While cinemas and their launch calendars proceed to hover uncertainly within the pandemic confusion, film festivals are adapting impressively to the home-viewing mannequin. On the heels of Sundance’s profitable digital version, the Berlinale begins its personal subsequent week. Nearer to dwelling, in the meantime, the hitherto low-key Glasgow film festival has, in logging on, seized the chance to grow to be a nationwide cinema occasion.
Often outdone in publicity phrases by the London and Edinburgh film festivals, Glasgow’s programmers have this yr assembled a lineup that, at a time when no one is aware of precisely what new films are popping out when, looks like a real treasure chest. In lots of instances, it presents British audiences their first glimpse of critically beloved films that will not be obtainable on basic launch for a number of months but.
The festival kicked off on Wednesday with the UK premiere of Lee Isaac Chung’s stirring, Oscar-tipped Korean-American immigrant saga Minari. The festival’s programming system signifies that every film has a 72-hour on-line viewing window, for which you must guide entry at £9.99 per film. Minari’s screening interval ends at 7pm at present, however it will likely be launched within the UK and Eire on 19 March (see altitude.film for details). The excellent news is that the festival runs for one more week, with a lot of treats but to come back.
This weekend, for instance, you may watch Apples, an oddly well timed entry within the so-called Greek “bizarre wave” style, from first-time director Christos Nikou. Set within the midst of a world pandemic that causes mass amnesia, it follows one man’s journey by means of a weird restoration programme designed to forge new identities for the forgotten. The deadpan, absurdist affect of Yorgos Lanthimos is evident, however Nikou’s film has its personal bittersweet poignancy.
One other spotlight of this weekend’s choice is Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche, a zesty documentary portrait of the British punk frontwoman, bathed within the sort of palpable private funding you’d count on from a film directed by the topic’s daughter, Celeste Bell. In case your music-doc tastes veer extra mainstream, wait till Friday for Tina, wherein rock-soul goddess Tina Turner will get the celebratory, all-encompassing biographical remedy from Oscar-winning film-makers Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin.
Some of the standouts within the programme have already been duly lauded overseas. From Friday, UK audiences can at final see Kelly Reichardt’s beautiful First Cow, the very best new film I noticed in 2020. An elegiac, warmly lived-in fable of pioneer capitalism, it acquired a US launch final spring, however right here was left in distribution limbo for too lengthy. (Mubi will now give it a full-scale launch in Could.) Frederick Wiseman’s huge documentary City Hall, a granular, Boston-set examine of Democratic sleeves-rolled-up politics in motion, is among the many current festival favourites obtainable subsequent week. Ditto Victor Kossakovsky’s Gunda, a fascinating, wordless documentary portrait of a farmyard sow that performs like Babe by approach of Bresson; and British newcomer Ben Sharrock’s Limbo, a intelligent, cockeyed comedy on the unlikely topic of refugee survival on a Scottish island.
However a few different distinctive picks have loved much less of the highlight upfront, and deserve your consideration. Hungarian director Lili Horvát’s Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time is a noir-tinged psychodrama as alluringly unusual and untidy as its title, following a mind surgeon caught up in a romantic fixation which will or will not be wholly imagined. And French coming-of-age drama Gagarine is a pure delight; this story of a star-gazing teen combating to avoid wasting his Paris housing challenge dwelling from demolition would have been prone to grow to be a word-of-mouth sensation if it had debuted, as deliberate, at Cannes final yr. Maybe we will begin the chatter now.
Additionally new on streaming and DVD
This lurid, grisly biopic of Chicago crime lord Al Capone earned one thing of a status as a film maudit final yr, not helped by the already battered Hollywood status of its director, Josh Trank, and slipped quietly on to Netflix within the UK final week. It’s much less generic than you may count on: Tom Hardy’s electrical, eccentric efficiency strips the underworld icon of his swagger and leaves an incontinent, syphilitic shell. There are parallels with Scorsese’s The Irishman, although that is very a lot the B-movie model.
(Fashionable Films, 15)
Rubika Shah’s lean, purposeful documentary charts the rise of the Rock In opposition to Racism motion in mid-70s Britain. Whereas it’s a helpful roundup of all of the names and faces that impressed and sustained this wave of widespread activism, it’s additionally efficient merely as an evocation of how splintered and hostile Britain was to its personal range: a snapshot that, within the age of Black Lives Matter, doesn’t really feel that far-off.
The Final Vermeer
The restoration and redistribution of Nazi-stolen artworks is the idea for this old style, absorbing postwar thriller, as a former Resistance fighter (Claes Bang) investigates a louche artwork forger (Man Pearce) accused of collaborating with the Nazis. The film has a slight Europudding whiff about it, however the forged – additionally together with Vicky Krieps – hold it energetic.