21 weeks!! 577 films! As QUAD gears up to re-open on 7th September, here is another week of great online streaming content to keep those cinefile muscles from atrophying.
Day 1 – BBC iPlayer
The Australian Dream (2020)
The inspirational story of Indigenous Australian Football League (AFL) legend Adam Goodes. A deep and powerful story about race, identity and belonging, the film centres on an incident where a 13-year-old opposition supporter called Goodes an ape during a football match. Pointed out by Goodes, the girl was ejected from the stadium by officials. It generated enormous public debate and dominated media coverage, exposing an ugly seam of racism running through the nation. The film unpicks the unfolding events from 2013 to 2015, raising fundamental questions about the nature of racism and discrimination in society today. What happened resonates beyond Australia.
The Dark Mirror (1946)
Psychological thriller about twin sisters - one good, one bad - who are implicated in the murder of a famous physician. After the dead man is discovered, a society beauty is placed at the scene of the crime by eyewitnesses. But the plot thickens when police discover that she has a twin sister. Featuring a powerful dual performance from the late Olivia de Havilland, who won her first Oscar in the same year for To Each His Own.
Morvern Callar (2002)
Lynne Ramsay directs this adaptation of Alan Warner’s novel set in a small Scottish town, with Samantha Morton in the title role. When Morvern comes home from her job at the supermarket one night to find her boyfriend dead in a pool of blood in their flat having committed suicide, she finds his finished novel on his computer and decides to pass it off as her own.
Interview With A Vampire (1994)
Gothic horror story based on Anne Rice's novel about a 200-year-old vampire who decides to tell his life story to an increasingly beguiled journalist in modern-day San Francisco. Weary with wandering the world in search of fresh prey, the vampire begins to relate episodes from his past embracing two centuries.
Day 2 – All 4
A Room With A View (1985)
Set in Florence and the English countryside, the film tells the story of a young English couple, Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) and George Emerson (Julian Sands), who encounter passion whilst on holiday in Italy. Defying the Victorian conventions of their elders they dare to be true to their feelings, each other and true love. Superbly adapted from E.M. Forster's classic novel, and boasting a wonderful supporting cast including Daniel Day-Lewis, Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Denholm Elliot and Simon Callow, A Room With A View was a world-wide smash hit and cemented the reputation of Merchant Ivory as masters of the period film.
Howard’s End (1992)
Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins star in this Academy Award-winning adaptation of the novel by E.M. Forster. In 1910, sisters Helen (Helena Bonham-Carter) and Margaret Schlegel (Thompson) live in London with their brother, but the lease on their flat is about to expire. Margaret has recently befriended the ailing Mrs Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave) who decides to bequeath her house, Howards End, to her. However, upon Mrs Wilcox's death her family close ranks, refusing to inform Margaret of her inheritance. When the widowed Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins) begins to take a romantic interest in Margaret however, the ensuing relationship leads to tragedy.
A young girl is set to leave her Romanian homeland for a prestigious English university when she is physically assaulted just before her final exam. Her father now tries to get to the bottom of who the culprit is and how he convince bureaucratic powers to reconsider this life changing exam for this daughter. Another brilliant drama that plays with thriller-like tension from the acclaimed director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.
Eighteen-year-old Casper (Gustav Dyekjær Giese), who lives in the infamous Nordvest suburb of Copenhagen with his mother, brother Andy and sister Freya, is a talented housebreaker who makes ends meet committing burglaries for neighbourhood boss Jamal. When a rival gangster, Bjorn, makes Caspar an offer of more lucrative terms and, perhaps, the promise of advancement through the ranks of his very white Danish family , the enraged Jamal is not prepared to tolerate defection; things violently escalate, placing the teenager and his family at the centre of a toxic conflict. What could be a predictable genre tale is elevated far above the ordinary by director Noer s fresh script and restrained approach, and by Gustav Dyekjær Giese s natural and powerful performance. His remarkable stillness only serves to intensify Casper's inner turmoil.
Day 3 – MUBI
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)
China’s most famous artist and its most outspoken domestic critic against a backdrop of strict censorship. This intimate, informative documentary portrait of the dissident Chinese artist/activist surveys his many careers and occupations and, in turn, brings to light the global impact of his political and conceptual art. Shot with great access to its subject between 2008 and 2010, before his arrest.
The Commune (2016)
Erik and Anna are an academic couple who set up a commune in Erik’s huge villa in Copenhagen with their daughter Freja. There is friendship, love and togetherness under one roof, until a love affair puts the small community to its greatest test yet. From Dogme 95 co-founder Thomas Vinterberg.
Swimming Pool (2003)
A British Author (Charlotte Rampling) seeks inspiration and solitude at her publisher’s holiday home in the South of France. Her quietude is soon disrupted by the reckless, erotic lifestyle of his daughter. Their tumultuous interactions set off a series of disturbing events. From director Francois Ozon with Ludvine Sagnier as the Femme Fatale in this sun-drenched, psychosexual tension-boiler with a killer twist!
All About My Mother (1999)
Following the tragic death of her teenage son, Manuela travels from Madrid to Barcelona in an attempt to contact the long-estranged father the boy never knew. She reunites with an old friend an outspoken transgender sex worker, and befriends a troubled actress and a pregnant HIV-positive nun. One of Pedro Almodóvar’s most acclaimed, most beloved works (and his first Academy Award winner!), his immaculate maximalist melodrama; a film of intense emotion and deep feeling. A love letter to actors, brought to life by a fierce cast of Almodóvar regulars: including Cecilia Roth and Penelope Cruz.
Day 4 – Mix Of Platforms
Wallace And Gromit in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (2005) – BBC
Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest. Excellent stop motion fun from Nick Park and his creations.
Disobedience (2018) – All4
From Sebastián Lelio, writer-director of the Academy Award-winning A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience is a timely and emotionally powerful tale set at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, of personal desires and the demands of faith. When her estranged rabbi father suddenly passes away, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns from New York to the north London Orthodox Jewish community she rejected years previously after a scandalous transgression. Ronit's presence immediately courts further controversy when she unknowingly runs into Esti (Rachel McAdams), the wife of her strictly religious cousin Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and the woman for whom she shared an illicit attraction in their childhood. This happy reunion soon reignites the two women's burning, long-unrequited passions, an act of defiance that could alter the course of their lives forever.
Charlotte Gray (2001) – All4
1943. The world is at war. Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, is parachuted behind enemy lines into Southern France. Only she knows she has a dual mission.
Officially she has been recruited by the British Government on a special operation to liaise with the local Resistance group, who are using guerrilla tactics against the occupying German Army. Unofficially, she is searching for her lover, Peter, an English airman missing after his plane is shot down. As Charlotte becomes more deeply involved with the Resistance fighters she realises that her love of France and its people will change her life forever. Based on the best selling novel by Sebastian Faulks.
A Most Wanted Man (2014) – All4
The city of Hamburg is in a state of high alert after numerous terrorist plots with all the key players locked in a tight battle. Into this complex game of international politics comes Karpov, a Chechnyan refugee suspected of being part of a terrorist organisation and Annabel Richter, a passionate human rights lawyer. Little do they know that they are simple pawns in a much deadlier game than they could have imagined in this tense thriller from the best-selling author John Le Carré.
Day 5 – BFI Player
Two Women (1960)
Sophia Loren an Oscar® for ‘Best Actress’ – the first ever in a foreign-language film – for her performance in Vittorio De Sica's neorealist masterpiece. Two Women tells the story of a young widow, Cesira (Sophia Loren) and her 12 year old daughter who flee war-ravaged Rome to Cesira’s native village in Ciociaria. Yet, as the allied forces push back the German occupation, the two women fall victim to a devastatingly brutal act at the very hand of the country’s liberators.
One Deadly Summer (1983)
Isabelle Adjani plays Elle, a provocative 19-year-old whose move, with her mother and sick father, to a sleepy Provence village sets the locals afire with lust and gossip. She soon finds a suitor in gentle Pin-Pon (Alain Souchon), the local mechanic, and they marry shortly after. Then the tone shifts, when a dark secret emerges from her past, the film becomes more complex and Adjani’s character reveals a disturbing side as she manipulates events and men in order to seek revenge for an outrage inflicted in her childhood…
A dark psychosexual drama from first-time directors Carlos and Jason Sanchez, Allure stars Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld) as a troubled woman who becomes entangled in an intense relationship with a teenage girl. Manipulation, denial and codependency fuel what ultimately becomes a fractured dynamic that can only sustain itself for so long.
A Prophet (2009)
Blending brutality and tenderness, realism and poetry, Jacques Audiard’s drama chronicles the experiences of a young French Arab striving to survive murderous power struggles in a prison dominated by Corsicans and Arabs. Tahar Rahim excels as the canny protagonist, but it is the deft depiction of the cruel social and psychological realities of prison life that brings depth to a gripping yarn.
Day 6 – BFI Player – Japan 2020
Wolf Children (2013)
Hana, a student at Tokyo University, is intrigued by a mysterious man who sits in on lectures despite not being registered to attend. Before long, they fall in love and she discovers that he is a wolf-man; he has the blood of both man and wolf and, as wolves have been extinct in Japan for many years, he is the last of his kind. Before long, they bring two children into the world – Ame and Yuki – who begin to display wolf characteristics, and as such may need to be brought up away from the outside world. As they grow older they will have to deal with their differences and decide which path to take.
By 1995 Hirokazu Koreeda was already well established as a documentary director, but it was his fictional debut that brought him international attention; winning prizes at Chicago, Vancouver, and Venice, and securing commercial releases in western countries. An apparently happy marriage is abruptly ended by the husband’s sudden death, but was it accident or suicide? Koreeda’s haunting, meditative film traces a widow’s attempts to cope with and comprehend her bereavement. With its static camera setups and long takes evoking the work of the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Maborosi announced a vital new presence in Japanese cinema.
Battle Royale (2000)
In a world where teenagers have no respect and adults are losing control there can be only one solution: Battle Royale! Now, see what happens when you let a high school class loose on an island, arm them and then give them a simple choice... Kill your friends or have them kill you; with poison, cross-bows, machetes and dynamite. ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano (Violent Cop, Zatoichi) is a teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges. Kidnapped and gassed, his class wake up with exploding metal rings around their necks. If they rebel, they could lose their heads. Now they have three days and only one is permitted to survive this grisly battle to the death. Directed by the master of 70s Yakuza thrillers Kinji Fukasaku and featuring future Kill Bill star Chiaki Kuriyama, Battle Royale is the movie that helped to define extreme Asian cinema in the 21st Century.
A Snake Of June (2002)
Rinko (Asuka Kurosawa) and Shigehiko (Yuji Kotari) are a strange couple, whose physical mismatch (she a lithe beauty, he an overweight, balding, obsessive-compulsive neurotic) is reflected in the complete lack of intimacy between them. They connect as human beings, but they live more like friends than as lovers and lead nearly independent lives. Both seem comfortable with this coexistence, but the desires that lurk beneath its surface are brought out with the introduction of a third element into the equation. When Rinko receives a package of candid photographs of herself masturbating and the sender (played by Tsukamoto himself) contacts her with the threat of exposing them to her husband, she submits herself to the anonymous voyeur’s sexual games. If she wishes to get hold of all the negatives and prints, Rinko is to comply with a set of assignments that place her constantly on the borderline between humiliation and pleasure – the voyeur knows exactly what Rinko’s personal erotic fantasies are and makes her act them out one by one.
Day 7 – BBC iPlayer
The King’s Choice (2016)
When German ships appear in Norwegian waters in April 1940, King Haakon VII (Jesper Christensen) faces some tough choices as he attempts to maintain Norwegian neutrality in WWII. Although German officer Kurt Bräuer (Karl Markovics) claims his troops are only there to protect the vulnerable Norwegians from the British, it soon becomes apparent that the Nazis want to seize control of Norway's valuable assets and occupy the country. With the lives of his people hanging in the balance, King Haakon must decide whether to agree to the Germans' demands or fight for his country's freedom.
Dustin Hoffman directs this comedy drama adapted by writer Ronald Harwood from his own stage play. Beecham House is a retirement home with a difference: it specifically caters for former artistes including one-time opera singers Cissy (Pauline Collins), Reginald (Tom Courtenay) and Wilf (Billy Connolly). Once part of a quartet, the three still take part in an annual concert to celebrate the birthday of composer Giuseppe Verdi. But this year things are complicated by the arrival of the fourth member of their quartet, Jean (Maggie Smith), a die-hard diva who also happens to be Reginald's ex-wife. Theatrical temperaments and old hostilities flare as the dramatic foursome fuss, flirt and flounce their way through rehearsals, adhering emphatically to that old showbiz adage, 'the show must go on'.
The Railway Man (2013)
Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgård star in this war drama adapted from Eric Lomax's memoirs about his experiences in a POW camp. While serving in the Second World War, British Army officer Eric Lomax (Jeremy Irvine) is captured and held prisoner by the Japanese. He is brutally tortured and forced, along with his fellow captives, to build the Thai-Burma Railway. Many years later an older Lomax (Firth) is still traumatised by the experience. Supported by his wife Patti (Kidman) and friend Finlay (Skarsgård), he decides to track down one of his torturers, Takashi Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada), hoping to find the answers that will enable him to finally let go of the hatred he has held for so long.
The Revenant (2015)
Inspired by true events, The Revenant is an epic story of survival and transformation on the American frontier. While on an expedition into the uncharted wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally mauled by a bear, then abandoned by members of his own hunting team. Alone and near death, Glass refuses to succumb. Driven by sheer will and his love for his Native American wife and son, he undertakes a 200-mile odyssey through the vast and untamed West on the trail of the man who betrayed him: John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). What begins as a relentless quest for revenge becomes a heroic saga against all odds towards home and redemption. The Revenant is directed, produced and co-written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Winner of 3 Oscars for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography