Airport Girl are a downbeat country-pop combo hailing from the Midlands. They have just released their second album, Slow Light, which has received much plaudit from the critics – ‘Swathed in Cosmic Country Shimmer…A toasty soundtrack to duvet-wrapped winter despondency’ said The Metro while SoundsXP saw the band as ‘the true heirs in a lineage of such elegant bands as Felt and The Go-Betweens’. Check out their mySpace page or their label page. Below they tell us about their favourite films.
1- Don’t Look Back (1966)
This documentary of Dylan’s 1965 British tour captures the point in the sixties where he was changing from an earnest protest singer in thrall to Woody Guthrie into, quite possibly, the coolest man on the planet. No one would put up the money for the film to be made so D.A.Pennebaker funded it himself and shot it cheaply (using just a soundman and a couple of Dylan’s friends as his film crew) achieving an intimate, cinéma verité feel. It starts with one of the most iconic film sequences in pop music: with ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ playing and Dylan throwing away cue cards while Allen Ginsberg lurks somewhere in the background. From there on in the documentary follows Dylan from hotel room to venue to press conference as he tours around the UK running rings around hapless journalists and putting Donovan firmly in his place. Dylan is, at turns, arrogant, shy, spiteful, funny, but always compelling. I never get tired of watching this film.
2- If… (1968)
‘Violence and revolution are the only pure acts.’
This was the first in a trilogy of films by Lindsay Anderson that spanned three decades and featured Malcolm McDowell’s character Mick Travis (followed by O Lucky Man in the seventies and the very odd Britannia Hospital in the eighties). In this film Mick Travis is a senior at an English public school with little respect for tradition or for the authority of the school prefects. The revolutionary spirit of the film’s central characters echoes the student unrest that was taking place across America and in France at the time of the film’s release. The film is shot partly in colour and partly in black and white which adds to the feeling of fantasy and reality being blurred.
3- Kes (1969)
This has to be one of the most heart-breaking films I’ve ever seen. One of Ken Loach’s first, it features an incredible, naturalistic central performance from the unknown David Bradley as Billy Caspar, an unloved, working-class lad. Bullied at school by his peers and teachers, and at home by his brother, he finds solace and a sense of identity in training a kestrel hawk. Despite the sense of hopelessness in Billy’s situation, the film is shot through with moments of humour like the farcical school football match in which Brian Glover, as the school’s PE teacher, lives out his fantasies of playing for Man Utd. If you’re not sniffing back a tear at the end (when Billy’s brother kills the bird as revenge for Billy not placing a bet for him) then you have a heart made of stone.
4- Nashville (1975)
This film is set in the Country and Western music scene in Nashville but it isn’t just about Country and Western music. It’s about show business and politics and the points where the two meet. The film follows the lives of a large cast of diverse characters, each with their own story, over the course of a few days in Nashville, coinciding with the run up to a political rally. The end brings all the characters together but does little to tie up the various narrative threads. It doesn’t have a traditional plot with a beginning, middle and end but it’s still totally absorbing.
5- The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
Nic Roeg made a whole bunch of great movies in the seventies; Performance, Don’t Look Now, Bad Timing, but my favourite has always been The Man Who Fell to Earth. In typical Roeg style this film doesn’t present the viewer with a straightforward narrative and whenever I watch it I’m always a little unsure that I know exactly what’s going on at certain points, but then, afterwards, it all seems to make sense. Bowie’s great in it. He doesn’t seem to be acting.
6- Gregory’s Girl (1981)
Charming, slightly awkward and Scottish. This is like the film equivalent of an early Orange Juice record.
7- Withnail & I (1987)
You know those annoying people that substitute having a sense of humour with quoting catchphrases from their favourite TV comedies like The Fast Show and Phoenix Nights? Well, with this film the temptation’s just too much to resist. It just has some of the most outrageously good dialogue in one of the best, funniest scripts ever. Pitch perfect casting too. Richard E Grant has never been able to match the performance he gives here as Withnail. Don’t ever try and play the Withnail & I drinking game though. You will make your liver cry.