Category Archives: Film Jukebox

Fol Chen’s Film Jukebox

Fol Chen

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 (Ry&#363ichi 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 &#197m&#229l (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.

Fol Chen play Point Ephemere in Paris on 4 June and The Shacklewell Arms in London on 5 June. More information on touring dates can be found here.

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.

Alexander’s Festival Hall’s Film Jukebox

Alexander's Festival Hall

Not a Dry Eye in London is the debut album from Alexander’s Festival Hall, an elegantly styled electronic pop confection that begins behind a venue curtain and ends some 40 minutes later, dusting itself down in a field. The brainchild of Alexander’s Festival Hall, former Kompakt recording artist (Baxendale), and producer to Piney Gir and other indie luminaries, the record is an urbane journey through love, loss and the possibility of dancing. With nods as various as Cologne’s nightclub sound and 1930s jazz vying for your affection, Mr Festival Hall decided to have fun colliding form and function but without ever losing sight of that perennial virtue – the instantly hummable tune. (from the press release) More information on his website. Below, Alexander’s Festival Hall gives us his top 10 films.

1. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Who wouldn’t love an Algerian war romance set in a French port town with all dialogue sung to a non-stop jazz score? I’ve always loved Michel Legrand’s music and this is a wonderful tribute to the colourful American musicals of MGM. Basically a teen romance gone awry, but with the music and ingénue Catherine Deneuve’s smile vying for lead status.

2. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
Bit of a new-wave film noir goodness now. French chanteur Charles Aznavour plays a piano player who gets caught up with the mob. Aznavour is a kind of god in France (and still touring I believe) and, as a non-professional actor, puts in one of those rare things from pop stars in films – a really ace, and actually partly improvised performance. Turns out non-sequitur-strewn discussions by mobsters officially belong to Truffaut, not that arriviste Tarantino…

3. Sleeper (1973)
This always seems like Woody Allen’s crossover movie, as he moved from parodying other films into his own upscale Manhattanite satires. That it also manages to be both an homage to the physical comedy of the silent-film era and a pisstake of the late 1960s/early 70s vogue for dystopian sci-fi at the same time is pretty amazing. Miles Monroe, who runs a whole food store in the 1970s, wakes up a couple of hundred years later to be used as a revolutionary by scientists resisting a 1984-like state. Diane Keaton excels as a bratty socialite slash poet who of course he falls in love with.

4. Alphaville (1965)
I remember seeing this when I was about 19 and that was a great age to be struck by the ambition of new wave film – when you haven’t yet seen so many films that you’ve tired of post-modernity’s way with inversion of cinematic tropes. Actually, what I probably thought at the time was ‘that was cool!’. But the point stands. A secret agent must pursue a case in the strange city of Alphaville, ruled by the computer Alpha 60 (the cinema’s first and only chain-smoking computer, it seems – the voice is terrifying). Jean-Luc Godard’s bizarre use of music in the wrong places is playful and the whole thing is clearly shot at night in modernist offices to stay in budget – but it is a great example of using your limitations to your advantage.

5. What’s New Pussycat? (1965)
Quite a curio this. It’s that least loved-by-critics genre, the ‘caper’ movie. And yes, it is a mess. I’d heard Woody Allen talking about it in a recording of one of his early standup routines (though he claimed to be ashamed of it after his own directorial career took off). But a combination of the now-bizarrely-outré sixties premise – Peter O’Toole is so beautiful, women just can’t stop falling in love with him. and he struggles to remain faithful to Romy Schneider – music by Burt Bacharach, and Peter Sellers as an insane psychiatrist are a total winner. Daft but fun.

6. Yi Yi (2000)
If you have three hours to spare and want to immerse yourself in the lives of others, this film is just transporting – a family saga of immense honesty that’s just beguiling. I can’t explain how or why it works.

7. Holy Motors (2012)
You remember those rare films that seem to reach out of the screen and bypass all critical or rational functions and address your unconscious directly? This is one of those. A series of appointments for ‘Oscar’, a professional performer who zig zags across Paris in a stretch limo, seemingly commissioned to play pivotal scenes in other people’s lives. I felt like my brain had been rewired for days after watching it.

8. Blazing Saddles (1974)
A family favourite, this. I think probably the most consistently funny film I’ve ever seen, and I must have seen it over 40 times by this point. Actually I’m smiling just thinking about this film. I’m pretty sure Seth Macfarlane owes his entire career to this movie. Every Mel Brooks schtick is in place and working overtime – nods to vaudeville, pre-PC gags about race, sex and pretty much everything else. The theme tune is a killer too.

9. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
I could have picked any film by Powell and Pressburger – they pretty much all possess their own vision of what cinema could be. A Matter of Life and Death manages to be one of the most theological/philosophical/romantic war films with a young WWII pilot (dashing David Niven) killed over the English Channel – yet somehow he survives as the organisation from the next world can’t find him in the fog. An academic battle is staged to keep him in the world of the living as he’s fallen in love with June, the operator who tried to help land the plane. It’s thought-provoking, eccentric and also just plain delightful in equal measure.

10. Sweeney Todd (2007)
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.

Dead Rat Orchestra’s Film Jukebox

Dead Rat Orchestra

Unconventional trio Dead Rat Orchestra have been tinkering with harmoniums, axes, pigeon flutes, folly snow-boxes, home-wired glitchers and organ pipes for nearly a decade. Their new album was originally recorded as the soundtrack to Intrepid Cinema’s critically acclaimed BBC Documentary The Guga Hunters of Ness, which follows the journey of ten men from the community of Ness on the Isle of Lewis as they embark on a traditional hunt for gannets. Utilising their customarily unconventional instrumentation to create precarious and powerful abstract-folk, the trio of Daniel Merrill, Robin Alderton and Nathaniel Mann have come up with a powerful score, with compositions seeded in hours of study of Hebridean folk song. The Guga Hunters of Ness is out now on Critical Heights. For more information, please go to the Dead Rat Orchestra website. Below, the trio pick their favourite films.

1. Nanook of the North (1922)
We have had a nine-year love affair with Nanook ever since we first performed a live score to it back in 2003. At first, we were seduced by the stunning images, protracted pace, hand-written title boards, Inuit faces and the romance of the whole thing. Reverence descended into obsession as we began to delve deep into the origins of the film: reading biographies of the life of director Robert Flaherty; becoming engrossed in his diaries from the period. Soon our superficial affinity for the film gave way to a deeper understanding of what the film actually is: not a documentary film at all but a completely fictitious construct attempting to distil Flaherty’s experiences of 12 years living with the Inuit. As such, the film reveals almost as much about the director himself as the Inuit portrayed. This process of research enabled us to re-assess the score we had developed as we peeled back new layers of meaning. A good example is a scene in which Nanook, on the brink of starvation, spears a seal through an ice-hole and struggles to pull the beast to the surface on the end of a rope. We had always struggled scoring this section, concluding that it was actually the scene itself that was at fault – it felt overly long to us and lacked the drama that the event demanded. Through our research, we discovered that in fact the entire scene was a set-up! Flaherty had imported a dead seal from several hundred miles away, slipped the carcass down the ice-hole and got ‘Nanook’ to re-enact the hunt. Suddenly our misgivings made sense! We were not viewing a moment of life or death struggle, but a performance: almost a dance for the director. We changed tack and approached the scene as a dance scene – suddenly it sprung into life! (Band pick)

2. Let’s Get Lost (1988)
Weber’s Let’s Get Lost documents the comeback attempt by an aged and life-worn Chet Baker. Simultaneously it charts the story of his personal life through stunning cinematography, while liberally including abstract set pieces featuring actors (including a cameo by Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ bassist, Flea), which serve to embody the director’s readings of events. Chet is revealed as a callous and selfish lover who leaves a string of women in his wake, each of whom despises him but clearly remains deeply enamoured. Frankly, Baker was a bit of a bastard but one whose shadier actions were always absolved by the strength of his charm and his music. Somehow Weber managed to induce the very same sensation in me as the viewer – one of concurrent revulsion and enchantment – and, after seeing this film, I fell for Chet’s music. (Nathan)

3. The Shock Doctrine (2009)
Based on Naomi Klein’s book of the same title, The Shock Doctrine explores the lengths that governments will go to to force free market economics onto nations, regardless of the hideous consequences. Coining the term ‘disaster capitalism’, Klein demonstrates how these organisations opportunistically use natural disasters and also engineer economic ones as a form of electro-shock treatment on a mass cultural level. They create confusion and division reprogramming governments and cultures to take on free market ideologies that are against their own interests (much like the electro-shock processes used to ‘treat’ mental illness, with the aim of rewiring the patients’ thought processes). (Daniel)

4. Wings of Desire (1987)
I first saw this film in those dark and brooding late-teen days and in many ways it seemed the perfect fit, showing a way through: a glimmer of hope. As with all of Wim Wenders’s works, it’s unashamedly poetic and evocative. The film deals with the decision of an angel, on watch over the everyday struggles of an unknowing mankind, to renounce his immortality and become mortal. He chooses to experience the sensual and corporeal; to experience love. A sense of division is at the heart of the film, both between the spiritual and corporeal world – and within the setting of a still divided Berlin. It’s a film of longing. It also features an ace cameo from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the rare sight of Peter Falk (of Columbo fame) playing himself, or at least a version of himself as another ‘fallen’ angel. (Robin)

5. La Jetée (1962)
La Jetée is a masterpiece of storytelling achieved through narration, still photographs and music. It never fails to captivate me and so strong are the images and narrative that I remember them far more vividly than any other film I have seen. A must! (Nathan)

6. Solaris (2002)
I’ve picked out Steven Soderbergh’s 2002 re-imagining of the story rather than the classic Andrei Tarkovsky version (1972). But I’m comfortable with that because this film spoke to me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Aside from beautiful cinematography and pacing, the sound design of this film opened me up in a way few other films have managed to do. Perhaps it was sitting right in front of the speakers when I first saw it at a cinema in Wood Green but I heard every detail and felt pulled in by the tension that is part of the architecture of the film. Add to that one of my favourite film scores, crafted carefully by Cliff Martinez, featuring an incredible combination of strings and pattering, percussive gamelan. A brooding and meditative work, it changed the way I listen to films and also led me to start learning gamelan. (Robin)

7. Someone Else’s Voice (1949)
When a magpie returns home to the motherland after travelling abroad, it challenges the local song thrush to a singing contest. The thrush sings sweetly to the wonder of the residents of its local woodland commune and receives rapturous applause. The magpie takes to the stage, dressed in decadent Western jewellery with the air and swagger of a rock star, before bursting into some red hot bebop, convulsing and grinding to the brass honk of her beak, with the beat of the drums resonating through her hips. The magpie is chased out of town by a bunch of young red birds, enforcing the message that it is better to stay true to your traditional roots than adopt new cultural forms. This piece of late Stalinist propaganda is hilarious and important on so many levels. Though its message is clear, the fun of the seemingly possessed magpie actually did more to propagate the spread of jazz in Russia than enforce Stalinist ideals! The Dead Rats feel an affinity with the magpie as this borrowing of all things shiny is a part of our process… And we hope we can give as fun a performance. (Daniel)

8. The White Diamond (2004)
Herzog’s documentaries are often criticised for being exploitative and too snide or tongue-in-cheek for their own good. For me, these aspects are merely conscious devices, employed to ensure that his poetic and ruminative pieces (which are always carefully layered and constructed towards commenting across the spectrum of the human condition) don’t become too sappy. The White Diamond is a beautiful example of this. (Nathan)

9. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
What would you do if your relationship was failing and everyone around you started turning into zombies? This film attempts to answer those problems. Cleverly put together with references to the great and good spilling over, it’s immensely funny and good fun – probably the first ‘rom-zom-com’! I loved Spaced and used to live where the film was shot so, on some level, can imagine it happening. (Robin)

10. The Wobblies (1979)
Wobblies is the nickname given to the members of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), a radical and militant union started in 1905. Its radical face-to-face democracy and anti-hierarchical stance have made it one of the most confrontational and effective unions in fighting for workers’ rights. This film is entirely narrated by older members of the union who fought in some of the most seminal battles in the U.S. and helped to establish some of the basic workers’ rights that are now legal norms in the West. The beauty of this film comes from the amazing stories of resistance that these people tell; here are people who have lived exceptionally hard lives, made even harder by persecution by governments and employers alike, but who have truly fought and saved themselves through the power of the unique union they formed. The conditions they describe are shocking but the music they make as they protest is inspiring! Watch out for an appearance by anarchist song writer Utah Phillips (an old timer in the unique position of being one of the younger members featured in the film). (Daniel)

Zoe Baxter’s Film Jukebox

Zoe Baxter

DJ and broadcaster Zo&#235 Baxter has a keen interest in East Asian culture, from cuisine to film, arts and music. Zo&#235 collects vinyl with a specialist interest in East Asian folk, 1960s ‘Asia Beat’, reggae and rhythm & blues. In 2005, Zo&#235 began making programmes for arts radio station Resonance FM and has just concluded her 6th series of Lucky Cat. Other strings to her bow include talks on wu xia cinema, writing for BBC China and hosting numerous themed club nights. The third Friday of every month Zo&#235 can be found DJing at Mango Landin bar in Brixton. On March 29, she will be DJing at China Inside Out, a day-long programme of debates, readings, film screenings, food and music aiming at better understanding the freedom to write and read in China. On March 30, she will be presenting a one-off radio show on Resonance FM previewing the Terracotta Film Festival. Below, she picks her favourite films.

1. The Gang’s All Here (1943)
This film is a Technicolor joy to behold. I grew up obsessed with the cinema of the 1940s and 50s – everything from lavish MGM musicals to wisecracking Warner Brothers gangster films. Busby Berkeley was an optical innovator: the choreographed overhead shots of girls’ legs moving in syncopated unison were a speciality. This film doesn’t have too much of a story line, but who needs one when Carmen Miranda does a number that features a 100-foot-high banana hat?

2. Hairspray (1988)
I saw this film as a teenager. It is the only time I’ve ever gone to the cinema twice to see a film. I was also into the clothes and music of the 50s and early 60s. When this movie came out I was in heaven – amazing soundtrack, dance routines, bright kitsch colours shot in John Waters’s inimitable style with a sharp script and fantastic character actors. I have the soundtrack on LP and often play ‘Madison Time’ by the Ray Bryant Combo when I DJ. In fact, I have collected a few different versions of the Madison. R&B legend Ruth Brown cameos as Motormouth Maybelle, who owns the record store. I want to be in this movie, in that record store in particular. It has echoes of 50s films such as The Girl Can’t Help It, which I absolutely love too. I haven’t seen the remake and I don’t intend to. Even on a plane.

3. Rockers (1978)
If you love reggae then this is the film for you. Yes, Jimmy Cliff is brilliant in The Harder They Come and that is a fine film too, but I saw Rockers first and was so elated to see so many reggae stars on screen. The lead is played by musician Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace and he bumps into Big Youth, Jacob Miller, Gregory Isaacs and others along the way. The soundtrack is exceptional and encapsulates that 70s roots rock reggae sound. Burning Spear’s ‘Fade Away’ is a favourite. Other Jamaican films of interest: Country Man, Smile Orange, Dancehall Queen and documentary Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae.

