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Nightmare on asylum street: His House, the horror film about the migrant crisis

https://www.theguardian.com/world/raceplay episode download
25 October, by Ryan Gilbey[ —]

A couple flee South Sudan and end up trapped in an Essex house with peeling walls, dodgy wiring – and ghosts in the walls. Director Remi Weekes explains the ultra-scary film everyone wanted to snap up

There has never been a whole lot of overlap between the social realism of Ken Loach and the twisted horror of A Nightmare on Elm Street. But that’s about to change with the release of His House, a strikingly original debut from the gifted British film-maker Remi Weekes, which was snapped up by Netflix at Sundance earlier this year for an eight-figure sum.

His House follows a South Sudanese couple – Wunmi Mosaku as Rial, Sope Dirisu as her husband Bol – who are dumped on a bleak Essex housing estate while their appeal for asylum is considered. Their temporary home is blighted by peeling walls, dodgy wiring and hostile neighbours. Worse than that, it’s haunted. If they flee, Rial and Bol risk deportation for violating bail. Stay, however, and they will need to do battle with the wall-dwelling creatures, which appear to have followed them from Africa.

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Summer of 85 review – François Ozon's bittersweet teen romance

https://www.theguardian.com/film/francois-ozonplay episode download
25 October, by Mark Kermode Observer film critic[ —]

Two boys in a French seaside resort fall fatally in love in a nostalgic coming-of-age tale

This latest from François Ozon, director of such wildly diverse offerings as Sitcom, Under the Sand, 8 Women and The New Girlfriend is a bittersweet saga of love and death, a coming-of-age tale based on Aidan Chambers’s 1982 novel Dance on My Grave. Shifting the setting from Southend-on-Sea to Le Tréport in 1985, it centres on Alex (Félix Lefebvre), a death-obsessed teen in the throes of doomed first love, whose morbidly romantic story plays out with the sensual artfulness of classic Ozon, combined with the accessible vigour of an 80s American teen pic.

We first meet David (Benjamin Voisin) at sea, a beautiful vision riding the waves to rescue the hapless Alex after his little boat capsizes. David takes Alex home to his widowed mum, played with nervy energy by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, who undresses and bathes the new arrival (“All David’s capsized friends go in the tub!”) and tells Alex that “my David needs a real friend”.

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Dorset's art deco cinema jewel returns to its 1930s splendour

25 October, by Harriet Sherwood[ —]

Picture houses across the country are closing doors, but the Regent in Christchurch is bucking the trend

It was the year of the abdication crisis, the Jarrow marches, the Battle of Cable Street and the launch of the BBC’s television service. Beyond Britain’s shores, the world was edging closer to war.

In Christchurch, then in Hampshire but now in Dorset, people were flocking to the Regent Centre in 1936 to watch movies such as Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and Mr Deeds Goes to Town, starring Gary Cooper.

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The Climb review – a shrewd portrayal of male friendship

https://www.theguardian.com/film/dramaplay episode download
24 October, by Simran Hans[ —]

This smart indie drama captures the ebb and flow of a flagging relationship

The Climb begins with heavy panting; it’s pitch dark. But writer-director (and lead actor) Michael Angelo Covino is teasing us: what appears to be a sex scene cuts to a different shared experience. Best friends Mike (Covino) and Kyle (Kyle Marvin, who co-writes) are in the south of France on a stag do, struggling to breathe as they cycle up a particularly steep hill. An extended tracking shot that lasts nearly 10 minutes captures an awkward conversation, in which best man Mike confesses he has been sleeping with Kyle’s fiancee.

Using Covino’s 2018 short of the same name as a starting point, this smart indie drama uses a series of vignettes to explore the ebb and flow of Mike and Kyle’s relationship. Thanksgiving, Christmas, a funeral and a ski trip all provide different vantage points from which to view their increasingly stale bond. The camera is an attentive and curious observer, Zach Kuperstein’s fluid cinematography capturing the constantly shifting power in any given room. “Are you guys playing Never Have I Ever?” asks Kyle’s girlfriend Marissa (a lively Gayle Rankin), raising an eyebrow at the drunken thirtysomethings. “Yeah, we’re catching up,” replies Kyle. The film is shrewd on male friendship, suggesting that a lot of men are vulnerable and crave intimacy, but are often too poor at communicating to truly reach for it.

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Don Hertzfeldt: the animator drawing devastating drama out of stick people

24 October, by Charles Bramesco[ —]

The ‘Oscar-losing film-maker’ gained a cult following with his melancholy doodles. Next up, he’s tackling time travel and holograms

Don Hertzfeldt is surprised to hear that viewers have been watching his last few short films – the three episodes of his miniature sci-fi epic World of Tomorrow – in one sitting. “Isn’t that just exhausting?” he laughs, speaking over the phone from his home in Austin, Texas. “Mentally and emotionally?” He’s not wrong. But it is the kind of draining experience that leaves the audience restored; a gauntlet gone through for the promise of life-affirming enlightenment at the end.

Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

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Rudy Giuliani, Maria Bakalova and an antisemitic cake: discuss Borat Subsequent Moviefilm with spoilers

https://www.theguardian.com/film/boratplay episode download
24 October, by Jordan Hoffman[ —]

Sacha Baron Cohen’s second journey out of Kazakhstan is with a spirited new sidekick, and they land immediately in political and social hot water

Wa wa wee wa! Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is finally here and, while nothing could ever reproduce the shock and awe of the original, Kazakhstan’s favourite son’s return to the screen is, if nothing else, an event.

Sadly the pandemic kept this from cinemas, but its wide availability via Amazon means everyone can tune in at once. Here’s your chance to talk about the wildest moments – litigious, grisly, or both.

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Lily James: 'I got sucked into the vortex. I didn't know which way to turn'

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/matt-smithplay episode download
24 October, by Sophie Heawood[ —]

She made her name playing sunny sweethearts, but now James is going gothic in a new Rebecca. She talks getting spooked on set, Covid bubbles and co-stars

The problem with trying to be an actor but also trying to stay sane, says Lily James, is that you need a really thin skin to do the work, and a very thick one to withstand the rejection or the criticism. “You have to let everything affect you, everything hit your nerves, so you can perform. So it feels as if you’re constantly trying to guard yourself or let people in, put walls up or break them down. Your roots are often being ripped out and put somewhere else, so it’s sometimes harder to feel that stability in life which… yeah.”

She trails off, taking a sip of her tea as we sit in the drizzly garden of the Somerset hotel where she’s staying, having decided she can keep her mask off as we are outside, at opposite ends of a table. She’s dressed in civvies: baggy dark green trousers that would vanish you in a forest, her hair its natural brown, a star who could hide in plain sight. Far enough into fame, after a decade in the business, to know how to hold some of herself back, but young enough (at only 31) to still want to give it all away.

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Streaming: gems to explore from the London Korean film festival

https://www.theguardian.com/film/dramaplay episode download
24 October, by Guy Lodge[ —]

Interest in Korean cinema has grown thanks to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and this year’s festival is tiptop

While cinemas continue to grapple with an uncertain pandemic-induced future, the film festival circuit has adjusted swiftly to the chaos. Recent weeks have seen the Toronto and London festivals, as well as smaller events such as the Pordenone silent film festival, successfully pivot to digital editions; the next festival to take the home-viewing route is the London Korean film festival, running from 29 October to 12 November.

It’s a cracker, too: an annual highlight on the London cinephile’s autumn calendar and now anyone in the UK can sample most of the LKFF’s delights. (Some selections will screen only in cinemas, but the bulk of the programme is streamable, with limited virtual tickets now available to book.) It’s felicitous timing in a year that saw a sudden surge of mainstream interest in Korean cinema, thanks to a certain dark-horse winner of the best picture Oscar: if your knowledge doesn’t extend far past Parasite, here’s a good place to start exploring.

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Borat can't save us from Trump – but he may be the way forward for film

https://www.theguardian.com/film/borat-2play episode download
23 October, by Catherine Shoard[ —]

Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel has passed up the chance to help cinemas in their hour of need. But its topical, social media-friendly blueprint points to the industry’s future

Sacha Baron Cohen’s aim in releasing his Borat sequel less than a fortnight before the US presidential election is explicit: to influence its outcome by causing maximum embarrassment to the current administration and its allies.

America under a second Trump term, said Baron Cohen last week, would likely “become a democracy in name only”. His film finishes by urging viewers to vote, and leaves them in little doubt for whom.

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Grin and bear it: Jared Leto's Joker gets an unlikely second chance

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23 October, by Ben Child[ —]

Zack Snyder’s small-screen Justice League reboot will mark a return for an unloved figure. Could Leto have the last laugh?

There is nothing wrong with an actor returning to a role that someone else has been cheerfully filling for a while, but it doesn’t always go well. Just ask Sean Connery, who picked up James Bond’s Walther PPK again in the sub-par Diamonds Are Forever despite George Lazenby having played the role in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service two years earlier.

And yet there is something iffy about this week’s news that Jared Leto will play the Joker once again in Zack Snyder’s reworked version of Justice League, which is being brought to the small screen by HBO Max after a fan campaign. Snyder had to step away from the 2017 superhero ensemble due to a death in the family. He was replaced by Joss Whedon, who rewrote most of the script, cut various storylines and tried to invest the po-faced, power chord-infused DC extended universe with added superhero badinage.

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