What’s coming soon to BFI Player in May 2021?
James R | On 01, May 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.
While cinemas, including BFI Southbank, are preparing to open, BFI Player is still supporting the industry digitally, with the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival kicking off this month. And, at the same time, it’s shining a spotlight on the Romanian New Wave, plus a Sundance favourite and a Joanna Hogg double-bill.
Here’s what’s coming to BFI Player’s subscription service in May 2021:
Identifying Features – 1st May
Magdalena sets out on a journey in search of her son, who disappeared en route to the US border. Travelling through the desolate towns and landscapes of today’s Mexico she meets Miguel, a young man recently deported from the United States who is making his way home. The two accompany one another: Magdalena looking for her son, and Miguel eager to see his mother again in a territory where victims and aggressors ramble together. Directed by Fernanda Valadez and winner of the Audience Award and Special Jury Award for Best Screenplay at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a BFI exclusive.
4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days – 3rd May
Otilia and Gabita share the same room in a student dormitory. They are colleagues at the University in this small town in Romania, during the last years of communism. Otilia rents a room in a cheap hotel. In the afternoon, they are going to meet a certain Mr. Bebe. Gabita is pregnant, abortion is illegal and neither of them have passed through something like this before. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days premiered at Cannes in 2007 and went on to win the coveted Palme d’Or, and heralded the way for what came to be known as the Romanian New Wave.
Police, Adjective – 3rd May
Cristi is a policeman who suffers from a crisis of conscience when he is assigned to gather evidence against a college student dabbling with soft drugs. Arguing for leniency to be shown towards what he regards as youthful irresponsibility, he finds his superiors have a very different interpretation of morality and the law. Directed by the award-winning Corneliu Porumboiu, Police, Adjective is an intelligent, fascinating satire of bureaucracy – and a fascinating slice of Romanian new wave.
Kinoteka 2021 – 6th May
From 6th May to 4th June, this online Polish Film Festival brings the annual dose of Poland’s diverse film culture to television, tablet and computer screens throughout the UK. BFI Player Subscription will host the Modern Polish Cinema strand which brings together documentary and fiction from directors including Krzysztof Krauze, Paweł Łoziński and Agnieszka Smoczyńska, which is available until 27th May.
The strand comprises a 10-film selection of contemporary classics at the vanguard of boundary-pushing film-making, launching on 6 May with Mariusz Wilczyński’s award-winning debut feature Kill It and Leave This Town, an animated, surrealist reflection on memory and loss. Among the fiction films are a gripping thriller Fugue (Agnieszka Smoczyńska, 2018), irreverent comedy Day of the Wacko (Marek Koterski, 2002) and enfant terrible Wojciech Smarzowski’s Rose (2011); the documentary films include moving mother-daughter picture You Have No Idea How Much I Love You (Paweł Łoziński, 2016), dreamlike vision of Warsaw All These Sleepless Nights (Michał Marczak, 2016) and the Oscar-nominated The Children From Leningradsky (Hanna Polak, 2004). Also streaming will be Hi, Tereska (Robert Gliński, 2001), Saviour Square (Krzysztof Krauze, Joanna Kos-Krauze, 2006), Reverse (Borys Lankosz, 2009) and 33 Scenes from Life (Małgorzata Szumowska, 2008).
Archipelago – 10th May
Edward (Tom Hiddleston) is preparing to leave for a year of voluntary service in Africa. His mother Patricia (Kate Fahy) and his sister Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) decide to gather the family together, on a remote island, as a farewell trip to say goodbye to Edward. Hired cook Rose (Amy Lloyd) and painting teacher Christopher (Christopher Baker), though bought in to help, only serve to bring the family’s anxieties into sharper focus. When Edward’s father is delayed, the unspoken forces of absence and loss bring the family’s buried anger and repressed tension to the surface.
Exhibition – 10th May
Joanna Hogg brings her distinctly minimalist brand of comedy into the ultra-modernist home of artists D and H. This troubled but brave-faced couple have decided to sell their much-loved apartment, but as the sale begins to inch ever closer to reality, submerged anxieties, resentments and second-thoughts spring to the surface. Starring Viv Albertine who was guitarist of influential punk group The Slits, Turner-prize-nominated Liam Gillick and Tom Hiddleston.
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