Film & TV Lunch Club: March 2021 - Femme Fatale

March is host to International Women's Day on the 8th and is also when we celebrate Women's History Month. The 'Femme Fatale' theme for Film and TV Lunch Club month is a reflection of this fact - a great reason to celebrate women in film! The shortlist of titles is what we will discuss when we meet virtually at the end of the month, but the longlist is also well worth a peruse for a look at the development of female characters - 'dangerous women' - in cinema and television since the 1950s.

Having read the synopsis for Emerald Fennell's 'Promising Young Woman', I am sure we would have been discussing that had the release schedule not been interrupted by Covid. Oh well - at least it is something to look forward to once it gets digital distribution in the UK!

🎞March Selection🎞

  1. Angel Face (1953; Dir: Otto Preminger) Crime, Drama, Film-Noir: Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne. Stream on BBC iPlayer.

  2. Léon: The Professional (1994; Luc Besson) Action, Crime, Drama: Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. An unusual relationship forms as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.(Rent)

  3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017; Martin McDonagh) Comedy, Crime, Drama: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit. (Rent)

🎬The Long List: Optional Extras🎬

Other notable films/TV shows suggested for the theme - watch if you can or at a later date:

  • Salt (on Netflix) - A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

  • Gone Girl (Prime) - With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

  • I Care A Lot (Prime) - A crooked legal guardian who drains the savings of her elderly wards meets her match when a woman she tries to swindle turns out to be more than she first appears.

  • Under the Skin - A mysterious young woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. However, events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.

  • Prevenge (Prime) - Widow Ruth is seven months pregnant when, believing herself to be guided by her unborn baby, she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.

  • Natural Born Killers (Prime) - Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Prime) - Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web (Netflix) - Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

  • Basic Instinct - A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.

  • The Babysitter (Netflix)- The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter.

  • Fatal Attraction - A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

  • Birds of Prey - After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

  • Red Sparrow - Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

  • Double Indemnity - An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

  • Bonnie & Clyde - Based on the true story of Clyde Barrow, a charismatic convicted armed robber who sweeps Bonnie Parker off her feet, and the two embark on one one of most infamous bank-robbing sprees in history.

  • Chinatown - A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.

  • China Moon - Detective Kyle Bodine falls for Rachel Munro who is trapped in a violent marriage. After shooting her husband, Kyle reluctantly agrees to help hide the body, but Kyle's partner is showing an unusual flair for finding clues.

  • The Last Seduction - A devious sexpot steals her husband's drug money and hides out in a small town where she meets the perfect dupe for her next scheme.

  • To Die For - A beautiful but naïve aspiring television personality films a documentary on teenagers with a darker ulterior motive.

  • The Long Kiss Goodnight - Samantha Caine lives in a small town with her daughter. Eight years ago she emerged, two months pregnant, from a nearby river with no memory of her past or who she is. However, she's getting closer to finding out about her past.

  • Vertigo - A former police detective juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman.

  • Killing Eve (Pilot or Series 2 episode 3) - After a series of events, the lives of a security operative and an assassin become inextricably linked.

  • The Dark Knight Rises - Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

  • Kill Bill - After awakening from a four-year coma, a former assassin wreaks vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her.

  • Switchblade Romance - Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.

  • Inside - Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.

  • You're Next - When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.

  • Halloween (2018) - Laurie Strode confronts her long-time foe Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

  • Monster - Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

  • Alien - After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

  • Maria (on Netflix) - A Filipino female assassin quits and fakes her death. Her old boss finds out after she's gotten a family. He tries to kill them. She responds.

  • Gilda - A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino discovers his employer's new wife is his former lover.

  • The Lady from Shanghai Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

  • The Big Sleep - Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

  • The Postman Always Rings Twice - The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

  • In a Lonely Place - A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. However, she soon starts to have her doubts.

  • Double Indemnity - An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

  • Mildred Pierce - A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

  • Rebecca - A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence (1940).

🔜 Next Month 🔜

The theme for April will be ALL THAT JAZZ to coincide with International Jazz Day on April 30th.