Now that it is clear that for the collective good we must all stay inside for the foreseeable future, our thoughts have turned to how we can make the most of this period of confinement and all the nights in. Whether finishing that book that's been languishing unopened and hopeful on your bedside table, or finally getting out those knitting needles, let's face it, we'll all be scrolling through one of the multifarious film streaming platforms before long. But guess what... there are ~the others~ and then there is TANKtv. 

The White Ribbon

TANKtv came about when many of us in the office returned from the weekend complaining about spending more time scrolling through the terrible trailers than actually watching the terrible films. Not to mention the presumptive and honestly bizarre "You Might Also Like" sections and the general uncertainty of finding anything that is even worth watching.

And then there is the unnecessary anxiety as you seem to scroll endlessly past films starring Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson and an infinitude of teen romance dramas (a similar feeling to getting lost in the woods and being sure that you’ve definitely certainly seen that particular tree before and are actually going round and around in circles. But they are not trees, they are just shit films).

Le Havre

So, to be honest, TANKtv is just as much a public service as it is a video streaming site (admittedly not saving lives but certainly enriching them). No dodgy algorithms, no more mindless scrolling and an end to the deluge of filmic dross. Just really, really good cinema. 

Produced as seasons of 10 to 12 films, each individual film is available for 4 weeks, with a new one added every Friday. Currently streaming is François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, Ashgar Farhad’s A Seperation, Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre and Michael Haeneke’s The White Ribbon. They are all part of the season Growing Pains which explores “the turbulent experience of our earliest years… tracing their reverberations into adolescence and adulthood”.

A Seperation

The 400 Blows follows Antoine Dionel, an incorrigible schoolchild who prefers bunking off to smoke and read Balzac. A Separation looks at the lives of a middle-class Iranian couple as they argue about their country, marriage and child. Le Havre is about a young migrant, Idrissa, who is found by an ageing shoeshiner in a shipping container. And The White Ribbon, set in Germany just before the outbreak of the First World War, considers the lives of the children in a repressive rural village. 

The 400 Blows

These are films that you should have seen, so if you haven’t, you need to get yourself over to TANKtv. And if you have seen them before, you'll be grateful to see them again. For the sum of a cup of coffee at £3 a month and from the comfort of your own home (on mobile, laptop or cast to your TV) TANKtv invites you to find out what watching a masterpiece of a cinema is really all about.

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