Category Archives: Film Jukebox


The Violets

Citing Suspiria and Rosemary’s Baby among their influences and with one single, Foreo, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, The Violets were obvious candidates for our Film Jukebox. Their darkly atmospheric, edgy melodies have caught the attention of the music press and they’ve recently supported Siouxsie on her solo UK tour. Following five singles on Angular Records, they’ve just released their first album, The Lost Pages. Below, film buff singer Alexis Mary picks her top 10. More details here.

1- Eyes of a Stranger (1981)
I have every film that Jennifer Jason Leigh has ever been in. Eyes of a Stranger was her debut performance, she plays a young blind girl. It is unusual to be able to see the killer in this way, and not just from a voyeuristic point of view. This could not have worked had the killer been a less believable character. Casting really is integral to good filmmaking.

2- Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
Bubby has lived in the damp, grey interior of a house for 35 years. Under the reign of his dominating mother the feral man knows only the incestuous life he leads with her. She has warned him of a poisonous gas beyond the front door. He wears a gas mask she has given him, until his curiosity becomes too great… This film is not without humour, hedonism or even rock’n’roll, although its main attribute is its ability to draw the watcher deep into its life, making you witness its candid disturbances and driving you down its lost path to wickedness.

3- Bagdad Cafe (1987)
Out of a hot mirage a lone Bavarian woman in traditional dress appears at the Bagdad Cafe in the heart of the Californian desert. Brenda runs the cafe/motel and is a fiery kind of lady, superstitious and obstinate. It’s a stylised film with odd camera angles and haunting vocals on the soundtrack, about a friendship between two people that overcome their fear of the unknown to establish a richer life in soul.

4- Labyrinth (1986)
The classic soundtrack to my youth. You could get lost in this fantasy. I’d imagine Sarah on the other side, a decadent medieval wedding, as she’s entwined forever to Jareth the goblin king.

5- Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1986)
This film is a sex comedy but you sense that the origins of the characters’ anguish are born out of Britain’s social divisions during the 1980s – the grindingly poor and the nouveaux riches. A good British classic.

6- Marnie (1964)
Some films are uncanny in the way they parallel your life or that of people you know. This film was made for me. I even wrote a song about it. Despite its dire reviews at the time, this film is undoubtedly Hitchcock’s darkest and most disturbed moment.

7- Les Yeux sans visage (1960)
This is an evocative and stylish nightmare thriller about an elegant young girl kept away from society whilst her father experiments with the faces of nice young ladies.

8- Trouble in Mind (1985)
A low-budget, avant-garde, new wave, criminal love story. Marianne Faithful sings the theme ‘Trouble in Mind’ just as her voice had ripened to a fully-lived sound. With its visual cool, perceptive understanding and intelligence, this film is near perfect. And as an added bonus there’s Divine in a male role.

9- Suspiria (1977)
An artful horror that floods colour to my mind.

10- Blood Simple (1984)
I like films with a theme music that threads in and out. One of my favourite scenes in this film is the opening scene: you don’t get to see the faces of the people who are talking until a good amount of dialogue has occured. I like the pace of this film, and its decidedly cryptic and sparse script.


Zombina and the Skeletones

With songs called ‘Leave My Brain Alone’ and ‘Can’t Break a Dead Girl’s Heart’, the horror fiends of Zombina and the Skeletones were the obvious choice for our spooky November jukebox. Guitarist Doc Horror takes us on a hilarious ride through hardcore Z-movies and reveals a particular fondness for wrestling Japanese girls in spandex costumes as well as films that have ‘living dead’ somewhere in the title. Their new album ‘Death Valley High’ is out now and available here. You can catch them doing their hell-raising high-jinks horror punk-rock thing in Cambridge on Nov 3, London on Nov 4, Winchester on Nov 8, Preston on Nov 10 and Manchester on Nov 30. More details here.

1- The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
The best film ever and the video bible for horror punks! ‘You think this is a fuckin’ costume? This is a way of life!’ This film is the reason why people think zombies say ‘Braaainssss’ all the time. Dig that killer new wave soundtrack! Cramps! 45 Grave! Roky Erickson! Those who have not seen Return of the Living Dead deserve everything they’re gonna get when the zombies attack for real!

2- City of the Living Dead (1980)
City of the Living Dead has replaced Zombie Flesh Eaters in my heart as Lucio Fulci’s finest work. It makes no sense at all but it doesn’t matter ‘cos it’s got people crying blood all over the place and so many worms and maggots where there shouldn’t be any worms or maggots, and things bursting into flames for no reason. Fabio Frizzi is the all-time grand master of zombie chill-out music.

3- Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)
The best super-hero action thriller ever made. Bin all your stupid Spidermans and X-Mens and whatever else garbage the man shovels to ya. This is the real deal. Ten-years-too-late rockabilly singer Lonnie Lord dons a balaclava and cape to become Rat Fink and sets off with his plucky sidekick Boo Boo on a mission to rescue his woman when she’s kidnapped by a gang who choose their victims at random by prodding the phone book with a hammer. This film is so hardcore low-budget that the filmmakers couldn’t even afford to correct typos on the title sequence (it’s supposed to be called Rat Fink and Boo Boo) and ends up stuck with the stupidest name of all time. Legend.

4- Tromeo And Juliet (1996)
…and all the other Troma in-house productions (particularly Toxie 4 and Terror Firmer). Detractors accuse Troma films of being cheapo frat-boy comedy shock-factor rubbish but these people need to have their faces stabbed off. Especially those that believe that stinking Baz Luhrmann abomination to be the superior reworking of the greatest love story ever told. Open your damn minds to the genius that’s at work here! The new Troma film has one of our songs on the soundtrack, but I ain’t seen it yet… it’s called Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, so it’s probably brilliant.

5- Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens (1979)
I’m not sure why this is my favourite Russ Meyer film over Faster Pussycat and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, possibly because of that cool thing where all the characters bleed different coloured blood, depending on their traits… or possibly just ‘cos I’m a bit lecherous and I like when Kitten Natividad gets it on with the dental nurse. It’s cool to mix social satire and soft porn, though, isn’t it? Or am I kidding myself? Is this just a dirty film and I’m showing myself up by listing it?

6- Phantasm (1979)
Jettison Dervish (our bass player) and I both share this as a candidate for best-scary-film-ever. It’s like one of those horrible inconsistent nightmares you have when you’re six years old and got the flu. In fact, I’m sure I had a recurring dream of something very similar to the Tall Man when I was little. Any money Phantasm was based on a real nightmare somebody had! The sequels are all amazing, but the first one is properly special.

7- You’ll Find Out (1940)
The only time Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre all appear in one film. It’s a musical horror-comedy starring the Kay Kyser Orchestra, the members of which are surprisingly hilarious in a gentle post-Groucho sort of way, contrasting most pleasingly with the scary men being their usual sinister selves. Kick-ass swinging tunes too.

8- Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
The tensest film ever made. Shane Meadows is a genius. I hope he makes another horror film one day. That reminds me, I really wanna see This Is England at some point in my life, the rest of the band keep telling me how great it is…

9- Cutting Moments (1997)
You get some crazy stuff in the pound shop sometimes. Not many people seem to have seen Cutting Moments so I won’t spoil it for anyone who may chance upon it some day. It’s ‘orrible though, I’ll tell you that much. Ignore the rest of the stories in this portmanteau and skip straight to the title feature.

10- L.E.G.S.: Lady Enforcers General Security (1998)
I found it on Ebay when looking for women’s wrestling videos. Of all the things I have ever discovered in my life, of LEGS I am the most proud. Japanese girls in weird spandex costumes having semi-erotic, semi-slapstick chainsaw battles one minute, then turning into a sort of riot grrl punk band the next. Someone should dub it, What’s Up Tiger Lily style, and put it on TV so everyone can enjoy!


Black Time

Black Time are a shadowy trio from London inspired by Link Wray, Huggy Bear and Suicide. They’ve released two albums of feedback-saturated raw and primal garage dance tunes on the excellent In The Red label, as well as numerous vinyl-only singles on obscure imprints around the world. Film references feature heavily in their lyrics, and they’ve even done a one-sided 12″ concept EP entitled ‘New Vague Themes’ with five songs inspired by French New Wave films! They only occasionally venture out of their dilapidated North London HQ to play live, but you can catch them in Holland on 3-5 October. Find out more here or here. Below guitar-slinger Lemmy Caution discusses his 10 favourite movies.

1- Bob le flambeur (1956)
I could have picked about 6 or 7 films by the director of this movie, Jean-Pierre Melville – I recommend seeing anything with his name on it. He was initially embraced by the nouvelle vague directors because of his stunning tracking shots and Hitchcockian pacing, but then subsequently rejected by them for his old-school cinema sensibilities. His work spans several genres but policiers were his forte – tough crime thrillers, usually featuring a heist and a blurring of the good/evil line between the cops and the criminals. Bob Le Flambeur brings to life the shady bars and underworld hangouts of Paris’ Pigalle district in luminous monochrome, and features the best last line of any film ever (I won’t spoil what it is – you have to watch and find out!).

2- Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montí³n (1980)
This is the ultimate punk rock movie. Pedro Almodí³var went onto acclaim and fortune directing emotionally nuanced family dramas, but his debut feature is a super-trashy paean to being young, dumb and in love with rock’n’roll. Like a cross between a Spanish telenovela, early John Waters and Rock’n’Roll High School. Gross-out humour, fabulous camp fashion, real teenage punks from the burgeoning Spanish scene partying to Public Image Limited records, a fictional but fucking great X-Ray Spex-style band, sassy girl gangs, a spoof intermission that sends up the advertising industry with hilarious perverse humour, and a cock-measuring contest – what more could you want from a film??!!!

3- Alphaville (1965)
I had to pick this one as obviously I nicked my name from the lead character. Supposedly a big influence on Blade Runner, Jean-Luc Godard’s urban sci-fi epic is the epitome of cool. Transforming night-time modernist Paris into a dystopian future city ruled by a megalomaniacal giant computer, Alphaville works on multiple levels – a style bible for brutalism, a funny parody of the hard-boiled detective genre and an existential romance.

4- Death Line (1972)
This is one of those weird budget Hammer-style horror films that Britain did so well during this period, and turns up regularly as a late-night TV staple. The plot is pretty silly – an underground race of cannibals living in the abandoned tunnels of Russell Square station, but it transcends the confines of the genre through a chillingly bleak depiction of early-70s London filmed in wintry bleached-out colour, the Sweeney-style hard-living policeman played by the great Donald Pleasence, and a cracking proto-electro moog score by Wil Malone.

5- I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)
Aki Kaurismäki is another one of my favourite directors – this particular film is an unusual one for him in that it’s set in London rather than his native Finland (most of his movies are set in the same working-class district of Helsinki and feature a core acting ensemble he’s been using for years). I really like his outsider’s view of a foreigner in London (the great French actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, also well worth checking out in classics like Les Quatre cents coups and La Maman et la putain) – he really captures the loneliness of a big city when you’re a newcomer. As an added bonus there’s a cameo from Joe Strummer, and Nicky Tesco from the Members plays the Contract Killer.

