Whilst the world is on pause and your FilmhouseSunderland 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…
Maps To The Stars (18) (2014) (BBC iPlayer)
Delightfully subversive and freakishly dark, David Cronenberg’s psychodrama follows the fortunes of the Weiss family. Part of the Hollywood jet-set, they are a famed TV therapist Stafford (John Cusack) and Cristina (Olivia Williams), who manages the career of their troubled child-star son Benjie (Evan Bird). Unknown to them, another member of their family has just landed in town – Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), who’s newly-released from a psychiatric unit. Working her way into a friendship with a limo driver (Robert Pattison), Agatha soon finds herself as PA to unravelling actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), and she is on the way to her quest for redemption… Mesmerising and supremely entertaining, Cronenberg’s Hollywood nightmare is utterly enjoyable and packed with fantastic performqnces.
I Am Not A Witch (12A) (2017) (All 4)
A beguiling and darkly funny satire about superstition and exploitation. Writer-director Rungano Nyoni’sastonishing debut follows 8-year old Shula, who, after a minor incident in her village is accused of witchcraft. Following her trial, she is found guilty and shipped off to be exiled in a witch camp. Forced to work and appear before tourists, the ‘witches’, who are mostly older women, are tethered to a giant spool by a ribbon, which only allows a limited amount of free movement. Soon, Shula starts to become something of a famous draw for the camp…
A Royal Affair (15) (2012) (Netflix)
Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander start in this sumptuous Danish costume drama.
The true story of an ordinary man who wins the queen’s heart and starts a revolution, A Royal Affair looks at the intriguing love triangle between the insane King Christian VII, his royal physician and the young and strong Queen Caroline Mathilda. Beautifully made, and impeccably performed, the film is a colourful andfascinating look at a strange chapter in European history.
Grizzly Man (15) (2005) (Amazon Prime)
A deeply fascinating story writ large in director Werner Herzog’s legendary documentary style, Grizzly Man focuses on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell, who was tragically killed and eaten on one of his many Alaskan expeditions. Created from Treadwell’s own video footage, Herzog’s film examines why Treadwell chose to live amongst the wild bears and why he, a passionate conservationist, felt such a close connection to them. Ultimately the film takes an engrossing journey into a troubled soul and a tragic demise, resulting in perhaps one of the greatest documentaries ever made.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny