Just like my colleague reviewer Mark Vluggen, I am not a fan of streaming services and organisations such as Netflix or Disney Channel. As far as I am concerned, film belongs on a large screen or else on DVD or Blu-ray. But as has been said, necessity (read: Corona) knows no laws. Let’s see what a provider like Film 1 has to offer.
What is Film 1?
Film 1 is the successor of Canal+ and has divided its selection of video on demand into four blocks. Premiere, Action, Family and Drama. A subscription is rather expensive – 14.95 per month – but the provider has made a sympathetic gesture allowing you to watch a pre-programmed selection for free (at Ziggo on the channels 101,102,103 and 104, at KPN on 245, 246, 247 and 248). The technical quality is good.
The distinction between the four categories turns out to be quite arbitrary. Titles appear in the various categories on different days. And the selection is a strange mishmash of art-house, mediocre action and completely unknown titles. For the classics, both art-house and Hollywood, Film 1 is not the place to go. Much of what they have is inappreciable although sometimes one can be surprised by an undiscovered jewel or simply a good film.
Inside Llewyn Davis - Joel and Ethan Coen
A modest film about folk singer Llewyn Davis, brilliantly played by Oscar Isaac, but Carey Mulligan, who plays his disappointed girlfriend, is also phenomenal. The Coen brothers presented us with a protagonist who was difficult to embrace but who we cherish in the end. One of the Coen brothers’ better films.
Wildlife - Paul Dano
The young Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould) has to watch how the marriage between his father (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his mother (there she is again, Carey Mulligan) is threatening to break down. The forest fires in the neighbourhood appear to be a metaphor for the destroying forces within the marriage. Small, intimate and moving. Should you have any spare time, then also read the novel by Richard Ford upon which this film is based.
Le Grand Bain - Gilles Lelouche
A man should have a hobby, so why not swimming in a men’s synchronised swimming group. A group of male misfits find comfort together and in sports. The film has nothing innovating or original but it is endearing and disarming. The ridiculousness of ultra-tight Speedo swimming trunks and an oversized man’s body provides an unforgettable image.
Jan Salden, lecturer of film theory at the Maastricht Academia of Media, Design & Technology