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…
Make Up (15) (2020) (BBC iPlayer)
Starring rising UK star Molly Windsor, Make Up is the beautifully unsettling story of Ruth, who arrives at an out of season Cornish caravan park to see her boyfriend Tom. After finding traces of lipstick and red hair on his clothing Ruth begins to ask questions as she spends her long days on the park, gradually descending into obsession… Director Claire Oakley is a terrific new voice, and pairing up with Windsor, who is set to be a major talent, she elegantly weaves an air of mystery, paranoia and quasi-horror as Ruth spirals out of control…
Diego Maradona (12A) (2019) (All 4)
Following the death of the legendary and controversial Argentinean footballer, Asif Kapadia’s gripping and critically-acclaimed documentary is essential viewing. Love him or loathe him, Maradona was a distinctive sporting talent and Kapadia’s film follows his rise, taking in the drugs, women and fame that were as much a part of him as his football. Echoing Kapadia’s previous films Amy and Senna, Diego Maradona paints a portrait of a man both driven and tainted byhis early success and his own human frailty.
She’s Gotta Have It (18) (1986) (Netflix)
Spike Lee’s breakout comedy is the story of Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns), an independent woman who can’t decide what kind of man she wants to date. Deciding to go out with three guys at the same time to find out, she meets Greer (rich, handsome and full of himself), Jamie (classic alpha male) and Mars (timid and with a heart of gold). Can any of them give Nola what she wants? She’s Gotta Have It, shot on a budget of $30k, is raw Spike Lee: dripping with talent and full of energy and vitality. Don’t miss it!
Drive (18) (2011) (Amazon Prime)
Nicolas Winding Refn’s neon-soaked LA crime story is the pinnacle of lean storytelling. Our unnamed ‘hero’ the driver (Ryan Gosling) is a skilled Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. With an ice cool exterior and immeasurable talent, he’s the best in the business. After meeting his new neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan) he’s soon enlisted by her fresh-out-of-jail husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) to help with a million-dollar heist. However, when the job goes wrong the driver must risk his life to protect Irene and her young son Benicio from the criminal organisation who want revenge…. Achingly cool, hyper-violent and with Gosling’s charisma bottled up behind a near-silent facade, Drive is both romantic and thrilling filmmaking, and nothing else is quite like it.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny