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.
The next is a 'marmite' view on modern mythologies from an art historian. I wasn't always convinced but it certainly raised a reaction.
Plus a new Scandinavian noir series starts soon:
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.
There is a current Scandi drama ln the Saturday slot called DNA which is proving to be quite good.
Is the BMC Sandstone link correct for modern mythologies?
One of the GBBO contestants is a climber ( on C4 now!). 😊
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.
Maybe that's a Freudian link, given the mythologies of that delicate venue. The correct link is here:
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.
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.
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.
Agreed the Berlin program is very watchable if strong viewing at times. Now off to re-watch the final series of The Bridge.
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.
Just a quick heads up for '71 tonight at 11 on Film4. Very rated drama.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I agree. I posted a recommendation on the Nov film thread.
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.
I haven't seen any of the Small Axe stuff, but, being a big fan of this music, this sounds right up my street.
> 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.
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.
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.
I was in a pram being pushed along the frozen grand union canal!
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?
The 2020 Kendal Film Awards were held on Saturday night, hosted by Kendal Mountain Festival's resident Jury Chairman Keme Nzerem and a panel of judges. This year's festival had a record 400 entries from both professional and amateur filmmakers; a...