With the Toronto film festival grabbing the headlines recently it has signalled the start of the autumn film festival season.
British cinema has endured lots of criticism over the last couple of years -due to loss of investment and cuts in funding. However, come awards season in early 2014 and all that is expected to change.
After a slow start at Cannes in the summer, British films are dominating. In Venice last month, critical acclaim was lauded towards Jonathon Glazer for his sci-fi thriller Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson. Elsewhere, there is also Oscar-buzz for Dame Judi Dench in Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears, and Submarine director Richard Ayoade’s dark comedy The Double, starring The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg is also gathering momentum.
With talent found both in front and behind the cameras, it has brought with it a pleasant reminder of past successes from the UK. Thanks to multimedia packages it is no longer an effort to find a movie you want to watch. Through set ups like ‘On Demand’ and ‘live streaming’, a simple search and click is all that is needed. With this in my mind, below are classic British movies that you can watch instantly at no extra cost.
Kes (1969) -The story of a teenage boy in the north of England; who is upset with his dysfunctional family and school life and finds solace in a pet Kestrel. A moving and striking drama by Ken Loach that has subtle undercurrents about 1960s Britain and its political agenda.
Don’t Look Now (1973) â€“Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play a couple who have left their home in England to grieve for their daughter. A cult classic full of death, secrets, erotic embraces and demonic children all acted out in the labyrinth of Venetian streets.
Trainspotting (1996) -Danny Boyle’s most ground breaking movie to date based on Irvine Welsh’s classic novel about Edinburgh junkies trying to make it big amidst addiction, rivalries and strong friendships. This movie still remains a game changer in the film industry through its dark humour and shocking scenes.
The Wicker Man (1973) -Quite possibly one of the most disturbing British films of all time. Remake’s aside, The Wicker Man has become a cult classic amongst film students and ardent watchers of Scottish cinema. In search of a missing girl, an astute Christian travels to an island awash with eccentric locals. Spoilers end here as Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward deliver frightfully perfect performances.
A Clockwork Orange (1971) -Carrying on with disturbing cinema (seems to be a theme in the 70s) Stanley Kubrick’s classic take on Anthony Burgess’ famous novel ripped through the censors of middle Britain. This dystopian movie tells the tale of young Alex and his group of fellow delinquents as they experience the fallout from all their misgivings.