Medieval tale promises a fun Knight in
JOHN GORE, founder of StokeScreen Film Club, with his pick of the movies on TV in the coming week (from June 20).
Football is back, to pick up where it left off 100 days ago. The Test matches resume next month. We are blessed with sunshine and showers. It is as though no-one told the weather of the change of plans. Meanwhile, we still have no cinema, nor any prospect thereof, for this month at least. So here's the best of what's on offer on the one-eyed monster in the living room. I thought I would start with a clutch of films for all the family, assuming you are all still comfortable being in the same room together. Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (Film4, 11.00, Sat, 20 June) is a triumph of imagination over logic from a master of the fantastic as a young boy joins a band of time travelling dwarves in search of treasure, loot and plunder. An everyday story of country folk. A Knight’s Tale (Channel 5, 13.15, Sun, 21 June) finds Heath Ledger and Mark Addy as knight and squire on the medieval jousting circuit. As much a satire of sports media and the Hollywood swashbuckling yarns of knights of old as it is a kid’s adventure, its knowing anachronisms and deliberate gaffs make this far more fun than you might, at first, assume. Mud (Film4, 18.20, Tue, 23 June) takes us into Huck Finn territory where a couple of teenagers help fugitive Matthew McConnaughey evade bounty hunters on the Mississippi in Arkansas. This looks ravishingly beautiful and has an unlaboured nostalgic glow to it. The other teen friendly flick and this week’s StokeScreen candidate is Sing Street (Film4, 23.40, Mon, 22 June) (why so late?!) which is a charming musical set in post punk 1980s Dublin and follows the boy as he gets his band together in an attempt to get the girl. (Spoiler: of course he does!!) For those families that will tolerate watching films in black and white, this week’s classics are both outstanding comedies; Ealing Studios’ Passport to Pimlico (Talking Pictures TV, 19.20, Tue, 23 June) is about a London borough which seeks to avoid post war rationing by declaring itself part of the state of Burgundy. Any similarity between this and any other, more recent farces about Britain and Europe are purely coincidental. His Girl Friday (Talking Pictures TV, 01.55, Wed, 24 June) is Howard Hawks’ masterpiece, an adaptation of the stage play The Front Page, about an escaped prisoner and two journalists. In Hawks’ hands the two journalists are played by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, the dialogue crackles and fizzes, and Ms Russell gives Mr Grant as good as she gets. They do not come better than this. Of the more recent releases, Call Me By Your Name (Film4, 21.00, Sat, 20 June), the film which brought Timothée Chalomet to prominence as the 17-year-old who finds a summer romance with an older man in sun-soaked Italy. It is shot by Luca Guadagnino, whose A Bigger Splash screened a couple of weeks ago.
The Road (Sony Movies, 21.00, Tue, 23 June) crops up periodically on Sony. It is a good, if rather literal realisation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel of a father and son yomping across a menacing America with the aim of making it to the coast more in hope than with a specific purpose. On Chesil Beach (BBC2, 21.00, Wed, 24 June) is also quite a faithful adaptation of a novel, this time by Ian McEwan. It is very attentive to period detail and Saoirse Ronan is outstanding as the young wife in this romance in a time of great social change. Documentary of the week is, without question, I am Not Your Negro (BBC2, 21.00, Sat, 20 June) in which author James Baldwin expounds on the condition of black people in America. Extremely articulate and witty, this compilation of interviews is alarmingly relevant and compulsive viewing – 40 years later. Tucked away in the darkest hours are a couple of significant pieces of European cinema. Leviathan (BBC2, 01.00, Mon, 22 June) focuses on a man standing up to a corrupt political administration in a small coastal Russian town. Any similarities with the political situation in the wider Russian Federation is, I am sure, purely coincidental. Blue is the Warmest Colour (Film4, 23.05, Fri, 26 June) was winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013. Controversial in its creation as much as it is for its content, the story is of a woman, Adele, (Léa Seydou) whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of an unconventional young woman who leads Adele into uncharted emotional territory. Léa Seydou is currently one of the biggest stars in French cinema. In normal times StokeScreen Film Club shows great movies at Coventry & North Warwickshire Sports Club, Binley Road, Coventry. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org; find them on Facebook: StokeScreen at CNWSC; or log on to www.StokeScreen.uk