Streaming Spotlight: Shore fire hits

This week we're heading to the beach

by Amber Wilkinson

Futuro Beach
Futuro Beach
With almost wall to wall sunshine across the UK this week and many people either already on or about to go off on their holidays, we've decided to join you with our Streaming Spotlight this week, so we're heading for the beach. If you're looking for more inspiration, don't forget to check out our weekly telly and streaming picks.

Futuro Beach, Amazon, BFI Player and other platforms

The beach often provides an unexpected meeting place for characters and circumstances can't be much more out of the blue than the near-drowning that happens to German Konrad (Clemens Schick) on the Brazilian beach where Donato (Wagner Moura) works as a lifeguard. There is a sexual spark between the pair that quickly grows as the story - told in three parts by Karim Aïnouz - action moves from Brazil to Berlin. This is a film less about straightforward narrative than emotions, each section more metaphor-driven than the last as the writer/director explores the ebb and flow of passion and relationships all accompanied by beautiful cinematography from Olay Gözkaya that majors in the contrast between the hot reds of Brazil and the cool blues of Germany.

Surf Nazis Must Die, Apple TV, GooglePlay and other platforms

Surf Nazis Must Die!
Surf Nazis Must Die!
Jennie Kermode writes: Some films metamorphose in strange ways over time, and this classic slice of early Troma trash has a distinctly different vibe today than it did when Nazis were less commonplace and more obviously ridiculous. It's set in a future, post-earthquake California when surfing resources are scarce and teenagers hungry for the waves are held back by a gang of swastika-wielding thugs led a by a guy who styles himself as Adolf, who may or may not think he's the reincarnation of Hitler. What he definitely thinks is that he can get away with anything - there is no effective law enforcement here - but when he kills innocent jogger Leroy, Leroy's mother tools up, breaks out of her retirement home and goes looking for revenge. The special effects are awful and some of the performances decidedly lacklustre, but there's a cheery impulsiveness about it which is perfectly in keeping with its characters, as though they were telling the story themselves, and it has moments of anarchic splendour.

Aloha, Scooby-Doo, Apple TV, YouTube and other platforms

Aloha, Scooby-Doo
Aloha, Scooby-Doo
Surely everyone's scaredy-dog, the blend of friendship, mystery and silliness that goes into Scooby-Doo's adventures have meant the Great Dane has been a childhood staple for decades. Although his various film outings tend to vary in quality, this entry - which includes a decent dose of beach action as well as a trip to the jungle and a wander through some suitably scary catacombs - is a solid watch for all the family. This time around the gang are taking on a Wiki-Tiki monster and if the story might hold little mystery for older viewers, they can still enjoy the decent run of scripted and sight gags while Scoob and his chums win over a whole new generation of fans.

The Sand, Amazon Prime

The Sand
The Sand
Jennie Kermode writes:Essentially a lengthy version of that game one plays as a kid in which one has to move around without touching the floor, this likeable little horror flick was dreamed up in a hurry by a cast and crew whose other film project had just fallen through, but it acquits itself remarkably well. The opening scenes show us a group of drunken teenagers partying on a beach. Look closely and you'll notice some of them playing with a weird egg-like object which has washed up from the sea. In the morning, something has infested the sand, and those whose skin touches it are sucked down into it by thousands of tiny filaments (the CGI leaves something to be desired but the idea works). It's the end of the season and no one is coming to help. How are they going to escape? Personable characters, fast-paced action and clever set pieces make this an entertaining ride.

¡Vivan las Antipodas!, dafilms.com

Vivan Las Antipodas
Vivan Las Antipodas
The beach is just one of several destinations Victor Kossakovsky's beautifully shot documentary will whisk you away to. The beach here is at Castle Point in New Zealand, where the locals are facing a whale of a problem, their story juxtaposed with that of  Milaflores, Spain, which is situated at the exact opposite point on the Earth. This is the simple but beguiling premise for Kossakovsky's film, which takes pairs of places on opposing sides of the globe - from Patagonia to Russia and Shanghai to Argentina - and, by reflecting one from the other, offers the viewer the opportunity for gentle reflection on our relationship with the landscape and our world.

Point Break, Amazon Prime

Point Break
Point Break
Surf's up for Keanu Reeves in this enjoyable, if borderline silly in places, action thriller that sees his FBI agent - fabulously named Johnny Utah - go undercover in the surfing community in a bid to catch a gang of bank robbers. In the process he encounters the zen-minded Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) who opens the door to a spiritual awakening for the cop. With Bigelow at the helm, you haven't really come for the enlightenment, though, and she delivers one meaty action piece after another, from the surfing spectacle to skydiving (with Swayze putting in a real jump) to a beach fight with plenty of punch (and crunch).

Loveling, Amazon

Loveling
Loveling
This winning slice of Brazilian family life features some lovely worked scenes of the central clan at the beach - where they own a house that the mother (Karine Teles) loves but which her husband (Otávio Müller) wants to sell. The story is driven by the impending departure of their son for Germany as the family members, and particularly his mum, prepare themselves for the wrench. An immersive portrait of family life with all its small joys and disappointments, this film from Gustavo Pizzi (and co-written by Teles) is full of well-observed moments - from a midnight feast to bath-time play. As Teles put it when we spoke to her: "The script is a mix of what we saw our mothers do and the way they behaved and what we think we would do when our own kids leave". A heartwarming gem.

We're staying on the beach for our short this week, with Fokion Xenos' delightful stop-motion animation Heatwave

HEATWAVE (2019) from Fokion Xenos on Vimeo.

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