Global Movie Day, held on the second Saturday of February every year, celebrates the power movies have to reach, connect and inspire people around the world. Like many creative sectors, the film industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and while venues, both large and small, have temporarily closed over the last year, we have been finding new ways to bring great film content to people at home. From showcasing homegrown talent of Midlands-based filmmakers to screening foreign documentaries included in this year’s Academy Awards lists, we’ve seen a huge appetite for watching a diverse range of films from the comfort of home in this extraordinary year.
FILMS AT LIVE & LOCAL
2020 saw the return of Big Picture Festival, although it looked a bit different to the previous year with all content available online and tickets offered on a pay-what-you-want basis. The festival featured three full-length feature films with both documentary features ‘Lessons of Love’ and ‘Love Child’ making the eligible film list for this year’s Academy Award nominations, as well as a selection of short films, many of which were made by local filmmakers from the Midlands. Some of our wonderful Live & Local LivingRoom projects were also included in the programme and are available to watch over on our YouTube channel.
Since the initial lockdown back in spring 2020, and thanks to Warwickshire County Council funding, we have been offering DVD packs to residents based in Warwickshire, to help keep them entertained at a time when many are staying inside and where the television set can often be one’s main source of entertainment and companionship. Big Picture Show @ Home packs come with additional resources such as suggested activities related to the films and are circulated throughout the community to encourage conversation around a shared interest in film. We’re delighted to have recently secured additional funding for this project which will allow us to reach even more vulnerable people, especially those still shielding at home.
Another exciting development over the last few months has been our virtual cinema experience, Big Picture Show Online. Almost 100 people joined us in our virtual screening room to watch new film ‘Falling’, written and directed by Viggo Mortensen. The online streaming platform aims to replicate the cinema experience by starting the movie at a fixed time and offers a chat facility for movie-goers to share their thoughts about the film in real time with other film fans. Due to the success of our first screening we are continuing to offer this service and tickets for British comedy-drama ‘Schemers’ on Friday 26 February (7.30pm) are now on sale at only £2 per household. Tickets are very limited so grab yours while you can.
BIG PICTURE SHOW RECOMMENDS
Big Picture Show Recommends, our regular blog highlighting great films coming up on TV and on streaming platforms, has been included in our email newsletters and social media channels in 2020 and over the last few weeks of the new year. Each blog focuses on a different theme, with recent editions covering Biopics & Musicals and Scottish films in honour of Burns Night.
In this BPS Recommends the spotlight is on love, friendship and LGBT themes to celebrate Valentine’s Day and LGBT History Month. Read on for our top picks and let us know your February film recommendations by getting involved in the film fun on Twitter this #GlobalMovieDay @LiveLocalFilm.
The Boy In THe Striped Pyjamas
12A | 88 mins | War, Drama | 2008
Based on the best-selling book by John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas tells the tale of an unlikely friendship between the son of a Nazi commandant and a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed-wire fence, their friendship grows and their lives become inescapably intertwined. Contains some upsetting scenes.
Marley & Me
PG | 2h 1m | Comedy, Romance | 2008
A film featuring man’s best friend as the star of the show, Marley & Me is on Channel 5 this Valentine’s Day.
“Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson play second fiddle to a yellow labrador in the lightweight but enjoyable comedy”
Meet Marley on Sun 14 Feb at 3.20pm on Channel 5.
15 | 1h 41min | Comedy, Drama| 2015
Convinced that his newfound friend (Ryan Reynolds) is a good-luck charm, a gambling addict takes the man on a road trip to a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.
There’s only a few days left to catch Mississippi Grind on BBC iPlayer.
Stan & Ollie
PG | 1h 31m | Drama, Comedy | 2018
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly star in this biography film of Laurel and Hardy.
“A film about friendship... Stan & Ollie is an absolute delight!”★★★★★ Radio Times
12 | 1h 35min | Drama | 2017
Film drama in which Edith, an 83-year-old widow, sets out to climb a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. An inspiring solo adventure with a little help from a tour guide companion along the way.
Love & Romance
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
PG | 1h 44m | Fantasy, Romance| 1946
It’s been 75 years since this fantasy-romance, featuring David Niven and Kim Hunter, was released. A British pilot survives a plane crash, meets a US servicewoman and falls in love. In heaven, however, a mistake is discovered.
