Felizol & The Boy’s Film Jukebox

Felizol & The Boy
Felizol & The Boy

Felizol and The Boy are Athens-based filmmakers and musicians Yiannis Veslemes and Alexandros Voulgaris. The subversive duo merge controversial fields of modern dance music with 1980s subculture including Max Headroom, Joe Dante, Prince, Yello, and Oingo Boingo. In addition to performing live in house clubs, heavy metal dungeons and hippy-friendly festivals, they have also composed music for numerous films. Felizol and The Boy’s debut single ‘O.H.I.O/She Is My Party She Is My Port’ was released on vinyl in May 2010. Their new album Like Cannibal Father Like Cannibal Son (Optimo Music) combines dance tunes with a haunting cinematic score, radiating delicious, unsettling sleaze in the vein of Kubrick or Carpenter. The album is now available on LP and digital download and is distributed by Kompakt. Below, Yiannis and Alexandros pick the 10 films that have most affected them.

1. Careful (Guy Maddin, 1992)
In this ‘pocket opera’ Guy Maddin blends German expressionism, early Technicolor melodrama and silent educational mountain films to explore the story of a family, and eventually a whole society, isolated in an Alpine village in the early 17th century. In this village loud noises are prohibited because they can easily cause lethal avalanches. Incest, vitriolic black humour, retro ghosts and anachronistic art direction create a film that refers to almost everything in early cinema history but ultimately looks absolutely unique. YV

2. On the Silver Globe (Andrzej Zulawski, 1976-1988)
My personal most underrated film of all times. This three-hour science fiction epicwas mostly shot in 1976. However, the communist authorities stopped the production of the film when it was almost finished and destroyed the sets and costumes. Zulawski left the country, while the crew and actors hid the film stock. Twelve years later, Zulawski completed the film in an unusual and very moving way. It is the most ambitious piece of work of this wonderful director and one of the most important experiences that one can have. AV

3. Alien from L.A. (Albert Pyun, 1988)
Albert Pyun is the king of Z-movies. You can provide him with a small corner in a bar, a few meters of wallpaper and a purple light, and he can recreate the ambience of any glorious science fiction dystopia. In this Cannon flick, he tells the story of a naïve Californian girl who searches for her father in an underground alien civilisation near the core of the earth. The film often gives the impression of a luxury futuristic school play or of a fever teen dream where all your favourite films (Stars Wars, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones) are magically remade. YV

4. Angst (Gerard Kargl, 1983)
Another underrated masterpiece by one-time director Gerard Kargl and the famous animator Zbigniew Rybczynski who, on this film, served as the cinematographer, editor and co-writer. Erwin Leden delivers his most disturbing performance and Klaus Schulze a memorable soundtrack. Maybe the best film about the mind of a serial killer. AV

5. Miracle Mile (Steve De Jarnatt, 1988)
After his debut hit Cherry 2000 (1987) Steve De Jarnatt moved on to make his most ambitious film: Miracle Mile. The box office and critical failure of this film meant the end (at least in cinema business) of the director’s career . Impossible to categorise and different from his sci-fi debut, Miracle Mile shares with it the same melancholic and gloomy idea about the end of the world. Two young outcasts fall in love in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. Miracle Mile begins with an almost parodic presentation of Darwin’s theory and ends as a cheesy 80s pop ballad about the two lovers who will eventually become fossils in the museums of the distant future. YV

6. Café Flesh (Stephen Sayadian, 1982)
For me this is the best porn film ever. A science fiction musical with amazing cabaret performances à la Bob Fosse. Stephen Sayadian (here credited as Rinse Dream) is one of the most original filmmakers (see also Dr Caligari, which he made in 1989) and one of the main inspirations of the alt porn movement of the 00s. AV

7. Singapore Sling (Nikos Nikolaidis , 1990)
This is one of the few Greek films that had a cult following – at least in a European circuit familiar with bizarre, twisted and really weird cinema. In Nikolaidis’s homage to film noir and black and white American horror, a mother and daughter, imprison a loser detective in their villa and subject him to acts that are beyond the limits of morality and reality. A mummy ghost of the father, electroshocks, guts that still function after they have been removed from their bodies and sex acts in various combinations are some of the tools the director uses not just to shock but to share his obsessions, and to boldly declare that love has many faces. YV

8. Shaye St. John (Eric Fournier, 2004)
This is a series of short videos that Eric Fournier uploaded on the internet a few years back. Shaye is supposed to be a supermodelwho was deformed in an accident. Shaye St. John is not a film but a video character, something like my childhood favourite, Max Headroom. By far the most disturbing and addictive thing that I’ve seen. AV

9. Zombie Flesh Eaters (Lucio Fulci, 1979)
Fulci used the conventions of exploitation cinema to create strange, absurd and sometimes abstract dreamy landscapes of films. Behind the sloppy storylines, the bad acting or the often tight shooting schedules hide great films which, consciously or not, explore the origins of terror in the dark human psyche. In Zombie Flesh Eaters, the last inhabitants of an isolated island struggle to remain alive in a world that provides no hope and no meaning. Fabio Frizzi underlines Fulci’s desperate and nihilistic vision with a tribal electronic soundtrack that awakes atavistic instincts and repressed memories. YV

10. Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971)
This Australian film by Canadian director Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) was considered lost for many years until Martin Scorsese and Nick Cave talked about it and people started to get interested. I really like Australian new wave cinema of the 70s and 80s (check also Celia and Bliss for an unusual experience), and Wake in Fright is the absolute masterpiece of this period. It contains the most brutal and shocking scene that I have even seen. Beyond anything that I used to consider bold and hardcore, this film takes violence and social criticism to a whole new ground. AV