Nine months of Covid-19 precautions. Nine months of movies at home.
Regardless of whether you’ve joined all the streaming services you can find or braved the socially distanced multiplex, I hope you’ve found great cinema new and old to watch in 2020. Here are a few of my personal picks for December, now playing in Virtual Cinemas and from various online sources.
Swede Fest 20
Fresno Filmworks has long supported the do-it-yourself community filmmaking of Swede Fest, the recurring local film festival for low-budget, summarized re-creations of popular Hollywood movies and TV shows. This year’s Swede Fest was broadcast virtually and Filmworks could not sponsor the event in person at a movie theater. But we definitely sponsored it in our hearts. This year’s sweded selections are as innovative as ever.
Free on SwedeFest.com
“Dave Made a Maze” (2017)
A nice companion to the Swede Fest aesthetic is this kooky drama about a frustrated artist who builds a fort out of cardboard boxes in his living room and finds himself trapped inside.
On Kanopy, with Fresno County Public Library card
“Black Bear” (2020)
Aubrey Plaza inhabits one of her wildest roles with a frightening tenacity. She plays a filmmaker who becomes the houseguest of a couple at a remote lake house, drawing her hosts into a psychologically ambiguous experiment that blurs the lines between autobiography and invention.
$6 on Fandango Now, virtual cinema
One of this season’s indie darlings, Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan star in this period piece that’s set in 1800s England.
$10 on Fandango Now, virtual cinema
World of Wong Kar-wai
Curated by Janus Films, these gorgeous 4K restorations of the Hong Kong master filmmaker’s works are not to be missed. The retrospective includes: “As Tears Go By,” “Chungking Express,” “Days of Being Wild,” “Fallen Angels,” “Happy Together,” “In the Mood for Love,” and “The Hand.”
$12 for a single film or $70 for full pass at The Roxie (San Francisco), virtual cinema
NYICFF Viva Kids Flicks
This year’s installment of the New York International Children’s Film Festival traveling shorts programs, featuring Spanish-language selections for kids age 8 and up.
$12 at The Roxie (San Francisco), virtual cinema