Within 48 hours of the Bafta ceremony, the organisers found themselves in hot water: for not including Bernard Cribbins in the In Memoriam segment and because all the eventual winners were white, despite a strong ethnic mix in the nominations. All Quiet on the Western Front was the big winner and it will be interesting to see if this is duplicated at the Oscars.
THE MACALUSO SISTERS (2020) Saturday 25 February 9.00-10.25pm BBC 4 P
Moving Italian drama in which five young sisters, who still live together, have to deal with an unexpected, and tragic, accident.
THE GAMMA PEOPLE (1956) Monday 27 February 9.00-10.35pm TP (Channel 82)
This week’s rarity is a very strange British film indeed – the only other one I can recall that comes close is 1935’s Once in a New Moon. A fable of sorts, the essential part of the plot has children bombarded with gamma rays as part of a secretive nation’s scheme to control the population. It was made by Warwick Film Productions a company that Cubby Broccoli had set up with Irving Allen.
SEX ON SCREEN (2022) Tuesday 28 February 10.00-11.25pm BBC 4 P
A worthwhile Storyville documentary if (like me) you are interested in the mechanics of film-making as much as the end product. It takes a serious, and concerned, look at how sex scenes are filmed and how they have impacted upon the actors.
THE DEVIL COMMANDS (1941) Friday 3 March 11.00pm-12.20am TP (Channel 82)
Ha – for me, this is a true blast from the past – one of my first ‘late night with Boris Karloff’ when I was a teenager. The legend was under contract to Columbia at the time and, whilst low-budget (of course), The Devil Commands was one of a batch of six films (now on a splendid Blu-ray release from Eureka) that tried hard to be atmospheric and a little different. Here, he is a scientist trying to communicate with the dead – and we just know it will not end well! Despite a future blacklisting, Edward Dmytryk became a director of some note.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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