We’re kicking off the post-Christmas blues with a huge Film 4 offer in-store. Film 4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, whether new or established.
We’ve packed our stores with hundreds of their classic and modern greats from just £3. Check out a handful of our favourites below.
Danny Boyle’s hyper-kinetic heroin culture classic. Renton, Spud, Begbie and the rest score and scam their way through 1980s Edinburgh and London.
The story and the soundtrack you know about. The hype and controversy too. Trainspotting, with its exhilarating approach to desperation, addiction and death, was one of the most vital British movies of the 1990s. Unlike previous films dealing with heroin culture – Christiane F, The Basketball Diaries – Danny Boyle’s film has a comic strain so potent it deserves a health warning all its own. The plot itself is profoundly bleak but with kinetic style and relentless energy Boyle finds sympathy for Irvine Welsh’s hopeless, drug-hungry scamsters.
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Riegert plays a cynical, yuppy oil-firm executive waiting to be softened up by exposure to the warmth and eccentricities of a small Scottish community. He is dispatched to the coastal town by his greedy boss (Burt Lancaster), with the aim of buying up land for commercial exploitation, so destroying an area that includes a stretch of environmentally sensitive coastland. Almost at once the place, with all its quirky inhabitants and stark beauty, begins to work its magic on not only the young man but also his boss when he in turn shows up in town.
After the cult success of That Sinking Feeling and the international hit that was Gregory’s Girl, Director Bill Forsythe revives the spirit of the great Ealing comedies, with particular reference to Whisky Galore! He serves up a heart-warming slice of Caledonian charm, graced by one of the majestic cameo performances delivered by the elderly Lancaster whenever called upon.
Gary ‘Gal’ Dove (Ray Winstone) is enjoying the quiet life with his wife DeeDee (Amanda Redman) after retiring to the Costa del Sol to soak up the sun. But trouble soon arrives in paradise in the form of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), an old associate who turns up to ask ever so nicely if Gal will return to London for one last job. But the sociopathic Don won’t take no for an answer, and starts to make life miserable for Gal and DeeDee which forces them to make a difficult choice. Sexy Beast was directed by Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Under The Skin), written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto (Gangster No. 1, 44 Inch Chest) and produced by Jeremy Thomas (High-Rise, The Last Emperor).
Pretend a dodgy geezer dies in your flat leaving a suitcase full of money – what would you do? Dispose of his body, have a good old spend-up and hope nobody asks any questions, of course. Kerry Fox, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Ecclestone are pleasingly unsympathetic as the thirtysomething flatmates (with a pad to die for) who find their relationship put to the test when mysterious new flatmate Hugo (Keith Allen) ODs leaving a huge pile of cash behind.
The action isn’t twist dependent, but it’s equally hard to guess what will happen as the psychological strain of disposing of the body takes its toll on these would-be ruthless yuppies. It’s certainly an arresting debut from the future Oscar-winner and director of the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony, Danny Boyle.
The Straight Story
In David Lynch’s Oscar-nominated film, the director returns to playing as straight as he did with The Elephant Man, telling a story without any excursions to the edge of sanity that marks most of his work. And in doing so, producing a film of warmth and variety based on the true story of Alvin Straight, a 73-year-old Iowan who in 1994 drove 350 miles to be reunited with his estranged brother. On a ride-on lawnmower (top speed: 6 mph).
When Alvin (Richard Farnsworth), who has a dicky hip and lives with his daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek), hears his brother in Wisconsin is dying he is determined to see him again. The problem is his eyes are too bad to drive and Rose is a little simple and can’t be trusted behind the wheel.
He can’t afford the air fare but what he does have is a tractor-mower. And so, with a trailer behind him, he sets off on the epic journey. Slowly.
My Beautiful Laundrette
This tale of a young Asian Londoner determined to make a success out of a run-down laundrette received an Oscar nomination for writer Hanif Kureishi – and deservedly so. Each character is rounded and well-defined, imbued with depth and complexity, and the central gay relationship is (for its time) remarkably free of guilt and not used as an incendiary plot device. Omar (Gordon Warnecke) is the aspiring capitalist given an opportunity by his uncle (Saeed Jaffrey) to grab a share of Britain’s wealth by “squeezing the tits of the system”.
He hires his school friend, Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis), a former Fascist and current lover, to do the graft in converting the laundrette into a veritable palace. This is an unacceptable role reversal for Johnny’s former bullyboy friends, who lurk with malevolent presence, unable to understand his change of heart.
Hettie MacDonald’s feature debut is a summer romance with a twist. Two boys, Jamie and Ste, are neighbours on a South London housing estate. One is dealing with his emerging homosexuality, the other with a brutal alcoholic bully of a father. But in spite of this, a sweet, tender love kindles between them. Their relationship forms the core of the film, but the quirky characters that surround around them, not least the Mama Cass-obsessed Leah and Jamie’s tough and sexy mum, are equally enticing.
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries begins in Buenos Aires in 1952 as 29-year-old biochemist Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De La Serna) and asthma-stricken 23-year-old medical student Ernesto Guevara De La Serna (Gael Garcia Bernal) prepare to embark on a mammoth road trip through Latin America. The objective: girls, beer and self-discovery. The means: a 1939 Norton motorbike nicknamed, with some irony, ‘The Mighty One’. “The method,” says Ernesto, “improvisation.” But by the time they reach Chile a new reality is emerging, far removed from the comparative luxury of middle-class Argentina. With the bike written off in an accident Ernesto and Alberto continue hitching until they enter the Atacama Desert.
There they encounter a poverty-stricken, homeless couple, thrown off their land because they’re communists. The film was directed by Walter Salles (Central Station, On The Road), written by Jose Rivera (Letters To Juliet, On The Road), and produced by Michael Nozik (Syriana), Edgard Tenenbaum (Late Marriage) and Karen Tenkhoff (People I Know).
In Another Country
South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s drama stars Isabelle Huppert in three separate stories about French women who travel to a Korean seaside town.
A Room With A View
The Edwardian English at play. Helena Bonham Carter leads a host of familiar faces in James Ivory’s Oscar-winning adaptation of E M Forster’s classic novel
A Field In England
England during the English Civil War. A small group of deserters flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field. They are captured by two men: O’Neil and Cutler. O’Neil (Michael Smiley), an alchemist, forces the group to aid him in his search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group quickly descend into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia, and, as it becomes clear that the treasure might be something other than gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field.
Maurice offers everything we expect from a Merchant Ivory film – beautiful locations, a who’s who of top British actors and an insight into the world of the repressed upper classes. On top of that, however, we get a delicately handled expression of homosexual love and an account of the difficulty of being gay at a time when it was illegal for men to have sex.