The pick of the TV movies in the week ahead
Stay in with JOHN GORE, cineaste and founder of StokeScreen Film Club, and his pick of the best films on TV in the week ahead
The Easter Bunny having hopped it, the chocolate reserves reduced, we deserve distraction. So I have sifted the film offerings free-to-air for another week and selected what nuggets of interest are to be found. Highlight of the week is The Sense of an Ending (BBC2 today, Saturday, 18 April, at 21.15). Adapting the wonderful novel by Julian Barnes, the film does justice to the source material. An elderly divorcé is unexpectedly included in a bequest, which prompts him to reassess the follies of his youth and what really happened, all those years ago. Deftly directed by Ritesh Batra, who made The Lunchbox, shown at StokeScreen last spring, and graced by fabulous performances by Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling, it's a movie for adults (as opposed to an adult movie!). This is followed directly by a 70s classic, The Conversation (BBC2 Saturday, 18 April, at 23.00). Before The Godfather made him internationally renowned, Francis Coppola made this enigmatic and unsettling film about surveillance, with Gene Hackman recording the conversation of the title, suggesting that a murder is to be committed. He pieces together the dialogue in an obsessive fashion and asks searching questions about how we know what we know, and how we interpret that information. Also today, Michael Sheen is to be found uncannily realising Brian Clough in his year at the helm of Leeds United in The Damned United (BBC1 Saturday, 18 April, at 23.45). On Film4, its Time Bandits (Monday, 20 April, at 11.00), Terry Gilliam’s fantastic and imaginative fairy tale, which has wit and charm enough to engage you, however old you are.
Twelve hours later also on Film 4 it's T2: Trainspotting (Monday, 20 April, 23.10). The motley crew of the 1990s Britpop hit Trainspotting reassembles, 20 years on, older but not necessarily any wiser. Horror is not a genre that appeals to everyone, but I would recommend you give these a chance: Get Out (Film4 Friday, 24 April, at 23.05) is a sharply satirical take on the bodysnatcher. And streaming on All4, Coventry’s very own Alice Lowe features in a Midland road movie, Sightseers, on my list for a future StokeScreen programme, along with Alice’s first film as director, Prevenge, which takes a wickedly ironic look at pregnancy. You may have noticed that there are no foreign language films on offer. Sad but true.
In normal times, StokeScreen Film Club shows movies at Coventry & North Warwickshire Sports Club, Binley Road. Details at www.stokescreen.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org