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…
Cat People (PG) (1942) (BBC iPlayer)
Jacques Tourneur’s atmospheric masterpiece of psychological suspense. Cat People stars Simone Simon as Irena, a young fashion designer who becomes entranced by the panther enclosure at Central Park Zoo and with the idea that she is a descendant of an ancient Serbian tribe who can change shape into the form of big cats. When she loses her lover Ollie to co-worker Alice’s affections, Irena begins stalking her rival, leading to one of the most memorable and chilling scenes in cinema history…
Elle (18) (2016) (All 4)
Dutch director Paul Verhoeven made his name in the 70s and 80s with a series of daring European films before heading to Hollywood to challenge mainstream audiences with films such as Robocop, Basic Instinct and Total Recall. Now back on this side of the Atlantic Verhoeven has lost none of his lustre, creating films such as 2006’s thrilling wartime drama Black Book and this, a captivating revenge thriller with a fantastic performance from French superstar Isabelle Huppert.
Huppert stars as Michèle, a businesswoman who is sucked into a tense game of cat and mouse with the unknown man who raped her. Combining pitch black comedy with a twist-filled plot and an entrancing central performance, Elle is a strange and disquieting film which surprises right to the end credits.
Fruitvale Station (15) (2013) (Netflix)
Starring Michael B. Jordan, this multi-award-winning film from director Ryan Coogler wowed audiences at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Based on the real-life shooting of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old black man killed by a San Francisco police officer in 2009, Fruitvale Station is a beautifully told, gentle drama featuring a charismatic performance from Jordan, now a superstar following his compelling performances in Coogler’s films Creed and Black Panther. Driven along by assured direction, Fruitvale Station is a courageous portrait of the last day in a life tragically and unnecessarily cut short.
Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans (PG) (2019) (Amazon Prime)
A rip-roaring laugh-out-loud outing for the beloved family TV series, Horrible Histories heads to the big screen with this ancient Roman-set tale that focuses on the Empire’s shot at squashing the uprising of Boudicca in far-off Britain. The fun is centered around Roman teenager Atti, who is sent to Britain when he upsets the Emperor Nero and forced to work in the cold and wet country. Chock full of great performances and familiar faces, Horrible Histories is a great treat for all the family!
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny