In Folk, a father and daughter try to reconnect by performing folk music.
To start with the positives, the music that runs through Folk is very good. At some points it conveys a confrontation, rapidly building tension. At others it feels almost mournful, lamenting a broken bond between father and daughter. Much of the emotional drama of the film is carried in this fantastic music. It’s also great to see a genre of music that isn’t discussed much in mainstream circles.
The main problem with Folk is that whilst its music is deep and moving, the rest of the film feels frustratingly hollow. Its central duo doesn’t come across as being especially engaging, with the father having a very ambiguously defined problem with alcohol that seems on the nose and tacked on. This lack of depth is furthered by aesthetics that seem eerily similar to groan-inducing adverts, with various lens flare filled shots of nameless people reacting to the music in a pub with an artificially warm colour palette that makes it feel less like a pub and more like a soundstage. I was almost waiting for the logo to fade in with the product it was selling.
All in all, Folk ends up being a mixed bag. Whilst the music is great and moving, the film which surrounds it only manages to reach vague feel-good notions without the depth to cement them.
New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the Midlands by Rural Media. You can watch Folk here.
You can also read our interview with Livi Van Warmelo here.