- What's left on my 2020 'to watch' list -
- Part 2 -
Hey Film Enthusiasts, I hope this finds you safe and well.

Happy New Year too! I almost had to remind myself. It feels a bit odd wishing you a 'happy' New Year considering everything that's going on at the moment but hope it was good one nonetheless.

And seen as things aren't too eventful at the moment, maybe today's recommendations can offer something to help!

Like I mentioned in last week's newsletter, when it comes to this point in the year, I love to look back at everything that’s been released and make a ‘to watch’ list! So here are four more movies that i'm looking forward to watching from the past year!

Another animated film from Irish director Tomm Moore!? Yes please. Some readers might remember we screened The Secret of Kells a while back. And Wolfwalkers is very much of the same ilk. I was worried this one might be derivative, especially when a large cyclical township took centre stage, with a young protagonist desperate to explore the dangers of the outside world. Despite the big similarities Wolfwalkers is brilliant in its own right. I’m a huge fan of both The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea so was pleased to watch another just as magical addition to Moore’s canon of Celtic folklore.

Where to watch: This one is an Apple original so for the time being it is exclusively on Apple TV. However, loads more Moore films are available on various streaming sites including Netflix, if you haven’t seen them yet definitely check out those mentioned above for similar feels 😊

Watch the trailer!
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

There’s always room for a good coming of age film in the year and this one seems to be top of many critic’s lists. I feel like these kinds of films perform really well when they sum up the times.  Often, they can fade away with the times as years go by, but during the year they hit the tone just right and we remember them in isolation for that reason. The title of Eliza Hittman’s film comes from a clinical and reductive multiple-choice question asked at an abortion clinic; ‘I'm going to ask you some personal questions and you can answer; Never, Rarely, Sometimes, or Always’. After discovering she cannot get an abortion without parental consent where she lives, the main character and her cousin travel the 200 miles to New York City to try and resolve her dilemma themselves. Every year there’s a particular story that represents youth better than the others, I think of 2019’s Eighth Grade, 2018’s Lady Bird, 2017’s Call Me by Your Name. It looks like Eliza Hittman’s film might be 2020’s.

Where to watch: With it’s 2020 cinematic release pulled due to the pandemic, the film was sent straight to premium streaming services. Prime Video/ Youtube in app purchases remain the best bet to see this one for the time being.

Watch the trailer!
St Maud

Intuitive readers may have detected a liking I have for A24 films. The New York studio have shown us some classics over the past decade (some of which I’ve screened at our movie nights; Moonlight, The Witch.) When it comes to horror, they are especially prolific. As I’ve discussed before the horror genre can be a bit of a tarnished one. There are a lot of bad ones, trashy ones, exploitative and weakly written, ones made only to scare and not to inspire. A good horror should do both! Thankfully, being a relatively independent studio, A24 are interested in artistic ventures and not just commercial successes. Over the years they have produced and/or distributed Under the Skin, Ex Machina, Hereditary, Midsommar, to mention a few. Last year they backed Rose Glass, a promising British director with her first feature St. Maud and a story about a pious but unstable nurse set in an isolated sea-side town. It went down pretty well with viewers who likened it to Polanski, Ingmar Bergman and even the religious imagery of William Blake.

Where to watch: The cinematic release was timed with Halloween 2020 so I’m hoping this will receive a second streaming release this year. Film4 and BFI produced, it may end up appearing there but also likely for Netflix along with other A24 films.

Watch the trailer!

Having recently discovered the films of Abel Ferrara (I’m especially fond of Bad Lieutenant and Pasolini) I can’t pass up this recent contribution, especially as he’s working with Willem Dafoe again. Another good sign is Matt Zoller Seitz’s four-star review (those familiar with will know this is the highest rating they give) Another reason this film appeals to me is that it’s a semi-biographical film about a writer/filmmaker. There’s something in films about filmmaking that I can’t resist. They say write about what you know, I often find that at the ends of their career’s directors do exactly this. The fact that their craft is so accomplished at this point in their life means there is a piercing depth to their representations. I’m thinking of the likes of Robert Altman’s The Player (which he made aged 67), Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory (aged 70) and of course Ferrara’s Pasolini (aged 63). All great films about the lives of those working in film but I find these semi-biographical ones especially interesting. I love Ferrara’s Pasolini even if it is simple and inconclusive in areas. He is 69 this year, I wonder if Tommaso is a revisit to some of the themes he and Dafoe explored 6 years ago.

Where to watch:

Watch the trailer!
Thanks for reading! check back next week for for more recommendations and for extra film content why not check out my:
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