Citing Suspiria and Rosemary’s Baby among their influences and with one single, Foreo, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, The Violets were obvious candidates for our Film Jukebox. Their darkly atmospheric, edgy melodies have caught the attention of the music press and they’ve recently supported Siouxsie on her solo UK tour. Following five singles on Angular Records, they’ve just released their first album, The Lost Pages. Below, film buff singer Alexis Mary picks her top 10. More details here.
1- Eyes of a Stranger (1981)
I have every film that Jennifer Jason Leigh has ever been in. Eyes of a Stranger was her debut performance, she plays a young blind girl. It is unusual to be able to see the killer in this way, and not just from a voyeuristic point of view. This could not have worked had the killer been a less believable character. Casting really is integral to good filmmaking.
2- Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
Bubby has lived in the damp, grey interior of a house for 35 years. Under the reign of his dominating mother the feral man knows only the incestuous life he leads with her. She has warned him of a poisonous gas beyond the front door. He wears a gas mask she has given him, until his curiosity becomes too great… This film is not without humour, hedonism or even rock’n’roll, although its main attribute is its ability to draw the watcher deep into its life, making you witness its candid disturbances and driving you down its lost path to wickedness.
3- Bagdad Cafe (1987)
Out of a hot mirage a lone Bavarian woman in traditional dress appears at the Bagdad Cafe in the heart of the Californian desert. Brenda runs the cafe/motel and is a fiery kind of lady, superstitious and obstinate. It’s a stylised film with odd camera angles and haunting vocals on the soundtrack, about a friendship between two people that overcome their fear of the unknown to establish a richer life in soul.
4- Labyrinth (1986)
The classic soundtrack to my youth. You could get lost in this fantasy. I’d imagine Sarah on the other side, a decadent medieval wedding, as she’s entwined forever to Jareth the goblin king.
5- Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1986)
This film is a sex comedy but you sense that the origins of the characters’ anguish are born out of Britain’s social divisions during the 1980s – the grindingly poor and the nouveaux riches. A good British classic.
6- Marnie (1964)
Some films are uncanny in the way they parallel your life or that of people you know. This film was made for me. I even wrote a song about it. Despite its dire reviews at the time, this film is undoubtedly Hitchcock’s darkest and most disturbed moment.
7- Les Yeux sans visage (1960)
This is an evocative and stylish nightmare thriller about an elegant young girl kept away from society whilst her father experiments with the faces of nice young ladies.
8- Trouble in Mind (1985)
A low-budget, avant-garde, new wave, criminal love story. Marianne Faithful sings the theme ‘Trouble in Mind’ just as her voice had ripened to a fully-lived sound. With its visual cool, perceptive understanding and intelligence, this film is near perfect. And as an added bonus there’s Divine in a male role.
9- Suspiria (1977)
An artful horror that floods colour to my mind.
10- Blood Simple (1984)
I like films with a theme music that threads in and out. One of my favourite scenes in this film is the opening scene: you don’t get to see the faces of the people who are talking until a good amount of dialogue has occured. I like the pace of this film, and its decidedly cryptic and sparse script.