And Can Stream This Weekend …
They’re not-so-new, but the following films are everybody’s favourites, streaming now on your service of choice. Dress your front room up like The Stella (dim the lights, crackle some popcorn, and mix a few zippy 1920’s style cocktails) and sink into these classic flicks this weekend. I think now is the one time where a viewer is entitled to crave a movie they remember from childhood, or teens, or college years – no surprises, and buckets of nostalgia.
If some are new to you, all the better! Don’t be sceptical of a foreign one, or an ancient one, an animated one or an odd one. Some of these pictures are known as solid classics that go toward increasing your repertoire as a cinema buff. Look forward to dropping them into conversation with your cinephile friends. And plus, if you hate them, there’s all the more to talk about.
1. Scandal in Sorrento (1955) Watch now on Netflix
If you still crave the expressive heat of Italy created by Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, you’ll love this. Yes, it’s in Italian, but trust us, you need the escapism of hearing something other than your own mother tongue! As Bong Joon Ho, director of Parasite, put it at the last Oscars, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”. Also – Sophia Loren stars. I mean, come on.
2. Blue Velvet (1986) Watch now on Hulu
David Lynch is probably enjoying his newfound Generation Z stans lately, who, according to TikTok, have all been catching up on his dark masterpieces during lockdown. Although, it is hard to tell if David Lynch is capable of enjoying … much. As the master of the neo-noir, this one sums up Lynch’s zany, sexy, sinister style very well, so works perfectly as an amuse-bouche to Lynch-beginners. As a bonus, the acting is sublime, and the makeup is super-80s.
3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Watch now on Netflix
Spielberg blessed us with this science-fiction superflick in 1977. Back then, alien-stuff was all the rage, and special effects were nowhere near the exceptional flashy level they’re at today – meaning that the depictions of extra-terrestrials in this were the best around. Spielberg sort of invented the image of an alien we all use now – even the alien emoji is pretty much based on the Third Kind concept. All in all, this one’s iconic, and absolutely stands the test of time.
4. All About Eve (1950) Watch now on Hulu
Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe star in this slick satire from 1950, in which dawned the famous young-ingenue-versus-superstar-dame trope. Doused in slick humour and dolled up in high-volume 1950s glamour, All About Eve is a delight and a far cry from your usual Hulu streams. The delicate yet punchy dialogue bowls you over. Spiky barbs are traded between the Broadway showboaters, played skilfully by old Hollywood heavyweights. A great laugh with a touch of class.
5. The Breakfast Club (1985) Watch on Amazon Prime on March 1
This is one of those must-sees that you might have become sick of hearing “you must see The Breakfast Club”. The boredom, the restlessness, and the impulsive childish outbursts that come with being locked up in detention is one we might be able relate to nowadays, and there’s something utterly comforting about the carefully-delineated high-school stereotypes. Get to know the kids of this high school drama-comedy if you don’t already, and start seeing yourself in each one…
6. Scarface (1983) Watch now on Netflix
There is something exciting about the evil of Tony Montana that is compelling enough to have you re-watch Scarface a billion times. I have said hello to that little friend of his so much, but I’m still not sick of it. Hello, Tony’s gun! The unhinged greed and nastiness captured by Al Pacino, against the sunkissed glamour of 1980s Miami gives it iconic status. It’s easy to forget it’s a remake!
7. The Notebook (2004) Watch on Amazon Prime on March 24
It’s pretty perverse to me that this film is now SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD (!) but on the plus side, it means that I can officially categorise it as a classic for the purposes of this list. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams nail it, doing their kissing-in-the-rain-watching-stars-at-night thing, managing to capture attention and hearts everywhere. Romantic movies really get a lot of hate by cinephiles for lack of emotional evocation, but this one does so much more than just cause you to fancy Gosling. I can’t wait to bawl my eyes out on March 24 when it streams on Amazon Prime.
8. My Neighbour Totoro (1988) Watch now on Netflix
If you can, I implore you to introduce any little ones in your bubble to this fantastic 1988 animation. The fantasy aspect is of course welcome in these mad times, but it’s really the soothing, gentle tone and movement of the characters that contribute this meditative, fluid element to the experience. Kids will find it calming and like nothing they’ve seen before. Studio Ghibli at it again, with the skilful mixture of adventurous and adorable.
9. The Truman Show (1998) Watch now on Hulu
Highly referenced, always talked about and totally idolised, this reflective Carrey tragi-comedy is a lot of people’s favourite. With its heavy philosophical undertones, it’s not such a light watch, but a wonderful way to engross yourself this weekend. Plus, given its 90s origins, there’s a chance your kids haven’t seen it!
10. Footloose (1984) Watch now on Hulu
Movie-musicals are not everybody’s thing, but Footloose is so special that it sort of stands outside the genre, maybe next to Dirty Dancing and Grease. It’ll feel good to play something so positive and peppy, and watching the skill of the actor-dancers is admittedly kind of entrancing. Time to get the titular tune stuck in your head!
11. Carrie (1976) Watch now on Hulu
Ok, make that *Eleven* Classic Movies You Might Have Forgotten About – and Can Stream This Weekend. I had to throw this horror into the list, even though before Midsommar and Hereditary, I really couldn’t be pushed on frightening films. Carrie, though, is a classic, and being a teen horror-drama, it has Mean Girls/Heathers vibes, so I am sold. It’s been remade a few times but none of these have done the original justice, so stick it on and find out who dies.