United Kingdom

Gillian Wearing – Arena: Everything is Connected – George Eliot’s Life (2019)


Gillian Wearing’s Arena documentary Everything is Connected (BBC Four) is a quietly innovative biography of an author whose works still resonate with their readers and the country within which she wrote. Wearing and George Eliot are a sympathetic match, both playing with a multiplicity of voices, delighting in the layman’s opinion as well as that of the expert. We see Eliot’s intellectuals, but also the modern version of her farmers, priests, and wayward sons. Wearing puts her words in their mouths, allowing them at times to slip into one another, blurring the boundaries between the speakers, their subjects, and their surroundings. Read More »

Paul McGuigan – Searching for Sam: Adrian Dunbar on Samuel Beckett (2019)

“If the work Adrian Dunbar is best known for – the police drama Line of Duty – left us with the tantalising riddle about the identity of the master criminal H, his new documentary tries to unmask an even more evasive man: Samuel Beckett. In Searching for Sam: Adrian Dunbar on Samuel Beckett (BBC Four), the actor we know and love as Superintendent Ted Hastings follows the reportedly too-small-shoe’d footsteps of his great hero. Read More »

John Boulting – Lucky Jim (1957)

Plot
Jim Dixon (Ian Carmichael) feels anything but lucky. At the university he has to do the bidding of absent-minded and boring Professor Welch (Hugh Griffith) to have any hope of keeping his job. Worse, he has managed to get entangled with boring and neurotic Margaret Peel, a fellow teacher. All-in-all, the pub is the only friendly place to be. His misery is completed at a dreadful weekend gathering of the Welch clan by the arrival of son Bertrand (Terry-Thomas). Betrand is loud-mouthed and boorish, but has as companion the delightful Christine Callaghan, the sort of marvellous and unattainable woman Jim can only dream about. Read More »

Gerry O’Hara – The Spy’s Wife (1972)

An enjoyably whimsical short with British sex farce overtones, directed by Gerry O’Hara and starring Tom Bell, who plays a British spy (named, perhaps a little unimaginatively, Tom) who nips off on a mission to Prague, leaving his wife Hilda (Dorothy Tutin) to carry on her secret affair with his Czech counterpart (the inimitable Vladek Sheybal). Their tryst is repeatedly disrupted, however, first by Tom’s parting suggestion that their flat is bugged, then by a pair of unexpected visitors, but unbeknown to her, Tom has his own mysterious rendezvous to keep. Insubstantial perhaps, but well made and rather fun, particularly in its refusal to reveal the full extent of just what’s going on until the final scene. Read More »

Joseph Losey – The Damned AKA These Are The Damned (1962)

Quote:
An American tourist, a youth gang leader, and his troubled sister find themselves trapped in a top secret government facility experimenting on children. Read More »

Val Guest – The Quatermass Xperiment AKA The Creeping Unknown (1955)

Synopsis:
In the countryside of London, a rocket crashes on a farm and Professor Bernard Quatermass and Scotland Yard Inspector Lomax arrive in the spot. The rocket was launched by Prof. Quatermass with the astronauts Victor Carroon, Greene and Reichebheim; however only Carroon is found very sick in the cabin. He is transported to a private clinic to stay under observation despite the protests of his wife Mrs. Judith Carroon. She bribes a nurse to bring Carroon to her and she finds that he is transforming into a monster. Carroon escapes, killing people and animals during his metamorphosis while the Scotland Yard is hunting him down and Dr. Quatermass discovers that his process is an alien invasion. Read More »

Michael Anderson – Operation Crossbow (1965)

Synopsis:
London officials learn of a plan by Nazis to create new, more destructive missiles during World War II. Working quickly to stop the potentially catastrophic movement, the prime minister calls for an immediate investigation. Three experts (George Peppard, Jeremy Kemp, Tom Courtenay) are instructed to enter Germany and inspect a plant that is believed to hold the explosives. The men pose as German soldiers in a mission that may save England, but not without consequences. Read More »