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November/ December TV thread

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 Offwidth 10 Nov 2020

There is some interesting stuff on BBC 4 at the moment.

Berlin 1945 is a collage of diary entries, and contemporary film footage charting the last months of the capital of the 3rd Reich.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000p9t9/berlin-1945-series-1-episode-1

The next is a 'marmite' view on modern mythologies from an art historian. I wasn't always convinced but it certainly raised a reaction.

https://thebmc.co.uk/modules/article.aspx?id=9067

Plus a new Scandinavian noir series starts soon:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pqtq

Finally is anyone else watching Brave New World on Sky? It's has had a lot of production effort but even as a Sci Fi fan I find it really disappointing and shallow, and at times a bit creepy. Is it just me seeing a subtext of English links to the controlled society versus the hero barbarian Americans trying to hold onto freedoms. So many opportunities missed  in modernising a fabulous novel.

Post edited at 17:56
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 Tom V 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

There is a current Scandi drama ln the Saturday slot called DNA which is proving to be quite good.

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In reply to Offwidth:

Is the BMC Sandstone link correct for modern mythologies?

Post edited at 19:39
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 Darron 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

One of the GBBO contestants is a climber ( on C4 now!). 😊

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 Offwidth 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Just catching up on that. Episode 1 felt like it had been edited in a rather clumsy way but it improved from episode 2. Charlotte Rampling as a french cop is a big bonus.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000p9t9/berlin-1945-series-1-episode-1

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 Offwidth 11 Nov 2020
In reply to oldie:

Maybe that's a Freudian link, given the mythologies of that delicate venue. The correct link is here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000p9t7/21stcentury-mythologies-with-richard-clay

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 waitout 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Rewatched After Hitler, which may fit with your Berlin 1945.

Pretty full on stuff, not for kids but I watched it with my mine and tried to answer the inevitable questions. The footage of children lost amongst entire countries in ruin are as harrowing as the stuff of the camps and retribution. Some stuff you don't hear much about, that only complicates things further.

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 Tom V 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

About to start on S2 of Undercover on Netflix, a superb Belgian cop drama.

The bad guy in S1 was called Ferry, a trailer park gangster who entirely made the show. In S2 he's behind bars but I get the impression he will be able steal the screen for a bit yet.

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 Offwidth 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Finished DNA and sadly due to faults in the first episode I had pretty much guessed the ending. It was interesting but I'd seriously recommend anyone watching it now on I Player to skip episode one and watch it after the end.

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 Sean Kelly 16 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Agreed the Berlin program is very watchable if strong viewing at times. Now off to re-watch the final series of The Bridge.

Post edited at 11:17
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In reply to Offwidth:

Mangrove (BBC iplayer): 9/10.

I haven't seen any reference to this yet, unless it came up in the film thread and I've missed it. It's an epic courtroom drama from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) which tells the story of the racist prosecution of the Mangrove Nine, for peacefully protesting about repeated raids on a West-Indian cafe in Notting Hill in the late 1960s. It forms part of McQueen's Small Axe anthology of films which will look at different aspects and periods of the Black British experience and it's a magisterial opening to the series. It's as character-driven as it is issue-driven and both strands create real momentum and tension throughout its feature film running time. There are some fine cinematic flourishes, used sparingly but tellingly throughout: a colander rolls to and fro on the floor after a raid; light casts a corona around Frank Crichlow (the cafe owner) as he finally loses self-control, viewed through an observation slit in the door of the cell he has just been manhandled into below the  court; smoke drifts from an abandoned cigarette as the accused leave to receive the jury's verdict. I reckon there's a few nods to Eisenstein in there. Darcus Howe's very moving final address to the jury, with its refrain of "It's closing time" has enormous accumulated emotional power. If like me you found The Trail of the Chicago 7 rather lacklustre, check this out and prepare to be dazzled.

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 Sean Kelly 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Just a quick heads up for '71 tonight  at 11 on Film4. Very rated drama.

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 waitout 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Swedish Dicks. Not brilliant but watchable and the takes on being a Swede overseas quite funny. I'd like to hear a Scandinavian's thoughts on it.

A problem I'm finding now is a homogeneity across a lot of Made for Netflix stuff, it's all get a bit same-same and genre-ish. What felt fresh a while back now feels like a reality tunnel, and I don't even watch that much. 

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 THE.WALRUS 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Thanks for this - I'm completely out of stuff to watch, and Berlin 1945 is right up my street.

Second vote for '71. Its excellent...although the director couldn't help but paint 'the Brits' as baddies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-BaKfl1Ms4&

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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

I'm sure I recommended '71 before on one of the film threads. I didn't watch it again as my old V box has some hard drive issues and I'm watching older recorded stuff before I instal a new box and lose that content.  I don't remember that 71 was particularly biased, it was important to illustrate real problems existed on both sides.

