Stay-At-Home Seven: February 22 to 28

This week's selection includes highlights from Glasgow Film Festival

by Amber Wilkinson

Minari Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Welcome to this week's Stay-At-Home Seven. Among the highlights this week is the Glasgow Film Festival which, due to the pandemic, is going online for this year's edition, which means it can be watched by cinemagoers up and down the country who wouldn't usually get to attend. So, we're kicking off this week's selection with three films to catch once the festival kicks off on Wednesday.

Minari, Glasgow Film Festival, available from 7pm on Wednesday, February 24 to 7pm on Saturday, February 27

Lee Isaac Chung's semi-autobiographical film pulled off the double at Sundance last year, winning both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards in the US Dramatic Competition. It tells the tale of a Korean family who move to start a new life in rural Arkansas - a move that sees the shine come off the patriarch Jacob's "American dream" quite quickly as things prove tougher than he imagined. The film hits its stride when grandma (Yuh-jung Young) comes to help look after seven-year-old David (Alan S Kim, a real find), who has a heart condition, and his sister Anne (Noel Cho). Chung explores the family microcosm through details, to paint a picture of both the family and the broader immigrant experience. Controversially put in the foreign language category at the Golden Globes despite being made in the US, it stands a good chance of considerably more nominations at the Oscars. Catch it here first. Read our full review here.

Apples, Glasgow Film Festival, available from 6pm on Sunday, February 28 to 6pm on Wednesday, March 3

In a world not very different from our own - although considerably more analogue - there's a pandemic of a different sort raging in this debut film from Greek director Christos Nikou. People are losing their memories - and not getting them back. Aris (Aris Servetalis), who we are introduced to as he bangs his head against a wall, is one of those who says he can't remember. Since nobody identifies him, he enrolls on a programme to create a new identity for himself. Nikou has a sort of absurdity that will appeal to fans of fellow Greek Yorgos Lanthimos, but there's also a lot of warm humanism here as he explores loss from an unexpected angle. Read our full review.

My Favorite War, Glasgow Film Festival, available from 6.15pm on Thursday, February 25 to 6.15pm on Sunday February 28

This engaging animated documentary from Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen offers a lovely balance of personal history and wider societal considerations as she recalls the impact of Soviet propaganda on her as a child in Latvia. She charts the way she way governments can"groom" children to think in a specific manner and the way that Jacobsen learned that not everything was as black and white as she had been led to believe. The animation means that this would be easily accessible for older children as well as adults. Read our full review here.

Varda By Agnès, 2pm, Sunday, February 28, BFI Player

Glasgow Film Festival isn't the only Scottish festival showcasing films this week, Edinburgh International Film Festival is hosting an online weekend of film including a watch party series called Woman with a Movie Camera. All events are free on the BFI platform, which is offering a specially extended free trial. Among the fim's showing is this filmmaking masterclass from French auteur Agnès Varda. It's a characteristically playful consideration of her career, which both looks back at and quirkily subverts elements of it. Other films screening include Cheryl Dunye's groundbreaking The Watermelon Woman and Daises by Czech pioneer Vera Chytilová. Films will stream on the BFI Player. Read our full review of Varda By Agnès here.

Shallow Grave, 9pm, Tuesday, February 23, Film4

Danny Boyle had made TV movies before but this dark little number about a trio of flatmates (Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor and Kerry Fox, all making waves near the start of their careers), who decide to hang on to a suitcase of cash after the newest arrival to their home dies. Blackly comic and stitched through with tension, this is a taut little reminder that Boyle doesn't need a big budget to make a film sing. Read our full review.

The Angry Silence, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), 6.05pm, Friday, February 26

Richard Attenborough is enough reason alone to check out this social realist drama which, in a break from the norm, offers a portrait of blue collar strikers as unpleasant wildcats rather than heroes in the face of one man, Curtis (Attenborough), who is determined to keep on working for the sake of his family. Attenborough plays the role with the force of a pressure cooker, emotions mostly repressed but bursting through at key moments. Read our full review.

The African Queen, Sony Movies Classic (Freeview Channel 50), 6.50pm on Friday, February 26

This John Huston classic appeared in our first Stay-At-Home Seven but it's so rewatchable, I could recommend it every week. Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn are on perfect form as a gin-swigging sailor and a buttoned-up missionary who end up on an odd couple river trip with the unlikely destination of trying to sink a German gunboat. Huston steers the film with ease between its slowburn romance, adventurous verve and comic complications. It earned Bogart his first and only Oscar and marks the only time the pair were cast together. Read our full review.

Our short selection this week is a little longer than usual. Tashi And The Monk, a thoughtful and celebratory documentary set in the community of Jhamtse Gatsal, where a devoted monk cares for 85 children.

TASHI AND THE MONK from Pilgrim Films on Vimeo.

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