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Movies: watch ’em for free


It’s the last day of the year and you just want to be in the cozy comfort of your own home. No fireworks. No crowds. No drama. Well, maybe a little drama or a comedy or a thriller or a mystery. We’ve gathered a list of must see classics that are past their copyright, but not past their time. Pop up some popcorn. I like mine in hot butter. Get your wine, blanket, dogs and cats, and significant others and watch them today, tomorrow and all year long.

Monkey Business (1952)

I absolutely love Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in this. Their comedic timing really shines…and Marilyn Monroe is pretty funny as well.

Notorious (1946)

One word: Hitchcock. Like me, Hitch was a Cary Grant fan. This time his female love interest is the effervescent Ingrid BergmanHere’s what film critic Roger Ebert has to say.

April in Paris (1952)

This is probably why I live in Europe. I always watched films about how wonderful it was here. This one has a spunky beautiful Elizabeth Taylor.

Harvey (1972)

Another of my favourite actors! This time it’s Jimmy Stewart who has an imaginary friend….a human sized rabbit named Harvey.

I found these and lots more on Uncle Earl’s Classic TV Channel. Have a look. If you’re into the history of cinema or TV, you’ll be in heaven.

I found another great place called Open Culture. It’s a treasure trove! Here’s one gem I watched.

Caravaggio (1986)

This is as rich as Caravaggio’s palette itself and includes a very dynamic performance from Tilda Swinton. I adore her!

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Stew’s tips – “for free” if you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon streaming

Here are my top 5 films to watch over New Year’s Eve, not gonna mention the stars as I want you to take them as they come:

1 – It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010): a poignant piece about a young guy sectioning himself in a psych wing of a hospital. This piece is brave and poignant and touches many of those really good places you want a film to. Great dialogue, good character development, fab message and some great therapy practices undertaken by the staff and the patients; in many ways from my own experience a very realistic depiction of what a ward like this is like. There is a love interest, a mentor, some crazy capers and a touch of altruism. A real feel good movie.

2 – The Angels’ Share (2012): a very tongue-in-cheek Glaswegian comedy about whisky, unemployment, friendship and wild schemes. Some great scenery and some amazing whisky drams. The main character has a streetwise yet intelligent charm, and it is a slow burner that at times will have you cracking up. The opening sequence where a tipsy local argues with the guy over the train tannoy is a great opening to even rival that other Scottish giant Trainspotting.

3 –  Saving Mr. Banks (2013): a moving piece about the tension between Walt Disney and the struggling genius behind the Mary Poppins book. A film that transitions countries, cultures, clashing creative styles and family tension. One that may require both tissues at your side and your best shower-singing voice.

The last two are ones that you just have to return to:

4 – The Intouchables (2011): a poignant story about the relationship between a streetwise felon and a disabled millionaire. A relationship that blossoms despite the obvious conflicts in their backgrounds. One of those movies that had me cheering for both the main characters, and switching my loyalties dependent on the way the narrative progresses.

5 – Herr Lehmann (2003): despite the more famous German films being Run Lola Run, Goodbye Lenin and The Lives of Others, this film has an element of the Big Lebowski about it and the Littlest Hobo mixed in with a very retro run-down setting of DDR Berlin. Again, a slow burner that will have you cracking up with the dark but madcap humour, i.e. due to the main character’s own conflicts and narrative, he seems oblivious to the fall of the Berlin Wall. This in itself is a reason to watch how it plays out.

Dear reader – as an immigrant to Germany the last film really will make you understand a bit more about how it must have been like to live in this uniquely divided society, and helped me understand not only the Berliners when I was living there, but also to some extent guys in our village city.

Enjoy, and happy watching!

Coming from a theatre and performance background, and being a celluloid aficionado, it only seemed right that Stewart aka theLingoGuy pursued this through his other passion of writing. He is also very excited by the theatre and documentary scene developing locally, particularly English Theatre Leipzig, DOK and GlobalLE. However, he keeps an eye on the ground breaking stuff in the Fringe, Slam poetry, Battle Rap and the many fusion genre TV series and films. As you can see, you can expect a diverse palette of stage and screen choices, as well as other passions that he will paint from with his words.

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