Isolation Cinema: Natalie Moore
In the first of our new ‘Isolation Cinema’ series, Natalie Moore, Senior Officer for Bristol Film Office and Bristol UNESCO City of Film, shares some of the films she’s been watching during lockdown.
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
I think many of us are feeling the impact of having stayed at home for some time now, even with the glorious weather we’ve been experiencing. Memories of holidays abroad are distant and escapism is more important than ever. Watching Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name left me dreaming of a trip to Italy when this is all over. It’s a really moving film about first love. with an 80’s setting and score that gives it a nostalgic atmosphere. The beauty of the Italian countryside and architecture comes through so strongly, perhaps due to the unique cinematography; it was shot on just one lens on 35mm film. No surprise that it picked up an Oscar and a BAFTA for its screenplay and properly launched the career of Timothée Chalamet. (Available on Amazon Prime)
I have fond memories of watching Black Panther outdoors on Bristol harbour as part of free open air screenings that Bristol City of Film delivered with Cinema Rediscovered in 2018. Despite the rain, it was wonderful to see such a large audience gather together on a summer’s evening to watch this epic film on the big screen against the backdrop of the cranes and boats on Bristol’s harbour. Something I hope to see more of when these strange times have passed. The film itself is such an important one. It’s not just another Marvel superhero movie, it was the first big budget Hollywood movie to have an African-American director and a predominantly black cast, it’s also excellent and entertaining. And how fantastic that it features the brilliant Daniel Kaluuya, who cut his teeth writing for and starring in Skins, filmed right here in Bristol! (Available on Netflix)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Not an easy watch, but sometimes you just need to get fully absorbed into a performance from totally authentic actors. Daniel Day Lewis ticks that box for me (Paul Dano is also brilliant in it). This film stayed with me for a long time – powerful and intense. The fact that Day Lewis trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, making him one of Bristol’s biggest and best on-screen exports, is another reason I enjoy his films. (Available on Netflix)
A stand out indie success of last year, Bait deserves every bit of praise it has received since its World Premiere at Berlinale in February 2019, a moment I was lucky enough to experience in person. The critic’s reaction to the film, which was shot in a picturesque Cornish fishing village on 16mm monochrome film, set it off on an amazing journey across the international festival circuit, with Mark Kermode describing it as “a genuine modern masterpiece”. It went on to win the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director and Producer in February this year. It’s been great to Bristol production company Early Day Films, go on to be named a recipient of the BFI’s Vision award for their future slate. (Available on BFI Player.)
Family films are important in our house. We have two young daughters and ‘movie time’ has become an important feature of lockdown life. Pixar’s Up is just such a wonderful film on every level. That first montage sequence showing us the lives of Ellie and Carl, how they meet and grow up together, marry and grow old together, never fails to move me. The way the filmmakers have managed to convey such emotion without dialogue, and then balance it with humour too, makes it so accessible for younger and older audiences.
Fighting with my Family (2019)
I’m not normally a fan of comedies set in the arena of professional wrestling; I have to admit I was attracted to Fighting With My Family because it’s written and directed by Stephen Merchant, a Bristol born & bred talent we welcomed back to the city recently to make his new BBC comedy TV series The Offenders. Currently on Netflix, Fighting With My Family stars Florence Pugh, Vince Vaughn, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Nick Frost – it’s a feel good movie, with a great sense of Merchant’s dry humour, and an uplifting ending which is particularly appealing at the moment. As Stephen recently told The Guardian, “people don’t necessarily want something gloomy and grim… it only took a global virus for the film to really connect with people.” (Available on Netflix)