QUAD Cinema Programmer Adam Marsh brings you another seven days of fantastic film viewing options.
Another eclectic mix of films for you to view in the comfort of QUAD’s cinema screens or the comfort of your own home. All the recommendations have been pulled from QUAD’s weekly listings, free streaming platforms BBC iPlayer and All4, plus a look at the work of Marta Meszaros on the BFI Player. (available with a free trial).
See you at the movies!
Adam J. Marsh
Day One – QUAD Cinema
The Filmmaker’s House
See the film at QUAD, Book tickets here.
When the filmmaker is told his next film must be about sex, crime or celebrity to get funded, he decides to take matters into his own hands. He begins shooting a film in his home, with people connected to his own life becoming its stars: the two English builders employed to replace his fence; his Pakistani neighbour, with whom he temporarily shares a garden; a homeless Slovakian, who invites himself in and tests everyone’s ideas of the boundaries between host and guests in the process; and the filmmaker’s Colombian cleaner, who is charmed by all who visit. One of the UK’s foremost documentary filmmakers, the multi award-winning Marc Isaacs (Lift, Travellers, Outside the Court) tells stories of modern Britain by connecting with ordinary people; often making the process of getting to know those people an integral part of his work. Blending documentary and fiction, The Filmmaker’s House is laced with wry humour, emotional intensity and a radical curiosity, resulting in a film that is both a meditation on, and a rebellion against, the act of filmmaking itself.
WITCH: We Intend To Cause Havoc
See the film at QUAD, Book tickets here.
The film follows the formations of Zambia's most popular rock band of the 1970s, WITCH, and documents the life of its lead singer Jagari (whose name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger's). Through the resurrection of a music that was forgotten by many and unheard by most, the film explores the life of a former African rockstar, and the excitement around the rediscovery of his music by a new generation of Western fans.
Riders of Justice
See the film at QUAD, Book Tickets here.
Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) returns home to care for his daughter when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. However, when a survivor of the wreck surfaces and claims foul play, Markus suspects his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible. Director Anders Thomas Jensen (Men & Chicken, Adam’s Apples) reunites for a fifth time with leading actor Mikkelsen for this action drama.
"An oddball delight. Taking a leaf from the Coens' playbook, it's by turns ultra-violent then drily funny and surprisingly wise. Come for Mikkelsen, stay for his winning band of lovable losers." - Empire Magazine
The Sparks Brothers + Satellite Q&A
See the film at QUAD, Book tickets here.
How can one rock band be successful, underrated, hugely influential and criminally overlooked all at the same time? Take a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers Ron and Russell Mael, celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favourite band’s favourite band.
This screening will include a pre-show broadcast live from Sundance Film Festival: London 2021 and will be followed by a live Q&A with director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Ron & Russell Mael aka THE SPARKS BROTHERS.
Day Two – BBC iPlayer
The Man In The White Suit
Eccentric Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness) is a laboratory cleaner in a textile factory who invents a material that will neither wear out nor become dirty. Initially hailed as a great discovery, Sidney's astonishing invention is suffocated by the management when they realise that if it never wears out, people will only ever have to purchase one suit of clothing.
School For Scoundrels
Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael) is one of life's losers. Despised and disregarded at work, his prospective girlfriend April (Janette Scott) is whisked from under his nose by charming bounder Raymond Delauney (Terry-Thomas). In desperation, Henry enrols at Stephen Potter's (Alastair Sim) College of Lifemanship, where he gradually learns how to get one up on the other fellow.
Cold Comfort Farm
Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) is the recently orphaned London society girl who ignores the advice of her mentor Mrs Smiley (Joanna Lumley) and moves to the country to live with relatives on their farm. An aspiring novelist, Flora soon realises that there is plenty of material for her stories on the decrepit farm - and she decides that she will bring her sense of order to the chaotic and humorous characters that she meets.
Renowned Scottish actor Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, My Name Is Joe) made his feature film directing debut with this fierce jet-black comedy of familial grief shot in and around the streets of Glasgow where he grew up. As four siblings reunite for the funeral of their mother, Orphans blends realist drama, wildly absurdist humour, and moving social observation. Gleefully unsentimental and taking wicked delight in subverting audience expectations, Orphans is a dark, dangerous, funny and extraordinarily touching modern classic of Scottish cinema.
