It’s that time of year again – the Wimbledon tennis championships start on Monday. This could mean that the weather will break finally, in which case you might welcome a film or two (even if you have to record them). Then again, what is a film? Movies for television have been made since the mid-1960s (American of course), but how about something like Endeavour? Whilst they are presented within a series format, each episode stands alone and the budget, running time, and style are cinema standard. I recall, too, that the series pilot for Columbo (Ransom for A Dead Man) was given a UK cinema release in the early 1970s. For sure, I log the Swedish ‘series’ Beck as films – and a run of four new ones starts Saturday evening. Give me some Scandi-noir and I am very happy!
UNDERWORLD USA (1961) Saturday 1 July 9.30-11.25pm TP (Channel 82)
Tonight’s TP debut helped greatly to establish Cliff Robertson as an actor to watch and he maintained his trajectory for about a dozen years. Here, he’s seeking revenge on the gangsters who murdered his father (a very common plot device in 1930s B-westerns). Sam Fuller, much loved by French critics, was a cult director par excellence; his war films and thrillers always packed one hell of a punch.
PLAYGROUND (2021) Tuesday 4 July 2.20-3.50am Film Four P
Time for another confession: occasionally, I am reminded of a film that we should have booked, but we decided it would have unbalanced the season (or something). This unassuming Belgian drama, mostly viewed through the eyes of a 7-year-old girl who realises her older brother is being bullied, is a cracker!
SPRINGSTEEN AND I (2013) Friday 7 July 1.00-2.30am Sky Arts (Channel 11)
The Boss hasn’t played as many UK dates as usual on his current tour, but the Hyde Park gigs are this weekend; hence Sky Arts giving this fascinating documentary another outing. Its cleverness lies in letting fans discuss their love for the man and his music and this reflects the uncanny one-to-one bond he establishes with each fan or member of an audience. You don’t have to be a fan to find it rewarding viewing but, speaking for myself, it is ’48 years burnin’ down the road’ and thank you, Bruce!
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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