5 things to watch this weekend – 17 to 19 May

Twisting tales of growing pains, an urgent Italian classic and a cinematic page-turner. What are you watching this weekend?

Hoard (2023)

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

Childhood is messy, intense and unhygienic in Luna Carmoon’s striking directorial debut. Sometime in the 1970s, young Maria is being brought up by her loving but troubled mother (a wild-eyed performance from Hayley Squires), who has an obsessive compulsion for hoarding. Their home is a cluttered storehouse of the second-hand scraps and junk that they’ve gleaned from shops, bins and street corners; the mother-daughter relationship an insular one of co-dependence. Later, Carmoon’s film jumps ahead to follow the older Maria’s life as a school leaver – a wayward youth wondering where to now apply her ferocious, idiosyncratic energy. Hoard is refreshingly non-judgmental about its depiction of erratic parenting, a feral love affair, and lives that don’t stay tidily between the lines.

Tiger Stripes (2023)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

The growing-pains puberty horror of films like Carrie (1976), Ginger Snaps (2000) and Raw (2016) gets a Malaysian twist in this vividly strange and livewire feature from debutante Amanda Nell Eu. Somewhere in rural Malaysia, a 11-year-old girl studying at a Muslim school begins to feel the first twitches of physical transformation – like Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf (1985), she may in fact be turning into something truly monstrous. In any case, the changes in her seem to prompt a mood of mass hysteria among her classmates and the conservative factions running the school community. Those mysterious woodland apparitions with glowing eyes are straight out of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), another influence in Nell Eu’s cauldron. But the stirring together has made something bewitching.

Return to Reason (2023)

Where’s it on? Mubi

This compilation brings together restorations of four of Man Ray’s avant-garde short films with a hypnotic new post-rock score by Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan (performing as SQÜRL). American-born Man Ray had arrived in Paris in 1921 and was quickly immersed in the emerging Dada and surrealist movements. Stitched together non-chronologically here, the first three films – L’Étoile de mer (1928), Emak-Bakia (1926), Le Retour à la raison (1923) – are erotically-tinged adventures in abstraction, before the more narratively driven Les Mystères du Château du Dé (1929) closes things with a surreal drive to an isolated chateau, the Villa Noailles in Hyères, where the masked travellers play a game of chance. Long before David Lynch or Maya Deren or even Luis Buñuel, these films showed cinema’s potential to conjure the atmosphere of dreams.

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

Where’s it on? BFI Player

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

Back in 2010, critics were sniffy about the Oscar for best foreign language film going to this glossy Argentinian mystery over arthouse favourites The White Ribbon and A Prophet. But on its own terms, Juan José Campanella’s film is a compulsively watchable procedural thriller that burrows into the traumatic memories and hidden history of Argentina’s past as a military dictatorship. That great omnipresence of Argentinian cinema Ricardo Darín plays the legal investigator whose research for a book about an unsolved rape and murder case sends us back to the 1970s and the time of the original investigation. With its brilliant set-piece at a football stadium, Campanella’s thriller has a page-turning, beach-read quality, but feels anchored by national pain and reckoning.

Rome, Open City (1945)

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

A pan around the Rome skyline under the opening credits shows a calm, long-standing city, but Roberto Rossellini’s landmark 1945 film is soon taking us into its rubble-strewn streets and anxious homes. Filmed at the end of the city’s Nazi occupation, it delivered a picture of life during wartime with something close to the immediacy of a newspaper hitting your doorstep. Co-written by the young Federico Fellini, it follows a handful of Romans and their dangerous efforts at defiance, including a Resistance fighter, his pregnant fiancée (the great star Anna Magnani) and a Catholic priest. Its unvarnished realism and urgency made it a sensation at home and abroad, and even the great New York critic Manny Farber, writing a more mixed review in 1946, admitted that the “most graphic scenes … develop with the burst and intensity of an oil-dump fire”.