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…
Ghost Stories (15) (2017) (BBC iPlayer)
Delightfully creepy, this British horror is perfect for Halloween viewing. Adapted from the acclaimed stage play, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman co-direct an all-star cast featuring Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse and Alex Lawther. The film follows
Professor Phillip Goodman (Nyman), who has devoted his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural occurrences. His disbelief is tested with three terrifying cases: disturbing visions in an abandoned asylum, a car accident deep in the woods and the spirit of an unborn child. Even scarier — each of the macabre stories seems to have a sinister connection to the Professor’s own life….
Force Majeure (15) (2014) (All 4)
Gleefully unsettling, this Swedish comedy from The Square director Ruben Ōstlund tells the story of a family holiday gone wrong. Middle class family Tomas, Ebba and their two children are enjoying a skiing holiday in the mountains when an avalanche interrupts their lunch. In the moment where it looks like the family may be caught in the snow and perish, Tomas darts away leaving his family behind, astonished. Despite disaster luckily being averted, when Tomas sheepishly returns to the table, the moment has had a massive impact and his family’s relationship with him begins to subside…
Notes On Blindness (U) (2016) (Netflix)
Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s sensitive documentary is a raw testament to living life with a disability. In 1983 writer John Hull went blind just before the birth of his son. Adapting to the change, he started to record a diary on audio cassette to make sense of the impact on his life. Part documentary, part dramatisation, the film uses audio diaries, taped letters and interviews of John and his family to tell their story through actors with the final result is a beautifully hallucinatory odyssey which is both inclusive and inspirational.
Time (12) (2020) (Amazon Prime)
This brilliant documentary is fresh from the London Film Festival and tells the story of entrepreneur Fox Rich, who has spent the last two decades of her life campaigning for the release of her husband Rob from prison. Rob is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 1990s in a moment of desperation following the collapse of their family business. Time follows the family through two decades of separation using home movies made by Fox to update Rob on the life waiting for him outside. Over 20 years Rob’s young family grow, life moves on and Fox becomes an activist and powerful advocate for prison reform. A stunning portrait of incarceration in America – and of unwavering, powerful hope.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny