Written by Adam Marsh
QUAD Cinema Programmer
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’ve got, at least, three weeks of LOCKDOWN. It’s party food central, hamburgers every day, full fat coke, whipped cream smothered on everything! Should I have another biscuit? Don’t mind if I do!
Now, you may be tempted to take the same approach to your film viewing during LOCKDOWN! Hollywood blockbusters every day, full fat explosions, whipped cream smothered on everything… Should I have another Jennifer Lopez Rom Com? Don’t mind if I do!
I’m here to make you eat your cinematic greens. My name is Adam Marsh and I’m the cinema programmer at QUAD in Derby. Normally, I’d be programming films for QUAD’s three cinemas and you would be flocking in your masses to see such films. Just because I can no longer programme the cinema screens, doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what to watch!
I’ve scoured the internet streaming platforms to provide a healthy cinema diet for the next 7 days. I will do another cinema diet plan for next week also, and every week until QUAD can reopen.
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Comfort And Joy (1984) – (Amazon Prime)
Spy Smasher Episode 1 – America Beware (1942) (YouTube)
The Lady Vanishes (1938) – (Amazon Prime)
Bakurau (2019) (MUBI)
Mindhorn (2016) (BBC iPlayer)
Spy Smasher Episode 2 – Human Target (1942) (YouTube)
Sherlock Jr (1924) (BFiPlayer)
Juliet Of The Spirits (1965) (Amazon Prime)
Bait (2019) (BFiPlayer)
Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (2002) (MUBI)
8 ½ (Amazon Prime)
Spy Smasher Episode 3 – Iron Coffin (1942) (YouTube)
The Stranger (1946) (Amazon Prime)
Betty Blue (1986) (BFiPlayer)
Oldboy (2003) (MUBI)
La Dolce Vita (1960) (BFiPlayer)
Spy Smasher Episode 4 – Stratosphere Invaders (1942) (YouTube)
A Fistful Of Dollars (1964) (Netflix)
The Death Of Mr Lazarescu (2005) (BFiPlayer)
Lady Vengeance (2005) (MUBI)
Spy Smasher Episode 5 – Descending Doom (1942) (YouTube)
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965) (Amazon Prime)
The Castle Of Cagliostro (1979) (Netflix)
Le Doulos (1963) (MUBI)
The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970) (BFiPLayer)
Spy Smasher Episode 6 – The Invisible Witness (1942) (YouTube)
His Girl Friday (1940) (Amazon Prime)
Moomins And The Comet Chase (2010) (Amazon Prime)
Apollo 11 (2019) (Netflix)
Aniara (2018) (BFiPlayer)
Spy Smasher Episode 7 – The Secret Weapon (1942) (YouTube)
Nausicca Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984) (Netflix)
Neighbouring Sounds (2012)(BFiPlayer)
Not Quite Hollywood – The Wild, Untold Story Of Ozploitation (2008) (Vimeo link below)
Wake In Fright (1971) (BFiPlayer)
Films To Watch
Comfort And Joy (1984) – Available on Amazon Prime
Bill Forsyth’s follow up to the excellent Local Hero (1983) and Gregory’s Girl (1981) sees Bill Paterson playing a Glasgow Radio DJ who gets embroiled in the fight between two Italian families over the Ice Cream turf wars. Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the BAFTA’s in 1985.
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 1 – America Beware (29 mins) (YouTube)
There is a wealth of old serials available on YouTube and Amazon Prime in particular. I’ve picked out the one that is widely regarded as one of the best serials ever, Spy Smasher! One episode a day. They don’t work as well if you binge them.
Main Feature The Lady Vanishes (Amazon Prime)
Hitchcock’s delightful romp through Europe sees Iris, a heiress, on her way back from the European country of Bandrika. She makes conversation with a Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty) who promptly vanishes and nobody on the train seems to remember her ever being there. With the help of a music scholar Gilbert Iris sets out to investigate. Voted one of the top 50 Best British Films Of All Time.
Bakurau is a settlement in rural Brazil, whose people are grieving the death of its matriarch. When the water supply is cut off, and the village completely disappears from satellite maps, Bacurau braces itself for a brutal fight for survival. Due have played QUAD this Friday, this is now available to watch on Mubi with your three month free trial. Somewhat of a companion piece thematically to Parasite, this is well worth a watch.
Mindhorn (BBC iPlayer)
And we end the day with a bit of light relief, Julian Barratt’s Mindhorn. Barrett, of the Mighty Boosh, brings his Mindhorn character to cinematic life in this great British comedy. Richard Thorncroft is a added television actor semi-famous for playing take charge action character Mindhorn. Twenty five years later, a wanted for murder criminal on the Isle of Man, where Mindhorn was filmed, will only speak with Detective Mindhorn and Thorncroft has to step back into his shoes.
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 2 – Human Target (18 mins) (YouTube)
Main Feature Sherlock Jr (BFIplayer)
When a film projectionist is framed for the theft of his girlfriend’s father’s pocketwatch, he realises his lifelong dream to become a detective. He embarks on a quest to solve the mystery and clear his name. A stone wall classic!
