Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#751 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:59 pm

Next Saturday evening is a face off between The Big Short on BBC2 and Ghostbusters 2016 on Channel 4, both at 9 p.m. The other notable screenings are a documentary about how the publication of A Christmas Carol "created" the idea of a traditional Christmas on BBC4 on Sunday 16th at 9 p.m., which is followed at 10 p.m. by the film of Simon Callow's one man show of A Christmas Carol. And tucked away on Film4 at 1.10 a.m. on Wednesday 19th is the Congolese documentary Makala.

And there is another episode of Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema dealing with Christmas films on BBC4 at 9 p.m . on Thursday 20th (which extremely annoyingly clashes with the final episode of The First on Channel 4!), which gets followed at 10 p.m. by a rare showing of the Cary Grant film The Bishop's Wife.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#752 Post by jlnight » Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:38 am

All the Way Up, Sat 22nd Dec, Talking Pictures. Also Thu 27th Dec.

Bros: After the Screaming Stops, Sun 23rd Dec, BBC4. (Preceded by The Secret Story of the BBC Christmas Tapes).

And Soon the Darkness (Fuest), Tue 25th Dec, Talking Pictures. Also Sun 6th Jan.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#753 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:48 pm

The BBC Christmas tapes being the collection of naughty outtakes (NSFW, or at least anywhere outside the BBC!) broadcast for staff at the Christmas parties.

I do hope that Bros: When The Screaming stops takes the time to get into Luke Goss's surprising second career as an actor, particularly playing the main villain in Guillermo del Toro's Blade II as well as appearing in Hellboy II!
___

I have my hands on the two week Christmas and New Year edition of the Radio Times now and there are quite a few interesting things coming up. The big films are:

- Zootropolis (2.55 p.m. Christmas Eve, BBC1); The Night Before (11 p.m. Christmas Eve, Channel 5);
- The Good Dinosaur and The Jungle Book 2016 (1.30 p.m. and 3.10 p.m. Christmas Day, BBC1);
- Strange Magic (based on a story by George Lucas ( :| ), and perhaps more interestingly the first feature directed by Gary Rydstrom who was the Sound Designer on everything from Terminator 2 to Jurassic Park), Trolls and the Spielberg version of The BFG (9 a.m., 3.50 p.m., 5.40 p.m. Boxing Day, BBC1);
- Kung Fu Panda 3 (4.20 p.m. Thursday 27th, BBC1);
- the final part of Gary Marshall's 'day' trilogy Mother's Day is appreciated but turns up at the wrong time of year (12.15 p.m. Friday 28th, Channel 4);
- Ant-Man (7.50 p.m. Saturday 29th, BBC1); Anchorman 2 (9 p.m. Saturday 29th, Channel 4);
- Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (8 p.m. Sunday 30th, ITV1);
- the Joe Wright directed *non*-musical version of Peter Pan, Pan (5.50 p.m. New Year's Eve, Channel 5);
- Inside Out (5 p.m. New Year's Day, BBC1); The Finest Hours (5 p.m. New Year's Day, BBC2). I mainly know of The Finest Hours by its Red Letter Media mention in a review of the year in film watching. It does not look too bad from that, although I am getting a Perfect Storm mixed with the Kevin Costner film The Guardian vibe from it (i.e. it should have come out between 2001-2006 to be part of that trend rather than ten to fifteen years later); The Revenant (10 p.m. New Year's Day, BBC2)
- Vacation (the 2015 sequel to National Lampoon's Vacation) (10 p.m. Thursday 3rd January, Channel 5)

I have missed out a couple of films from the above list to highlight more strongly:

- Toni Collette doing a horror movie? With kids? What is the world coming to? Krampus is on Channel 5 on Sunday 23rd at 11 p.m.
- ITV2 have two big premieres tucked away (almost premeditatedly hidden!): Steven Soderbergh's Contagion is on at 2.25 a.m. (!) on Saturday 29th (it gets this pithy write up in the review section of the Radio Times: "A starry cast gets deadly sniffles"! Which seems to be undermining the crisis in the film somewhat!), and Unfriended is showing at 2.35 a.m. (!!) on Sunday 30th. Why these films are being hidden away like this is anyone's guess!
- Ben Wheatley's new film is for the BBC, called Happy New Year, Colin Burstead. From the write up it seems a bit Festen-like? This is on BBC2 at 10.30 p.m. on Sunday 30th
- The Oath by Baltasar Kormákur is the only new foreign language film showing over Christmas, and the only new film on Film4 over the fortnight, showing at 11.35 p.m. on Sunday 30th

___

Away from feature films, there are some really interesting TV programmes on over Christmas too. BBC1 has done almost the impossible and made me interested in a few of their series! Most exciting is the new version of Watership Down, produced in collaboration with Netflix. The Radio Times is at pains to say that it will be nowhere near as bloody or scary as the 1978 film, and also that this new version will carry heavy environmentalist messages and post-Trump 'speaking truth to power' messages that sound worryingly heavy handed, but hopefully the core of the story will be intact. This is showing in two 100 minute episodes on Saturday 22nd (7 p.m.) and Sunday 23rd (7.20 p.m.), so it is already going to run to twice the length of the earlier film.

On BBC4 on Saturday 22nd at 11.35 p.m. is Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas, which is a programme exploring the Jewish songwriters who wrote classic Christmas songs such as Irving Berlin, Mel Tormé, Gloria Shayne Baker and Jay Livingston.

On Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. BBC4 have Simon Callow popping up again after his one man A Christmas Carol show the previous week, starring in Christmas themed horror short The Dead Room, written by Mark Gatiss. This is followed by repeats of MR James adaptations Lost Hearts and The Ash Tree (both I think appeared on a BFI DVD collection a while back)

Before that BBC4's 'slow season' continues at 8 p.m. with All Aboard: The Great Reindeer Migration. Two hours of watching reindeers walking through snow!

At 3.10 p.m. on Christmas Day BBC2 has An American In Paris: The Musical, which is a film of the Broadway play.

At 9 p.m. on Boxing Day BBC1 have the first part of Agatha Christie adaptation The ABC Murders starring John Malkovich and Rupert Grint. That continues on Thursday and Friday at the same time.

Edgar Reitz's Heimat prequel Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision is on BBC2 in two parts showing at 1.55 a.m. on Sunday 30th and 1.40 a.m. on New Year's Eve.

Andrew Davies's latest period drama adaptation is a six part version of Les Miserablés starring Dominic West, Derek Jacobi and David Oyelowo. Part 1 is on BBC1 at 9 p.m. on Sunday 30th.

There is a Raymond Briggs documentary Snowmen, Boogeymen and Milkmen on BBC2 at 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve, preceded by a repeat of the most recent film adaptation of his work, Ethel & Ernest at 7.30 p.m.

Idris Elba is back as Luther in the first episode of series 5 on BBC1 at 9 p.m. on New Year's Day. That continues every day until Friday.

And the programme that (along with Watership Down) I am most excited for is the two part documentary Waco: Madman or Messiah all about David Koresh and the 1993 siege at Mt Carmel Ranch. That is on BBC4 at 9 p.m. on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd.
___

- Radio-wise, Christopher Frayling is presenting a programme on "How Santa Stole Christmas" about how the meaning of Christmas has been changed through advertisers, marketers and filmmakers. That is on BBC Radio 4 at 8 p.m. on Saturday 22nd
- Michael Caine is reading abridged excerpts from his memoir in the Book of the Week strand at 9.45 a.m. every day of Christmas week - (Radio 4)
- Derek Jacobi is reading five Inspector Maigret stories by Georges Simenon during Christmas week in the "A Maigret Christmas" strand starting Monday at midday, Radio 4
- Michael Palin and Toby Jones are in The Hartlepool Spy, a comedy drama by Ian Martin, the writer of The Death of Stalin and Veep - 2.15 p.m. Christmas Day on Radio 4
- Diana Rigg and Derek Jacobi (he's getting around this Christmas!) are in an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology at 3 p.m. on Boxing Day, Radio 4
- The Film Programme on Thursday 27th at 4 p.m. on Radio 4 has an edition commemorating Nicolas Roeg
- A five part abridged adaptation of Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard is being broadcast throughout New Year's Day on Radio 4
- Angelina Jolie is guest editing the Friday 28th edition of Radio 4's Today show
- And on BBC Radio 2 on New Year's Day at 9 p.m. there is an hour long interview with Brigitte Bardot (the week after apparently there will be the same amount of time spent interviewing composer Michel Legrande!)

Phew!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:12 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#754 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Pan is not actually a musical, despite the presence of a very odd Nirvana sing-along. I liked it quite a bit though, and you can read my thoughts on it and two other Peter Pan adaptations here

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#755 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:54 pm

My mistake. I presume you cast Hugh Jackman in something and you just get musical numbers by default! (Come to think of it, a musical number might have saved X-Men: The Last Stand!)

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#756 Post by Dr Amicus » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:29 pm

I saw An American in Paris recently as a theatre broadcast, and have to say I enjoyed it rather more than the original film - definitely recommended. Actually the same can also be said of another live theatre broadcast, The King and I, which I saw a couple of weeks back...

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#757 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:04 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:38 pm
I wonder if Call Me Madam has been scheduled because on BBC4 on Friday 14th at 9 p.m. is the first of a three part series "The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand". The first episode is covering 1929 to 1939 apparently with focus on Broadway Melody, Top Hat, The Wizard of Oz and Soviet film Circus.

Apparently according to the Radio Times write up during the episode Brand calls 1929's Hallelujah "the Black Panther of its day". :roll:
This first episode of The Sound of Movie Musicals ended up being quite interesting and wide ranging. It starts with Broadway Melody then into the excesses of King of Jazz before using the lack of any African American jazz performers to move into Hallelujah. That quote above about it being the "Black Panther of its day" turns out not to come from Brand but from a gospel choir leader that he is interviewing, and the comparison is actually meant in a negative manner of both celebrated in their day films portraying black characters through a white filmmaking idiom. Then the programme moves to Soviet filmmaking with Circus.

Then we get into backstage dramas of 42nd Street before a section that tackles Rene Clair's Le Million before segueing into its influence on Rouben Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight. Then with the Hays Code turning the Hollywood musical more demure the programme moves to Josephine Baker in Paris with Zouzou. Back to Hollywood with 'stealth sensuality' to get around the Code in Fred Astaire's dance movements. How Top Hat sublimates desires (Mel Brooks pops up to throw Jean Renoir under the bus by saying that while he might say La grande illusion is his favourite film to be seen as smart, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals appeal to him more!). Disney producing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, itself begetting MGM's The Wizard of Oz.

"in just ten years [1929-1939] the movie musical had travelled from Broadway to the world of pure imagination"

The second episode is teased as tackling the Second World War, the second golden age of Hollywood musicals with a clip from On The Town, and song and dance becoming crucial to Indian cinema with a clip from Mother India.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#758 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:12 am

Having made my way through a couple of dozen of the masses of Christmas themed TV movies that Channel 5 have broadcast over the last month (so many career women getting fired or taking an extended leave of absence from their stressfully busy urban jobs to return to their small town to reconnect with aging family members who never forgot the true spirit of the season unlike some people, and end up putting on the Christmas parade or light show whilst also falling in love with the hunky stranger new in town who is just back from an unidentified nebulous war in the Middle East, before getting that sudden call from work telling her that her big deal or promotion has suddenly occurred and she needs to be back in the big city tonight, New Year's be damned, forcing a drastic last minute decision between career or love. Or her ranch and love. Or love with someone else who is obviously unsuitable, and love), I thought that I should highlight at least one.

This one probably appeals to my interest in claustrophobic narratives involving characters forced together in difficult circumstances but I really liked The Christmas Train. It is very traditional in many ways with lots of schmaltzy messages melting the hearts of strangers and the joy of the season allowing people to (at least briefly!) come together, but it handles a lot of its clichés very well. For example the main plot line is the standard one of a guy preparing to get married to an obnoxiously shallow and media obsessed fiancée finding himself unexpectedly on board the train with the previous love of his life, who he realises that he still has feelings for. But it is the resolution of this plot about half way through that was quite novel and endearing, with the guy sitting down with his fiancée and telling her straight that he probably never was in love with her and it was likely that she never was with him either, and after being briefly upset she actually agrees with him and ends up being much happier herself for it.

In the middle of the film some tension is injected by the train getting stuck in a snowdrift and the main character and the lady he has been reunited with (who were both professional mountaineers at some point? Or something sporty at least) volunteer to go for help whilst everyone else huddles together in one carriage, has an erzatz Christmas present swap all whilst talking of their imminent demise from hypothermia! (The one issue with the film is that it features a few shots at this point of characters looking worriedly out of windows of the train at the wintery scene outside that are quite obviously CGI. Though it kind of added to the claustrophobic atmosphere a little, as well as a slightly unreal Snowpiercer look to me!) It even looks a bit bleak for our couple out in the wilderness, only for them to stumble on the most idyllic winter cabin scene (complete with woodcutters!) that you could imagine and they arrive back at the train in the most Christmassy way possible, by sleigh to use the woodsman's reindeer to pull the train out of the snow and set if off on its merry way again!

The cast is great too. I have not seen Joan Cusack in anything for a while and it was great to see her here in your stereotypically hard, blunt boss role (but again one which takes that stereotype and deals with it sensitively) and especially Danny Glover, whose character is at the centre of the rather leftfield deus ex machina twist at the very end of the film:
SpoilerShow
In which on reaching their destination our newly together main couple go into his room to say goodbye only to find a script for many of the previous conversations that have taken place on the train just left in the bin! They chase him down in the station and it turns out that he had hired a group of people purely for the purpose of breaking up that engagement (for the sake of both of those involved) and bringing Dermot Mulroney's character back together with his true love, including hiring a couple to pointedly play very much in love newlyweds (who were just actors at first but have fallen in love for real during the journey). The interesting thing about this is that not everyone was in on the plot so the subplot involving the petty thief being revealed as an older man who was a petty criminal when younger but reformed when he got married, and who on recently losing his wife has returned to old ways through abstracted grief himself gets a new sense of doing things for others again from his own experience being stuck on 'The Christmas Train' that presumably had not entirely been intended by Danny Glover's character! Ditto Joan Cusack's character mellowing out a little and getting reunited with her estranged son. It was only the central relationship that was actively being manipulated!

It is like Murder On The Orient Express, but with romance instead of murder as the underlying motive!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:36 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#759 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:53 am

I will just briefly note Mark Kermode's Christmas Cinema Secrets episode shown last Thursday. It was an interesting run through many of the usual suspects of Home Alone, Elf, It's A Wonderful Life (underlining the darkness of the tale for those who might have considered it too sentimental) and the various versions of A Christmas Carol. The 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street is interestingly ignored for much more focus on the 1947 original. And Kermode berates Bruce Willis throughout for once saying that Die Hard was not a Christmas movie by pointing out all of the Christmas elements before climaxing with "and he is even married to a woman named Holly!". Though it was a little difficult to focus on one of the themes of Die Hard being about strengthening a relationship that has almost fallen apart (to the extent of Holly changing her name to her maiden one at the company that she works for, which of course becomes a key plot point) which occurs here and in Die Hard 2, only for Holly to disappear completely from the rest of the films in the series. It does not make that point a wrong one, but just means that bringing up that point about a relationship being saved feels all the more bittersweet for the way that later films drop that aspect.

In amongst that there are some fun leftfield choices, such as Female Trouble's Dawn Davenport muttering about how she'd "better get them cha cha heels!", and of course inevitably lots of clips from Bad Santa. But any episode on Christmas films which suggests that Scrooged is the best (muppet-less) adaptation of A Christmas Carol (with a Scrooge figure who does not hate Christmas but is a cynical exploiter of all of the superficial trappings of it) gets points in my book!

Though I have one criticism: no Santa Claus: The Movie! ("You'll believe a Santa can fly!"). Oh and the strange moment of chafing against the restrictions of the subject of the episode, which seems a consistent trait throughout this series, is that Planes, Trains and Automobiles gets talked about regularly despite Kermode noting each time that it actually takes place on Thanksgiving!

I did like the seeming structural conceit of the episode based on showing a number of opening from films, then returning to the same couple of films again for the mid-section and then a third and final time for their climaxes at the end of the programme which kept that sense of development of how each film was playing out its story to at least a few of the films that had been picked out as key Christmas titles.
___
And episode 2 of Neil Brand's Sounds of Movie Musicals was shown on Friday, which covered the 1940s to the 1970s, or in broad terms Gene Kelly to Bob Fosse. Lots of focus on Kelly's perfectionism both in choreography and how it interacted with technical aspects, with the alter ego dance in Cover Girl and the Broadway Melody number in Singin' In The Rain particularly highlighted, as well as On The Town's location shooting being a shift away from a more stagebound look (similar to the move that film noir was making at the same time?) Then MGM musicals in general. Then a broad sweep of world cinema with Guru Dutt's Pyaasa particularly focused on (with a great interview with Nasreen Munni Kabir, curator of many of Channel 4's Indian film seasons over the years) which concludes with an interesting comparison of a playback singer Lata Mangeshkar becoming a celebrity in her own right (with Mother India in particular) compared to singers for actresses in Hollywood musicals being sidelined to preserve the illusion of the film, Chinese musicals with the Shaw Brothers in cross-dressing romance The Love Eterne and then after the Cultural Revolution Hong Kong musicals with Hong Kong Nocturne. Back to America with rock and roll teen youth films with Rock Around The Clock and The Girl Can't Help It. Elvis and Jailhouse Rock, then the 'British Elvis' in Cliff Richard with The Young Ones followed up by Summer Holiday (You couldn't use phrases like "deliciously young" in trailers these days!). Then to France with of course The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (though strangely nothing about Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, despite its Gene Kelly presence).

Then into the Sound of Music (including its modern cosplay sing-a-long variant) and the crisis of 60s studio production (a blur of footage from Camelot and Doctor Dolittle set against free love hippies dancing wild and naked at outdoor festivals, Vietnam footage and police beating up students before we get to the most horrific imagery of all: Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin singing in Paint Your Wagon, of course memorably satirised in The Simpsons) before Bob Fosse, initially failing to set the box office alight with Sweet Charity, found success with Cabaret (as memorably satirised in The Simpsons). And All That Jazz gets a brief mention.

Next week: The 1970s to the present with Tommy, Fame and Bollywood with Om Shanti Om. Presumably also the rise of non-singers doing charmingly amateur 'cover versions' paralleling the popularity of reality TV singing contests (though arguably that all kicked off in films with Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You) with Moulin Rouge! and probably Mamma Mia! too ( :-" ). Before La La Land, Les Mis and The Greatest Showman herald the return of the musical as big budget powerplayer on an overwhelmingly opulent scale.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:25 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#760 Post by reaky » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:55 am

colinr0380 wrote:This one probably appeals to my interest in claustrophobic narratives involving characters forced together in difficult circumstances but I really liked The Christmas Train.
Thanks for the tip, Colin - I enjoyed this too. It was a little like a Hallmark Shanghai Express!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#761 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:21 am

Matthew Harris, or Applemask on YouTube, is back with his annual slightly curmudgeonly look at terrestrial television's Christmas idents. Though he misses out on noting Channel 5's ident package.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#762 Post by jlnight » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:58 pm

The Flowers of War, starts Thu 27th Dec, London Live.

The Long Day Closes, Mon 31st Dec, London Live.

I, Daniel Blake, Sat 5th Jan, BBC2.
Halloween II, Sat 5th Jan, Horror.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#763 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:50 am

Yes I, Daniel Blake (9.45 p.m.) is the big film of next week. As if by way of contrast to that seriousness there are a few other premieres but they are really silly ones: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them on ITV1 at 5.35 p.m. on Saturday 5th; Attack of the Adult Babies at 9 p.m. on the Horror Channel on Saturday 5th; Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones at 11.40 p.m. on Film4 on Saturday 5th; and Jackass presents: Bad Grandpa at 10.55 p.m. on Film4 on Friday 11th.
___

Here's an upload of BBC4's Christmas slow season offering, The Great Reindeer Migration.

Over Christmas I watched Zootropolis (far too blunt in its manufactured politics, racial and sexual divides which seemed shockingly self unaware in the way that it often seemed to blunder into caricatured stereotypes as a shorthand before admonishing the characters and audience about how horrible it was to do the same thing. Much of that aspect would have have worked much better, or at least been more subtler, as subtext than in your face metaphors. It was incredibly annoying, at least until the 'twist' ending, that itself was kind of a blunderingly inevitable attempt at balance(?), which kind of undermined all of the heavy handedness that came before, presumably satisfying no-one!) and The Good Dinosaur, which felt horribly muddled, in which the premise of dinosaurs not getting wiped out by a meteor strike turns into them instead now implausibly running farms and being the equivalent of your down home simple folk. The hero loses his father whilst out hunting weird feral creatures who steal from their grain silos (i.e. humans) and on chasing the boy (who acts like a wild dog) ends up forming a bond with him over both having lost parents. Its really a rather pat tale about losing parents (almost exploitational in the way it goes about wallowing in tragedy) and growing into having to take on that adult responsibility of life yourself again. As well as the way that dinosaurs would have been just as troubled by economic and family issues as humans are if they had survived extinction? What the purpose of the literally contrived alternate universe dinosaur homestead setting is intended to convey was rather beyond me, aside from just being a novel setting. Although on further consideration not really that novel, as I have a suspicion that the Ice Age movies really influenced this film, particularly as those films kind of had the animals doing little relationship based skits to structure their storylines. It worked relatively OK there (though the relationship stuff was always far less interesting than the skits with the rodent chasing after his acorn, which unfortunately got undermined in that series when he got his own love interest!) much less so here despite some beautiful background work.

And I watched Krampus which I really enjoyed, especially for the performances (Toni Collette already has a huge variety of 'harried mother' roles in different genres under her belt, and this is one of the more sympathetic ones), although if I have a couple of criticisms it is that it does get a little silly (though nicely mixed with scary) at the mid-point with the Gremlins-like vicious gingerbread men going on the attack, along with various other Christmas-themed beasties, but the film commendably plays the wackiness as straight as it can! Also it was a bit of a shame to have the older sister picked off first, so there is nobody really sympathetic (or untainted) left to worry about getting targeted next, except arguably the Toni Collette and Adam Scott parent characters.

But the blizzard conditions taken to an extreme makes for a really nicely claustrophobic setting, the animated flashback to the grandmother's own childhood run in with Krampus is beautiful, and the final revelation of where all the people who have been abducted over the course of the film have disappeared to is appropriately disturbing (similar to the snowglobe ending of Dellamore Dellamotre, but with its pull back scored to a rather inappropriately cheery vintage song it was a little reminiscent of the ending of Jeepers Creepers as well).

I will also briefly write up some thoughts on a couple of other Christmas TV movies that I saw:

Rocky Mountain Christmas

This was the film I mentioned a few posts back directed by Tibor Takács, who in the mid 80s directed The Gate. This is a rather gentle TV movie about your standard career woman returning to her family ranch for a winter break and ending up doing the same job she does in the big city (Christmas decoration planner) there as well by getting involved in organising a Christmas parade and big tree lighting ceremony that her father always did but is in the process of giving up the tradition of doing following his wife's death.

During this she and her brother also have to contend with the possibility of her father selling the ranch, since both of his children are presumed to be busy with their own lives. And if that was not enough a Hollywood actor is visiting incognito to try and learn some ranching skills in preparation for an upcoming role. Will he and our heroine fall in love? And will that cause complications when his co-star in the film, who is also attracted to him, turns up to be with him? Of course it will!

Better than I expected of a film of this type, even if every other scene ends with the heroine having to urgently leave to 'go and pick up supplies in town'. You could play a drinking game with how many back and forth trips that she has to do! But other than that it is handled really well and quite touching in the way that it resolves all of the issues raised. (Spoiler: give up that stressful big city lifestyle and fake Hollywood roleplaying for running a working ranch in a real small town that appreciates you doing all of their annual Christmas parade planning for them!)

12 Days of Giving

Alternatively aggravating and amusing, as a chap about to get married wins a prize and cashes it in before giving it all away to the community in the form of anonymous secret Santa-style gifts (though he does photograph all of the delighted reactions of the surprised recipients from a distance with his digital camera, like a creepy stalker). His soon-to-be wife is understandably miffed about him not choosing his prize of a new car, let alone the money, even before he gives it all away without consultation. Naturally she airs the most sensible thoughts in the whole film, and is portrayed as a superficial, money obsessed monster because of it.

But amusingly the guy almost immediately gets his 'comeuppance' as he falls in with a single mother and son who have lots and lots of needs that can only be solved by going on spending sprees. The son even finds out the guy's 'dark secret' of being the 'Christmas Elf' through his store of digital photographs and blackmails him further into getting more stuff for them! Of course he ends up falling in love with them both, breaking off his engagement to that other lady and apparently living happily ever after. Or at least for as long as there is money left, or the Christmas season lasts, whichever ends first!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#764 Post by jlnight » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:32 am

Nomads (1986), Tue 8th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on late Fri 11th Jan.

Lunch Hour, late Wed 9th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on Sat 12th Jan.

Manchester by the Sea, Sat 12th Jan, BBC2. Followed by Spaceship.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Sat 12th Jan, Horror.

The Eyes of Orson Welles, Sun 13th Jan, BBC4.
The Cat and the Canary (1978), Sun 13th Jan, Talking Pictures.

For the Love of Ada (film), Wed 16th Jan, Talking Pictures.

Royal Flash, Fri 18th Jan, Talking Pictures. (Followed by Bedazzled) Also on Mon 21st Jan.

Edit: Eyes of Orson Welles is not on this Monday but on the following Sunday.

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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#765 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:37 pm

As jlnight notes it is quite interesting next week with firery drama Manchester By The Sea on BBC2 at 9.45 p.m. on Saturday 12th the big film of the week. That gets followed immediately afterwards by Spaceship at 12 midnight. Whilst on the opposite station on the same night Channel 4 is showing Central Intelligence starring The Rock and the 'next host doth protest too much of the Oscars' at 9 p.m.

And also as jlnight notes BBC4 is showing The Eyes of Orson Welles at 9 p.m. on Sunday 13th, though while it gets five stars in the Radio Times from that trailer I think your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for Mark Cousins seemingly doing a voiceover narration to the director!

Channel 5 has two TV movies directed by Sam Irvin: Deadly Queen (aka Dying For The Crown) at 2.15 p.m. on Monday 14th and Watching Over You (aka The Neighborhood Watch aka Seduced By My Neighbor!) at 2.15 p.m. on Thursday 17th.

And Film4 is showing the belated third entry into the US version of the Ring series with Rings at 9 p.m. on Monday 14th, as well as The Hatton Garden Job at 9 p.m. on Tuesday 15th, based on the catnip to movie execs torn from the headlines tale of crusty but lovable old guys teaming up for a jewellery heist that is also the basis for the recent King of Thieves.

Repeat wise Larry Clark's Bully is getting another showing on Film4 at 1 a.m. on Sunday 13th (I am still waiting to see an uncensored version of Ken Park turn up on disc somewhere, as it is pretty certain that it is never going to come to TV!), The Salt of the Earth is on Film 4 at 1.05 a.m. on Monday 14th, and Our Children is showing on Film4 at 1.25 a.m. on Wednesday 16th.

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

Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#766 Post by jlnight » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:13 pm

The Games (Winner), Sat 19th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on Wed 23rd Jan.
Stockholm, My Love, Sat 19th Jan, BBC2.

Modesty Blaise, Sun 20th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on Tue 22nd Jan. Alternatively...
The Commune, Sun 20th Jan, BBC4.

Time Without Pity, Tue 22nd Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on Thu 31st Jan.


Heart of a Dog gets a late night repeat on Sun 20th Jan on Film4. Assault on Precinct 13 (the original) also turns up again on Film4 on Wed 23rd Jan. I mention this only because the Moviedrome intro which opened the 1990 series has recently resurfaced on Youtube.

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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#767 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:21 am

I quite liked The Eyes of Orson Welles but still had the usual trouble with some of the more frustrating aspects of Mark Cousins' other films. There is always a wonderful sense with Cousins that he is sent off on some glorious romantic reverie by the work that he loves so much, but that often fights against an equally strong sense that he also needs to pin the work down and dissect it as if to discover the exact reasons behind the creation of such an image, rather than letting it exist in its own universe. That led to a couple of slightly strained moments in his otherwise wonderful Scene by Scene interview series where he would show a filmmaker an isolated clip from one of their films and then say something like "I note that you painted the walls red for this scene. Why?", which usually led to the interviewee saying something bemused or vague along the lines of "it seemed like a good idea at the time!". Or awkward moments of trying to pin down that such an image exactly correlated to a particular mental state the filmmaker was in or childhood trauma that they experienced, when art is often more nebulous than that (that's why the opening of the Brian De Palma episode is amusing when Cousins is talking about De Palma growing up in a tough neighbourhood and how that affected his approach to violence in his work, which prompts De Palma to ask where Cousins grew up. "Belfast" is the response!). Like trying to force David Lynch to identify the "eye of the duck" scene in all of his previous films!

I was initially worried about the conceit of this film as a one way conversation across time with Orson Welles as being the ultimate form of projection. Which it is but that felt consciously intended and by the end of the film it felt quite powerful, with Cousins conducting his interrogation of Welles and the meaning behind his work and asking unanswerable questions of him. Ones that (as that Scene by Scene series showed) are pretty much unanswerable even when the filmmaker is present and talking with you in the same room, but become quite touching when aimed at still photographs of a long dead filmmaker, gawping back out of the screen in a photographic still with an expression of frozen astonishment! It feels rather like an acknowledgement (one that frustrated me by its lack of acknowledgement in The History of Film series) that the subject of this film is Cousins himself and his own evolving relationship with and love of the work of this filmmaker, who themselves are involved in a one way communication back to him through the films they made long after they have left the world.

The usual Cousins motifs appear but feel more fascinating than frustrating in this context. I would probably argue with Cousins over some of the later sections in which he tells Welles about the developments in technology that would finally allow him to use the tools of cinema fast and "as a pencil", with the implication that the bulky costly mechanics of the studio system prevented Welles from creating more masterpieces (Could it be counter-argued that even if such fast and available technology was available we would perhaps still just have many more fragments of unfinished films rather than actually completed ones? Distribution and the backing of a studio is still the major hurdle that filmmakers face even now. Was the issue really to do with lack of access to the technology but arguably more with Welles himself not having that personal desire or significant backing from a company to actually push through completion of various projects over the last decades? Its all pure speculation either way), but that does lead to that nice moment of Cousins viewing all of the early films through the 'sketchbook' prism and how they all have certain collage qualities to them. But in the comment dreamily imagining about what masterpieces that Welles would be doing now if he was alive, I really wanted to just pessimistically say Transformers films and appearances in commercials! At least until he signed with Netflix for his own auteur-helmed series! That's my brutally cynical side brushing up against Cousins' naive romanticism though I suppose! :wink:

One of the more contentious passages was the mention of Welles having been around at the time of the 1929 Wall Street Crash and asking whether the recent economic crash is going to create "a new Welles". I am sure that Cousins is just generally speaking in the abstract here about filmmakers engaging in their new realities around them, but in that comment there is also that doomed to failure notion of wanting to attempt to recreate the singular nature of an artist. You cannot recreate Welles any more than you could travel back in time and try to make films in the 1940s. That is what is so wonderful about Welles and the films he made (as with any filmmaker really), that he was living and working in the circumstances of his time with the resources available to him and his filmmaking skills, and that cannot be imagined in 2018. Much as filmmakers working in previous eras did not have technological resources available to them that later generations had. You do what you can with the resources available to you, and that 'limitation' can also be what lends a film its particular power.

Rather than problematically yearning for, or trying to create "a new Welles" for the modern age, and forlornly hope that a financial crash could be the catalyst for creativity it feels more important to celebrate a filmmaker for who they are as individuals and the work that has been created for its own qualities. It also seems as if the type of 'unique genius' being celebrated and wanted to be recreated in Welles is also the type of individual that paradoxically would be almost impossible to recreate through calculated means. All the patronage and film bodies running training courses for the next generation of filmmakers cannot really dream to produce the next Citizen Kane, but the positive take on that is that even in the most difficult circumstances and from the most unexpected quarters a masterpiece can appear.

The key image in The Eyes of Orson Welles (and really in all of Cousins' work) for me was that revelation of a 87 year old unopened letter from Welles. Rather than enjoying that Schrodinger's cat enticing ambiguity towards what wonderful things might be held inside that envelope, Cousins instead films as the envelope is eagerly ripped open to reveal...
SpoilerShow
...nothing at all, it was just an empty envelope! All the romance and projection onto that object of desire is gone in that moment in the wake of the need to pin down and dissect the inner mind of a filmmaker. The driving need to potentially have a document that would presumably 'unlock all of the mysteries' of Welles' films leads to nothing, when it is much better to have been celebrating the films. The box is opened and the cat never existed in the first place. At the very least it is a vanishing trick to compare to those in F For Fake.
That kind of outdid last year's Bansky stunt!

As jlnight mentions above we should also note that Cousins' film starring Neneh Cherry, Stockholm My Love is showing on BBC2 next Saturday.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#768 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:04 pm

Pretty good next week. As jlnight notes Stockholm My Love is on BBC2 at 11 p.m. on Saturday 19th (though is has semi-final snooker on before it, so I would not be surprised if the time changes or it gets pushed back) and Thomas Vinterberg's film The Commune is on BBC4 at 10 p.m. on Sunday 20th.

Channel 4 has Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at 9 p.m. on Saturday 19th, and more excitingly The Peanuts Movie at 2.50 p.m. on Sunday 20th. And Film4 has Don't Breathe at 9 p.m. on Wednesday 23rd.

The most interesting repeat is A Day To Remember from 1953 which is an early dramatic film from Ralph Thomas (later to helm Carry On films, Doctor films and the two Percy films), though if you cannot wait it is available here! Presumably it is resurfacing because it is all about a group of people doing a trade run across the channel to France to escape the restrictions of rationing!

__
Oh and after The Ghan was shown on BBC4 a while ago, which was a partnership production with SBS in Australia, the Australian channel has produced The Indian Pacific in both a three hour edited version and apparently a seventeen hour full day programme!

According to their schedule SBS apparently had "The Kimberley Cruise: Australia's Last Great Wilderness" showing in a three hour version that aired on Sunday 13th January, as well as something called "North to South" (The Ghan was a South to North journey) in a three hour version on Sunday 27th and a full day version on Saturday 2nd February. Hopefully BBC4 might pick some of those up for UK screenings!

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#769 Post by jlnight » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:22 pm

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fri 25th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also on Sat 2nd Feb.

Son of Saul, Sat 26th Jan, BBC4.

The Legend of Hell House, Sun 27th Jan, Talking Pictures. Also Fri 1st Feb. Alternatively...
Timbuktu, Sun 27th Jan, BBC4.


Bros: After the Screaming Stops gets a run out on BBC2, Sat 26th Jan. The scene where Luke makes a suggestion to play a different intro in rehearsals and it descends into an argument where they both leave the room is the best bit. Never has a shot of a fire exit sign seemed more tense.

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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#770 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:56 pm

I preferred the conkers argument, went something like

"Conkers is banned in the UK. Let's start a petition so kids can play conkers"
"I can live with it"

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thirtyframesasecond
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#771 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:57 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:04 pm
Pretty good next week. As jlnight notes Stockholm My Love is on BBC2 at 11 p.m. on Saturday 19th (though is has semi-final snooker on before it, so I would not be surprised if the time changes or it gets pushed back) and Thomas Vinterberg's film The Commune is on BBC4 at 10 p.m. on Sunday 20th.

Channel 4 has Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at 9 p.m. on Saturday 19th, and more excitingly The Peanuts Movie at 2.50 p.m. on Sunday 20th. And Film4 has Don't Breathe at 9 p.m. on Wednesday 23rd.

The most interesting repeat is A Day To Remember from 1953 which is an early dramatic film from Ralph Thomas (later to helm Carry On films, Doctor films and the two Percy films), though if you cannot wait it is available here! Presumably it is resurfacing because it is all about a group of people doing a trade run across the channel to France to escape the restrictions of rationing!

__
Oh and after The Ghan was shown on BBC4 a while ago, which was a partnership production with SBS in Australia, the Australian channel has produced The Indian Pacific in both a three hour edited version and apparently a seventeen hour full day programme!

According to their schedule SBS apparently had "The Kimberley Cruise: Australia's Last Great Wilderness" showing in a three hour version that aired on Sunday 13th January, as well as something called "North to South" (The Ghan was a South to North journey) in a three hour version on Sunday 27th and a full day version on Saturday 2nd February. Hopefully BBC4 might pick some of those up for UK screenings!
Talking Pictures has Losey's Modesty Blaise tomorrow night as well, which I'm recording.

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colinr0380
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Re: Upcoming Movies on TV (UK)

#772 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:17 am

I really like The Legend of Hell House. It is a little like The Haunting but also interestingly anticipates Ring with its usage of date and time titles not just to introduce new scenes but to add a kind of dispassionate ticking clock sense of tension to the paranormal investigation going on, particularly the similar moment at the end where:
Spoiler for The Legend of Hell HouseShow
the mystery is apparently resolved and everything is fine, but then the next title comes up as the chilling first suggestion that nothing the characters have done so far has managed to stop the relentless forward march of the narrative!
I caught Stockholm My Love last night (only fifteen minutes late due to the snooker, which is less than normally happens in such situations!) and thought it was interesting but not hugely successful. Some beautiful location footage but the central figure felt rather aggravating throughout, and despite Neneh Cherry delivering the voiceover (the second half mostly in Swedish) even then I could not get away from hearing Mark Cousins's voice coming through the dialogue! If you really like the way that Cousins talks though, that could be a very good thing, so I do not want that to come across entirely as a negative comment!

But I did end up feeling that this was a kind of attempt to do a film in the style of Antonioni (or, since the cinematographer here is Christopher Doyle, of Wong Kar-Wai) but it kind of misses the power of 'slow cinema' by containing a voiceover constantly providing an over explication of onscreen imagery. It is Antonioni-esque but as if Antonioni had gotten Monica Vitti to painstakingly describe all of the imagery that she was seeing as she walked past it, rather than simply just bearing witness to it and allowing the space for the audience to connect her individual experience with the wider world surrounding her. Which I found quite aggravating in the way it sometimes seemed as if the film does not trust the viewer to connect with imagery and so we have to be told the significance of it ("here are some ducks","does that black man walking by in a tracksuit ever dream of Africa?", which for me is far more problematic in imposition onto strangers than the blackface scene in L'Eclisse!) to make sure that we both do not miss the 'subtext' and fully appreciate the specific significance that the filmmaker intends to impart to us. There is no space for subtlety here despite the dreaminess of the main character’s pondering, only leaden poetic polemics that are both annoyingly blunt and frustratingly obscure simultaneously! Although maybe that was meant to start to make us feel distant from the main character even before they reveal the heinous act that they were responsible for in their past, although I am not entirely sure that the film is intending for her to come across as such a self-obsessed monster as she eventually becomes!

Stockholm My Love also makes an interesting companion to The Eyes of Orson Welles. It came out in 2016, a couple of years before, but strangely seems to have the same basic structure. A younger generation feels somewhat yoked down under the burden of responsibility left upon them from the actions of previous generations (a burden that the younger generation may have just placed upon themselves), about whom they harbour ambivalent feelings of pity, anger, jealousy and a kind of bemused wonderment towards for having departed from the world so suddenly. This leaves the main character in a difficult situation of not being able to interpret the departed older generation's final actions definitively to achieve 'closure'. Much of the film involves the main character projecting meaning onto both that central absent figure and the things they left behind (the ephemera of Welles; the city of Stockholm) to try and make themselves feel better about the situation. It becomes less about the actual sense of guilt or the enquiry into a creative process than trying to be able to continue one's life with a clear conscience or a completed investigation. Yet in both cases the ‘epiphanies’ that occur ring rather hollow and feel manufactured for closure rather than naturally arising, such as the envelope scene mentioned above in Eyes of Orson Welles, or in the way that many scenes of Stockholm My Love reach a big climax (such as in the performance of the title song) and then strangely peter out as Neneh Cherry just wanders out of the scene.

It is all very internal and solipsistic, and in both this fictional film and the documentary we follow the main figure going off into romantic elegies in voiceover before returning to the ‘real world’ surrounding them that never really changed at all in response to, or damingly ever appeared to have even noticed, their musings. This might just be my own projection(!) but I do not get the sense that either work ends up changing the way characters view their worlds, more that we have been provided a privileged insight into their musings during the course of the film and then they just wander off again, still lost in a cloud of self regard. Maybe in Stockholm My Love there is even a suggestion of how impossible it really is to ‘manufacture resilience’ (the narration trailing off into epigrammatic phrases imposed over the landscape, or into extra-diegetic musical numbers), and maybe it is just fooling oneself to believe that one has 'gotten past' an experience definitively, especially one that marks as deeply as the accidental running over of an elderly man by the main character. I am not entirely certain if we ever find out the outcome of that accident from a ‘real world’ point of view of whether the main character was found at fault or not. Presumably not by the authorities, since she is walking around Stockholm talking about going for a meeting? Is she found at fault by her father, who she addresses by name throughout the early section of the film. Is the father dead? (He does get equated with the dead man at the end through shared silent portrait-style looks into camera) Or did he disown her after the accident? Or are they estranged in another, unrelated way? Does it matter since nothing but the main character and the world surrounding her at that particular point in time seems to be of any consequence anyway?

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