5 things to watch this weekend – 10 to 12 May

Scorsese waxes lyrical about two filmmaking legends, Josh O’Connor digs up priceless artefacts, and a French holy grail emerges again.

La chimera (2023)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Josh O’Connor trades the tennis garms of Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers for a grubby, Englishman-abroad white suit in this latest film from another Italian auteur: Happy as Lazzarro director Alice Rohrwacher. O’Connor plays a British archaeologist living in 1980s Tuscany who gets into the sub-rosa business of tomb-raiding for priceless Etruscan artefacts on behalf of an international smuggling network. This being a Rohrwacher film, the tone is less Indiana Jones adventure and more ambling magic-realist shaggy-dog tale. O’Connor’s Arthur has something of the low-key, hangdog cool of Jean-Paul Belmondo, just out of prison, mourning a lost love and harnessing the mysterious power of his dowsing rod to seek out ancient treasures. Here’s hoping his presence in this brings more viewers to the freewheeling enchantments of Rohrwacher’s work.

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger (2024)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI Southbank

Watching the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger as a child was a formative experience for Martin Scorsese. During his New Hollywood days, he would become instrumental in the 1970s rediscovery and canonisation of films like A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and The Red Shoes (1948), and now, nearly 50 years on again, he’s their tireless evangelist once more in this new feature-length profile of the great filmmaking duo. Presented by Scorsese himself, it draws on a wealth of archive material and intoxicating clips to tell the story of how a Hungarian screenwriter and Canterbury-born director came together in wartime England to create their great firework display of some of the most daring, seductive and imaginative films this isle has ever produced. 

They Made Me a Fugitive (1947)

Where’s it on? Talking Pictures TV, Sunday, 18:00

They Made Me a Fugitive (1947)

A peer of Powell and Pressburger in the royal flush of 1940s British cinema, Brazilian émigré Alberto Cavalcanti was near his best in this brooding, black-market noir from 1947. They Made Me a Fugitive sees Trevor Howard playing one Clem Morgan, lately an RAF airman but now unemployed and turning his hand to trafficking black-market goods. A cop is killed during a warehouse looting and Clem is sent down but escapes Dartmoor prison to become a fugitive through the English countryside – moodily photographed by Otto Heller. Cavalcanti’s film is one of the defining entries in the so-called ‘spiv’ cycle that was popular in British film in the late 40s, focusing on nefarious chancers and their dodgy dealings in a postwar world where rationing was still in force and the old world was in tatters.

Red Herring (2023)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide and BFI Player

Here is a prickly, affectingly candid documentary about a family adjusting to the reality of their son’s imminent mortality. At 24, filmmaker Kit Vincent was found to have an incurable brain tumour and given four to eight years to live. Of course, the news was devastating not only for him but for his separated parents – it caused his father a heart attack. Red Herring is the result of Vincent’s decision to film the process, to capture his own attempts to grapple with the prospect of a life cut short, but also to record the conversations he has with his mum, dad and (less willingly filmed) girlfriend. Vincent’s diary could have become maudlin or self-indulgent, but its airing of sometimes unlikeable traits and the blunt honesty of the encounters makes for surprisingly penetrating viewing.

L’Amour fou (1969)

Where’s it on? Blu-ray

L’Amour fou (1969)

At 252 minutes, this French New Wave masterpiece was a stepping stone to the notorious mega-length of Jacques Rivette’s subsequent Out 1 (1971). But while the latter film, often called the holy grail for cinephiles, has long since become available to sup from again after decades out of sight, L’Amour fou has remained elusive. That changes with this new Blu-ray edition from Radiance, bringing us the 4K restoration of Rivette’s grainy 16mm and 35mm epic. Like Out 1, its drama spirals dizzyingly out of reportage of actors putting on a production of an ancient-world play – in this case Racine’s neoclassical tragedy Andromaque. Bulle Ogier and Jean-Pierre Kalfon play the actor-and-director couple whose marriage we follow on to the rocks over four hours of intimately depicted disintegration.