Juliet Of The Spirits (Amazon Prime)
Giulietta (Giulietta Masina – La Strada, Nights Of Cabiria) grows suspicious of her husband, Giorgio (Mario Pisu) when his behaviour grow increasingly questionable. One night when Giorgio initiates a séance among his friends, Giulietta gets in touch with the spirits and learns more about herself and her painful past. Fellini’s first colour feature – although he directed a section of Boccaccio 70 in colour – it sees Fellini immersing himself in a world that had always fascinated him – that of psychics and seers. QUAD was running a Fellini season when the LOCKDOWN came, so continue this from the comfort of your own home.
British arthouse/ indie hit of the year and winner of the Outstanding Debut by a British writer/director/producer at this year’s BAFTAs. Modern day Cornish fisherman Martin (Edward Rowe) is struggling to buy a boat while coping with family rivalry and the influx of London money, AirBnB and stag parties to his harbour village. Stunningly shot on a vintage 16mm camera using monochrome Kodak stock, Mark Jenkin’s Bait is a timely and funny, yet poignant film that gets to the heart of a community facing unwelcome change.
Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (Mubi)
Impressed by the world wide success of Parasite? Think that there may be more to South Korean cinema than you thought? Want more? Then check out the work of Park Chan-wook. Available on Mubi is his exceptional Vengeance Trilogy. Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is the first film in that trilogy and sees Ryu, a deaf-mute desperate to help his sister who urgently needs a kidney transplant. The film follows Ryu as he tries to raise the money for his sister’s operation by holding the daughter of a wealthy man for ransom, and the path of vengeance that follows.
8 ½ (Amazon Prime)
Arguably Fellini’s masterpiece, and well regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, 8 ½ follows famous Italian director Guido (a sypher for Fellini) as he suffer’s from director’s block on his epic science fiction film. He turns to dreams, memories and desires in his search for creativity. Exquisitely shot, 8 ½ offers a unique portrayal of a restless creative talent battling with his past and the distractions of the present, as he fights to determine his future artistic voice. No. 4 in the Sight And Sound Director’s Poll of greatest films of all time (No. 10 in the Critics’ Poll).
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 3 – Iron Coffin (17 mins) (YouTube)
Main Feature The Stranger (1946) (Netflix)
Orson Welles’ directs this tale about Wilson (Edward G Robinson), a War Crimes investigator who travels to Connecticut to track down Franz Kindler, Nazi criminal. But Kindler has erased all traces of his identity. Can Wilson track him down with only the smallest of clues? The first Hollywood film to feature documentary footage of the Holocaust, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Story.
Betty Blue (BFIplayer)
A staple of arthouse cinemas in the 1980s (Derby’s Metro Cinema was certainly no exception). Betty Blue tells the tale of a lacklustre handyman and aspiring novelist, Zorg (Jean-Hughes Anglande) as he tries to support his younger girlfriend as she struggles with her mental health. Featuring a magnetic, star-making performance from Beatrice Dalle.
Oh Dae-su is imprisoned in a cell which resembles a hotel room for 15 years without knowing the identity of his captor or their motives. When he is finally released, he find himself still caught in a web of conspiracy and violence. Second Part of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, and a film that played Metro Cinema and QUAD on numerous occasions. A real fan favourite, unless you’re an octopus.
La Dolce Vita (Amazon Prime)
Continuing the Fellini season, La Dolce Vita sees him turn his adoring, yet critical eye towards ‘60s Rome. Set over seven decadent days, the film follows Marcello Mastrioianni’s philandering journalist, pursuing a happiness that’s always just out of reach. Massively influential both in film and the wider world, not only did “Dolce Vita” and “Felliniesque” become modern-day words, but it also coined the term “paparazzi” after the hero’s persistent photographer sidekick.
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 4 – Stratosphere Invaders (17 mins) (YouTube)
Main Feature A Fistful Of Dollars (Netflix)
The one where it all began. Clint Eastwood as the Man with no name who plays two rival families off against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride and revenge. An unofficial remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, Eastwood’s first starring role catapulted him into stardom and kickstarted the Italian western (aka The Spaghetti Western). Director Sergio Leone and Eastwood continued the trilogy with For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu (BFIplayer)
Cristi Puiu’s pitch black comedy follows the long death of Mr Lazarescu as he is admitted to hospital and ferried from one place to another, one department to another in a comedy of bureaucracy and the failings of the health system in Romania. Named the fifth Best Film of the 21st Century so Far in 2017 by the New York Times.
Lady Vengeance (Mubi)
Seen as somewhat of a disappointment after the excellent Old Boy, this is well worth a revisit to realign opinion. The tale of vengeance this time sees prisoner Lee Geum-Ja released after serving time for a murder she did not commit and embarking on a bloody quest for revenge against the real murderer.
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 5 – Descending Doom (17 mins) (Youtube)
Main Feature The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (Amazon Prime)
The very first adaptation of one of John Le Carre’s massively successful spy stories set during the Cold War. This first one tells the story of a British double agent who allows himself to be recruited by East German agents in England and is taken to Europe to sell his secrets. Winner of 4 BAFTA awards and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for Richard Burton.
The Castle Of Cagliostro (Netflix)
Pre-Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki made his debut as a feature director when he directed this second feature length film based around the Lupin The Third character created in manga by Monkey Punch. A crime caper as the master gentleman thief Lupin III is pursued by the dogged Inspector Zenigata to the tiny country of Cagliostro.
Le Doulos (Mubi)
Burglar Maurice has just been released from prison and immediately plunges back into the shadow underworld of crime. He is preparing a house-breaking and his friend Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo) brings him the needed equipment. Who can you trust when everyone is two-faced?
The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (BFIplayer)
Dario Argento’s feature film debut as director launched a thousand similarly animal titled thrillers. While this film didn’t start the giallo film, it certainly brought a level of commercial success that it hadn’t achieved beforehand. The black gloved killer stalks the streets of Rome and it is down to American writer Sam (Tony Musante) to solve the mystery before anyone else is killed. Also starring Belper born Suzy Kendall.
Supporting Feature - Spy Smasher Episode 6 – The Invisible Witness (YouTube)
Main Feature - His Girl Friday (Amazon Prime)
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell talk up a storm in this classic screwball comedy. Cary Grant plays newspaper editor, Walter Burns (Grant) who uses every trick in the book to stop his ex-wife and star reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) from leaving the profession and marrying nice but dim Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy).
Moomins And The Comet Chase (Amazon Prime)
Moomins And The Comet Chase is a 2010 adaptation of arguably the best of the Tove Jansson novels Comet In Moominland. This stop motion animation features Stellan Skarsgarrd, Mads Mikkelsson, Peter Stormare and narration by the recently passed Max Von Sydow. It also features an original song by Bjork (The Comet Song).
Apollo 11 (Netflix)
Breathtaking documentary of the moon landing featuring a wealth of rare footage. The quality of the footage is amazing, restored and cleaned up from the original 70 mm negatives. The events unfold through the footage with no narration or talking heads. It makes for an awe-inspiring 93 minutes.
Overlooked on release (Not by QUAD I hasten to add), this intelligent Swedish sci-fi film is set in the near future. A dystopian future where climate change has ravaged the Earth, prompting large scale emigration from Earth to Mars. When a routine trip veers off course the passengers of the Aniara must cope with their new lives.
Supporting Serial Spy Smasher Episode 7 – Secret Weapon (17 mins) (YouTube)
Main Feature Nausicca Of The Valley Of The Wind (Netflix)
Technically not an official Studio Ghibli film (as it was made before the founding of the company), nevertheless it features direction and scriptwriting from Hayao Muyazaki and is produced by Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko). Nausicca features many of the themes that would dominate the work of Miyazaki including environment issues and elaborate flying machines. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it tells the story of Nausicca, a young princess of the Valley of The Wind who embarks on a battle with Tolmekia, a rival kingdom who are attempting to eradicate a jungle of mutated giant insects. A masterpeice.
Neighbouring Sounds (Mubi)
Kleber Mendonca Filho (Aquarius, Bakurau) directs his first fiction feature film with this tale of melodrama and drama among the Brazilian nouveau-riche. Set on a single leafy street in Setubal, a prosperous part of Recife, Brazil’s fifth biggest city. Life takes an unexpected turn after the arrival of an independent security firm. A slice of Braziliana.
Not Quite Hollywood (Vimeo - https://vimeo.com/395658733)
Offered for free by the film’s director, Not Quite Hollywood is a documentary about Ozploitation, a peculiar breed of low budget Australian films made in the 70s and 80s that capitalised in the relaxing of laws on the film industry. From sex comedies to horror films, from kung fu actioners to creature feature films, Ozploitation covered a lot of ground and spawned films like Mad Max, Patrick, Road Games, The Man From Hong Kong, BMX Bandits, Dead End Drive In and the screen debut of Edna Everage in The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (She wouldn’t get her Damehood until the Sequel). A riotous documentary that will change your view of Australia!
Wake In Fright (BFIplayer)
A cult classic of Australian cinema, Wake In Fright follows a middle-class school teacher stuck in a government enforced position in an arid backwater. He stops off in the mining town of Bundanyabba on his way home for Christmas. There he descends into personal, moral degradation with the residents of this brutal and menacing town. With outstanding performances Donald Pleasance, Gary Bond, Sylvia Kay and Chips Rafferty, director Ted Kotcheff (First Blood, Weekend At Bernie’s) creates a sun-baked nightmare depicting masculinity and amorality in the Outback
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Spy Smasher links Episodes 1-6 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koJ1n_py2X8 Episodes 7-12 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9mhg2khX58 Vimeo Links – Not Quite Hollywood - https://vimeo.com/395658733