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…
North By Northwest (PG) (1959) (BBC iPlayer)
Alfred Hitchcock’s absolute classic, North By Northwest occupies undoubtable five-star territory. Cary Grant stars as Roger Thornhill, a suave ad man who is mistaken for a CIA operative by sinister foreign agents. Targeted by a delightfully moustache-twirling James Mason, Thornhill is pursued across the country, teaming up with the beautiful and mysterious Eva Marie-Saint along the way. Setting the template for future action films, North By Northwest is propelled along by iconic action sequences, Bernard Herrman’s magnificent score and thrills aplenty – and not forgetting a never-better Cary Grant.
Time Bandits (PG) (1981) (All 4)
Terry Gilliam’s mischievously dark family film is a real rollercoaster! Unhappy young boy Kevin is swept up into an adventure in time when six dwarfs burst through a timehole in his wardrobe. Clutching a map that shows where and when historic treasure can be found, the gang grab Kevin and head on their way to steal it, using the timeholes to reach them and encountering several historic figures along the way. Beautifully made, Time Bandits features famous names like Ian Holm, Sean Connery and John Cleese, all playing various figures in history.
BlackkKlansman (15) (2018) (Netflix)
Spike Lee’s terrific film tells the true-life story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington: Tenet), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Ron signs up for a mission to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Recruiting a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver: Star Wars) into the investigation of a lifetime, the pair team up to take down the hate group – just as the organisation is aiming to cement its mainstream appeal. Brilliantly entertaining, fiercely political and at times hilarious, this is perhaps Lee’s masterpiece.
Queen & Slim (15) (2019) (Amazon Prime)
From director Melina Matsoukas, this timely fugitive story is simmering with righteous anger. Slim (Daniel Kaluuya: Get Out) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) are on their first date when things take a sudden turn and a vicious cop pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates Slim shoots the cop in self-defence. Labelled as cop killers the pair go on the run, becoming a symbol of national trauma, terror and pain. Reflecting the current issues facing US race and culture, Queen and Slim is stylish and powerful filmmaking.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny