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chester film society
Cocoa's Column #8
The Chester Film Society Guide to films you can watch without leaving your house!

Greetings film fans. The eagled-eyed amongst you will have noticed that there was no column last week. I decided to take a short break due to the bank holiday, and it was my birthday!
I also got a little distracted reading my book ;-)

So I am back this week - but I have more news!
As we now have a little more 'freedom' my column will be moving to a monthly edition!
In it is new format, I will be offering film recommendations, movie news, and I plan to use my nose to sniff out some film gossip too!
So look out for the new column sometime in the middle of June!

So for the last time in this format - here are my recommendations for films you can watch this week. Enjoy!
Free to View Film of the Week
ITV4 Tuesday 23.10
You don't have to be a fan of Formula One or even have to know anything about it to enjoy this fantastic documentary. This brilliantly edited film is based entirely on footage drawn from hundreds of hours of newsreel, material from Formula One's own archives, much of it previously unseen, and from the Senna family's home movies. There are no re-enactments or talking heads looking back over the career.

The film traces the steady rise of this handsome, charismatic, articulate man as he moves cannily from team to team in this most dangerous and professionally competitive of sports. Along the way, he gives Formula One a jump start and becomes a national idol back in Brazil. Yet he has no illusions about Formula One – "it is political, it is money", but his sheer love of racing is evident when he claims that he was happiest in his go-karting days when there was no money or prizes.

The film ends in the tragedy of Senna's death on the race track aged 34; but not before it charts the drama of the rivalry between Senna and is teammate Alain Prost; a drama greater than many you will find in fiction! One to stay up for!
The Guardian *****
Streaming Film of the Week
'Ready Player One'
Amazon Prime

As this is my last 'weekly' column I decided to include an apocalyptic film! I have resisted the temptation thus far, to recommend 'Children of Men' or 'Groundhog Day' (both excellent films and available to rent on Amazon Prime) but my mum loved this film, and the book on which it is based; so I have decided that this is my dystopian choice.

For those of you who haven't seen (or read it) - the film is set in 2045. The future world is pretty badly beaten up after a series of wittily imagined seismic catastrophes, including the “bandwidth riots”. Cities are massive scuzzy slums and virtual reality is the opium of the masses. Our protagonist Wade Watts, is a lonely teenager living in Columbus, Ohio, which is now a gruesome favela of trailers stacked on top of each other. His only interest is in strapping on a virtual reality headset and entering the alternative universe of the Oasis, as a mythical avatar named Parzifal. Following the death of the Oasis creator, gamers are invited to play a game of 'hunt the Easter egg'. The prize - the founder's fortune. What ensues is a romp through 1980s pop culture in order to seek out the prize!

Mum describes this as  'dystopia with an 80s overlay' and I couldn't think of a better description myself! This is this weeks Saturday night entertainment!

*Spoiler alert - they have to change the 'War Games' sequence due to copyright issues.

Rental of the Week
'The Assistant'
Curzon Home Cinema

Another film that was swiped from the multiplex by the lockdown, 'The Assistant' joins Bombshell, The Loudest Voice and The Morning Show in examining the workplace through the #MeToo lens.

Jane, a high-achieving college graduate finds herself on the bottom rung of the ladder as a junior assistant to an unnamed entertainment mogul in New York. The appointment may hold promises of great opportunities ahead, but for now it’s fairly soul destroying. The opening sequence finds Jane being driven to the office before dawn, turning on the lights above her colleagues’ desks – first in, last out. Her tasks are menial yet weirdly demanding: making coffee, changing the paper in the photocopier, ordering lunch, and arranging travel and accommodation for an ever-changing roster of offhand executives and needy clients.

Yet as Jane follows her daily routine she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colours every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered.
The Guardian ****
Thats all folks! 
Cocoa x
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