The L.A. based collective Fol Chen describe their music as ‘opera house’, mixing beats and addictive melodies with lyrical storytelling to create soundtracks for an imaginary future. Their latest album, The False Alarms, is out on Asthmatic Kitty. Below, singer Sinosa Loa selects her top 10 favourite films.
1. Vibrator (Ryūichi Hiroki, 2003)
Set in beautiful industrial Japan in the snow, with two levels of internal monologue that you might think are happening in your own head. A couple of strangers run off together and it’s wonderful and heartbreaking in all the best ways. I love this.
2. Fucking Åmål (Lukas Moodyson, 1998)
If you’ve ever been a teenager, you know what it’s like to hate where you live, suffer for who you love, and in a few wonderful moments get a taste of life not being so awful all the time. The English title is ‘Show Me Love’, which is a pity.
3. The films of Bas Jan Ader (1970–1975)
Mostly silent, some as short as seconds long, all the more haunting since he disappeared at sea. Also great is the documentary on his work called Here is Always Somewhere Else.
4. The Ambassador (Mads Brügger, 2011)
I don’t endorse Mads Brügger’s death wish, but the world he exposed is spellbinding. Possibly the realest danger someone has put themselves in, on purpose, on film.
5. The Day of the Locust (John Schlesinger, 1975)
This was one of the first films I saw after I accidentally moved to Hollywood when I was 20. It had the unlikely effect of actually endearing me to the city and I found the tragedy of a million doomed dreams utterly romantic. I still love LA and all its fucked up charms.
6. Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2004)
We all have our tricks to feel better no matter how sick, sad, lonely, or pissed we are. Here’s one of mine. You can have it, too. Enjoy crying from happiness.
7. Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 1995, 2004, 2013)
These movies caught me at all the right times. Also, I don’t care what anyone says about Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy is a queen.
8. Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, 1979/Zack Snyder, 2004)
Zombie movies are generally great, with apocalyptic landscapes, political allegory, exploration of human nature. This one’s tops because it’s set in a suburban shopping mall. I also support the remake because the opening titles are fantastic, and 25 years is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for an update.
9. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
I really like this story of childhood friendship and the extra stuff that happens when one of you is a vampire. The ending is really sweet.
10. I am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)
Sondheim’s dark operetta brought to life by Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter. One of the finest musical movies I’ve ever seen – the non-singer-but-singing actors actually manage incredibly well in what’s acknowledged to be one of the most challenging scores to sing.