Ipso Facto

Photo by Pavla Kopecna

London four-piece Ipso Facto have been described as ‘monochrome psychedelia’ due to their stark, dark take on garage rock and their distinctive, retro black and white image. Having recently toured with The Last Shadow Puppets, they also scooped the coveted support slot for the seminal post-punk band Magazine’s reunion tour in February 09. Their single ‘6 & ¾’ is out now on the Mute Irregulars label. Rosalie Cunningham (vocals / guitar), Cherish Kaya (keyboards), Samantha Valentine (bass) and Victoria Smith (drums) offer up some of their cinematic highlights. For more information visit their MySpace. LUCY HURST


1- Irréversible (2002)
In Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible, the events of one traumatic night appear in reverse chronological order. It is one of the most horrifically brutal and memorable films I have ever seen – never before has a film made me physically sick. The first half hour has a background noise with a frequency of 28Hz (low frequency, almost inaudible), which causes nausea, sickness and vertigo in humans. The underlying theme of ‘le temps détruit tout’ (time destroys everything) is eerily present and a constant reminder that you should be grateful for everything you have, love and cherish. A lot of the film was improvised, which gives it a real edge, especially the 13-minute rape scene, which I still have not been able to watch the whole way through.

2- Cry Baby (1990)
I love anything by John Waters but the fact that this stars Johnny Depp swung the vote! Set in Baltimore (as always) in the 1950s, it is a classic struggle between the rebels (Drapes) and the Squares, with the Square Girl wanting to become a Drape. The film provides a cheeky two fingers up to the closed-minded prejudices and attitudes that pervade society, whatever the era. TRIVIA: Waters originally wanted Tom Cruise for the lead role, but let’s all thank god he changed his mind.


3- Inland Empire (2006)
I love all David Lynch films – I love the themes, the surrealism, the way they are shot, the actors and Lynch himself. Inland Empire is my favourite, even though I had to watch it three times before I got past the first half hour, which is incredibly dark and unsettling. People try to guess the meaning and the secret behind the film and Lynch feeds this by giving out ‘clues’ in press releases, which confuses people even more. I find this hilarious – I think he enjoys winding us all up.

4- Adaptation (2002)
In a way, this film is quite similar to Inland Empire; both are set in Hollywood and merge the imaginary with reality. This film was made by the same writer/director team (Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman) as Being John Malkovich (another favourite of mine) and shares the same strange humour.


5- American Psycho (2000)
I love this controversial film, based on the Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, which shows the protagonist Patrick Bateman’s spiralling descent into madness. The contrast between his day-to-day working life and his foray into gruesome murder after nightfall is acted brilliantly by Christian Bale (one of my top 10 actors). My favourite quotes in the film are the opening and closing sentences: ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ and ‘This is not an exit’.

6- Eraserhead (1977)
David Lynch, a favourite of mine, directed this baffling surreal horror film. It troubled me, yet I felt the need to watch it over and over again. The lighting and setting alone made me feel uneasy but I still felt sympathy for each character.


7- Gummo (1997)
This was the first script written by Harmony Korine after Kids in 1995, allowing him to explore alternative cultures further. Although Gummo‘s vignettes defy a linear plot, the depiction of small-town isolation and surreal abnormalities is disturbingly enthralling. The unique costume design by actress Chloí« Sevigny and the film’s comment on the weird and wonderful ways of small-town life make Gummo unforgettable.

8- Donnie Darko (2001)
This cult classic fascinated me from the first time I watched it at the tender age of 15. I was a bit of a geek and a science fiction fiend at this point, so I found the intertwining cause-and-reaction that created the possibility for time travel amazing. It’s the story of an intelligent, frustrated schoolboy who, after a near-death experience, starts to see something dark in his future through a series of vivid, surreal dreams. As a result, every subsequent event is connected to the premonition of his death and his inevitable fate. There are many ways to interpret the ending, all of which are fascinating.