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RUBBER

Canal+ (available on Amazon Prime)

Robert is a murderous car tyre. With aesthetically pleasing Hannibal-like camera shots, and satirically funny character lines, this movie looks like it should be an indie masterpiece. One main character, Lieutenant Chad, explains to the audience the ideas behind ‘no reason’, and then precedes to do not-quite-random actions. ‘No reason’ doesn’t mean, ‘do whatever’ or ‘do the opposite’, but ‘go diagonal’ to preconceived ideas about movies. You may think this movie is stupid or genius, but you’ll definitely agree that it’s a mind-fuck. ***MM

MIDNIGHT DINER: TOKYO STORIES

Netflix (available on Netflix)

Based on the award-winning manga Shinya Shokudo, the Japanese Netflix original Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is a philosophical, funny, and thoughtful series that uses food to explore social issues in Japan. The diner, which opens at midnight, is tended by the Master, who makes whatever his regulars want provided he has the ingredients, so as a result each episode is centred around a different dish. It’s warm and very human, with the added advantage of teaching you a little bit about Japanese cuisine.  ****LOB

We've Been Watching Feature

LIMMY’S SHOW

BBC (available on Netflix)

Without a doubt one of the greatest comic minds to have ever come out of the United Kingdom, Brian Limond’s Limmy’s Show is absolute pure genius. The Glaswegian comedian is famed for his rather disturbing and irreverent personas, and characters like spaced-out Dee Dee and his bizarre musings on life, television psychic Raymond Day who tells people their relatives have ‘gone downstairs’ and RPG host Falconhoof makes this sketch show outstandingly funny, even though you can’t quite explain why. *****LOB

THE HOUSE OF SMALL CUBES

Robot Communications (available on Netflix)

This Oscar winning Japanese short film explores loss and, more importantly, memory. An elderly widower is forced to keep building his house ever higher as his town continues to flood. One day, he drops his pipe and dives down to the deeper parts of the house, where he relives scenes from his life with his family. The animation style alone makes this worthwhile, but the music adds another level of beauty to it as it cleverly analyses the human condition. ****LOB

We've Been Watching Feature

TRAILER PARK BOYS OUT OF THE PARK: EUROPE

Netflix (available on Netflix)

Following on from the cult Canadian mockumentary style series about three troublesome Nova Scotia trailer park residents, this spin-off sees the boys taken on a free tour around Europe where they have to complete a range of tasks in each stopover. This is much better stuff than their ‘you probably had to be there’ live shows, where it felt like they just kept repeating the same old jokes. Out of the Park restores some of the charm of the characters, and it’s worth it for Noel and Michael Fielding’s cameo alone. ***LOB

LOOK WHO’S BACK

Constantin Film (available on Netflix)

David Wnendt’s adaptation of the German novel of the same name sees Adolf Hitler return in the modern age, and was a hit in German cinemas for good reason. The film uses the premise of Hitler waking up in modern Berlin to interact with unsuspecting members of the German public in a very Sacha Baron Cohen-esque way, highlighting the dangers of populism that are sweeping across Europe. It’s a very strange mix of real-life footage and scripted scenes, and somehow manages to be as profound as it is funny. *****LOB

TRANSPARENT

Amazon.com, Inc. (available on Amazon Prime)

If you’re yet to watch this Golden Globe winning Amazon original series, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an American comedy-drama based on one family’s discovery that their Father, Mort, is transgender. However, despite this being the crux of the series, the subsequent changes which occur in each of the other characters is tremendous. Poignant, raw, sad and brutally funny at times, this is a ground breaking and important series which has changed the face of modern popular drama. ***** EH

We've Been Watching Feature

HYPERNORMALISATION

BBC (available on BBC iPlayer)

If you’re in the mood for a long watch and some intense reflection, this latest documentary film by Adam Curtis could be the answer. Curtis, who people may know through his involvement in various Charlie Brooker programmes over the last five years, is known for his ‘dreamlike documentary style’ and HyperNormalisation is no different. This gripping and often frightening political masterpiece presents the case that our world is no longer real and is instead a fake one built by politicians, governments and technological giants. ***** EH

BRAINDEAD

CBS (available on Amazon Prime)

Laurel, a young Capitol Hill staffer working for her senator brother, finds out that aliens have invaded Washington D.C. and are eating the brains of members of Congress, putting them under their control, and bringing D.C. to a standstill. Part comedy meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers, BrainDead has an acutely current script, worthy of a binge watch. **** EC

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