Arts

New to download, stream or buy on DVD/Blu-ray

A White, White Day stars Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir as Salka and Ingvar E Sigurdsson as Ingimundur
Damon Smith

FILM OF THE WEEK

A WHITE, WHITE DAY (Cert 15, 109 mins, Peccadillo Pictures, Thriller/Drama, available now on Curzon Home Cinema, available from October 5 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from October 5 on DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £17.99)

Starring: Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir, Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir.

GRIZZLED police chief Ingimundur (Ingvar Sigurdsson) renovates a house for his daughter to distract himself from the death of his wife (Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir) two years ago.

Her car careened through a road-side barrier in poor visibility and tumbled down a steep incline.

As he looks through his wife's belongings, Ingimundur leafs through an unreturned library book and discovers a photograph of a local man, Olgeir (Hilmir Snaer Gudnason).

Rage slowly bubbles to the surface and Ingimundur becomes convinced that his wife was having an affair.

Turning his back on the law that he vowed to uphold, the widower sets out to learn the truth about his late wife's secret relationship.

Accompanied by his granddaughter Salka (Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir), Ingimundur stalks his unsuspecting prey, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

A White, White Day is an assured revenge thriller firmly embedded in the rugged, windswept landscapes of Iceland where icy, choking fog conceals perilous winding roads as well as painful secrets of the heart.

Writer-director Hlynur Palmason bucks conventional wisdom by adopting a glacial pace.

If Hollywood ever attempts a remake, it's safe to assume the opening 15 minutes will be lost almost entirely in translation to expedite dramatic momentum.

Quiet moments of agonising contemplation play to actor Sigurdsson's ability to internalise his character's maelstrom of emotions, then allow rage and despair to bubble to the surface without flashy theatrics.

Maria von Hausswolff's striking cinematography relishes the divide between light and shadow, particularly in one nail-biting night-time scene conducted in the full beam of a stationary car.

Rating: 8/10

ALSO RELEASED

THE TITAN (Cert 12, 112 mins, Anime Ltd, Sci-Fi/Thriller/Romance, available from October 2 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video)

Starring: Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson, Agyness Deyn, Nathalie Emmanuel, Noah Jupe.

THE year is 2048.

Earth is overpopulated and dwindling resources force scientists to look to the stars for mankind's survival.

Military officer Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington), wife Abigail (Taylor Schilling) and young son Lucas (Noah Jupe) leave Los Angeles in the aftermath of unrest to start anew at a Nato base.

In this carefully controlled environment, Professor Martin Collingwood (Tom Wilkinson) oversees a top-secret government-funded programme to ready servicemen and women for a new life on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

The moon's atmosphere is very different from Earth, so Rick receives hundreds of injections from Dr Freya Upton (Agyness Deyn) to alter his metabolism to safely breathe the nitrogen-heavy air.

Unbeknownst to Rick and other test subjects, including Tally Rutherford (Nathalie Emmanuel), the programme is designed to create alien-human hybrids called Homo Titanians.

Rick undergoes shocking physical mutations and his wife Abigail prepares to break into Professor Collingwood's heavily guarded laboratory to learn the truth.

The Titan squanders an intriguing dramatic premise to engineer an achingly familiar battle of wills and bullets between scientific endeavour and military might.

Scriptwriter Max Hurwitz can't decide where the emotional heart of his story lies: with proud and self-sacrificing father Rick, who sees the programme as his contribution to humanity's survival, or suspicious wife Abigail, who draws on her past as a paediatric surgeon to interrogate the medical data.

Worthington and Schilling are an attractive pairing but neither actor is stretched, while Wilkinson casually chews scenery as the ethically compromised villain.

Rating: 5/10

WHITE RIOT (Cert 15, 80 mins, Smoking Bear Productions, available from October 5 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, Documentary/Musical)

A TIMELY release for Rubika Shah's award-winning documentary in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Her film chronicles the birth of the Rock Against Racism campaign against a backdrop of racial division in late-1970s Britain.

The National Front is gaining strength, fuelled by the incendiary rhetoric of politicians such as Enoch Powell.

Rock Against Racism intends to promote a message of unity and acceptance with an anti-fascist carnival comprising a march across London and an outdoor concert in Victoria Park featuring performances from The Clash, X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and Tom Robinson.

Shah combines archive footage and contemporary interviews to rekindle the spark that ignited a cultural and political movement, including contributions from dub reggae producer Dennis Bovell, Steel Pulse singer Mykaell Riley, songwriter and broadcaster Tom Robinson and musician Pauline Black.

Werner Herzog's Family Romance LLC

FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC (Cert 12, 89 mins, Skellig Rock, available from October 5 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, Drama)

FICTION and reality blur to delicious effect in writer-director Werner Herzog's tantalising drama.

The enigmatic filmmaker draws inspiration from a real-life company in Tokyo, which provides a unique service: actors for rent to play the role of absent family members, friends or admirers.

Yuichi (Yuichi Ishii) is the founder of one such company and he gladly stands in for a train worker, who is being blamed for an express service missing its scheduled departure time by a few precious seconds.

A desperate mother hires Yuichi to pose as the errant father of her 12-year-old daughter Mahiro (Mahiro Tanimoto).

The girl struggles to forge a meaningful connection with her mother but Yuichi slowly helps the youngster to open up and place her trust in him as she navigates a haphazard path towards womanhood.

BOX SETS

Aaron Pedersen is back as Jay Swan in Mystery Road series two

MYSTERY ROAD – SERIES 2 (Cert 15, 342 mins, Acorn Media, available now on Amazon Prime Video/BBC iPlayer/iTunes and other download and streaming services, available from October 12 on DVD £19.99, Thriller)

AARON Pedersen reprises his role as tenacious Indigenous detective Jay Swan in the second series of the Australian crime drama, which recently broadcast on BBC Four.

Residents of a remote outback town are shocked when a headless corpse is discovered floating by the shore.

Swan and partner Fran (Jada Alberts) are asked to investigate while tensions within the local community are inflamed by the proposed excavation of an Indigenous site.

Torn between his cultural heritage and civic duty, Swan relies on archaeological professor Claire Sims (Sofia Heflin) to unearth secrets of the past.

The two-disc DVD set includes all six episodes plus 12 featurettes comprising interviews with cast and crew.

Harry Lloyd as Bernard Marx, Demi Moore as Linda and Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage in Brave New World

BRAVE NEW WORLD (9 episodes, streaming from October 2 exclusively on NOW TV, Sci-Fi/Thriller/Romance)

ALDOUS Huxley's 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World inspires a lavish sci-fi drama, which screens on Sky One and streams exclusively on NOW TV.

Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd) and Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay) live seemingly utopian existences in New London thanks to the pharmaceutical Soma and a rigid social hierarchy based on intelligence.

Though they belong to different castes, Bernard and Lenina holiday together in the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a violent uprising.

John the Savage (Alden Ehrenreich) rescues the couple from the bloodshed and accompanies the New Worlders back to the city, where he dares to challenge the conditioning of residents.

The ripple effect of John's actions are felt throughout New London, forcing Bernard and Lenina to contemplate a future beyond the suffocating strictures of their carefully ordered society.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access