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.
Moomins on the Riviera (2014)
DETAILS: Finland, France, 76mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Currently available on Amazon Prime Video
ABOUT THE FILM: Moomins on the Riviera is the perfect addition to our selection of family friendly choices to watch at home. At 1hr and 16 minutes long, this whimsical hand drawn animated film will keep even the smallest and shortest attention spans enthralled. This refreshingly tender but surprisingly witty gem, is a worthy tribute and celebration of the iconic comic characters first drawn by Moomin creator Tove Jansson. Although unashamedly nostalgic, the film gently explores relevant and contemporary themes of jealousy and inequality as the Moomins are exposed to a cultural shift whilst holidaying on the French Riviera. Behind the pastel hues and folk-tale characters, satirical humour and mischievous wit will entertain older audiences beyond the film’s undeniable adorable charm. Extend your escapism and keep your little ones occupied by creating your own Moomin houses, utilising any toilet rolls you may have acquired recently.
DETAILS: Japan, 92mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Streaming now on MUBI
ABOUT THE FILM: Hyde Park strongly recommends the phantasmagorical cinematic side show that is Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (Hausu). Formerly an experimental filmmaker and TV commercial director for Toho film studio, Nobuhiko Obayashi was requested to ‘make something like Jaws (1975)’, which was one of the many Western films that dominated Japanese cinema at that time. The film was released when the Japanese film industry was in financial difficulties and they were desperate for something new to boost audiences, and with House, they certainly got it! When Oshare invites six of her school friends to visit her aunt in an isolated country house, they are welcomed with open doors and open mouths. The presence of the girls sets off a supernatural spiral out of the past, invoking evil spirits, a carnivorous piano, dismembered limbs and Snowy the cat. From an original story by Obayashi’s daughter, House is endlessly inventive, referencing both the new wave of Jean-Luc Goddard and horror aesthetics of Mario Bava. The director’s freewheeling editing style also extends to every aspect of the film’s detailed production, sets, soundtrack and intentionally creaky special effects. It’s a fitting tribute to Obayashi who died in April 2020, leaving us with a truly original piece of gloriously disorienting cinema. You can watch it watch on Mubi now in partnership with Hyde Park Picture House, sign up for 3 months free access here: mubi.com/hydepark
Kinara (The Edge)
DETAILS: India, 5mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Free to watch now on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/294889038
ABOUT THE FILM: Wednesday 29th July was International Tiger Day and to celebrate this we chose Kinara, a beautiful short animation directed by Kalp Sanghvi and Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, who are part of the Ghost Animation collective based in Kolkata, India.
The film was commissioned by the Wildlife Trust of India in 2018 for the villages around Tadoba Tiger reserve in Maharashtra. Kinara follows a family of tigers suffering the consequences of increased intrusions into the forest by the human communities living on the edge of the Tadoba tiger reserve.
On Ghost Animation’s website there’s a host of interesting process material charting the films production process from initial concept. Find this at ghostanimation.in/Kinara-The-Edge. We particularly loved the section just of backgrounds. To really delve deep into International Tiger Day we also enjoyed reading some tiger facts courtesy of National Geographic Kids.
1) Tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. Adults can weigh up to 363kg (that’s about the same as ten ten year olds!) and measure up to 3.3m!
2) Tigers are carnivores, eating only meat. They mainly feed on large mammals such as deer, wild pigs, antelope and buffalo.
3) Tigers are solitary hunters, and generally search for food alone at night. They quietly stalk their prey until they are close enough to pounce – then they kill their victim with a bite to the neck or back of the head. Ouch!
4) Tigers are good swimmers! Unlike most members of the cat family, they like water and often cool off in pools or streams.
5) A tiger’s roar can be heard as far as three kilometres away. SO when they want to be heard, you’ll know about it!
6) At full speed, tigers can reach up to 65km/h.
7) These fierce felines have walked the earth for a long time. Fossil remains of tigers found in parts of China are believed to be 2 million years old. Yikes!
8) No two tigers have the same stripes. Since every tiger has their own pattern on their fur, they are all unique!
9) Today, there are five subspecies of tiger: Bengal tiger, South China tiger, Indochinese tiger, Sumatran tiger and Siberian tiger. Sadly, three subspecies of tiger have become extinct – the Caspian, Bali and Javan.
10) Less than 100 years ago, tigers could be found throughout Asia. Sadly, hunting and habitat loss have put populations at risk, and today their range has been reduced to around 7% of its former size.
DETAILS: France and Australia, 103mins
WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT: Rent the film via the Hyde Park Picture House website and we’ll receive a portion of the ticket price: https://hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk/film/alice
ABOUT THE FILM: A new title available to rent online, Alice is the feature film debut by Australian director Josephine Mackerras and it is available on Vimeo thanks to Eureka Entertainment. Throughout 2019 it won lots of critical acclaim on the festival circuit including the Grand Jury Award at SXSW so we’re thrilled it’s finally made it to the UK. The film follows happily married Alice’s life as it is turned upside down by the discovery that her husband has spent all their money on prostitutes. In a last-ditch bid to support herself and her child, Alice becomes a high-end escort, which challenges her perceptions of life and love. At times bitterly funny but always brutally honest, the film traces Alice’s journey to her own kind of freedom. If you’d like to learn more about Mackerras creative process we really enjoyed this Q&A with her and Sara Neal of the Malthouse Theatre Melboune. Find it on Youtube here: https://bit.ly/2DlqPMj If you head to our website you can find a discount code for the film and part of your rental fee will go directly to us. More details can be found here hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk/film/alice