Complete 7-part, 290-minute BBC miniseries plus BBC interview – John Le Carre – The Secret Centre
Complex but compelling, this miniseries is based upon one of John Le Carré’s greatest works and serves as a grand summing-up for the late Sir Alec Guinness, one of Britain’s greatest actors. Guinness literally is Smiley: Le Carré said that Guinness served as a template for the character’s cunning and mournful rectitude. In anyone else’s hands, Smiley might have seemed a blank and lifeless character, but Guinness’ matchless ability to play within a scene while seeming to think well beyond it is magnetic. Guinness was the great everyman and underplayer of the generation that gave us such great British Shakespearean actors as Olivier, Richardson, and Gielgud. He’s helped, too, by sharp dialogue lifted almost word-for-word from the book and terrific supporting performances (particularly an entirely silent but amazingly communicative Patrick Stewart, who has a cameo as Karla), which almost entirely obscure the fact that the miniseries largely consists of people sitting in rooms talking. It’s a literate treat that brings to life the gray morality and conflicting loyalties of the Cold War. Be advised: viewers can get lost in the intricate plot if they don’t pay close attention.
— Nick Sambides, Jr. Continue reading
Made entirely of Scottish film archive, a journey into our collective past, the film explores universal themes of love, loss, resistance, migration, work and play. Ordinary people, some long since dead, their names and identities largely forgotten, appear shimmering from the depth of the vaults to take a starring role.
Brilliantly edited together, these silent individuals become composite characters, who emerge to tell us their stories, given voice by King Creosote’s poetic music and lyrics. Continue reading
bbc’s website wrote:
Back in 1960 Ken Russell made a remarkable film about mining in Northumberland called The Bedlington Miners’ Picnic.
Forty five years on, Russell is back in the North East revisiting the people and places featured in the film.
It’s a poignant story of survival, loss and community spirit.
South East Northumberland was once one of Britain’s richest coalfields, producing tons of coal for industry and homes.
Today the coal mining industry is virtually extinct in the North East of England with no deep pits left in production.
Inside Out follows film director Ken Russell as he revisits the area where he shot one of his first documentary films in 1960.
Begins a week of LATE SHOW’s looking at the future. This programme argues that the 21st century is going to be just like the 14th. For example Alan Minc has argued that there will be no political order at all and areas of countries will be outside state control, run by crime syndicates the modern equivalents of medieval robber barons.
Pure dystopic/apocalyptic 90s mentality. Chaos, drugs, AIDS, Ebola, unifying theories in physics, internet, computer graphics, PC games, early GUIs etc etc and parallels drawn between the world to come and middle ages. Continue reading
Pithy half-hour documentary concerning New German Cinema (when it was on fire), focusing on and featuring interviews with “the big five”: Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff & Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
Most notable being the rare interview with a young Herzog, and behind-the-scenes footage of him at work.
Horizon: Eat, Fast and Live Longer
Michael Mosley has set himself a truly ambitious goal: he wants to live longer, stay younger and lose weight in the bargain. And he wants to make as few changes to his life as possible along the way. He discovers the powerful new science behind the ancient idea of fasting, and he thinks he’s found a way of doing it that still allows him to enjoy his food. Michael tests out the science of fasting on himself – with life-changing results.
Making its debut with Romeo and Juliet on 3 December 1978, and concluding nearly seven years later with Titus Andronicus on 27 April 1985, the BBC Television Shakespeare project was the single most ambitious attempt at bringing the Bard of Avon to the small screen, both at the time and to date.
Producer Cedric Messina was already an experienced producer of one-off television Shakespeare presentations, and was thus ideally qualified to present the BBC with a daunting but nonetheless enticingly simple proposition: a series of adaptations, staged specifically for television, of all 36 First Folio plays, plus Pericles (The Two Noble Kinsmen was considered primarily John Fletcher’s work, and the legitimacy of Edward III was still being debated).
The scale of Messina’s proposal, far greater than that of previous multi-part Shakespeare series such as An Age of Kings (BBC, 1960) and Spread of the Eagle (BBC, 1963), required an American partner in order to guarantee access to the US market, deemed essential for the series to recoup its costs. Time-Life Television agreed to participate, but under certain controversial conditions – that the productions be traditional interpretations of the plays in appropriately Shakespearean period costumes and sets, designed to fit a two-and-a-half-hour time slot. Continue reading