Image in header: still from School of Rock
Craving a Netflix binge-session? Here are five films on Netflix (available in the Netherlands) which were shown during previous IFFR editions. So grab some popcorn, make yourself comfortable and enjoy these gems!
Lenny Abrahamson, 2015, Ireland, 118’
We meet young mother Ma (Brie Larson) in a small room where she’s held captive with her 5 year old son Jack, brilliantly played by the now 11 year old Jacob Tremblay. For Jack, the room is all he knows until Ma comes up with a plan to escape. The story is a based on the international bestseller by Emma Donaghue and is directed by the talented Lenny Abrahamson, who you might know from the film Frank. Room was nominated for four Academy Awards and Brie Larson won in the category for Best Actress. The film was shown during IFFR 2016 and is now available on Netflix.
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, 2015, USA, 90’
Anomalisa is an unforgettable stop-motion animation by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is a depressed customer service Guru travelling to Cincinnati for a convention. Michael’s life is a monotonous chain of events where everyone sounds and looks the same (all of the voices are spoken by the same actor: Tom Noonan). The loneliness of his endless business trips and his bad marriage lead to an even more depressed outlook on life for Michael. That all changes when he hears the voice of Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) from his hotel room. He stumbles into the hotel hallway in search of Lisa, and in doing so he escapes from the tediousness of his life. The storyline is typical for Kaufman, where gloom meets humour. The film was featured during IFFR 2016 and the infamous sex scene was awarded as the best of the festival that year! Watch Anomalisa on Netflix now.
A Most Violent Year
J.C. Chandor, 2014, USA, 125’
A Most Violent Year takes you to New York in 1981, and as the title of the film already explains: the crime rates are going through the roof. Immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) is trying to achieve the American Dream in an honest and noble way by expanding his fuel oil company. Corruption and crime are making it difficult to do so, and on top of that Abel’s wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) can’t be trusted either. Chandor knows how to build up tension throughout the film and manages to unravel the complexities Abel is facing. The film is a salute to The Godfather and a must-see for anyone who loves the crime film genre. The film was shown during IFFR 2015 and is now available on Netflix.
Harmony Korine, 2012, USA, 92’
Get ready for a trip you won’t forget. Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine (whose cult classic Gummo will be shown during IFFR KINO #12) gives you an insight in how the empty tradition of Spring Break is being filled with alcohol, drugs and of course: sex. Former Disney stars Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez play naïve girls who long for adventure. The only problem is that they don’t have enough money to fulfill their desires. This is where rapper and drug dealer Alien (James Franco) steps in. Korine’s signature filming style, recorded on VHS, to emphasize the triviality of youth culture, and the soundtrack by Skrillex make it a must-see film. Spring Breakers was featured during IFFR 2013 and is now on Netflix.
School of Rock
Richard Linklater, 2003, USA, 108’
Things aren’t looking so great for School of Rock teacher Dewey Finn (played by the inimitable Jack Black): he’s unemployed, can’t pay his rent and is kicked out of his band. When he steals his roommate Ned Schneebly’s (played by Mike White, who is also the screenwriter of the film) job as a substitute teacher the adventure starts for Finn and his class. The students turn out to be musical geniuses, which transforms the dull elementary school to a cheerful music school where Rock & Roll dominates the curriculum. Finn wants the class to participate in a Battle of the Bands, but this doesn’t go according to plan. The film by Richard Linklater is a favourite among many and was shown during IFFR 2004.