Coincidences never cease to fascinate me. After mentioning, last week, Mr Spielberg’s concerns about studios chasing the brass ring comes the revelation that Barbie has already passed the $1billion mark. Congratulations to WB are in order, I guess, and they needn’t be too concerned that the film is likely to be banned in Kuwait and Lebanon. And we can look forward to Barbie 2 in another year or so. One line of dialogue in The Lone Ranger (1956) stood out for the first time. Lyle Bettger, after giving his young daughter a riding lesson, says to his men “you raise them like boys, they’ll be boys”. Quite what 1950s America made of it isn’t on the record, but it is probably the same as in 2023. Some good news to finish - I Claudius, often cited as one of the best series of the 1970s, begins a repeat run Wednesday evening.
AMMONITE (2020) Sunday 13 August 10.00-11.50pm BBC 2 P
Perhaps the film we have all been waiting for? Kate Winslet is Mary Anning, and you might have seen some of the location shooting in Lyme. I must confess to not being a huge fan of the film; primarily because the director, Francis Lee, imposes a modern slant on it which is difficult to accept. It is still essential viewing, though!
THE PIANO (1993) Monday 14 August 11.15pm-1.10am BBC 2
I was about to begin by referring to The Piano as a modern classic; then I realised it is now 30 years since it came to the Regent! Its all-round brilliance (script, performances, Jane Campion’s direction and Michael Nyman’s score), still takes the breath away. I wonder, though, were the idea to be pitched in 2023 would it get the green light?
THE DRIVER (1978) Tuesday 15 August 9.00-10.55pm Legend (Channel 41)
Remember Ryan O’Neal? He had a good ten years of making interesting films after leaving Peyton Place. He is very good in this cool French chic-style thriller as a getaway driver trying to outwit his nemesis, police detective Bruce Dern. Walter Hill’s speciality has always been action (and western) dramas with eclectic casting and it pays off here. It was an unusual, well-regarded film even on initial release; when I saw it, the obscure support feature was Guns Across the Veldt. Now, that film re-emerging would be a huge surprise!
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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