This weekend we have the showpiece of our season – Beggars of Life (1928) accompanied by live music from Sonic Silents. I love silent cinema, but seeing a film on television has become a rare occurrence. (TP did show Buster Keaton’s Go West in November.) There are revivals: festivals are held in Italy and San Francisco, showings in Bristol, and the BFI has programmed Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris for later this month. Unfortunately, many people live away from these major population centres. I saw Chaplin’s film and others such as The Wind and The Crowd some twenty years ago because the BBC and Channel Four and this is what is lacking now. The brilliant TV series Hollywood (narrated by James Mason) hasn’t been transmitted for ages; I suspect because the rights to show most of the clips will have lapsed. Some of the episodes might be on YouTube still – as is a lot of the early cinema that survives, if you are willing to browse.
BEACHHEAD (1954) Saturday 2 December 5.30-7.15pm; Tues 5 Dec 2.20pm TP (Ch 82)
Tony Curtis films are televised often; I must have seen approximately forty-five of them – but not this one. It doesn’t come with a great reputation (it would be another couple of years before he would be taken seriously as an actor), but there is a good supporting cast and Hawaiian locations. Mr Curtis plays a US marine operating behind enemy lines.
THE FATHER (2020) Saturday 2 December 9.25-11.25pm Channel 4 P
Was it only last week when I commented that films we have shown do arrive eventually on Freeview? Well, here is our opener from last season – with a tour-de-force performance from Anthony Hopkins as an elderly man suffering from dementia. It is gratifying to see that the Radio Times has given it a 5-star rating (as did 43 members!).
BAGDAD CAFE (1987) Sunday 3 December 10.35pm-12.45am TP (Ch 82)
Bagdad Cafe was very popular on the art house/film society circuits as we were preparing our first season. It’s a whimsical drama about a German tourist who, stranded in the middle of nowhere, makes herself at home in a roadside diner amongst the flotsam and jetsam that frequent it.
THE KILLER IS LOOSE (1956) Monday 4 December 8.30-10.00pm TP (Ch 82)
Budd Boetticher’s considerable reputation as a cult director rests mostly on the series of westerns he made with Randolph Scott in the 1950s. The Killer is Loose is a much rarer offering, so catch it if you can. Joseph Cotten is top billed, but the acting honours go to Wendell Corey as an ex-clerk who escapes from prison looking for revenge.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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