Also new to streaming this week
BFI Flare 2023 (BFI Player)
Britain’s foremost LGBTQ film festival has returned to a predominantly in-person edition, but for those who can’t attend, a vibrant variety of shorts from this year’s programme is available to stream for free, while an accompanying selection of features from past Flare editions is available to subscribers.
Empire of Light
A curious nostalgia piece from director Sam Mendes, starring Olivia Colman (below), this portrait of damaged souls connecting in a seaside picture palace in 1980s Britain feels like a multiplex-full of stories thrown into one: an interracial May-December romance, an anguished schizophrenia study, a twinkly paean to the magic of cinema. It’s heartfelt but ungainly.
A return to the screen for Raymond Chandler’s iconic gumshoe Philip Marlowe was a welcome idea on paper. Sadly, Neil Jordan’s miscast, misbegotten mystery, based on John Banville’s novel The Black-Eyed Blonde, is hollow pastiche that gets almost nothing right, from the dialogue’s eccentric anachronisms to Liam Neeson’s increasingly thuggish turn in the lead.