Chatting With Stuart Murdoch, SXSW and Watching “God Help The Girl”
I’m super excited about today’s Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup announcement that includes Belle and Sebastian!
While I had heard the group’s music before, I had always dismissed it as sort of twee. Yet seeing the full band, and listening to their albums later, I had a change of heart.
This year at South By Southwest, I went to the SXSW interview with the band’s founder Stuart Murdoch, where he was discussing the first film he directed, God Help The Girl. In the SXSW interview, he talked about being ill for a long time–including having had a diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome– and about having the “constitution of an abandoned rabbit.” He also talked about how hard it was to go on tour when you aren’t very healthy, and how much he dreads the idea of getting sick and canceling shows. This is something that I can understand, as I’ve been sick enough for one lifetime myself.
Following the SXSW interview, I talked to Murdoch for a bit afterwards. While everyone else was posing for pictures for him, I told him that I often listened to his music on repeat on photo editing or doing another project. Murdoch told me that he often did the exact same thing when he was working on a project, but that he did it with music from The Cocteau Twins or Fuel!
Later, I managed to slip into the SXSW showing of the film at the Paramount (which also played at Sundance) just as the film was starting. That means I missed the children’s choir performance of some of Murdoch’s songs that my friend Alex loved that happened just before the screening.
While I’m not a fan of musicals—and I’m clearly not an unbiased source—I really liked the musical film. It’s a super-sweet tale of a girl who is forming her own band as a way of coping with her own struggles.
In a world where so few films pass the Bechdel test, it’s great to see a film focusing on a young woman’s artistic journey that isn’t just about her taking her clothes off.
While it isn’t the SXSW interview, here’s a great interview of Murdoch on NPR!