Category Archives: Film Jukebox

DTCV’s Film Jukebox

DTCV © Mike Postalaki

California-based DTCV (pronounced Detective) features French singer Lola G and ex-Guided by Voices guitarist James Greer, who met at a party in the Hollywood hills and bonded over Super-Fuzz pedals. They have just released their latest album Confusion Moderne via Dead Meadow’s Xemu Records, and describe their sound as ‘Françoise Hardy fronting Buzzcocks’, mixing classic French pop, garage, 60s yé-yé and post-punk. Below, Lola G chooses her 10 favourite films directed by women.

1. Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi, Agnès Varda, 1985)
I love everything Agnès Varda has done but this one especially. It’s raw, visceral and Sandrine Bonnaire is incredible in it. Some of the scenes in our ‘Bourgeois Pop’ video were a reference to this film.

Continue reading DTCV’s Film Jukebox

Fabio Frizzi’s Film Jukebox

Fabio Frizzi (live in concert)

Italian maestro Fabio Frizzi is the composer of film scores for cult horror films including The Beyond and Zombie Flesh Eaters, and his brooding, synth-powered compositions are amongst the most memorable of the entire genre. On 29 October 2016, Frizzi returns to London’s Union Chapel for an evening of Chills in the Chapel, a show that includes new orchestrations of his scores for cult films by Lucio Fulci, mixed with explorations of his work outside of his longstanding collaboration with the Italian director. Below, Fabio Frizzi discusses his 10 favourite films.

1. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
My favourite film, at least to date, is this great parable of human existence. I’ve seen it many times in all the various versions, and I love that there is always something new to discover. Some films have the ability to teach you something, or give you something important to think about. These are the movies I love the most. For this reason, Blade Runner is my number one, and the soundtrack by Vangelis was hugely important and inspiring for me.

2. Play It Again, Sam (Herbert Ross, 1972)
Play it Again, Sam confirmed my adoration for Woody Allen’s work. Despite having a very different background and life experiences compared to mine, there are many things I relate to. There is his passion for good music, and having some familiarity with psycho-analysis and an ironic (often self-deprecating) approach to things in life. I found the main character irresistible, and it was wonderfully directed by Herbert Ross. From this moment, and for a long time now, I’ve been a big fan of Woody Allen.

3. Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973)
A surreal film which feels like a balance between a dream and reality, as with a lot of Federico Fellini’s work. As a boy I often spent holidays in Romagna and moments of the film played on my memories (the title actually means ’remember’ in local dialect), and this captivated me. I saw the film on the big screen and many characters reminded me of people I knew as a child.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
This film really unites different generations of fans. It’s a big production but you simply can’t forget those actors or that classic score. The story mixes action and archaeology and is able to grab even the most distracted viewer. One of those rare movies you can go back and re-watch time and again.

5. Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984)
A great Italian film, directed by someone I knew well. Fulvio, my father, was a man of the cinema and a close friend of the great Sergio Leone. Much of the crew were Italian with a team of mostly American actors, and it was a very high profile production at that time. The result is an extraordinary and intense movie experience. It’s a film I’ve seen many times, always discovering new details. Huge artistic credit should go to Ennio Morricone, who enriched the epic story with his beautiful musical score.

6. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
Another fantastic film, in fact this ‘Film Jukebox’ is making me do a real examination of my own conscience! Who hasn’t dreamed about travelling back in time, to see how their parents lived as young people? Plus, we all want a friend like Doc, a bit of the crazy type, but the perfect companion. Back to the Future is another film that never gets old and you can watch again and again.

7. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
When we are small we love fairy tales. Forrest Gump is a beautiful fairy tale with a happy ending that captures your imagination every time. As usual, the actors are absolutely crucial and here Tom Hanks is a real showman. I like how his incredible journey in time is punctuated by big moments in life. It makes you forget where you are and live through that little boy’s experience with a box of chocolates. Finally, the musical score is beautiful, and I always admired the work of Alan Silvestri.

8. Face/Off (John Woo, 1997)
Among the many thrillers I’ve seen (a genre I’m very passionate about) this is the one I love the most. What fascinates me in this kind of sci-fi inspired story is the huge range of both characters, the good guy becomes the bad guy and vice versa. This works well because of the great performances from both Nicolas Cage and John Travolta.

9. Sliding Doors (Peter Howitt, 1998)
What appealed to me about this film, in addition to the great production style and Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance, is the venture into a totally surreal territory. Life can change, completely, if just one event turns out differently, if the light turns red or the doors of the subway close before we can jump on. The theme of fate fascinates me and this film made me really reflect on living life to the fullest.

10. Cast Away (Robert Zemeckis, 2000)
This is a regular theme of discussion, especially between friends: what if you were trapped on a desert island? A fascinating answer comes from this beautiful Robert Zemeckis film with Tom Hanks. I am fascinated that, for much of the film, the protagonist lives in total isolation. This whole experience is a monologue with the psychological aspects varying continuously between highs and lows. It’s a story that focuses on our fears and the desire to fight back and the extraordinary power within each of us.

Elias Krantz’s Film Jukebox

Elias Krantz
Elias Krantz

Elias Krantz is an instrumental musician from Sweden, whose music revolves around melancholic and euphoric asymmetrical melodies, driving rhythms and ambient soundscapes, reminiscent of Krautrock legends such as NEU! and Can, as well as modern post-rock like Tortoise and Four Tet. His latest and rather conceptual album Lifelines consists of just continuous tracks that form side A and B of the record. Lifelines is released on 26 August 2016 via Control Freak Kitten.

1. Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2006)
Humble and slow film about friendship and how people change over the years. Amazing pictures and a great score by all time favs Yo La Tengo. Starring Will Oldham as one of the main characters.

2. You, the Living (Roy Andersson, 2006)
From the Swedish king of dry humour, Roy Andersson. He is one of those directors that you recognise after seeing the first 10 seconds. The colours, characters, tempo and mood are unique. You, the Living is the second film in a brilliant trilogy Andersson did over the course of fifteen years.

3. Liquid Sky (Slava Tsukerman, 1982)
One of the strangest films I’ve seen, in a good way. Weird plot starring heroine-addicted aliens, nymphomaniac lovers, German scientists in 80s New York. The music sounds like the DIY, cassette-released music that was so hyped a few years back. The whole film is up on Youtube!

4. The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997)
Haven’t seen it for years now, but remember how I loved it when I saw it in my early teens. Think it stuck because it was the first time I went to the cinema, and was presented to a totally new world that just existed there. Since then I love to see those kinds of films at the cinema: Avatar, Mad Max, etc. (films that are pretty lame if you see them at home on your computer, haha).

5. Aguierre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972)
Classic Herzog. Klaus Kinski, filmed in Amazonas, soundtrack by Krautrock legends Popul Vuh – what else do you need?

6. Gitarrmongot (Ruben Östlund, 2004)
Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s first film. Basically just filmed fragments and scenes in no order, starring 12-year-old guitar playing Erik. Even though it’s so randomly filmed and without an obvious narrative, it has something. Really fun, moving and capturing.

7. My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallström, 1985)
Maybe the film I’ve seen the most times ever. Lasse Hallström’s breakthrough film. Very Swedish. Saw it a lot when I got a bit older but still was a kid – during that time when you feel you are a bit too old to cry in front of other people. So every time I felt sad but was too much of a ‘cool kid’ to cry in front of others, I watched this film.

8. Rams (Grímur Hákonarson, 2015)
A film I just saw. Beautiful and slowly told story about two rival brothers/farmers in Iceland. Great to see at the cinema, with its stripped-down music and beautiful pictures of the Icelandic landscapes.

9. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
One of the best films of the last years, with one of the best scores by Jonny Greenwood. It’s not an original pick really, but I´ve seen it several times now and love how it just feels like a heavy hitter with it’s acting, music and scenery.

10. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
And another film I just saw. I guess a lot has already been written about it this year, but it feels like an important film in these times. Slowly told history about five sisters in Turkey. About old and new traditions colliding.

Listen to an extract from the second track ‘On Time’ on Elias Krantz’s new album Lifetime:

Maria Usbeck’s Film Jukebox

Maria Usbeck
Maria Usbeck

After five years as the singer of US new wave band Selebrities, it was homesickness that led Ecuadorian musician Maria Usbeck to record her first Spanish-language album, a percussive pop travel diary that revisits the influence of her homeland and mixes it with other exotic cultures she encountered on her travels. ‘Amparo’ is out on Labrador in Europe, Cascine in North America and Rallye in Japan.

1. Wild Tales (Damián Szifron, 2015)
This Argentinian film truly caught me by surprise. Six short stories, each more intense and dramatic than the other. Each one shows us the moment when a person can truly lose their grip. The topics for each story are incredibly well thought out as they reflect a very contemporary Argentinian and South American society, from a wedding that turns into a complete wreck to an actual plane wreck. I would suggest to watch this if you are in need of a laugh but can also handle some moments of pure edge-of-you-seat anxiety.

2. Cría Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976)
During the end of the Franquist era, a young girl lives with her two sisters, grandmother and aunt. Her mother has passed after a very long illness, her father later dies of a heart attack. Carlos Saura takes us through this dysfunctional drama allowing us to feel and think as if we were this little girl. Middle child syndrome meets the most beautiful cinematography and art direction. The soundtrack is by one of my favourite Spaniard singers, Jeanette. The main theme ‘Porque Te Vas’, was a song I used to dance and sing along to as a little girl myself.

3. Fando y Lis (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1968)
This is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first film, which, when it premiered in Mexico in the 60s, caused a rather angry reaction from its audience. The nature of the film is rather blasphemous. It’s based on the play by the Spanish writer and filmmaker Fernando Arrabal. Its surrealism brings to life human emotion with a rich depth of traumatic pasts and agnostic nature. It’s a film that truly makes you think.

4. Io non ho paura (Gabriele Salvatores, 2003)
A story about a cruel realisation for a young boy, who discovers the darkest side of adults. Filmed in Spain in Italian, this film takes you to a small village during the hottest summer days. As a kid I spent a lot of time running through fields and the woods with my sisters and cousins. Always on the hunt for some sort of adventure or entertainment. Director Gabriele Salvatores delivers an excellent portrait of innocence in the face of desperation. Extremely moving.

5. Araya (Margot Benacerraf, 1959)
Black and white Venezuelan-French documentary that came out the same year as The 400 Blows. It’s beautifully shot. The documentary shows the lives of the Venezuelan people who lived in this beach town called Araya at the time. Working in the salt marsh, making clay pots and having a type of lifestyle that was slowly already starting to disappear and continues to do so.

6. Twilight (Julio Bracho, 1945)
I watched this Mexican film noir about a year ago while on a first date. The man who took me on this date deserves an award for choosing this film. Now if only he was as great as the film was… A dramatic story unravels in the life of a high class society doctor and professor. This man goes through a bit of an existential crisis. His long-lost love has resurfaced and he finds himself torn. This love story captures you with impressionist imagery.

7. Eco de la montaña (Nicolás Echeverria, 2014)
Director Nicolás Echeverria, who is best known for Cabeza de vaca, shows us the life of the indigenous artist Santos de la Torre, of the Huichol people in Mexico. He depicts his work, his family life, his ideals and rituals, as well as his relationship to the outside world. It’s mostly inspirational and eye-opening.

8. The Maid (Sebastián Silva, 2009)
I never myself had a nanny or a full-time maid. When I was growing up in South America, most of my friends did, and their maids were almost like family to them. Director Sebastián Silva was able to unleash the essence of what is almost a psychological thriller. The portrayal of the maid is something truly unforgettable.

9. Dark Habits (Pedro Almodóvar, 1983)
There is nothing like combining Catholic guilt with surrealism. Works like a charm in this Almodóvar film. In a home for rebellious women turned nuns, the most scandalous, witty and funny situations take place. It’s a thrill to watch everything unfold as you dig further and further into the troubles of each character.

10. Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)
I was in high school when this movie came out and I remember thinking that this and the music video for ‘Lady hear me tonight’ by Modjo were the most outrageous concepts I could’ve laid my eyes upon. Instantly in love. It’s about two friends who go on a road trip and meet an older woman who is keen to seduce them. The film is not only about sexuality but about the secrets that they hold from each other.

Gun Outfit’s Film Jukebox

Gun Outfit

LA-based-via-Olympia band Gun Outfit have been releasing records for nearly a decade. Raised in the world of hardcore punk, they now marry a love of Americana, tinted with their passion for cinema, with psychedelic flair. Their newest album Dream All Over is out now via Paradise of Bachelors, while their Two Way Player EP, opening with ‘Expansion Pact’ is out on Wharf Cat Records on 12 February 2016. Gun Outfit play London’s Lexington on 17 February 2016, with more dates in the UK (see below) and Europe throughout the month. For more information, visit the Gun Outfit website. Below, vocalist and guitarist Dylan Sharp discusses 10 inspiring films.

Here are 10 movies I enjoy. Definitively stating even my own name induces a faint shiver of anxiety within me, so I’ll refrain from claiming these as my top 10 of all time. I’ve tried to keep to slightly more obscure examples of the types of things I draw from in movies, and I’ve left off the great masterpieces that we all love, because nothing is more unnecessary than my own salty take on the tired legends of cinema past. Movies are the greatest art, they are psychological propaganda operating on the deepest levels, ideology’s fever dream and utter compromise, and I’m honoured to have an excuse to blab on about them. These are, in no particular order:

1. Out 1 (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
Forgive the outrage of selecting the abbreviated cut; I have back problems and arthouse chairs can be stiff. Rivette has a self-assured class and a playfulness that makes his films enjoyable and easy – they’re long but they care about you. There’s a certain quality of experience you get from watching very long, very ‘boring’ films – your attention is freed from the fascist dictates of the storyline and left to ponder dully the curvature of the wall or the fabric of the cloth touching your throat. It’s a validation of thought because, for me at least, thinking is only possible after bravely withstanding the compulsive refusal to do so for many minutes. Many filmmakers know this and use it to make art, but Rivette took pains to thoroughly infuse reality with fantasy and, especially in this film, to entrust the actors with the privilege of creation in a uniquely collaborative process. A process working on this many levels is rare.

2. Under the Men’s Tree (David MacDougall, 1970)
As a foolish young man struggling with the straight-faced discussions of objectivity in the social sciences, I thought it would be ‘fun’ to sneak onto the University of Washington campus and, after wolfing down a paper bag full of fresh-cut cubensis mushrooms in a men’s room, spend an afternoon watching ethnographic films in a weird viewing booth. This film stuck out for its grace and simplicity. In Under the Men’s Tree, MacDougall calmly allows the stationary camera to capture a group of African men sitting around under a tree gabbing with each other, exaggerating about simple things that happened throughout the day (one young man lies about seeing a car drive by, for example). It’s a simple depiction of people telling stories, a deliberate resistance to the heavily laboured mythmaking that can seem to be the only path for those inclined to work with moving images. Art and life is just bullshitting, and here it’s studied and celebrated. It is perhaps simultaneously the most and least pretentious film (actually a wonderfully ghosting Portapak video) I’ve ever seen.

3. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Yoshimitsu Bannu, 1971)
As an even younger person I was obsessed with Godzilla. An ambiguous, indomitable manifestation of pure force in all its conceptual ridiculousness – the Japanese Godzilla movies were the most satisfying example of pure cinematic entertainment I’d known. I’d grown up on Nintendo, and Godzilla was the first thing in art that could satisfy that strange desire for simultaneously banal and weird repetition that hours of hopping over a poorly rendered bush had induced in me. Godzilla vs. Hedorah is here because it’s really the weirdest one – it’s simultaneously psychedelic exploitation and prescient environmental commentary that’s dark and serious and insane. It’s the only movie in the series where Godzilla flies (by shooting his hot breath onto the ground and squirting upward into the air) and he gets his ass kicked by a fucked-up blob in a disturbing sequence that reminded me of an animal battling with cancer. Godzilla is the only character in movies that I can say I love without qualification.

4. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
This was the first film to blow my mind. I saw it in a small 15-seat theatre above Scarecrow Video in Seattle when I was 16. There were projector problems and it was about 95 degrees in there – I remember just sweating while they struggled for 20 minutes to change reels. The experience I had watching it was as close to religious as I’ve ever had. It’s the one Tarkovsky film I’ve only watched once, I’m superstitious about it. Honestly this is the film that caused me to throw my life away studying Russia, philosophy and experimental filmmaking in college. I don’t know what else to say… it blended science fiction and philosophy and spirituality with seemingly zero budget and really beautiful sepia/monochromatic film stock, and it made me think that the world was serious about itself for a protracted moment.

5. 10 Rillington Place (Richard Fleischer, 1971)
I’m not saying this is one of the best films ever, but it’s the best horror/suspense film I’ve seen in the last five years. It’s the story of serial killer John Christie. Richard Attenborough is slimy and the crude-homemade-gas-murder-in-bombed-out-postwar-Britain-by-an-ingratiating-impotent-landlord theme is so dark. The fact that it was filmed in the actual house where the murders took place makes you come out of the theatre feeling dirty. This is true crime at its best, with a proper emphasis on the potential for murderous exploitation by power in times of want.

6. Lancelot du Lac (Robert Bresson, 1974)
Filmmaking is expensive and there are seemingly endless opportunities for lavish waste and extravagance, and if you can’t afford to do it visually you can always go nuts with the storyline. The fact that Bresson is able to maintain his dark economism while recreating archetypal fantasy Europe is pretty impressive. I love minimalism in cinema and music, like the sound of crunching leaves as we watch the forlorn knight’s feet trudge through the empty glade. I get sick of ham acting and self-congratulatory cinema, and Bresson is as pure an antidote to decadence as you can get. I’ve always had a fantasy of getting a job working on crappy historical recreations for bad TV shows and finding a way to create some small sequences of pure art away from prying eyes, but if that ever happened they would resemble this movie and I would be yelled at by my young boss.

7. Love and Anarchy (Lina Wertmuller, 1973)
This is how you make a romantic comedy. Italian ham Giancarlo Giannini plays a forlorn hick who is so obsessed with his idea of assassinating Mussolini that he totally misunderstands the meaning of his erection (I can relate). The crux of the comedy lies in the subtle movement of Giannini’s facial muscles and in his relationship with the other anarchist prostitutes, and it’s a very humanist take on radical politics and a send-up of romance that has yet to really be equalled. It’s a feminist film and an anarchist film and it’s very funny, quite the feat.

8. Arabian Nights (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974)
Pure spectacle. A nude man wanders through sweeping vistas and ornate castles. Pure lust. Arabian Nights is one of the first books I remember getting into and this movie is a fully adult realization of cinema’s epic potential. It perfectly indulges the fascination for the Islamic golden age I picked up while living in Istanbul with the gay sexual renaissance of the 70s, another period I think about often when the phantasmic notion of true freedom pops into my head. Pasolini also has a great sense of humour. Couldn’t really ask for more.

9. The Hired Hand (Peter Fonda, 1971)
I guess since I play in a trippy American western band I should probably stay on brand. The opening sequence, in which bathing cowboys blend into a brightly sparkling river in a sequence of very slow dissolves, is a great visual realization of what we’re trying to do musically, and it’s as beautiful a depiction of experiences I’ve had in the western US as anything I’ve ever seen. The rest of the movie feels like the residue of an acid trip, not because it’s explicitly psychedelic, but more because of the themes of gently deteriorating masculine friendship and the slow dawning of unspectacular reality on the horizon at the end of your twenties. The pure ecstasy and unity of the trip can’t be maintained, but the relationships you form can last forever.

10. Level Five (Chris Marker, 1997)
Fast forward to the 90s, when I was actually alive. This movie, a bizarre pseudo-documentary investigation into Japanese resistance to the US invasion in Okinawa and elsewhere, came out in 1997. At that time I was in high school living in Saipan in the Marianas Islands with my father. While there, I visited the cliffs where, in the film, we see Japanese women jumping to their deaths in slow motion. By the time I saw this a couple of years ago I almost had a panic attack thinking about how personal history and national history intertwine in infinite aspects, forming invisible threads that direct our every action. Marker is impossibly creative within a non-existent budget and creates works of art that are unlike anything else. He blends so many spheres of being and understanding, and couples that with a charismatic personality that just expresses an openness and love for the world. Just makes you want to create something out of nothing, as now you know it can be done.

Gun Outfit UK Tour Dates:
12.02.16 Brighton, Green Door Store
13.02.16 Manchester, Gullivers
14.02.16 Glasgow, The Hug & Pint
15.02.16 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
16.02.16 Cardiff, Clwb lfor Bach
17.02.16 London, The Lexington

Test Dept’s Film Jukebox

UK tour brett T BW
Test Dept photo by Brett Turnbull

Prompted by cultural and political developments, influential 80s industrial music collective Test Dept have recently resurfaced and are currently touring their film DS30 (2014) along with other archive film material. Their book Total State Machine has just been released by PC-Press and is available from Rough Trade East and from the PC-Press website. There will be a number of re-issues of their recorded material soon on PC-Press/Forte Distribution. Test Dept: Redux will be playing live at the Wroclaw Industrial Festival, Poland, on 7 November and at TPO in Bologna, Italy, on 14 November. They will be appearing at the Cambridge Film Festival (4-12 September) on 12 September as part of the Microcinema event programme curated by James Mackay and William Fowler, DARK PICTURES: Industrial Music Culture. Below, Test Dept founding member Graham Cunnington picks his ten essential films, some of which have a personal significance while others have influenced the work of the group.

1.Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
A seminal moment of inspiration and one of those films where you look at the world differently once you emerge from the darkness of the cinema into the light. The landscape of ‘The Zone’ in the film, where one’s deepest dreams can perhaps be realised, somehow reflected the desolation of the former docklands around New Cross where we lived at the time; mile upon mile of derelict and ruined industrial buildings and forsaken empty wasteland. The film raises philosophical questions about the nature of reality and about the existential battles of science and logic vs art and creativity, religion and belief, about right and wrong, good and evil, and it made me feel there were much deeper levels of understanding to explore in the world around me. It also heavily influenced our film Cold Witness starring the great Ken Campbell.

2. Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass (Dziga Vertov, 1931)
Vertov’s film Man with a Movie Camera could be in this list as it was a huge early influence on our visual director Brett Turnbull and of Test Dept’s filmmaking style, especially during the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike. But Enthusiasm is here as it was the first sound film. The first to use sound recorded on location, and then to use those sounds, cut up into a sound collage for the soundtrack. A technique that we have developed throughout our career, using found sound in creating film soundtrack and music composition.

3. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000)
The opening shot of the young main protagonist choreographing the drunken inhabitants of a bar in a small town in rural Hungary to act out the movement of the heavenly bodies of the solar system is a beautifully arresting scene. Béla Tarr’s customary ultra-long takes create a dreamlike metaphorical meditation on the fall and failure of the machinations and corruptions of power and the willing blindness of people to accommodate such things. A constant struggle between dark and light around prophesies of doom in a world on the brink of disaster. This film produced another jolt of a creative spark for me.

4. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
The adaptation of Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, the script, the cinematography, the soundtrack, the characters, and the surreality and unexpectedness of some of the scenes and scenarios. In every aspect an astonishing and ground-breaking film that really resonated with us, not least because the Vietnam War was a constant background noise on the news when we were kids. Some sonic material of this was inevitably extracted and used in early TD work, and many others’ too. Someone said of our original installation of DS30 on the river Tyne in Newcastle last year that approaching it by boat was like one of the scenes from this film. A compliment indeed.

5. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
Although Blue Velvet, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive are brilliant films, Eraserhead was the first Lynch film and the first one I watched. More surreal and strange than anything I had ever come across before, it knocked me sideways. It was always on late night screenings at The Ritzy in Brixton and that was the best time for it. The strange main character of Henry, the black and white cinematography, the sound design and the atmosphere of alienation have lingered in my creative cloud, and, as a reference for being out there, doing your own thing and not giving a shit what people think, it’s pretty unsurpassed. A disturbance of the psyche that textured and coloured some of mine and Test Dept’s very early work.

6. A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)
The fact that this had been banned and could only be watched on illegal VHS video tapes created the initial intrigue. As a punk in South London in the late 70s, violence was a part of my teenage years. The streets were a dangerous place where gangs of Skinheads, Teddy Boys, Casuals, Hells Angels and Bikers were out to get you. This film reflected that reality – Alex and his Droogs wear their identifying uniform and commit ‘ultra-violence’ much as some in those sub-cultures did – but it also made such an impact on me through its depiction of a government using psychological conditioning to control its citizenship, fanning the flames of my own young anti-establishment tendencies. The design of a near-future, much like our own but strange and alien too, helped by the invented language of Nadsat, appropriating words from other sources, and the incredible soundtrack by Walter (later Wendy) Carlos, transplanting Beethoven’s Glorious Ninth Symphony onto the Moog synthesiser; all an inspiration which would come back to me years later when me and the other members of TD came to work on the Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket as extras.

7. No Mercy, No Future (Helma Sanders-Brahms, 1981)
Incredibly difficult to watch, but this is an enormously powerful work and, along with Sanders-Brahms’s other film Germany, Pale Mother, had such an influence on me, coming out of both in tears, absolutely drained and devastated. A story about a schizophrenic young girl in West Berlin, under the shadow of the Wall, alone and alienated in a brutal city, looking for god. It was an eye-opener that such a powerful emotional effect could be got through a story so uncompromising, uncomfortable and disturbing. It sparked an interest that would eventually lead me to have the courage, many years later, to develop and tell my own story in the solo play Pain.

8. Mad Max II: The Road Warrior (George Miller, 1981)
Another future dystopia, it was a toss-up between this and Blade Runner, even though that is undoubtedly the better film, but MMII gets in due to the mutated vehicles and repurposed materials giving an obvious link with TD and our choice of scrap-metal instrumentation. What drew me in was the lonesome road warrior with his dog and his souped-up car, concerned with doing the right thing, but only just, something I identified with completely in my imagination. Also, the opposing tribes: the bad biker-punk gang so much more beguiling than the boring hippie goodies inside their oil-well encampment (except for the cool wild kid narrator with the boomerang). A high-octane-powered roller coaster ride. As TD, we later hooked up with the Mad Max-inspired Mutoid Waste Company, who were living at the time in a quarry in Italy, mutated their own vehicles and could have been characters straight out of the film. We went on convoy with them around Italy and felt as though we actually were.

9. Ghost Dog (Jim Jarmusch, 1999)
I just love this film with Forest Whitaker’s depiction of the eponymous lone hitman who communicates by pigeon and constantly refers to the Hagakure: Book of The Samurai, trying to interpret its code as a spiritual guide; his character here resonates with my own conflicted struggle for a spiritual understanding, beyond religion, in a harshly unspiritual time. He moves through the city unnoticed by most except the few who really see him, accompanied by RZA’s great score, and when you come out of this film you want to do the same, in that lazy, slouching walk that he has, just to be as cool as him – even though he kills people.

10. Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)
Really three films in one post. This, along with Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation and Naqoyqatsi: Life as War introduced another element into my creative perspective. Film as documentary and as art with a powerful societal message and without words (except those spoken or sung in the soundtrack). The mixture of breath-taking imagery depicted in slow motion or time-lapse with the modernist minimalist repetitive looping soundtrack by Philip Glass created a gloriously vibrant and addictive mix. The films depict the human impact on both the developed and developing worlds, starting from untouched natural landscapes through human intervention to the urban and built environments and beyond to the technologically driven world we inhabit today. Astonishing works, of which maybe a little influence trickled through to our film DS30.

Princess Chelsea’s Film Jukebox

Princess_Chelsea 1
Princess Chelsea

Princess Chelsea, aka New Zealander Chelsea Nikkel, is a classically-trained solo artist who became a YouTube sensation with the ‘The Cigarette Duet’, from her first album Lil Golden Book. Her second album, The Great Cybernetic Depression, is a work of ‘retrofuturistic space pop’, influenced by artists such as Kraftwerk and Tomita, inspired by a desire to recreate the magic of childhood movies like The Never Ending Story. The album, with its ‘wall of synth’ arrangements, is themed around a metaphorical future happening, and depression as an apocalyptic event, with Princess Chelsea weaving her personal, sometimes melancholic, experiences of relationships and the music industry through the songs. The album is out now on Flying Nun/Lil’ Chief. Below, Princess Chelsea picks her top ten films.

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Stephen Spielberg, 1982)
This movie encapsulates all the wonder I held as a lil’ kid from New Zealand, when I would think about the big industrious country known as ‘USA’ – where Disneyland and all the movies come from, and how they had way more types of candy bars than we have here in New Zealand (love the M&Ms scene BTW). I am now grown up and realise USA candy is shitty and, like most countries, the USA is fucked up, with a widening gap between rich and poor, while Hollywood is in a dark ages of boring-ass movies about superheroezzz.
Anyways, what’s my point – I’m an escapist and hell yes, I’ll use pop culture to do it. This movie takes me back and makes me think it’s 1985 and I’m a little kid and the whole world is amazing. I mean who doesn’t like ET… It’s Spielberg at his best, and sometimes you just want to see an easily digestible movie the whole family can watch. Well at least I do.

2. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich,1962)
Only saw this recently. It stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford pitted against each other in fiction and maybe in real life (I read somewhere they didn’t like each other that much). Like in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Taylor & Burton) I can sense an almost mean and competitive IRL chemistry between the two leads. An early example of two interesting roles for older female leads who may have been considered ‘past their prime’ by idiots, but ended up delivering career-defining performances. Bette Davis is one of the creepiest villains in cinema as Baby Jane.

3. Pinocchio (1940)
Big fan of pre-90s Disney (although Beauty and The Beast is a triumph). As far as children’s movies go, this one gets dark and the scene (SPOILER ALERT) where Pinocchio’s buddy turns into a donkey is scary for me still as an adult. A lot of early Disney movies resonate with me because I’m a fan of 30s and 40s music, so combine that with hand-drawn animation and I’m pretty much sold. Also like the veering away from ‘princesses in castles being rescued by a prince’ theme Disney took with tackling the fairy-tale Pinocchio.

4. The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984)
I feel like I should be listing art-house rarities, but the reality is I love pop culture and fantasy, and the two intersect brilliantly in this film, with some dystopian violence to boot. Retrofuturism in film is fascinating to watch after the fact – a 60s, 70s or 80s, even 90s (WTF) idea of the future is so interesting to me and in my opinion gives films like Terminator, which were blockbusters in their day, a slightly different angle for the viewer in 2015.

5. The NeverEnding Story (Wolfgang Petersen, 1984)
Childhood favourite – the ivory tower scene at the end is terrifying still IMO – pretty much can’t stand CGI (except TOY STORY), so am always happy to watch films where more effort is put into costuming and models IRL. A mid-80s gem featuring a flying dragon/dog hybrid called FALCOR and a cute ass DX7 soundtrack.

6. Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948)
Love slow shots/long takes with lots of shit going on in the background. My favourite movie is E.T. but I enjoy watching period drama for the same reason I like this film – you can re-watch it dozens and dozens of times and still find something interesting you hadn’t noticed. In context – this film was an absolute stunt-and-nuts thing to do that I would suggest influenced another favourite of mine, Robert Altman, considerably.

7. Boy (Taika Waititi, 2010)
New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi made this masterpiece a few years back and I feel he’s really great at capturing the essence of small-town New Zealand in a way that’s charming and not condescending. He approaches some pretty heavy subject material in a humorous but also emotionally affecting way, and the score by NZ band Phoenix Foundation is beautiful too.

8. Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994)
Another New Zealand film, this is an early one by Peter Jackson that examines an IRL murder. I have always felt pretty connected to the main characters in this film, as I have a habit of developing intense friendships with females in my life. The two lead actresses are a young Kate Winslet and a young Melanie Lynskey (who is in that dumb sitcom with Charlie Sheen) and I’m pretty sure they weren’t at all famous back then, but they were killer in this movie. And an early 90s New Zealand movie set in the 50s is just a great little time capsule via film.

9. The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)
A few years ago I got really into Robert Altman’s movies and it seems like he had a bit of an artistic renaissance in the 90s. The Player combines clever Hollywood satire with his trademark long freeform shots. I love happy accidents in music and in film and I feel his films are full of them.

10. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
I am interested in and would like to explore more silent films of the 1920s, but I’m just gonna be honest here and say I would still probably enjoy Alien more than all of them. Alien is a great film for many reasons – Ripley as much-needed feminist icon + extreme patience with the editing and cinematography make this blockbuster even a bit ‘ARTY’.

Pere Ubu’s Film Jukebox

Pere Ubu
Pere Ubu

Pere Ubu’s new album Carnival of Souls has received much favourable attention on its autumn release, not least with two tracks being chosen as themes in Fox Network’s hit series, American Horror Story. David Thomas, founder and lead singer, includes himself when he describes the band as ‘cogs’, working towards a perfection of the machine that is the Pere Ubu project. Below, he tells us about his choice of favourite films, with additions by Robert Wheeler (electronics and theremin), Keith Moliné (guitar), Gagarin (electronica and keyboard), Darryl Boon (clarinet and musette) and Steve Mehlman (drums). Unsurprisingly, the band members are as diverse as the music they record, as reflected in their film choices. Taking to the road with their new album from November 12, the band will also be appearing in the Brighton Film Festival with a live underscore to X, The Man with the X Ray Eyes. For tour dates and to buy tickets, visit the songkick website. You can listen to the track ‘Road to Utah’ (taken from Carnival of Souls) on soundcloud.

1. Event Horizon (Paul W. S. Anderson, 1997)
This is a movie I always want to watch… in the hope that it’s gotten better by means of some Fortean twist in the fabric of the universe. It is flawed. You might even say ‘deeply flawed’. The premise of a haunted spaceship, suspended in a poisonous, outer planet’s atmosphere at the edge of the solar system is terrific. The film’s dodgy reputation has more to do with failing to live up to the brilliance of the premise than anything actually ‘wrong’ with it as a space adventure. Haunted house movies are dependent on the cast of characters being trapped inside, unable to escape. There’s nothing more ‘trapped’ than being in a spaceship. Less horror/melodrama/CGI FX and more of the psychological terror of House on Haunted Hill would have served this movie better. Now they’ve ‘used up’ the idea. But I will keep watching. Who knows? Maybe someday… David Thomas

2. Un chien andalou (Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí, 1929)
We were exposed to some really cutting edge and out-there cultural experiences at school in the 60s and 70s, studying the beat poets in English, Stockhausen and tape composition in music, and films like this in ‘general studies’. At 16, surrealism was something we were all drawn to, and this is one of the true early surrealist films. It’s laden with heavy symbolism around religion and sex, much of which we needed explaining, together with some truly shocking and scary moments. The image of ants emerging from stigmata, and the razor cutting open an eyeball have stayed with me as two of the most disturbing things I’ve seen. It’s a dark and unrelenting 20 minutes, and as a teenager that dark world seemed like an exciting flip side. Now it just feels like a place I inhabit quite comfortably. The structural ideas of surrealism have always influenced my music, mostly through the use of found sounds and recontextualised samples. Gagarin

3. Adaptation (Charlie Kaufman, 2002)
I like seeing the creative process foregrounded to the extent that it becomes the actual subject matter of the film. Charlie Kaufman movies are great for this, and Adaptation is his masterpiece. The story of a writer struggling to adapt a book for a screenplay, eventually calling on his novice, hack screenwriter twin brother for help, is told through a hilariously rendered imagining of their completed script. The last 20 minutes tell you exactly why so many Hollywood movies collapse into mindless action set-pieces and ludicrous plot twists – by dissolving into mindless action set-pieces and ludicrous plot twists. Keith Moliné

4. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
Robert Mitchum as ‘Reverend’ Harry Powell, with HATE tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and LOVE tattooed on the knuckles of the other hand, made a big impression on me when I first saw this at the age of 14. He’s one of the scariest characters ever on film – think Hannibal Lecter and Frank Booth. And it has Lillian Gish. It’s the only movie Charles Laughton directed, and in my opinion it’s one of the most frightening movies ever made. ’Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ will never sound the same again. Robert Wheeler

5. Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1948)
Another deeply flawed movie. There is something fascinating about the flawed. The soundtrack is notoriously painful. Everything about it is under-budget, in the same category as those Lost in Space papier-mâché-rocks episodes. Of course, it’s not the best Welles film, but it’s my favourite. The sense of dread and doom is pervasive in spite of its failings (due solely to finance). The set design and costuming, cheap and otherworldly, are mesmerizing. And Orson is… Orson. David Thomas

6. Amadeus (Miloš Forman, 1984)
Amadeus was released in the year I began studying at music college. Most of us were struggling with the transformation from being the school star, pushed into a highly competitive environment, and this film gave a pertinent lesson in handling the fact that there are always going to be people apparently better than you. The genius of the film is that the dialogue gives classical music the same immense, physical impact that stunned me the first time I played in a full orchestra. Salieri’s ranting gives a foreboding to the Commendatore scene from Don Giovanni, which must have been how the 18th-century audience felt on hearing it for the first time. Darryl Boon

7. A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)
I first saw this when I was 19. I went on a road trip to Atlanta to stay with my brother’s housemate who was home on leave (they were naval shore patrol, stationed in Naples, Italy). I spent the whole night trying to keep up with these two older, kind of meat-head dudes (’What are we taking? I’ll have twice as much please.) and I failed miserably. When we finally headed back home, I was completely trashed, so after they both went to sleep I decided to pop in a movie – A Clockwork Orange. Needless to say, considering the night I’d just had, it blew my mind. Visually stunning, blurring the lines between good and evil, institutional corruption, doctors playing God, old ladies with purple and orange hair, and a bit of the old ultra-violence. I loved it, and immediately watched it again… and wallowed in the hallucinations. I’ve probably seen it over a hundred times by now. Steve Mehlman

8. Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968)
It’s a great ‘style’ movie. Steve McQueen looks amazing, of course, but the other lead characters really are San Francisco, like the eccentric, cool old aunt, and the two muscle cars – the Charger and the Mustang – testosterone-filled grumbling, roaring beasts. Somehow the Mustang comes over like the white-clad hero of a cowboy movie with the Charger more of a Jack Palance baddie. I was a car fanatic at the time and those muscle cars just oozed sex, power and machismo (totally unlike me at 14!) while San Fran felt like the centre of a hip world that I really wanted to be part of. The pacing of the film is beautiful and the car chase still without equal, choreographed to one of the greatest of all soundtracks. Lalo Schifrin combines jazz, pop, classical and ‘world’ music elements with brass, wah-wah guitar and percussion, driving the movie and creating drama in a way as important as the pictures, and more than the dialogue. Importantly for me, it inspired me to play the bongos, with their high-pitched tension and detailed chatter, and within a year I’d bought my first pair. Gagarin

9. Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967)
Speaking of the foregrounding process, this is the ultimate example – a classic of avant-garde film. It’s one 45-minute shot, a slow zoom in on an apartment as various people come and go – though there are long stretches where nothing happens – or perhaps that should be typed ’Nothing’ happens. I admit I’ve only sat through it once, about 20 years ago at a film club somewhere, but it made an impression. The shape of the film is everything, the few half-seen events that constitute narrative almost irrelevant. That’s like rock music – the riffs, solos, lyrics – everything that we assume we should focus on are in themselves unimportant. They just colour in the design and are usually entirely interchangeable. Keith Moliné

10. The Time Travelers (Ib Melchior, 1964)
I’ve only seen it once, maybe 45 years ago, and I’ll never watch it again, but it contains the single most memorable scene I’ve ever witnessed, and so must be listed as a favourite film. The plot is something about scientists travelling into a future dystopian society. There, the mad scientists of the future manage to break the fabric of time with one of their experiments. The film is unendurably tedious until the last couple of minutes, when time has been broken and becomes a feedback loop. The Time Travelers repeats itself over and over, faster and faster, until it becomes a blur and then pops into blackness. End. And such is the glory of the lost tradition of the B-movie: one cool idea engulfed by nonsense, a single-minded plot and low-budget ephemera. David Thomas

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

Blouse’s Film Jukebox


Blouse are a Portland-based band who made their 2011 debut with a retro-tinged, dreamy self-titled album, released on Captured Tracks (one of the more dynamic labels around at the moment). The synth-based music, mixed with singer Charlie Hilton’s ethereal vocals, has given way to a more guitar-led sound on their latest album, Imperium, which balances band members Jacob Portrait and Patrick Adams’s Pacific North-west background with Hilton’s southern Californian singer-songwriter roots. Both albums are evocative and beguiling. Blouse support Slowdive in Geneva on 9 September, with other live dates following across Europe. For more information on the band and to buy their albums, visit the Captured Tracks website. Below, the band pick their 10 favourite films.

1. True Stories (David Byrne, 1986)
‘This isn’t a rental car – it’s privately owned.’ The line might not look like much on paper, but ever since I watched David Byrne deliver it from a burgundy convertible as he, dressed in a full cowboy suit, cruised down an empty highway toward an imagined town in Texas, True Stories became everything to me. It’s not just the things he says, it’s how he says them, and there are so many good lines in this movie. It’s like a stretched out, three-dimensional Talking Heads song, and it gives us a pretty good idea as to how David Bryne views the world. After I watched it for the first time, I was convinced he was a genius. Oh, and this film introduced me to one of my favourite Talking Heads songs, ‘Dream Operator’, which is performed during a very Dada-like fashion show at the local mall. Charlie Hilton

2. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
I love sci-fi films, and I can’t think of a better one than Alien. I watched it when I was a teenager and I had never seen anything more terrifying. And yes, being terrified is a good thing when you can do it from the safety of your ordinary life. That’s one of the reasons we watch movies. We get the chance to feel things really intensely without the possibility of being physically or emotionally hurt. It’s wonderful to feel like you’re about to die, like you’re witnessing the most awful thing you’ve every seen in your life. And H. R. Giger’s designs of the alien monster are so incredible, they’re almost hypnotic. But they aren’t over the top, like a lot of the monsters I’ve seen in movies throughout my life. In fact, there is something very classy about the movie as a whole. And Sigourney Weaver is the hottest woman I have ever seen in a tank top. Charlie Hilton

3. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
I have a weakness for epic films about the human condition (and for anything starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman), so this is definitely in my top 10. It’s such a beautiful film, I don’t even feel qualified to talk about it. But I will say that I love how there’s this parallel between the viewer and the protagonist. Just as the lines between fiction and reality become blurred for the playwright, you feel desperately confused as well. You start to wonder if you’re watching the movie or the play and, like him, you feel like your life is slipping away from you right before your eyes. Charlie Hilton

4. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
I was 13 years old and had lived through the first big wave of dino-craze. I was moving away to France for a year and took my girlfriend at the time to see Jurassic Park the day before I left. We held hands for the first time and it was the greatest cinematic experience of my life. Such an adventure! Also cool when Newman gets squirted in the eyes with goo and Samuel L. Jackson says ‘hold on to your butts’. Patrick Adams

5. Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)
I was 17 years old and Titanic was the biggest movie ever. I didn’t really care to see it, but then the girl I had been crushing on since the first grade invited me to go. She told me she had already seen the movie four times in theatres, but she really wanted me to see it. We did not hold hands but I really enjoyed the movie. Leo was such a heartthrob! The film really tugged at all your emotions. I was very sad when Leo died, but the memory of their time together on that big boat will last an eternity. Patrick Adams

6. The Life Aquatic (Wes Anderson, 2004)
This film embodies the quirky and whimsical life I fantasise about leading. I enjoyed the attention to detail in the art department/set design. Also, Bill Murray. Paul Roper

7. Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
A film with a shocking emotional journey. I deeply appreciated a lot of (lead protagonist) Cvalda’s outlook on life. Paul Roper

8. Nowhere (Gregg Araki, 1997)
It’s the perfect film. It has a young Heather Graham, Ryan Phillippe, Mena Suvari and a million other actors before they were famous. The soundtrack is all Slowdive and shoegaze bands. Random namedropping of Siouxsie and the Banshees. John Ritter as a televangelist. It is the most 90s thing ever made. All of my favourite things in one movie. Arian Jalali

9. The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973)
I love all of Robert Altman’s films from the 70s because they were all kinda attempts at making films of various genres, but totally off. The Long Goodbye is Altman’s attempt at a noir film, but it’s way cooler than any real noir. Elliott Gould is also one of my favourite actors, and he plays the coolest detective ever in this film. Arian Jalali

10. Noriko’s Dinner Table (Sion Sono, 2005)
I really liked Suicide Club and when I found out this was the ‘prequel’ I had to see it. It’s one of the weirdest and eeriest films I have ever seen and I felt really uncomfortable and mentally drained at the end of the film. It’s also really interesting how it takes the horror of Suicide Club and totally warps it. Arian Jalali