The Social Isolation Film Festival curated by GFT
Glasgow Film Theatre – Helping You Hunker Down
There’s nothing quite like watching a film on the big screen. For now, due to coronavirus, we’re having to make do with the small screen and there has never been a better time to catch up with everything on your to-watch lists.
To help you entertain yourselves during the days and weeks ahead, GFT have curated their very own Social Isolation Film Festival – a line up of phenomenal films you can watch from the comfort of your own home, right now.
KOREAN CINEMA FOCUS
If Parasite has got you hooked on the mastery of Korean cinema, now is the time to delve into the 125 Korean feature films freely available from the Korean Film Archive.
Highlights include Im Kwon-tack’s Sopyonje, which broke box office records in South Korea despite only playing on three screens and rekindled interest in the traditional music of pansori (a type of Korean folk-blues music). This award-winning musical drama follows a family of pansori singers as they try to make a living in the modern world.
The Day the Pig Fell Into a Well is another excellent pick. It’s the very first feature from the acclaimed director Hong Sangsoo, who is frequently dubbed the ‘Korean Woody Allen’.
You can explore all 125 titles via Open Culture – a favourite online resources for free film, which also provides access to lots of great classic films and has whole sections dedicated to Hitchcock and Chaplin.
And what’s a Korean strand without the iconic Oldboy? Catch it on MUBI now.
STRANGER THAN FICTION
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is keeping the world of film open while GFT’s doors are closed. Almost 200 documentaries screened at the festival over the years are available to watch for free via their website.
You can revisit some of the fascinating documentaries that have graced the big screens at GFT during recent months from the comfort of your sofas. On Amazon Prime, we highly recommend The Kingmaker, which explores the controversial career of Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines. And for all the ‘80s kids out there, enjoy a bit of escapism with Cleanin’ Up the Town, the definitive Ghostbusters documentary. Over on Netflix, look out for Hail Satan?, which chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Satanic Temple, one of the most colourful and controversial religious movements in American history.
CINEMASTERS: FEDERICO FELLINI
You might think Covid-19 put an end to GFT’s Fellini season, but think again! I vitelloni, Juliet of the Spirits, 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita are all available on BFI Player along with a feast of other treats from the great Italian master.
WOMEN MAKE FILM
This year’s Glasgow Film Festival was a celebration of female-led film, and we’re also spoiled for choice on the small screen. Here are just a few top picks of recent films from female directors available to watch at home:
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
After two sell-out previews and a phenomenal run at GFT earlier this month, Céline Sciamma’s latest film is bound to be one of the standout new releases of 2020. This simmering, star-crossed romance is a triumph of feminist filmmaking that demands to be seen. Watch it on Curzon Home Cinema now.
Pro tip: if you can’t get enough of Sciamma, you can also catch her earlier film Tomboy on BFI Player.
Kasi Lemmon’s extraordinary tale based on the life of American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and went on to rescue hundreds of other people. Watch Harriet on Amazon Prime.
Lulu Wang’s funny and uplifting tale of a Chinese family’s decision not to tell their grandmother that she has terminal cancer saw Awkwafina become the first Asian woman
to win Best Actress at the Golden Globes. Watch The Farewell on Amazon Prime.
Set in Dakar, Mati Diop’s supernatural romance sees a construction worker who drowned at sea in search of a better life abroad return to his young lover in ghostly form and won the Grand Prix at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Watch it on Netflix.
A Bump Along the Way
Initially programmed for this year’s Glasgow Film Festival prior to its online release, we can’t recommend Shelly Love’s raucously entertaining comedy enough. A fresh, sassy take on the traditional rom-com starring Bronagh Gallagher as a middle-aged single mother who becomes pregnant after a one night stand, to the horror of her teenage daughter. Watch A Bump Along th Way on Amazon Prime.
Blow the Man Down
Another GFF20 pick, Bridget Savage Cole’s atmospheric New England Noir about two sisters trying to cover up a gruesome run-in with a dangerous man will keep you guessing to the very end. And it’s available for free with Watch Blow the Man Down on Amazon Prime.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The ICYMI strand includes some of your favourite films screened at GFT in recent months, available to watch or rewatch from the comfort of your own living room.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
A poignant story of hometowns and how they’re made—and kept alive—by the people who love them. Watch The Last Black Man in San Francisco on Amazon Prime.
Described as ‘Apocalypse Now on shrooms’, Monos was one of the most talked about films of 2019, landing the Best Film award at the BFI London Film Festival. Watch Monos on Amazon Prime.
This little independent film took us all by surprise, becoming ‘one of the defining British films of the decade’ according to Mark Kermode. A masterpiece shot on grainy 16mm black and white film, it’s set in a modern-day Cornish village struggling to adjust to the influx of Airbnb, London money and stag parties. Watch Bait on BFI Player.
So Long, My Son
If you don’t have time for a three hour Chinese epic while social isolating, then when do you? This film is worth every minute, spanning three decades in the lives of two families, against a backdrop of social, political and human upheaval. Watch Bait on Amazon Prime.
Head on over to Twitter to tell the team at GFT what’s on your social isolation watch list, using the hashtag #athomewithGFT
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