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…
Mangrove (15) (2020) (BBC iPlayer)
Director Steve McQueen’s latest movie opened the BFI London Film Festival in October and is now being broadcast on the BBC alongside his new Small Axe series of films, documenting West Indian life in 20th century Britain. McQueen tells here the story of the trial of the Mangrove Nine in 1970: Caribbean restaurant owner Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes) and his activist regulars were targeted by racist police and arrested for demonstrating against their treatment. Presenting the collective’s fight for justice, freedom and equality against a joyful community, McQueen’s film is a vital and exhilarating insight into a pivotal moment in British black history.
Shoplifters (15) (2018) (All 4)
A film that grabs you and won’t let go, Hirokazu Koreeda’s Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters is a delight. On the edges of Tokyo, wandering young five-year-old girl Yuri is brought in from the cold by a family living in a poor neighbourhood. Adopted by this dysfunctional band of outsiders who are fiercely loyal to one another and who survive through petty theft, Yuri is soon training in the art of small crime. However, when the family’s young son is arrested, the secrets of their pasts threaten to upend their idyllic life together…
Sorry To Bother You (15) (2018) (Netflix)
Boots Riley’s fantastic debut feature is an anarchic, gleeful satire which spins the cold-calling industry on its head. Capitalism, race and class are skewered expertly in the story of telemarketer Cassius (Lakeith Stanfield), who finds himself in a strange new world when he lands a job with telemarketing agency RegalView.
As his career begins to take off, his friends and co-workers organize a protest against corporate oppression whilst he falls under the spell of his salary and Steve Lift, RegalView’s cocaine-snorting CEO. Radical, hilarious and unmissable filmmaking.
All Is Lost (12A) (2013) (Amazon Prime)
Robert Redford gets the camera’s full attention in J.C. Chandor’s riveting film. An exercise in cinema in its purest form, All Is Lost follows our unnamed, veteran protagonist (Redford) as he sails his boat on a solo voyage across the Indian Ocean. Awaking to find his boat damaged and taking on water, his radio and navigation equipment disabled, and thousands of miles from anywhere and anyone, he is in trouble. And then the storms come. All Is Lost features just one cast member, barely any dialogue. It’s a true testament to Redford’s talent, captivating the audience as our hero is pushed to the limit and forced into facing his own mortality.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny