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…
A Matter Of Life And Death (U) (1946) (BBC iPlayer)
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 visually extraordinary romantic fantasy is terrific moviemaking. It’s World War II and British Air Force pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is on his way home to England from a bombing mission. In a badly damaged plane and preparing to bail out, Peter is in contact with radio operator June (Kim Hunter) during what may be his final moments on Earth. Incredibly, against all odds Peter survives and the pair fall in love. All is well, until an ambassador from heaven arrives to tell Peter that he wasn’t meant to live and he’s expected in the afterlife right away. Contesting this, Peter is called to a heavenly trial. Can he, June and true love champion his right to remain on Earth?
Ip Man (15) (2008) (Netflix)
A refreshing take on the martial arts movie, this character-driven period biopic from Wilson Yip tells the story of the celebrated wushu master who’s most famous student, Bruce Lee, became an international icon. Suffering under Japanese occupation of China during the late ’30s and early ’40s, Ip Man (Donnie Yen), is bowed by the invaders but grabs the chance to stand up to them when a Japanese colonel hears of his martial arts prowess. Blending terrific fight scenes, choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung, and a sense of realism and drama which grounds the film, Ip Man is a breath-taking international action movie.
Brakes (15) (2016) (All 4)
Noel Fielding stars in Mercedes Grower’s film about love in freefall. A wonderful cast, rounded out by Julia Davis, Steve Oram, Julian Barratt and Kerry Fox, tell nine stories of the final moments of relationships, before flipping and returning to each to show their opening, hopeful moments. Optimistic and honest, Brakes is an engaging deep dive into the mess of real-life love, driven by a unique filmmaking concept.
Pin Cushion (15) (2017) (Amazon Prime)
Joanna Scanlon dominates in writer-director Deborah Haywood’s surreal drama of mother-daughter relationships. In northern England eccentric and shy mum Lyn (Scanlon) and her daughter Iona (Lily Newmark) move to a new town. The pair have a strong bond and have spent a trouble-free life together, but in the new place things prove to be different. Iona’s physical disability and Lyn’s dress sense result in daily humiliation for the two, and when Iona falls in with a new clique at school and Lyn becomes the focus of her new neighbour’s mockery the pair must do all they can to remain together….
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny