Stay-At-Home Seven: June 1-6

Streaming and TV highlights this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Welcome to this week's Stay-At-Home Seven - check out last week's here and our Streaming Spotlight on Sundance With Subtitles.

Beautiful Things, We Are One, From June 3 for seven days

This hybrid documentary from Italy - a symphony of consumerism and waste - is one of several great features and shorts available to watch as part of YouTube's We Are One online film festival. Giorgio Ferrero and Federico Biasin's film is built partially on monologues as four men outline their work - descriptions that stretch beyond their own lives to more philosophical considerations of acquisitiveness and connection. The film is screening from June 3 at 10.25pm for seven days. Read our full review here and our interview with Giorgio Ferrero.

Vampir Cuadecuc, Second Run DVD online, £4.99

Also starting online this week is a new streaming service from Second Run DVD. The first tranche of films are varied, with everything from documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time - which tells the immersive story of a gold rush town that became the unlikely source of a treasure trove of lost film - to this avant-garde documentary from Spanish director Pere Portabella. Shot in and around the shooting of Jess Franco's Dracula in 1970, it's a sort of experimental making of. As our reviewer Rebecca Naughten puts it: "Portabella's repurposing and reimagining of the elements at Franco's disposal creates something genuinely (and appropriately) otherworldly." Read the full review and watch the film, priced £4.99 for a week's rental, here.

Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle, BBC iPlayer, until June 28

This was the first film in Scots Gaelic to receive mainstream distribution and deservedly so. Simon Miller's film travels back in time from a hospital bed to the story of a young boy (Padruig Moireasdan), who after his parents die on a mountain, is sent with his siblings to live with his grandparents. The film is built on stories an storytelling, from water-horses to Spanish gold and the clearances. Ian Dodds' fine cinematography showcases the best of the Scottish landscape and there's a cosiness to this that invites you to hunker close and listen. Read our full review.

Chicken Run, BBC iPlayer, until June 6

War PoW films like the Great Escape get a feathered makeover in this family adventure - which marked Nick Park and Peter Lord's step up from Wallace and Gromit shorts to feature-length films. Like all of Aardman's output, this film is packed with visual gags and clever homage - striking a balance between nostalgia and nonsense that offers plenty to enjoy for adults and kids. The tale of plucky Ginger's bid to take her chicken chums to the promised land outside the farm is also bolstered by a rich voice cast, including Jane Horrocks, Julia Sawalha, Imelda Staunton and Mel Gibson as a conman Rhode Island Red. Read our full review.

Blues Brothers, Netflix

A late-night staple of TV room (remember those?) watchathons when I was at university, I've not caught up with Jake and Elwood for 20 years, but they're every bit as cool and funny as I remembered. Come for Cab Calloway's mooching and Aretha Franklin's Think(ing) and stick around as the glasses break around Rawhide and no less than 103 cars bite the dust. If by chance you haven't seen Blues Brothers before, you're likely to be squealing with delight about every 10 minutes as familiar faces pop up - Cab! Ray Charles! Aretha! John Candy! Twiggy! Not to mention Steven Spielberg as a county court clerk. The film famously went off-schedule and over budget, not least because of John Belushi's drug use, with Aykroyd on the record has saying they "had a budget for cocaine". Still, none of that trouble comes across on screen, just the extreme amount of fun that seems to be being had. There's a brief mention of Miss Piggy and there is something of the maverick spirit of The Muppets running through this (Frank Oz even has a cameo as a corrections officer near the start of the film) - from James Brown's preacher near the start through to Aretha railing on her man in a diner through to cartwheels in the palace ballroom. Sunglasses and a full tank of gas required. Read our full review.

Shotgun Stories, until February 21

Blood ties and vengeance play out in rural Arkansas in Jeff Nichols' low-budget debut. Featuring Michael Shannon, who has appeared in all Nichols' full-length films, it charts the escalating feud between two sets of brothers who share a father. The film leans into the emotions of the set-up rather than the violence, resulting in a broody melodrama that offers grit rather than gunfights. Warning: This is likely to make you want to catch up with all of Nichols' back catalogue if you haven't already. Read our full review.

Mona Lisa, Film4 on demand until June 18

London gangland dramas are ten a penny but Neil Jordan's tale of a driver who gets involved with a high-class call girl is up with the best of them. Bob Hoskins stars as George, the chauffeur in question, who is ferrying round Simone (Cathy Tyson) and who begins to find himself drawn to her. Hoskins won the most silver wear for the film, but he's matched step for step by Tyson (who did take home a BAFTA), alongside Michael Caine bringing his darker side to a mob boss role. Read our full review.

Our short this week, is a pick from the We Are One film festival slate. Bird Karma, a laugh-out-loud tale of a bird who just can't help acting on instinct that was Dreamworks first foray into short animation. Although Bird Karma is no longer available to view online, you can still watch the video of how it went from storyboard to screen here

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More news and features

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