Finding a great film to watch is as easy as A, B, C.
Fed up with increasingly silly listicles populating your feed during quarantine? We’re sorry. Film News Editor Steph is on hand to bring you a film recommendation for each letter of the alphabet, and where to watch them.
A is for And Then We Danced (2019) dir. Levan Akin
Facing intense backlash upon release in its native Georgia, And Then We Danced is a bold story of forbidden love and fervent dance. A raw, corporeal depiction of desire and heartbreak displays itself in every flexed muscle and every stolen glance between its two protagonists, Merab and Irakli.
B is for Blow Out (1981) dir. Brain De Palma
A neo-noir thriller with plenty of camp, Blow Out pays homage to past films whilst also revelling in the eighties outlandishness often associated with De Palma’s filmography. John Travolta is the sound technician who inadvertendly witnesses a murder and tries to piece together a way to save the woman involved.
C is for Children of a Lesser God (1986) dir. Randa Haines
Marlee Matlin remains the youngest ever winner of the Best Actress gong for Children of A Lesser God, as well as the first deaf winner. Though a simple rom-com and its heart, this mawkishly heartwarming and unabashedly 80s flick features undeniable chemistry between its two leads. William Hurt and Marlee Matlin’s real-life relationship, however, does raise some eyebrows.
D is for Double Indemnity (1944) dir. Billy Wilder
Barbara Stanwyck was the original femme fatale and the blueprint for countless future double-crossing temptresses. As the scheming Phyllis Dietrichson in her iconic blonde wig, she tempts insurance agent Walter Neff into killing her husband to get rich on his double indemnity policy. The ultimate film noir and the inspiration for Body Heat 37 years later.
E is for The End of the Tour (2015) dir. James Ponsoldt
More than ever, critics and film fans alike are sick to the back teeth of formulaic biopics. But what director James Ponsoldt did with The End of the Tour was fresh, perfectly capturing what writer David Foster Wallace was truly about. It wasn’t ironic or sad, and it debunked many of the myths that surround the writer, particularly those that posit him as a poster-boy for a depressed Gen-Z crowd of slackers and misanthropists. The unlikely pairing of Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg navigate a naturalistic masterpiece, needing only five days in Wallace’s life to paint a full portrait.
F is for Full Metal Jacket (1987) dir. Stanley Kubrick
Skewing the American sensibility of war films glorifying Western involvement in Vietnam, Full Metal Jacket is nightmarish and stylish all at once. From brutish boot camp to war-torn Hanoi, Kubrick deploys his recognizable panache to bring to life the horrifying realities of the war with humour and truth.