The Norwegian black metal scene of the 1990’s and the circumstances that allowed the scene to flourish are relatively common knowledge to those already invested in the genre but for the uninitiated and fans who wish to delve further into the genre, Blekkmetal is here to help.
Half-concert film, half-documentary, Blekkmetal is centered around the 2015 one-off festival of the same name to celebrate the genre’s roots. Originally premiered in April of 2016 (exactly one year ago today), the film receives its second United States screening on Wednesday, April 19 at Cinedelphia in Philadelphia, PA.
Cinedelphia curator Eric Bresler explains that the film is a perfect fit for the Philadelphia film festival.
“Now in its fifth year, the Cinedelphia Film Festival has always celebrated niche films for niche interests including outsider filmmakers, analog-era oddities and music-related subcultures,” Bresler notes. “When programming the festival I always make sure that our selections have some degree of accessibility, a film can arise from the obscure or the underground, but it needs to provide some sort of education or entry point for the unaware. Blekkmetal does a fantastic job accomplishing this, it’s half concert documentary, half historical piece of a genre that the media harmed due to sensational reporting. The filmmakers spend time exploring the genre’s past as well as both exploring and analyzing the setting of the festival itself. The result is a film that will please both metal fans and the uninitiated, it arose from the scene, but is able to appeal to a larger audience than its built-in fans.”
Blekkmetal features interviews and performances from artists like Enslaved, Taake, Kampfar and others. In addition to bands, the film contains interviews with other key people in the Norwegian black metal scene at the time.
“Blekkmetal is a film about OG Norwegian Black Metal, and the art, films, people, geography and ethos that inspired the scene in the early 90s,” comments director David Hall. “This film is structured around a one-off fest called Blekkmetal, that took place over two days in Bergen, Norway in November 2015. The bands Enslaved, Taake, Old Funeral (with Abbath), Gaahl’s Wyrd, Helheim, Kampfar, Gehenna and Hades Almighty played, and their performances are woven around scenic vistas of Bergen and features interviews with band members, festival goers, artists, scene founders and label reps that were all a part of the Norwegian Black Metal scene. If you are a fan of Black Metal music, and/or want to learn more about how it all began, the film takes an objective, agenda-free look at an organic cultural movement that grew into a global phenomenon. The only way to see this film is at approved festivals and events; it will never be released commercially or live online. I’m very excited that the film is having its Philadelphia premiere at Cinedelphia, and producer Vivek Venkatesh and myself will be attending the screening and doing a Q and A session about the film.”