21 November 2020 / Sean Hollebon

Sean's Top 10 online film picks

Electric Palace Young Electrics member and host of our regular film quizzes, Sean Hollebon, shares his lockdown viewing top tips.

So, I have managed to watch more than 1000 feature films in a year! Not the 2020 new year's resolution I had in mind...

The events of 2020 have led to a majority of us increasing our watching habits. As someone who has done a unsociable and unhealthy amount of watching films (sometimes six a day), shorts, and mini series to pass the time and avoid the headlines, here I present some choices you may not be aware of. Plus, some thoughts on a personal level that have helped me reflect on the many different experiences through the films I have encountered.

So, perhaps these suggestions may help boost your watch list or inspire a viewing marathon of your own.

The Forty Year Old Version

“I want to make a mixtape about the 40 year old woman’s point of view,” says Radha, our protagonist, in a film about a struggling playwright finding inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper.  

Launching great films internationally that focus on fresh new creative voices is what Netflix occasionally gets positive press for. Sadly, the release of this film may have been overlooked due to some controversies the service had at the time. Which is disappointing, as I had a lot of joy watching this film.

My thoughts from this are to seek out more new filmmakers.  

Available on Netflix.

My Octopus Teacher

A Netflix documentary about a diver's relationship with a octopus (pictured). The kind of film that puts you in a gentle mood for the 90 minutes you watch. And it's nice to see a documentary about aquatic life that is not focusing on the big hunters of the sea.

My thoughts from this are to enjoy rediscovering the vast nature out there once lockdown is over.

Available on Netflix.

Prayers To The Gods Of Guerrilla Filmmaking

A documentary about big ideas and the inevitability of how they do not come together how you imagine it. A director decides to take a miniscule crew to Hong Kong to film his movie, but without permits. There is schadenfreude of squabbling egos as well as a relatability for anyone working on a project with different levels of personal investment, as demoralising hotel rooms, ridiculous artistic demands and location improvisation create situations for arguments.

My thought from this is to always document any future projects where I dream big.

Available on Amazon Prime. 

Love's Kitchen

Certainly a mess of a romantic comedy and a mess of a film. But seeing this mess can pass a Sunday afternoon. Sometimes harmless entertainment can be a good time spent. Besides, it's rare you get a completely awful attempt at acting from Gordon Ramsay.

My thoughts are to laugh at time spent watching something bad rather than just laughing at a film.

Available on Amazon Prime.

Who Killed British Cinema?

Well, what was killing it before coronavirus unexpectedly even further did. This film explores corruption and outside influences with interviews from prominent British filmmakers like Ken Loach and Stephen Frears.

My thoughts are just how difficult it must be for future new filmmakers and to not give up.

Available on Amazon Prime.

How To Start Your Own Country

Danny Wallace’s series from 2005 of him trying to start his own country. Danny is know for his outrageous oddball ideas detailed in his books like ‘Join Me’ and ‘Yes Man’. And this series is a nice six episode, half-hour, zany time.

Available free on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/128427174

A Night At The Movies

A 1937 short about a couple experiencing lots of difficulties in watching a film at the cinema. Wouldn’t have those seating worries now, though.

My thoughts - movie cinemas/theatres will always be a part of our society. And for all the good and bad, they are worth existing.

Available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDEsUF4sPdU

Jade: The Reality Star That Changed Britain

A look back at the time when Jade Goody was the biggest event we couldn’t stop hearing about, from one controversy to the next, to the last days of the first influencer/social media star dubbed in the programme.

My thoughts are it’s a very nostalgic documentary of the time, whether you were swept into reality shows of the 2000s or not. And nostalgia worked for me considering this was the decade I was slowly realising aspects of the world. The documentary also feels like a well-polished account without glossing over the bigger racism controversies she was involved in.

Available on All 4.

The Assistant

A slow, subtle, nightmarish movie world to be trapped in as a young junior assistant at a film office becomes aware of the abuse going on around her.

My thoughts: continue to seek out more films tackling our modern world.

Available on Now TV.

A Hidden Life

Terrence Malick’s newest film is his best in a long while. Based on the story of a conscientious objector farmer during WW2, further elevated by great scenery and performances.

My thoughts are to continue exploring longer running time films that invest in their characters.

Available on Now TV.

About the Young Electrics

Sean Hollebon is one of our Young Electrics film programmers group. Find out more about the Young Electrics.

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