It should not surprise us that films from our questionnaires, as in the first listed, continue to be premiered. The old five-year release window has dropped (usually) to two or three.
QUEEN & SLIM (2020) Sunday 2 October 10.45pm-12.50am BBC 2 P
I think members would have enjoyed this well-paced drama, had it made the final list. Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith are lovers-on-the run after an encounter with a racist white cop. There is a second showing Wednesday, 10pm on BBC 3.
THE SWORDSMAN (2020) Thursday 6 October 11.40pm-1.45am Film 4 P
Part of Film 4’s Korean season, The Swordsman riffs on the legendary Japanese Zatôichi films (the main series, centring on a blind avenger, ran from 1962 to 1989). It isn’t quite the same quality of drama (although the fight scenes are very good); you might like to give it a look-see, though.
WAVES (2019) Friday 7 October 9.00-11.10pm BBC 3 P
This tells the story of a black teenager who has to re-assess his future after an injury. It is a tough hitter (literally, as his character is a promising wrestler), and not one that we considered, so perhaps now is a good time
This is another good week for films that are new to network TV.
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (2019) Sunday 25 September 10.00-11.55pm BBC 2 P
Achieving a happy balance between reality and one’s right to dream, this was an impressive debut from director Joe Talbot
RAMS (2020) Tuesday 27 September 9.00-11.20pm Film 4 P
Well I never – an Australian (!) remake of the 2015 Icelandic comedy that members rated at 72.72%. A Sam Neill performance is always worth catching.
HARRIET (2019) Wednesday 28 September 10.40pm-1.20am BBC 1 P
Another film, worthy of consideration, that didn’t quite make one of our final programmes. Cynthia Erivo is very good as Harriet Tubman who, having escaped slavery herself, then helped others to do the same.
HOUSE OF THE GORGON (2019) Friday 30 September 10.40pm-12.20am TP (Ch 82) P
Alas, we must not expect it to be a good film, but the idea intrigues – evil is at work and three Hammer leading ladies (Veronica Carlson, Caroline Munro and Martine Beswick) are on hand to witness it. The sort of retrospective casting that Burt Kennedy used in Once Upon a Texas Train and which can be pleasurable and nostalgic at the same time.
If you are ready for some light relief, there is an excellent comedy double bill this week!
THE PRODUCERS (1968) Thursday 23 September 9.00-10.30pm BBC 4
BLAZING SADDLES (1974) Thursday 23 September 10.30-12 midnight BBC 4
BBC 4 has two splendid comedies from Mel Brooks this evening – one featuring a scam that involves setting up a musical based on the life of Hitler; the other is a parody of just about every Western cliché in any given script! In the latter, Cleavon Little is the black sheriff (“you’d do it for Randolph Scott!”) and Gene Wilder the gunfighter. Brooks asked John Wayne to join the project – he declined to do so, but wished the director well.
NEVER TAKE CANDY FROM A STRANGER (1960) Friday 23 September 9.05-10.50pm TP (Ch 82)
I am expecting this to be an American release print courtesy of Columbia studios as Sweets was in the original Hammer title. Again, it is another example of a film that, like Maniac recently, doesn’t appear too often on network TV. This is a pity because it is a serious, well-made drama that was endorsed by the then director of the NSPCC.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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