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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Watched it and I'm recording the whole series. Mangrove is an excellent but very disturbing film. I'd highly recommend it, especially for those ignorant of the extent of the establishment complicity in protecting police racists back then.  It's crazy to think police harrassment of some of the 9 didn't end until the mid 1980s.   Will link to the film thread in a bit.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/small_axe/s01

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangrove_Nine

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 Offwidth 27 Nov 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

A good introduction to the ravages of the Spanish Flu for those who don't know much about it. The resonances with covid responses are clear.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0blmn5l

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In reply to Offwidth:

Red, White and Blue (BBC iplayer): 9/10

Another TV masterpiece from Steve McQueen, the third in his Small Axe anthology, which must be building into one of the most significant artistic and cultural events of the year. This tells the true story of Leroy Logan, who gave up a career as a scientist to become one of the early black recruits to the police. This is despite/because of the fact that his father, Kenneth, has been savagely beaten by racist officers. The two male leads are superbly played by John Boyega as Leroy and Steve Toussaint as his father: both are passionate, driven men and when they clash it's with shuddering force. There's a fascinating contrast of discourse between Kenneth's Jamaican dialect and the elegant and articulate "Queen's English" he has been determined Leroy will acquire through education. The Queen's portrait keeps cropping up, the traditional image of patriotism, loyalty and duty - but when Leroy is pursuing an offender alone in a great chase sequence through a factory his racist colleagues refuse their duty of backing him up.  Visually, the film is an absolute treat, with scene after scene being strikingly composed with an artistry you rarely see on TV - or in plenty of mainstream cinema, come to that. It's only right at the end that the full significance of the title becomes apparent - so stay watching through the credits.

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 Offwidth 17:27 Wed
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I agree. I posted a recommendation on the Nov film thread.

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In reply to Offwidth:

Lovers Rock (BBC iplayer): 9/10

This is the second film in Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology and it's another beautiful piece of movie-making. It represents quite a change of mood and scale in between the epic sweep of the series opener, Mangrove, and the fierce intensity of the third instalment, Red, White and Blue. It's almost entirely set in a blues party as it unfolds from dusk to dawn, much of it in the one room - cleared of all furniture and with a huge sound system brought in - where the dancing takes place. It's so immersive that by the end it's easy to feel you've been there all night. This is partly down to the camera becoming one of the dancers as it weaves in and out around the floor - it's impossible to watch without your body moving in time. There's a gorgeous sequence of different embraces when the mood first becomes romantic and everyone grabs a partner in their own distinctive way. Two standout set pieces offer a stark contrast of moods during the evening, and show very different forms of community. An acapella gospel-style rendition of Janet Kay's lovers rock classic Silly Games unfolds at a languorous pace, dripping in sensuality (and condensation!); later in the night, a wild dance of Rastafarian ecstasy works up a religious frenzy to The Revolutionaries' Kunta Kinte Dub. Watch and worship.

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 aln 18:02 Thu
In reply to Andy Clarke:

 I haven't seen any of the Small Axe stuff, but, being a big fan of this music, this sounds right up my street. 

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In reply to aln:

>  I haven't seen any of the Small Axe stuff, but, being a big fan of this music, this sounds right up my street. 

Among many other things, it's a love song to reggae in all its forms. I was lucky enough as a student decades ago to live just down the road from a reggae pub. The Kunta Kinte Dub scene is a joy. And of course the whole series is named after a Marley track.

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 aln 19:49 Thu
In reply to Andy Clarke: a joy. And of course the whole series is named after a Marley track.

One of my favourites. 

A rocksteady classic  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgWUnuB6quc&

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 aln 20:43 Thu
In reply to Offwidth:

More Bob Marley rocksteady  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzXoLETX240& I love this, such a mellow vibe

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 Offwidth 12:12 Fri
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Great review

I was in two minds about recommending Lovers Rock as it didn't quite work for me overall but I admired the ambition and some of the dance/music scenes were sublime, especially the two you highlighted (my reaction to those two was: stop, rewind and play again immediately). I felt like I was in a party... vaguely aware stuff was going on (some bad) that maybe deserved more attention but just got distracted by the euphoria.  I felt for an excellent film either the character plots needed a bit more time to grow richer or the opposite (more cryptic but with clues to hook fans) so as not to distract from the party.  I thought maybe a strong recommendation on that basis would be a bit self indulgent (as I feel many times with music... notably resonant with this film when arguing with Clash fans, who only liked the early stuff, about being mesmerised by the flawed genius of Sandinista.... which opened my ears to quite a few styles for the first time). I'm going with recommended now, plot warts shouldn't trump sheer joy.

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 Clint86 12:25 Fri
In reply to Offwidth:

For us older ones, I enjoyed Chris Packham's 'Winterwatch' which was a black and white documentary made at the time of the big freeze in 1963. I can just remember it. 

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 Offwidth 12:29 Fri
In reply to Clint86:

I was in a pram being pushed along the frozen grand union canal!

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In reply to Offwidth:

I agree Lovers Rock was very much a mood study - one I found beautiful and engrossing. I also agree about the Clash - don't see how you can call yourself a real fan if you don't love Sandinista! And how many punk/rock bands at the time would have dared to attempt dub?

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