4. Drunken Master (1978)
The first martial arts film to make an impact on me. I remember watching this at various friends’ houses on dodgy VHS with the sound down and drum’ n’ bass or reggae blaring over the top. Here you have the synthesis of great action, a brilliant up-and-coming director (Yuen Wo Ping) and two charismatic leads – Jackie Chan and Simon Yuen Hsiao-Tien (as the drunken master Sam Seed – Yuen Wo Ping’s real-life dad!). This is one of the Jackie Chan greats – excellent and very cheeky comedic kung fu style. This film features the ultimate training montage sequence, balancing bowls of rice wine on different parts of the body while Sam Seed takes it easy, smoking in a hammock. The Beggar Su (Drunken Master) character first appeared in the 1966 Shaw Brothers classic Come Drink with Me and most recently was seen in Yuen Wo Ping’s film True Legend (aka The Legend of Beggar Su).

5. Talk to Her (2002)
I am a big fan of Pedro Almodóvar. I think he understands women and they are always strong and believable characters in his films. This film has two main interwoven story lines, and it features a homage to silent film and surrealism with a short sequence of a tiny man entering a huge vagina! A lot of the films I like are very colourful, perhaps harking back to my fondness of golden Hollywood and the Technicolor spectacle. Almodóvar always has a fantastic use of colour in his films and also an emotional drama that feels genuine. After I saw this film I was very deeply moved and I remember wandering around London gazing up at the moon just contemplating life for an hour or so.

6. In the Mood for Love (2000)
Well, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this film? Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece (we’ll see what The Grandmaster holds in store when it opens later this year). Every shot in this movie could be a still and the music is wonderfully atmospheric. Such a powerful film of understated emotion and yearning, oh the heartbreaking yearning! The two leads are quite extraordinary – Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Maggie Cheung Man Yuk. Apparently, there was not much of a script and the film took a year to shoot with lots of improvisation. Legendary Hong Kong singer Rebecca Pan also has a cameo role as the landlady and neighbour Mrs Suen. Oh and I would kill for Maggie Cheung’s cheongsam collection in this film.

7. Wing Chun (1994)
Michelle Yeoh is a goddess and this movie belongs to her. I wish more people could see this film. It’s old-school kung fu, very loosely based on the story of Wing Chun, the woman who invented the fighting style of the same name. As well as kicking ass Michelle can also make a mean block of tofu. A bewildered-looking Donnie Yen stars as her rather dopey sweetheart and Shaw Brothers legend (star of wu xia classic Come Drink with Me) Cheng Pei Pei cameos as Michelle’s grand sifu. Michelle literally emasculates a man in this film – I love that.

8. Rouge (1988)
Stanley Kwan makes some beautiful movies and this is one of them. This film has become more poignant with time as sadly both leads died young. They were known as the king and queen of Cantopop and were both great actors too – Leslie Cheung committed suicide aged 46 in 2003, and a few months later Anita Mui Yim Fong died of cancer aged 30. Great friends in real life, in this film they play lovers in the 1930s who promise to devote themselves to each other for all eternity and form a suicide pact. The film picks up with Anita’s character wandering round a modern day Hong Kong as a ghost trying to find her love. See also Center Stage, starring Maggie Chueng Yuen: a biopic/documentary about legendary Chinese silent film star Ruan Ling Yu.

9. Ghost World (2001)
Steve Buscemi, record collecting and a cracking blues soundtrack – what’s not to love? Let’s just say I identified a lot with Enid – only swap an obsession with Bollywood films for Hong Kong ones.

10. Kamikaze Girls (2004)
If you’ve made it down to the bottom of this list you’ll know I like colourful films. This is a visual sweetie shop with two great strong female leads played by Kyoko Fuyada and Anna Tsuchiya. I love the depiction of intense adolescent friendships and subculture tribes. There really is a shop in Japan selling rococo-inspired bonnets and ruffle dresses called Baby The Stars Shine Bright – you can’t make this stuff up (or if you’re in Japan you don’t need to – it exists!). See also Memories of Matsuko and Confessions. Paco and the Magic Book is for die-hard Anna Tsuchiya/Tetsuya Nakashima fans only.

Also of note:
My Neighbour Totoro, Infernal Affairs, A Matter of Life and Death, The Naked Kiss, The New Legend of Shaolin, Prodigal Son, Imitation of Life, Zu Warriors from Magic Mountain, Sanjuro and A Woman’s Face.

The Tindersticks’ Film Jukebox

The Tindersticks (Photo by Christophe Agou)

Not only have The Tindersticks long had an affiliation with film – dreamy, countrified soundscapes and orchestrated backing featuring on many albums – but they’ve also written many soundtracks for filmmaker Claire Denis, including 35 Shots of Rum, Trouble Every Day, Nénette et Boni and White Material. They release their new nine-track album The Something Rain on Lucky Dog on 20 February 2012. You can see them play live at Soho Theatre, London, during their four-night residency from 22 to 25 February. The band also play several European dates in March and co-headline End of the Road Festival, UK, in August/September. For more information please go to the Tinderticks website. The list below was compiled by long-standing Tindersticks member David Boulter. Delia Sparrer

1. Get Carter (1971)
Most of my favourite films are, like this, ones I saw growing up. I’d have been around 13 when I first saw this, and it amazed me. Michael Caine at his best. Wonderfully shot around Newcastle and Gateshead. With a great Harold Budd score, which took me about five years to find and cost me a month’s wages. The beautiful Britt Ekland as well, giving a young boy sleepless nights.

2. The Wicker Man (1973)
[SPOILER ALERT] Another film I saw around 12-13. I grew up watching the Hammer horrors and loved Christopher Lee’s Dracula. This film’s much darker. Pagan sacrifice of Edward Woodward, the policeman virgin, to save Summer Isle and bring a fruitful harvest. Great story, great characters. Another great score. And more sleepless nights from Britt.

3. Kes (1969)
The story of a boy growing up in Yorkshire with nothing and little future until he gets a falcon to look after. It could be my school and a boy in my class. Shows life in the early 70s perfectly. A beautiful film, yet another beautiful score, impossible to find until Johnny Trunk came along with his wonderful releases.

4. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Another big event growing up was the Bond films. The first I actually saw at the cinema was The Man with the Golden Gun, another Britt – Christopher Lee pairing. But most memorable were Sean Connery’s, usually shown at Christmas or Bank Holidays, when trips would be cut short to get home in time to watch them. Strangely, this isn’t Sean, but George Lazenby, in his only outing as Bond (or anyone really). Still my favourite. Great music from John Barry. The best story for me, and the wonderful Diana Rigg. When I first left home, the chap I lived with had a video recorder, which not many people had at the time. He had this on tape and I watched it every night for about a month.

5. Carry On… Up the Khyber (1968)
I love Sid James, I can watch him in anything. Like James Bond, Carry On films were a big part of my childhood. I probably didn’t get all the jokes, but they still made me laugh. It’s hard for me to choose a favourite, this and Screaming I have the most memories of. This one probably has the best story. And the great stiff upper lip dinner scene – very ‘British’.

6. The Ladykillers (1955)
Beautiful film about a gang of criminals foiled by a little old lady. A simple story, made so wonderful by the characters and great performances. I was a big fan of Ealing films, especially their comedies.

7. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
Arthur Seaton became my hero, but I was more like Colin, the character in another of Alan Sillitoe’s stories and another great film, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. I saw Saturday Night and Sunday Morning first and loved it. Set in Nottingham, where I grew up. One of my cousin’s actually in the film, a child in the street.

8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
I’d already seen A Fistful of Dollars, which I loved too. I remember being excited all week waiting for this. I’d be about 12. It was on late on a Friday, so I was allowed to stay up and watch it. I remember my Dad coming home from the pub with fish and chips for us. An epic film. I went out and got the soundtrack shortly afterwards too. I drove my Mum crazy with it.

9. Darling (1965)
I was a big fan of Dirk Bogarde, some people said I even looked like him. I saw this and The Servant around the same time, again early teens. Also the beautiful Julie Christie and Laurence Harvey. I think this film had a big influence on me, and a story I wrote later, called ‘My Sister’.

10. Women in Love (1969)
I’d read a lot of D.H. Lawrence at school. I was madly in love with Glenda Jackson after this – more sleepless nights. We’ve planned a video of the wrestling scene for a while. Stuart’s fireplace is very similar to that in the film. Dan, our bass player, looks very Alan Bates too.

Barry Adamson’s Film Jukebox

Barry Adamson

For the first Film Jukebox compiler of 2012, who better than Barry Adamson, writer of imaginary film soundtracks (see 1988’s Moss Side Story) and a musician who’s long been associated with cinematic sounds. Known for his work with Magazine, The Bad Seeds and other luminaries of various music scenes as well as having written the score for an award-winning ballet, Adamson has also garnered a nomination for the Mercury Prize, won prizes for his short stories and even written and directed a movie. His new album I Will Set You Free is released on 30 January 2012 and he plays the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 9 February 2012. Download the taster track ‘Destination’ from Barry Adamson’s website. Delia Sparrer

1. Taxi Driver (1976)
Director Martin Scorsese’s 1976 urban masterpiece begins with Travis Bickle’s (Robert De Niro) taxi emerging into the cinema frame, all fire and brimstone; cruising through the ‘foul’ landscape that will see him set out on a deranged crusade. This movie is the ultimate depiction of alienation, obsession and perverse desire, where reality is played out as an insomniac nightmare of rejection and racial hatred and the need to save mankind’s angel/whore as Travis’s angst builds into an apex of horror. An amazing study of ‘God’s lonely man’. The screenplay by Paul Schrader and the score by Bernard Hermann begin and finish one of the greatest films ever made.

2. Seconds (1966)
Arthur Hamilton becomes Tony Wilson but regrets it, too late, before meeting a surreal, eerie fate. Extraordinary 1960s black and white paranoia movie bearing depressing truths about today, with its theme of transformation through plastic surgery. Using distortion and exaggeration, cameraman James Wong Howe and director John Frankenheimer reveal the mind of a man who is struggling to break free from an emotional straightjacket, by painting a frightening picture of a dehumanised and controlling world, where, ultimately, fulfilment cannot be found by changing the outside.

3. Humanity (1999)
A beautifully mundane film displaying director Bruno Dumont’s trademark cinematographic blend of lush widescreen landscapes, glossy-eyed close-ups and clinically objective (and graphic) staging of sex to personify his idealised vision of ‘the ordinary people, who don’t speak a lot, but who experience an incredible intensity of… Emotion’. Pharaon de Winter (Emmanuel Schotté) is an incompetent detective, who longs desperately to connect with humanity but is frustrated at every turn. This is intense tedium observed with clinical precision.

4. Enter the Void (2009)
Gaspar Noé shocked everybody with Carne, Seul contre tous and Irréversible. With Enter the Void, he creates a magnificently deranged melodrama that surrounds the tragic and strange relationship of Oscar (Nathaniel Brown) and his sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta). This is a tripped-out journey into and out of hell: drugged, neon-lit and with a fully realised nightmare-porn aesthetic that has to be seen to be believed. Unlike anything seen before, it has a vitality and originality that are at once bold and strikingly inspiring.

5. Mirror (1975)
Stifled by the Soviet Union due to its ‘confused narrative’ and therefore not getting a proper release at the time, Tarkovsky’s Mirror, indeed appears at first to be a hotchpotch of ideas thrown together. In this dreamlike and evocative film, childhood memory is pitted against newsreels of war and left open for the viewer to pin their own childhood onto. Mirror represents the closest Tarkovsky would ever come to total abandonment of what many people would consider the most important aspect of any film – a coherent story! There are sequences in this film that are breathtaking and it deserves watching again and again.

6. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is haunting and magical. It’s a deeply strange film, constantly subverting narrative clarity and demanding that its images be taken as metaphors rather than at face value. It charts the story of Valerie’s (Jaroslava Schallerov&#225) transformation from child to adult through the onset of puberty, which is expressed as a nightmarish fantasia, a dreamlike fairy tale populated with vampires, grisly violence and lurid sexuality. A genius tripped-out tale of innocence kept, with one of the great film scores by Lubos Fischer.

7. Performance (1970)
Performance stands out as being (at the time) the most visually daring major studio film dealing with questions of sanity and identity rarely touched on in mainstream filmmaking. A gangster on the run (James Fox) hides out in the home of a reclusive rock star (Mick Jagger). Co-directors Nicolas Roeg (who also photographed) and Donald Cammell (who wrote the screenplay) explore self-discovery through sex, drugs and violence. The film’s madness unfolds in a bizarre unconventional examination that many baulked at but that suits its themes perfectly, giving them real cohesion and truth. The score by Jack Nitzsche is brilliant too.

8. Mother and Son (1997)
Alexander Sokurov’s extraordinarily lyrical film is a beautiful and tender exploration of the deep affection between an ailing mother and her devoted adult son. In a hauntingly beautiful landscape, which Sokurov’s camera transforms into stunning cinematic canvases, the pair recall happier times as the dutiful son lovingly nurses his mother in her final hours. Often this movie feels like watching paint dry in a most exquisite, almost narcotic way. Slow, ponderous and genius.

9. In Cold Blood (1967)
I came to this story written by Truman Capote and directed by Richard Brooks via its Quincy Jones score. It’s the story of Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson), who, after a botched robbery, kill a whole family, are caught, and then tried. Capote wrote the whole thing from memory after befriending Smith on jail visits and then interviewing the townsfolk. Four Oscar nominations later, this remains a great re-telling of something truly awful.

10. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock was a sly genius who scared audiences out of their lives (and showers) with Psycho. Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) steals from her boss and goes on the run, ending up at The Bates Motel, where Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) takes her in. The nightmarish, disturbing film’s themes of corruptibility, confused identities, voyeurism, human vulnerabilities and victimisation, the deadly effects of money, Oedipal murder and dark past histories are realistically revealed through repeated uses of motifs such as birds, eyes, hands and mirrors. Bernard Hermann scores a motif that would end up (at Scorsese’s request) in his Taxi Driver score too!

Barry Adamson and band play the QEH, London Southbank, on 9 February 2012.

A Special Klaus Kinski Film Jukebox by Raechel Leigh Carter

Raechel Leigh Carter

Raechel Leigh Carter fronted mid-90s pop band Baby Birkin, a band styled around the works of Serge Gainsbourg and his muse Jane Birkin (plus the occasional Françoise Hardy, France Gall and Brigitte Bardot song), who released a Russell Senior-produced album on Dishy as well as numerous singles. Raechel also contributed vocals to Mike Alway’s faux-psych band Sunshine Day and to cult band Piano Magic. A Klaus Kinski obsessive, she now runs the Du Dumme Sau blog that, even if you’re not a particular fan of Klaus, is very entertaining and will surely lead to a hunt for the featured films. Over to Raechel… Delia Sparrer

Most people remember Klaus Kinski solely for his five collaborations with Werner Herzog and there’s a tendency to write off the rest of his film work; considering that he acted in between 100 and 200 films (no one really knows the exact number), that’s a lot of work to write off. And while there’s a lot of trash among his filmography, if you look closely (and I do) there are quite a few gems there too. Here’s ten lesser known Klaus Kinski films I’d recommend:

1. Kinski Paganini (1989)
Klaus directed himself in this film, which was his final film before he died in 1991. Klaus had an affinity with the virtuoso ‘devil violinist’ Niccol&#242 Paganini and was driven to create this movie, which he wrote, directed and starred in. There’s genius, there’s sex, there’s hero-worship, there’s craziness. Klaus proved Werner Herzog wrong by filming a script that Herzog had deemed to be ‘unfilmable’ and making it into a stylish and very personal work of art.

2. The Great Silence (1968)
This is a fabulous Italian Western, which I can’t recommend enough. Klaus plays Loco, a bounty killer looking for outlaws in the Nevada mountains, who finds himself being pursued by a mute gunman (il grande silenzio) looking for revenge. The path is paved with corpses. See this film now!

3. Footprints on the Moon (1975)
Florinda Bolkan’s character Alice suffers from memory loss, nightmares about a film called Footprints on the Moon and feelings of paranoia and persecution. Klaus plays the bad Professor Blackmann, who, while although little seen, has a lot to do with Alice’s state of mind. There’s beautiful cinematography, a great soundtrack and the perfect cast in this incredibly stylish thriller.

4. Lifespan (1975)
Klaus, the mysterious ‘Swiss Man’, wants to live forever so he engages a young scientist to find a ‘cure for ageing’ – along the way there are a few dead OAPs left behind. Even though Tina Aumont’s clothes fall off at the drop of a hat (she engages in a bit of bondage with Hiram Keller and has a kinky sex scene with Klaus, who is wearing a mask that was used in 1937 when Faust was performed for the Nazis…), this film has substance and a lot of style and gives you plenty to think about.

5. Nosferatu in Venice (1988)
In this kind of unofficial sequel to Herzog’s Nosferatu (1979), Klaus reprises his role as a vampire bringing with him a sadness and world-weariness that makes his character’s wish to end his immortal life utterly believable. Beautiful to look at but heartbreaking to behold, this film is massively underrated. Klaus was so naughty on set that there were several directors involved and he even claimed that he had to direct himself in the end.

6. Crawlspace (1986)
Klaus plays a landlord who traps his young female tenants and slowly tortures them to death. When one of the tenants goes into the crawlspace to escape from him, Klaus follows her, wearing a hideous cardigan, black eyeliner and smeared lipstick, riding down the crawlspace on a trolley. It’s the stuff of nightmares! It’s so bad, it’s good. And Klaus created so much chaos on set that the director David Schmoeller later made a film about his experience called Please Kill Mr Kinski (1999).

7. Fruits of Passion (1989)
This is a sequel to The Story of O (1975). Klaus plays Sir Stephen, who makes his girlfriend O go and work in a bordello to ‘test their insane pact of violent love’, as you do. That’s right, it’s an erotic art-house film. But it’s full of far more visual pleasures than just female nudity; it’s stylish, it’s clever and it’s very theatrical. And there’s something for the girls: you get to see Klaus’s hot old man body in its full glory (it’s worth a good look!).

8. The Pleasure Girls (1965)
Klaus plays a slum landlord who pays for his menacing ways with a beating and a whipping in an underground car park. This film about Swinging London in the 60s takes in beatniks, compulsive gambling, pregnancy outside of wedlock, homosexuality and extramarital affairs. These days it may seem tame but back in the day one viewer complained that The Pleasure Girls would ‘incite juvenile violence at holiday weekends’!

9. Jack the Ripper (1976)
If you’re looking for a good Jess Franco film, here’s one I recommend. There’s great cinematography, and for once the story doesn’t involve women’s clothes falling off every five minutes for no apparent reason. Klaus plays a Jekyll and Hyde version of Jack the Ripper – Dr Dennis Orloff – who kills prostitutes as a way of getting revenge for the abuse he suffered as a child. Klaus plays his character in the only way he can, with ‘a kind of madness that could be transformed into brilliance’ and a sense of pain and torment.

10. That Most Important Thing: Love (1977)
When a photographer borrows money from the mafia to turn a soft-core porn actress (played by Romy Schneider) into a Shakespearean thespian, who does he turn to for help? Yes, Klaus Kinski! So you know it’s going to end in tears for someone (or everyone). Klaus gets dramatic, camps it up as a homosexual, has fist fights, takes his clothes off, sleeps with two women and then cries while looking out of a rain-spattered window. Andrzej Zulawski’s film is incredibly pretentious but also very, very stylish.

Race Horses’ Film Jukebox

Race Horses

Proud carriers of the Welsh Flag of Psychedelic Pop, Race Horses continue to play dream-washed danceable indie-punk-pop with exquisite charm. Expect lyrics in both English and Welsh on their mischief-laden songs and a nod to electronic, folk-rock, post-rock and pop styles. Following on from the release of their cracking debut album Goodbye Falkenberg, Race Horses have been busy recording a host of new songs, which you can expect to hear at their upcoming show at Proud Galleries, London, on November 9, together with their ace tunes like ‘Grangetown’, ‘Pony’ and ‘Marged Wedi Blino’. Fresh from a turn at the SWN festival and touring with British Sea Power and Villagers, Race Horses are not to be missed live! More information on their website. Below, Race Horses’ Dan Bradley lists his top 10 films. Delia Sparrer

1. Le Ballon Rouge (1956)
I have seen this film more times than any other (except maybe The Wind in the Willows). I know pretty much every line. I cannot help but admit that it is my favourite film although sometimes I keep this to myself.

2. Kes (1969)
One of the many astonishing films from Palme D’or-winning British director Ken Loach.

3. Antichrist (2009)
Lars von Trier’s film sparked a legendary press conference at the Cannes Film Festival [topped by this year’s Cannes press conference for Melancholia].

4. Fish Tank (2009)
Katie Jarvis is the lead in Andrea Arnold’s extraordinary film.

5. Io sono l’amore (2009)
Luca Guadagnino’s film feels so fresh. Tilda Swinton’s performance makes one wonder how she ever got mixed up in that whole Hollywood crowd.

6. Hable con ella (2002)
This is probably Pedro Almod&#243var’s most restrained film and the soundtrack by Alberto Iglesias is one of my favourites.

7. The Servant (1963)
One of several Harold Pinter/Joseph Losey collaborations for the screen – described as a masterpiece by The Guardian.

8. Code Unknown : Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys (2000)
Directed by Michael Haneke with Juliette Binoche. Before Haneke became more widely known thanks to Hidden (Caché), the Funny Games remake and White Ribbon.

9. Un Prophète (2009)
I remember seeing Jacques Audiard’s film for the first time at the Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester. A special cinema and a very powerful film.

10. Four Lions (2010)
Chris Morris’s first venture into film after creating some of our favourite TV comedies – Brass Eye and Jam.

Peggy Sue’s Film Jukebox

Peggy Sue (photo by Anika Mottershaw)

Honey-voiced duo Peggy Sue have gone electric and come back as a trio with heavier, but still lushly melodic sounds for their second album Acrobats (Wichita Recordings), out on September 12. They play Winchester on Sept 14, Bristol on Sept 15, Manchester on Sept 17 and Leeds on Sept 18. For more information, visit their website. Below, singer Katy Young picks her favourite 10 films.

I decided to be greedy and do this all myself. All views expressed are mine alone and not representative of the other two thirds of Peggy Sue (who I know would have some strong dissenting ideas of their own).

1. Empire Records (1995)
I have seen this film more times than any other (except maybe The Wind in the Willows). I know pretty much every line. I cannot help but admit that it is my favourite film although sometimes I keep this to myself.

2. Paper Moon (1973)
I have stolen this one from Rosa [Peggy Sue’s other singing half]. It is her favourite film and I only watched it for the first time recently. It is funny and sad and pressed all my buttons.

3. Badlands (1973)
Probably the most beautiful film I have ever seen. Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen are so cool in this movie. Plus I am a sucker for meta-textual references so all the James Dean nods are really satisfying.

4. Guys and Dolls (1955)
Some films are perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Ones with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando are ideal. The soundtrack has some really big tunes on it, like ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat’. There is a really annoying super long romantic scene in the middle but it’s the perfect time to make some tea.

5. Valentin (2002)
Beautifully sad Argentine film about a cross-eyed boy who wants to be an astronaut.

6. AristoCats (1970)
Rosa had a deprived childhood and hasn’t seen very many Disney films. I think she maybe had seen Mulan, or another rubbish one like that, and was scarred by that experience so I showed her the ‘Everybody wants to be a Cat’ scene from AristoCats and she was persuaded that there are some great ones.

7. Scorpio Rising (1964)
We performed the soundtrack of this film at an event in London this summer. It is comprised entirely of massive 1960s pop hits so it is basically one long music video and the songs were so fun to learn and play. The imagery is immediate and there are some brilliant ironic moments.

8. Delicatessen (1991)
I love the attention to detail and colour in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s films and how he creates those surreal worlds. Delicatessen is pretty dark but very funny.

9. Raising Arizona (1987)
This is my favourite film by the Coen brothers. Maybe because of Nicolas Cage’s hair and moustache, or maybe because of Holly Hunter’s accent. It’s pretty much a live-action cartoon.

10. In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)
Sometimes one just wants to watch a romantic comedy. At these moments a low-budge mumble-core film is ideal because you can pretend you are watching it because of its interesting aesthetic and semi-improvised performances while mindlessly devouring the really satisfying plot about a New Yorker looking for a date on New Year’s Eve. Alternatively you could just watch 10 Things I Hate about You, which is also pretty great.

Crystal Stilts’ Film Jukebox

Crystal Stilts (Photo by Erika Spring)

American garage pop combo Crystal Stilts returned in April with their second album, In Love with Oblivion (Fortuna POP!), a glorious collection of gorgeously textured, fevered, dreamy pop gems rooted in their brooding, mysterious world. Catch them live on July 31 at Derby Indietracks, Aug 1 at Liverpool Static Gallery, Aug 2 at London Whiteheat @Madame Jojo’s and Aug 3 at Norwich Arts Centre. For more information on In Love with Oblivion, please go to the Fortuna POP! website or Crystal Stilts website.

1. Cat People (1942 dir Jacques Tourneur)

2. L’atalante (1934 dir Jean Vigo)

3. Sans soleil (1983 dir Chris Marker)

4. Hellzapoppin’ (1941 dir H.C. Potter)

5. Nathalie Granger (1972 dir Marguerite Duras)

6. Robinson Crusoe (1954 dir Luis Buñuel)

7. The Awful Truth (1937 dir Leo McCarey)

8. Treasure Island (1985 dir Raoul Ruiz)

9. Underworld (1927 dir Josef von Sternberg)

10. Walden (Diaries, Notes and Sketches 1969 dir Jonas Mekas)