6- Bedazzled (1967)
Peter Cook’s film career is generally viewed to be an unmitigated disaster, with a string of turkeys to his name, and the public bitterness he expressed over the success his comedy partner Dudley Moore enjoyed in Hollywood. This retelling of the Faust fable with Peter Cook as a suave, mod-suited Satan and Dudley Moore as short-order fry cook Stanley Moon who sells his soul for seven wishes is a lost classic though – my favourite comedy film ever. It looks great, the satirical attacks on religion, advertising and contemporary society are spot-on, and the scene in which the Devil and Stanley go head to head on Top Of The Pops sums up the fickle nature of pop music with great songs (backing singer to the Devil – ‘You drive me wild!!’ The Devil – ‘YOU FILL ME WITH INERTIA’). Avoid the inferior remake from 2000 – Liz Hurley’s girl Lucifer is more page-3 centrefold than diabolical Mephistophelian charmer.

7- Qui íªtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (1966)
This film is an anomaly on many levels. Written and directed by an expat American documentary photographer who had never made a feature film before (William Klein) in France with a French cast (with the exception of one American actor putting on a terrible accent!), it mixes up drama, satire, reportage, animation and Brechtian asides to the camera, attacking the fashion industry whilst carefully styling the film so every frame looks gorgeous (I wager that on any given week, a 60s club night somewhere round the world is using a still from this film on their flyers). The lead character is a self-absorbed free spirit simultaneously attracted and repulsed by the consumer society she’s trapped in. The question of who Polly Maggoo really is never gets answered, but the quest to find out is a fantastical and enormously entertaining one.

8- Every Day Except Christmas (1957)
On paper this sounds like a pretty boring premise – a documentary about a day in the life of Covent Garden fruit & veg market, but it completely sucks you into the world it captures. It’s a gripping social narrative about a place and people that have more or less disappeared entirely. The combination of the editing seamlessly matched to the rhythm of the working day, the amazing black & white cinematography and the mellifluous Welsh voiceover give it an almost trance-like, hypnotic quality. This was one of the key works of the ‘free cinema’ movement and director Lindsay Anderson went onto greater notoriety and acclaim with his feature films If, This Sporting Life and O Lucky Man.

9- Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
It’s hard to pick one Rainer Werner Fassbinder film – another auteur who left behind an amazing cinematic legacy. This one is possibly the pinnacle of his achievements – his generally cynical view of human motivations is tempered with a gently heartbreaking inter-racial love story. A homage to Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows re-told through the experiences of first generation immigrants in 70s Germany. The central protagonists are the instantly likeable but complex Ali and Emmi, and you’re practically willing for things to work out for them against terrible odds.

10- Deep End (1971)
I realised whilst compiling this list that a lot of my favourite films feature London seen from an unusual perspective, and this is another one – refracted through the strange and wonderful lens of Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. It ostensibly concerns the experiences of a teenage boy working at a Public Baths in North London. At some points it verges on turning into a Carry On-style sex farce with his seduction by Diana Dors and pining after Jane Asher (her second great role after her turn as a naive schoolgirl in Alfie), but then veers off into weirder territory, taking in grimy scenes of pre-gentrification Soho menace, teacher’s dancing in a nightclub to a pulsating ‘Mother Sky’ by Can (!), and even a cameo by Burt Kwouk (Cato from the Pink Panther films) as a hot-dog salesman. The whole thing could easily be an overly quirky unwatchable mess, but somehow Skolimowski brings together the disparate threads to construct a rounded and satisfying work that is more than the sum of its parts. There’s a heavy dose of JD Salinger to the central plot, if Holden Caulfield had been growing up in 70s Kentish Town listening to krautrock.


Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire

Having formed and killed off more bands than anyone else in rock history (except possibly for Mark E. Smith, but then his band’s name has always remained the same), Billy Childish is back with new outfit The Musicians Of The British Empire, which features Nurse Julie on bass and Wolf Howard on drums. Their recently released debut album, ‘Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall’ takes up where the Buff Medways left off, offering more of Billy Childish’s very own brew of radical punk spirit and raw garage-blues. Below, they pick their ten favourite films.


1- The Third Man (1949)
I like black and white films with lots of shadows, I like Orson Welles, Trevor Howard and Bernard Lee, I like Austria just after the war and I like Anton Karas and his zither. I saw this film at a cinema recently and was surprised to find out that it is quite funny too.

2- Spartacus (1960)
What could be better than a lazy Sunday and a three-hour epic starring a ginger-haired bum-chin in a too-short metal skirt?

3- Nuts in May (1976)
It is a brave thing to make a film that has this much space with such little action. The main character, Keith, is seen by all as a rather petty man with petty ideals always sticking to the rule book where he feels most comfortable. This film was made before mobile phones, MP3s and laptops and, although I may not relish having a lengthy conversation with a Keith, I do often wish that he were in my train carriage brandishing an oversized branch and screaming, ‘be told!’


4- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This film is a heartbreaker – it gets me every time. I love a film that’s about community, family, integrity and kindness. It’s the kind of a world I would like to live in.

5- Oliver Twist (1948)
One of the greatest opening scenes. The emotion and feeling of it is amazing. I’m a huge fan of David Lean and Charles Dickens so it’s double bubble.

6- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
This was been a favourite of mine since girlhood. I’d spend hours re-enacting the ‘doll on a music box’ scene in front of the mirror in my bedroom. Great songs, great story, Lionel Jeffries and of course Benny Hill, what more do you need. This is Ian Fleming’s best, better than Bond any day.


7- Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
I think Sherriff is one of the great screen writers. I first saw this film as a child. It is heartbreaking and still makes me cry whenever I watch it.

8- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
My favourite Powell and Pressburger film with a story of deep meaning, comedy and integrity.

9- Hobson’s Choice (1954)
Charles Laughton was a great actor (and a great director when given the chance); this film is full of humanity.


10- Sons of the Desert (1933)
We all like Laurel and Hardy films. This is one of the few full features they did that really works and is one of their funniest films from beginning to end.


Le Chat Noir

Le Chat Noir are girl drummer Eileen and guitarist Teddy and together they play a riotous mix of dirty bluesy garage-punk-rock. They’ve just released their second album, Deadwood, and are currently gigging in the UK. They’ll be heading off to Europe in September to play shows in Germany, Italy and France and will also be playing in Belgium and Holland in November. More details here!


1- Hana Bi (1997)
Too many films these days employ violence for the sake of spectacle, with half-hearted plots seemingly tagged on as an afterthought. Whilst Kitano’s films are undoubtedly violent, he’s a master of using it to subtle effect. Nishi, the ex-cop played by Kitano in the film, is a man facing a kind of ultimate mid-life crisis; he leaves the police force after his partner ends up in a wheelchair following a botched stake out, and has borrowed money from the Yakuza to help care for his dying wife. Nishi leads a double life; he is a cold-hearted, unpredictable killer and a loving, gentle husband. You cannot help but share his pain as the two worlds come crashing together. It’s wonderfully acted and is directed and edited with sensitivity and imagination. The film has everything – isolation, loneliness, joy, tragedy, bittersweet comedy… if ever a film captured the duality of our nature, the sadness and beauty of life and death, this is it.

2- Amelie (2001)
The ultimate feel-good movie, but not in that cloying Disney way. Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider can identify with the eponymous heroine – she is a reclusive dreamer whose flights of fancy are beautifully realised, but are also evidently a defence mechanism against the experiences of her dysfunctional childhood. You can’t help but smile as her childlike romance with fellow oddball Nico unfolds, the barriers she has created to isolate herself from the world melting away to reveal a character full of love and warmth. Ultimately, the film is a celebration of the fleeting joys of life and making the most of the time that we have – if you don’t feel like going out and doing something good for someone else after seeing this, you’ve got a heart of stone!

3- The Big Lebowski (1998)
Like Raymond Chandler on acid, this is a neo-noir crime thriller blended with absurdist comedy, a laugh-out-loud funny film populated by rich, colourful characters, bizarre dream sequences and stellar dialogue that you will be quoting incessantly after a few repeat viewings. The twisting, shambolic storyline is often as loveably oddball and wayward as the ‘hero’ of the piece, The Dude, a frazzled, ageing hippy who meanders his way through life until a case of mistaken identity turns his existence upside down. Everyone should see this film, then buy the DVD and watch it again and again.

4- Adaptation (2002)
This movie delights in playing with perceptions of authorship and reality in a way that is common in literature but seldom attempted on the big screen. Essentially it’s a film about writing – a ‘metafilm’, if you will, and far superior to the only other film of this kind that springs to mind, the disappointing A Cock And Bull Story. The basic premise is that Charlie Kaufman (the real-life screenwriter who worked with Spike Jonze on this film) has been commissioned to adapt Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, but struggles with writer’s block and ultimately descends into neuroticism and hypochondria as he unsuccessfully juggles his failing script with his unsatisfactory life. Simultaneously, it tells the story of Susan’s own struggles in writing the book. The parallel plot lines deal with the desperation of trying to fathom the unfathomable – both writers are ultimately not trying to dissect their subject matter, but explain and justify their own existences to themselves through their work. It’s a film about artistic integrity, passion and standing your ground when pressures from outside tempt you to succumb to the easy path.

5- Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
An offbeat, quirky film about honour and decline. Ghost Dog is a hitman who lives in a shack on a rooftop and follows the teachings of Hagakure’s The Way Of The Samurai. He and his mafia bosses live existences that seem anachronistic in the modern setting of the film – these are not the confident, ruthless mobsters of Coppola or Scorsese, but rather tired, ageing incompetents clinging to faded glories. The real power of this film lies in Forrest Whittaker’s poignant performance as Ghost Dog – he is single-minded and ruthless in performing his duty, yet there is an underlying sadness in him that is never voiced but permeates the film from beginning to end. He is alienated from society, a lonely figure with little connection to reality, cut off by his devotion to a code which has no place in the modern Western world. His relationship with his only ‘friend’, a Haitian ice cream man, is intriguing – they speak English and French respectively and cannot understand each other on a linguistic level, yet they share an understanding that runs far deeper than words. In their relationship, we see a microcosm of all human interaction – in the modern world we are all essentially isolated from each other, yet sometimes we find unity and solace in the most unlikely of places and people.


6- Amadeus (1984)
Adapted to the big screen from the theatre, it’s a thoroughly entertaining story of the mediocre court composer Salieri and his jealousy for Mozart. Although the film at times isn’t too accurate about Mozart’s life, you get a sense of why Salieri was so jealous and why he detested the young genius. Mozart had everything Salieri wanted: to be loved for the music he wrote and become a success. However, the viewer sees that Mozart had drinking and womanising on his mind as much as composing. In many ways, it almost portrays Mozart as pretty much a ‘rock star’: with his fame, he managed to make a lot of enemies by saying a lot of the wrong things, having a few affairs on the side, drinking far too heavily, then tragically dying a pauper’s death… all at a very young age. I see Mozart as any kind of rock star who lived the life of excess, was famous, adored and hated, and paid the price for it. Saying that, I think every musician must see this film.

7- Ghost World (2001)
A film based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes tells the story of Enid and her best friend Rebecca after their high school graduation. They’re both outsiders who dislike all the normalities of life. Enid has to go to a remedial art class whilst Rebecca gets a job. They play a joke on Seymour, a lost and lonely soul, but Enid ends up becoming friends with him and finds out that she has a lot more in common with him that she realises. Eventually, Enid begins to discover the complexities of becoming an adult in the modern world and views the world in a different light. I think anyone who sees the outside world as a place of conformity, as Enid does, can sympathise with her, which is exactly how I felt when I first saw this film. I can’t think of any other film that has made that kind of impact on me.

8- The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
The title character just seems to have everything go wrong for him: his partner gets eaten by a mythic shark, his estranged wife has eyes for her ex, his sea-life films are going bust, a man claiming to be his son and a pregnant reporter whom he has a thing for join his crew… the list goes on! But the main chunk of the film focuses on the search for the shark that ate Zissou’s partner and the events that happen along the way. I love Wes Anderson’s other works, but this one is probably my favourite. I’ve seen it about 3 times and I can never get bored with it. The humour is subtle and witty, and there is always something new you learn about the characters and the story. Another plus about the film is that the soundtrack has Seu Jorge singing Bowie covers in Portuguese, how awesome is that?!

9- Ran (1985)
A beautifully shot epic by one of the most important directors of our time. Set in medieval Japan and based on Shakespeare’s play King Lear, it’s the story of the ageing warlord Hidetora and his three sons, Taro, Jiro and the youngest of the three, Saburo. The basic plot is the same as King Lear, but Kurosawa makes it his own by fusing west (King Lear) and east (setting), which he is renowned for in his later films. It’s an exciting and wonderfully done film, with its epic, colourful battle scenes and the haunting image of the lord’s descent into madness. At a staggering 160 minutes, it grips you from beginning to end and doesn’t let go. Kurosawa’s work has provided the basis for a lot of famous films, such as The Magnificent Seven and the first Star Wars film, but I feel the original films have so much more to them. Such talent and vision should not be overlooked.

10- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
‘If adventure has a name… it must be Indiana Jones’. You better bet your socks it is! I love the Indiana Jones films, I have the box set and everything! But this one (the second one) is my all-time favourite. It’s another one of those films that I’ve seen a million times and will never get bored of. The premise is Jones and his 12-year-old friend called Short Round and a singer by the name of Willie Scott go to a small village in India, where the people believe evil spirits have taken their children away after a sacred stone was stolen and it’s up to Jones to save them. At times, it can be a bit cheesy and ridiculous, but that’s part of the charm of the Indiana Jones films. The cool thing about Dr. Jones is that he isn’t really a hero at all; he’s a run-of-the-mill archaeologist who happens to find himself going on a few adventures here and there. This film is also a bit special to me because this is pretty much the first film I’ve seen as a child! It was an awesome film when I was 6, and it’s still awesome now!



Bearsuit are a ‘stop-start boy-girl cutie-killer six-piece with everything from cinematic waltzes to catchy electro disco and hard punk screaming riot grrl noise. A mix of Belle and Sebastian, Huggy Bear, and Sonic Youth with electronic twists and turns, and screamy art punk.’ You can see them magicking up their brilliantly chaotic tunes at the Luminaire, London, on June 23, at the Buffalo Bar, London, on July 27, at Indie Tracks, Ripley, Midlands, on July 28, and at the Norwich Arts Centre on August 25. Records available on Fantastic Plastic, Fortuna POP! and Microindie.


1- Chungking Express (1994)
This is pure romance. Wong Kar-Wai gets a lot more kudos for 2046 (which, even though it had monorails and robot girls and stuff in, I found a bit too much like hard work) and In the Mood For Love, but this is by far my favourite of his films. It’s a melancholy love story (mostly unrequited) and ruminates on loneliness and nostalgia, but at the same time it’s shot through with such punk vigour and lo-fi artsiness that it never feels slow or pretentious. The camera speeds breathlessly through the crowded apartments and neon-drenched noodle bars of Chung-King mansions, and every frame is gorgeous and hazy and chintzy and day-glo; it’s exactly like having a smoke on your own, gazing out over the city from your window, and wistfully remembering your romantic mistakes and briefly joyful encounters. sigh….

2- The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
I’m serious. This is like Star Wars made by Woody Allen. It’s beautifully shot and framed; it’s obsessed with incredible architecture and imposing sets, lit in amazing noirish blacks and greys and whites for the Empire’s scenes, boiling red and oranges when Han Solo is killed (killed? oh no, just frozen ’til the sequel) and when Luke descends into hell and has to fight his OWN FATHER in the bowels of a deserted city. It moves along as fast as the first film during the amazing action sequences (dude! AT-AT walkers!), but slows up enough for hilarious wise-cracking and one-liners from the relaxed and top-of-their-game lead cast, suddenly beats the shit out of our heroes, then lets the baddies win! Imagine how much of an effect that can have on a little boy going to the cinema with his dad for the first time: just devastating (Woking, 1981, me). It’s existential techno-nightmare. It’s Hamlet, or Crimes and Misdemeanors, or The Seventh Seal, but for kids!

3- Duel (1971)
Jesus this is bleak. There’s no reason for any of it to happen. An everyman office worker is driving cross country to get home from a conference or something (we never really know), when a truck driver (whose face we never see) decides this little guy needs to have his life ruined (we’ll never know why). The truck itself is a terrifying monster, all belching smokestacks, rust-brown body and moaning, bellowing engine, which, just like the shark of Jaws is a relentless, unstoppable, alien killing machine. It’s about 80 minutes of the purest cinema I can think of – Spielberg sets up the wafer-thin premise and racks up the tension like a baseball-capped Hitchcock. The editing coils around the sweat-drenched protagonist like a boa: truck, car, truck, car, nearer! Nearer! The underdog has to fight his foe – he has no help, a crappy slow saloon car and no idea why he’s been singled out. He does have a pretty good moustache however. This film makes me hate the outdoors even more.


4- Mulholland Drive (2001)
Did you know David Lynch has got his own brand of coffee? I think the strap line is him saying something like, ‘My coffee is made with only the finest beans, and I’m just full of beans.’ Coffee usually features in his work. There’s a particularly funny coffee scene in this film, but it’s one of very few where you can take a breather from the nightmarish story. It’s not a particularly easy film to follow – it twists and turns like a twisty-turny thing. I think it’s because of all of the really resonant images and threads of intriguing mystery that I love this so much. You think you’ve found the answer, but then realise that it can’t be because something else doesn’t stack up. It’s shot in a beautiful noir style, the performances are amazing, as is the music (thankfully dispensing with the industrial/nu metal that soundtracked Lost Highway). I don’t know what it is about David Lynch – all it takes is a dimly-lit room, ambient music, a frightened face and a telephone and I start getting the fear.

5- Time Bandits (1981)
I don’t think Terry Gilliam has made a better film (although Brazil is very close). I really wanted a bedroom like Kevin’s, with knights coming out the wardrobe and stuff. I love the fact that all these heroes from history are flawed and have personality disorders, like Napoleon’s height complex & Robin Hood’s upper class arrogance. Also, the ending is just totally shocking, with his parents being blown up! You kind of felt he was better off because they were so obsessed with material wealth and didn’t pay him any regard. There’s also a kid actor who doesn’t make you want to puke, lots of black humour, some amazingly imaginative scenes (put together on a shoe-string budget) and a snappy tune from George Harrison – awesome.


6- Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
I’m a sucker for films featuring animals, from the canine-crazy Best In Show to Eddie Murphy’s Doctor Dolittle (yes, even Stuart Little!), but Babe: Pig in the City has to be my favourite of them all. Don’t be fooled by Babe’s syrupy 1995 debut – this dark 1998 sequel saw kids being carried out of cinemas in floods tears by horrified parents. The blackly comic story follows the little pig as he ventures into the vivid and seedy animal underworld of city life in a bid to raise enough money to save the farm back home. It starts with a horrific well accident that near kills Farmer Hoggett and goes on to feature hooker poodles, the death of a disabled jack russel on wheels, and best of all, PG Tips style talking chimps. A bizarre and grotesque fantasy, reminiscent more of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen and City of Lost Children, than a family blockbuster. AND with
talking animals – what more could you want?

7- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby is one of the most the most bone-chillingly scary horror movies I’ve seen, without relying on blood-splatter, special effects, or shock tactics. The story follows newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) after they move in next door to the over-friendly and eccentric Minnie and Roman Castevet (who are really ring-leaders of a satanic coven). Guy’s acting career quickly takes off and Rosemary falls pregnant. But within this picture of mundane everyday life, the increasingly paranoid, hysterical and powerless Rosemary descends into a living hell that sees her craving raw meat, hallucinating, loosing weight, and becoming obsessed with the idea that the Castevets want her baby for a Satanic ritual. I love it because it’s so ambiguous, you never really know where the borderline is between reality and Rosemary’s imagination. Amazingly filmed, this is definitely one to watch again and again to glean extra snippets of information, oh and to indulge in its 1960s kitsch chic fashion!

8- When Harry Met Sally (1989)
It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry! Yes When Harry Met Sally ticks all the right boxes for a perfecto chick flick romantic comedy. Brilliantly schmaltzy and sentimental, it poses the question, ‘Can men and women ever just be friends?’ Being best buddies with Iain Ross from Bearsuit, I like to think that yes, they can. But by the end of the movie, I’m proved wrong. Ahoi, a marriage in our 80s, followed by a honeymoon cruise beckons…


9- The Shrinking of Treehorn / The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge,1956)
I’ve cheated here by putting two films in one, but when I was younger we used to have a video tape which had on The Shrinking of Treehorn followed by Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon. I can never seem to separate the two in my mind. They were so ingrained in my family’s viewing habits that my sister and I knew all the dialogue from Treehorn and would paraphrase it over and over again much to my parents’ annoyance. It was a simple animation of a boy who started to shrink, which went unnoticed by his family, but the dry humour was wonderful throughout. I still want to get a dog whistle (even if I can’t hear it; even if no dogs can hear it, it would be nice to have a whistle?) even now. Luckily The Red Balloon had (more or less) no dialogue so my parents were spared another film ruined for them. A young boy comes across a very large red balloon with a mind of its own, which follows him to school, causing him trouble and jealousy from the other children. Eventually their jealousy turns to anger and the fate of the balloon is sealed. But there is a happy ending… My dad recently sent me a DVD of both these two films so my childhood viewing is now restored.

10- Bugsy Malone (1976)
What can I say about Bugsy Malone? It’s an absolute classic – custard pies, splurge guns, pedal cars, speakeasies, Jodie Foster, Baby Face, kids in spats and great tunes to boot. I’m still waiting for the Bugsy Malone Bearsuit stage outfits to happen, or at least a Bugsy Malone fancy dress party… But what to dress as… Tallulah or Fat Sam? And where’s my pedal car?


Airport Girl

Airport Girl are a downbeat country-pop combo hailing from the Midlands. They have just released their second album, Slow Light, which has received much plaudit from the critics – ‘Swathed in Cosmic Country Shimmer…A toasty soundtrack to duvet-wrapped winter despondency’ said The Metro while SoundsXP saw the band as ‘the true heirs in a lineage of such elegant bands as Felt and The Go-Betweens’. Check out their mySpace page or their label page. Below they tell us about their favourite films.

1- Don’t Look Back (1966)
This documentary of Dylan’s 1965 British tour captures the point in the sixties where he was changing from an earnest protest singer in thrall to Woody Guthrie into, quite possibly, the coolest man on the planet. No one would put up the money for the film to be made so D.A.Pennebaker funded it himself and shot it cheaply (using just a soundman and a couple of Dylan’s friends as his film crew) achieving an intimate, cinéma verité feel. It starts with one of the most iconic film sequences in pop music: with ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ playing and Dylan throwing away cue cards while Allen Ginsberg lurks somewhere in the background. From there on in the documentary follows Dylan from hotel room to venue to press conference as he tours around the UK running rings around hapless journalists and putting Donovan firmly in his place. Dylan is, at turns, arrogant, shy, spiteful, funny, but always compelling. I never get tired of watching this film.

2- If… (1968)
‘Violence and revolution are the only pure acts.’
This was the first in a trilogy of films by Lindsay Anderson that spanned three decades and featured Malcolm McDowell’s character Mick Travis (followed by O Lucky Man in the seventies and the very odd Britannia Hospital in the eighties). In this film Mick Travis is a senior at an English public school with little respect for tradition or for the authority of the school prefects. The revolutionary spirit of the film’s central characters echoes the student unrest that was taking place across America and in France at the time of the film’s release. The film is shot partly in colour and partly in black and white which adds to the feeling of fantasy and reality being blurred.

3- Kes (1969)
This has to be one of the most heart-breaking films I’ve ever seen. One of Ken Loach’s first, it features an incredible, naturalistic central performance from the unknown David Bradley as Billy Caspar, an unloved, working-class lad. Bullied at school by his peers and teachers, and at home by his brother, he finds solace and a sense of identity in training a kestrel hawk. Despite the sense of hopelessness in Billy’s situation, the film is shot through with moments of humour like the farcical school football match in which Brian Glover, as the school’s PE teacher, lives out his fantasies of playing for Man Utd. If you’re not sniffing back a tear at the end (when Billy’s brother kills the bird as revenge for Billy not placing a bet for him) then you have a heart made of stone.

4- Nashville (1975)
This film is set in the Country and Western music scene in Nashville but it isn’t just about Country and Western music. It’s about show business and politics and the points where the two meet. The film follows the lives of a large cast of diverse characters, each with their own story, over the course of a few days in Nashville, coinciding with the run up to a political rally. The end brings all the characters together but does little to tie up the various narrative threads. It doesn’t have a traditional plot with a beginning, middle and end but it’s still totally absorbing.

5- The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
Nic Roeg made a whole bunch of great movies in the seventies; Performance, Don’t Look Now, Bad Timing, but my favourite has always been The Man Who Fell to Earth. In typical Roeg style this film doesn’t present the viewer with a straightforward narrative and whenever I watch it I’m always a little unsure that I know exactly what’s going on at certain points, but then, afterwards, it all seems to make sense. Bowie’s great in it. He doesn’t seem to be acting.

6- Gregory’s Girl (1981)
Charming, slightly awkward and Scottish. This is like the film equivalent of an early Orange Juice record.

7- Withnail & I (1987)
You know those annoying people that substitute having a sense of humour with quoting catchphrases from their favourite TV comedies like The Fast Show and Phoenix Nights? Well, with this film the temptation’s just too much to resist. It just has some of the most outrageously good dialogue in one of the best, funniest scripts ever. Pitch perfect casting too. Richard E Grant has never been able to match the performance he gives here as Withnail. Don’t ever try and play the Withnail & I drinking game though. You will make your liver cry.



Headless are a noisy London-based rock band. Their sound consists of a heavy muscular rhythm, battling sinister/pretty lead guitar and snarling melodies. Imagine the Banshees covering Kyuss. They’ve got a single out Stampede/Suffer on White Heat Records. Sadly they have just announced that they are splitting up and will play their last every gig at White Heat, Madame Jojo’s, London, on May 15th.


1- The Company of Wolves (1984)
Basically if we ever got to do a music video it would be this, it’s so dreamy and dark and badly acted.

2- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)
Such a sad and funny and twisted film.


3- The Happiness of the Katikuris (2001)

4- An American Werewolf in London (1997)
This is my favorite film of all time. It’s scary scary and funny and there is a pub in it called the Slaughtered Lamb. PLUS I am in love with Jenny Ageter. Nurse Alex is H-O-T.


5- Labyrinth (1986)
David Bowie – big hair, tight trousers, plus the genius pairing of Toby Froud and Brian Henson.

6- Krull(1983)
Just a great story – Mark from Eastenders is in it too.

7- Star Wars V (1980)
Darth Vader gets really mean. Classic.


8- Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Love that Gloria Swanson played a role that mirrored her own life. Billy Wilder genius. Beautiful eerie film.

9- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
A fucking classic! Will never get bored of this film.

10- This Is Spinal Tap (1984)


The Schla-la-las

Photo © Daniel Cooper

The Schla-la-las are five sassy London girls with fabulous matching outfits and boisterous punk-pop tunes harking back to classic sixties girl groups but with fuzzier guitars and shouty vocals. They’ve just released a new single 1234 – you can see their brilliant stop motion Lego video here!


1- Time of the Gypsies (1988)
This is a tragi-comic coming-of-age tale, told in a magic realism style. I love films that make me laugh and cry. Perhan, a Gypsy teenager with telekinetic powers, leaves his Serbian village in search of his sister, who got abducted by a gang to work as a beggar in Milan. Sucked in by the promises of power and riches, he ends up rising through the ranks of the gang itself, but being a good guy at heart, things come to a tragic end.

2- This is Spinal Tap (1984)
This spoof rockumentary has to be one of the funniest films ever, and if you’re in a band, you are bound to have experienced the odd Tap moment. We follow a slightly past-its-prime British rock band during their tour in the States, trying to promote their new album – not very successfully. There are battles-of-the-frontmen, a Yoko type character, and generally lots of very well-observed moments of rock’n’roll vanity. And if you get the DVD, the second disc with everything that hasn’t made it into the cut is just as hilarious.


3- Ghostbusters (1984)
Okay, I could pretend to be all pretentious and/or arty here, but hand-on-heart my favourite film of all time is Ghostbusters. I saw it at the Chester Odeon with my Grandma and little sister when it first came out and absolutely loved it, have done ever since. Music from the film Ghostbusters and Wham’s Make It Big where the first albums I ever bought in fact. Altogether now ‘Bustin’ makes me feel good!’

4- Great Expectations (1947)
I’ve never really gone in for lists of favourite films (although I’m mad for a music top 5), but I recently saw David Lean’s Great Expectations for the second time, and it was absolutely amazing. I first saw it during a summer holiday from school. Six glorious weeks to do with whatsoever you please, so my sister and I spent them sitting around the house watching daytime TV. Great Expectations came on one afternoon and captivated both of us. I’d never really given it much thought again, until I opened Time Out the other week, saw a still from the film and recognised it immediately. I invited my friend Ben to go with me. I didn’t reveal too much about it as I wasn’t too sure how he felt about black and white films, especially those made in 1947, but he gets discounted tickets at the NFT so it was a chance I was willing to take. And he loved it. Of course he did, it’s amazing. Funny, and thrilling, and touching in equal measure. Go see, go see. You won’t regret it, I promise.


5- Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
Gabrielle: ‘Actually, depravity can be terribly boring if you don’t smoke or drink.’ Paris When It Sizzles is like seeing Audrey Hepburn in a Quentin Tarantino film (without the bloody bits). There’s an amazing use of timeline, classic comedy and of course glamorous outfits for Audrey. It’s purely pleasant.

6- O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Ulysses Everett McGill: ‘What’d the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?’
Tommy Johnson: ‘Well, he taught me to play this here guitar real good.’
Delmar O’Donnell: ‘Oh son, for that you sold your everlasting soul?’
Tommy Johnson: ‘Well, I wasn’t usin’ it.’
O Brother Where Art Thou is an age-old story (based loosely on Homer’s Odyssey) told in that gritty, darkly humorous Coen Brothers style, the acting is superb and George Clooney… *swoon*. The soundtrack is the cherry on top of this fabulous film.


7- The Red Shoes (1948)
Red Shoes is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. Jack Cardiff is my favourite cinematographer and Technicolor is grand.

8- Heathers (1989)
Heathers is an amazing script displaying a true understanding of contemporary use and development of language. Not to mention it started my first poster-on-the-wall crush of Christian Slater!


9- Tommy (1975)
I love rock-opera and films based on albums (see Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Clubs Band for another amazing example of preposterous workings of songs into a storyline! Starring The Bee Gees, Steve Martin and Frankie Howard!). Tommy was written as an opera but it’s no less bonkers. So many fantasy and dream sequences it’s impossible to know what’s real and what isn’t but some amazing set pieces including Ann-Margaret in a jumpsuit rolling in baked beans, Eric Clapton as the priest of money, Oliver Reed revelling in a scary Butlins style holiday camp, Paul Nicholas as twisted Cousin Kevin, Keith Moon as perverted Uncle Ernie and of course Tina Turner as a freaked-out junkie locking dead, dumb and blind Tommy into a needle-pricked sarcophagus!

10- Privilege (1967)
A late 1960s film starring Paul Jones (Manfred Mann’s vocalist) as Stephen Shorter, a pop star of astronomical fame. The numb-to-it-all doesn’t-know-what-he-wants Stephen Shorter is babied and guarded by a posse of wagon-jumping yes-men trying to satisfy his every whim to keep the money-machine turning (‘Stephen wants hot chocolate! Let’s ALL have hot chocolate! After Stephen turns down an alcoholic drink at a garden party). Teenagers are seen as money and music purely as a commodity. Stephen is manipulated by politicians and businessmen who see him as a way of promoting their cause. Eventually the church get involved and Stephen Shorter is re-invented as a Christian rock band with Mersey-beat versions of Onward Christian Soldiers sung by Stephen and his shaven-headed band behind a giant burning cross. A satirical, sometimes bleak but very compelling film. (P.S. – this film is nigh on impossible to get hold of in a good quality – I had a copy but leant all my videos to a friend three years ago and haven’t seen them since! Argh!)