The Isolation Series: Films

Continuing on from the first instalment of the isolation series, this week I'm recommending some films to get you through the ever-extending period of lockdown. There are some familiar favourites and others that one day might top those favourites. 

As always look after yourself and each other! 

Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1948)
Sica’s post-war Italian classic investigates the father/son relationship and sets up what would become the Neorealist film movement. The heartwarming story follows Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) in his new job putting up posters when his work bicycle is stolen. An engaging analysis of family relations, as well as, a societal and economic evaluation of experience subsequent to the events of World War 2. A great introduction into foreign language film and neorealist movement.

Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker & Jerry Zucker, USA, 1980)
This wacky comedy situates Ted Striker (Robert Hays), an ex-war pilot, who is afraid of flying, in an attempt to regain the love of his life and save the plane from catastrophe. A spoof on the airport disaster Airplane! utilises Pythonian style wordplay with hints of Harold Lloyd’s absurdist slapstick. The perfect eccentric comedy for these trying times. 

Annihilation (Alex Garland, UK, 2018)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1968) for the contemporary age, Annihilation follows a group of scientists as they adventure into ‘Area X’ exploring the mysterious shimmer which isolates and manipulates all it encompasses. Exploring the common Sci-Fi themes like the existence of extraterrestrial life and the power of the ‘other’ as a force of destruction. However, Garland also explores deep philosophical concepts such as human nature and the tangible experience; while also examining the human effect on the ‘other’. A thought-provoking film which invites repeat viewings, perfect for the long days of quarantine.    

Control (Anton Corbijn, UK, 2007)
This Ian Curtis biopic chronicles his life up until his untimely suicide at the age of 23. The art direction on the project is exquisite, the black and white mise-en-scene neatly paralleling Curtis’s emotional convulsions and Joy Division’s poignant lyrics. Sam Riley’s performance is as delicate as it is chilling. A must watch for any Joy Division or music fans. 

Easy A (Will Gluck, USA, 2010)
Emma Stone stars as Olive, a high school student, who instigates rumours about herself to improve her social standing. Employing the generic chick-flick conventions, Easy A doubles down with a high-level performance from Stone and excellent writing from Bert V. Royal. Another easy watch and wholesome content. 

The Blues Brothers (John Landis, USA, 1980)
Emerson’s review:
Best film ever!