Mosh: Manchester Film Festival Brings Metal To…
When asked what makes a movie “metal,” Greg brings up this hard-to-articulate concept applied by fans to everything from classic art to professional wrestling. “There’s this thing that metalheads have,” he says, “where you can just see something and go, ‘Yeah, that’s metal.’ It translates to a movie, too – you make the same grimace as when you hear a really disgusting riff.Between the vulgar displays in Green Room and the splatter comedy Kiwi Deathgasm, Mosh should slap stinky faces on everyone present.
Alongside old documentaries (The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years from 1988) and new ones (Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story from 2019), Greg has put together a series free short films. designed to convey the diversity of global metal, including Metal From The Dirt: Inside The Navajo Reservation’s DIY Heavy-Metal Scene and Noisey’s 2013 Heavy Metal Gangs Of Wadeye.
“We want to show the extent of people who love metal,” says the University of Salford film graduate. “But it’s not as well represented in feature films. We want to paint a picture of the modernity of metal and show that it is gradually becoming more inclusive.
Part of that inclusiveness includes embracing the queer roots of metal leather and denim. Mosh’s free shorts series also includes Angry Queer Gloom Cult: How Queer Metal Bands Built Their Own Scene, an episode of Sam Sutherland’s Extremely Online YouTube series.
“As much as some macho metal fans might not want to admit, queer culture has had a huge influence on metal’s identity,” says Greg, who cites Vile Creature as one of his vanguards. favorite queer metal bands. “We want to shine a light on bands who are leading this charge in bringing queer metal to new audiences.”
The diversity of any scene is best represented not by charts, but by popular documentaries, often made by fans. No one knows a scene quite like his lifers, and Greg “searches very hard to find films about more diverse relationships with metal than just white and Western.” Given the peak state of the world, who better to fly the flag for heavy music than “damn awesome” bands like Bob Vylan, Liturgy and Bloodywood? “Metal is an aggressive art form,” says Greg, “and who has more reason to be angry than people facing racial injustice, queer communities, and people with disabilities?”