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…
In The Loop (15) (2009) (BBC iPlayer)
With In The Loop Armando Ianucchi’s hilarious political satire The Thick Of It made the leap from the small to the big screen (kinda), taking the TV series’ acerbic and profane political advisor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) and placing him in the midst of an international crisis. The plot revolves around flustered British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), who delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East is “unforeseeable.” As the anger-fuelled spin doctor Tucker tries in vain to cover up the faux pas the comment is picked up by a warmongering American official, who is trying to gear up the US for a new war. Foster is invited to Washington, where a war of words brews and politicians try to outmanoeuvre one another ahead of a critical UN vote…
A Sun (15) (2019) (Netflix)
This engrossing Taiwanese drama from director Chung Mong-Hong’s is truly masterful filmmaking. The film tells the story of a family’s two sons, each holding a different place in their parents’ hearts. A-Hao (Xu Guang-Han) is a shining example of a good son – he makes his parents proud and is a grade-A student. Meanqhile, his brother A-Ho (Wu Chien-Ho) disappoints his parents through a life of delinquency and petty crime which has him in trouble and in a detention centre. As the film progresses, we follow the family as they navigate the obstacles of their life: economic hardship, crime, children and loss. A truly unforgettable film, A Sun will resonate with you for a long time.
Nico, 1988 (15) (2017) (All 4)
An absorbing study of the legendary Andy Warhol superstar / Velvet Underground singer’s later years. Nico, 1988 finds the singer (Trine Dyrholm) approaching age 50 and leading a quiet existence. Far away from her time in the limelight, her career is now on the wane but her new manager eagerly tries to convince her to go on tour in Europe to promote her new album and rekindle her fanbase. Wrestling with her demons and heroin addiction Nico heads out on the road to find her sense of self and regain some of the artistic dignity she feels is gone….
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley’s Island Of Dr. Moreau (15) (2014) (Amazon Prime)
A fascinating delve into the history of one of Hollywood’s most notoriously troubled misfires, filmmaker David Gregory interviews director Richard Stanley, actors Fairuza Balk and Rob Morrow and others about the disastrous production of the 1996 feature The Island Of Dr. Moreau. Seemingly doomed from the start, this blow-by-blow account of the making of the Val Kilmer / Marlon Brando starring film tells all about the impacts of the leads’ rivalries, the devastating weather and studio meddling which eventually turned out a mediocre, bizarre and LEGENDARY film as a result.
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny