Stay-At-Home Seven: May 25-June 1

A selection of films to catch on UK TV and streaming services this week.

by Amber Wilkinson

King Kong
King Kong
The sun may be shining more and lockdown finally easing slightly, but we're still being asked to spend plenty of time indoors - fortunately, there's a wealth of good stuff to catch if you do. Here's our latest round-up of films to catch on streaming services and UK TV this week. You can read last week's picks here, plus our Streaming Spotlight on car movies. Feel free to suggest a topic for a future Streaming Spotlight on Facebook or Twitter.

Paths Of The Soul, Vimeo On Demand, £3.21

I don't often include pay-per-view films in this selection but I'll cheerfully make an exception for this breathtaking and immersive story of a Tibetan pilgrimage. Director Zhang Yang cast non-professionals, who actually made the 1200-mile pilgrimage to Lhasa during the shooting of the movie, kow-towing all the way. A celebration of quiet dedication that builds a hypnotic rhythm as it goes, this is a richly rewarding gentle film that deserves to reach a wider audience than it has. Read our interview with the director and our full review.

King Kong, BBC2 Friday May 29 and on iPlayer

The BBC released a batch of 23 classic RKO films onto its iPlayer service this week - we might well come back to those in future instalments and you can see the full list here. Among them is this, the daddy of Hollywood creature features might be more than 80 years old but its still well worth your time. A reworking of Beauty and the Beast, Willis O'Brien's special effects give the ape - and a T-rex - plenty of personality, even if the rest of the acting is delightfully OTT and you have to wait a while for the main event. Fay Wray apparently spent an entire day recording screams for the film - busy shift at the office. Read our full review here.

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Thursday, May 28, 1.50am

If you're looking for a straightforward narrative then Roy Andersson's film - the concluding trilogy of his considerations of "being a human being", after Songs From The Second Floor and You, The Living - may not be for you. If you're prepared to go with the flow, as he takes you through vignettes of modern life, highlighting human absurdity along the way, then there's much to enjoy. Tragedy and comedy, happiness and pain walk hand in hand in Andersson's films - above all, he invites you to join that pigeon in a bit of reflection. Read our full review.

Harry And The Hendersons, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Sunday, May 30, 12.50pm

The sasquatch at the heart of this family adventure is decidedly more cuddly than King Kong - and quite a bit more interactive than ET, who he was surely intended to mimic. John Lithgow brings his usual sharp comic timing to this tale of a family who take home Bigfoot, only to get a lot more than they bargained. The make-up won an Oscar back when this was made and if the special effects look a bit ropey by today's standards the film itself retains plenty of charm. Read our full review.

The Raid 2, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Saturday, May 29, 11.15pm

Those who fancy an adrenaline fix need look no further than Gareth Evans' slick sequel to his 2012 action hit. Picking up where the first film left off, hero Rama is forced undercover to investigate police corruption. The plot remains squarely in its place as a handy hook for another succession of visceral set-pieces and face-offs. From muddy prison quads to the confined spaces of a loo, the inventiveness and the punching, kicking and general mayhem keeps on coming. A must-see for action fans awaiting news of his next project Blister, which is still being kept under wraps.

20,000 Days On Earth, Channel 4 On Demand until June 2

This intimate portrait of Nick Cave, considers both the singer and his art and the nature of the creative process. Documentarians Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard take a playful approach to the subject, blending fiction in with the facts in order to consider memory and transformation - using a therapist to quiz Cage on the more psychological aspects of his life. The innovative approach, gives this documentary a freshness but it also delivers for fans in terms of biographic detail and concert footage. Read our interview with the directors and our full review.

Double Lover (L'Amant Double), Film4 on Demand until mid-June

Not François Ozon's finest film, perhaps, but another slick entry in the French director's CV, which sees him channel the spirit of the likes of Brian de Palma into this erotic thriller. The outlandish plot, which sees a woman (Marine Vacth) fall for her psychiatrist and his twin brother, is handled so playfully, you find yourself forgiving its failings. There's so much style - from mischievous fun with mirrors to a scene-stealing turn from a nosy neighbour - that the substance ceases to matter. It may not be deep but there's nothing cheap about the thrills. Read our full review.

This week's short is Sikumi (On The Ice), which saw its director, Inupiaq filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean awarded a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2005, before going on to expand it into a feature, On The Ice, in 2011.  His tale of an Inuit hunter who inadvertently witnesses a murder makes the most of the landscape and the whole thing is shot by Cary Fukanaga, who has since gone on to his own directorial success with the likes of Sin Nombre and True Detective.

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