John Irvin – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979)

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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

Julien Temple – Never Mind the Baubles Xmas ’77 With The Sex Pistols (2013)

The Sex Pistols’ last UK gig – a benefit for the children of striking firefighters at Ivanhoe’s nightclub in Huddersfield on Christmas Day 1977 – remains their most implausible.

“It’s footage I filmed on a big old crappy U-matic low-band camera,” explains director Julien Temple, who dodged flying cake and pogoing punks to record the two performances (an afternoon children’s matinee and an adult evening show) from 25 December 1977. “But it’s right in their face. I’m right up there with them. It’s probably the best footage of the Pistols on film but it’s never been seen.”

This aired on the BBC on Boxing Day 2013 – more at the guardian. Done in the Temple style, with lots of wacky old footage from the 70’s. Continue reading

Dominik Graf – Die reichen Leichen. Ein Starnbergkrimi (2014)

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German plot description:

Quote:
Polizeimeisteranwärterin Ariane Fink aus Dortmund verschlägt es ausgerechnet nach Starnberg: gesichtsloses Städtchen, Wahnsinnssee. Höchste Millionärsdichte Bayerns. Eine Idylle mit Reißzähnen.

Und eben hier wird Ariane gleich an ihrem ersten Arbeitstag mit dem bayerischsten aller Klischees konfrontiert: Der tote Kini, oder besser gesagt, ein Wiedergänger von ihm, liegt am Ufer des Starnberger Sees, und zwar genau da, wo Ludwig II. 1886 ins Wasser ging. Continue reading

History Channel – Sex in ’69: The Sexual Revolution in America (2009)

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Travel back to 1969 and uncover fascinating trends, people and events that forever changed the way Americans think about and have sex. Viewers will travel from the Playboy Penthouse in Los Angeles to San Francisco’s Hippie crash pads, the boardwalk in Atlantic City, a court room in Miami, and other spots across America to meet some of the women and men who found themselves caught between old values and new desires in 1969, and decided to do something about it. Some of them, like Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner, actor Jim Brown, and Ray Manzarek of The Doors, will be famous. Others will be average Americans whose lives were transformed by the sexual tides coursing through the nation as the Sixties came to a close. But they will all have one thing in common—they will all have fascinating stories to tell. Continue reading

Nicolas Wackerbarth – Unten Mitte Kinn (2011)

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UNTEN MITTE KINN (the title can be literally translated as ‘Bottom Middle Chin’) is about a group of drama school students shortly before their graduation. They struggle with their teacher Borchardt – played by actor and stage director Fritz Schediwy (1943–2011) – and so they hire actress Corinna Trampe (Ursula Werner) to help them finish their stage production of Maxim Gorki’s Nachtasyl (The Lower Depths / На дне, literally: ‘At the bottom’).
Continue reading