Small Screen Machine

Our weekly recommendations of great films on TV

Five feel-good films this Friday. Feast yourselves!

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016, 12A)
Film4, 9pm Thursday 7 May
This is one of those films that Screen Machine audiences enjoyed, but we were able to squeeze it into our programme in just a few locations. Directed by Taika Waititi (we’ve gone on to screen his subsequent films – Thor: Ragnarok and the Oscar-winning Jo Jo Rabbit), it is about a troubled foster Maori kid who is placed with an older couple. When he and his foster dad, played by Sam Neill, go on the run from the authorities, a national manhunt follows. “A big-hearted picture full of small, understated moments of magic, the New Zealand-based comedy-drama Hunt for the Wilderpeople is an off-kilter charmer” said The Guardian in its 4 star review.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018, 12A)
BBC2, 8.30pm Saturday 2 May
Lily James stars in a wartime romance. “It is a confection in every sense, but plump with natural sweetness.” said The Telegraph. Another film that somehow ended up on the cutting room floor of our programming choices.


Hidden Figures (2016, PG)

Film4, 9pm Monday 4 May
Inspirational and entertaining fact-based drama about the three female Afro-American scientists who worked for NASA in the 1960s and, enduring sexism and racism along the way, helped send the first man into space. Ridiculous that it took until 2016 to tell their story.


Roxanne (1987, PG)
Sony Movies, 6.50pm on Tuesday 5 May
Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah star in this charming comedy, based on the classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac, (as was Old Boys – one of my favourite films from 2019). Martin stars as a big-hearted big-nosed fire chief, who falls in love with an astronomer … who falls in love with someone else. “Roxanne is a winning romantic comedy whose appeal should cross age barriers and backgrounds” said Hollywood Reporter


Uncle Buck (1989, 12)
ITV2, 7pm on Sunday 3 May
Probably not appropriate for very young children, but others of all ages should find this hilarious.  John Candy brings comedy magic as the eponymous Uncle, left to babysit three kids. (Two years before, John Candy had starred in Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin.)



Stream now for £10.50, and 50% of the revenue will come to Screen Machine

Hot on the heels of Cunningham, comes another film which, in usual circumstances, would be in cinemas around now but is instead available to you to stream. Pahokee is a documentary about a year in the life of a group of some high school students in a small, not-so-affluent town in rural Florida. From sports events to school beauty contests, the filmmakers observe how, through social and collective rituals, the ideas of gender and identity are publicly displayed while creating new narratives. Pahokee has received praise at various Film Festivals in the US, including Sundance and SXSW. Here’s what a few of the critics have said:

“Lively and rousing as a generational snapshot, buoyed by the lovable, resilient kids at its heart.” Variety

“Beautifully and thoughtfully composed. A warm and tender community portrait.” Film Inquiry
“An excellent portrait of a town fueled by collective dreams of living elsewhere.” Baltimore Magazine

If you’d like to stream it, then please click on the link below and, when prompted, enter this code:


You will then be invited to pay £10.50 to stream the film, and 50% of the revenue will come to Screen Machine. You can watch the film on almost any device, and you’ll have 72 hours to begin watching. You’ll be entering into a contract with Visit Film/Monument Releasing, not with RSS/Screen Machine. You might see a trailer which suggests the price is $18, or the rent button saying £15, but please be assured that we have negotiated a special price of £10.50, with 50% of the revenue coming to Screen Machine.

Bonus material

There are a couple of other events that you might be interested in:

Pre-recorded Q&A with Dilcia Barrera, Sundance Film Festival programmer-

Pre-recorded subject chat with actor Yul Vazquez (The Outsider, Seinfeld) –

And a live Q&A for all viewers:
May 2nd @ 8PM EST –
(I think 8pm EST is 1am Highlands and Islands time on 3 May!)

To rent Pahokee follow this link.


Screen Memories Scotland

We hope a few of you had a go at last week’s Screen Memories quiz. The answers are here:
1. Vanessa Redgrave. 2. True. 3. The Spy Who Loved Me. 4. Whisky Galore. 5. Sherlock Holmes. 6. Al Capone. 7. Maureen O’Sullivan. 8. The Jazz Singer. 9. Bette Davis. 10. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.


We’ll be back with more news next Friday. In the meantime, we hope the sun keeps shining and that you all stay well.

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