SECRET CINEMA: THE WARRIORS

The Warriors

Event: Secret Cinema

Date: 6 September 2009

Location: London Fields

Organised by: Future Shorts

Secret Cinema website

You can probably count on the fingers of one transatlanticly befuddled hand the number of times that anyone has mistaken Hackney for New York. Even taking into account epic jetlag combined with elephantine doses of ketamine it would still be a difficult mistake to make. Usually. Thanks to Secret Cinema and their constant urge to impress, the illusion of New York was fixed in the minds of about 2,500 London Fields visitors, most of whom were under the influence of nothing more disorientating than popcorn and good tea. This was the Secret Cinema September screening of The Warriors, their most ambitious undertaking so far.

Secret Cinema is an organisation that specialises in one-off cinema events. Each occasion is something new and each punter gets a special surprise. That’s the secret – you don’t know what you’re going to see or what’s going to happen. For The Warriors, the 1979 New York gangland odyssey, London Fields was transformed with theme park trappings and marauding handfuls of colourful gang members, done up like the gangs from the film – The Baseball Furies, The Punks, The Rogues, The Lizzies, The Hi Hats and The Satan’s Mothers. The gangs do some posing, taunt each other and occasionally break off to be chased round the park by Officer Dibble. The cool cars and cool clothes make gang membership look enticing. Luckily, there is a large fence to keep Hackney’s real miscreants out, so our blankets, mobiles and fancy dress boxes are safe. ‘Yay, Magners me up!’

The magic descended along with the darkness and then we got a rare viewing of Romain Gravas’s video clip for ‘Stress’ by Justice. Rarer still for having its kids-get-gang-kicks controversy blasted out on a big screen with big sound. ‘So French!’ applauded the Green Fiends. ‘Morally Bankrupt,’ mumbled the Flapjack Mafia.

Then the main feature. If you’re going to give people a surprise it pays to put some quality inside the wrapping. The Warriors is pure quality. Happily shorn of arseache-inducing waffle (remember, everyone is sitting out on the ground), the characters are drawn broadly but smartly and the action is happily free of guns and big on running. It also has the most sumptuously glorious lip close-ups ever committed to film. ‘Give me more of that sticky stuff’, shrieked the Southside Pouters as the film’s DJ appeared for the last time to bring the film to a close. They were to be disappointed. The Warriors were home at last and it was time for the assorted posses in the crowd to pack up their recycling and start their own happy treks back to home turf.

Nick Dutfield

Next event: Halloween special on October 31. To sign, up, visit the Secret Cinema website.

THE NIGHTINGALES’ FILM JUKEBOX

The Nightingales

The Nightingales spent the 80s being fêted by John Peel and straining the powers of the NME superlative generator. They are probably the only band to have supported both Nico and Bo Diddley on tour and they happily held their own against ‘top comedian’ Ted Chippington and punky all-girl band We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It on the era-defining Vindaloo Records Summer Special EP (if you missed it you might be surprised to learn that 1986 WAS an era). Singer and lyricist Robert Lloyd reformed the group in 2004 and they have since released three albums. Their latest, ‘Add Insult to Injury’, was produced by Hans Joachim Irmler from krautrockers Faust. For more information, visit their MySpace or their website for the latest on tour dates and other news. Robert Lloyd guides us through his filmic influences below. NICK DUTFIELD

1- Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)
Herzog is considered an art-house director but in my opinion his eye for a story is second to none – including any of the celebrated populists. This story is simple, but mad. Aguirre leads a collection of conquistadors down the Amazon in search of El Dorado. His troops rebel, and, ravaged by power, he loses his mind and goes apeshit. The story unfolds beautifully, the filming is stunning, the soundtrack by German cosmic sorts Popol Vuh is just about perfect and the acting… well, Klaus Kinski in the lead role is one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. Herzog’s legendary best buddy and worst enemy drove the director to remark, ‘Every grey hair I have on my head I call Kinski’. Check out the Herzog documentary about their relationship and collaborations, My Best Fiend.

2- Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens (1979)
This is such a hilarious, larger-than-life look at Smalltown USA that it can be called a live-action cartoon, a grade A lampoon. Trying to describe the plot is pointless because its stories of assorted small-town dwellers are basically a collection of lust-based gags and/or platforms for glorious, self-indulgent Russ Meyer-isms. Beyond his own jokey rantings, some blinkered bullshit from his hardcore fans and some down-looking sneers from some snobby cineastes, make no mistake – Meyer is a class act, and Ultravixens is the ultimate Meyer movie for me.

3- El (1953)
Luis Buñuel is mostly celebrated for his early surrealist films or his later, relatively glossy, successes made in France. But the bulk of his work was filmed in Mexico during the 50s and early 60s, and for me this is when he made his best films, including my favourite, El. A super-witty satire on obsession, jealousy and machismo, El tells the story of Don Francisco, played with fantastic relish by Arturo de Córdova, falling in love and descending into self-inflicted madness. There is humour aplenty and many scathing snubs on orthodoxy but the tale is presented in a fairly cheesy 50s melodrama style. I prefer this simplicity to the director trying too much ‘I’m wacky me’-type clever dickery. And the zig zag scenes – you gotta see it to get it – are among my top film moments ever.

4- Happiness (1998)
I was asked to pick only 10 movies so unfortunately Marleen Gorris’s A Question of Silence (1982) – my favourite separatist feminist comedy – has to make way for my top paedophile comedy, Todd Solondz’s Happiness. Joking apart, paedophilia is only a single element of this family story. True to life, all the characters in Solondz’s dark, middle-class satire are in some way fucked up, and most are adept at fucking up others. There is no beginning, middle or end but no worries because the story gets through anyway. Occasionally, the script tries a tad too hard to be smart, but there is enough spunk, provocative ideas and laughs for the movie to work.

5- In a Year with 13 Moons (1978)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder is my number one. In ways that I don’t have time to explain he has influenced and inspired my writing more than any poet, lyricist or rock star. His artistic fertility is both amazing and affecting. My pick of his movies would probably change every other day but of the 32 creations he made in the 70s this is one of his greatest. Following the success of his first English-language film, Despair, Fassbinder seemed bound for international recognition, but his lover committed suicide and, deeply depressed, he retreated from filmmaking. He returned with this astonshing but not exactly commercial movie. 13 Moons follows Elvira – superbly played by occasional Fassbinder bit player Volker Spengler in his first starring role – as she tries to face questions of love and identity. It is a brutal but moving, funny but tragic, in-your-face melodrama, which only Fassbinder would be brave enough to attempt, let alone carry off.

6- Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
This movie is absolutely brilliant entertainment. Vaguely based around a rather tacky love story, it tells a very Hong Kong-style tale of baddies trying to fuck over some decent sorts, to which the goodies respond, etc. But the story is immaterial. The action, which rarely stops, is the backbone and bulk of the film and the action is astoundingly good. It is genuinely original, wild, often hilarious and fantastically choreographed and filmed. As a big fan of martial arts movies, from the raw to the graceful, I must say this is, for me, the top of the lot. Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle is a must-see… again and again.

7- M (1931)
Just about my favourite actor is Peter Lorre and M is his first major role. He’s a motive-free, meaningless child killer in this paranoid film by the godfather of German expressionism, Fritz Lang. Often filmed from above, it feels like we are looking down on the grim, doom-laden chaos as cops and criminals – pissed by the new level of police presence on the streets – plot the capture of Lorre. Following a superbly structured chase and capture, we get one of cinema’s finest trial scenes. In the early part of the build-up, I like the way so much of the action is off-screen, leaving detail, but not event, to our imagination. Brilliantly lit and with imaginative sound ideas (the ‘Peter And The Wolf’-esque whistling refrain to notify coming menace has since become a mainstream ploy), this diligent but adventurous film set the standard for future screen psychopaths and tells us much about hysteria and mob mentality.

8- Occasional Work of a Female Slave (1973)
Without doubt my favourite abortion comedy. Alexander Kluge is one of the more intellectual types of New German Cinema. Perhaps because his work is the result of concepts and political theories rather than instinctive filmmaking he is one of the more overlooked directors from the late 60s new wave of German directors. However, his films – Occasional Work in particular – are terrific and far more satisfying than, for example, the more celebrated, American-ised, often wishy-washy, fare that Wim Wenders knocks out. Even though it is a bit shabby around the edges, Occasional Work is a mini-masterpiece. The story revolves around Roswitha – played by Kluge’s sister Alexandra – a housewife, mother and part-time abortionist whose repressive circumstances lead her to take singular action against… well, just about everyone. Roswitha’s hopeless verve and her trials and tribulations are unsentimentally portrayed with no small amount of wit. This is a rarely shown movie, and it is many years since I last saw it, but it still remains strong in the memory.

9- Strangers on a Train (1951)
I don’t know if this is Hitchcock’s finest film – the rarely seen Rich and Strange is a belter, and film buffs would list any number of other contenders – but it is a really cracking movie. The story, adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, is classic in its simplicity. Two men meet on a train – Guy, a sane, famous-ish tennis player looking for divorce from his unwilling wife, jokes that he wishes his spouse was dead. Bruno, a friendly psychopath, feels the same about his hated father and suggests they murder each other’s problems. Guy imagines this suggestion is a joke until Bruno carries out his half of the deal. When, in Bruno’s eyes, Guy bottles his half of the ‘contract’, Bruno tries to frame Guy for the murder of his wife. Bruno’s effort, Guy’s awkward denial and the ensuing turmoil lead to a giddy climax. Fantastic performances, several brilliant, memorable individual scenes and Hitchcock’s visual panache and sense of fun make this creepy, amoral and very funny movie a gem.

10- The Hairdresser’s Husband (1990)
When push comes to shove, Patrice Leconte’s Hairdresser’s Husband is the one I’d put forward as my all-time favourite film. The titular character, Antoine, played to perfection by Jean Rochefort, follows his boyhood fixation with a female hairdresser, who commits suicide, by, much later, fulfilling his ambition of marrying a hairdresser when he meets the beautiful Mathilde. The pair are gloriously in love and lead the happiest of lives together. The basic story is simple, sexy and for the most part joyous and delightful. Antoine’s dancing to his other love (Middle Eastern music), the couple getting shit-faced on hair tonics, their constant adoring looks at each other, the homemade swimming trunks… so much enchanting stuff captured with real brio by Leconte – an underrated director whose every film is a genre-hopper. This movie is a real beaut. Once you’ve seen it and fallen in love with it, try the same director’s Ridicule, then work your way through his others.

DISCOVERING LATIN AMERICA 7: FESTIVAL REPORT

Lion's Den

Photo from Lion’s Den (Leonera)
Discovering Latin America 7

27 November – 7 December 2008

Website

It takes some guts to make a film where the closest anyone gets to resolution is a dead body being re-interred after its 10 years of settled decomposition are interrupted by the lease on the plot coming up. This is just one of the dangling elements that make up Andrés Wood’s engaging and intimate examination of life in the city of Santiago de Chile, The Good Life (La Buena vida).

Even the corpse only gets another 10 years’ peace. There are always negotiations pending for Wood’s characters. They are allowed development but no conclusions, drama but no dénouement. Not that they are casual drifters; their desires and ambitions are concrete forces driving them on but life keeps turning solidity to haziness and even death doesn’t offer finality.

The Good Life was just one notable achievement on display at the 2008 Discovering Latin America Film Festival. As a triumph of imagination and resourcefulness over obvious budgetary limits it is perhaps fairly typical of the best films coming out of South America. Pablo Trapero’s prison drama Lion’s Den (Leonera), on the other hand, could never be described as typical or limited in any way. It’s a film that delivers the best you can expect from cinema, a totally absorbing emotional experience. In contrast to The Good Life, Lion’s Den focuses entirely on one character, Julia, a 25-year-old student who wakes up with blood on her shoulder and two bodies slumped in her flat and proceeds to travel, pregnant, through the Argentine legal system. Martina Gusman’s performance as Julia is astonishing. She begins as a blank and is progressively more vividly outlined as the film unfolds. It’s an emotional journey without clichés or superfluous sentiment. Trapero makes full use of his prison locations, hovering over their spaces, letting the stillness speak for the agonising passing of time and coaxing a curious mixture of cosiness and frustration from the children’s section to which Julia’s pregnancy grants her access. After the birth of her son, we get one magically incongruous scene of the prison’s brightly lit night-time serenity interrupted by the baby’s cries and the consequent howling chorus of fellow infant inmates.

Lion’s Den was the highlight of this year’s DLAFF for this writer. The festival has grown considerably over the seven years of its existence. This year, there were 21 feature films and seven documentaries shown at seven London locations. It is now the most significant opportunity there is to see South American films in the UK, an especially remarkable achievement considering the festival is run entirely by volunteers. They even manage to donate a proportion of ticket sales to a chosen charity each year. This year’s beneficiary was Progressio, a group working with women suffering from AIDS and HIV in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Other notable screenings included the UK premiere of Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman (La Mujer sin cabeza), a film that has divided critics following its appearances on the festival circuit, and Rodrigo Plá’s account of the Cristiada rebellion in 1920s Mexico, The Desert Within (Desierto adentro). I also enjoyed Espectro (Al final del espectro), a spooky thriller from Colombia that cleverly exploits its claustrophobic setting, and A Gastronomy Story (Estí³mago), a quirky and mischievous study of human appetites and weaknesses.

Nick Dutfield

COLOMBIAGE 08

Bluff

Colombiage 08

16-19 october 2008

Riverside Studios, London

Colombiage website

With a whole weekend of talks, music, food and literature to take in, cinema was just one part of this Colombian cultural festival based at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. The event began in 2007 and aims to display the richness of contemporary Colombian arts.

The film programme reflected the growing strength of Colombian film production. Directed by Felipe Martí­nez and a massive success in its home country, Bluff was a confident comedy/thriller with an inventive plot and some neat twists. There may be a Hollywood genre at the bottom of this but the film drew life from local nuances and a colloquial flavour and in that respect recalled Nine Queens from Argentina. In Bluff we got a nice line in insouciant cruelty from the soap opera diva Alexandra (Catalina Aristizábal), plus a great performance from Luis Eduardo Arango as the petulant and impulsive detective Walter Montes.

Felipe Guerrero’s documentary, Paraí­so, demonstrated a different kind of confidence. Presenting images of Colombia stripped of context and commentary, it relied on the strength of the imagery and its abstracted soundtrack. This dislocated and poetic approach evoked overpowering aromas of pain, memory and humour, especially in its wry spoken conclusion.

Other films shown at the event included the highly recommended Wandering Shadows (La Sombra del caminante), the 2004 debut of director of Ciro Guerra, and Satanas, an exploration of morality and human behaviour based on the novel by Mario Mendez.

Certainly Columbiage was a triumph in terms of presenting film from this often-neglected, or at least misrepresented, country. It was also the perfect appetiser for the Discovering Latin America film festival which kicks off in London on November 27.

Nick Dutfield

The Discovering Latin America film festival runs from November 27 to December 11 in London. For more details, visit the DLA website.

CHRISTY AND EMILY’S JUKEBOX

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.

CHRISTY

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.

CHRISTY AND EMILY:

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.

EMILY:

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.

CRAZY GIRL’S JUKEBOX

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’S FILM JUKEBOX

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.

A Deviant View of Cinema – Features, Essays & Interviews