Saturday, 1 May 2010

An Interview with Adele Bethel

Some of you may not know who Adele Bethel is.

That is not a good thing.

In a perfect world her band "Sons and Daughters" would be on every teenage girls iPod and she would occupy the space on their walls currently filled with Lady GaGa or Premiership footballers. She is the sort of girl every young girl should want to be like and the sort of girl every boy should want as a girlfriend.


Strikingly individual.



A degree in Film and Television/English Lit (which makes her better qualified to be doing this blog than me).

Makes you sick doesn't it?

Only joking...she's brilliant and so are her band.

Want proof...take a look at this.

As a fan of "Sons and Daughters" since their debut album "Love the Cup" and as someone who would really like a girlfriend just like her I thought I would chance my arm and use my position as the worlds premier film blogger (that's what I told her anyway...don't tell her that it's only me and my mum who actually read this) to persuade her to answer a few questions about films. It worked and here she is.

The photograph at the top of this article is you standing underneath the "Mulholland Drive" sign; clearly you know a bit about films and film history. You are also a woman who has managed to find success in an industry that is notoriously supportive of sexist attitudes. Which female character from film would you be and why?

"I am Annie Hall so it would have to be that role. Her character is so close to home it’s uncomfortable. I could just play myself as the neurotic, wine drinking, Sylvia Plath obsessed, romantic singer who is terrified of spiders!"

What about the first record you bought which was, I believe, "Prince Charming" by Adam and the Ants, who would you like to have play your Prince charming in the film of your life?

"Leonard Cohen is my dream man, has been for many years. I would run off with him now at the drop of his fedora. Don’t know if he can act but that doesn’t bother me. I also love James Spader and his haunting dead eyes!"

I've got to be honest here...I was hoping that, even out of politeness, Adele might have said "You of course...ha, ha, ha" and then given her real answer. If she had I could have told all of my friends that I'm Adele Bethels Prince charming. She didn't though and I'll just to live with it. Less honest "journalists" would just have said that she did say it...not me though.

You've talked in the past of your love of "Blue Velvet", which strikes a chord with me because it's also one of my favourite films. It's a dark and unsettling film which also, famously, features some very challenging scenes involving the female characters. What is it about "Blue Velvet" that you enjoy?

"I’ve always been drawn into stories where there is something very dark underlying the daily routine. The opening shots of "Blue Velvet" are incredible in that sense. Perhaps it’s paranoia but you never know what is going on next door."

I've asked almost everyone I've interviewed for the blog which films they would choose if they could programme a day at the cinema. What about you? If you could show five films at the GFT for one day only what would they be and why?

"Well, these aren’t necessarily my five favourites...I haven’t chosen anything in black and white even though some of my favourites are black and white films. Cinema is all about colour for me, black and white movies are for a rainy afternoon in front of the tv.

“The Wizard of Oz” as it’s the first film I fell in love with. I was 5 years old. I learned every line and would torture my poor parents by re-enacting the entire film. I love the look of old technicolour, it’s beautiful.

“Vertigo” as it was the first film I saw as a teenager which made me realize how amazing cinema could be and the first time the phrase ‘on the edge of your seat’ made sense to me.

“Suspiria” as I think it just looks incredible. I’m a huge fan of Dario Argento and Giallo cinema in general.

“Valerie”, a film I only recently discovered. It’s just incredible looking, surreal, nightmarish, creepy and dreamlike. I actually chose it for the Monorail film club and it was shown at the GFT. Sadly, I was on tour at the time and never got a chance to catch it.

“Blue Velvet”, it’s my all time favourite and so visually stunning."

We are both fans of Morrissey (Sons and Daughters supported him in 2006) and he is an artist who also has a huge love of cinema. He never misses an opportunity to mention some of the films he loves in interviews or in lyrics. "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning", "A Taste of Honey" and "Billy Liar" all being examples. Which of the Morrissey approved films is your favourite and what is it that you enjoy about it?

"I love the fact Morrissey turned me on to so much cinema. I have to say that as much as I love all of the above, I think ‘The Leather Boys’ might be the one I like the most at this point. I managed to get it a couple of years ago on DVD and watched it every day for an entire tour. Scott from the band loved it too so we would go and find greasy spoon cafes and drink tea in our biker jackets and pretend we were in the movie! Sad."

Finally Adele what music would you have playing over the opening and closing credits of the "Adele Bethel Story" movie?

"Well, as unlikely a prospect of such a film being made (thanks Paul, you’re very sweet) I’d have “Sunday Girl” by Blondie to open and “Paint a Vulgar Picture” by The Smiths to end."

Real journalist don't really do this very often, if at all, in case they are accused of sycophancy but as this is my blog I can do what I like so here goes...

I want to thank you for agreeing to answer these questions for me as I've been an enormous fan of "Sons and Daughters" since you first arrived and it's been an enormous thrill for me to have had this chance to "speak" with you. Thank you so much for this and for "Sons and Daughters".

"No problem at all, it’s nice to answer decent questions once in a while!"

MyFilms...home of decent questions. Adele Bethel said so...and I couldn't be any happier!

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