Chris & Jonny’s Filmhouse Watch List 12.05.20

Chris & Jonny’s Filmhouse Watch List 12.05.20

Friday 12th June 2020

Whilst the world is on pause and your Filmhouse Sunderland visits aren’t possible, we’re keeping the independent cinema flag flying with our new weekly watch lists from Chris & Jonny, the people behind the project.  

Each Friday, we’ll post a list of four films that are currently available across BBC iPlayer, All4, Netflix and Amazon Prime that we think you should seek out.  

This week’s selection is…

The Farewell (PG) (2019) (Amazon Prime)

Lulu Wang’s warm and affecting comedy drama racked up accolades and excellent reviews galore on its release in 2019, particularly for its lead actress Awkwafina, who made history by becoming the first Asian-American to win the Golden Globe award for best actress. The film follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved Grandmother has only a short while left to live, decide to keep her in the dark and schedule an impromptu wedding to gather together before she passes. New Yorker Billi (Awkwafina) is a fish out of water in her home country, having moved to the US at the age of 6. Struggling with the family’s decision to hide the truth from her grandmother, she must reconcile her own grief, culture and tradition as the wedding draws near….

Minding The Gap (15) (2018) (BBC IPlayer) 

Epic. Heart-breaking. Personal. One of the greatest documentaries of recent years, this unsparing film from director Bing Liu uses footage shot over a period of 12 years to trace the lives of he and two skater friends in their small hometown of Rockford, Illinois. 23-year-old Zack’s turbulent relationship with his girlfriend deteriorates when the couple become parents; 17-year-old Keire tries to reconcile his racial identity following the death of his father, and Liu himself, trying to balance his role as filmmaker with telling the stories of his friends, explores the darker secrets of his own family. Part study of skateboarding culture, part ode to blue-collar America and part exploration of the impact of hard upbringings and toxic masculinity, Minding The Gap is a terrific film.

The Night Eats The World (15) (2018) (Netflix)

Atmospheric and minimalist, this unsettling French horror film lurches into the crowded genre of the zombie flick and carves out a niche of its very own. After a particularly raucous party at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie, Oslo, August 31) wakes up to find the building empty and the streets of Paris teeming with the undead. Barricading the door of the block, he harvests food and weapons and beds himself in for the long haul. However, just as loneliness threatens his sanity, Sam finds out that he isn’t alone…

Embrace Of The Serpent (12A) (2015) (All4)

The first Colombian film to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Language category, Embrace of the Serpent is the story of Karamakate, a shaman in the Colombian Amazon guiding two quests for a rare healing plant decades apart. Filmed in luminous black and white, the film’s script references the journals of the real-life explorers and botanists Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes, telling fictionalised versions of their expeditions. Offering the story from the perspective of the indigenous tribespeople, Embrace Of the Serpent is both condemnation of colonialism and celebration of diminishing cultures. 

Mythical, mesmerising and transportive, it is unmissable.

We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!

See you next week,

Chris & Jonny

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