18 - 24 MARCH 2023
Oh well, I managed to lose my shirt on the Oscars this year – I suppose I will have to re-budget after the £3.00 loss. We are devoid of premieres this week, but you might care to give these a try . . . .
SOLDIER BLUE (1970) Saturday 18 March 9.00-11.10pm Legend (Ch 41)
For sure, this is a rare showing on Freeview primarily because – assuming it is an uncensored print – it retains both its 18 certificate and its ability to shock and appal us. An account of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre (and, indirectly, a tilt at Vietnam), I was too young to see it on initial release, but remember the vivid poster work and caption (“stained with the blood of the innocent”) to this day. If it isn’t your cup of tea, why not just catch the opening credits and Buffy Saint Marie’s evocative rendition of the title song? Also showing, at the same time, Friday the 24th.
THE SNORKEL (1958) Sunday 19 March 7.15-9.00pm TP (Channel 82)
Once upon a time, this clever thriller would have enjoyed a late night slot. Peter Van Eyck thinks he has committed the perfect murder; however, his stepdaughter grows suspicious. The coda is quite ingenious, too.
OFFICIAL SECRETS (2018) Tuesday 21 March 10.40pm-12.25am BBC 1
If you missed Keira Knightley in our most successful evening of recent seasons (audience reaction 96%), here is another opportunity to catch it!
RADIOACTIVE (2019) Wednesday 22 March 11.15pm-1.00am BBC 2
Rosamund Pike has become an actor of stature; one of those you are happy to watch because you can guarantee she will be good; two notable showcases of her talent would be Hostiles and our recent success A Private War (92%). In Radioactive she plays Marie Curie; a further point of interest for members is that the director, Marjane Satrapi, also gave us Persepolis.
11 - 17 MARCH 2023
It is Oscar time again! Whilst there has been a misfire or two during the last 95 years, usually I have felt that most of the awards were deserved, give or take. My biggest concern has been the recent decision to widen the Best Film category to make sure popular (formulaic) movies would be included. This year’s top awards should be going to All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin and Tár; not Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick or Avatar; the Way of the Water, but we’ll have to wait and see . . . .
MR JONES (2019) Sunday 12 March 10.00-11.50pm BBC 2 P
This premiere is most welcome – we were expecting to programme it for the 2020-2021 season that was cancelled due to Covid. Based on actual events, it tells the story of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who, when on assignment in Russia, uncovered the Politburo’s role in the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33.
THE ASPHYX (1972) Tuesday 14 March 11.05pm-12.50am Legend (Channel 41)
For a 10-year-period, 1965-1975, the British horror film industry was particularly strong: Hammer and Amicus were rivals, some of Britain’s best actors were signing up to compendium-style films and the likes of Pete Walker (House of Whipcord) were gaining notoriety for their product. The Asphyx was one of the more unusual and intriguing offerings in which a photographer attempts to catch a soul-snatcher at the moment of death.
THE LUSTY MEN (1952) Wednesday 15 March 1.55-4.10pm Five Action (Channel 33)
Not, perhaps, what you are thinking: Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause) directs a rodeo drama that Phil Hardy once called ‘one of the best contemporary Westerns ever’. Susan Hayward and Arthur Kennedy are fine, but it is Robert Mitchum – for my money, one of the most underrated actors in American cinema – who dominates proceedings.
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON (2019) Friday 17 March 11.40pm-1.10am BBC 1
If you enjoyed Here We Are (and most of you did), and you missed this equally modest enterprise on an earlier showing, do take a look. The story of a young man who ‘escapes’ from his residential home to search for his wrestling hero, it is quirky, affectionate and rather moving. Another plus is a very good performance from Shia LaBeouf as the man who befriends him.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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