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Top 5 New Alternative Films to Watch

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published June 23rd 2020
From documentary to an early Audrey Hepburn movie
After months in lockdown restrictions, you may be running out of new films to watch. So why not try something new and follow the unpredictable nature of 2020 by venturing into the unknown.

laughter in paradise, studiocanal, vintage classics,newly restored,
Laughter In Paradise features Audrey Hepburn and is among a host of new releases

From the Audrey Hepburn movie you have never seen before to a behind the scenes look at historic book stores in the Big Apple, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Here is a top 5 of newly released alternative movies to keep you entertained.

The Movie With Morals - The Public

Emilio Estevez is behind thought-provoking drama The Public, released on June 29 across Amazon and iTunes, which also stars Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater.

Estevez wrote, directed and stars in this American drama about a library that becomes a shelter for homeless people during freezing cold weather.

The Public, Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater, latest movies in June
Emilio Estevez is behind new movie The Public

Playing librarian Stuart Goodson, Estevez is the sympathetic side to the story, allowing homeless people to stay in a library in Cincinnati overnight during a cold snap despite opposition from his colleague, played by Jena Malone.

But the situation leads to a stand-off with the authorities and sees police negotiator Bill Ramstead (Alec Baldwin) brought in to help remove the homeless people from the building in a peaceful manner.

Featuring Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright, Taylor Schilling and Michael K. Williams, it's a character-led tale that shines a light on the plight of many homeless people and worthy of a watch.

Estevez - once famous for being part of the Brat Pack during his stint of 1980's films including The Breakfast Club - has matured into making responsible, character-led films of late and this is another one that pulls at the heartstrings and forces you to think about those less fortunate than yourself.

Distributor: Parkland Entertainment
Release date: June 29, 2020
Find it on: Amazon and iTunes

The Black And White Classic Comedy - Laughter In Paradise

A newly restored version of the 1951 British comedy Laughter in Paradise is allowing a new generation to enjoy this black and white movie classic.

laughter in paradise, alastair sim, british comedy, newly restored, studio canal, vintage classics
A British comedy classic at its best

Starring a host of British acting greats from Alastair Sim to George Cole, the movie even features an extremely early appearance by a young Audrey Hepburn (looking stunning as always).

The story is set following the death of famed practical joker Henry Russell when his four remaining relatives are brought together to hear his last will and testament.

They will all get a £50,000 inheritance if they can complete a set tasks that is completely at odds with their character. The assignments are designed to reflect their greatest shortcomings and test their ability to adapt, and ultimately change for the better.

For example, the law-abiding retired army officer Deniston (played by Alastair Sim) is given a week to get himself arrested for a crime and jailed for exactly 28 days.

Then there is penniless womanising rogue Simon (Guy Middleton), who has to marry the first single woman he speaks to, such as the cigarette girl at the club he frequents, played by a young Audrey Hepburn.

Fun, often silly and ingenious, this is a delightful comedy that is ideal to lift your spirits.

It's got a strong team behind it too as it was directed by Mario Zampi and written by Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies, who wrote Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.

Laughter in Paradise is part of the Vintage Classics collection that showcases iconic British films, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content.

Distributor: STUDIOCANAL
Release date: June 29, 2020
Find it on: Blu-Ray, Digital & DVD. You can preorder from here.

The Arthouse Film - Curling

This acclaimed low-budget Canadian film by Denis Cote sees its world premiere on Blu-ray.

It's an atmospheric slow-burner, focusing on a father and daughter's relationship in an isolated, rural community outside Quebec.

curling, film, blu ray, films in june
Curling is an enigmatic film now available on Bluray

The film - in French with subtitles - is a character-led drama with little action but quirky conversations and encounters, which leave more questions than answers.

It can seem claustrophobic at times as we follow the strange, somewhat lonely lives of single dad Jean-François and his daughter Julyvonne, who he insists never leaves their home, not even to go to school.

It's never explained why but there are encounters with Julyvonne's mother that suggest possible explanations.

While Jean-Francois' work between a deserted bowling alley and a rundown motel and both the father and daughter's unusual discoveries in the snowy wilderness, add to the tension in this movie.

curling, Emmanuel and Philomène Bilodeau, fims to watch in june, denis cote
An award-winning turn for Emmanuel Bilodeau in Curling

Cote selected a real-life father and daughter for the main roles of Emmanuel and Philomène Bilodeau - a child who had never acted before. It gives a sense of realism to their relationship that is as strange as it is awkward, particularly when he allows her to dance to dated pop songs from the 1980s like Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now'.

Curling won two awards at the 2010 Locarno International Film Festival for the Best Director and Best Actor for Emmanuel Bilodeau.

It's an interesting and experimental film that won't suit everyone, but is a good choice if you fancy seeing something very different, subtle and slow-paced.

Distributor: Arrow Films
Release date: April 13, 2020
Find it on: Region-free Blu-ray Special Edition to buy

The Documentary - The Booksellers

If you love nothing more than browsing book stores surrounded by the smell of antique novels and the calmness of quiet contemplation, this is the film for you.

The booksellers, films to watch june 2020, new movies, documentaries
Venture into the rare book world with The Booksellers

This behind-the-scenes documentary about New York's rare book world will feel like a comfort blanket to many who can't get out to bookshops as much as they'd like due to Coronavirus.

Parker Posey is the executive producer on this fascinating delve into some of the oldest independent book shops in New York and the families behind them.

In the 1850s, there were 368 book stores in New York and now there are only 79. This is a love story to those of the past, present, and hopefully the future.

Distributor: Republic Film
Release date: June 29, 2020
Find it on: iTunes

The Coming-Of-Age Drama - To The Stars

Set in a god-fearing Oklahoma town in the 1960s, life gets shaken up by the arrival of an enigmatic new girl.

To The Stars is a coming-of-age story about friendship, standing up to what you believe in and what lies below the surface in families of all kinds.

To The Stars, new films in June, Weekend Notes
Friendship and struggles in 1960's America in To The Stars

There's a cast of familiar faces with actress Malin Akerman and Tony Hale, playing a very different more subdued role to that of Gary Walsh in HBO comedy Veep. There is also Adelaide Clemons and Shea Whigham in this slick drama.

At its heart is reclusive teenager Iris, played by Kara Hayward, who finds an outlet from bullies at school and at home from her cruel mother when enchanting new arrival Maggie befriends her.

Liana Liberato is a suitably vibrant, confident Maggie, who helps Iris come out of her shell but faces a backlash when secrets start to unfold.

Rated a 12, this is an emotional but uplifting drama from director Martha Stephens.

Distributor: Blue Finch Film Releasing
Release date: June 1, 2020
Find it on: Digital download from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Sky, Virgin, Chili

TO THE STARS (2020) - Official Trailer from SC Films International on Vimeo.

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Why? New films to watch with a difference
When: Anytime
Where: At Home
Cost: From £5 up
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