Welcome to ‘Cocoa’s Column’ – the Chester Film Society weekly guide to the best films on TV, Streaming and other platforms.
With the remainder of the season cancelled, Cocoa the Cockapoo has stepped in and will suggest up to 3 films a week to fill the void.
Free to View Film of the Week
Hell or High Water (2016) starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine Saturday March 21st Channel 4 23.35
Originally screened at the Chester International Film Festival in 2017, this modern-day western follows a pair of estranged Texan brothers as they reunited against a common foe – the bank that gypped their father into signing away the family farm and now threatens to foreclose on the loan.
Straight arrow Toby (Chris Pine) and ex-con loose cannon Tanner (Ben Foster) stage a series of heists against various branches of the bank, all the while pursued by Jeff Bridges, on deliciously crusty form as a Texas ranger nearing the end of his career. Part heist and part western, this sharply plotted thriller is a triumph for both director David Mackenzie and writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario).
**** The Independent
Streaming Film of the Week Kolya (1996) Czech Republic Winner of the Academy Award for Best International Film, 1997 Free on Amazon Prime!
This film is a bitter sweet comedy against the backdrop of the end of the cold war. Forced by the need for cash into a green-card style marriage with a Russian woman, Czech cellist Louka (Zdjenak Sverak, who also wrote the screenplay) suddenly finds himself sole guardian of the five-year-old son, Kolya (Andrej Chaliman), of a wife who has fled to Germany to be with her lover. With politics a firm background and basis for the story, the story neatly juxtaposes the situation of the once-welcome Russians being ejected from the Czech Republic with the growing bond between Czech bachelor and abandoned Russian boy.
Burning Free as your ‘Welcome Film’ which you sign up to Curzon Home Cinema https://www.curzonhomecinema.com NB: No subscription – no commitment!
Screened as our opening film to the Chester International Film Festival, 2019 – this is a film that stays with you! With multiple layers – is it a thriller, is it a love story? You will still be thinking about this film a year later!
Echoing some of the disparities of wealth depicted in Parasite – this is a much darker film - Burning is based around an enigma – a vanishing – whose solubility or otherwise becomes progressively less important to the protagonist than his hurt feelings, his wounded love, his damaged soul and his toxic male envy.
**** The Guardian