5 things to watch this weekend – 7 to 9 July

Block parties, skeleton dances and yuppies in peril. What are you watching this weekend?

7 July 2023

By Sam Wigley

Shabu (2021)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Shabu (2021)

In its ice-cream sundae colour pops and street-level attitude, this 75-minute documentary measures up nicely against Sean Baker films like Tangerine (2015) and The Florida Project (2017). The eponymous Shabu is a 14-year-old wannabe rapper living on the Peperklip estate in Rotterdam. He’s wrecked his grandma’s car after taking it for a joyride and now has to try to raise the money he owes her before she gets back from Suriname. Following his hustle all summer long and culminating in a huge block party, Shamira Raphaëla’s film is a joyful ode to a cheeky chancer. It bursts with life and energy.

The Bedroom Window (1987)

Where’s it on? Talking Pictures TV, Saturday, 9.30pm

The Bedroom Window (1987)

The Bedroom Window is a relic from the days when Steve Guttenberg was a major movie star and erotic thrillers ruled the box office. Improbably, it throws together the Police Academy actor with a young Isabelle Huppert. He’s a business exec, she’s the boss’s wife, and the Hitchcockian set-up sees the philandering pair lying to the police out of self-interest after witnessing a woman being attacked in the street below Guttenberg’s window. The plot that unravels is as flimsy as a pair of net curtains, but these 1980s ‘yuppie nightmare’ films are always difficult to say no to. The director is Curtis Hanson, a decade before his L.A. Confidential (1997).

The Land (1969)

Where’s it on? BFI Player

The Land (1969)

Set in the Nile Delta in the 1930s, this classic land-rights drama is a great epic of the soil. When a landowner denies tenant farmers access to water for their crops, the disenfranchised form a collective to pursue a legal claim but soon find that solidarity among their number doesn’t come easily. Never far from lists of the best Egyptian films, The Land is a masterpiece by the celebrated auteur Youssef Chahine, made at the peak of his artistic powers. It’s one of seven Chahine films that have arrived on BFI Player this week to complement the season of his work at BFI Southbank.

The Skeleton Dance (1929)

Where’s it on? Disney+

The Skeleton Dance (1929)

Starting today, Disney+ is celebrating the Disney centenary by dropping 27 new restorations of their early cartoon shorts on the streaming channel. The films will be added in monthly batches between now and October, with July’s haul including The Skeleton Dance (1929), Building a Building (1933), Bath Day (1946), Figaro and Frankie (1947), Goofy Gymnastics (1949) and Aquamania (1961). Start with The Skeleton Dance, six minutes of inventive spookiness in which the stroke of midnight brings four skeletons to life for some witching-hour hijinks. It was the first in Disney’s classic series of Silly Symphonies.

Name Me Lawand (2022)

This compassionate documentary follows the plight of a young Kurdish boy who was born deaf to hearing parents. After making the dangerous journey from Iraq to the UK, the family begins to make a home for themselves in Derby. At the Royal School for the Deaf, Lawand meets people who understand him. For the first time, as he learns British Sign Language, he finds a way to express himself. Using immersive visual and sonic techniques, Edward Lovelace’s film tracks this process of self-actualisation, but also the fraught drama of the family’s impending deportation.

BFI Player logo

All-you-can-watch access to 100s of films

A free trial, then just £4.99/month or £49/year.

Get free trial