World Cinema

Sunday (9/1)         00:10   BBC2    After the Storm (2016). Tremendous Hirokazu Koreeda family drama in which a dodgy private detective (Hiroshi Abe) tries to reconnect with his family after the death of his father. Weather plays a part. Subtle and moving. Koreeda is a master. Japanese with English subtitles.

Monday (10/01)    01:10   Film4   Alpha: The Right to Kill (2018). After a raid, a bent copper and a gangster in Manila find themselves on the run with a bag of a druglord’s money and metamphetamine. Documentary-style thriller from Brilliant Mendoza. Not well liked by IMDB contributors. In Filipino and Tagalog with English subtitles.

Stephen Ilott’s Picks

Saturday (8/1)          15:15    Channel 5             Cast Away (2000). Tom Hanks once again teams up with Robert Zemeckis for an engrossing and heartfelt tale with stunning scenery and an utterly believable and physical performance from Hanks, as a driven courier-company executive. After his plane crashes and he is washed up on a deserted island, this becomes almost a one-man show. Perhaps no other actor could pull it off with such apparent effortlessness. Costarring ‘difficult’ Helen Hunt and a baseball called Wilson, which probably gets more screen time.

                                   16:25   BBC2                      Viva Las Vegas (1964). Elvis is a racing car driver with musical ambitions who gets stranded in Las Vegas and sets his heart (or some other part of his anatomy) on swimming instructor Ann-Margret, who, unusually for one of his co-stars, is as sexy as he is. Good fun.

Sunday (9/1)             22:00   BBC2                      The Sisters Brothers (2018)  (also Thursday 22:25 BBC4). Two brothers travel the wild west in search of riches whilst finding the truth of their complicated relationship. It may be less memorable than it should be, but this modern Western boasts Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly in wonderfully irreverent form as the titular duo. Jake Gyllenhall supports. A departure for French director Jacques Audiard, who made the remarkable Rust and Bone (2012) and Dheepan (2015).

Wednesday (12/1)   03:05   Talking Pictures   The Southerner (1945). Probably the best of the three features the French giant Jean Renoir made while in exile in Hollywood. A Texas cotton-picker (Zachary Scott) aspires to run his own farm with his family, but runs into all sorts of trouble.

Thursday (13/1)        00:55   Talking Pictures   That’ll Be the Day (1973). David Essex, then a teen idol on the basis of one rather singular hit record (‘Rock On‘), plays an aspiring pop star, very loosely based on John Lennon. Written by Ray Connolly, a 60s pop journalist who subsequently reformed. Co-starring Ringo Starr, Rosemary Leach and all sorts of other Sixties luminaries.

Friday (14/1)             23:05    ITV                         The Bourne Supremacy (2004). The second instalment of the original Bourne trilogy and the first directed by former documentary-maker Paul Greengrass in his trademark handheld, ultra-real style. Some would say a Bond for grown-ups, Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne continues his globetrotting voyage of discovery into his past. 

Other modern films of interest 

Saturday (8/1)          11:00   Channel 4     The Adventures of Tintin (2011). Stephen Spielberg’s motion-capture animated version of HergĂ©’s comic books. Big, noisy, brash and obvious. Not for the first time, Spielberg rather missed the point. Some people like it, however. With a top-notch British voice cast: Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Toby Jones and Andy Serkis.

Wednesday (12/1)   03:15   Sky Arts         White Riot (2019). Rubika Shah’s documentary about the rise of the National Front in the late 1970s and the Rock Against Racism movement that developed in response is stylish, energetic and provocative. As someone who was there, though, it doesn’t equate with my memories, and underplays the grisly sectarianism that undermined the anti-racism movement. The director was born in 1981.

                                   23:05   Film4             Sexy Beast (2000). Jonathan Glazer’s Costa del Sol gangster flick. Ray Winstone, in what he acknowledges was a departure for him, plays Gal, a reformed ex-con now living in Spain with his wife Dede (Amanda Redman) and two friends Jackie (Julianne White) and Aitch (Cavan Kendall). Gal enjoys the life and has no intention of returning to crime until he is visited by Don Logan, a fearsome sociopath and former colleague played by Ben Kingsley, on a mission to recruit Gal for one last heist, for old times’ sake.  Don’s visit to the villa is something to behold, laced with furious sub-Shakespearean ranting, and Kingsley’s performance is masterly.  It’s fair to say he is not impressed with what Gal has become, referring to him as ‘a leather man’.  For reasons that become clear, Gal has to ‘do the job’, which involves returning to Blighty (‘a shit hole’ as he puts it), and be reunited with former boss Teddy Bass (Ian MacShane) and Stan (Darkie Smith) as well as a pack of what appear to be cackling wolves. The contrast between them and Gal could not be clearer. James Fox plays Harry, an oily banker whom Bass meets at an orgy: this film really has everything. If you think this all sounds a bit grim, fear not. While the seediness is evident in the UK, there is a strong seam of humour, with lots of good one-liners, and life on the sun-dazzled Costa does look appealing in comparison. Winstone is sensitive as a devoted husband to Dede and all the other parts are well-played, even if Kingsley’s demonic twisted presence overshadows them a little. Glazer brilliantly renders the script by Louis Mellis and David Scinto. Jeremy Thomas produced. Given Glazer’s limited feature film output (only Birth and Under the Skin since this), we could definitely do with more.

Friday (14/1)             02:00   Sky Arts         Days of Rage: the Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont (2020). The story of the concert at which a young black man was stabbed to death by Hell’s Angels, hired for ‘security’, while the Stones were performing just a few feet in front of him. Shocking footage and rueful reminiscences. As the sage Neil Young once said, ‘I’m no preacher, but drugs killed a lot of good men.’

                                   21:00   Sky Arts         Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll (2016). American documentary, from a series, about the great New Orleans pianist and singer. A much misunderstood era in music and soclal history, and well worth revisiting.

                                   21:00   BBC4              The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane (2012). Self-congratulatory walk through the Strolling Bones’ history, commissioned to mark their 50th year together. Murderers get a shorter sentence.

                                   22:50   BBC4              The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (2016). More Stones, this time rehearsing ‘stripped-down’ versions of their old tunes so they could go out and make yet more money.


Saturday (8/1)     14:00    BBC2   How the West Was Won (1962)  (also BBC4 20:00 Thursday). Sprawling Western epic with three directors (John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall) and a gigantic cast, including Stewart, Wayne, Peck and Fonda. Originally made for Cinerama, which was effectively three screens glued together horizontally. You can see the joins in this television version, but it doesn’t really matter.

Sunday (9/1)        14:45    Film4   WarGames (1983)  (also Thursday 18:45). Matthew Broderick is a teenager who finds a way into a military computer system and nearly starts World War III by mistake. Ally Sheedy is his girlfriend. The technology looks hilariously outdated, but nothing has really changed. Nowadays the war simulations are being played by algorithms and bots, rather than people. Spending hours most days coping with inept programming and corrupt data, that does not fill me with confidence.                               

Monday (10/1)    14:30    Film4   Lonely Are the Brave (1962)  (also Friday 11:00). Kirk Douglas Western, with Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau. Douglas gave the writing job to his mate Dalton Trumbo, whom he had supported while the screenwriter was blacklisted. Highly rated now, but not so much at the time. From Wikipedia: ‘In his memoir Conversations with Kennedy, Ben Bradlee wrote, “Jackie read off the list of what was available, and the President selected the one [film] we had all unanimously voted against, a brutal, sadistic little Western called Lonely Are the Brave.”‘

                              23:05    Film4   Topsy-Turvy (1999). Mike Leigh’s Gilbert and Sullivan biographical music-drama. Delightful. Let’s hope it actually gets shown this time.

Friday (14/1)        21:00   5 Star   The Hunt For Red October (1990). It may not have aged as well as its star did, but this is a gripping political action thriller with an established cast. Sean Connery plays enigmatic Captain Ramius, at the helm of a high tech Russian stealth submarine and planning to defect to the West, with subtle echoes of the mad conquistador Don Lope de Aguirre and Coppola’s Col. Kurtz. Alec Baldwin, Sam Neill and Scott Glenn support. 

2 thoughts on “Freeview films 8/1/22 to 14/1/22

  1. Thank you so much for your listings. They are highly valued.

    1. Thank you for your support Michele. We hope you continue to enjoy them. If you have any film news or thoughts you’d like to contribute, the stage is yours.

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