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…
Out Of Blue (15) (2018) (BBC iPlayer)
The acclaimed UK filmmaker Carol Morley decamps to New Orleans for this stylish mystery. Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is an unconventional cop investigating the murder of renowned astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell, a black hole expert found shot to death in her observatory. As Mike settles into solving the case, she finds herself grappling with increasingly existential questions of quantum mechanics, parallel universes, and exploding stars. These cosmic secrets may hold the key to unravelling the crime, but come with the cost of Mike beginning to doubt her own reality…
The Dead Don’t Die (15) (2019) (Netflix)
Jim Jarmusch brings his trademark laconic wit to this entertaining subversion of the zombie genre. In the sleepy small town of Centerville, something is not quite right. The moon hangs large and low in the sky, the hours of daylight are becoming unpredictable, and animals are beginning to exhibit unusual behaviour. When the dead rise from their graves the small town’s residents, including cops Cliff (Bill Murray), Mindy (Chloe Sevigny) and Ronnie (Adam Driver), must battle to save their lives! Beautifully meta and packed with famous faces, The Dead Don’t Die puts a little life back into the ailing genre…
Girl (15) (2018) (All 4)
Lukas Dhont’s story of a young trans woman who dreams of being a ballerina is affecting and courageous filmmaking. Age 15, and about to undergo transitional surgery, Lara is at a crossroads. She wants to move forward: physically through her impending surgery; emotionally by the need to navigate her well-meaning parents’ fumbled ways of supporting here; and in vocation, as she deals with being on probation at, and at risk of being kicked out of, one of Belgium’s most prestigious ballet schools. On release the film drew criticism for its casting of a cisgender actor in the lead role, but despite that, young actor Victor Polster acts with grace, poise, and a quiet intensity.
Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) (15) (2014) (Amazon Prime)
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s showbiz satire is a thrilling technical marvel (the film is shot to resemble one long take) with an outstanding performance from Michael Keaton. Keaton plays former cinema superhero Riggan Thomson, who is now setting his sights on Broadway and mounting an incredibly ambitious production to kick start his ailing career. As Riggan approaches opening night his key castmate is injured, forcing him to hire a last-minute replacement (Edward Norton). With his new co-star shaking things up instantly, and his girlfriend, daughter and ex-wife complicating matters in the wings, things begin to spiral out of control….
We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!
See you next week,
Chris & Jonny