As the World Cup enters its second week, and we seek to avoid the obvious alternatives (Dr Zhivago or The King’s Speech), here are three options that offer something different.
MOGUL MOWGLI (2020) Sunday 27 November 10.15-11.40pm BBC 2 P
One of our most exciting new talents, Riz Ahmed, plays an energetic MC who is diagnosed with a degenerative disease. His bewilderment and anger might be a little fierce for some, but surely we need to give fresh talent its head?
IN COLD BLOOD (1967) Wednesday 30 November 9.00-11.45pm Talking Pictures (Ch 82)
A striking (in b/w) and celebrated adaptation of Truman Capote’s book – a true-life account of two young robbers who killed an entire family. Robert Blake is light years away from his role of Little Beaver in the Red Ryder westerns of the 1940s and Richard Brooks again shows what an underrated director he is. All in all, this is one of the most accomplished films of the 1960s.
NEXT OF KIN (1982) Friday 2 December 9.05-10.55pm Talking Pictures (Ch 82)
Rarer than a rarity is this horror offering from TP’s Cellar Club. Filmed in New Zealand and New South Wales, on a modest budget, there can’t be too many films that are set in a haunted retirement home. There are some genuinely scary moments, if it has survived its transition to Freeview intact!
Well, the World Cup is upon us with controversy as to its location firmly attached. There are likely to be fewer films of interest for a week or two, but we’ll find something!
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Sunday 20 November 9.00-11.05pmm Sky Arts (Ch 11)
Many film enthusiasts regard this as the best film noir ever made. It has a femme fatale (of course), a ‘perfect’ murder (plus patsy) and an insurance scam. Billy Wilder directs Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson and it really is one of the greats.
SURGE (2020) Sunday 20 November 10.00-11.35pm BBC 2 P
This week’s new British thriller is not quite up to some of the other premieres in the current season, but is of interest, nevertheless. Ben Whishaw plays a security guard who goes off the rails and embarks upon a crime spree.
LES MISERABLES (2019) Wednesday 23 November 11.55pm-2.00am Film Four
Absolutely NOT what you might expect from the title! This is a tremendous debut feature from Ladj Ly, who uses his personal experiences of growing up on a Parisian housing estate to telling effect. It is all there: the racism, poverty and hard-line policing and it is riveting. A shame that it is on at such a late hour, so if you are unable to record look out for a future repeat!
For those members who have Netflix, the latest version of All Quiet on the Western Front looks impressive; it is Germany’s entry for the 2023 Academy Awards.
A DEMON FOR TROUBLE (1934) Saturday 12 November 6.00-7.15am TP (Channel 82)
Old time cinemagoers swore that Bob Steele was the best B-western star of them all. Whilst he lacked physical stature, he was a good rider, good actor (later on in character parts), athletic and very comfortable with stunts and fight scenes. Several of his westerns offered something different, quirky even, and, even though this one is typically very low-budget, it is above average. Unusually, it also gives us a Mexican sidekick who is engaging and humorous rather than an out-and-out villain.
HERE BEFORE (2021) Sunday 13 November 10.30-11.50pm BBC 2 P
A decent thriller in which Andrea Riseborough (whom you might remember from the update of Brighton Rock about 10 years ago) is the grieving mother who becomes obsessed with her new neighbour’s young daughter.
THE LAST HUNT (1956) Thursday 17 November 11.50am-2.00pm Channel 33
Not televised much in recent years, this is one of my favourite Robert Taylor films. Cast in direct contrast to his usual MGM roles, he is very good as a ruthless buffalo hunter. Stewart Granger makes an able foil, Debra Paget is also along for the ride and director Richard Brooks makes excellent use of some splendid outdoor locations.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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