x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

5 of the best

In the first of a series, The National calls on film industry professionals to suggest their top five home-viewing picks to beat the heat.


The leading British director who became an international star following the release of Bend It Like Beckham, and is currently editing It's a Wonderful Afterlife, her homage to Frank Capra. 1) Kabhi Kabhi (1978) Wazir Ali's classic tale of love, family and heartbreak. "Wonderful song sequences in the snow-capped hills of Kashmir." 2) Cool Runnings (1993) Based on a true story about the first Jamaican bobsled team to qualify for the Winter Olympics. "Great premise of a film with a lot of heart, and shots of frozen and icicled dreadlocks will keep you cool." 3) Roja (1992) Arvind Swamy and Madhoo star in this kidnapping tale about a Tamil villager in Kashmir. "Lots of snow with a wonderful romance at its core."

4) Tootsie (1982) Dustin Hoffman proving that not he's not just one of America's greatest ever actors, he's not a bad actress either as he swaps gender and dons a dress to appear in a soap opera. "It's brilliant and not too taxing on the brain in the heat..." 5) Thelma and Louise (1991) Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis on the in Ridley Scott's classic road movie. "They spend much of the movie in the desert presumably feeling hotter than us!"

The French actor and poet (under the alias John Pucc'Chocolat) who plays the projectionist Marcel, the main love interest in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Inglourious Basterds. 1) Soy Cuba (1964) Four vignettes set before the 1959 Cuban Revolution in Mikhail Kaltazov's film. "Just because it's hot doesn't mean that people cannot be dynamic or have fun as this great film demonstrates." 2) Do the Right Thing (1989) Spike Lee shows racial tensions rising in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the summer. "An inventive and entertaining film about how the heat makes us crazy." 3) Trading Places (1983) A poor man (Eddie Murphy) and a rich investor (Dan Aykroyd) swap places for Christmas in John Landis's hilarious movie. "Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd are both on top form in this fun comedy." .

4) Edward Scissorhands (1990) Come rain or shine, Johnny Depp is on hand to make your lawn look perfect. "The performance that made Johnny Depp famous - and his scissorhands sparkle in the snow." 5) Groundhog Day (1993) Bill Murray finds himself living out the same day over and over again. "A weatherman trying to do whatever it takes to change the weather. If only we could do the same on an overbearing summer night."

The editor of several Coen brothers films, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother Where Art Thou, as well as The Notorious Bettie Page. She has just finished work on Solitary Man, with Michael Douglas and Susan Sarandon. 1) Dr Zhivago (1965) David Lean epic based on the Boris Pasternak novel set during the Russian Revolution. "Julie Christie in a big furry hat is a good image to have while trying to fall asleep on a hot night." 2) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) John Hughes gets Steven Martin and John Candy to show how you should not get home for a Thanksgiving dinner. "John Candy and Steve Martin are funny. And they seem to be cold throughout most of the movie."

3) Christmas In July (1940) A comedy about the problems of getting what you wish for starring Dirk Powel and Ellen Drew. "Preston Sturges is funny and it's got a wintry holiday in the title." 4) The Shining (1980) Jack Nicholson tries to overcome writer's block in a secluded hotel that's been conceived in the mind of Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King. "Jack Nicholson freezing to death in that crazy maze is cold." 5) The Gold Rush (1925) Charlie Chaplin classic comedy sees The Tramp try to strike gold. "It's a frozen tundra, what more could you need!"

An author and film critic who has written books on Sean Penn, Dogme 95 and the British social-realist director Alan Clarke. 1) The Thing (1982) John Carpenter and Kurt Russell deliver the thrills (again) in this monster-classic. "Why not visit a scientific research base in the frozen Antarctic where you and your friends can be hunted down by a shape-shifting alien? 2) The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick coaxes one of the great performances out of Jack Nicholson, who plays a frustrated writer. "Come to the grand old Overlook Hotel, for the great skiing and the snowy garden maze, but beware axe-wielding caretaker Jack." 3) The Empire Strikes Back (1980) George Lucas sequel to Star Wars featuring the further adventures of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. "Holiday off-world on the ice planet Hoth, an unspoilt paradise with only a slight risk of Imperial air-and-ground assault."

4) McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) Watch as Warren Beatty woos Julie Christie in Robert Altman-directed New Hollywood Cinema classic. "Sample the authentic flavour of a snowbound frontier town in America's Pacific Northwest, and get a cosy welcome at Warren and Julie's tavern." 5) It's a Wonderful Life (1946) The all-time classic Christmas tale of hindsight being 20/20 from Frank Capra, starring James Stewart. "Book now for a white Christmas in small-town Bedford Falls; if you're struggling for finance you can get assistance from the angels."

The French supermodel rose to prominence in the mid-Nineties and has recently made an effortless switch from magazine covers to the silver screen. She most recently stared in Raoul Ruiz's horror movie Nucingen's House. 1) Quintet (1979) Robert Altman's futuristic film about city inhabitants (Paul Newman and Victorio Gassman) playing an elaborate life or death game called Quintet. "On a hot summer night, even a post-apocalyptic ice-age seems appealing, even if it means playing the mindboggling game Quintet" 2) Touching the Void (2003) True story about two British climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, and a disastrous climbing exhibition in the Peruvian Andes. "Extreme conditions are overcome by human willpower in this superb documentary that has brilliant re-enactments."

3) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Disney's first feature-length animation features great songs, prince charming and a wicked stepmother. "The perfect film that always occupies the kids and a great female heroine who lives out her dreams." 4) Into the Wild (2007) Sean Penn's big-screen adaptation of the true story of Christopher McCandless, who hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. "Emile Hirsch heads to Alaska, who would not want to follow him?" 5) Dead Man (1995) Jim Jarmusch's tale about the adventures of William Blake (Johnny Depp) on a cross-country trip in the Wild West. "A film about escaping and living another life, featuring a lot of snowy landscapes that will send chills down your spine."