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…
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (15) (2018) (BBC iPlayer)
Maverick UK filmmaker Ben Wheatley turned his attention to the holidays and family get togethers with this darkly funny comedy-drama. Stressed out Colin (Neil Maskell) and family head out on the road to their New Year’s break – a seaside retreat in a deluxe country house. Once there, Colin’s wider family check in too, including his skint parents, his sister Gini (I, Daniel Blake’s Hayley Squires), his eccentric uncle Bertie (Charles Dance) and his angry brother Jimmy. So far, so awkward. But there’s one more surprise to come – Colin’s brother David, estranged from the family and who has a difficult past, has been invited too…. A terrific showcase for both Wheatley’s off-kilter storytelling skills and a cast clearly having a ball, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead is must-see holiday viewing.
Krampus (15) (2015) (Netflix)
Good old gory B-Movie horror, Krampus is perfect Christmas fun! Young Max is frustrated by the constant fights between his family and isn’t interested in celebrating Christmas at all. Tearing up his letter to Santa, he awakens the Krampus, a demon who is the evil flipside to Father Christmas, and who is coming to punish his entire family. Wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, and knowing entirely what it’s doing, Krampus is the perfect antidote to the usual festive fare. Sit down and settle in for the alternative Christmas tale….
Mary And The Witch’s Flower (U) (2018) (All 4)
Featuring the voices of Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent, this beautiful animation for all the family comes from Oscar nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi – animator on Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s the story of Mary, a young girl who discovers a flower that grants magical powers for just one night. Living in the country with her great Aunt and bored, when she discovers the titular flower in a nearby forest she is whisked off to a mysterious school of magic. However, the school has a dark secret… A beautiful story of a young girl trying to find her place, Mary and The Witch’s Flower is endlessly inventive and stunning to watch.
Scrooged (PG) (1988) (Amazon Prime)
The perfect Bill Murray Christmas comedy! Scrooged updates Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into the heady 1980s. Frank Cross (Murray) is a wildly successful and cynical TV executive whose ambition keeps him rich, but alone. When he fires lowly staff member Eliot (Bobcat Goldthwait) on Christmas Eve Frank is visited by a series of ghosts who give him the chance to re-evaluate his life, right some wrongs, and perhaps even find a way back to the love of his life Claire (Karen Allen)…
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you in the New Year,
Chris & Jonny
The next Film(in the)House Watch List will be published on Friday 8th January 2021.