Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#851 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:22 pm

There is also the first episode of an ITV crime drama starting up at 9 p.m. on Tuesday 11th, which would not normally be notable but Wild Bill has Rob Lowe in it. Which is almost as weird as that time when Sigourney Weaver turned up in an episode of Doc Martin.

Though I suppose ITV topped that this evening by starting off the latest series of Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule with Tom Courtenay running in from Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner before teaming up with a George Formby tribute band and Martine McCutcheon to do a ukelele version of her Perfect Moment track.
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#852 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:23 pm

Episode 7, called The Trial, of that What We Do In The Shadows television series had a very fun scene involving the main characters going before the "Vampire Council", which comprises cameos from lots of actors playing themselves and who had notable vampire roles, but apparently are actually vampires in real life too! So we get Tilda Swinton (Only Lovers Left Alive), Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) and Paul Reubens (the 1992 Buffy The Vampire Slayer film!), along with Wesley Snipes present only through a glitchy video feed! Apparently "Brad and Tom" couldn't be there and a bit of shade gets thrown towards Snipes for his half-vampire Blade "swanning around in the sunlight all the time" and constantly killing others of his kind.

Though it does raise the question of whether say Evan Rachel Wood has to hold her vampiric nature in check when doing non-vampire roles in things like Mildred Pierce or The Ides of March. Or whether Danny Trejo was bumping off the other actors in his Old El Paso commercials? And who turned Tilda Swinton into a vampire? Surely not Derek Jarman?!?

And wouldn't it be easier to hire actors to play vampires in films rather than trying to fill roles with actors who were already vampires? (Oh God, that makes this a sly affirmative action casting gag doesn't it?)

___
Anyway, next week is pretty interesting. Speaking of Derek Jarman and Tilda Swinton, Film4 has a really rare repeat screening (presumably triggered by the recent BFI boxsets and cinema reissue) of his 1990 film The Garden at 11.35 pm. on Tuesday 18th.

But the big film of the week is a Belgian film from the director probably best known for Toto le héros from 1991. The Brand New Testament showing on Film4 at 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday 18th June. It appears from the trailer that Catherine Deneuve is trying to follow in the footsteps of Charlotte Rampling in Max, Mon Amour!

And cementing it as Film4's week, the only other film of note is the premiere of Greg Mottola comedy-thriller Keeping Up With The Joneses at 9 p.m. on Friday 21st.

TV series-wise, the George Clooney headlining Catch 22 series is starting on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. on Thursday 20th. And whilst Rick & Morty is continuing on E4, now that both Series 2 of Dream Corp LLC (which was excellent!) and Series 9 of Robot Chicken have come to an end, The Eric Andre Show is coming to E4's Adult Swim block from Friday 21st (I'd have preferred Samurai Jack if I'm honest).

jlnight
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#853 Post by jlnight » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:21 am

Fear in the Night, Sat 22nd June, Talking Pictures. Also Wed 26th June.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Sat 22nd June, BBC2.

Crossroads to Crime, Mon 24th June, Talking Pictures. Also Sat 6th July.
Entertainment, late Mon 24th June, Film4.

Good spot regarding Jarman's The Garden. I ignored it in the advanced listings because it wasn't flagged up as a Jarman film but the Freeview EPG confirms it as that. Not been seen on TV since 1992 I think.

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reaky
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#854 Post by reaky » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:41 am

jlnight wrote:Fear in the Night, Sat 22nd June, Talking Pictures. Also Wed 26th June.
TPTV are also showing Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb at the moment, which suggests they’ve got the rights to Studio Canal’s last batch of Hammer releases. That being the case, we can expect Horror of Frankenstein, Scars of Dracula, Demons of the Mind, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Straight on Till Morning and To the Devil a Daughter.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#855 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:15 pm

Next week's premieres are again clustered on the evening of Saturday 22nd and include the Boston marathon bombing film Patriots Day with Mark Whalberg on Channel 4 at 9 p.m., the Shane Black film The Nice Guys on ITV1 at 10.45 p.m. and the Sophie Fiennes documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami on BBC2 at 11.30 p.m.

Film4 is showing Entertainment at 12.45 a.m. in the early hours of Tuesday 25th, starring Gregg Turkington, best known for his appearances in the Adult Swim "On Cinema" series (he's still better than the kid critic that sat in with Richard Roeper that one time!)

Though the most interesting film of the week is the very rare repeat of Jules Dassin's Topkapi on BBC2 at 1.15 p.m. on Sunday 23rd. The Radio Times says it has not been on television since 2008, but it seems longer than that!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#856 Post by jlnight » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:57 pm

Raw (2016), Sat 29th June, Film4.

Communion (1989), Sun 30th June, Horror.

England May be Home (short), Mon 1st July, Talking Pictures.

The Girl From Willow Green (short), Thu 4th July, Talking Pictures.

Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fri 5th July, Talking Pictures. Also Sat 13th July. (Previously on BBC4, Film4, etc.)

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#857 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:18 am

jlnight wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:57 pm
Raw (2016), Sat 29th June, Film4.
That is good to hear. This is the latest entry in Film4's ongoing Saturday night 'women and horror' season that has had the premiere of Thelma along with repeats of The Love Witch, The Neon Demon, Crimson Peak, The Fury, The Witch, Nina Forever, Prevenge (the 2016 Ghostbusters, which was horrific for different reasons) and Inferno.
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#858 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:24 pm

As jlnight notes the big film of the week is the French horror Raw showing on Film4 at 10.45 p.m. on Saturday 29th. Though it clashes with ITV1's premiere of Clint Eastwood's American Sniper at 9.55 p.m. on the same evening (ITV1 have been getting back into regularly showing new films again over the recent weeks, which has been nice to see. You also get the choice of that or High Plains Drifter showing at the same time on ITV4).

Not too much else apart from that: Channel 4 has the premiere of the fifth Ice Age film at 2 p.m. on Sunday 30th. Channel 5 has a couple of TV movies on Wednesday 3rd, including a late night true story captivity horror one with the 2016 film Girl In A Box: The Kidnapping of Colleen Stan at 11 p.m. (from the same director as last year's Girl In A Bunker! I'm sensing some sort of trend going on there). And Film4 is showing Thanks For Sharing at 10.45 p.m. on Thursday 4th, the first film directed by the writer of Keeping The Faith and The Kids Are Alright (and the upcoming US remake of Toni Erdmann).

E4 begins Series 3 of Rick and Morty on Friday 5th. And it looks as if the most interesting repeat of the week is on ITV4, as they are showing Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dynamite on Sunday 30th (at 9 p.m.) and Wednesday 3rd (at 10 p.m.)

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#859 Post by jlnight » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:03 am

90 Degrees South (1933), Sat 6th July, Talking Pictures. Also Mon 8th July.
Matangi/Maya/MIA, Sat 6th July, BBC2. Also Fri 12th July.
On Dangerous Ground, late Sat 6th July, BBC4. (Constantly turns up on Movies4Men).

Loveless (2017), Tue 9th July, Film4.

The Comedy Man, Fri 12th July, Talking Pictures. Also Sun 21st July.

I watched Entertainment the other night and found out later that the tour guide at the start was Annabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow) and the man with the high pitched voice at that party was David Yow (Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard). Dean Stockwell was easier to spot at the Hollywood party near the end!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#860 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:53 pm

As jlnight notes, the big film of the week is Loveless on Film4 at 11.25 p.m. on Tuesday 9th. Though the other premiere of note is on BBC4 at 9 p.m. on Sunday 7th: the documentary That Summer covering photographer Peter Beard's summer in the Hamptons, including meeting a pre-Grey Gardens Big and Little Edie.

The repeat of On Dangerous Ground on BBC4 in the early hours of Sunday morning that jlnight also notes is preceded by a repeat of Matthew Sweet's "Rules of Film Noir" programme at 12.30 a.m. Other repeats of note include a rare screening (I wonder what precipitated it? :-k ) of Local Hero on Film4 at 11 a.m. on Saturday 6th and BBC2 is showing Yentl at 3 p.m. on Sunday 7th.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#861 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:56 am

Cheers, I'll have to remember to record Loveless - for me, Zvyagintsev is probably the most consistently excellent filmmaker of the 2000s.

And On Dangerous Ground is probably my favourite Ray film, although it's a toughy as there are so many great films to choose from!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#862 Post by jlnight » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:54 am

The Deadly Affair, Sat 13th July, Talking Pictures. Also Tue 16th July.

For All Mankind, Sun 14th July, BBC4. (Sunshine, the Istvan Szabo film from 1999, is on True Movies on this day. It has been on recently along with the Alison Maclean film Jesus' Son).

Nine, Dalmuir West (short), Mon 15th July, Talking Pictures. Also Wed 24th and Thu 25th July.
Nico, 1988, Mon 15th July, Film4.

Venus Peter, Wed 17th July, Talking Pictures. Also Tue 30th July.

Fixed Bayonets, Fri 19th July, Film4.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#863 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:32 pm

The BBC manages the seemingly impossible feat of clashing two 'based on a true story' premieres together next Saturday, the 13th: True Story, with Jonah Hill and James Franco, at 11 p.m. on BBC2 and The Bleeder (aka Chuck in its original US title) at 11.45 p.m. on BBC1.

The RadioTimes apparently does not consider For All Mankind to be an actual film in their listings, but note it is on at 11 p.m. on Sunday 14th on BBC4. Lots of other space-themed things on throughout the week, probably the most interesting of which is the PBS series Chasing The Moon showing in two episode double bills between Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th on BBC4.

Louis Theroux's latest documentary is on BBC2 at 9 p.m. on Sunday 14th: Surviving America's Most Hated Family is returning to the Westboro Baptist Church members to see how they have fared since the death of Pastor Fred Phelps in 2014.

And jlnight has pointed up the most interesting film premiere of the week: Nico, 1988 showing on Film4 at 11.25 p.m. on Monday 15th.

(Oh and following Keith Richards' takeover long weekend a couple of years back, the Bros brothers are taking over BBC4 on Friday 19th for A Night In With Bros)

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#864 Post by jlnight » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:30 pm

T2: Trainspotting, Sat 20th July, Channel 4.
The Big Short, Sat 20th July, BBC2.

Mistress America, Tue 23rd July, Film4.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#865 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:30 pm

The big film of next week is probably the premiere of Midnight Special on BBC2 at 11 p.m. on Saturday 27th. Film4 is showing romantic drama Before We Go at 7.10 p.m. on Monday 29th.

Julien Temple's Ibiza: The Silent Movie (NSFW) is showing on BBC4 at 10 p.m. on Friday 2nd, followed by Everybody in the Place: An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 (about Acid House) at 11.35 p.m. Is that ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne trying his hand at spinning the DJ decks at one point in the trailer, surrounded by an artfully composed collection of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds?

Channel 4 is showing that recent Michael Bay produced live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows film at 8 p.m. on Saturday 27th (apparently edited for violence according to the RadioTimes). Which kind of looks like another example of something that might work in animation looking pretty unappealing when CGI'd into 'reality' (did we learn nothing from those "this is what Homer Simpson would look like as a real person" stories?), though I get the feeling that everything from this to The Lion King needs to be qualified by "it still does not look as horrific as Cats" now!

But this does give me the opportunity to praise the recent animated Ninja Turtles series. I really liked the 2012 series, which did the whole whole multiverse thing long before Into The Spider-verse. And the recent 'prequel' series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a really neat animation style, and probably has the best moments of brotherly interaction of any version of the show. Rise courted a bit of controversy by making April O'Neill African-American (though beyond that it actually made April an interesting character with her own life to lead beyond her interaction with the turtles, which is more worthy of celebration!), and making Master Splinter an extremely lazy father figure character for most of the first series rather than an honourable and dignified sensei figure (though he's come into his own in recent episodes!), but it actually works really well. And all of the supporting cast are well defined, with actually quite well rounded villains too! (I paticularly like the over enthusiatic Foot Clan recruit who ends all of her sentences extremely emphatically!)

So rather than the live action film I would be quicker to suggest to anyone interested to instead watch Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that is currently getting shown in double bill episodes on Channel 5 every Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.!
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#866 Post by jlnight » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:49 pm

The Life & Times of a Pocket God, Fri 2nd Aug, London Live. (no, me neither).

64-Day Hero: A Boxer's Tale, Sat 3rd Aug, Talking Pictures. (Previously on London Live and Channel 4)
This Is My Street, Sat 3rd Aug, Talking Pictures. Also on Wed 7th Aug.
Berlin Syndrome, Sat 3rd Aug, Film4.

The Small Back Room, Sun 4th Aug, Talking Pictures. Also on Sun 11th Aug.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#867 Post by jlnight » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:50 pm

Model Shop, Mon 5th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

Getting Straight, Tue 6th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

Arizona Raiders, Wed 7th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

They Made Me a Fugitive, Thu 8th Aug, London Live. (has turned up on 5Select (Freeview 54)
French Dressing, Thu 8th Aug, Talking Pictures. Also on Sun 18th Aug.
Gunman's Walk, Thu 8th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

Hammerhead, Fri 9th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

The Driver, Sat 10th Aug, Talking Pictures. Also on Fri 16th Aug.
Easy Rider, Sat 10th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.
Cactus Flower, late Sat 10th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Sun 11th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.
The Wrecking Crew, late Sun 11th Aug, Sony Movie Channel.

You should probably record all the Sony Movie Channel recommendations for obvious reasons!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#868 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:39 am

It should be noted that the films on Sony Movie Channel that jlnight highlights this week (notably Model Shop, Getting Straight, Gunman's Work, Hammerhead, Easy Rider and BCT&A) are all introduced by Quentin Tarantino, presumably to complement the release of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#869 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:41 pm

A very quiet week next week. There was not that much of note this week either, though I forgot to mention that BBC2 are screening the Fosse/Verdon miniseries on Friday nights at 9 p.m. (episode 3 tomorrow evening) The mention of that live action Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in my last comment turned out to be the pre-amble to terrestrial television catching up with the Transformers movies as last Saturday Channel 4 premiered the 2014 Age of Extinction film, and this upcoming Saturday 10th at 9 p.m. is the fifth in the series, The Last Knight. Which is probably most notable for adding Anthony Hopkins to the cast as the sexier replacement for Megan Fox. I am sure that we are all looking forward to those lovingly derriere-caressing close up panning shots of Sir Hopkins!

Other than that the only other premiere of the week (aside from a new TV movie every weekday on Channel 5) is on Film4 on Sunday 11th at 2.45 p.m. with the first showing of the Lasse Hallström canine reincarnation film A Dog's Purpose (also reincarnated at the same time on Thursday 15th). This is the forum thread on the film, which reminded me that it was a bit controversial at the time for some of the animal action. It looks rather cheesy from the trailer, and I would probably suggest sight unseen that people would probably still be better off reading James Herbert's Fluke instead!

E4 have been tackling some of the Robot Chicken Specials in recent weeks. They did the three Star Wars specials, and tomorrow and next week are apparently DC Comics themed. And I want to highlight the "Ricklantis Mixup" episode of Rick and Morty showing on E4 on Friday 16th as one of the very best of the series, doing a kind of Robert Altman-style interweaving narrative about life on the Citadel post-destruction by Rick whilst our 'actual' Rick & Morty disappear for an offscreen adventure!
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#870 Post by antnield » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:21 am

BBC2 have changed their Saturday night schedule, and will now be showing Dont Look Back at 9pm as a Pennebaker tribute.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#871 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:34 am

Quite a good night on BBC2 then if the rest of the schedule remains the same, with repeats of Clouds of Sils Maria and the German film Stations of the Cross later in the evening.

By the way I caught Ibiza: The Silent Movie last week and that was quite enjoyable. It felt kind of Julien Temple trying to do an Adam Curtis "This is the story of..."/"Unleashed forces they could no longer control..."/"But then something strange happened...." style of documentary (no voiceover but a lot of text pop ups) covering the history of the island and noting the irony of a haven for libidinous dancing and drugs drawing the tourists and pushing the islanders out of the coastal regions (albeit making them rich in the process) themselves getting supplanted by the ultra-rich oligarchs, luxury homes and by invitation only clubs.

Also nice that in recounting the history of the island they did not forget to briefly note art forger Elmyr de Hory living there and Orson Welles' F For Fake film involving that character!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#872 Post by jlnight » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:06 am

Battle of the Coral Sea, Sun 11th Aug, Movies4Men. (Also on Wed 14th Aug, with Tarantino/Morgan intro. Some of the other films in the season are being repeated on this channel).
Long Weekend (1978), late Sun 11th Aug, London Live. (This was actually on last night but I thought it was meant to be the remake rather than the original).

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Sat 17th Aug, BBC2.
The House in Nightmare Park, Sat 17th Aug, Talking Pictures.

Let's Rock Again!, Fri 23rd Aug, London Live.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#873 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:07 pm

From the 150 minute scheduled run time it looks as if It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World is the standard theatrical version rather than the wonderfully ramshackle forty minute longer 'restored' Criterion version (which I doubt would be considered to be broadcastable). According to the RadioTimes the film has not been shown on television since 2008.

Other than that the schedules mostly revolve around the clashing premieres of Fast & Furious 8 on ITV1 and Tim Burton film Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children on Channel 4, both at 9 p.m. on Saturday 17th. And the third in the series of Bridget Jones films, Bridget Jones's Baby, is on Channel 5 at 9 p.m. on Sunday 18th. The Jamie Foxx film Sleepless (not to be confused with the Argento film!) is on Film4 at 9 p.m. on Wednesday 21st.

(I did also catch that screening of Simon West directed action film Stratton last week, which gets repeated next Thursday evening, which was fine but rather unmemorable unfortunately. Great to see Connie Nielsen show up in a couple of scenes though. Really the major problem, at least for me, was that there were three or four main characters who looked extremely similar to each other, with interchangeable brown hair and beards, that I could not tell the difference between (including the hero and the bad guy). Bourne with Beards. Although I suppose that it made the presence of Gemma Chan as a member of the commando squad all the more important as the one distinguishably different person in any given scene! It would have been fantastic if in one brief shot or scene she was just sat in the driver's seat of a car wearing an obviously fake beard though!)

The most interesting film of the week is probably the documentary Rams: Principles of Good Design on BBC4 at 9 p.m. on Monday 19th, which is about the designer Dieter Rams and features a score by Brian Eno. From the same director who made that documentary all about the sociocultural significance of the Helvetica font a decade ago! Although I am getting a worrying sense from that trailer that the quote that "There's no future with so many redundant things" may not be intended to relate only to the products that Dieter Rams is designing!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#874 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:36 am

I spent a day in front of the television on Saturday and only have these notes to show for it!:

It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World: Re-watched in its shorter theatrical version on a television screening. Still exhausting but I found it more entertaining, especially focusing more this time on Spencer Tracey's character and seeing him steadily move more towards his decision to steal all the money at the end of the film. Its less about seeing the moment he decides to steal the money, but the development of deciding that and going on the lam, to going on the lam without the adult daughter, to dumping his wife as well, to eventually giving up on sailing away and just trying to drive off to the border with the cash instead! Its the way that Tracey's plan seemingly develops in response to each new setback that made focusing on it with this viewing quite enjoyable!

___

Song For Marion

Three stars almost entirely for Terence Stamp's magnificent performance as Arthur, a grump whose wife is succumbing to terminal cancer (it would have been 1 star, or less, without that). The main plot of this film is that the wife is part of an a capella singing troup full of pensioners run on a volunteer basis by Gemma Arterton's 20-something starry eyed, upbeat and exuberant teacher, but that and its message of community in the face of loss is totally insipid. Just swap the oldies out with primary school kids and you would just have another entry in the Nativity! series: its that bad!

However Stamp's performance is amazing, especially in the early scenes where everyone (aside from the wife, though she is pushing him into situations that he is deeply uncomfortable with) treats him like utter garbage, pushing him out and sidelining him from his attempts to be with his wife in her final days. The Gemma Arterton character in particular is an absolute monster in the early scenes, berating the Stamp character for his aloofness and unwillingness to join in with the mandatory fun without considering that people might have different responses to impending loss. All of the scenes with the other twinkly supporting members of the singing group are far too twee to act as anything more than a distraction from the central character as well, as this is really the story of the spouse of someone dying from terminal illness and how they cope rather than the person with the illness itself, which is an interesting and novel focus even if the surrounding structure seems to be attempting constantly to undermine that.

The second half of the film post-Marion's death is not as good as the first half, as it requires Stamp to 'come to his senses' and decide that he wants to sing and open his heart again (thereby proving all the monstrous supporting characters from the first half right that it was all his fault and all he needed to do was become less of a curmudgeon), and that makes the moments where the character rails against singing ring hollow from that point (because he's voiced his commitment to doing so rather than being unwillingly forced into it, as in the first half), but Stamp's performance just about holds it together. And there is a great cathartic scene where Arthur tells Gemma Arterton's character to mind her own business when she tries to get him to bring his son to the concert to hear him sing. But really this is a film where the choice of where to end things provides the 'uplifting' faux-ending, as of course the triumphant solo singing in the concert and reunion with the estranged son provides the happy ending, rather than continuing on past that to the other inevitable moment of returning back to the empty home instead after having performed a minor, transitory act to make oneself feel better in the short term.

But whenever I think of this film I remember the (extremely brief) moments where Arthur is left alone with Marion and is able to feel happy with her, away from all of the interlopers pushing themselves into their lives. Marion is happy with surrounding herself with people, but Arthur is happiest with just Marion, and Stamp's performance is amazingly subtle in those tiny moments where he shows Arthur's gentleness and love towards Marion coming through when he gets the rare chance to be with her instead of being pushed away by caregivers.

Its a great example of a single performance that makes an entire film worthwhile and Stamp is frankly doing far too good a job for the hideously contrived singing troupe 'Big Society' faux-uplift material that is comprising the bulk of the film. But the fact that it is there suggests that maybe the filmmakers saw it too, even if they still had to make the contrived framework surrounding it in order to have it be more commercially viable? Vanessa Redgrave is fine too, but she is saddled with a character who just has to be saintly in her illness and passage, which is relatively irritating when Marion cannot acknowledge the effect that her actions are having on Arthur. Though I suppose she is dealing with other things! But really this is Terence Stamp's film...I just wish the wider film was worthy of his performance.

But I still cannot get away from the idea that this is a film about someone who has the almost every single chance for a last quiet moment with their partner stolen away from them, and then has to apologise in the form of song to those who ruined his life just to be allowed to continue to exist. Sometimes it seems that the film realises how horrific this set up is, but it cannot withhold itself from pouring over the treacly sentimentality to reach the most superficial of climaxes that tries to let the wider community feel better about itself rather than particularly caring for Arthur.
___

Porridge

Probably the best of the 1970s BBC television sitcoms that had a feature film spin-off, this keeps the core of the humour and the performances but gets out of the rather claustrophobic sets to provide a more expansive view of the prison, especially in the final section of Fletcher and Godber being pressured into a (successful) prison escape and then having to break their way back *into* prison!

I quite like that we get the world introduced again through a pair of new inmates, one who gets shown how the prison works and how things are run both officially and unofficially, and by the end has settled into the routine to the extent of just being another one of the extras in the background of a scene; and the other being the character who will make the escape attempt and similarly disappear from the foreground of events by the end as he just drives out of the film.

Speaking of which, I really like that Oakes' fate after he drives off is left in the air (a more 'moral' film would have made sure to show our villains not getting away with it just as a form of closure), and is really an irrelevance set against the points that the film is really interested in with that whole prison escape subplot: that Oakes might be captured or escape but he'll always be on the run, especially if he ever gets homesick and returns to the UK; whilst Fletcher and Godber (especially Godber because he is still young and has his life ahead of him, which of course adds an extra awful melancholy resonance with Richard Beckinsale's early death only a year or so after this film) just need to serve out the last few months of their sentence and then they will be back out in society as free men who have paid their debts and will not have to live in constant state of tension.

(That of course also contrasts against that brief and poorly received spin-off show from Porridge, Going Straight, that showed that even when you are a free man, you are still an ex-con and have all new hurdles to face reintegrating into society as Fletcher, the master of handling prison politics, finds himself upsettingly adrift back in the much harsher real world)

But the real reason that this feature version of the series is worth seeing along with the move to being shot on film and the way that it can be (relatively) more explicit about some of the nastier aspects of prison life (the topic of potential sexual violence gets broached briefly a few times, which was much more underplayed in the BBC series. Its not Scum of course, but its still a bit eye-opening at times in the casual way that it gets brought up), is particularly the way that there are a lot of great outdoor settings for the action with many shots of barren country landscapes emphasising how isolated from the world that the prison is. I particularly love that the film is set in mid-Winter, with the ever present layer of snow over everything making it in a strange way one of the best seasonal films for capturing that sense of a crisp, cold winter's day!

I keep revisiting this film every so often less for the football match turned prison break turned prison break back in plot (echoing The Wooden Horse, which is called out at one point in the film, and this is really a much better prison football match film than Escape To Victory would be a couple of years later!), but more just to watch those snowy landscapes all over again!

I note that Indicator has released two of Dick Clement's earlier films on Blu-ray - Otley and A Severed Head - recently. It might seem strange to lobby for them to release the feature film version of Porridge as well at some point but I would certainly not be complaining if they could!

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Oh and I caught a bit of Fast and Furious 8 (aka The Fate of the Furious) and it might have been seeing Mad Mad Mad Mad World only a few hours before that did it but the interplay between The Rock and Jason Statham in those early prison scenes felt very reminiscent of that between Milton Berle and Terry Thomas! Though it might just be because they got involved in similar bickering badinage over whether the US or the UK was the greatest country! (I guess that also makes Helen Mirren the Ethel Merman equivalent?)

jlnight
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:49 am

Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#875 Post by jlnight » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:44 pm

20th Century Women, Sat 24th Aug, BBC2.

Kusama: Infinity, Sun 1st Sept, BBC4.

Talking Pictures have the original ITV series Widows on Wed 28th Aug. They also have Special Branch and Shadows of Fear on during that week.

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