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…
It Follows (15) (2014) (BBC iPlayer)
One of the most dynamic and chilling horror films of recent years. David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows is the story of teenager Jay (Maika Monroe), who sleeps with her new boyfriend Hugh for the first time and learns that she is now the latest recipient of a fatal curse passed from victim to victim via sex. Until she passes it on, death will literally stalk her in human form, never stopping and always moving at the same pace… An original and nightmarish vision (and one with scenes set during the day no less!), It Follows is truly thrilling, too clever for its own good, and utterly panic-inducing. Packed with metaphors, and subverting the genre in smart and engaging ways, IT IS ALSO TERRIFYING.
Menashe (U) (2017) (All 4)
A sincere, hearfelt and beautiful drama. Menashe offers an insightful look into New York’s orthodox Hasidic Jewish community through the story of a gentle grocery store clerk struggling to make ends meet and look after his young son. A widower, tradition prohibits Menashe from raising his son Rieven alone, leading his strict uncle to adopt him. This leaves him heartbroken, but when his rabbi grants him one week with his son before his wife’s memorial, it’s Menashe’s chance to prove himself a suitable man of faith and fatherhood, and to restore his respect in the community…
Fish Tank (15) (2009) (Netflix)
Andrea Arnold’s film cemented her place as a truly renowned UK director and scooped the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is aggressive, confused and fifteen. Living in an Essex estate with her mum and precocious sister, there’s no dad on the scene and things are going downhill for her. Constantly in trouble at school, she’s neglected and spiralling out of control. But when her mum’s new boyfriend Connor (Michael Fassbender) arrives on the scene and encourages her love of dancing, Mia strikes up an uneasy friendship with him… A film with a real beating heart, Fish Tank is infused with raw power and compelling performances. Don’t miss it!
Personal Shopper (15) (2016) (Amazon Prime)
Olivier Assayas’ unsettling Paris-set supernatural drama features a career-best performance from Kristen Stewart, far removed from her role in the Twilight franchise. Here, she plays high-fashion personal shopper to the stars Maureen, who is also a spiritual medium. Grieving the recent death of her twin brother from a condition she also shares, Maureen haunts his Paris home, determined to make contact with him so she can move on. A film that is impossible to tear your eyes from, Personal Shopper is a delicate exploration of grief and identity, and its deliciously eerie and ethereal tone will creep right under your skin…
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny