Stay-at-Home Seven - October 18 to 25

Films to catch on TV and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

BlackkKlansman
BlackkKlansman Photo: David Lee/Focus Features

Blackkklansman, 9pm, Film4, Wednesday, October 20

Spike Lee's Cannes Grand Prix winner was inspired by the unlikely true tale of an African American police officer (John David Washington) who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, with the help of his white Jewish colleague (Adam Driver). This isn't just a period satire but a commentary on the racism that still exists in society. Lee's message may be delivered with humour but it's no less of a stinging indictment on the state of the world for that. Read what Spike Lee said about the film in Cannes and our full review

Restless Natives, 9pm, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), Thursday, October 21

Beloved by Scots audiences of a certain age, Michael Hoffman's tale of a pair of modern wannabe highwaymen has achieved cult status down the years. While not quite delivering the same calibre of sweetness and warmth as Bill Forsyth, it covers similar ground as a pair of likely lads (Vincent Friell and Joe Mullaney) start to hold up tourist coaches and become unlikely folk heroes along the way. The plot is a bit scrappy in places but the humour strong throughout and there's a lovely turn from the recently departed Ned Beatty, as a CIA agent who finds himself unexpectedly on the case. Read our full review.

Poltergeist, 9pm, BBC4, Thursday, October 21

This chiller is perfect for getting in the mood for Halloween and is showing as part of a BBC4 double-bill with David Gordon Green's Halloween remake this week. Directed by Tobe Hooper - but with the strong influence of Steven Spielberg, who was the film's producer - this film with its all-howling, all-glowing special effects has stood the test of time, not least because it is so firmly constructed around a family unit. Suburbia is subverted here, as clown dolls spring to life and that American household staple, the television set, takes on otherworldly properties. At its heart it also holds one of the greatest fears of all parents - the abduction of a young child (Heather O'Rourke), who finds herself spirited away with vengeful spirits. By the end, the effects might become a little on the overblown side, but by that point you'll care so much about the family that you'll root for them to the last. Read our full review.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, 3.10pm, BBC1, Sunday, October 24

There's carrot-munching trouble brewing along with the tea for inventor Wallace in this Oscar winner. When he comes up with an invention to stop carrot thieves with a humane spot of brainwashing, things of course do not go to plan and an accident leaves him with a monstrous veggie craving - and a physique to match. Park has an eye for the absurd in the everyday and here he mixes monster movie staples with Ealing comedy flourishes to hilarious effect. With a fine voice cast, including the much-missed Peter Sallis as Wallace, alongside the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Peter Kay, this is a fast-paced romp with cross-cutting humour that hits home across the generations. Read our full review.

The Lighthouse, Netflix

If you're looking for an arthouse take on the horror genre, then check out this trippy, black and white recent addition to Netflix. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play two lighthouse keepers - one a long-term resident on the rocky island where it sits, the other its new resident ready for a four-week assignment. Robert Eggers' film is possibly a little overlong at almost two hours but as the isolation starts to bite and Dafoe gets to lean into weirdness, there's plenty to enjoy as the men's moods darken and the fog of madness blooms in the gloom. Read our full review.

A Private Function, 10.45pm, Talking Pictures TV, Sunday, October 24

Everything about this Alan Bennett-scripted comedy is a treat, from Michael Palin's chiropodist's talk of verrucas to his social-climbing wife Joyce (Maggie Smith) instructing her piano student, "Da Capo, Veronica!". The plot, set in post-war Britain, revolves around a black market pig and quickly descends into farce, as Bennett blends elements of Ealing comedy and slapstick with much edgier stuff that anticipates the likes of The Royle Family. As always with Bennett there's a poignancy underlying the fun, particularly with regard to women's position in society at the time. Read our full review.

Wild, 1.30am, Film4, Monday, October 25

Jennie Kermode writes: Bereavement, divorce, heroin addiction: these were three good reasons for Cheryl Strayed to walk away from her old life and set out solo along the 1,100 mile Pacific Crest Trail. She turned her experiences into a bestselling book and Reese Witherspoon stands in for her in this screen adaptation by Jean-Marc Vallée. She's poorly prepared and soon finds herself fatigued by the harsh landscape and hot sun, but one gets the sense that she has done this to herself deliberately, pushing herself to the edge of what she can cope with in an echo of past risk-taking behaviours. She knows what it will take to force change. Facing numerous hardships and dangers en route while stubbornly maintaining her independence, she shows herself, as much as the audience, what she's capable of. Witherspoon is ideally suited to the role and there's a great supporting performance from Laura Dern as well as some stunning views to enjoy in remote regions of California. Read our full review.

We're returning to one of our favourites from the recent Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival for this week's short selection. Jayabrata Das' Termites, which, remarkably, was made in just 50 hours.

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