Weekend (dir. Andrew Haigh) 2011

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Weekend is a beautifully written and wonderfully acted film. It was made and set in 2011. Two guys hook up in a bar on a Friday night and the film is the story of their gradually developing relationship between then and Sunday evening. Although In many ways it is a universal love story, it is firmly rooted in the British urban bar scene of the time, both in the casual drug taking and in the way that they have sex first and then begin to get to know each other afterwards. Andrew Haigh, the director has gone for ultra realism in his film style and this almost feels like a documentary in places.

The two leads, Tom Cullen and Chris New, both put in great performances, as they need to for this realism to work. They are fully committed to their characters and you believe in them wholeheartedly, coming to care for them as they risk sharing their vulnerabilities with each other. It is a warm film, and we get to know them, as they get to know each other. They both appear well rounded and honest, even though our knowledge of them is limited, and we want their burgeoning trust in each other to be repaid.  However it is a cold world and they have known each other for a weekend…………

This is not just a gay movie, but Weekend is one of the best British Gay Films and deserves to be commemorated as such. It is currently showing at Picturehouse Central as part of the 50 years since decriminalisation series. It is also showing on the BFI player as part of their LGBT+ series, also commemorating 50 years since partial decriminalisation. Whatever platform you choose to see it on, it is certainly worth watching.

George Best: All by Himself (dir. Daniel Gordon) 2016

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If you are enough of a George Best fan to come and see this film, the chances are that it is not going to tell you anything that you didn’t already know about him.
However, it puts all the information into one neat package and it tells his story in a balanced manner.
It relates his biography through interviews with people who were close to him at the significant points in his life.
There is archive footage of his best and his most important goals. There are newspaper headlines and film from the time showing the huge media pressure he was subjected to. There are extracts from many interviews he gave throughout his life.
The narrative is not judgemental and neither does it gloss over the less august moments of his career.
I like the way it just presents the facts and makes no comment either way, so if you want to know about George Best the footballer and George Best the man, this is the film to see.