Day Three – BBC iPlayer
During the Second World War, the inhabitants of a small Hebridean island are wilting under a chronic shortage of whisky. When a ship is wrecked on the shore, it is discovered to contain 50,000 cases of malt, which are promptly appropriated by the menfolk of the island. All is well until an English Home Guard commander - determined to see the whisky restored to its rightful owners - calls in Her Majesty's Customs, and the islanders make frantic attempts to hide their treasured alcoholic booty!
Director Steve McQueen delves back into history to being us this remarkable relevant series of documentaries about the New Cross house fire from 1981. The story of the fire itself, the fall out and the Uprising.
A Simple Favour
The film follows Stephanie Ward (Anna Kendrick), a blogger who becomes friends with the glamorous Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) after meeting outside their children's school. The pair begin to form a strong bond, only for Emily to suddenly disappear shortly after calling Stephanie asking her to do her a small favour. With no sign of her after days of searching, Stephanie begins looking into the secrets of Emily's past as she desperately searches for answers. The cast also includes Rupert Friend, Linda Cardellini and Henry Golding.
In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both the humour and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.
Day Four – BBC iPlayer
Paris, 1920s. Marguerite Dumont is a wealthy woman, lover of the music and the opera. She loves to sing for her friends, although she's not a good singer. Both her friends and her husband have kept her fantasy. The problem begins when she decides to perform in front of a real audience. With Catherine Frot.
A father and son live a reclusive lifestyle in the middle of nowhere. The man, a disillusioned mercenary, has his final target in sight - a gang of foreign revolutionaries who lay low in a nearby derelict compound. As the man closes in on his target the boy falls for the revolutionaries' serving girl. Having spent his whole life in isolation the boy now discovers the warmth of friendship and the pleasures of something more. As father and son collide the boy is sent running, running in pain and full of betrayal, straight into the twisted embittered arms of the boy's maternal grandparents, who have come to snatch and save the boy. Figuring out what is right and wrong, what is good and bad is a task for both the man and the audience.
From director Christopher Nolan, a unique and intriguing thriller that begins with the ultimate act of revenge and back tracks through time to reveal the shocking and provocative reasons behind it. Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) remembers everything up to the night his wife was brutally raped and murdered. But since that tragedy, he has suffered from short-term memory loss and cannot recall any event, the place he has visited or anyone he has met just minutes before. Determined to find out why his wife was killed, the only way he can store evidence is on scraps of paper, by taking Polaroid photos and tattooing vital clues on his body. Throughout his investigation he appears to have the help of both bartender Natalie (Carrie-Ann Moss), who may have her own secret agenda and police officer Teddy (Joe Pantoliano), whose friendship is always suspect. As Shelby's fractured memory tries to piece together a chilling jigsaw of deceit and betrayal in reverse, breathtaking twists and surprising turns rapidly occur in one of the most challenging, original and critically acclaimed thrillers.
In 1878, young William Bonney (Emilio Estevez) joins a group of farmhands protecting a ranch and becomes 'Billy The Kid'. He and his friends set out to avenge the murder of their employer (Terence Stamp), but their vendetta becomes a bloody rampage, and they are soon the objects of a manhunt. The young stars, including Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips and Charlie Sheen, were the 'bratpack' of the mid-80s.
Day Five – All4
The Karate Kid
Family martial arts adventure with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. After moving to China with his family, an American boy is shown how to stand up to school bullies by a kindly caretaker. Remake of the 1984 film.
Wings Of Desire
This is the restored 30th Anniversary version of Wim Wenders’ award winning fantasy with Bruno Ganz (Downfall). An angel (Ganz) struggles with his immortality as he watches over the chaos of human life in a divided Berlin. With Peter Falk and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.
As a category 5 hurricane tears through Florida, Haley rushes to find her father, who is injured and trapped in the crawl space of their home. With the storm intensifying and water levels rising, the pair face an even more terrifying threat lurking below the surface. From producer Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), Crawl is a nail-biting thriller from start to finish
Director Yann Demange makes his feature debut with this British action thriller set in Belfast during the Troubles. In 1971 during a Belfast riot British soldier Gary Hook (QUAD patron Jack O'Connell) gets separated from his army unit and is forced to spend the night alone on the dangerous streets, unable to distinguish between his friends and his enemies. Can he find his way to safety? The cast also includes Sean Harris, Killian Scott, Martin McCann and Charlie Murphy.
Day Six – ALL 4
Crack In The World
After attempting to drill into the inner core of the Earth for alternative sources of energy a team of scientists must come up with a solution to repair a crack they create that threatens the entire planet. Things become even more complicated when Dr. Stephen Sorenson (Dana Andrews) is diagnosed with cancer but attempts to keep the news from his wife Dr. Maggie Sorenson (Janette Scott) and fellow colleague Dr. Ted Rampion (Kieron Moore).
The Ploughman’s Lunch
Smart 1983 political drama with Jonathan Pryce. An ambitious BBC hack who is researching a book on Suez finds himself caught up in the Falkland’ crisis. Written by Ian McEwan.
Ruben Ostlund writes and directs this satirical comedy drama starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West. Christian (Bang) is a curator for a prestigious art museum in Stockholm who is putting together a new installation entitled 'The Square', a space symbolising trust and safety where everyone in society looks out for one another. While Christian hunts for his expensive stolen possessions after being the victim of a petty street crime, the publicity campaign for the museum's new exhibition begins to gain unintended viral attention.
Damon (Jay Duplass) and his daughter Cee (Sophie Thatcher) travel to an alien planet looking to claim their fortune. However, they are not the only ones attempting to mine for riches and Damon's greed puts Cee in a perilous position as she attempts to stave off the other hostile inhabitants. With Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian).
Day Seven – BFI Player – Marta Meszaros
The BFI Southbank is hosting a season showcasing the work of Marta Meszaros this month and some of the films are being shown on the BFI Player.
“While resisting the ‘feminist filmmaker’ label, Meszaros undeniably makes her films from a female point of view. She looks long and deep. Drawing on personal experience, she considers difference, rebellion and intimacy and doesn’t judge. After studying at the Moscow Film School and making 20 documentaries (significantly stories of under-represented women), Meszaros made her first feature in 1968. Since then she’s built a significant body of award-winning work where a look and a gesture can replace pages of exposition, and in which we can learn volumes about relationships between parents and children, state and individuals and the rich tapestry of Central and Eastern European life. With many films restored by National Film Institute Hungary – Film Archive, it’s the perfect opportunity to acknowledge Meszaros’ incisive vision, so relevant to our times.” – Maggi Hurt, BFI Season Curator.
Celebrated as the first time a woman (or a Hungarian) director was awarded the Golden Bear at Berlin, Adoption is a powerful statement on female agency. This is a film full of strong female faces – looking directly to camera, or each other. When Kata’s (Berek) married lover refuses her wish for a child, their apparently mutually cozy arrangement is shattered, but something else, more satisfying, starts to develop. This award-winning intergenerational story of female empowerment has its feet firmly on the ground, and compelling performances from Berek and Vígh (as teenager Anna) at the core.
Diary For My Children
Rejected by Communist censors for many years, this first part of the Diary trilogy shows Mészáros expertly weaving between the personal and political. Adding archival footage to the narrative, she raises questions about cinematic representation and autobiographical cinema while keeping us fully engaged in the story of young orphan Juli (her alter-ego) as she returns to Hungary in 1947 to live with her Stalinist aunt. Superb charismatic performances draw us into the award-winning drama.
Diary For My Loves
Juli (Zsuzsa Czinkóczi) is determined to be a film director and wants to engage with the new society. This second, inspirational entry in Mészáros’ triumphant Diary trilogy tells of her life as a factory worker, and her witnessing of the turbulence of Hungarian and Soviet history post-WWII in Moscow. Documentary footage intensifies the drama with characters at the centre of real events.
Diary For My Father And Mother
Why do we have to lie?’ Juli asks friends in Moscow. Initially prevented from returning to Budapest during the 1956 uprising, she urgently wants to connect with those she loves. Márta Mészáros’ camera observes ordinary people becoming victims of circumstance; in particular, caught between family and politics, János (Nowicki) shows the fragility of survival. Watch out for the outstanding New Year party scene full of artifice, denial and hope. A climate of fear and mistrust pervades Budapest after the 1956 Uprising, the setting for the last part of Márta Mészáros’ outstanding Diary trilogy.