Welcome to Storyhouse’s round-up of films that you can watch from the comfort of your home! We can’t wait to welcome you all back to your local independent cinema, but until then…
How can I get a cinema experience at home?
Aside from the more well-known platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, we’ve teamed up with some alternative platforms to help you watch the latest releases as well as independent and world cinema:
We’ve teamed up with online cinema platform Mubi to give you a free 90 day trial period so you can continue to enjoy cult, classic, independent and world cinema. They add a new film every day! Sign up to watch for free using the website or app, on any device. Head here to get started with Mubi.
Every Saturday night at 6PM BST for 4 weeks, Lionsgate UK will be streaming four films for free live on the Lionsgate UK YouTube Channel. The initiative benefits the NHS Charities Together currently supporting NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients, and The Film and TV Charity COVID-19 Emergency Response, supporting freelancers in the industry not covered by the government furlough scheme.
This star-studded celebration of the theatrical filmgoing experience launches this Saturday, with each film hosted by a celebrity guest and featuring live competitions, giveaways, shout-outs from cast, crew and celebrities as well as movie quizzes and many more special surprises. Here is the line-up:
- May 2nd – La La Land – Hosted by Edith Bowman
- May 9th – Eddie the Eagle – Hosted by Keith Lemon
- May 16th – Bend it Like Beckham – Hosted by Jack Whitehall
- May 22nd – The Hunger Games – Hosted by Jonathan Ross
Curzon Home Cinema
You can get 15% off all brand new releases on Curzon Home Cinema during May using the code CHCMAY (this replaces the previous ATHOME15 code which was valid for April). These can be found in the (Not) In Cinemas Now section. Head here to get started with Curzon Home Cinema.
What should I watch?
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Portrait of A Lady On Fire
Director Céline Sciamma (Girlhood) tells the story of portrait painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) who, after being sent to an isolated island in Bretagne at the end of the eighteenth century, is obliged to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a reluctant bride to be who has just left the convent. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women but their freedom is short-lived. You can get it free on Mubi for the next 25 days – head here.
In an unprecedent move, major film studios are making some of their most recent releases available online. Universal have just placed Autumn De Winter’s most recent adaptation of Emma starring Anna Taylor Joy and Bill Nighy on Amazon. There is quite a hefty fee of £15.99 to watch, but you can catch up now here.
Storyhouse cinema’s run of Military Wives was cut short – the good news is you can now catch the film on Curzon Home Cinema. This is the true story of the group of women who found unlikely fame comes from the director of The Full Monty. With their partners away serving in Afghanistan, the women on the home front form a choir to help them combat the worry for their loved ones whilst they are away. What starts as a therapeutic hobby though quickly becomes something else when they find themselves at the centre of a media sensation and global movement.
The discount code ATHOME15 can also be used this week to get a full 15% discount on watching System Crasher. The story of Benni, a near feral nine-year-old girl who seriously challenges the social system of care that is supposed to protect her. The film won the Silver Bear Prize at Berlin Film Festival 2019.
The Biggest Little Farm
System Crasher is a tough watch at times, so for those looking for a more family-friendly option we fully recommend The Biggest Little Farm. In 2011, cameraman John and private chef Molly sold their tiny apartment, bought 200 acres of barren land and taught themselves how to farm the old–fashioned way. As the dream of organic biodiversity is beset by the reality of maggots, predators and drought, John and Molly’s determination and ingenuity are tested to the limit. With a delightful cast of animals, John and Molly’s story is one of big dreams, hard work and learning to appreciate the wisdom of nature. An uplifting film with a strong ecological message. The Biggest Little Farm is available to rent for £4.99 on Amazon and Curzon Home Cinema.
On Curzon Home Cinema is The Truth. For his first feature set outside Japan, director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifers, Our Little Sister) unites French screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche in a powerful and emotional story of family conflicts. It’s available this week for £11.99.
Over on Mubi is Bacurau, a Brazilian horror-style western about a town under siege from a mysterious threat. Ruthless and at times harrowing – this may appeal to those who enjoyed Monos at the recent Chester International Film Festival curated by Chester Film Society at Storyhouse.
British Film Institute: Football on Film
For those left feeling bereft at the cancellation of the football season, we suggest you head over to the BFI Player where you can watch a curated selection of football related archive film for free.
On Saturday 28 March, Mubi will add Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic to its platform, free to watch for those that signed up to the Storyhouse deal offering a 90 day free trial period. A weary cop finds himself in a complicated situation when he discovers a friend to be the leader of a gang of bank robbers. Throughout the 1970s Melville was king of the crime drama in France, and if you like Un Flic you can discover more of his films on Mubi for a limited period.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
It is one of the biggest ironies that whilst being told to stay indoors that we are experiencing an almost unseasonal period of warm weather. For those yearning for the great outdoors why not take a cinematic trip to the outside world. Here are films to try whilst stuck in.
Available from Monday 30 March on Curzon Home Cinema The Ponds is a documentary about the swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath and the hardy souls who use them throughout the year – even in the deepest months of winter.
Reese Witherspoon shines in in this ultimate outdoor adventure. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through California from Mexico to Canada. In 1995, in the wake of her mother’s death from cancer, Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon) walked 1,100 miles of the route on a journey of self–discovery. Available on Amazon to rent for £3.49.
In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent. Available to watch on Netflix.
The nail–biting edge–of–your–seat documentary. Rock climber Alex Honnold attempts to conquer the first free solo climb (that is a climb without a rope!) of famed El Capitan’s 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. Available on Amazon for £3.49.
STORYHOUSE YOUNG FILM PROGRAMMER RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK:
Some of Storyhouse’s Young Film Programmers have some recommendations:
Jess Hitchen recommends Whiplash this week. This is what she says about it, ‘ Great film. Great acting from J.K Simmons in a supporting role. He won an academy awards for his performance’. It is the story of an ambitious young jazz drummer and it is directed by Damien Chazelle who also made La La Land. It is available on Amazon for £3.49.
May Vuletic recommends Mary & Max. May says: “Mary Dinkle is a lonely 8-year-old girl from Melbourne. Max Horowitz is an unusual 44-year-old man living in New York City. One letter turns into a 20-year long correspondence between the two, and an unlikely friendship. Dealing with many themes such as friendship, isolation, mental health, recovery, and the absurdity of life, Mary and Max is a charming claymation film from Australian director Adam Elliot. This one is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.” It is available on Amazon as part of Amazon Prime membership.
May has also suggested watching Kiki’s Delivery Service on Netflix. A unique take on the coming-of-age genre, Kiki’s Delivery Service is the whimsical, heartfelt tale of a young witch’s self-discovery. Embark on a magical animated journey from one of Japan’s most acclaimed directors.
Nathan Smith has suggested watching Ernest & Celestine on Amazon. Ernest & Celestine is a charming animated film from France about a mouse called Celestine who breaks her society’s rules and befriends a bear named Ernest. Beautiful animation and great characters make this a perfect film to watch with the family. The film is subtitled but the story can easily be understood through the animation.
STAGE ON SCREEN AT HOME
On Thursday the National Theatre announced National Theatre At Home, an initiative designed to continue to engage audiences in their homes during this period of confinement. The National Theatre will be releasing one back-catalogue National Theatre Live title per week across April and May on the National Theatre YouTube channel. These titles will be free to stream, and be available for one week only. The first four titles are One Man, Two Guvnors; Jane Eyre; Treasure Island, and Twelfth Night.