LFS Recommends – September 2020

With the society’s screenings on hold for the foreseeable future and the ‘film of the week’ system we devised earlier in the year proving a little cumbersome, we thought we should instead simply offer a list of cinematic gems currently available on various streaming platforms, TV, cinema or discs.

We will be delivering more recommendations throughout the year, so keep your eyes out on our social media channels as well as here on the website in the new ‘LFS Recommends’ section (see the menu bar above).

We’d love for you all to get involved too and offer your thoughts on our choices as well as offering your own recommendations on social media or here in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

With explanations and promises out of the way, below is our list of recommendations, collated by society committee member Helen Hancocks and chair Richard Hall.

The We and the I
This is the latest film from French director Michel Gondry. A group of Bronx teenagers ride the bus home on the last day of term. The journey captures the exuberance of 16-year-olds living in the moment yet aware of the adult future they know they must face.

*Strong language throughout.
Showing on Mubi

Once Upon a Time in Iraq
This 5-part series is the best documentary the BBC has produced in years, on a par with seminal series like The Vietnam War by Ken Burns. It recounts events in Iraq from the 2003 invasion onwards, through the lives of civilians, soldiers and journalists – those most closely involved – while no politicians appear except in archive footage.

* Contains strong language and very graphic footage
Showing on BBC iplayer

The King’s Choice
A 2016 Norwegian war drama that explores themes of loyalty, duty and responsibility as it traces the events in April 1940 that led to the fall of the Norwegian government to the occupying Nazi forces and forced King Haakon into exile.

Showing on BBC iplayer

The Levelling
the debut feature of Hope Dickson Leach.

Showing on BBC iplayer

Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut. In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
Showing on BBC iplayer

Bringing Up Baby
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled palaeontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby. Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn at their best.

Showing on iplayer – along with a collection of other classics.

Matthias & Maxime
The new one from Xavier Dolan (we have screened Tom At The Farm & Mommy before). A drama focusing on a group of friends in their late 20s.

Showing on Mubi
(Plus we highly recommend their library for other great and unusual films; including highlights on India, Pedro Almodovar, Fellini and recent festival favourites)

Winner of the 2020 Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard). As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.

Curzon home cinema, for £4.99.

The Nightingale
Set in 1825, Clare, a young Irish convict woman, chases a British officer through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.

* Be warned it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Showing on Netflix

It’s also worth noting that Blindspotting & Birds Of Passage that were on the missed part of our 19-20 season are also on Netflix if you fancy catching them.

Small Axe
Steve Mcqueen’s new mini-series – coming to the BBC this autumn.

And if you are venturing out to the cinemas in September, look out for Rocks, directed by Sarah Gavron.