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Hyde Park Picture House Picks

Hyde Park Picture House Picks
Written by The Hyde Park Picture House  16/07/2020

Whilst many cinemas are closed and screenings on hold, sadly its not possible for us to share films in the usual way. Thankfully though, a growing number of top independent films are available to stream from home – often for free – allowing you to continue discovering brilliant films from around the world.

With this in mind we’ve launched Hyde Park Picks to share some of some of the best films available online, with picks coming from Picture House staff, volunteers and partner organisations. We'll also be including occasional non-film recommendations too, from podcasts and books, to other fun bits that we think you'd like.

Honeyland (2019)  
DETAILS: Macedonia, 87mins 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Rent this now directly for £3.50 from Dogwoof. https://watch.dogwoof.com/item/honeyland-rental
ABOUT THE FILM: The most awarded film at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Honeyland is a visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity. Hatidze and her elderly mother live in a deserted village in the mountains of Macedonia where they cultivate honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. Hatidze attends to her bee colonies that are nestled high in the rocks above the village without mask or gloves. “Half for them, half for me” she says will leave enough honey for the bees themselves. A Turkish family moves in next door, breaking her solitude, they, too, want to practice beekeeping, but don't respect her methods. Shot over three years it is a beautiful and immersive film that documents a disappearing way of life. The film is distributed by UK feature-length documentary specialists Dogwoof who have their own online streaming service where you can view many of their titles for just £3.50.

 

Weathering With You (2019)
DETAILS: ‎Japan, 111mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: New online platform Screen Anime. Sign up monthly, annually, or try out their free 3-day trial: https://www.screenanime.com/
ABOUT THE FILM: Weathering with You is a meteorological fantasy drama and dazzling metaphysical fable, rendered in meticulous water-soaked detail. Alone in a gloomy Tokyo of constant rainfall, Hodaka meets Hina, who possesses a wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain. They start a business to clear patches of sky for paying customers, but meddling with the skies, it turns out, comes with another kind of cost. 

 

Your Name (2016)
DETAILS: ‎Japan, 112mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: New online platform Screen Anime. Sign up monthly, annually, or try out their free 3-day trial: https://www.screenanime.com/
ABOUT THE FILMS: Your Name is a body-swap sci-fi romance that weaves together time and space, past and present, city and countryside, male and female, science and mythology, reality and dreams, in a thrillingly beautiful, melancholic tale of magical realism. During a meteor shower, Mitsuha and Taki mysteriously begin to swap bodies. As they become closer together, another astral calamity threatens them both, as the paths of their lives spiral in on themselves. You can watch Your Name and Weathering With You right now as part of a monthly curated selection of anime features and TV series on Screen Anima https://www.screenanime.com

 

Coffee Coloured Children (1988)
DETAILS: UK, 17mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Rent this on BFI player for £1.00 https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-coffee-coloured-children-1988-online
ABOUT THE FILM: Based on the experiences of director Ngozi Onwurah and her brother Simon, Coffee Coloured Children is an intimate experimental monologue about the trauma of racial harassment and self-hate that accompanies growing up mixed-race in Britain. This short film is part of Who We Are, a weeklong takeover of the BFI by We Are Parable. Combining a series of events on YouTube with curated programmes of both free and paid for titles, the programme is an essential exploration the artistry behind Black British film. Coffee Coloured Children is one of many excellent  titles available for rent in the programme, you can find the full Who We Are curated programme lists at player.bfi.org.uk/we-are-parable. 

 

Desolation Center (2018)
DETAILS: USA, 93mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Stream it for £4.07 on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/desolationcenter
ABOUT THE FILM: Desolation Center is a new music documentary that we’d have loved to have screened this year, but it has just become available to watch online so we’d recommend you have a look!Director Stuart Swezey made the film to document the outdoors art and music happenings that he and his friends organised in and around Los Angeles in the early-to-mid eighties. To the rest of the world LA might have looked brain dead and sun baked, says Stuart Swezey, but for some people it was a lively and diverse place of experimental music, perfomance and rebellion. "You knew everybody" said performer Sean DeLear "it was about music and art." It was also an era of landlines & xeroxed flyers, yet somehow Swezey and his friends managed to arrange a fleet of school buses to take themselves and fellow misfits into the Mojave Desert for site-specific concerts, enhanced with LSD and explosive art installations provided by Survival Research Laboratories. There are live clips of iconic punk / weird bands of the 80s including Sonic Youth, Throbbing Gristle, Black Flag, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Swans, Redd Kross & Einstürzende Neubauten. Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell is in  the audience. The Desolation Center happenings in the desert may or may not have directly inspired Burning Man, Lollapalooza & Coachella festivals but it certainly meant a lot to those who were there. “It was one of those doors that opened and you’re different on the other side.”

 

The Last Picture Show (1971)
DETAILS: USA, 118 mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Watch for free with a subscription to Amazon Prime or rent it online from YouTube, ITunes.
ABOUT THE FILM: An American classic, The Last Picture Show is one of the key films of the 1970s, a renaissance period in American cinema. Set in a bleak and isolated Texas town in the early 1950s, the film follows a group of high schoolers come of age in a community that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically. While the film is generally solely credited as having been directed by Peter Bogdanovich, there have long been debates about what role Bogdanovich’s then wife, Polly Platt, had in shaping the landmark title. We want to encourage you to revisit this film hand in hand with the current season of the You Must Remember This podcast which is called ‘Polly Platt, The Invisible Woman’. Since its inception in 2014 we’ve found the You Must Remember This podcast essential, yet challenging, listening. It’s creator, Karina Longworth, frequently pulls back the curtain on Hollywood’s first century revealing truths that it isn’t easy to hear but which we need to learn from if we’re going to build up a better future. Officially Platt is credited on the film as costume and production designer but in reality she was involved in a multitude of creative decisions right from the film's inception. Platt's story in not uncommon. There are so many stories of labour being left out of our history reinforce familiar and favoured narratives about who are our 'Great Artists'. With work like You Must Remember This we can unpick these stories and make visible some of that which has previously been hidden.

 

A Long Walk (2014)
DETAILS: USA, 15mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Watch for free on Vimeo here: vimeo.com/99293805
ABOUT THE FILM: Chinonye Chukwu is a Nigerian-American film director best known for Clemency which is released digitally here in the UK on Friday 17th July. She is the first black woman to have won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and we wanted to highlight one of Chukwu’s earlier short films, A Long Walk (2013), which you can find right now on Vimeo. A Long Walk follows a boy as he is forced to parade around his neighbourhood in a dress and heels after his father finds him playing in “women’s” clothing. The film follows the impact of that decision as it ripples through the years to come. We’re really grateful to Birds Eye View for introducing us to Chukwu’s work. It’s a pleasure learning more about her work ahead of Clemency’s release and this TED Talk she recorded back in 2015 about depression, a filmmaker’s journey and resilience is so inspiring, be sure to make some time to listen https://bit.ly/2B0bJv6

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