Something for the Weekend (26 - 28 June)


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

The Cannes Film Festival was one of the many casualties of the past three months. It is the most important celebration of world cinema. It is also a market where films are bought and sold, deals are done, projects are announced and impossible dreams start to become reality. This past week has seen the first virtual Cannes Marche Du Film and it has been a great beacon of hope for a beleaguered industry. Curzon bought the UK rights to a new Fernando Trueba drama Forgotten We’ll Be with Luis Tosar. Modern Films bought Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling for the UK. It seems likely to have its public premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September where Mortensen will be honoured. The Marche also saw the launch of Corvidae, a psychological thriller starring Jack Lowden, Tamara Lawrance and Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw. Lowden is a producer of the film through his brand new Scottish company Reiver Pictures.

The Marche has seemed busy and bustling. There is a whiff of optimism in the air. We are all starting to look to the future. Until then, here are some home viewing recommendations for the coming weekend.

The Girl With A Bracelet (Curzon)

Available: Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 26 June

If your tastes run to a tense courtroom drama then The Girl With A Bracelet is for you. One summer’s day at the beach, police arrive and arrest 16 year-old Lise (Melissa Guers). She is charged with the murder of her best friend. Two years later, the case finally comes to trial. Circumstantial evidence seems to confirm her guilt but it is her morality that is mostly under scrutiny. Testimony and video evidence leave her father Bruno (Roschdy Zem) questioning how well he really knows her. Her cold, emotionless manner suggest someone indifferent to the murder of her friend. Can we separate our antipathy to the girl from the question of her guilt?  An absorbing, thought-provoking drama with notable performances from Chiara Mastroianni as Lise’s mother Celine and Anais Demoustier as a strangely unsympathetic prosecution lawyer.

Fanny Lye Deliver’d (18) (Vertigo)

Available: Digital platforms from Friday 26 June

Set in 1657 and described by director Thomas Clay as a 'Puritan western', Fanny Lye Deliver’d feels like a cross between The Witchfinder General and a Clint Eastwood revenge saga. That is a pretty impressive combination. A real labour of love, it explores the persecution and repression of Cromwell’s England through the story of farmer John Lye (Charles Dance) and his wife Fanny (Maxine Peake). They live a quiet, God-fearing family life in which a husband’s word is law. Then, two fugitives request shelter and this earthly paradise is threatened by the presence of these 'licentious heretics'. Made under the most demanding of conditions and long adrift in a limbo of post-production delays, this emerges as a tense, well-acted historical drama,.

The Booksellers (Republic Film Distribution)

Available: digital platforms from Monday 29 June

A documentary on the New York book world sounds of niche interest at best. Perhaps that explains why The Booksellers is such a charming surprise. New York boasted 368 book stores in the 1950s. DW Young’s documentary remembers the fallen, celebrates the survivors and pays affectionate tribute to the collectors, eccentrics and enthusiasts united by their love of old books. To glimpse or own an early edition by James Baldwin or Edith Wharton is to hold history in your hands. Wide-ranging in its exploration of books, archives, ephemera, the rise of the internet and the rebirth of the bookstore, this is as entertaining and absorbing as a good rummage through a packed store. 

Olivia De Havilland

The wonderful Olivia De Havilland celebrates her 104th birthday on Wednesday 1 July. She made her film debut in 1935 opposite Errol Flynn in Captain Blood and retired from the screen after The Woman He Loved in 1988. Over that half century career, she won Best Actress Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). She also made history by legally challenging the Hollywood studio system and contracts that seemed designed to keep actors in chains. If you are quick To Each His Own screens on TCM on Friday 26 June at 7.30am. There are so many other great De Havilland films waiting to be discovered from her spirited incarnation of Maid Marian opposite Flynn in The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938) to her Oscar-nominated performance with Charles Boyer in Hold Back The Dawn (1941) and her work with best pal Bette Davis in In This Our Life (1942) and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) among others. Then there’s the eternally controversial Gone With The Wind (1939) where her virtuous Melanie is radiant and The Strawberry Blonde (1941) with James Cagney. An amazing career with so many highlights. Happy birthday Olivia.

Also showing

Robert Altman’s rarely shown screen version of the Broadway hit Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) is on Talking Pictures TV this Saturday 27 June at 9.05pm. A gathering of the James Dean Fan Club twenty years after the star’s death unleashes regrets, remembrances, soul-searching and some terrific acting from Cher, Sandy Dennis and Karen Black. Other television highlights this weekend include the the award-winning Errol Morris documentary The Fog Of War (2003) (Sky Documentaries, Saturday 27 June, 6.55pm) in which Robert S McNamara recalls his time as US secretary of defence during the Vietnam War, plus the heartbreaking romance God’s Own Country (2017) (Channel 4, Sunday 28 June, 11.10pm) co-starring Josh O’Connor and Alex Secareanu, and Marilyn Monroe gives one of her best dramatic performances as saloon singer Chérie in Bus Stop (1956) (Sky Movies Classic, Sunday 28 June, 9pm)


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