Stars at Noon (2022)
Where’s it on? Prime Video
This perverse world throws up many surprises, not least that we live in a time when the UK release of a Claire Denis film sees it go straight to streaming. Its victory at Cannes (winning the Grand Prix) makes this all the more baffling, but let’s move on. Margaret Qualley is the young journalist whose exposés have left her trapped and vulnerable; Joe Alwyn is the mysterious Brit who might be her saviour. Denis merges spies and sex work into the mix, revisiting the theme of colonialism that defines much of her best work.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)
Where’s it on? Friday, Midnight, BBC One
‘Pray the gay away’. That’s the promise of Christian conversion therapy, as prescribed to Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) to cure her same-sex attraction. The treatment unites her with fellow ‘sinners’, a new and disaffected tribe on whom magical thinking and homilies fail. Desiree Akhavan’s film has an acute sense of place – the godly workout routine, Blessercize, is a special factual joy – and an even hand, with Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.) the most interesting character, a complex man subject to the struggle he’s trying to thwart.
I’m a Virgo (2023)
Where’s it on? Prime Video
How do you follow Sorry to Bother You? Go big. Thirteen feet big, in fact, for that’s the height of Cootie, who emerges from childhood seclusion into the world. Boots Riley’s seven-episode series looks to have the charm and madness of his breakthrough project, much of it coming from Moonlight’s Jharrel Jerome as the oversized hero. His support includes the ever-reliable Walton Goggins, whose presence is often a very good sign of entertainment ahoy.
Polite Society (2023)
Where’s it on? DVD and Blu-ray
Jane Austen Powers is one way to think of Nida Manzoor’s lunatic comedy, as young Ria (Priya Kansara) is about to lose her beloved sister Lena (Ritu Arya) to marriage. What happens next mixes laughs, action and rapport with a central idea so powerfully subversive but expertly camouflaged you may never see it. It’s elating to watch and full of quickfire joys, not least the positive reshaping of British South Asian identity. Watch out for Arya in Barbie, opening next month.
The Wim Wenders Collection
Where’s it on? BFI Player
“I thought a lot about Wim Wenders,” said Wes Anderson of the influences on Asteroid City (in UK cinemas from today). “I’ve always loved his interpretation of the landscape and the people in it.” This collection of nine films demonstrates what he meant, ranging from Alice in the Cities and Buena Vista Social Club to adventures with imperfect men, brought to life by the likes of Dennis Hopper, Bruno Ganz and Harry Dean Stanton. His work has a photographer’s eye and a true artist’s heart.
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