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…
Zodiac (15) (2007) (BBC iPlayer)
David Fincher’s acclaimed, methodical masterpiece tells the story of the hunt for the Zodiac killer, a serial murderer who stalked the residents of San Francisco in the 60s and 70s. Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. are the investigators and reporters on the killer’s tail, becoming more obsessed as they edge closer to bringing them to justice. Accurate, tense and brilliantly made, Zodiac is an adult thriller unlike any other.
Under The Skin (15) (2013) (All 4)
In 2013, Jonathan Glazer’s loosely adapted version of Michel Faber’s eerie Scottish-set sci fi novel wrenched superstar Scarlett Johannsson out of the Marvel universe and into one of her most daring and mesmerising roles. The actor plays an unnamed extra-terrestrial driving around Glasgow, luring unsuspecting men into her transit van to kill. Gradually learning to care about and understand her human prey, she edges towards a fateful conclusion. Shot partly covertly, Johansson interacted with unsuspecting members of the public (who didn’t recognise her) as she drove around the city. Truly unique, Under The Skin is atmospheric, sensual, utterly terrifying and undoubtedly one of the decade’s best British films.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (15) (2015) (Netflix)
Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, and black power icon, the legendary musician Nina Simone’s life is the subject of Liz Garbus’ terrific documentary. With access to previously unseen material and a whole host of famous talking heads, What Happened, Miss Simone? is a celebration of the singer’s life and career and an occasionally unflinching examination of her faults, telling of a tortured melancholy behind the musical genius.
Capernaum (15) (2018) (Amazon Prime)
This beautifully made, ambitious and heartfelt film features a towering performance from its very young lead Zain Al Rafeea. After running away from his negligent parents, committing a violent crime and being sentenced to five years in jail, a hardened, streetwise 12-year-old Syrian refugee Zain sues his parents in protest of the life they have given him in the Lebanon. World-weary despite his young age, Zain is cynical and railing at the life he has been handed. We follow him through the gritty streets of Beirut as he fends off challenge after challenge and his story is told in flashback. Nadine Labaki’s film was Oscar-nominated on its release, and it’s easy to see why, with its child’s eye view and gripping story of the dispossessed. Capernaum is simply unmissable.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny