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…
Black Narcissus (PG) (1947) (BBC iPlayer)
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s wonderfully lurid, erotic masterpiece, recently updated by the BBC, is available to view once more. A group of Anglican nuns, on an expedition led by Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), are sent to a mountain in the Himalayas to spread the word of God. The climate in the region is hostile and the nuns are housed in the former palace of a regional chief, formerly the homeof his harem. Working to establish a school and a hospital, the nuns’ focus slowly shifts – one Sister falls for government worker, Mr. Dean (David Farrar) and begins to question her vow of celibacy, whilst Sister Clodagh becomes immersed in her own memories of love…
American Factory (12) (2019) (Netflix)
The first documentary from Higher Ground, Barack and Michelle Obama’s Netflix partnership, American Factory looks into the changes being wrought on workers and employers by an increasingly globalised economy. Seen through the eyes of factory workers in Ohio, where a former General Motors plant is bought by Chinese billionaire Cao Dewang, the film sees the workforce come to terms with their new working practices and the expectations of their new employers, who have invested $500m into the operation and expect the levels of productivity that they ‘enjoy’ in China. It’s not long before the Americans, who are earning far less than in their roles at the former plant, begin to clash with their management…
Dead Man’s Shoes (18) (2004) (All 4)
British director Shane Meadows (This is England) incendiary film catapulted actor Paddy Considine into international fame. Richard (Considine) is a former soldier who returns home to his small town of Matlock in the Midlands to take revenge on the local thugs who tormented his learning-disabled brother (Toby Kebbell) while he was away. Exacting his justice, the angry, disaffected (and well-trained) Richard works his way through the ranks of the local hoodlums with increasing levels of violence…
Lucky (15) (2018) (Amazon Prime)
Featuring actor Harry Dean Stanton’s final major role, Lucky is a bittersweet study of mortality telling the story of Lucky, a 90-year-old curmudgeon who lives his life by his daily routine: breakfast at the diner, shopping at the grocery store, TV on the sofa and a drink in his local bar. Having outlived his contemporaries, one morning Lucky collapses during his workout, disrupting his routine and kicking off a series of events that inspire him to look at his life from a new, brighter angle. An amazing film that caps off Stanton’s amazing career, Lucky is a delightful, slice-of-life journey and a truly inspirational story.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny