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7 Day Film Diet #34

7 Day Film Diet #34

QUAD Cinema Programmer Adam Marsh returns with another batch of suggestions of films to stream at home during lockdown.

We have scrawling through the streaming platforms and have once again pulled together a collection of films to keep you entertained. Once again we have tried to focus on the free platforms BBC iPlayer and ALL4 this week, but we have had another look at what the BFI Player and the Arrow Player have to offer this week. From early Tilda Swinton, to a day of Comedy films on the BBC iPlayer, this week should have a little bit of something for everyone – Including a day of great Italian Giallo curated by Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun Of The Dead). 

Day One – BBC iPlayer 

Invictus  

See the film here

He was imprisoned 27 years for his heroic fight against apartheid. So what does Nelson Mandela do after he is elected president of South Africa? He rejects revenge, forgives his oppressors and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place: the rugby field. Clint Eastwood powerfully directs an uplifting film about a team and a people inspired to greatness. Morgan Freeman portrays Mandela, who asks the national rugby team captain (Matt Damon) and his underdog squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup. One team, one country. The universal language of sports has never spoken so thrillingly as in Eastwood's Invictus

Clouds Of Sils Maria 

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In the middle of a divorce, veteran actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is asked to star in a new adaptation of Maloja Snake by Wilhelm Melchior, the play that launched her career two decades earlier. This time, however, Maria is not asked to reprise the role that she portrayed when she was 16, and instead is required to play middle-aged businesswoman Helena who is manipulated and eventually driven to suicide by her young assistant. To prepare for the role, Maria departs for Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps, with her devoted assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart). Aided by Valentine, Maria investigates the young and reckless American actress (Chloe Grace Moretz) who has been chosen to interpret the role of her character's assistant. As Maria then begins to notice more of herself in the youthful actress, she finds herself confronting some of the demons that come with her profession... 

Eagle Eye  

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After the success of Disturbia, director D.J. Caruso and star Shia LaBeouf reunite for this thriller costarring Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie, and Billy Bob Thornton. In Eagle Eye, an elaborate murder plot and its evil conspirator ensnare a pair of innocent people. Shia LaBeouf plays the 20-something slacker who, with his single mother, are framed as terrorists and forced to become members of a cell with plans to commit a political assassination.  

The Gangster, The Cop and The Devil 

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Fierce gang boss Jang Dong-su (Don Lee) is violently attacked after a fender bender on a rainy night. After fighting back, he barely escapes, however his reputation as a feared leader is damaged beyond repair. The only way to restore his image is to find his attacker and exact revenge. Jang teams up with Detective Jung Tae-seok (Kim Moo-yul) to find the assailant, but soon discovers the attacker is actually a serial killer. With no support from the police department, Detective Jung is forced to use gang boss Jang’s resources in order to track down the killer. The two men must work together to find a man simply known as “K”. 

Day Two – ALL4 

Peterloo 

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From acclaimed director Mike Leigh comes this epic portrayal of events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, when armed government forces charged into a crowd of 60,000 peaceful protesters who were desperate for greater democracy and improved working conditions. Featuring stellar performances from Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear, Peterloo is an explosively visceral retelling of a defining moment in British history. 

Neds 

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Neds tells a story of a young man's journey from prize winning schoolboy to knife carrying teenager. John McGill (Conor McCarron) struggles with the low expectations of those around him and events take a maddening turn as he descends into shocking violence on a seemingly one man mission of self destruction. Directed by Peter Mullan. 

Dreams Of A Life 

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Would anyone miss you? Nobody noticed when Joyce Vincent died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in London in 2003. Nearly three years later her skeleton remains were discovered, surrounded by Christmas presents with the television still on. Dreams of a Life is an imaginative, powerful, multi-layerd quest to discover who Joyce Vincent was. It is a film about urban lives, contemporary life, and how, like Joyce, we are all different things to different people. It is about how little we may ever know each other, but nevertheless, how much we can love. 

Dark River  

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Following the death of her father, Alice (Ruth Wilson) returns home for the first time in 15 years, to claim the tenancy of the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Once there, she encounters her older brother Joe (Mark Stanley), a man she barely recognises, worn down by years of struggling to keep the farm going whilst caring for their sick father (Sean Bean). Joe is thrown by Alice's sudden arrival, angered by her claim and finds her presence increasingly difficult to deal with. 

Day Three – ALL4 

Skate Kitchen 

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Camille, an introverted teenage skateboarder (newcomer Rachelle Vinberg) from Long Island, meets and befriends an all-girl, New York City-based skateboarding crew called Skate Kitchen. She falls in with the in-crowd, has a falling-out with her mother, and falls for a mysterious skateboarder guy (Jaden Smith); but, a relationship with him proves to be trickier to navigate than a kickflip. Skate Kitchen precisely captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery. 

Proof 

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Blind from birth, Martin (Hugo Weaving) trusts no-one except the camera that has replaced his eyes. By taking photos, Martin has proof that the world he senses is the same one other people see. Unfortunately, Martin has never known anyone he trusts enough to describe his photos to him. Until he meets Andy (Russell Crowe), a young kitchen hand whose honesty and kindness touches him. But Martin's jealous housekeeper (Genevieve Picot), using seduction as a weapon, sets out to destroy their trusting relationship with a cold act of revenge. 

Feedback 

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Jarvis Dolan is the star journalist of a successful London late night radio show. He plans to reveal evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit process on his program. When two armed men burst into the studio, he is forced to continue with the live program and follow the script of the assailants without ever revealing that they are in danger. Jarvis Dolan's night soon becomes a nightmare. 

Hyena  

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Respected by both sides of the law, Detective Sergeant Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) lines his pockets through predatory extortion and drug dealing whilst simultaneously climbing the ranks of law enforcement. When Albanian and Turkish gangs begin to tighten their grip over London's vicious underbelly, things swiftly spiral out of control. With no one to turn to, Logan takes a ruthless course of action that leads to irrevocable consequences. With Stephen Graham (This Is England), Neil Maskell (Kill List) and MyAnna Buring (Kill List). 

Day Four – BBC iPlayer 

My Life As A Courgette 

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After losing his mother, nine-year-old Icare (nicknamed "Courgette") is taken to a foster home to live with other kids his own age. Although he has trouble finding his place at first, Courgette soon learns to love those around him as he finds a new family of his own. Directed by Claude Barras with a screenplay from Portrait Of A Lady On Fire director Celine Sciamma. 

Papadopoulos And Sons 

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Harry Papadopoulos (Stephen Dillane) has got it all; a mansion house, awards and a super-rich lifestyle. But when a financial crisis hits, Harry and his family lose everything. Everything, except the forgotten Three Brothers Chip Shop half owned by Harry's larger than life brother Spiros (Georges Corraface) who's been estranged from the family for years. With no alternative, Harry and his family are forced to pack their bags and reluctantly join 'Uncle Spiros' to live above the neglected Three Brothers chippie. 

Mum’s List 

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Based on the best selling book by St John Greene this is the heartwarming true life story of Singe (Rafe Spall) and Kate (Emilia Fox), a couple from North Somerset whose lives were turned upside down when Kate was diagnosed with an incurable breast cancer. Over her last few months she created her list: writing her thoughts and memories down to help the man she loved create the best life possible for their two sons after she was gone. 

Margin Call 

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Set in the high-stakes world of the financial industry, feature is an entangling thriller involving the key players at an investment firm during one perilous 24-hour period in the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. When an entry-level analyst unlocks information that could prove to be the downfall of the firm, a roller-coaster ride ensues as decisions both financial and moral, catapult the lives of all involved to the brink of disaster. With Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore and Zachary Quinto. 

Day Five – BFI Player 

BFI Player is £4.99 per month with a 14 day free trial - https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription

Orlando  

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Sally Potter's dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf's novel follows the fortunes of a young aristocrat from 1600 to the present day, as he changes sex and discards his biological and cultural destiny along the way. Tilda Swinton, in one of her signature roles as the titular, androgynous lead, heads an eccentric cast encompassing such diverse figures as Billy Zane and Quentin Crisp. It's also the film which saw Sally Potter emerge from an avant-garde notoriety into mainstream recognition, with a lavishly designed spectacle that earned numerous awards and two Oscar nominations. 

Il Divo 

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Paolo Sorrentino builds on the immense promise shown in previous films, The Consequences of Love and The Family Friend, and here demonstrates the full force of his abilities. Aided immeasurably by a magnificent performance from the great Toni Servillo (also star of The Consequences of Love). Sorrentino creates a dazzling, visceral experience that somehow brilliantly weaves together all the complicated political conspiracies and skullduggery into one thrilling drama. Deservedly one of the sensations of its year's Cannes Film Festival, and whilst the word masterpiece is often overused when describing films, in this instance it is completely deserved. Sorrentino is one of the directors leading a genuine renaissance in Italian cinema. 

Querelle 

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Based on a story by Jean Genet, the final film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is many things: a surreal fever dream of subversive eroticism; a tribute to the beauty of its late star, Brad Davis; and an iconic piece of design which inspired Jean-Paul Gaultier's 80s collections. Jeanne Moreau plays a brothel madam caught up in the violent sexual awakening of Davis' naive young sailor. 

The Duke Of Burgundy 

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Peter Strickland’s follow-up to Berberian Sound Studio is a daringly erotic sensory feast. Cynthia and Evelyn inhabit an exclusively female world; their love for each other expressed through ritual sado-masochist role-play. Cynthia, the cool ice queen, seemingly dominates the obliging, submissive Evelyn, but their relationship begins to unravel when Cynthia starts to suffer from performance fatigue. Channelling the early 70s eroticism of Jess Franco and José Ramón Larraz, Strickland creates a decadent, finely calibrated universe that is as sensually and cinematically distinctive as it is funny and true. 

Day Six – Arrow Player 

Arrow Player is £4.99 per month with a 30 day free trial. https://www.arrow-player.com/

Think of today as a flick through the Yellow Pages as we explore four of Edgar Wright’s Giallo picks for the Arrow Player. 

Blood And Black Lace 

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The Cristian Haute Couture fashion house is a home to models… and backstabbing… and blackmail… and drug deals… and MURDER. Having established a template for the giallo with The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Mario Bava set about cementing its rules with Blood and Black Lace. In doing so he created one of the most influential films ever made – an Italian classic that would spearhead the giallo genre, provide a prototype for the slasher movie, and have a huge effect on filmmakers as diverse as Dario Argento and Martin Scorsese. Newly restored from the original camera negative and presented here in its original, uncut Italian form, Blood and Black Lace is the ideal introduction to a major piece of cult filmmaking. 

What Have You Done To Solange? 

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From director Massimo Dallamano, cinematographer on both A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, comes giallo classic What Have You Done to Solange?, the debut feature of actress Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave). A sexually sadistic killer is preying on the girls of St. Mary’s Catholic School. Student Elizabeth witnessed one of the murders, but her hazy recollections of a knife-wielding figure in black do nothing to further the police’s investigations. Why is the killer choosing these young women? And what does it have to do with a girl named Solange? Also starring Cristina Galbo (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue) and Fabio Testi (I Spit On Your Grave), What Have You Done with Solange? features all the hallmarks of classic gialli – the amateur detective, the black-gloved killer as well as a lush score from Ennio Morricone. 

The Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion 

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Before the influence of Dario Argento's 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage' permeated every corner of the giallo genre, another strain of these distinctive Italian thrillers enjoyed considerable success. These "melodrama gialli", heavily inspired by Clouzot's Les Diaboliques, relied less on graphic violence and high body counts and more on psychological tension. Minou (Dagmar Lassander Lucio Fulci's The Black Cat) leads a pampered but dull life with her frequently absent husband, Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi, The Cat O' Nine Tails). One night, while out walking on the beachfront, Minou is accosted by a mysterious blackmailer (Simon Andreu, Death Carries a Cane) who informs her that Peter is a murderer. Driven by misplaced loyalty to her husband, Minou gives in to the blackmailer's every perverted whim in exchange for his silence. But as the blackmailer ups the ante, demanding that she submit to his increasingly obscene demands, can Minou hold on to what little remains of her sanity? Written by the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi (Torso), infused with a seductive score by the great Ennio Morricone (The Cat O' Nine Tails) and featuring a memorable turn by Nieves Navarro a.k.a. Susan Scott (Death Walks at Midnight) in the role of Minou's best friend, The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion is a trippy giallo delight that brings together the talents of many of the genre's leading lights on both sides of the camera. 

Deep Red 

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From Dario Argento, maestro of the macabre and the man behind some the greatest excursions in Italian horror (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), comes Deep Red - arguably the ultimate giallo movie. One night, musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, Blow Up), looking up from the street below, witnesses the brutal axe murder of a woman in her apartment. Racing to the scene, Marcus just manages to miss the perpetrator... or does he? As he takes on the role of amateur sleuth, Marcus finds himself ensnared in a bizarre web of murder and mystery where nothing is what it seems... Aided by a throbbing score from regular Argento-collaborators Goblin, Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso and The Hatchet Murders) is a hallucinatory fever dream of a giallo punctuated by some of the most astonishing set-pieces the sub-genre has to offer. 

Day Seven – BBC iPlayer 

Pride And Prejudice 

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With Laurence Olivier playing the smouldering Mr. Darcy and Greer Garson portraying the strong-willed eldest Bennet daughter intent on landing him, the sparks fly in this lively adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel. Maureen O'Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Heather Angel and Marsha Hunt play the other four Bennet sisters -- all of whom their status-conscious mother (Mary Boland) is eager to marry off in this Oscar-winning comedy. 

The Plank 

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From the hilarious antics of Eric Sykes comes The Plank, a cult classic. Eric Sykes is a workman whose individual aptitude is nil and along with his sidekick (Tommy Cooper) they are mutually chaotic, disorganised and magnets to disorder. Set with the task of laying the floorboards of a house they are faced with catastrophe when one of them uses the last plank as firewood and they are then forced to track down a spare plank. Although seemingly straightforward it’s anything but and makes for hysterical entertainment with Sykes as his finest. 

David Brent: Life On The Road 

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Ricky Gervais writes, directs and stars in this documentary-style comedy, reprising his role as The Office character David Brent. Taking place 15 years after the British sitcom, the film follows the former office manager as he takes time off from his day job as a sales rep to tour with his rock band Foregone Conclusion. Leaving behind his job at Slough cleaning products supplier Lavichem, for a holiday at least, Brent takes to the M25 on a self-funded tour, with bandmates who can't really stand him, to play to disappointing crowds across the country in one last attempt at breaking into show business. Joined on the road by talented young rapper Dom Johnson (Doc Brown), David is followed by cameras, for what he believes will be a successful film, eager to catch up with him since his documentary appearance. 

In The Loop 

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Present day London. Socially inept, exceptionally dull Minister Of International Development, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), has caused outrage amongst his superiors and sparked a media-frenzy by accidentally mentioning a possible attack on the Middle East. Rabid, ruthless, profane and relentless Director Of Communications, Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), has been sent in to pull the right strings, immediately dispatching Foster on a "fact finding" trip to Washington. Increasingly out of his depth, Simon Foster suddenly finds himself thrown into an anarchic world of abusive peaceniks, unhinged warmongers, infantile bureaucrats of Northampton to Washington’s West Wing, rest assured it can only get worse.