Films that will make staying in worthwhile
JOHN GORE, founder of StokeScreen Film Club, with his pick of the movies on TV in the week ahead.
Seconds out, round 4. Lots of great feedback again, thank you. One plaintive request for some comedy. Yes. It has been a bit serious, so let’s see what we can do. Locked away in the remainders’ bin on BBC 1 on Saturday is a film that I have been planning to show at StokeScreen and have not yet found a space. The Company You Keep (BBC1, 23.50, Saturday, 2 May) is one of those films that gave the distributor cold feet. It took over a year to get onto the screen in this country. It was Robert Redford’s contribution to the election campaign of 2012.
A group of 60s' student radicals meet again after 50 years. There has been a lot of water under the gate and some dark secrets emerge from their respective closets. The stellar inter-generational cast is headed by Redford with Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Julie Christie. This is about as tense a thriller (pictured above) as can be plausible for a bunch of septuagenarians. It deserved to be much more widely seen. On Monday on Film 4, there is another gripping thriller, this time adapted from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, creator of the Mr Ripley series and Carol, which we are due to screen at StokeScreen once we are allowed to convene again.
The Mirror Has Two Faces (Film 4, 16.55, Monday, 4 May) is the tale of a conman (Viggo Mortensen) who flees to Greece to avoid detection along with his wife (Kirsten Dunst). Here they make the acquaintance of an American tour guide (Oscar Isaac) who is running scams of his own. The web of intrigue entangles everyone and keeps us guessing throughout. And now for something completely different. Roxanne (Sony Movies, 18.50, Tuesday, 5 May) is an adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, relocated to Middle America with Steve Martin as the local fire chief whose whopping conk puts a damper on his amorous ambitions.
He coaches one of his younger, more handsome, colleagues as he struggles to woo the local heart throb, Daryl Hannah. I know that Martin is something of a Marmite actor but he injects just enough passion and pathos into the role to make this both charming and smartly funny. Yes, funny! More quirky is The Hunt for the Wilder People, (Film 4, 21.00, Thursday, 7 May) a tale from New Zealand about a foster child and his uncle who disappear into the wilderness rather than face a return to the orphanage. Directed by Taika Waititi, who created What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit and a couple of the Marvel franchise movies (Avengers Endgame and Thor Radnarok), it has heart and humour and, on occasion, total silliness. I think this is what was requested. Talking Pictures is screening a piece of my history on Wednesday (or is it Thursday) 12.20 am. Remember my Name (Talking Pictures, 00.20, Thursday, 7 May) is an early film by the great Alan Rudolph, an atmospheric thriller from 1970s LA, with Geraldine Chaplin and Anthony Perkins (taking time off from playing Psycho). There are a number of other future stars-before-they-were-famous. It was also one of the first films that I presented at Warwick Arts Centre. Still playing on All 4, you can find Isabelle Huppert in a suitably perverse tale of revenge, Elle, directed by Paul (Basic Instinct) Verhoven, or, if you prefer, creepy in a different way, Berberian Sound Studio is a curious tale of murder in an Italian film company with Toby Jones, the sound editor, investigating what he has heard and considering life imitating art. The soundtrack is absolutely key to this, as it was with The Conversation. You will doubtless be left no less baffled at the end; however, it is a rather impressive magical mystery tour. Do let us know what you have seen and liked by email (email@example.com) or on Facebook. Feedback is always welcome.
In normal times, StokeScreen Film Club shows great movies at Coventry & North Warwickshire Sports Club, Binley Road. For details go to www.stokescreen.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org