Chris & Jonny’s Film (in the) House Watch List
Friday 26th 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 Battle Of Algiers (15) (1966) (Amazon Prime)
Gillo Pontecorvo’s true-life account of the Algerian people’s fight to overthrow French colonial rule is so shockingly relevant years beyond its release that the Pentagon held a screening in 2003 to aid with its strategizing on counter-terrorism. Banned on release in France and discussed for the 50+ years since its creation, it’s simply one of the greatest films of all time. Told in flashback, the film recounts the memories of Ali, a leading member of the Algerian Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), when captured by the French in 1957. The film spins back three years, to when he joined the struggle, and his rise from petty crook to leader and assassin.
I Am Not Your Negro (12A) (2016) (BBC IPlayer)
Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the African American activist and author James Baldwin, author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It On The Mountain. In 1979, Baldwin started to write a personal account of the lives of his friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, but sadly the book remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1987. Here, Peck picks up the project and the result is a radical examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and archive material. A journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter, I Am Not Your Negro is essential cinema.
I Lost My Body (12A) (2019) (Netflix)
This beautiful French animated film is the amazing adventure of a severed hand which escapes a Parisian laboratory and sets off to find its body. Far from grisly, you’ll be exhilarated and dazzled throughout this hair-raising adventure across the city’s streets and sewers, as the hand avoids pigeons, rats and more to reunite with lovesick pizza boy Naoufel (Dev Patel). Via flashback, we learn just how things came to be, and the love story between Naoufel and the librarian Gabrielle…
Velvet Goldmine (18) (1998) (All4)
Met with varied reviews on its release in 1998, now might be the perfect time to revisit Todd Haynes’ (Carol) fabulous recreation of the UK glam rock era. Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale, Velvet Goldmine tells the story of Glam rock star Brian Slade (Meyers), who fakes his own death, is discovered and then disappears. Fast-forward ten years to 1984 and reporter and former Slade fan Arthur Stuart (Bale), gets the assignment to find out what happened. Arthur starts digging into Slade’s career, including his relationship with outrageous, maniacal American singer Curt Wild (McGregor) and his manager Jerry Divine (Eddie Izzard)…
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny