Greg Bishop’s ‘Winterlude’ gets its inviting chill from its music

Like Winterlude itself, Greg Bishop’s short film that precedes The Russian Woodpecker this Tues and Wed at the Wisconsin Film Festival, the music to this Lynchian snapshot is cold but inviting, mysterious but tangible. It’s also one of the greatest strengths in one of the most “purely cinematic” selections this year.

“Winterlude Suite” is originally based on a track by Housefire, the moniker of musician Phillip Bishop (also the director’s brother). In actuality, the music surfaces in Winterlude for under a minute, yet its fleeting appearances are enough to create a peace with the stark, seasonal changes. A mixture of, according to the director, “industrial and everyday sounds,” its washed-out synth subdues the vibrant crimsons that stain Winterlude‘s most visceral moments.

The suite itself is an extension of that musical kernel. Collaborating with Patrick Harris (Cell, the Rain Machine), Phillip Bishop extends his original piece into 24 minutes of progressively breathy textures. The end result is not unlike the foggier sections of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ compositions for Gone Girl. David Fincher used that cold cynicism to subvert sexual tropes and relationship dynamics, but the harsh winters that overtake the internal spaces of Winterlude‘s characters is neither good nor bad. It’s merely a change — one its corresponding soundtrack feels essential to.

  • Winterlude plays before The Russian Woodpecker Tues Apr 14 at 6:30p and Wed Apr 15 at 4:15p. At the time of publication, tickets were “rush only.” You can listen to the entirety of “Winterlude Suite” on SoundCloud: