Category Archives: Film Jukebox


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Indiepop is perhaps the last bastion of the underground. Too nerdy to be really cool, too odd to be mainstream, to gosh-darn happy to be ‘alternative’, it falls down the cracks of accepted ‘indie’ music. Occasionally, one of the dozens of DIY bands springing up from Stockholm to Brooklyn will break through and give indiepop a good name. The next band to hit the big time are New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Emerging from a vibrant indie scene huddling in Lower East Side clubs like Cake Shop (cupcakes and records anyone? Yes please!), with perfect pop tunes, boy/girl vocals, luscious harmonies and inspiration drawn from the likes of The Pastels, My Bloody Valentine and Black Tambourine, they bring us another step nearer to twirling, swirling pop perfection. Their debut album is due out in February 2009 on Fortuna Pop! and they are touring the UK from December 2 to 18 with The Wedding Present. For more details, visit their website. LUCY HURST


1- Clueless (1995)
Timeless. I’ve probably seen it more times than any other. When I went to see No Country for Old Men in the theatre I thought it was stupid. Later on that night Clueless came on TV and I was like: ‘Now THIS is a true cinematic masterpiece!’

2- The Sixth Sense (1999)
One of the only movies that has ever struck a chord with me and made me cry. Being that I am an emotionless robot, that is quite a feat.

3- Fat Girl (í€ Ma Soeur) (2001)
It’s about two sisters. One is sad and fat while the other is charming and beautiful. I’m an only child but I always had fucked up female friendships growing up, so I really related to this movie. It captures the complex dichotomy of love and envy that is so prevalent in female relationships.


4- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
I saw this when I was about nine and it had a really huge impact on me. It’s about these best friends who end up saving the world by starting the most amazing band ever, aligning the planets and causing world peace. They also travel through history (I had a really big crush on Joan of Arc). At the end they get the medieval princesses they rescued to be in their band, which is why I like co-ed bands the best.

5- All Jane Austen Movies
I used to watch these with my mom all the time growing up. The four-hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth is probably my favourite but Emma is not to be underestimated (its contemporary remake, Clueless, would have been my other favourite movie if Peggy had not already chosen it!).

6- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The modern remake with Johnny Depp was a bit Michael Jackson-y because only Gene Wilder could play an eccentric old candy tycoon that wanted a little boy to leave his family and live with him NOT SEEM CREEPY AT ALL.


7- Wild at Heart (1990)
Probably my favourite David Lynch movie. It is not as obscure as a lot of beloved Lynch stuff, although it does have its share of weirdness (Willem Dafoe!). The characters are great, especially Sailor and Lula. It’s very hard to steer a love story away from cliché but they really nail it here.

8- The Sandlot (1993)
I’ve seen this probably a hundred times. It’s a kids’ movie but it’s so goofy and full of fun moments it somehow transcends that. Again, great characters such as Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez, ‘The Great Hambino’ and ‘Yeah-Yeah’.

9- Wild Zero (2000)
A Japanese alien zombie movie featuring the (awesome) garage rock band Guitar Wolf playing themselves. But with superpowers! Especially fun to watch with the drinking game feature on the DVD (you have to drink a shot every time a listed thing happens on screen, including ‘hair combing’ which happens more than you’d think!).

10- The Seventh Seal (1957)
This is a clichéd ‘film nerd’ pick, but it’s undeniably good. I saw this recently and was amazed how accessible it is. I was expecting an almost cripplingly high-minded art film – full of ‘visual clues’ and ‘tropes’, which it does have, but it is also weirdly funny. Although there are some dreary moments, it’s not slow or overly moralising. It’s mostly just absolutely gorgeous and deeply moving.



Influenced by ‘alcohol, gravity and 20,000 years of culture’, Shrag’s arty indie pop balances the sweetness of girl vocals with appealingly bitter lyrics. So far they have released 10 songs over five 7” singles released by Where It’s At Is Where You Are, soon to be collected on an album, and they provided the most rock’n’roll moment of Indietracks 08 when they took to the stage to cheekily perform as the no-show Comet Gain. They play Ladyfest Manchester on November 8, the Buffalo Bar (London) on November 28 and La Flí¨che d’or (Paris) on January 2. For more info visit their MySpace or the Where It’s At Is Where You Are website. Below, guitarist/vocalist Bob gives us the low-down on his favourite films. And in case you wondered, ‘shrag’ means ‘to lob twigs off branches’.

1- North by Northwest (1959)
So cinematic it virtually defines cinema. It’s funny, thrilling and downright sexy, peppered with so many memorable set-pieces (modern Hollywood films would covet just one of them). Ernest Lehman’s witty, inventive screenplay. Robert Burk’s iconic photography. Bernard Herrmann’s pounding score. Eva Marie Saint. Cary Grant. James Mason. Hitchcock’s exemplary direction. It’s almost too perfect. You can see why many cineastes favour the darker, more psychologically complex material of films like Vertigo, Psycho et al (which were made immediately before and after this film), but call me a perfectionist because NxNW(as the noughties remake would surely be called) wins hands down for me. And that scene with Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant in the diner car is so filthy I blush every time I see it!

2- Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch peels back the veneer of small-town America to reveal a grotesque underbelly. Disturbing, seductive and almost unbearably tense, it’s David Lynch’s most fully realised work and it’s fucking genius. Why are there people like Frank? Because they make the greatest screen characters of all time.

3- Orphée (1950)
Sometimes art in cinema falls flat on its self-satisfied face but Jean Cocteau’s dreamlike poetic masterpiece transcends any one single medium and manages to satisfy as a work of visual art, a work of poetry and above all a work of cinema. Bastard.

4- That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
I’ll give its English title to stop sounding like a pretentious twat. Don’t be put off by the Frenchness (from a Spaniard), the artiness (from another proper ‘artist’) or the oldness of the director (he was a sprightly 77 when he made this). Buñuel also was a painfully astute satirist and this is such a fucking hilarious send-up of middle-class mores that emasculates to the extent that most men will be guarding their crotch throughout.

5- Trust (1990)
How can such humanity and warmth emanate from a studiously arch and stylised film as this? It’s quite a coup, and it made me want to be friends with Hal Hartley. He never returned my letters.

6- The Third Man (1949)
Here’s a challenge. Pop the VHS cassette in your video player. Fast forward this film with your eyes shut. Play, then pause. Keep them shut mind!… Now open them. Isn’t that fucking amazing! Every frame of this film (I haven’t counted how many) is such a stunning composition you could hang it in an Athena frame and gaze at its wonder for many years. Don’t worry: the film’s good too. Orson Welles is in it. He also made a few good films.

7- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
More cold war machinations. Eerie. Weird. And so fucking cool. It’s got ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra in it. It’s so political and cryptic you’ll be scratching your noodle ’til your fingers bleed but don’t worry – there’s always the Hollyoaks omnibus.

8- Chinatown (1974)
Polanski genre-hopped like no other. His comedies were largely woeful. His horror films more rewarding. But his one stab at film noir is a direct hit. How can a 1974 film by a complete outsider usurp such genre classics as Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Kiss Me Deadly? I don’t rightly know. It’s gripping and brilliant and evokes mood and time without a hint of pastiche.

9- City of God (2002)
Another film by a latecomer that transcends (and possibly surpasses) its obvious lineage. I’m a huge fan of Scorcese but this film blew me away even more than Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas did on first viewing. And that’s no mean feat. Unlike Scorcese’s stoic representation of gangster life, City of God has a poignant humanity that makes you gasp, shriek, weep and punch the air at various moments. It’s that good!

10- Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
My favourite Woody Allen film. Included mainly to wind up my Allen-loving colleague who doesn’t even rate it in her top 20. It’s a brilliant film with one of the best narrative framing devices. How can you say it’s ‘SHIT’!. You are wrong! You are so fucking WRONG!!


Christy and Emily

Christy and Emily live in New York and channel chamber folk through a fuzzbox misplaced by Lou Reed in 1971. Their last album, ‘Queen’s Head’ was released on The Social Registry label and is a masterpiece of understated, evocative pop. They’ve just got back from Berlin where they were recording with producer Joachim Irmler of krautrock í¼ber-pioneers Faust. European listeners can expect a release in the spring. In the meantime the video for a new track, ‘Superstition’, is up and scaring the YouTube rabbits right now. You can find out more on Christy and Emily’s website. This is their film jukebox. Interview by Nick Dutfield.


1- Flower of the Arabian Nights (1974)
This movie rules because it’s beautiful to watch. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s camera work is organic and simple but amazing. A lot of his players are non-actors, or actors that he ‘discovered’; but with this movie it really seems like he drafted the communities that were around him. I can just imagine Pasolini running around with his skeleton crew shooting on the fly, pulling people in and giving them minimal direction. He really celebrates the natural beauty in all the faces. It’s not make-up and styling that make these people amazing, but rather their real youth, the real sweat on their foreheads. The whole movie is about sex – straight, gay, whatever, and a bit of kink thrown in too. There’s some great optical printing to achieve rudimentary special effects and anyone who sees film as a photographic medium can appreciate its rough edges. Ennio Morricone does the music and that’s beautiful too.

2- Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982))
This film is always brought up whenever the genre of teen movie is discussed, and for good reason: it sets the template. The one thing that really separates it from the others is the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl. It’s probably the most realistic portrayal as well. I mean, she actually has the abortion (Juno this is not)! I don’t know the numbers on this issue but in the neo-conservative world we live in, female sexuality seems to be totally taboo or made to fit into some idealised vision of the world where everyone makes good. OK, Fast Times never means to be this serious and it’s really just fun to watch, but I’m glad it exists for the more adult themes it addresses.

3- Black Orpheus (1959)
Almost every scene of this movie has awesome music playing in it. The people dance everywhere, compulsively. Even when summoning souls beyond the grave there is beautiful singing. Life in this movie is music and only in the darkest and stillest moments of death is there silence. I’ve never been to Brazil – is it really like that? No, it’s all metaphor. At the end Orpheus sings, ‘The happiness of the poor is the great illusion of Carnival’. This movie too is full of amazing beautiful faces, and I really dig Death’s skeleton costume.

4- Starship Troopers (1997)
This movie is really dumb. It’s kind of like watching a Disney adventure movie but then Verhoeven will throw in some graphically violent blood and guts just to remind you you’re not. Science fiction is successful when it can convince you of the world it creates. I really like the themes of this world. Like the citizen versus civilian thing, the military propaganda ads, psychics, and the big bugs from space. There’s always going be more bugs to kill, right? There’s always going to be an enemy. It’s tongue-in-cheek satire, so maybe this movie isn’t so dumb after all.


5- The Parent Trap (1961)
Let’s get together yeah yeah yeah, two is always better than one. Let’s get together, oh yeah. We can have twice the fun. Although we haven’t got a lot, we should be sharing what we got. Let’s get together. Oh yeah, I really think you’re swell! Huh uh, you really ring a bell. Ooh wee, happy as can be… Let’s get together!

6- The Thin Man (1934)
This first movie in the Thin Man series is really boss. We can watch it over and over. Nick and Nora are the coolest alcoholic socialite super sleuths ever. The scene where Nick is shooting an airgun at the Christmas tree is especially amazing. Future instalments of Thin Man are enjoyable, especially the one where Asta has a significant subplot involving dog infidelity.


7- North by Northwest (1959)
I love this movie because of the aerial shot of the gardens at the UN in the scene where the protagonist is running away after being framed for murder. The simple geometric shapes from this angle are really stunning. It’s hard to believe they are buildings. I visited the UN building for the first time immediately after I first saw this movie and I’ve been obsessed with its architecture ever since. Like, renting-a-hotel-room-across-from-the-UN-so-I-could-stare-at-it obsessed.

8- Up with People
This is a very low-budget movie about the band Oneida, as they tour through the US. You will never laugh as hard at any movie. They are an amazing cast of characters and whoever shot and edited it did a fantastic job. The extent of food planning that goes on during an Oneida tour is a revelation. They have a menu book of the Southeast and will drive as much as an hour off route to eat where they want. I would never want to watch a movie about the dumb things I do on tour, even though I have a great time doing it. I wonder why this is so fun to watch and think the truth is the Oneida guys are just hysterical.

9- Amadeus (1984)
This movie was very important for me in terms of my sexuality. Because it’s about Mozart, I was sort of forced to watch it at a very young age, and in Christy’s words: ‘It’s not a kid’s movie.’ Educational sure, but not a kid’s movie. Music camp is a very educational place.

10- Madagascar (2005)
Like any great New York movie, Madagascar understands the city well enough to make wonderful jokes about it. I really relate to how the characters of this movie feel trapped here and fantasize about nature. I can’t decide who my favorite character is. The hypochondriac giraffe who has a daily MRI is very, very funny! The team of scheming penguins, top-notch! But my heart totally goes out to the lion, who really struggles as he realises that he wants to eat his friends.


Greg Weeks

From the quiet psychedelia of Greg Weeks’s solo projects to the gorgeous, textured folk of Espers, the Philadelphia band he fronts, Weeks’s fascination for the 60s-70s is evident. Unsurprisingly, all but one of his top 10 movies come from that era. His new solo album ‘The Hive’ is released on October 27 by Wichita Recordings. He will embark on a European tour throughout November. For more information, visit his MySpace page or Espers. He has also founded a record label, Language of Stone. Interview by Lucy Hurst.

1- Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Like similar works, Innocence, Walkabout, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Picnic evolves with dreamlike lucidity, touching on truths without ever laying down an explicit moral paradigm. For the viewer, the satisfaction lies in the moment, be it lush, poetic slow-motion figure studies, explorations of the natural world or a weighty conflation of sound and image (in this case the inspired trio of pan pipe, mellotron and modular synthesizer).

2- Accident (1967)
Hands down the best edited film of all time (as if a person can actually make such a claim!), and thus one of the best directed, since this temporal study required careful planning in both scripting and shooting. I don’t know what exactly created this blip on the radar of British cinema, but I imagine Beat-era psychology and psychedelics had something to do with it.

3- The Day of the Locust (1975)
On the surface this epic production seems to examine systemic corruption and greed and its impact on the common folk, but its true meaning shifts that blame completely. The Locusts referred to in the title aren’t the millionaires, moguls and decadents that drive the action of the film’s first 120 minutes, but the common folk who usurp the film’s final 20. As powerful as individuals get, it is ordinary men and women who allow them their influence. Here, that truth proves apocalyptic.

4- Irréversible (2002)
As nauseated as the viewer gets while watching the ‘opening’ club sequences (the entire film is edited in reverse chronological order) and the 10-minute or so rape scene two-thirds of the way through, the emotional rawness one reaches by the end allows for one of the deepest, most spiritually complex experiences in film history.

5- Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
I could just as easily have picked Night Moves, Loving, Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter or any number of existential 70s films, but Electra Glide really speaks of the modern condition in a way that’s been bothering me lately. The best we can do in the face of no afterlife assurances is withstand the constant assault on our moral and ethical belief systems without finding ourselves subverted. We may get to where we are trying to go, or we may end up dead in the middle of some desert highway, but at least we stuck to our guns. It’s really all we’ve got.

6- The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh (1971)
Let’s lighten things up here with what could be considered the best Italian giallo outside of the Argento oeuvre. Hyper-mod apartments, widescreen Technicolor cinematography, acid-rock tinged orchestrations, chiselled leads, liquid eyeliner, the glorious Edwige Fenech, slow-mo scenes of sexuality laced with violence… this film has it all, right down to the standard bottle of J&B whisky in every study. I defy any modern action film director to trump the power and dead cool of this film’s last five minutes.

7- Three Women (1977)
Suffused in a malaise particular to the 70s, Three Women seeps anxiety and dread as its protagonists drift through a vacant culture, cobbling together psyches as if sifting through some overstuffed wardrobe. I remember stumbling onto this film in the early 80s (back when we only had five channels), thinking I’d found some little known work of horror. Twenty some years later I feel pretty much the same about it.

8- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
I must have watched my VHS recorded copy every day for three months after discovering this film. The opening surge of psyched-out Wendy Carlos Beethoven wed with the Moloko Milk Bar imagery imprinted itself on my brain in ways no other movie did or ever will again.

9- A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Who makes movies like this anymore? It doesn’t even seem possible… catching people off guard (with a camera), lifting the veil of pretence to reveal raw humanity. Is there a director left who would ham it up to the extent Cassavetes does in Rosemary’s Baby in order to turn around and crank out a motherfucker like Husbands? Will an actress ever touch Gena Rowlands’s performance in this film? It certainly seems unlikely.

10- Thundercrack! (1975)
I would like to be the first to lobby that the epic piece of crap that is The Silence of the Lambs forfeit its Oscar to be awarded posthumously to Curt McDowell and George Kuchar for making the best, funniest (and perhaps only) pornographic melodrama ever created.


Crazy Girl

Is there anything Crazy Girl can’t do? She is a musician, she has her own radio show, she animates her own videos and stories plus she designs teen-freaking computer games. All the latest info about the ultimate 21st-century Renaissance woman is on her website, including the details of the new, luxurious 12′ box set due out on the Tummy Touch label in August. This is her film jukebox.

1- Tommy (1975)
We got cable TV when I was a kid. There was only 1 channel, HBO, and it showed the same 3 movies over and over. Tommy was on constant rotation in 1978 and I watched it every day after school. At first it scared me, but then I became obsessed with it and to this day, I can recite the dialogue from beginning to end. The Who’s music plus Ken Russell’s keen direction equals a beautifully styled, psychedelic wonderland. It’s beautiful, twisted, has killer music and outfits, lots of star cameos and the hero is a pinball champion. What more could you want? When I was little it really captured me, I knew one day when I grew up I wanted to be a gypsy acid queen, just like Tina Turner. Recently I was home visiting my mom, and Tommy was on, she had never watched it, after a while, she started crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, ‘I was a bad mother to let you watch this film when you were so young, I can’t believe this is what you were watching!’ I had to reassure her; ‘Don’t be upset Mamma, this film really influenced me on so many levels, if I hadn’t of seen it so young, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today!’

2- Always for Pleasure (1978)
Growing up in the deep south of Columbus, Georgia, USA, there was one thing I looked forward to with a vengeance; spending my vacations in New Orleans with my grandpa Stuart and my uncle Diggie. Leaving the drab beige Bible belt town for this rainbow city of exploding fabulousness! My family had an intense pride for their city. Grandpa was a jazz trumpeter. He’d played with the old jazz legends but when I was a kid he was the bandleader for the circus, which was pretty cool! My uncle was a musical playwright who wrote shows based on New Orleans culture and he was also an amazing costume designer. Going to visit them was like being on another planet where you dressed in sequins and feathers, ate yummy creole cuisine, and danced to the blaring sounds of trumpets and banging drums. This beautiful film by Les Blanks is the only film I have ever seen that truly captures the magic essence of New Orleans and what it once was. It’s set in 1978 at Mardi Gras. Witness the Mardi Gras Indians – Wild Tchoupitoulas chiefs doing their patois battle (kind of a folk rap), learn how to boil crawfish, Irma Thomas talks about how to make perfect red beans, see a rare performance by Professor Longhair, and much more. This is the New Orleans I remember – the beauty, the carefree way of life, the fun, the golden days.

3- Waiting For Guffman (1997)
In 1976 I played a young Scarlett O’Hara in my hometown’s sesquicentennial (150 year) celebration. That was my introduction to my local community theatre company. That’s why I love this film so much, it mirrors my small town upbringing. From the guys that brought out classics like Spinal Tap and Best in Show, this particular film is my favourite of theirs. Set in the fictitious town of Blaine, Missouri, the local theatre company writes a musical to celebrate Blaine’s 150th birthday. As the story goes, in the early 1900s, a presidential candidate was campaigning on a train that stopped in Blaine, a local boy gave him one of his father’s hand-crafted foot stools, that created the stool boom, and Blaine became known as the stool capital of the world. The theatre group does a song and dance number all about stools, it is the funniest thing I have ever seen.

4- Fantastic Planet (La Planí¨te Sauvage, 1973)
Back in my early 20s, myself and 3 friends took acid and tripped at this folk artist compound in South Georgia called Pasaquan. It was built from the 1950s to the 80s by this wacky man who went by the moniker St EOM. He believed he was a Pasaquoan and he was to teach the world of Pasaquanism. Pasa from Spanish meaning the past and Quan from Chinese meaning the future – bringing the past to the future was his philosophy. All throughout the grounds were these giant space creatures with pressure point suits with their hair standing up in the air – that was another part of his mantra, that the hair must stand up to receive cosmic messages from the galaxies. Supposedly they could levitate as well. It was an intense, magical 3 days. We dressed in his outfits and tried to contact his spirit. Afterwards, one of my friends handed me a videocassette and said, ‘All will become clear’. Boy, was he right, it was like all the mysteries of the world were revealed, right there and then. Fantastic Planet was almost a reflection of St EOM’s vision. I believe the 1970s were the last renaissance on earth, just look at the outfits and music that was made then. Particularly 1973. The film was made by French artists in Czechoslovakia. It’s a story about the Oms and the Draags. The Oms are humanoid creatures broken into 2 groups, savage Oms that live in the forest and domesticated Oms who are pets of the Draags – the overseers of the planet. The Draags are giant space creatures in pressure point suits that levitate – see the similarities? The story is about the Oms trying to break free from the Draags’ tight reign. On top of a brilliant story, and wonderfully weird animation, the soundtrack is utterly superb!!! Composed by Alain Gorguer, the top track for me is ‘Ten Et Medor’, it’s also my favourite scene from the film.

5- Bottles (1936)
When I was little I really wanted to go to Disney World, just like all the other kids, but my parents were totally against the blatant consumerism, so instead we did Swiss Family Robinson type adventures, mining for amethyst, sapphire, ruby, rose quartz and even panning for gold in the Appalachian Mountains. I thought it was totally unfair and if I could have charged my parents with abuse I would have. Oddly enough, I was never ever a Disney cartoon fan, not even Fantasia (gasp!), I just wanted to fit in, I guess, and be normal. Every day there would be old cartoon shorts on the TV. This one in particular really grabbed me, made by one of Disney’s rivals – Harman & Ising. It’s set in a chemist’s shop, the chemist is making a drug and the fumes make him pass out. When he awakes everything is upside down and topsy-turvy. The entire chemist shop comes to life, the Alka Seltzer sings to the lipstick, the hair brushes dance with the perfume bottles, it’s all so mad. I think this made me want to try psychedelic drugs. I mean if it makes you see dancing lipsticks, it can’t be that bad, can it?

6- The Cockettes (2002)
I was born in the wrong time. If only I had been born in the late 40s, I would be in my late teens or early 20s living in a San Francisco commune. I am a total idealist and wish for a perfect utopia, it seems for a brief time in history, there was one in San Francisco. There was a printing commune, a food commune, art commune, music commune, and they all came together to work as one; but the best most fun commune that I would have joined had to be the drag commune. They had a drag box you could pick outfits from, they danced and took acid and covered their faces in glitter. They soon called themselves the Cockettes and formed a musical performing troupe, who counted Divine and Sylvester as members. It wasn’t long before famous people like Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger were lining up to catch their performances; but sadly it all crashed when they tried to recreate the San Francisco magic in New York City. This documentary has amazing vintage footage of their shows, with cameos by John Waters and Allen Ginsberg. A brilliant look into the wacky world of the acid-taking, beard-wearing, glitter-covered queens. Let’s hope that style makes a comeback soon.

7- Auntie Mame (1958)
Like I mentioned previously, going to New Orleans when I was a child was my favourite thing to do. One reason was because of my uncle, he could make a funeral fun, and he did when my grandpa died on my 13th birthday! I was devastated. But, Instead of staying home crying, he dressed me in sequins and feathers and took me to a play he was in at the time, that happened to star Dr Tony Jones from General Hospital (a popular soap opera from the 1980s). I forgot all about gramps and stayed up all night with Dr Tony Jones drinking virgin strawberry daiquiris. My uncle was a true bohemian, who travelled the world in the 60s with this theatre company called La Mamma. Their claim to fame was this series of ancient Greek tragedies performed in ancient Greek, at old theatres in the rounds in the Middle East. It was pretty ground-breaking stuff at the time, and original members included Sam Shepard, Susan Sarandon and Merryl Streep. Going to visit him was a real learning experience. He was a true artist and non-conformist, who on top of showering me with love, affection and lots of gifts, always taught me to be myself, not to judge others and to see life in a different light. Auntie Mame always reminded me of him. The story is about an orphaned boy forced through boarding school, who spends his vacations with his wild, wacky, bohemian aunt who shows him life through a different perspective. The outfits and sets are truly glorious, and again there is a moral message – be yourself and do not judge others. This classic film is a true old Hollywood gem.

8- Dancing Outlaw (1991)
When I first saw this film I thought it must be a hoax. Is it possible that a paranoid, schizophrenic, glue-sniffing, clog-dancing Elvis impersonator could exist? But the answer is ‘YES!’ Oh, I love this film. It is the story of Jessie White. Jessie has 3 personalities – Jessie – the sweet clog-dancing man, Jesco – the angry, glue-sniffing, devil-worshipping criminal, and Elvis – duh – the king of Rock and Roll. This fly-on-the-wall doc follows him around his home town of Boone County, West Virginia. A poor, coal-mining community nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. The film starts off with Jesco, in an Iron Maiden T-shirt with a boom box blaring ZZ Top, clog-dancing across a wood-slatted bridge over a ravine. Jessie’s deceased father had been a clog-dancing champion of Boone County and he desperately wants to follow in his father’s clogsteps. It’s quite evident when his personalities change. Jessie is sweet, Jesco is mean, and Elvis can be mean too. At one point his wife asks, ‘ Jessie, when will you make love to me?’ He replies, ‘Bitch, you call me by my right name or I’ll cut your fuckin’ head off’. So she asks, ‘ Elvis, when will you make love to Priscilla?’ A funny, poignant peek into a true character’s life. Apparently, there is a Jessie White music festival, one day Lord, please let me play there.

9- Mule Skinner Blues (2001)
My other grandparents lived in Florida and every year we would make the journey down to visit them. Along the way my dad would drive us through a trailer park and say, ‘This is where the carnies live’ and we would all peer out the windows hoping to catch a glimpse of the lobster man, bearded lady or obligatory midget. Sadly, all we saw were trailers, but I’m fascinated by trailer parks. This sweet little documentary is set in a trailer park in Florida inhabited by a group of misfits. Beanie – an alcoholic, drifter, and also king of the misfits, has one dream – to make a horror film. And together with his merry neighbours, and the documentary film crew, his dream comes to fruition. One lady sews the outfits, others provide the soundtrack, and with the magic of a gorilla costume – a monster is born. It’s a great feel-good film and nice to see a quirky community pulling together for art’s sake.

10- Belleville Rendez-vous (2003)
This animation is about a grandmother’s undying love for her grandson and the lengths she will go to protect him. Set in France in the ‘olden days’, the thing I love about this film is there is no dialogue, except when Les Triplettes de Belleville, a band of jazz-singing old ladies, do their occasional performance. That’s what is so great though, this film transcends words, it’s just a beautiful, moving story about love, protection and lots of bikes. My favourite is the dog, he’s so life-like. He has these funny doggy dreams which remind me of my dog Boo Boo Bee Bee, he has doggie dreams all the time.

Interview by Nick Dutfield


Bochum Welt

Bochum Welt, aka Gianluigi Di Costanzo, combines day-time toiling in Silicon Valley with nocturnal recordings for the Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label. His music has been described as ‘gloriously melodic lo-fi ditties’, ‘plastic noises’, ‘a sci-fi love story’ and ‘mid-pace electronica’ (Work that thesaurus NME!). A revolutionary games accessory, produced by Nintendo in 1985, inspired the title of his latest album, R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy). Among his credits is a remix of Paola & Chiara’s single ‘2nd Life,’ which reached number four in the Italian charts. For more information visit MySpace or the Bochum Welt website. Below, Gianluigi Di Costanzo discusses his 10 favourite movies. Interview by Nick Dutfield.

1- Vertigo (1958)
I love Hitchcock and Vertigo in particular. When I was in San Francisco I spent a night in Nob Hill, in an old hotel where Vertigo was shot. I’ve visited the Psycho set in LA too. That was so well maintained. Bernard Herrmann’s music for these films is intense.

2- Tron (1982)
This is blazingly colourful and geometrically intense. The plot involves the characters Flynn and Tron trying to out-manoeuvre the Master Controller program that holds them captive in the equivalent of a gigantic, infinitely challenging computer game. It may have been made by Disney in 1982 but it’s still visually impressive and I love Wendy Carlos’s moog soundtrack.

3- Giant (1956)
The horizon-to-horizon plain with a lonely, modest mansion dropped in the middle – it’s so striking. It matches the scale of this story with three generations of Texans who love, swagger, connive and clash together. It’s James Dean’s last film. Last summer I spent some time at the Chateau Marmont in LA where James Dean hopped in through a window to audition for Rebel Without A Cause.

4- The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather is one of those rare experiences that feel perfectly right from beginning to end – almost as if everyone involved was born to do it. Marlon Brando played against the author Mario Puzo’s conception of the patriarch Vito Corleone. Time has certainly proven the actor right. An actress friend of mine worked on The Godfather. I love to listen to her Coppola film stories while we drink Coppola’s wine – I visited his vineyard in Napa Valley and picked up some good bottles.

5- Mulholland Drive (2001)
If there was such a thing as an epic horror-soap, this is what it would look like. Many established David Lynch motifs are in place, most of them summoned from one corner of the 50s or another (the innocent blonde, Los Angeles corruption and ambition) to create his voyeuristic universe of desire. I love to drive from Mulholland to Malibu at sunset.

6- Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection
This is a collection of eight iconic titles in the ‘Universal Horror’ pantheon from the 1930s and 1940s. Each DVD comes with original poster art and the films have all been significantly restored.

7- The Gate to the Mind’s Eye (1994)
This is a computer animation extravaganza. Thomas Dolby’s incredible score is one of my favourites.

8- Back to the Future – The Trilogy (1985-1990)
I tried the Back to the Future Ride at the Universal Studios in Los Angeles, it was so much fun. I hope that the recent fire at the studios didn’t ruin it. Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd changed the future of the adventure movie genre with these films. I was having breakfast a few months ago at a table in Hollywood and I caught Christopher Lloyd’s eye. I was distracted so I focused on him for a couple of seconds before I realised it was him – he just watched me, like an interrogation, with that classic Doc look!

9- High Fidelity (2000)
This is a hilarious homage to the music scene. The central character Rob has to face the undeniable fact that he’s growing up. Together with the offbeat clerks who inhabit his shop he expounds on the intricacies of life and song while they all try to have successful adult relationships. Jack Black is so funny.

10- Metropolis (1927)
When Fritz Lang made this in 1927 he must have used contemporary Modernist and Art Deco architecture as the blueprint for his designs in the film. It was made in Germany in the Babelsberg studios.



Congregation’s nerve-jangling, heart-stopping old-time blues has been wowing audiences across London for over a year. Now, with their debut album released on May 11 (on the Bronzerat label), the band’s unique blend of psycho soul and delta fire is destined to reach a much wider audience. They’re playing in Glasgow on June 5, Bardens Boudoir (London) on June 6, Sizzle Suite (Midlands) on June 15, Dirty Water Club (London) on June 13 with Holly Golightly and at Glastonbury on June 28. For more information, go to their MySpace. They’ve compiled a list of their ten favourite films for us below, and their choices betray a love for the intense and the personal, and a penchant for tortured heroes and heroines.


1- Shadows (1959)
John Cassavetes’s Beat poetic portrayal of racial tension in 1950s New York still has relevance.
VICTORIA adds: Politically astute and visually exciting, this film is all I love about cinema.

2- The Match Factory Girl (1990)
Classic deadpan hopelessness from Aki Kaurismäki, the Finnish director who hates his own films.

3- The Conversation (1974)
Stunning portrayal of control paranoia. Great sound, and definitely the best opening sequence of any film I’ve seen.

4- Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Another portrayal of paranoia in the post-war backwoods of America. Spencer Tracy’s finest hour.

5- Where Eagles Dare (1968)
Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, fight on the cable car. Guys on a mission, genius.


6- Trust (1990)
Hal Hartley is one of my favourites, he creates worlds that are so desirable and performances that are filled with charm.

7- Stella Dallas (1937)
A King Vidor melodrama that cuts through so many emotions and political positions. Barbara Stanwyck is incredible as the heartbreaking lead who defiantly tries to have her voice heard.

8- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Beautifully visualised and shot, it captures the unspoken with intensity and drama and features the perfect coupling of Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.

9- Love Letter to Edie (1975)
Short ‘documentary’ about the real and imagined life of Edith Massey, capturing all you would ever need to know about the legend herself through the eyes of a superfan.

10- Dogfight (1991)
Such a tender and intimate film, managing to capture the love and excitement of music appreciation and knowledge through a young girl’s eyes so vividly and fully. I always find this film really inspiring.


The Mai 68s

The Mai 68s fit so perfectly with our 40th-anniversary-of-May-68 issue that some of you may think we made them up. But they’re real, honest, and they describe themselves rather brilliantly as ‘the sound of Dinosaur Jr if fronted by Ulrike Meinhof, the Ramones if they sniffed C86 comps rather than glue, and the band Phil Spector would have loved if he hadn’t gone the whole Starsailor/gunningpeopledownthang route (allegedly)’. Their single ‘Frothing the Daydream’ is due out soon on Cloudberry Records. They’re playing gigs in Leicester throughout May and June and you can also see them at the Indie Tracks Festival on July 26. For more details visit their myspace. Below, they pick their ten favourite films.


1- The Rebel (1961)
Tony Hancock, my lifestyle guru (at least in his kind-of-fictional, 23 Railway Cuttings guise) plays an enthusiastic but talentless artist, who abandons England and his suffocating office job for Paris, where he intends to pursue his vision of artistic greatness. Hancock’s childlike daubings and nonsensical explanations are seized upon by the local pseudo-intellectuals, who laud Hancock as a genius. The ignored, genuinely gifted artist with whom Hancock shares a studio, becomes disillusioned and abandons his work, leaving behind his paintings which, despite Hancock’s protests, are taken to be his, thus fuelling Hancock’s undeserved reputation for brilliance. Hancock’s innocence and bewilderment at his acclaim represent the main part of the film’s appeal, along with his proto-Reggie Perrin despair at the stifling nature of his daily life. His enforced conformity is epitomised when his boss, observing the row of identical bowler hats and umbrellas on the pegs by Hancock’s desk, notices that one umbrella is hung at an opposing angle to the others. The look of disapproval that he sends Hancock is unmistakable in its message: Individuality is not welcome. Both of my film choices feature a struggle between the expectations conferred by the collar and tie, and the need for a fantasy world; this concept is not entirely removed from my own life.

2- What’s Good For The Goose (1969)
Norman Wisdom was the most family of the family entertainers, whose films could be watched by all generations without any fear of embarrassment. No one was prepared, therefore, for his seedy, on-screen descent into the 1960s dream/nightmare of free love, loud clothes and loud, long-haired rock music. Driving to a banking conference with bowler hat and umbrella, the married character played by Wisdom is beckoned by two young women, who proceed to show him a lifestyle that he could never have known existed. His early declaration of love for one of the women reveals that he has not grasped the ephemeral nature of the pleasures on offer, and his consequent disappointment leads him to reconcile himself to his marriage, determined to show his wife the fun that he has just experienced. In the film’s most erotic scene, one of the women eats Wisdom’s sandwich while he is driving, and the way that his bearing conveys the possibilities that seem to be dawning upon him, during these silent moments, show what a fine actor he could be. With an underground club at which The Pretty Things were the resident band, and with Wisdom wearing clothes that could have graced Donovan, I still, as a Wisdom fan, marvel at the fact that this film was made.


3- The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
This is a Woody Allen film (which he doesn’t appear in) set in Depression-era America. It tells of Cecilia, a downtrodden waitress married to an uncaring abusive husband. The only escape for her is going to the cinema and she becomes so besotted with the dashing hero of a film that he notices her and steps out of the film to speak to her, leaving the rest of the characters in the lurch. Being fictional, he is, of course, flawless; he tells Cecilia ‘I love you – I’m honest, dependable, courageous, romantic and a great kisser’ because ‘it’s written into the character’. The pastiche of 1930s glamour in the film Cecilia watches is perfectly done. Of course the two-dimensional character has trouble adjusting to the real world and eventually has to return to the fictional realm, leaving Cecilia back where she started. This film is so funny and so poignant too (I always think I’d have stayed with the fictional guy – but I suppose that isn’t very realistic!) and it gets better every time you watch it.

4- It Happened One Night (1934)
This screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra stars Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert as a runaway heiress and a hard-bitten newspaper reporter (who thinks he can make some money if he gets an exclusive on her story) who meet on a night bus. Of course after many adventures they fall in love and after the almost inevitable misunderstanding, which always happens in these films, are happily reunited at the end. This film makes you realise why Clark Gable was such a big star in the 1930s. I love lots of Capra’s other films, such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace and You Can’t Take it With You, and am a big fan of other fast-moving comedies of that era such as The Thin Man and the Marx Brothers, so it’s quite hard to choose my favourites…


5- Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
The first foray by the Chiodo Brothers into the world of socio-realism and political theatre?? Well actually no, instead from a simple plot….. Alien clowns turn up intent on turning the inhabitants of a small town into candy floss, they manage to create an insane world filled with bad jokes, even worse visual gags and some of the funniest shadow puppet exploits ever set to celluloid… Like all good films/marmite Killer Klowns splits opinion down the middle… You come away thinking either it’s the best or worst film ever made and truth be told it’s bits of both. Instantly watchable and awesomely funny, comic horror genuinely does not get any better.

6- Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains (1981)
Lou Adler’s ‘follow up’ to the hit Cheech and Chong movie was a pseudo-documentary about an all-girl LA punk band – the Fabulous Stains – starring Diane Lane, Paul Simonon and various members of the Sex Pistols. Disappearing off the face of the earth, it has resurfaced a few times, mainly in badly cut versions shown on late night cable TV… The film is inspiring to watch (to see its influence you only have to look at bands like Hole, Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland) and has an amazing soundtrack including the should-have-been ‘punk classic’ ‘(So you wanna be) a professional’. Essential watching for the riot grrrl in all of you…


7- Breaking the Waves (1996)
The first time I saw this film I was utterly blown away. Like most of von Trier’s stuff this isn’t very pleasant to watch, I always think of Lukas Moodysson’s Lilya Forever too, when I watch it, although this has a happier ending of sorts. The shaky handheld camera techniques also used in his previous films almost give it a documentary feel, although the way it is split into chapters and the sepia effects used give it a fairy tale feel too. It’s a love story that simply batters you into exhaustion. It has been called the most moving movie ever made, and I would kind of agree with that. Emily Watson’s Calvinist, almost childlike Bess is completely mesmerising.

8- The Tin Drum (1979)
Refusing to grow up to join the world of adult perversity is something I have long agreed with! Although the central character is no Peter Pan. I don’t really go for war films as such, but this sets itself apart in so many different ways. The film is set in World War II Poland, in a town called Danzig, a free city invaded by the Nazis. A town with billowing smoke and towering spiral steeples. In other words, another fairy tale. The magical realism is captured brilliantly. It is about a boy living through the period who uses a tin drum to soundtrack the world around him. Most of the time Nazism is mocked; sarcasm is prevalent everywhere. The film gives a view on the mentality of the middle-class people in Germany and their racism and anti-Semitism before and during World War II. Next to that it also shows how little people did to prevent it, even though it was clear long before the war started, that what was happening would end in nightmares. I think it carries such a powerful message, which has a tremendous impact because it is seen through the eyes of a little boy.


9- Poor Little Rich Girl (1965)
Generally Andy Warhol’s films are either difficult to watch, art for art’s sake or just generally too long (24hrs??). Poor Little Rich Girl stands out by being both art and drama at the same time. The film itself is little more than two reels of Edie Sedgwick talking at the camera (one in focus, one horribly out of focus) yet it manages to draw you in and make you part of a world that even its inhabitants didn’t really occupy. The film gives the feeling that Warhol was trying to be both mocking and mould Edie into his Monroe, yet she comes across more of a tragic heroine; this makes the film uncomfortable to watch on occasion, yet it also celebrates a natural star who did not realise the talent she had.

10- Billy Liar (1963)
Based on the Keith Waterhouse book, this true to the story adaptation starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie is both beautifully shot and life-affirming. Anyone who has lived in a small town can empathise with the desire to escape from drudgery into fantasy. Like the majority of this list it (that awful word) stars people with a natural talent for reminding you that it is OK to escape from normal life and to dream of doing something different. Even if that dream is to be Head of the Federal Republic of Ambrosia. Sometimes people need to be reminded of that.


Ladyfest London

Ladyfest London is an arts festival which celebrates female creativity in all its forms. There have been Ladyfests all over the world and this year it’s London’s turn to host this exciting event. Showcasing women’s talents in music, art, comedy, photography, film and spoken word, Ladyfest London will be taking place on May 9-11, 2008. The ladies are currently seeking submissions from filmmakers and musicians. If you want to get involved, visit their MySpace. Upcoming events include a Samanthan Morton double bill at the Rio Cinema on March 16 and a Ladyfest-sponsored shorts programme at the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on March 30. Below, organisers Kanchi Wichmann and Josefeen Foxter tell us about their favourite films.


1- Mi vida loca (My Crazy Life, 1993)
I was a teenager sharing a house with five guys who liked action, sci-fi, etc, and this is the first film I remember watching ‘cos it had a female director. It’s about a Hispanic girl ‘gang’ living in the Echo Park area of LA, but the film avoids all those clichéd ways of portraying people in gangs as a menace to society. I was a big Love and Rockets fan (the comic not the band) so it was really cool to see this world I knew from the comic books on screen.

2- Daisies (1966)
I was a film student bored by the French new wave when I discovered the Czech new wave! Vera Chytilová was the only female director in this movement and this film is amazing. I had never seen a feature film using such artistic techniques with no linear narrative, but still using actors, dialogue, etc. This film opened up a whole new world to me of arty/abstract/non-linear narrative cinema and I realised that there are actually loads of women making really cool films. I started working at the London Filmmakers Coop and discovered Tanya Syed, Alia Syed, Su Friedrich, Maya Deren, Abigail Child, Barbara Hammer, Chantal Ackerman’s first feature Je, tu, il, elle and many many more.

3- I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)
Lili Taylor is so cool as Valerie. And this is such a well-made film. The Scum Manifesto changed my life. This film helped to bring Valerie to the masses. I heart Valerie Solanas.

4- By Hook or by Crook (2001)
I was so glad that this film existed and luckily the directors Silas Howard and Harriet Dodge were at the screening I attended so I could tell them so afterwards. It is a great film, a butch lesbian buddy movie, and I also liked the fact that they wrote, directed and acted in it. I also love Tribe 8 (The band Silas plays in) and the film Rise Above – The Tribe 8 Story. It is totally inspiring to see (queer) women like this up on screen.

5- Cecil B. DeMented (2000)
I was working in a cinema and we showed this as a late show. Loads of us came in especially and it was such fun, this film was us (except for the guns in the popcorn)… And it’s got Harriet Dodge (see above) in it. John Waters is one of my favourite filmmakers.


6- Fire (1996)
I saw this film just after I got back from six months in India. It had got right under my skin but I was deeply struck by the appalling position of women in Indian society and the use of religious mythology to perpetuate this. Fire is such a sensuous, evocative work, addressing deeply taboo issues. The fact that on its opening day in India Hindu fundamentalists attacked theatres and that this film about love was eventually banned for religious insensitivity are indications of its significance.

7- Orlando (1992)
‘The longest and most charming love-letter in literature’ from Virginia Woolf to (and about) Vita Sackville West was adapted for the screen by Sally Potter. The luminous Tilda Swinton slips through transgenerational, transgendered gorgeousness exploring the transient nature of power, culture and love.

8- Ma vie en rose (1997)
A sweet look at gender identity in children as experienced by Ludovic, who knows instinctively he is a girl and trusts that a supernatural force will bring a natural resolution to the erroneous circumstance of him being in the wrong body. His endearing hopefulness and optimism permeate the film right to the end.

9- Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
You know it’s never going to end in anything but grief when you start watching this powerful film about sexual transgression and retribution in the Midwest ‘burbs. Hilary Swank’s Teena Brandon is a compelling blend of contradictions… the search for one’s authentic self and having the courage to live it out is an endlessly fascinating subject.

10- Herstory of Porn (1999)
I love Annie Sprinkle, she’s one of the first sex-positive artists who called herself a feminist as well.


Sir Francis Dashwood

We’ve had our eye on Sir Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club for a while. They play a fantastic atmospheric surfy bluesy psychobilly punk concoction AND they list Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kenneth Anger and David Lynch among their influences: a band after our wicked heart… Don’t miss them on Feb 9 at the Pitty Pat Club, Nottingham (Valentine’s Ball at monthly burlesque club), and on March 8 at the 12 Bar Club, London. Find out more here. Below frontman Sir Francis discusses his 10, er, 11 favourite movies.

1- Harvey (1950)
This film is just the perfect parable of the Pooka (Guardian Spite) … the whole concept is oddly akin to Aleister Crowley’s concept of the Holy Guardian Angel. In this film Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart), the main character, is at first regarded as a harmless mild-mannered eccentric: he talks away to his ‘imaginary Friend’, a six-foot Rabbit, whom we don’t ever get to see!.. At some point his sister tries to shop him to the funny farm, BUT… the rabbit changes time conditions and events and saves Mr Dowd from any difficult scrapes that he may get into. No one who sees this would ever want anything bad to happen to Mr Dowd, he’s just too sweet and an invincible fool.

2- Theatre of Blood (1973)
Vincent Price is perfect and cheap at the Price… in this classic Horror. A derided Shakespearian Actor who has been thought long dead returns to kill off his critic enemies, each in the style of a piece perfect Poetic Justice, every one exquisitely executed in the precise details of a significant Shakespearian murder. There’s one hilarious scene where a guy’s wife thinks he’s snoring in bed… but he’s actually having his head carefully sawn off.

3- The Holy Mountain (1973)
I have enjoyed, and been given some guidance and answers to some of the more convoluted aspects of Alchemy, Tarot and the western Hermetic Tradition in general through the Medium of Alejandro’s Films. I think it really is time for such a one with this capacity to Put this into moving image unlike no other, to finally come to the fore! Through this fact, I am sure others shall be led into the same studies that gave Him the keys to tap into his Genii! – and therefore likewise themselves become beacons of Creative Fire!!!. . in fact , this is after all the underlying message of such films as Holy Mountain … The acceptance and TRANSFORMATION of Various conditions of what most consider MUNDANE LIFE – is what is depicted through most of his work!

4- Whistle and I’ll Come To You (1968)
Adapted from an MR James ghost story this was a TV film for the BBC OMNIBUS series. The Truly great and most Ghoulish thing about this film is that there is almost no dialogue, there is no music, it is just about an Old guy in Tweed (Michael Hordern) who finds a bone whistle sticking out the side of a crumbling mud cliff, beside the sea. It has an inscription, ‘Whistle and I’ll come to you’… He gives it a toot… and the rest gets progressively creepier. Indeed this is the Most creepy Ghost thing I think I ever saw, its TV budget limitations on the usual production tinsel are precisely its greatest strengths. It has a cold atmosphere, tension, silence and fear.

5- Santa Sangre (1989)
As this Magazine well knows I love The Holy Mountain, but I also must include Santa Sangre. I love everything about this film, the plot, the colour, Atmosphere… It also Has Horror mixed with absurd Hilarity in equal measure, in just the way I like it! Oh! and Really Great Mambo Music! This film may appeal more to those who find they cannot grasp the abstract nature of Holy Mountain… It ‘seems’ to have a more definitive plot. I can’t be bothered to describe something I love so much. So here I end with this one. See it!!

6- Faust (1994)
Another Big Favourite, a wonderful cross mix of animation and real film, with lots of macabre puppetry and black Humour, it sticks well to the original theme of Faust, and loses none of its potency. Prague (one of my very favourite cities) lends its unique atmosphere to many of the film’s scenes. By the way I once saw an Alchemy Exhibition many years ago in Prague that Å vankmajer helped put together, by contributing many Highly unusual Vessels to it. He’s for real!

7- Entertaining Mr Sloane (1970)
Joe Orton’s Stage classic in film form… it’s just great, I never tire of seeing it… It opens with Beryl Reid sucking a rainbow Zoom Lolly in A graveyard, watching a funeral in a see-through Baby Doll Nighty… (You get the picture ??) complete with groovy Georgie Fame soundtrack, well worth it if you’re into this kind of Black Humour. Handsome, amoral and unattached Sloane is offered a room in the house that the middle-aged Kath (Beryl Reid) shares with her brother. Sloane attempts to manipulate them… but you can imagine! it doesn’t quite stay that way.

8- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Simply a classic, I love the themes, the whole journey from the outer to the inner, from the past to the future which is really the past… etc, etc… a real Goer of a film for psychedelic space-heads (of which I was one for a long time). Will always love it.

9- Ed Wood (1994)
This is superb! … Ed Wood was a low-budget Cross-dressing Hollywood filmmaker, and managed to get Bela Lugosi to be in one of his films, by then Bela was a well gone Junkie and died during the making of the film. To all purposes this is set as Wood’s Auto Biography featuring heavily on the making of Plan 9 from Outer Space, one of Hollywood’s saddest B-movies. The 50s styling, costumery and overall sentiment I am drastically in love with.

10- Kaidan (Ghost Story, 1964)
This film is amazing, A beautiful Supernatural Japanese film. I recommend everyone get out and see it now!… the plot is too complex, and in four parts (as only the Japanese could do!) The best bit is about a blind musician who summons the Spirits of a Dead Samurai army, but he doesn’t even know they’re dead (as he’s blind). It turns out the other monks who share the monastery with him realise what he has done and consider it a major Blashphemy. They paint every inch of his body in sacred text and get him to Banish the ghouls… BUT !!…

11- Flowers and Smoke (an experiment in ultra-human contact through the use of flowers and smoke, by Lamda, 2007)
Oh … and an 11th film! (11 is a magick number!!)
This is a truly weird 13-mins short film I recently came across, 50 % of what happens is in the viewer’s own brain, Consecrated roses are burnt, the smoke is filmed and mirrored, the result is a real psychedelic trip-out, Godforms from Many Pantheons appear at you through/in the smoke… and apparently this is just the way it turned out (no trickery!) This is a real operation in Magickal evocation caught successfully on film possibly for the first time ever!! The soundtrack music is amazing also, it glides ebbs and throbs in sync to the imagery until you just don’t know who, why or where you are any-more. Pure Art! (in the Alchemystical sense of the word)!