Freeview films 2/10/21 to 8/10/21


This week’s film of the week is The Truth (La vérité), 2019, French and English with subtitles. On Saturday (2/10) at 21:00 on BBC4. Here’s the preview by John Russell.

World Cinema

Saturday (2/10)         00:30   BBC2                 The Gangster, The Cop, the Devil (2019). Korean, with subtitles. Stylish South Korean thriller by Lee Won-Tae about a serial killer. A cop and a gangster who nearly became a victim team up to try and capture him. Supposedly based on a true story.

Sunday (3/10)           01:05   Film4                Thelma (2017).  Norwegian and Swedish with subtitles. A clever genre-bending feature about a repressed Christian girl from rural Norway who develops frightening psycho-kinetic powers when she tries to repress lesbian feelings for a fellow student. Highly acclaimed.                                

Tuesday (5/10)          02:10   Channel 4        Woman at War (2018). Various languages, subtitled. Halla is an Icelandic eco-warrior in Benedikt Erlingsson’s comedy drama, shown at CFS last October.  She tries to protect the landscape by committing acts of sabotage against the local aluminium plant, employing amazing technical and survival skills. This woman means business. She also runs the local choir, and conveniently has a twin.  Everything is going along fine until she gets a letter from the adoption agency, following up an application she made four years previously and had put to the back of her mind. They have identified a four year old Ukrainian girl whose family were killed in the war and who is ready to be adopted.  Will Halla give up her clandestine activities in order to fulfil her dream of parenthood? Will she heck. Halldora Geirhartsdottir is brilliant as Halla and her twin Asa, and there is a fine supporting cast of previously undiscovered relatives and choir members who assist in her nefarious enterprise. The striking and beautiful landscape also plays quite a part. 

Waterworks: Shefali Shah in Monsoon Wedding

Wednesday (6/10)    01:45   Film4                Monsoon Wedding (2001). Mira Nair’s breakthrough comedy-drama about a large Indian wedding full of complications and discoveries.  Won the Golden Lion award at Venice.  

Stephen Ilott’s Picks

Sunday (3/10)       15:20   ITV2       The Flintstones (1994). Commercially successful live-action version of the popular cartoon. John Goodman and Elizabeth Perkins make a perfect Fred and Wilma.

Monday (4/10)     12:50   Film4     The Spy in Black (1939). The first collaboration between Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, about a German mission to attack Scapa Flow during WW1.  Set in the Orkneys, it stars Conrad Veidt (formerly Cesare in Cabinet of Dr Caligari) as a U-Boat commander and Valerie Hobson (John Profumo’s wife) as his contact. Marius Goring features as a submarine lieutenant. Dark and menacing, it portrays aspects of the war as only Powell and Pressburger could. In WW2 Veidt gave a lot of his personal fortune to the British war effort as he loathed the Nazi regime.

Thursday (7/10)    23:30   BBC4     Hitchcock’s Shower Scene: 78/52 (2017). Documentary by Alexander O. Philippe about the nightmare scene in Psycho (1960). The scene itself deserves to be called iconic in the way much nowadays does not and Philippe includes tributes from a wide range of actors and directors, though Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian only gave it three stars and suggested there are issues it fails to address, such as Hitchcock’s treatment of his female stars. The sequence consisted of 78 camera setups and 52 edits, hence the title.

Friday (8/10)         01:50   Film4     Patti Cake$ (2017). An aspiring white rapper in blue-collar New Jersey fights for glory. Danielle Macdonald, who plays supersize Patty, is Australian and had to learn both rap and the New Joisey accent which, apparently, does not include pronouncing ‘Jersey’ as ‘Joisey’. That was made up by New Yorkers.

Other modern films of interest

Saturday (2/10)     21:00     Channel 4    Rocketman (2019). Taron Egerton does well as Elton John, both in the acting and singing departments, but it’s hard to warm to a biopic with such a tangential approach to the truth. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, who also turned Taron into Cheltenham boy Michael ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Edwards in that rather more enjoyable, though no less fanciful, biographical essay of 2015.

                                 22:40     BBC4             United Skates (2018). Documentary about roller skating rinks, once a key part of black American culture, now in decline. With numerous music stars, too.

Sunday (3/10)        21:00     ITV2              Mean Girls (2004) Lindsay Lohan as a teen returning to the States and encountering the various social strata in high school. She is cast alongside Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried, who arguably went on to have more successful film careers than her. Now that really is mean.

                                 21:45     BBC2             If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). Barry Jenkins’s follow-up to the excellent Moonlight (2016). A pregnant woman fights for justice for a friend accused of rape. From a novel by James Baldwin (see next item).

                                 23:35     BBC2             I Am Not Your Negro (2016). The novelist James Baldwin started a book about three friends who were central figures in the black consciousness movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This film expands the 30-page manuscript, read by Samuel L. Jackson, incorporating lots of archive footage to build into an impressive cry of pain about American race relations.

Monday (4/10)      00:20     BBC1             Rosie (2018). Scripted by Roddy Doyle and directed by Paddy Breathnach, this film about homelessness received high praise for its depiction of a family being evicted from their rented home. The leading role was played by Sarah Greene (not the Blue Peter one).

Tuesday (5/10)       01:55    Film4             Hunger (2008). Directed by Steve McQueen, and winner of the 2008 Camera d’Or prize for first-time directors at Cannes. Michael Fassbender stars as the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. Built around a long moral debate between Sands and a priest, Father Domnic Lohan (played by Liam Cunningham). Widely praised for its power, thoughtfulness and humanity.


Saturday (2/10)    18:40   ITV4                         The Poseidon Adventure (1972) (also Sunday 16:15). Disaster movie which wasn’t a disaster at the box office, fetching $125m. The ship of the title capsizes. Nowadays, it would feature a lot of CGI but then they had a lot of stars, who could presumably swim, like Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters and Leslie Nielsen.

                                19:00   Talking Pictures     I Wake Up Screaming (1941) (also Wednesday 10:30). Film noir with Victor Mature and Betty Grable about a sports promoter suspected of the murder of a young actress, confronted by a corrupt cop.  Made by Tarzan director H. Bruce Humberstone, but this is more urban.

Tuesday (5/10)      23:35   Talking Pictures    The Hot Rock (1972) Caper movie wIth Peter Yates directing, William Goldman scripting and Robert Redford and George Segal starring, so what could possibly go wrong? Yates wanted to direct something other than the usual downbeat 1970s fare, and there was praise for the performances. 

Friday (8/10)          16:40   Great Movies        The Wrong Box (1966) Includes just about every British actor you can think of from the period – Caine, Cook, Moore, Sellers, Handl, Le Mesurier and Hancock – in a black comdy about a kind of Victorian lottery which only the longest lived will benefit from. Bodies, coffins and pianos are involved. Directed by Bryan Forbes.

2 thoughts on “Freeview films 2/10/21 to 8/10/21

  1. Really enjoying the heads-up on films to watch and the level of detail – thank you! First off was ‘The Truth’at the w/e so glad I didn’t miss this one…

    1. Thank you Clare. It is a very good film and a little underrated.

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