What’s coming soon to BFI Player in July 2021?
James R | On 07, Jul 2021
BFI Player, the BFI’s streaming platform, is a gateway to global film, offering a collection of arthouse and world cinema to subscribers, alongside its pay-per-view rental releases and free archive titles and silent movie shorts.
This month has a wealth of international gems in store, thanks to a retrospective celebrating acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Márta Mészáros (both online and at BFI Southbank), plus the exclusive release of Ken Fero’s powerful police brutality documentary Ultraviolence.
Here’s what’s coming to BFI Player’s subscription service in July 2021:
Ultraviolence – 5th July
Since 1969, over two thousand people have died at the hands of the police in the UK. Shootings, chokeholds, batons, gassing, suffocation, restraint and brutal beatings are some of the methods used. The numbers of deaths is escalating. Inevitably police officers involved are not convicted for these killings. In Ken Fero’s documentary, the families of the victims of police violence demand justice.
Crash (1996) – 8th July
Technology and sexuality meet in a head-on collision in David Cronenberg’s controversial adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s hugely transgressive 1973 novel. James Spader stars as James Ballard, a film producer whose deviant sexual desires are awakened by a near fatal automobile accident with Dr. Helen Remington (Holly Hunter). Soon the pair, alongside Ballard’s wife Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger), are drawn into an underground world of car crash fetishism presided over by renegade scientist Vaughan (Elias Koteas). Danger, sex and death become entwined as eroticism and technology join together in a disturbing, deadly union.
Gosford Park – 12th July
Robert Altman’s foray into the world of the British aristocracy of the early 1930s combines social comment, satirical comedy and a murder mystery to dazzling effect.
Adoption – 15th July
A story of the hushed rebellion of two strong women, fortysomething Kata and orphaned teenager Anna. Kata longs to have a child of her own, but rejected by her married lover, Kata looks into adoption. She befriends troubled teen Anna, herself determined to start a new life for herself, and the two women soon form a strong and unexpected kinship. Winner of the prestigious Golden Bear at the 1975 Berlin Film Festival – Márta Mészáros became the first woman filmmaker ever to receive the award.
Riddance – 15th July
Jutka is an independent young textile worker – free, but mindful of social prejudice. When she falls in love with a university student she faces a test of honesty. Informed by her experiences researching a documentary, Mészáros examines youthful identity and integrity. The beautifully observational camerawork from Lajos Koltai is often in close-up, but never with judgement.
Drive – 19th July
Nicolas Winding Refn’s modern cult classic follows a Hollywood stunt driver by day (Ryan Gosling), a loner by nature, who moonlights as a top-notch getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld. He finds himself a target for some of LA’s most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband of his beautiful neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan). When the job goes dangerously awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best—Drive!
Diary for My Children – 22nd July
Rejected by Communist censors for many years, this first part of the Diary trilogy shows Mészáros expertly weaving between the personal and political. Adding archival footage to the narrative, she raises questions about cinematic representation and autobiographical cinema while keeping us fully engaged in the story of young orphan Juli (her alter-ego) as she returns to Hungary in 1947 to live with her Stalinist aunt. Superb charismatic performances draw us into the award-winning drama.
Diary for My Loves – 22nd July
Juli (Czinkóczi) is determined to be a film director and wants to engage with the new society. This second, inspirational entry in Mészáros’ triumphant Diary trilogy tells of her life as a factory worker, and her witnessing of the turbulence of Hungarian and Soviet history post-WWII in Moscow. Documentary footage intensifies the drama with characters at the centre of real events.
Diary or My Father and Mother – 22nd July
‘Why do we have to lie?’ Juli asks friends in Moscow. Initially prevented from returning to Budapest during the 1956 uprising, she urgently wants to connect with those she loves. Mészáros’ camera observes ordinary people becoming victims of circumstance; in particular, caught between family and politics, János (Nowicki) shows the fragility of survival. Watch out for the outstanding New Year party scene full of artifice, denial and hope.
A BFI Player subscription costs £4.99 a month, with a 14-day free trial.