney project will soon follow in 2023: Peter Pan & Wendy.
Whether Lowery's film is an intimate exploration of the fragility of human life, an idiosyncratic and ambitious fantasy epic or a heartwarming Disney blockbuster, Hart always manages to find the perfect sound. A few strings, a banjo and some hand clapping underline all aspects of the southern noir Ain't Them Bodies Saints: Hart's folk-inspired music helps paint a picture of destructive love against the backdrop of 1970s Texas.
Lowery and Hart will tell you exactly how the pieces of the puzzle fit together in their Creative Partnership talk on Friday 21 October, during the WSA Film Music Days. Moreover, during Film Fest Gent you can (re)discover the oeuvre of David Lowery and Daniel Hart with a retrospective that includes Pete's Dragon (2016), A Ghost Story (2017), The Old Man & The Gun (2018) and The Green Knight (2021).
Daniel Hart has also been nominated for the World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song for "Blome Swete Lilie Flour" from The Green Knight and for Film Composer of the Year. Whether he can cash in on those nominations will be announced at the World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert on Saturday 22 October.
Retrospective David Lowery & Daniel Hart
(Re)discover the oeuvre of David Lowery and Daniel Hart during Film Fest Gent with a retrospective that includes the films below.
Pete's Dragon (2016)
For Pete's Dragon, David Lowery reworked the family film of the same name from the 1970s into a modern, warm adventure for young and old. About the bond between a feral child and the forest dragon who watches over him. Children get older, trees get bigger, and so do stories.
A Ghost Story (2017)
The extraordinary A Ghost Story embraces mystery and grief in David Lowery's serene narrative cloaked in long takes and a square aspect ratio. Future and past silently intersect, like the ghost and his lover in this small and precious ghost film.
The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
The Old Man & the Gun pays tribute to a bygone (film) era and the career of its aging star Robert Redford whose charm has effortlessly stood the test of time. A light-hearted crime film as elegant and stylish as its gentleman/bank robber.
The Green Knight (2021)
"Green is what is left when ardor fades, when passion dies, when we die, too", the inexperienced knight Gawain learns during his quest for eternal glory in the imaginative The Green Knight. An Arthurian legend viewed differently, as visually as overwhelming as it is wonderfully sobering.
Creative Partnership: Johnny Jewel, Nico Leunen & Fien Troch
That Belgium's most sought-after editor is also known in America as the saviour of projects with tricky editing is no longer newsworthy. Nico Leunen worked with Brad Pitt on Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019) and Ryan Gosling called on Leunen for his directorial debut Lost River (2015), which was scored by none other than Chromatics frontman Johnny Jewel. In 2021, he became the first Belgian editor admitted to American Cinema Editors (ACE).
Johnny Jewel began his career as a film composer with the score for Bronson (2008), a biopic about Charles Bronson directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, with whom he collaborated again for the acclaimed score of Drive (2011). With his bands Desire and Chromatics, he set the tone for the film's characteristic, nostalgic eighties electronica sound. After his work on Lost River, he moved on to his next project: Fien Troch's Home, for which Jewel won the Georges Delerue Award at Film Fest Gent in 2016.
That same year, Fien Troch received a Special Mention from the Film Fest Gent youth jury for Home, an award that highlights the sensitive and poignant portrayal of the teenagers in her film. The score, which is fairly minimalist for Jewel, with sinister soundscapes and dark synths, fits perfectly with the nihilistic side of this film about a lack of understanding and miscommunication. Moreover, the film was edited by Troch's regular editor, Nico Leunen. Home thus serves as the crown jewel to the collective oeuvre of these talents.
Johnny Jewel, Nico Leunen and Fien Troch will explain their various collaborations during their Creative Partnership talk at the WSA Film Music Days on Friday 21 October.
WSA Film Music Days
Indulge in numerous seminars, composer talks, panel discussions, concerts and masterclasses during the WSA Film Music Days. The full programme of the WSA Film Music Days was announced and ticket sales have started. The WSA Film Music Days are open to the film (music) industry professionals, film students but also to the public that wants to get a glimpse of behind the scenes of the film music industry.