Something for the Weekend (10 - 12 July)


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The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Glasgow Film Festival Co-Director Allan Hunter is back with his weekly look at the best films to watch over the weekend and beyond.

Musical maestro Ennio Morricone died earlier this week at the age of 91. He had a phenomenal career that stretched over 60 years and some 500 movie scores. It seems impossible to pick favourites but who doesn’t love the whipcracks and howls of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966), the stirring majesty of The Mission (1986) and his many collaborations with Giuseppe Tornatore, especially Cinema Paradiso (1988). But then there is also Days Of Heaven (1978), The Untouchables (1987) and his Oscar-winning score for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015). Morricone’s music enhanced the vision of countless directors and captured the emotional heart of stories and characters. Film critic Andrew Collins pays tribute to Morricone on his weekly Classic FM radio show Saturday Night At The Movies (Saturday 11 July, 5pm).

Happier news this past week was the announcement that GFT will re-open on 31 August. Many of us are counting the days but until then here are a few viewing recommendations for the coming weekend…

Litigante

Curzon releasing
Available to watch on Curzon Home Cinema from 10 July

It has been more than five years since writer/director Franco Lolli caught the eye with his debut feature Gente De Bien. His follow-up Litigante has been worth the wait. There is a warmth and authenticity to this well-observed family drama that makes it entirely engaging. Lawyer and single parent Silvia (Carolina Sanín) lives in Bogota with her adorable five-year-old son. She is just about coping with everything life throws at her, including a corruption allegation at work and a strained relationship with her cantankerous mother Leticia (the director’s own mother Leticia Gómez) who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The last thing she needs is a possible relationship.

Reminiscent of Douglas Sirk in the way it casts a sympathetic eye over family ties and the messy complications of life, this is a film that gets under your skin.

We Are Parable - Who We Are.

Available on BFI Player/BFI YouTube from 13 July

Award-winning exhibition company We Are Parable has devised a week-long series of online events and film programmes designed to “celebrate and spark debate around Black British film” past, present and future. Titles in the mix span the decades from Horace Ové’s Pressure (1975), Menelik Shabazz’s Burning An Illusion (1981) and Isaac Julien’s Young Soul Rebels (1991), right up to the present with Idris Elba’s Yardie (2018) and Shola Amoo’s The Last Tree (2019). The week also includes a series of online conversations with emerging Black British talent like Nosa Eke and Tomisin Adepeju, access to music sets in partnership with Jazz Refreshed, and a short film competition for 16-19 year old Black filmmakers to enter their short film (under 15 minutes). The competition is open from July 9-23 and the winning entry is announced on 3 August.

Dive In

Available online at glasgowshort.org from 10am on 10 July until 24 July. 

Sanne Jehoul, co-director of Glasgow Short Film Festival, is the driving force behind this two-week series of screenings co-programmed by the likes of Africa In Motion, Scottish Queer International Film Festival and Take One Action. Each screening is available for 48 hours from its start time, with a new programme released at 10am every day. Initial selections include Amreeka (2009), Fatma 75 (1976), and Stephen Bennett’s jaw-dropping Eminent Monsters, a world premiere at GFF in 2019. All screenings are free of charge with the aim to raise donations for Scottish charities, The Unity Centre and Ubuntu Women Shelter.

Spaceship Earth (12)

Dogwoof releasing
Available to watch on Curzon Home CInema and digital platforms from 10 July

In 1991, eight plucky individuals entered Biosphere 2, a sealed artificial replica of the Earth’s ecosystem. It had its own atmosphere and animal population, and would be their home for the next two years. It was an experiment to discover what might work if humanity was ever to visit or take up residence on other planets. What they hoped to achieve and what actually happened is the basis of an entertaining documentary in which lofty ambitions fall victim to the vagaries of human nature. 

In Her Hands (15)

Parkland releasing
Available: Curzon Home Cinema and digital platforms from 10 July

There are few surprises to be found in the cheesy In Her Hands (Au Bout Des Doigts) but if you are partial to Kristin Scott Thomas and/or classical music then it has its moments. Raised in the projects and drifting into petty crime, Mathieu (Jules Benchetrit) is also a hugely gifted, natural-born classical pianist. Caught, convicted and given a suspended sentence he finds a mentor in Conservatoire boss Lambert Wilson, who decides to enter him in a prestigious international competition. Can he beat the odds, master Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto no 2 and find true love along the way? Kristin Scott Thomas is his demanding, no-nonsense new teacher so that is never in doubt.

Also Showing...

There are some very fine films making their first appearance on TV screens this weekend. The Last Black Man In San Francisco (2019) on Sky Cinema Premiere, Sunday 12 July at 6.50pm, was one of my favourites of last year. Joe Talbot’s beautiful, award-winning debut offers a fond elegy for a vanishing city, filtered through the warm friendship of two men dedicated to preserving a lost family home. 

Never released in the UK, the wickedly funny Bad Education, on Sky Cinema Premiere, Saturday 11 July at 8pm, stars Hugh Jackman (never better) and Allison Janney in the true-life scandal surrounding a school embezzlement of epic proportions. 

Shown at Sundance earlier this year, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (2020) on Sky Documentaries, Saturday 11 July at 9pm, celebrates the life and legacy of the Rebel Without A Cause star who drowned off Catalina Island almost 40 years ago. Family photos, rare home movies and fresh interviews with Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner, and husbands Robert Wagner and the late Richard Gregson, enhance this welcome portrait.

Finally, the irresistible star power of Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons adds some spark to the starchy, old-fashioned drawing room comedy The Grass Is Greener (1960) on Talking Pictures TV, Sunday 12 July 12 at 6pm.


GFT temporary closure

GFT will remain closed until at least 14 December, due to restrictions on cinemas in areas under tiers 3 and 4.

We hope to re-open soon and will keep you updated.

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