“a masterpiece” The Guardian
a rOOM WITH A vIEW
PG | 1h51 | Romance, Drama | 1985
British Romance film directed by James Ivory, of E.M. Forster’s novel of the same name. Featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis, Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliott.
Watch the BAFTA award-winning film on Sun 14 Feb at 5pm on Film4 (or 6pm on +1)
The Wedding Planner
PG | 1h37 | Romance, Comedy | 2001
Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful wedding planner. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all – she falls in love with the groom.
Catch this rom-com featuring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey on BBC Two on Sat 13 Feb at 2.45pm.
12A | 1h51m | Romance, Drama | 2017
Heart-warming and heart-breaking true story from BBC Films. Abruptly paralysed and reliant on a mechanical respirator, Robin Cavendish believes his life is over, but his wife Diana it determined to improve his prospects – even if it kills him.
Available all month on BBC iPlayer.
15 | 1h33 | Romance, Drama | 1998
Helen is about to discover that fate can be sealed as quickly as a pair of sliding doors. There are two sides to every story, and Helen is about to live them.
“A smart concept which will appeal to romantics everywhere” Empire
Available on BBC One on Sat 13 Feb at 11.20pm and after on BBC iPlayer.
12A | 2h3 | Romance, Drama | 2004
Based on the popular novel by Nicholas Sparks, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams feature in this romantic drama which follows a young couple’s relationship in the run up to the Second World War.
Available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
The Light Between Oceans
12A | 2h 4m | Romance, Drama | 2016
War veteran Tom is surprised to be romanced by young local Isabel. Their isolated relationship is tested by tragedy, until a drifting rowboat brings hope into their lives – and a terrible dilemma.
“Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander give heartfelt performances in a tale of love and sacrifice that isn’t afraid to hit cymbal-crashing levels of sentimentality” ★★★★
Available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
An Officer and a Gentleman
15 | 2h 4m | Romance, Drama | 1982
The classic American romantic drama film starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger will be shown on Channel 5 at 10pm this Valentine’s Day.
12A | 105min | Romance, Drama | 2018
Coming-of-age comedy drama about a secretly gay high-school student who begins to fall for an anonymous classmate after exchanging emails with the boy, known as `Blue’. While trying to discover Blue’s identity, Simon must also find himself.
“It’s a hugely charming crowd pleaser, an infectiously entertaining coming of age film.”
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Radio Times
Watch this first mainstream Hollywood teen movie to feature a gay central character on Sunday 14 February at 9pm on Film4.
Short film | 13min 15s | 2019
As Jaz and Charlie make a final attempt to keep their relationship alive, one of them comes out as non-binary, sparking a conversation that will change them both forever.
Shortlisted for the Best British Short Iris Prize 2020.
Watch this short film on All4.
15 | 1h 25min | Romance, Drama | 2018
Simon Amstell’s bittersweet comedy romance stars Colin Morgan as Benjamin, a young filmmaker living in fear of his second feature bombing when he falls for a French music student
“A miraculously heartfelt love story, sweet and poignant in all its awkwardness.” ★★★★ The Guardian
There’s only a few more days to catch Benjamin on All4.
iT’S a sIN
TV | 46mins | Drama | 2021
This one isn’t a film but with rave reviews and record-breaking viewing figures, we couldn’t miss it from the line-up. From the creator of Queer as Folk, It’s A Sin is Russell T Davies new drama about a group of friends growing up in the UK during the HIV/AIDS crisis. The five-part series has broken All4 streaming records with over 6.5 million views and its first episode is the streaming service’s most popular drama launch on record.
“essential viewing” Radio Times
“a poignant masterpiece” ★★★★★ The Guardian
“a drama that radiates joy” ★★★★★ The Telegraph
“Davies’s most moving and personal drama to date” BFI
“poignant, funny, vibrant masterpiece” TheArtsDesk.com
Available to watch now on Channel 4.
Let us know which films you’ll be watching in the comments and let us know what you think of them.
#GlobalMovieDay, Saturday 13 February 2021.
Streaming Films Online
Many of the films on BBC iPlayer and 4oD offer subtitles and audio description.
For a handy guide on getting setting up and using BBC iPlayer on your smart TV click here.