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…
Citizen Kane (U) (1941) (BBC iPlayer)
Orson Welles’ 1941 film is more than mere cinema: it’s a cultural benchmark that has set the tone for so much in the 80 years since it was released. Just 25 years old when he produced, co-wrote and directed the film, Welles’ incredible satire about the life of a media tycoon is inventive, funny, intelligent and knowing – and most important of all, it’s still relevant even now. The plot? A dying newspaper magnate’s last words kickstarts an investigation into his life which unveils revelation after revelation…
Mank (12A) (2020) (Netflix)
Taking a step behind the camera of Citizen Kane, David Fincher’s new film Mank tells a warts n’ all Hollywood story where the creation of Kane is seen through the eyes of its alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to complete the script. Gary Oldman plays Mankiewicz and inhabits the role with all the vigour and energy you would anticipate, supported by brilliant turns from Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins and Charles Dance. Echoing the flashback structure of Welles’ film, Mank sees the screenwriter laid up in a log cabin with a broken leg, reminiscing on his experiences in Hollywood in the decade leading up to Kane’s release. Impeccably made, Fincher’s film is a real treat for film lovers – and far beyond just a companion piece to one of the greatest films of all time.
120 Bpm (15) (2018) (All 4)
Powerful, radical and provocative, this award-winning French film is the story of Nathan, a young man who joins AIDS activist group ACT UP in 1990s Paris. As he attends the group’s weekly meetings, he learns that some members prefer a more drastic approach to their protests. Against the backdrop of the group’s meetings and plans for action against the fictional company Melton Pharm, a romance blossoms between Nathan and fellow group member Sean. Sean is HIV positive, and Nathan is not. Their cautious affair grows as Sean’s health declines and ACT UP continues amplifies its fight to make Melton Pharm produce their life-saving treatments faster.
Color Out Of Space (15) (2019) (Amazon Prime)
Already a cult classic, despite being released in February! Legendary horror director Richard Stanley’s weird, cosmic trip features a magnificently bats**t and over-the-top Nicholas Cage performance. Cage is devoted dad Nathan Gardner (Cage) and after a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, he and his family find themselves battling a mutant extra-terrestrial organism that infects their minds and bodies. Perfect late-night viewing, Color Out Of Space is the wildest of wild rides. Grab a beer (or your tipple of choice) and strap yourselves in!
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny