Friday 3rd July 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…
Columbus (12A) (2017) (Amazon Prime)
Intelligent and absorbing, Kogonada’s film tells the story of Jin (John Cho) who finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana after his father, a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library and as their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town’s significant modernist buildings and their emotions: Jin’s difficult relationship with his father and Casey’s reluctance to leave Columbus and her mother.
Leviathan (15) (2014) (BBC IPlayer)
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s ambitious and allegorical masterpiece made a big impact on its release. Leviathan is a tale of government corruption on the rocky outskirts of north western Russia, and it retells the biblical story of Job with hardworking handyman Kolya at its centre. Kolya built his family home with his own hands on the shore of a bleak and wave-lashed peninsula, and the mayor of his small town wants to get his hands on it for an important property deal. Enlisting the help of an old lawyer friend from Moscow to help him with his legal case, Kolya finds himself up against the mayor in a fight for his home. Zvtyagintsev probes Russian politics and religion, creating a deceptively simple tale to tell a complex, multi-layered and darkly funny story.
Faces Places (12A) (2017) (Netflix)
A beautiful documentary with an unlikely friendship at its core. In 2015 legendary New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda and photographer and street artist JR met, immediately recognising a united passion for the exploration of images and the places and ways they can be shown, shared and exhibited. Seizing the opportunity to partner up, the pair set out in JR’s photographic truck to shoot this film across France. As they go from town to village, the pair meet the people of France’s heartlands, hearing their stories, capturing their images, and creating beautiful art projects.
The Handmaiden (18) (2016) (All4)
Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of Oldboy and Stoker adapts Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith to create a ravishing, sensual crime drama. Moving the action of the novel to 1930s colonial Korea and Japan, the film tells the story of a Korean woman (Kim Tae-ri) who is hired to serve as the new handmaiden to a young Japanese woman (Kim min-hee) on a secluded estate, but who is secretly involved in a plot to defraud her. Intricate, lush and erotic, The Handmaiden is a decadent treat for the senses.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny