Q+A  :  PERSONAL  :  ENTERTAINMENT - film / television / theatre


I'm a film student in my junior year at the Pennsylvania State University and I have to pitch an experimental film treatment in the next few weeks. I would love to use some of the music from 'Unsound Methods' as a soundtrack and I was wondering how hard would it be to obtain permission and how would I go about doing it?

As long as it's not for commercial use, you have my permission to use it.

Do you get the show 'Married With Children'? If so, what's your opinion?

Never seen it.

Kirk or Picard?


I found a 1983 article about you and it says that you would have started a film making career if you hadn't found a music business job. Is this true and did you have concrete plans?

No - I never had any plans of that nature.

So have you and Hep seen "Four Weddings And A Funeral?" I really enjoyed it. I thought it was charming with a good contrast of felicity and melancholy.

It was watchable but I don't really like 'romantic comedies'.

What does Hep think of the film?


Your music is fabulous and instrumentally it seems to tell a story. Would you ever plan on working on a soundtrack to a film?

I'd consider it if something really interesting came along.

Do you go to any West End shows? Have you seen 'Rent'? If so what did you think? If not - go see it!

I hate musicals I'm afraid, so no, I haven't seen it.

Have you ever seen 'The Tenant' by Roman Polanski? If not, do it!!! It's so obscure and strange and VERY spooky....

Yes. I like it along with most of his films. 'Rosemary's Baby' - brilliant.

Have you ever seen films by Lars Von Trier ('Breaking The Waves',
'The Kingdom', 'The Idiots' etc.) ?


What do you think of Lynch's movies?

'Blue Velvet' was brilliant, I really liked 'Twin Peaks-Fire Walk With Me', 'Wild At Heart' was ok but I was very disappointed with 'Lost Highway'..... seems like perhaps there's a trend forming here, wouldn't you say?

Have you ever been asked by a director to make a soundtrack? If so, what directors?

I haven't had any decent offers as yet but if Ethen or Joel Coen are interested......

What do you think of the Eurythmics' soundtrack to the film '1984'?

I remember 'Sex Crime' but I don't really know the rest of the album.

Which ending did you prefer to 'A Clockwork Orange'- Kubrick's or Burgess's?

I would always back the writer's ending.

Knowing me, Alan Partridge, Knowing You, Alan Wilder, Ah-ha!

Knowing me, Alan Wilder, Knowing You, Mr P. Nesshead, Ah-ha!

As one famous Alan to another, I would like to take this opportunity to ask you some questions (for that is what I, Alan Partridge, do [ask questions])

3 words, 'People ARE People.' What a great lyric. One of which, I'm sure you are justly proud. What does it mean?

It means exactly that - People ARE people, not bears or wallabies. I think that says a lot.

What's your opinion on the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Center?

It's scandalous. I like cars - especially the Rover Vitesse with beige leather interior, sporty spoiler, extra passenger airbag, auto reverse cassette and interior map light - much handier for getting from A to B than walking. Who wants to walk everywhere when there are appointments and schedules to meet. It's stupid, just stupid.

You rock-stars seem to live a life of utter debauchery. Booze, pills, groupies thrown out of hotel windows. Ha-ha. I'm joking of course. But seriously, there must have been some wild times. Did you ever go to a show-biz orgy? And did you ever see 2 girls kissing?

I remember one particular night at the Travel Tavern, Stoke. I don't think I can go into detail but it went on until 1.20 a.m.

If you HAD to make love to a man, who would you choose?

Errrghhh.......there's no call for that. Not that I have anything against nancy.... ...pansi.........or, indeed Bangkok ladyboys (did you see the sequel?). They look just like girls, don't they? Easy mistake to make in a dark alley or bar or something ......er... ......which I've heard they have in some parts of the oriental world....... ....mmm.... a w**k, I think.

And finally, the big question : will you ever return to Spandau Ballet?

So true....funny how it seems....always out of tune ....and never in time....
Why do I find it hard to write the next line?


Alan Partridge


Jimmy Tarbuck

P.S. My show, 'Up with the Partridge' (4 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Radio Norwich) broadcasts to East Anglia and parts of Suffolk. Your music belongs in my slot. Just something for you to think about...

Well, it has been described as 'dark and moist' so maybe it's found its home at last. You and I are obviously similar in many ways - you're an Alan in the media world and I'm an Alan in the musical world....Two Alan's.....Alan and Alan....sounds like a drink, doesn't it? Cheers. "Yes thank you Mr. Bar-steward, I'd like a double Alan Top please, and easy on the ice, I'm not a penguin you know!" I'll happily send you a signed 'to Alan from Alan' photo for your studio wall, as long as I get a blazer-badge and tie combination set in return. A-ha!

Have you an opinion on the thing that is 'South Park'?

I haven't seen it.

Did you even consider appearing on the Live version of 'Shooting Stars' and are you a fan of the TV version?

I thought about it for about 3 seconds before deciding that I wouldn't be doing it. I did watch the TV show on occasion but aside from one or two funny moments, it left me unamused. I actually saw the live version along with 'The Fast Show' at Hammersmith Apollo and whilst 'The Fast Show' was well thought out, translated perfectly live and was brilliantly funny, 'Shooting Stars' managed to fall flat on it's face. In fact, it was embarrassing - seems I made the right decision.

Eastenders, Coronation Street or Emmerdale?

None of the above. I've got my own personal soap opera - it's called life. Actually quite recently I made myself sit through an entire episode of Eastenders for the first (and last) time. It was moronic.

As we can see from your DM videos, you are all actually great actors. Have you ever considered doing a movie? Would you maybe do it if you got an offer, and which character would you play if you had the option?

Don't be daft - making pop videos does not suddenly elevate you into the position of actor. It takes training and natural ability and I possess neither. You won't be seeing me in 'The Godfather 4'. Hep, on the other hand........

Same question to Hep:

My answer would be the same as Charlie's. Although I demonstrated my acting ability in the hugely successful 'Soul Of The Demon' (or 'Demon Soul' as I've heard it called), I hardly think wearing a transparent dress, fake fangs and rolling around with 3 other girls qualifies me for an Oscar.......

Seems to me that your clear articulation and pleasant tone render you perfect for instructional narration. Say, nature films ("Here we see the chipmunk tucked away in his winter nest.") or books on tape ("It was a dark and stormy night ...).

Would you give it your consideration?

Depends on the subject - I don't do birds or plants, they're too boring. Maybe I could do a kids programme like Ringo Starr (Thomas The Tank Engine)....

What kind of movies do you like? Any favourites?

Favourite directors - Coen brothers, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Mike Leigh, Scorcese ('Goodfellas' ), Lynch, Roeg and many more.

What was your favourite TV show in the 80's?

'Comic Strip Presents...'

I was wondering around the Internet Movie Database today and came across the name 'Hepzibah Sessa' as being in a movie called 'Demonsoul'. Just wondering if this is you?

Hep's reply:

Myself and Katherine (the lead vocalist for Miranda Sex Garden) were asked by a friend of ours (a notorious ligger called Johnny) to play vampires in a film called 'Soul Of The Demon' - a B-movie Horror. To give you an idea of how dreadful it was, Johnny had conveniently landed the role of a man who has to wear nothing but a leather thong and get molested by rampant, female bloodsuckers...As you would imagine, he described it as a very demanding role ;-) I've never seen it.

Given that you like 'Twin Peaks', did you ever get the chance to see the series? 

Yes, I saw every episode. I've got them all on video.

We have observed your fondness for the works of the Paul Whitehouse team.. Which other comedy or TV shows get the Wilder thumbs-up?

Fawlty Towers, Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge etc.), Father Ted, Harry Enfield, Bill Bailey, Harry Hill (although he's can be a bit hit or miss), Comic Strip, Ali G, League of Gentlemen......

Have you seen 'Seven' or 'The Game' and what did you think of Howard Shore's scores for these films?

I liked 'Seven' very much as a film and thought the music was ok.

Which actors and directors do you find to be most interesting and which one of them have had the greatest influence on you personally and on your work?

See above for favourite directors. As for actors / actresses; Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper (although he's done some dreadful films), Harvey Keitel, Ralph Fiennes ('Schindler's List' in particular) and also some of the those people who are not so well known - Romy Schneider, Miranda Richardson, the bloke who plays the husband in Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' (John Cassavetes - ? Is this right?), Alison Steadman, Pete Postlethwaite, Timothy Spall, Kathy Burke. ...there are many more that I can't think of now.

What is your opinion on the films of director Abel Ferrara, with whom both Christopher Walken and Harvey Keitel have done some of their best work? I was glad to see they are some of your favourite actors as they are mine as well. What do you consider to be their best films?

I thought 'Bad Lieutenant' was brilliant and the Christopher Walken / Dennis Hopper scene from 'True Romance' is one of my favourites.

Do you like 'Wallace and Gromit'? Nick Park's work is incredible.

Er, it's not really my cup of tea but then again I've never been interested enough to sit through a whole film.

Have you seen James Cameron's 'Titanic'? What are your thoughts (and Hep's too) on the film, James Horner's soundtrack and the overall treatment of the tragedy?

I prefer the French and Saunders version.

Do you watch 'The X-files' sometimes?

I've only ever watched one episode of the X-files - that should give you an idea of what I thought of it....

Have you ever heard Badalamenti's soundtrack for 'The City Of Lost Children' and/or seen the film (Jeunet and Caro, 1995)?

No I haven't but I'm very interested in anything Badalamenti's done. I'll look out for it.

As a David Lynch fan, you must be aware of the similarities of the Eno mixes of 'I Feel You' to Lynch's song 'The Pink Room' - used in an incredible scene from 'Fire Walk With Me' - even down to the same snare sound. Which one came first? Did Lynch borrow from Eno or vice-versa? What do you think of Lynch's (as opposed to Badalamenti's) music?

Yes, they are very similar, aren't they? 'The Pink Room' was released before 'I Feel you' so Lynch couldn't have borrowed it. The fact that Lynch is interested enough to make music at all is rare for a film director. Perhaps he should concentrate even more on music since 'Lost Highway';-)

I read in the Q+A archives that you like the films of Mike Leigh. I saw most of his films in the 'art-house' cinema I worked in and I actually found the movies to have a rather contemptuous attitude towards the characters. I'm thinking of everyone in 'Life Is Sweet' and the white daughter in 'Secrets And Lies'. I don't know anything about English society, being a "septic", but these characters in an American film would be referred to as 'white trash'. Many people in the States say it is a "sympathetic view" of English lower class but I personally didn't get that at all. Have you ever had a similar reaction? Also, have you ever seen any of Ken Loach's films which often look at working class life, such as 'Riff-Raff' and 'My Name Is Joe'? How relevant and realistic are these?

They are incredibly relevant, realistic, important, funny, brilliant social commentary films which tell you masses about the British classes and the humour and tension which their unique differences provide. Leigh's films are not just about the working classes, nor are they judgmental. Yes, there can be contempt shown but also warmth and curiosity, often all towards the same characters depending on their actions. These are the kind of films the British make better than anyone else. We have a great ability to laugh at ourselves and see the absurdity and sadness and the good in our culture. Another great comedy satire which appeared recently is 'The Royle Family' which comes from a similar angle.

Have you ever heard Badalamenti's soundtrack for 'The City Of Lost Children' and/or seen the film (Jeunet and Caro, 1995)?

No I haven't but I'm very interested in anything Badalamenti's done. I'll look out for it.

Just watched 'Secrets Of The Dead' again and spotted the excerpts from 'Liquid' that form the title theme: 'Breath Control' and 'Vertigen' (I think?) Only a slight con I guess putting on those track samples from the (then) forthcoming album instead of new tunes. However, I wanted to ask whether you couldn't have got Channel 4 to credit you in the titles for the music; and what you thought of the series? Isn't it a bit of a pain when the music writers for these programmes only get cursory credit (in most cases)?

I was commissioned by Intro and had to come up with something very fast since it was all very last minute. That is why I used aspects of 'Breath Control' (not 'Vertigen'). Anyway, Channel 4 didn't pay enough to receive totally exclusive material:-) The music was part of the package they received from Intro who probably didn't even tell them who actually provided the music. I didn't even notice Intro being credited for the visuals. I thought the series was a bit hit and miss. I enjoyed the Hindenburg episode and the two-part programme about Krakatoa's explosion around 500 AD which caused a mini dark age.

I just watched the US broadcast of 'Secrets Of The Dead'. I like the opening music - very strange and macabre with the images of dead flowers etc. However, it sounds much different than the clip on the Recoil site. Also, the credits don't list your name at all. Can you explain this?

David obviously saw the UK re-run which did include my intro music while you have seen the US version which it seems (I have subsequently discovered) had the title music changed. I have no idea why.

I just saw the Eurovision Song Contest, so I hope you got any comments on this happening especially on WADDE HADDE DUDDE DA!!! ? Do you NOW think that Germans got a kind of humour??? :)))

A kind of humour? Certainly. Just not my kind :-)

I will for sure not comment on the European song contest where 2 middle aged fat looking men won. However, If you want the single I could send you one - there's a masochist in us all you know :-)

I refer you to my prior answer a few months ago regarding Denmark's contribution to the history of pop music - I rest my case, me lud.

Is it true you will produce some music for the next Jane Campion movie?

The instrumental version of 'Jezebel' is scheduled to be used in a film called 'The Monkey's Mask' which is being made by Campion's production company. That's all I know at the moment.

I was just wondering, since you expressed interest in combining your music with visual images, have you given any thought to a performance along the lines of 'Industrial Symphony #1'? Your theme of a plane crash and the affects thereafter are already in place and with the spoken word performers on the 'Chrome' roster, perhaps a stage production would give it a more intense feel ( and cost a lot less) than a motion picture endeavour.

Would I have to become a theatrical 'luvvie'?

What do you think of Woody Allens movies?

I like Woody Allen a lot - he's one of my favourite directors. I recently saw 'Deconstructing Harry' which is brilliant. I'm rather partial to 'Husbands And Wives', 'Broadway Danny Rose' and 'Crimes And Misdemeanours'.

Comment on the following:

The actor, Tim Roth

I like his work generally. 'Made In Britain' - a classic.

Don't get it.

The Canadian sketch-comedy series, 'The Kids in the Hall'

Pile of shite.

The movie, 'Jurassic Park'

Clever special FX, silly story.

I notice on Paris' website that you got the Ali G video for Xmas - wicked!!! I assume you are a fan of the boy from Staines? Is there any particular interview that tickles your funny bone?

Maximum respect !! My favourite so far was his inquisition of a top scientist regarding infinity. "Wha' is right, da smallist fing ever........is i' smaller than sand? etc....and the following to a leading Ulster Democratic Unionist:

"Why is everyone cussing the RAC? It ain't their fault if they don't come on time or whatever. Why is they using a breakdown service as police?"

Did you know he was a Cambridge graduate? Boyakasha!

I recently read that DM rejected the chance to perform and write the theme song for the new Bond movie 'The world Is Not Enough'. Obviously they would have received a lot of publicity if they had done it and I think it was a big mistake rejecting it. If you were a member of DM now, what would you have said about it? Are you a bond fan?

I really don't know whether this is true Már - I've also seen it mentioned but to be perfectly honest I doubt very much that they were really approached. Would I do it now? Er, not sure. Yes, it gives one good profile but it's all a bit 'cheesy' don't you think?

I was just wondering if you ever have visual images running through your head that you know would combine well with the music of Recoil? I am implying that you could create an original film or concept video around your music or perhaps even a film/live musical performance and not merely a 'music video' for a song. 

In principle a good idea and something, co-incidentally, that has been on my mind recently. Rather than a 'live gig' as such (which I don't think would suit Recoil), some kind of visual performance / film with, say, remixed music could be a way that Recoil could tour. The problems: How do you finance the making of essentially a feature length film without compromising greatly? I wouldn't be prepared to fund something like that myself and I doubt whether I could get the financial backing for such a large project.

With this craze of the 'Blair Witch Project' and the idea of low-budget film-making having more of an impact on the viewer than glossy productions, what's your take on this?

I'm all for it. I don't know anything about the 'Blair Witch Project' but it never ceases to amaze me how Hollywood can pile so many millions into complete dross. More money doesn't equal better production. Give me cheap European independent cinema any day.

As for home entertainment, is it big screen with surround sound, DVD, HDTV, and an acoustically balanced living room? Is there a central couch that you and Hep share or perhaps you have his/her dual recliners strategically positioned to maximise listening and viewing range?

Recliners? What, in tan leather with matching mock-mahogany TV dinner tray and optional winching mechanism to assist extraction from said chair Nah mate, recliners are an American invention...;-)

Hep and I like to lounge on a huge leather sofa covered in crumbs and yoghurt, while a small child pokes us with tennis rackets and asks why we want to watch a boring documentary when Dexter's Lab. is on the other side.....

Have you heard of the TV show (on MTV) Celebrity Deathmatch? A friend of mine suggested that a match between DM (past or present) and Duran Duran would be interesting. Who do you think would win?

Er, it would probably be a draw. I'm sure Mode have the upper hand with our lethal hair styles: My rock-solid loaf cut on it's own could take-out a man at 50 paces and I doubt the Duranies could protect themselves sufficiently with those Farrah Fawcett locks. However, we'd be no match for some of their shoulder pads and sharp white suits.

Alan, do you know who the actor Linus Roache is? If so, have you noticed that the two of you bear quite a striking resemblance?

I thought you all reckoned it was David Duchovney? Don't know who Linus Roache is.

I was wondering, that Miranda Richardson woman you always talk about, is that the actress who plays the part of the queen in Black Adder?

Absolutely. But don't gauge her sexiness on the strength of that - check out something like 'Dance With A Stranger'.

Are you a fan of Gary Oldman's work?

Barring one or two big buster Hollywood follies, yes, he's a fine actor and a promising director as well, it seems. I saw 'Nil By Mouth' the other day - quite impressive if a little over long.

Are you a Hitchcock fan? Any thoughts on the 'Psycho' remake? (My opinion: Gus Van Sant = the Puff Daddy of the film industry)

Yes I am a Hitchcock fan. 'Psycho' remake? - Pointless exercise on a hiding to nothing.

Have you seen Woody Allen's 'Celebrity' yet? I saw it just the other day and I have to say it was good yet unfulfilling as far as his films go.

I haven't seen it yet.

Do you get the animated sitcom, 'The Simpsons' in England? If so, do you ever watch it?

I don't go out of my way to watch it but whenever I do, it usually amuses me. I think it's very well written.

Channel 4's 'Countdown', boring and mind numbing or interesting and stimulating?

Too early in the afternoon. I'm only familiar with Rory Bremner's version which is quite stimulating.

Have you seen this Italian movie called 'Life Is Beautiful' from Roberto Benigno? It's one of the most beautiful movies I've seen and won a prize in the last Cannes festival.

No, I haven't seen it but I'll probably catch up with it sooner or later.

A few of my favourite Davids are Lynch and Cronenberg. Given your interest in medical equipment, you might, er, enjoy watching Cronenberg's movie 'Dead Ringers' which is about twin gynaecologists who decide women are all 'wrong' inside requiring 'special equipment' to fix them up......... have you seen any Cronenberg movies?

I have seen 'Dead Ringers'. Not a great favourite with most women I know but I quite enjoyed it. Did he direct the remake of 'The Fly'?. 'Videodrome' was another of his as well, I believe. All a bit silly, don't you think? Actually, one of his very early films made in the 70's used to scare me shitless (I can't remember the title - could be 'Shivers'). It is about a sausage-like alien which transfers itself from person to person via their various orifices.

Both Davids seem to have one thing in common, apart from making seriously weird movies: they always use the same guy to write the music. You have mentioned you like the way Badalamenti's music compliments Lynch's imagery and mood, well, I think exactly the same about Cronenberg and Howard Shore. What is your opinion on Howard Shore's work?

He obviously doesn't leave a big impression on me. I can't remember any of it.

How do you find 'Blade Runner'? It's my favourite movie, one of the finest movies of this century!

I'm not sure I'd go that far but I do like it (and the music). It has a great atmosphere.

What do you think of gore films?

I can take very gruesome images without problem but I lose interest if it's purely gratuitous.

Do you like Peter Greenaway's films? Any favourites?

Yes. They're hard work sometimes but visually stunning and I love Nyman's music. Favourites: 'Z and Two Noughts', 'The Cook, The Thief' etc...

Did you go and see Vinnie Jones (QPR's hardman) in 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'? Is he a better actor on the pitch?

Yes, I saw the film recently. It's excellent. A bit rough around the edges, flawed in many areas but highly entertaining in a sort of cheap English Tarantino style. Jones was surprisingly ok - though he was playing a mindless thug so not the most taxing role for him. Still, better than Sting, Bowie and the rest...

Would you go on the music TV show 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' if invited?

Er....don't know. Considering their love of parody and the media's general misconceptions about DM, they'd probably see me as a perfect candidate for the 'shagged out old rocker who used to be famous once but noone remembers who he is now' guest. I've got all the right credentials - apparently I'm from Basildon, my name's Andy Corbijn, I'm a manic-depressive goth and a raving poofta who used to wear black leather miniskirts.

Thoughts on Monty Python?

Classic.....innovative .....ministry of silly walks.....The Lumberjack Song........ "allo, Mrs. Cut out......

What do you think of the Star Wars movies?

I've never watched one.

Note from Hep: Yes, I know it's bizarre....how can you never have seen Star Wars!?!!

Greta Sacchi (not sure your spelling was correct if it's who I'm thinking of!) Best Actress? A judgement based wholly on talent then? ;-)

As it happens, she's not a bad actress either.

We all know that you are a David Lynch fan but I have a multiple choice question for you that separates the true fans from the mere pikers.

The four hour version of 'DUNE' is on television. Do you:

A. Fire up about five spliffs and space out on it awhile

B. Go to bed

I watch a few minutes of it so I can have a good laugh at Sting, then go to bed.

I'm writing this script for a movie but it's in the VERY early stages so don't worry about it for a few years. It's looking very good and I wanted to know how would I get the rights to use Recoil or Mode music in the soundtrack? And could I call it 'Unsound Methods'?

I wouldn't worry too much about the music yet.... come back and ask me when you've got a budget, some actors and a distribution deal. Oh, and you'd better brush up on your spelling if you're going to sell your script to Paramount;-)


Q+A  :  PERSONAL  :  ENTERTAINMENT - film / television / theatre