If you’re searching for some worthwhile films and series to fill your quiet weekend at home, try these titles; all available for UK viewers to stream now on their respective platforms.
Since VOD-born series have pushed forward changes in the release tactics of television shows, the way we anticipate tuning into those programmes has also become drastically different. In this sense, it is a gratifying feeling to find yourself frustrated about staggered releases. Lupin is so addictive, so shrewd and mirthful, that you will be left longing for more of the magic the show brings—at the heart of which is an exuberant protagonist, Assane Diop (Omar Sy), who has a taste for danger, a bone to pick with a tyrant of the establishment, and a fixation on the literary works of Maurice Leblanc.
Modelling himself on Leblanc’s gentleman thief—and subject of many popular works of fiction—’Arsène Lupin’, Diop uses his charm and cunning to undertake missions that seem nigh on impossible to achieve. The payoff in each episode is, naturally, enough to wrap up the questions around the hows and whys of his adventures, but these instalments are clues which fit inside a larger high-stakes mystery. If you can manage the wait between now and the release of the series’ latter parts, give it a watch with subs and French audio. You won’t regret it.
First five episodes available to stream now on Netflix
Essential viewing for film buffs, this documentary sees trans* representation in mainstream cinema through the eyes of the people whose voices matter in the coverage of trans* histories. The success of Disclosure’s format is due to its smart and straightforward structure; the documentary is comprised of a series of interviews with influential Hollywood figures, who analyse the presence of trans* people in the products of popular culture that their generations were attuned to.
What Disclosure makes clear is that popular media is capable of shaping people’s minds and imaginations, and to use this power responsibly Hollywood must make fair and accurate trans* visibility—in consultation with trans* people—a critical part of its present-day cultural vision. It is only fair that everyone should be able to get to see themselves illustrated on-screen, presented as the nuanced, bright and complex people that they should be; to let them feel loved, and to inspire young people to hope for an outstanding future.
Available to stream now on Netflix
One Night in Miami
Brought to the screen by Regina King, this adaptation of Kemp Powers’ stage play of the same name is a bittersweet celebration of great young minds and Black talent, blighted by an undercurrent of dread anticipating the loss of two of the gifted people in that hotel room in Miami. Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) (who was about to join the Nation of Islam and take up his chosen name, Muhammad Ali)—same place, same night. 1964.
King’s direction keeps the scenes tightly focused on the exchanges between four vibrant, contrasting characters—each of whom has their own perspective on the progress of Black civil rights in America, and all of whom are fighting for a common good, albeit in separate ways. What the film captures so brilliantly is the disquiet that is so often at the heart of political movements, the lack of cohesion weighing heavily on members who strive always to remain strongly principled in ways that meet their own unyielding expectations.
Available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video
Can’t Get You Out of My Head
As much as this sounds like hyperbole, Adam Curtis really is one of the most watchable documentarians in television today. He commands your whole attention without ever appearing on screen. This six-part series sketches out a history of power relations in the UK, USA, Russia and China by encompassing the views, movements and grievances of groups and individuals in the aforementioned nations.
Conducted through a mixture of archival mashups and narration, Can’t Get You Out of My Head journeys in and out of the human subconscious, tapping into fears but reaching out to the rational aspects of our natural thought processes—if they truly are independently instinctive. The docuseries is like an immersive, psychedelic experience, and it gives you the chance to truly meditate on images and stories we see daily but infrequently connect together.
All six episodes available to stream now on BBC iPlayer
A bizarre, seething body-horror with a moody score and elegantly dressed minimalist sets, Brandon Cronenberg’s most recent feature film is well-executed and creatively paced. Suspense ebbs and flows throughout, with moments of staggering brutality puncturing a gradual, sustained movement towards true mindlessness – a state of non-being, accompanied by nihilistic cruelty.
This film was capable of getting under my skin, inside my head – a troubling watch, but absolutely captivating. Cronenberg has found a way to take a fear of surveillance to new heights, enhancing the violating nature of complete invasions of privacy by introducing an element of human error. Possessor also demonstrates how easy it is to forget how to be a person when we cease to recognise the value of every life there is.
Available to rent now on BFI Player