Glasgow Film At Home - Library

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GFT Programme Manager Paul Gallagher introduces our new collection of films on Glasgow Film at Home.

We’re excited to launch a new phase of Glasgow Film At Home with the addition of the Library – a curated collection of recent films you may have missed. These films will all stay on Glasgow Film At Home for at least three months (with a couple of exceptions which are noted) and are available to rent at a cheaper price than films in the New Releases section.

We have two key aims for the Library. First, we want to bring attention to recent indie films that we love and think deserve to be discovered. With so many films available on so many digital platforms, we want to take the opportunity to do some of the work for you; each of these films is hand-picked by real live film lovers in the Glasgow Film team. Many of these films have previously played in GFT, either as part of Glasgow Film Festival or in our year-round programme.

The other aim of the Library is to provide another way for you to support us and the work we do. When you choose to pay and watch a film on Glasgow Film At Home, a portion of the money is going directly towards our work as a non-profit educational charity, furthering the cause of independent cinema in Scotland. Some of the income also goes to the independent distributors who do such great work in finding these films and making them available to us. Think of Glasgow Film At Home as GFT Screen 4, except here you get to define your own leg-room.

You will see that we have grouped the Library films into various categories including Directed by Women, Foreign Language, British and Sound & Vision to allow you to quickly see what is on offer, and we will add to the Library as and when the right films become available to us.

Before I leave you to browse, I would like to highlight a few personal favourites from this initial selection. The Assistant, written and directed by Kitty Green, was one of the best films released in the UK last year, but it’s been largely ignored by major awards bodies so I am really pleased we can bring it some more attention on Glasgow Film At Home. It’s a patiently-told, observational drama following one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a young female office assistant to a powerful movie producer. Nothing is ever stated out loud – there is no grand dramatic moment – but Jane’s experiences in this single day tell us everything about the imprisoning nature of a toxic power-wielding culture. While the film remains a timely reflection on how a Weinstein-type figure maintains a culture of fear and silence, it is also relevant to this precise moment in the UK, as we begin to tentatively look forward to returning to our offices and teams after so much time working in (physical) isolation. The Assistant really effectively shows how an oppressive, controlling atmosphere can be so tough to break in an office environment; it’s a useful film to watch and consider the aspects of office life that we can happily reject and move on from.

My second pick is Monsoon, a beautifully-shot, gently poignant story of 30-something Londoner, Kit (Henry Golding), who returns to his native Vietnam for the first time since leaving as an infant. It’s a story of searching for connection and searching for one’s self, but it’s a film that is as much about the mood it creates as the specific details of character or plot. It is slowly-paced, and took a while to get its hooks into me when I watched it. But it’s one that I keep returning to in my thoughts; director Hong Khau has an ability, not unlike Sofia Coppola, to create moments in film that somehow stop time, and leave a resonance in your mind long after the credits have rolled.

Lastly, if you like your cinema to be mind-bending and boundary-pushing, don’t miss Possessor, from Brandon Cronenberg. This is a great example of imaginative high-concept sci-fi that uses extreme scenarios to get into big universal themes. If you’re okay with some gory violence and disturbing imagery, it’s a really meaty film to try and get your head around. Andrea Riseborough plays a hi-tech assassin, whose job involves taking over the bodies of other people (‘possessing’ them) in order to get close to her targets and kill them with no trace back to her or whoever commissioned the job. The problem is, she is becoming somewhat untethered from her own sense of self, while the subject of her latest job begins to fight to regain control of his own consciousness. It’s heady stuff and really effective. The film exists in a place between dreams and reality, and Cronenberg is a master of creating this tone through striking imagery and intense performances from his great cast. The conclusion, which I won’t spoil, put me in mind of no less a classic than Nic Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, in the way it converges a lot of the imagery from the film in a moment that we can retrospectively see as uncannily foretold.

But whatever you choose to watch on Glasgow Film At Home, we hope you enjoy it and we really appreciate your choice to support us.

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