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, BBC iPlayer, All4, Arrow Player and Mubi.
See you at the movies!
Adam J. Marsh
Day One – QUAD Cinema
Summer Of Soul (Advised 18)
In the summer of 1969, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). After that summer, the footage was largely forgotten – until now. Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson presents a transporting film that includes never-before-seen concert performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.
Godzilla Vs. Kong (12A)
This titanic match up between two colossal monsters of cinema deserves to be seen on the big screen. In the blue corner, hailing from the fighting city of Tokyo it’s the King Of Monsters Godzilla. And his opponent in the red corner, the pride of Skull Island, King Kong! There is some plot in there too but you don’t really want to know about that. It’s big monsters time. With Rebecca Hall, Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Alexander Skarsgard and Julian Dennison (Hunt For The Wilderpeople)
After Love (12A)
Joanna Scanlan (Pin Cushion, The Thick Of It) gives a quietly devastating performance as a woman exploring her late husband’s secrets. Grappling with the death of her husband (Nasser Memarzia), Mary Hussain, who took the name Fatima when she converted to his Muslim faith, is tidying his things in their Dover home when she stumbles upon a secret, and sets off across the Channel to Calais to uncover the truth. An accomplished, elegantly realised and insightful drama about the possibilities of connection across physical and cultural boundaries.
"Anchored by a phenomenal performance by Scanlan, this is an accomplished debut from writer and director Aleem Khan" - Screen International
Ben Whishaw gives a deliriously committed performance in BAFTA-nominated British filmmaker Aneil Karia’s feature debut, a gripping and exhilarating thriller developed from Karia’s short Beat. Whishaw plays Joseph, an emotionally unstable airport security officer beset by loneliness, insomnia and unresolved feelings for his co-worker Lily (Jasmine Jobson). After lashing out at work, he goes on a chaotic odyssey through London, experiencing surreal and disturbing encounters with strangers (and more tender ones with Lily and his troubled parents) as his actions push him closer and closer to breaking point – and/or liberation.
Day Two – ALL4
Indian Film Season 2021 – Introduction by Season Curator Nasreen Kabir
See the introduction here - https://www.channel4.com/programmes/indian-film-season-2021-introduction
The Big City, the great Satyajit Ray’s first portrayal of contemporary life in his native Kolkata, follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family. With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, Ray builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the modern Indian woman.
Satyajit Ray’s exquisite story of a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning takes place in late nineteenth-century, pre-independence India, in the gracious home of a liberal-minded, workaholic newspaper editor and his lonely wife, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee). When her husband’s poet cousin (Soumitra Chatterjee) comes to stay with them, Charulata finds herself both creatively inspired and dangerously drawn to him. Based on a novella by the great Rabindranath Tagore, Charulata is a work of subtle textures, a delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice.
Thappad is the story of Amrita whose seemingly perfect life is shattered when her husband slaps her once in a party. But is one slap enough to question what a relationship stands for? Anubhav Sinha’s drama examines the role of women in India.
Day Three – BBC iPlayer
In search of a legendary creature, said to be the missing evolutionary link between man and beast, Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) discovers the giant, talking Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis), the last of his kind, who enlists the help of the monster investigator to find his distant cousins. The duo joins forces with adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana) and set off on an adventure across the globe to find Mr. Link's distant relatives and potentially make the discovery of the century.
Leslie Norman directs this British wartime drama which tells two sides of the Dunkirk story. British Corporal 'Tubby' Binns (John Mills) finds himself responsible for getting his men back to Britain from the Dunkirk beaches, after their commanding officer is killed and they become separated from the rest of the Allied Forces. Meanwhile, civilian reporter Charles Foreman (Bernard Lee) follows the build-up to the eventual evacuation of British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.
Don’t Look Back
DA Pennebaker’s classic film about Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of Britain is an intimate portrait of the artist as a young and formidably intelligent man. Dylan chats with British impresarios and singers, but he proves adept at retaining his privacy. His music, which seemed enigmatic at the time, particularly to the British press, has the attraction of the greatest popular culture of our time.
Testament Of Youth
Adaptation of Vera Brittain's autobiography. In 1913, Brittain (Alicia Vikander) is set to take up a place reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, but with the outbreak of the Great War and the enlisting of her fiancé (Kit Harrington) and brother Edward (Taron Egerton), she instead opts to sacrifice her studies and become a volunteer nurse, working at the Western Front. Here Brittain witnesses the harsh realities of war first hand, undergoing a series of horrific experiences which will have a lasting influence on her life.
Day Four – BBC iPlayer
Now settled in London and living with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, Peruvian bear Paddington (voice of Ben Whishaw) has begun building a reputation as an upstanding member of his new community. After spotting a unique pop-up book which he thinks will be a perfect present for his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton)'s 100th birthday, Paddington sets out to complete a number of odd jobs in an attempt to raise enough money to buy it. However, when the book is suddenly stolen, Paddington and the rest of the Brown family must work together in order to catch the thief and recover the book before Aunt Lucy's big day comes around.
Tea With Mussolini
Well-received drama based on the childhood memories of director Franco Zeffirelli. It is Florence, 1934. A diverse group of women meet each afternoon for tea. There is Lady Hester Ransom (Maggie Smith), widow of the British Ambassador to Italy; Arabella (Judi Dench), a singer and artist; Georgie (Lily Tomlin), an eccentric American archaeologist; Elsa (Cher), also an American, and brash and reckless with it; and finally Mary (Joan Plowright), who has virtually adopted a young Italian boy named Luca. As the political climate shifts towards fascism, the ladies must face some inevitable changes, and Luca must face his own responsibilities.
When Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) goes to visit his dying mother in Sicily, he asks his long-term girlfriend Loretta (Cher) to contact his estranged brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to their upcoming wedding. Ronny, a hot-headed baker, turns out to be everything his brother is not, and soon he and his prospective sister-in-law are embarking on a passionate affair. Oscars were won by Cher, supporting actress Olympia Dukakis, and writer John Patrick Shanley.
Shot over five years, this Oscar-winning documentary follows the passage of two young men with dreams of making it big in the world of basketball. Arthur and William are two black teenagers from Chicago, who both hope to earn themselves a place in the NBA. Sports scholarships ensure that they attend prestigious colleges after leaving high school, but this step up the ladder brings them to a new level of training, with a demanding coach who drives them to the very limits of their abilities.
Day Five – Arrow Player
Toto The Hero
Thomas is obsessed with the idea he was swapped at birth with his neighbour Alfred during a hospital fire. Believing the wealthy and privileged Alfred has lived the life he should have had Thomas is heart broken by the loss of his sister and plots his revenge, imagining himself to be the secret agent, Toto the Hero.
Dinner In America
Welcome to the Dollhouse collides with Napoleon Dynamite - with an added dose of the endlessly quotable dialogue of Heathers - in Dinner in America - a DIY love letter to being authentically yourself, finding your voice, and being punk AF. In a dreary Midwestern suburb, aggro punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner, Jennifer's Body, The Cleansing Hour) finds himself on the run again after a bout of arson and a close call with the police. A chance encounter with the spirited and socially awkward Patty (Emily Skeggs, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Mile 22) provides him a place to lay low. As the two embark on a series of misadventures, they begin to realise they have a lot more in common than they first expected... Skilfully directed by Adam Rehmeier (Jonas, The Bunny Game), produced by Ben Stiller (Zoolander, Tropic Thunder) and Ross Putman (Plus One, The Violent Heart) and set to the beat of brilliant original songs, Dinner in America is an empowering and wild ride through the places and people of suburbia— in all their peculiar and chaotic forms.
The Daimajin Trilogy saw Daiei’s Kyoto studios bringing its own iconic movie monster to life in a unique but short-lived series that transplants the Golem legend to Japan’s Warring States period of the late-16th century. In Daimajin, directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda (Yokai Monsters, Zatoichi on the Road), the young son and daughter of the benevolent feudal lord Hanabusa flee to the mountains when their parents are slain by the treacherous usurper Odate. Ten years later, when the elderly priestess who has harboured them is also murdered, the rage of the slumbering ancient god that lies beneath the crumbling giant stone idol hidden deep in the forests in the mountains is invoked.
Directed by Carlo Lizzani (Wake Up and Kill, The Hills Run Red) and with a superb soundtrack by Riz Ortolani (Day of Anger, Cannibal Holocaust), Requiescant – Latin for ‘Rest in Peace’ – ranks among the finest Spaghetti Westerns. Alex Cox named it the “one film to prove that the Italian Western was not solely Sergio Leone’s”. Lou Castel (Fists in the Pocket, A Bullet for General) plays a young man who was raised to be a pacifist by a travelling preacher after Confederates massacred his family. But when his step-sister runs away, the pursuit reveals a natural talent as a sharp-shooter as well as a bloody and unexpected confrontation with his past. Joining Castel are an impressive array of performers, including Mark Damon (Black Sabbath, The Fall of the House of Usher) as the sadistic aristocratic villain, Franco Citti (Accattone, The Godfather) as his henchman, and the great Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò) in a rare acting role as a revolutionary priest.
Day Six – ALL 4
David MacKenzie directs this British drama in which a troubled teenager and his father bond in the unusual surroundings of a prison. 19-year-old Eric (Jack O'Connell) has had an extremely difficult childhood. Taken into care after the death of his mother and the sentencing of his father (Ben Mendelsohn), Eric's subsequent struggles with authority are highlighted by the fact that he has been 'starred up' from juvenile prison to the real thing, despite his tender years. Eric is happy with the outcome, though, as it gives him a chance to reconnect with his father and to demonstrate his toughness. However, with certain prison wardens not averse to using extreme violence to enforce order and protect others, Eric may have to tread carefully and pay attention to the calming words of his father if he is to make it out of the facility in one piece.
Yorgos Lanthimos co-writes and directs this surreal sci-fi comedy drama starring Colin Farrell. Set in a dystopian future where failure to find a partner is unacceptable, recently widowed David (Farrell) is given just 45 days to find a replacement partner. In line with the rules of The City, singletons are taken to The Hotel where they are forced to find a mate and those that fail to pair up are transformed into an animal of their choosing and sent into the surrounding woods. Although David appears less desperate than some of his fellow guests to forge a new relationship, he tries his best to create a union with a fellow cold-hearted resident (Angeliki Papoulia). But after his latest attempt at a relationship fails, David flees The Hotel and into the wilderness where he falls in love with a Loner (Rachel Weisz) despite the militant group's ban on romantic interactions.
One Cut Of The Dead
A cast of unknowns, a brilliantly disguised low budget and an epic, 37-minute opening single take makes Shinichiro Ueda's feature debut a bright, breezy and laugh-out-loud hilarious zombie comedy. A film crew is shooting a zombie horror flick in an abandoned water filtration plant, allegedly used for human experiments by the military. Just as the director browbeats his actors and demands more special effects blood, a real zombie apocalypse erupts, much to his auteur delight.
Hounds Of Love
Australian crime drama and debut feature from writer and director Ben Young. After sneaking out to attend a late-night party, 17-year-old student Vicki Maloney (Ashleigh Cummings) is abducted by serial killers John and Evelyn White (Stephen Curry and Emma Booth), a Perth couple who take pleasure in torturing and murdering young girls. Finding herself chained up in the guest room of the White's house, Vicki attempts to turn her captors against each other in a desperate bid to help her escape.
Day Seven – Mubi
Tucker: The Man And His Dream
Preston Tucker is a dynamic engineer determined to create the car of the future. Against all odds, Tucker builds the Tucker Torpedo, but when his factory is shut down by Detroit’s Big Three auto manufacturers, Tucker must fight for his American Dream. Directed with stylistic exuberance and a freewheeling spirit, Tucker was a longtime passion project for Francis Ford Coppola. Jeff Bridges delivers a lively performance (in a role previously intended for Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson!), making for a heartfelt antithesis to standard biopic fare.
All Tommy wants from life is what everyone else has—a job, a girl, a good time. But the harder he tries, the worse things get. And the more time he spends at Trees Lounge, his Long Island neighbourhood bar, the more involved he gets with the lives of the colourful characters he meets there. Steve Buscemi’s first feature as a director is an overlooked indie soaked in alcohol and nihilistic humour, mirroring its protagonist’s unique blend of melancholy and comedy. Appearances by Chloë Sevigny, Samuel L. Jackson, and Seymour Cassel make Trees Lounge an enviable ’90s hangout spot.
A Bloody Spear At Mount Fuji
Young samurai Kojuro makes the long journey to Edo, accompanied by his spear-carrier, Gonpachi, and servant – both loyal to a fault. A little boy convinces the gruff Gonpachi to let him tag along and learn the way of the spear. He is the first of many colourful characters they meet along the way. This masterful parable of anti-violence was made at the height of Japan’s postwar reconstruction by the great Tomu Uchida, a filmmaker who ought to be better known in the West. Taking John Ford’s Stagecoach as its starting point, if you can resist that title, you’re made of stronger stuff than us.
Property Is No Longer A Theft
A young bank clerk, denied a loan by his employer, decides to exact his revenge on the local butcher who is one of the bank’s star customers. Quitting his job, the clerk devotes his time tormenting the butcher, stealing his possessions one-by-one, including his mistress. Social satire has never looked so deliriously psychedelic and sexy. Mirroring the fetishisation of both capitalism and the female body, Ugo Tognazzi and Daria Nicolodi give their sleazy best amidst the extravagantly staged sets.