Hyde Park Picks
With cinemas closed and screenings on hold, sadly its not possible for us to share films in the usual way. Thankfully though, a growing number of top independent films are available to stream from home – often for free – allowing you to continue discovering brilliant films from around the world.
With this in mind we’ve launched Hyde Park Picks – regular recommendations from the Hyde Park Picture House, of some of the best films available online. With picks coming from Picture House staff and volunteers, we'll also be including occasional non-film recommendations too, from podcasts and books, to other fun bits that we think you'd like.
See below for a list of the latest Picks. Please bear in mind, because some films are only available to stream for a set-number of days, some of the older recommendations might not be available still. To keep up to date with the latest Picks as and when they're posted, follow our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram channels.
28th April, 2020
Coming today from our friends at Leeds Cineforum – this Tuesday's film recommendation is Michelangelo Antonioni's 1962 L’eclisse – which is available to watch via MUBI for the next 20 days.
Fresh off the end of an affair with an older man, Vittoria meets the vital and exciting Piero. The two start to explore their passion for one another while wandering the deserted suburbs of Rome but their affair soon reveals itself to be doomed.
To accompany this selection, Leeds Cineforum invited Fabio Vighi – Professor of Italian and Critical Theory at Cardiff University – to write about the themes in Antonioni’s masterful work. This is now available to read via the Friends of Hyde Park Picture House blog. :
The Friends of Hyde Park are always looking for new contributors, so if you'd like to flex your writing muscles head to their website and drop them a line. And Leeds Cineforum are also keeping active during lockdown, in part by compiling this Google list of sites where films can be streamed for free.
And don't forget, for 90 days free with MUBI, visit: mubi.com/hydepark
27th April, 2020
God's Own Country
A film close to our hearts, God's Own Country Film takes pride of place as today’s #HydeParkPick.
Lovingly crafted by friend & Patron of Hyde Park Picture House Francis Lee, this broodingly beautiful film about isolation & intimacy feels more relevant now than ever. You can rent the film via Amazon or the BFI Player.
First & foremost a love story, God's Own Country is also an important reminder of the invaluable contribution migrants make to the UK, something that feels particularly pertinent today.
With this in mind, be sure to check out London Migration Film Festival's ace retrospective programme – exploring a wide range of different migrant experiences – available to watch for free until the end of May.
And for those interested in learning more about the creative process behind this special film, you can follow this brilliant tweet-along that Francis Lee did last year.
26th April, 2020
Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti
Our Hyde Park Pick for today is Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti (1983) which is free to watch on the BFI Player.
Co-directed by film theorists and avant garde filmmakers Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, this half-hour documentary explores the work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Italian photographer Tina Modotti, both icons of the Mexican Renaissance.
If this peaks your interest then check out a special Facebook live Q&A that we were proud to share – with the legendary Laura Mulvey herself – hosted by Birds Eye View as part of their ongoing Reclaim the Frame project. You can find a recorded version of this video via our Facebook page.
You can also read more about Mulvey's experience shooting her avant garde classic Riddles of the Sphinx via the BFI's website.
25th April, 2020
Our #HydePark Pick today is The Boxtrolls which is currently available on Netflix.
We really enjoyed screening this family favourite for our Hyde and Seek at Scrap Creative Reuse Art Project in Farsley back In March, as part of our ‘On the Road’ pop up programme. This beautiful stop-motion treat was made by LAIKA Studios who also brought you the delightful (and a little scary) Coraline. We love The Boxtrolls because it's got something for all ages, it’s beautiful to look at, thrilling throughout and gloriously imaginative.
This film is also a perfect inspiration for a creative craft activity, as your young ones can maketheir own Boxtroll at home or even turn themselves into a Boxtroll if you have a big enough box!
23rd April, 2020
Coffee and Cigarettes
A firm favourite of ours, Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) is our recommended Pick for today – available to stream on MUBI until Monday 4th May.
In this anthology of comic vignettes, unlikely pairs of celebrities sit down to talk about everything from Tesla coils and jukeboxes, to long-lost relatives and the dentist. The conversations are separate in time and place, but they all have two things in common: coffee and cigarettes.
We wanted to make this our pick today because it captures some glimmer of a thing we’re missing at the moment –accidental in person interactions. We love the connectivity we’re experiencing right now, whether its with Zoom meet-ups with friends, online quizzes, or whatsapp chats with colleagues – but none of these make up for the pleasure that can be derived from an unplanned chat with a friend in the street, or stopping by our favourite bar, coffee shop or book shop and shooting the breeze with a friendly face.
As we say there’s a shimmer of that in Coffee and Cigarettes, enough to make us smile right now. Our team have also replicated it by ordering some 'essentials' from our favourite folks during this time. Just this week a cinema staffer placed orders with Colours May Vary and Kirkstall Brewery to help meet the needs of a birthday during lockdown and it was lovely how these folk made the interaction feel so familiar and warm.
It’s nice to see another favourite of ours, Laynes Espresso, have joined the online orders fun as well. Useful to know if you want to create the full Jarmusch experience at home and continue supporting local independents, which are the life and soul of our city.
Don't forget you can get 3-months free on MUBI by visiting: mubi.com/hydepark
22nd April, 2020
Night of the Living Dead™ Remix
Our pick for today is a little different – we’d like to recommend you check out Night of the Living Dead™ Remix, a special pre-recorded version of the live stage show which premiered earlier this year at Leeds Playhouse.
You can see the ‘film’ for free via the Imitating the dog website, where there's also an option to donate if you're able.
This fascinating work by Imitating the Dog is a live shot for shot recreation of George A.Romero’s politically charged zombie classic recreated 50 years after it’s original release. Following seven strangers who take refuge from flesh eating ‘ghouls’ in an isolated farmhouse. As the night draws in, their situation becomes desperate, hope turns to despair, and the picket-fence American dream is smashed apart.
We love the revitalised Leeds Playhouse building and have really enjoyed seeing our favourite architects, Page Park, share insights into how they worked to make this important Leeds landmark the perfect space for contemporary theatre.
If you’re interested in their refurbishment you can find lots of great insights into the project on the Page Park website, including a brilliant deep dive into the theatre’s beautiful tiled façade.
21st April, 2020
Estate, a Reverie
For anyone missing our Tuesday Wonder screenings, today’s recommendation comes from our Creative Engagement Officer, Laura.
“Recently I noticed that a new film had been added to the LUX Moving Image online collection - Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s 2015 documentary – Estate, a Reverie.
Made over seven years, the film documents the slow dismantling of a community living in a condemned East London estate, while also hinting at a sense of utopian possibility within a one-time 'slum-clearance project' and the group of people who have made it their home.
Andrea's approach to documentary making is immersive, grounded, detailed and watchful, somehow managing to tell huge stories using just the tiniest details. I admire all of her films, they make me think of that saying that 'the personal is always political'.
The current pandemic has the potential to change many of the ways in which we have become used to living and we will need our film makers more than ever to be able to tell the stories that are at risk of being obscured.”
The film can be streamed for £3 via Vimeo.
20th April, 2020
What You Don't Know (radio)
Today – this #ChineseLanguageDay – we're recommending What You Don't Know, a radio piece recorded by filmmaker Lulu Wang for This American Life, which went on to become one of our favourite films of 2019, The Farewell. Available to listen for free here.
In What You Don’t Know, Wang tells the story of an elaborate decision made by her family to keep her Grandmother in the dark when she is diagnosed with cancer. We love this piece because it captures all of the complexity and wonder of extended families. There’s a myriad layers of personal history, politics, grudges and above all LOVE that combine to make each family a world in it’s own right and somehow in 27 minutes Wang captures all of that.
She went on to adapt What You Don’t Know for film last year working as both writer and director. It’s really interesting to see how the integrity and humour in the radio piece was expanded for cinema and we love that it went on to win a myriad of awards including the Best Film of the year in the The Bechdel Test Fest end of year poll. If you haven’t seen The Farewell it’s available to stream on Amazon and as a DVD/Blu-ray from all the usual reputable shops.
18th April, 2020
My Life as a Courgette
Our Hyde & Seek Hyde Park Pick today is a film we love any excuse to recommend to friends, audiences…strangers on the street, My Life as a Courgette (2016). Available for free on Film4 until the 7th May.
Following the story of a young boy who's sent to a group home after losing his mother My Life as a Courgette is directed by Claude Barras and written by Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire). We love this film so much because of how it deals with really difficult ideas like loss with lots of humour and heart, finding ways to speak to audiences of all ages. This is a great watch for fans of Jaqueline Wilson's work.
One of the reasons we love Courgette so much is the beautiful stop motion animation used to bring the story to life. Here in the UK our much beloved lords of stop motion, Aardman Animations, have launched the Aards & Craft activity series to help entertain families on lock down. You can find the activities on their Youtube channel here.
17th April, 2020
Sound It Out
Our Hyde Park Pick for today is 2011’s Sound it Out documentary which, in celebration of Record Store Day UK, filmmaker Jeanie Finlay has just made free to watch via her website.
Sound it Out is a documentary portrait about Sound It Out Records – the last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, and a cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK.
Record Store Day UK may be on hold for this year but in sharing Sound it Out this week, Finlay has invited us to join her in a celebration of not only the important role that music plays in our lives but also the huge value that independent record stores bring to our cities. Whether that be by championing local bands and exciting artists from around the globe, or through putting the time, energy and passion into their stores to ensure that the people who shop there aren’t just customers, they’re a community.
16th April, 2020
Outside In + live-streamed Q&A
Outside In – the tender and powerful drama from director Lynn Shelton (Humpday, Your Sister's Sister) – is today’s #HydeParkPick, and available to stream now on Netflix.
With impressive performances from Jay Duplass, Edie Falco and Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever, this thoughtful character study is definitely worth making time for.
Alongside this recommendation, we’re also very excited to be partnering with our friends at Birds Eye View to bring you a live-streamed discussion with the director herself, as part of their new EYE TO EYE strand of in-depth chats with some of the world's most dynamic and often under-appreciated female filmmakers.
As one of the most interesting of the so-called ‘Mumblecore’ directors, Lynn Shelton’s incredible career is one we’ve long admired – so we can’t wait to hear her in conversation with Bird’s Eye View’s Mia Bays – streamed live from our Facebook page tomorrow (Friday) evening at 6pm.
14th April, 2020
Recommended by our friends from Pavilion, today’s Hyde Park Pick is the 2004 film H-E-L-L-O by American artist-filmmaker Cauleen Smith – whose work people might’ve encountered at the Henry Moore Institute last year as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International.
H-E-L-L-O is a lyrical short film shot across post-Katrina New Orleans in significant sites of communality, survival and solidarity that stretch back centuries.
The past, present and possible future of each place is activated by a lone musician playing the five note musical greeting from Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
At the heart of H-E-L-L-O is a beautifully conceived gesture: play sound into a place, and feel the vibrations that it returns.
Available to view on Cauleen Smith’s Vimeo channel alongside other works which were on public display at temporarily closed institutions.
13th April, 2020
Our Hyde Park Pick for Easter Monday is one of our favourites by Scottish born filmmaker, Norman McLaren – his 1952 short Neighbours. This and much of McLaren's other work is available to watch for free via the National Film Boarder of Canada website.
Using stop motion techniques to animate a pair of live actors, this Oscar-winning film tells the story of two neighbours who come to blows over a flower.
At the moment space and shared territory on both micro and macro levels is a major concern. Whether it's receiving a donation of ventilators from an international neighbour or a friendly smile from a stranger on your street, now is the time for finding room for acts of kindness that make distance irrelevant.
12th April, 2020
The Lady Vanishes
Bank holiday weekends are always a great time to revisit old classics, so for today’s Hyde Park Pick we’re recommending The Lady Vanishes – one of Hitchcock's last British films before his move to Hollywood, and definitely one of his best.
Combining entertaining melodrama with the director’s trademark suspense, this is perfect Easter Sunday viewing.
10th April, 2020
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Romance and art entwine in Portrait of a Lady on Fire – the sumptuous masterpiece from director Céline Sciamma and today's Hyde Park Pick.
Exquisitely made and profoundly beautiful, this film simply blew us away. Available from today via MUBI.
One of the best events we hosted at Leeds University Union's Pyramid Theatre last month was a screening of the film in collaboration with our friends at Birds Eye View. It included a special interview with director Céline Sciamma, which you can now watch online in full via Youtube.
Oh and for fans of the wonderful official posters for this film, you can read this lovely piece on the Curzon Artificial Eye blog about the fascinating creative process behind the creation of the artwork, from the super talented designer Sam Ashby.
9th April, 2020
Winner of Best Film at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival and one of our favourites of last year – Alejandro Landes’ Monos is a bold, surreal and visually stunning piece of filmmaking, with a superbly eerie score from Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie).
As today’s Hyde Park Pick, Monos can be rented and streamed from home via the BFI Player.
And for Mica Levi fans, here’s a great video from NPR, featuring Levi’s band Micachu performing in the sun-dappled woods of Washington D.C.'s Rock Creek Park from 2012 – available via YouTube.
8th April, 2020
Berberian Sound Studio & The Duke of Burgundy
Fans of smart, stylish and twisted cinema are in for a treat with today’s Hyde Park Pick, as we recommend a double-bill from celebrated British director Peter Strickland –both available to stream for free via Film4.
A menacing homage to the Italian Giallo horror movies of the 1970s – Stickland’s 2012 Berberian Sound Studio is disorientating, unexpected, and definitely worth revisiting.
“Seriously weird & seriously good” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The Guardian
And his 2015 The Duke of Burgundy is an subversive, erotic and sumptuously tactile film – and certainly one of the director’s best.
“Twists & sways like a rattlesnake, drawing you in before drawing blood” ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The Telegraph
7th April, 2020
And Then We Danced
One of the films we were most excited to screen this spring was Levan Akin’s breathtaking And Then We Danced. Exploring the possibilities of cultural identity, sexuality & self-expression within an anti-LGBTQ society – this award-winning film is now available to enjoy at home thanks to the wonderful Peccadilo Pictures – making it today's Hyde Park Pick.
We know fellow filmmaker (and HPPH Patron!) Francis Lee is also a big fan of Levan Akin's film – making it a great double-bill with Lee’s God's Own Country.
To hear Akin discuss the film’s impact on the LGBTQ community in Georgia & beyond – here’s a great interview Little White Lies.
6th April, 2020
Minding the Gap
For our first Hyde Park Pick of the week, we're recommending one of our favourite films from last year, the Oscar-nominated documentary Minding the Gap.
The film is moving and profound coming-of-age story, following the journey of three skateboarding friends in their recession-hit Rust Belt hometown in America. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing Liu explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.
Brought to the big screen by the brilliant Dogwoof, Minding the Gap is now available for free on BBC iPlayer.
The film is also a celebration of skate culture and the essential role it plays for so many. Here in Leeds there's a fantastic skate community, supported by some brilliant people doing great work – from the internationally renowned Welcome Skate Store, and brilliant Vague Skate Magazine, to women-led skate collective Rollin' with the Girls.
With previous screenings of Minding the Gap, we've also shown JUST FILM, a great short produced by Welcome & Josh Hallett – in association with Vague Mag. The short, which features the crazy talents of loads of local skaters, is available to view online via Welcome's Youtube channel.
5th April, 2020
Here for Life
From directors Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson, Here for Life is today's Hyde Park Pick.
Distributed by Modern Films, Here for Life is an uncommon story told on common ground. In a city framed by capital and loss, ten unruly Londoners navigate their wild and wayward way, travelling on their own terms towards a co-existence far stronger than 'community'.
Developed with support from producers Art Angel over a number of years, Here For Life is a remarkable work to visit in the current climate, exploring specific political and social topics which affect the lives of many now.
Here For Life is available for purchase immediately on Amazon or to rent from Curzon's Home Cinema Player.
4th April, 2020
Our brilliant Young Audiences Officer Sylvia has another family-friendly Hyde Park Pick for you today.
“This week I’m recommending the modern Disney classic WALL-E, available on the new Disney+ streaming service.
The central themes of mass consumerism, environmentalism, technology and isolation have never felt more relevant and are obviously not common place for a U certificate film, but this glorious and unique animation expertly and delicately examines these ideas sensitively for a young audience and also promotes some much needed optimism and hope.
A great one for some well needed cathartic tears and a useful starting point to introduce and approach difficult topics with your young people.
Following on from the theme of hope, like many other households across the country, last week we drew a rainbow to put in our window to cheer up passers by and promote positivity and unity. My son really enjoyed not only putting our artwork up for display but also looking out for other rainbows on our daily walks. If you’ve missed this trend, I would encourage you to join in and also explore both your local and virtual communities to see if you could find any. On our recent walk, we discovered some great sun pictures were popping up as well, so we decided to add our own.
Tag us on social media with any rainbow, sun and other window displays of your own – we would love to see them!”
3rd April, 2020
Ben Wheatley Double:
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead & Kill List
This Friday we’re recommending two films from one of our favourite British directors – Ben Wheatley.
We’ve had the pleasure of hosting a number of memorable Q&As with Ben Wheatley over the years – including most recently for a Leeds International Film Festival screening of Happy New Year, Colin Burstead – our first Hyde Park Pick.
Packed with often very funny, rapid-fire dialogue and great performances from an impressive ensemble, this dysfunctional family drama is available for free via BBC iPlayer.
And a family drama of a very different kind is our second Hyde Park Pick – one of the most impressive British horrors of recent times – Wheatley’s outstanding Kill List. The less said about the film (before seeing it) the better. Just trust us, it’s an experience you won’t forget. Available for free via Film4.
2nd April, 2020
Our daily film recommendations continue! And today's Hyde Park Pick comes from our lovely front of house coordinator Eleanor!
“Four years since its UK release by Curzon Artificial Eye, now feels like a good time to look back at Mustang – the remarkably strong debut feature from director Deniz Gamze Ergüven.
Mustang is the story of five orphaned sisters in a remote, rural Turkish village being cared for by their conservative relatives. The film could be seen as a coming of age story, or, a film that reflects on childhood. For me, this makes the decisions Ergüven makes in her filmmaking ever more powerful. Ergüven firmly deals with the stark polarities between these childhood moments in life, especially within the context of the conservative views of the adult relatives in Mustang.
In the opening scene, we find the sisters playing on a beach after school. The scene plays out in what would feel like in most other films as the relief you find midway through or at the end. Instead, we are introduced to the five sisters with this joyful depiction of adolescence and freedom before it is then taken away and twisted into something considered less innocent. Although a sad and claustrophobic-feeling film, Mustang comes through with some really brilliant depictions of childhood and how situations would be understood through a child’s eye, namely Lale, who is the main protagonist and narrator of the five sisters. In one early confrontation around being seen as too promiscuous and flirtatious by their grandmother, Lale exclaims 'these chairs touched our arseholes! Are you ashamed?’. It’s these rebellious moments and outbursts that punctuate the film’s stifling and oppressive atmosphere, which makes it so brilliant.”
1st April, 2020
Today’s Hyde Park Pick is System Crasher, a brilliant piece of new German cinema by director Nora Fingscheidt, who won the Silver Bear at last year’s Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival.
System Crasher was to be distributed to cinema's by the fab 606 Distribution, but its now available to stream via Curzon Artificial Eye's Home Cinema player.
The film follows wild 9-year-old Benni, as her ups and downs see her crashing against the limitations of both a parent and a care system which are unable to support her or give her the love she craves.
For post-film watching, a great little Q&A with Helena Zengel who plays Benni – available via Vimeo.
And don't forget, here in Leeds Leeds City Council is proactive with their support for looked after children and we’ve loved working with their Foster4Leeds team to host annual Christmas screenings for their families over recent years. We’re very proud to see our Council working to ensure the commitment to being a Child Friendly City doesn’t leave anyone behind.
31st March, 2020
This inspiring doc follows Freddy McConnell's pioneering quest to start his own family & the huge challenges he faces doing this as a trans man.
We were honoured to host a special Q&A screening of the film last year with Birds Eye View: A Pathfinder For Films By Women – who continue to champion films made by woman via #ReclaimTheFrame. Seeing how audiences responded in such a positive way to this important film was one of our highlight’s of 2019.
For some fantastic additional viewing, head to West Yorkshire Queer Stories for their amazing catalogue of locally produced films – including many inspiring stories from the trans & non-binary community, who we’re proud to stand in solidarity with today.
30th March, 2020
The Queen of Versailles & The Kingmaker
In 2018, in conjunction with Village, we screened Generation Wealth – a damning yet entertaining critique of excessive wealth by the brilliant photographer & filmmaker Lauren Greenfield.
Notions of celebrity, money & power are common themes in Greenfield’s work, including in two more of her films – which are today's Picks.
The first film, available for free on BBC iPlayer, is Greenfield’s superb 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles – winner of many accolades including Sundance’s Directing Award.
Like with Generation Wealth the film is a mesmerising look at a celebrity culture obsessed with fortune & where the extremes of the American Dream can lead to when left unchecked.
And available on both the BFI Player & Curzon Home Cinema is The Kingmaker – Greenfield's latest & perhaps her most impressive. The documentary centres on the indomitable & shocking character of Imelda Marcos & her family’s improbable return to power in the Philippines.
“[A] tragic picture of tyranny & corruption in the Philippines that might stand alongside Josh Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
28th March, 2020
Our Pick for today is a fantastic Yorkshire short film called Seagulls. We first saw this one in the Yorkshire Short Film Competition programme at last year’s Leeds International Film Festival, but it’s director Ben G. Brown has decided to make the film available for everyone to watch for free on Vimeo from today.
Seagulls captures the wonderful work of Seagulls Paint on Kirkstall Road who are working to make the world better by simultaneously recycling paint and giving people the opportunity to participate. Full to the brim of compassion and kindness Seagulls is a great reminder of our capacity to build things that are wonderful and important. And that fixing the world’s problems is too big a thing to tackle in one go so sometimes you just have to pick one issue, find a solution and good things will flow from there.
For further reading why not check out the Seagulls Paint blog to learn about their team and the wonderful work they’re doing.
28th March, 2020
Mary and the Witch Flower
Saturday’s Pick came from our Young Audiences Officer Sylvia!
"Trying to keep our children occupied at this difficult time with limited options and resources is an enormous challenge and like many, I am definitely utilising television and films to keep my two year old distracted.
However, to try and divert your little ones from the delights of Peppa and the like, I am going to be making regular suggestions of stunning animations, spellbinding classics and hidden gems available for you to watch from home, to both help entertain your children and fuel their imaginations but also find features the whole family can hopefully enjoy. Additionally, I’ll be suggesting some simple, fun and easy activity ideas to help enhance your film watching experience.
I am a huge believer that no one is too young for Anime and consequently, my two year old searches for soot sprites whenever we walk into a new room. This feature from Studio Ponoc is exceptionally imaginative, spellbindingly beautiful and will have children and adults alike enthralled. An ideal choice to convert your Harry Potter fans to something a little bit different and will not disappoint dedicated Studio Ghibli fans. My son sat still for 40 minutes without a word, so definitely a thumbs up from us.
Before the film, we also explored our garden and picked some flowers and leaves to press. This is a great opportunity to explore nature and also get some well needed vitamin D with a little bit of structure. Without a garden? This would be a great activity to combine with your daily exercise excursion out of the house to your local park, wood or even nearby hedge! Once you’ve picked your flowers, place them between two pieces of paper and then place in a big heavy book and leave for 1-2 weeks. The bonus of this activity is that in a week’s time, you have a ready made activity and can use the flowers to create a nifty collage picture!"
27th March, 2020
The Perfect Candidate
After her debut feature Wadja broke new ground as the first-ever film shot entirely in Saudi Aradia – and the first made by a Saudi woman – director Haifaa Al Mansour returns with a tale of one woman's quest to challenge not only the system but also herself.
A nice interview with Mansour was published with The Guardian yesterday. Read it here.
And a huge thanks to Modern Films for passing 10% of proceeds on to indie cinemas across the UK. Simply select us from the list when purchasing to send your support our way.
26th March, 2020
Winner of the Cannes Jury Prize, Bacurau is an audacious, original and spectacularly violent blend of neo-Western, revenge thriller and political allegory – guaranteed to leave you punch-drunk and reeling.
We're delighted to accompany our recommendation with a special filmed introduction from Prof Stephanie Dennison (University of Leeds). In her spoiler free introduction, Stephanie explores some timely metaphorical readings of the film, as well as providing a fascinating overview of the Brazilian film industry over the past decade. Watch the introduction on our YouTube channel.
25th March, 2020
Based on director Robin Campillo’s own experiences of activism during the 1980s with AIDS activist groups, this vibrant and deeply emotional drama won the Grand Prix at Cannes 2017. As the AIDS epidemic tears through their community, we follow the members of ACT UP Paris fighting for survival while they battle against governmental apathy, pharmaceutical greed and public ignorance.
For further viewing, we're thrilled that despite current events, the LGBTQ Festival BFI Flare is still taking place online via the BFI Player – with many of the feature films available to rent and a great selection of short films available for free. Head to the BFI Flare website.
24th March, 2020
After the Storm
Following Koreeda Hirokazu's popular Like Father, Like Son and Our Little Sister, and released two years before his Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters, After the Storm is perhaps one the director’s lesser-seen films of recent years but also one of his best – featuring an ensemble of wonderfully tender and nuanced characters, that are now the hallmark of this outstanding Japanese director.
And for a delicious taste of the director’s magnificent body of work and where this film fits in – you can watch this video essay by kogonada, made for Sight & Sound Magazine. Available via YouTube.
23rd March, 2020
With brilliant performances from Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche, Claire Denis’ daring, visually arresting English-language debut is a total triumph. See it on MUBI until midnight tonight.
For an added extra, check out this visual essay from Little White Lies and Luís Azevedo on the Sensual World of Claire Denis. Available via YouTube.