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Something for the Weekend (22 - 24 May)


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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, as well as his thoughts on the latest news from the film industry.

It has been a sad old week in the movie world. The death of French titan Michel Piccoli came after a weekend that had recorded the loss of comic genius Fred Willard, Scottish stalwart Alan J. Wands and writer/director Lynn Shelton. We opened Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) in 2012 with My Sister’s Sister and Shelton was the most delightful of guests - bright, funny and a good sport. She worked continuously in television drama and features, but at just 54 it felt as if she had so much more to give. 

'Willy' Wands was one of those people who are the backbone of the industry. He was the complete professional who solved problems, made things happen and got films made. His skill and passions are woven through the Scottish film industry of the past 40 years, making their presence felt in a roll-call of cherished productions, from Venus Peter and Silent Scream, to The Winter Guest and The Magdalene Sisters. The best way to honour all of them is by watching the films that now stand as their legacy. Lynn Shelton's last feature, the characteristically wry and charming Sword of Trust (2019), is currently available on Sky Go and Now TV. Here are some other stand-out films to keep you entertained during the continued lockdown.

The County

Curzon releasing
Available to watch on: Curzon Home Cinema 

We loved Icelandic cinema so much that we made it the subject of our Country Focus at GFF 2020. One of the most popular titles was The County from Grímur Hákonarson who previously made Rams. The unforgiving landscapes and snow-covered winter scenes convey the stern beauty of the country and underline the challenges faced by anyone brave enough to farm there. Inga (Arndis Hronn Egilsdottir) is a struggling dairy farmer, worn down by daily struggles, rising debts and personal tragedy. Her decision to wage a one woman war against a powerful local co-operative is the basis of a compact crowd-pleaser that will have you cheering the underdog. If you loved Woman At War, a big GFT and GFF 2019 favourite, then this is definitely one for you.

R-K-O Classics

Available to watch on: BBC iPlayer

The BBC has warmed the heart of every film buff in the land by making 23 R-K-O titles available on the iPlayer for the next year or so. Many of the films will screen as BBC2 matinees over the coming weeks but now you can also watch the likes of Citizen Kane (1941), King Kong (1933) or Bringing Up Baby (1938) any time you choose. Stand-out titles include Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers delivering poetry in motion for Top Hat (1935), Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), the undervalued Otto Preminger film noir Angel Face (1953) teaming Jean Simmons and Robert Mitchum, and the irresistible combination of Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer in the world-class weepie Love Affair (1939).

Take Me Somewhere Nice

MUBI releasing
Available to watch on: MUBI

Director Ena Sendijarevic makes a promising debut with this minimalist road movie. Take Me Somewhere Nice has echoes of early Jim Jarmusch and Yorgos Lanthimos in its bone dry humour and off-kilter framing. Alma (Sara Luna Zoric) journeys from her new home in Holland to visit her father in their native Bosnia. Mishaps and misfortune escalate as she starts to feel like an alien in a spectacularly hostile landscape. Her cousin resents her presence and nobody feels inclined to roll out a welcome mat. What follows is a deadpan tale of a complex, conflicted young woman made to feel a stranger in a land she might once have called home.

Also Showing...

The weekend television schedules are bursting at the seams with comforting old film friends and the odd rarity. You can catch an early performance from Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh in Don McKellar’s poignant Last Night (1998) on Film 4, Saturday 23 May at 2.10am. What would you do if it was literally everyone’s last night on earth? 

Other weekend temptations include Peter Sellers at his best in Two Way Stretch (1960) on Talking Pictures TV, Saturday 23 May 23rd at 5.15pm; the David Lean adaptation of Great Expectations (1946) on BBC2, Sunday 24 May at 10.35am; and Five Pennies (1959) on Talking Pictures TV, Sunday 24 May at 3.40pm, the rousing biography of jazz musician 'Red' Nichols, starring Danny Kaye and featuring Louis Armstrong. Jazz on a Sunday afternoon sounds like a great escape from the cares of the world.

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