Skip to main content

tv   The Film Review  BBC News  January 17, 2021 11:45pm-12:00am GMT

11:45 pm
lucy not do that for phil spector. lucy beresford, maya goodfellow, they can bejoining us. you can view our paper review online. they are up right now, if you want to look at them at 3am in the morning. hello and welcome to the film review with me, mark kermode. and despite the fact that covid has closed cinemas and put us in lockdown once again, there are still plenty of new movies for you to experience and enjoy in the comfort and safety of your own home.
11:46 pm
this week's most arresting release is dear comrades, the latest from acclaimed russian film—maker andrei konchalovsky. set in 1962 in a provincial town in the southern ussr, this increasingly harrowing drama stars acclaimed stage and screen actor yuliya vysotskaya as lyudmila, a party devotee with a nostalgia for stalinist ideas in the age of khrushchev. "what am i supposed to believe in if not communism?", asks lyuda as her beliefs are challenged in the fallout of a factory strike and protest to which the army and kgb respond with deadly force.
11:47 pm
as the authorities rush to cover up a state—sponsored atrocity, lyuda searches for her missing daughter, for whose life she fears after scenes of terrible violence. based on real events, that were not officially acknowledged until 30 years later, dear comrades is a powerfulfilm that draws visual inspiration from soviet classics like the cranes are flying and ballad of a soldier, presenting its bleakly crisp black and white images in a retro four by three frame. the result is an affecting recreation of a terrifying historical event that at times recalls the impact of the infamous odessa steps scene from battleship potemkin. conjuring an utterly convincing world in which the stillness of the cameras merely amplifies the sense of growing chaos. yet despite the true grit of its historical setting, it's the personal story of lyuda's journey that gives dear comrades such an emotional punch,
11:48 pm
with vysotskaya perfectly embodying a character who slips from stoic political stalwart to frantically anguished mother before our very eyes. it's available now on curzon home cinema, with plans for a big—screen theatrical release whenever that becomes possible. david. i'm sorry, can you repeat the question? who, or what is david bowie? from the sublime to the ridiculous with stardust, a trite, unauthorized reimagining of david bowie�*s 1971 american tour which opens with the disclaimer "what follows is mostly fiction." it's also mostly rubbish, hobbled by the legally required absence of any original songs by bowie, who died five years ago, and whose estate wanted nothing to do with this movie. i need to be known, i need them to know me! instead, accomplished actor/musician johnny flynn is left to bash out
11:49 pm
a couple of bowie—related cover versions like jacques brel�*s my death, while musicjournalists merrily misquote lyrics to the man who sold the world, presumably because the film—makers don't have the rights to use the real ones. now, this in itself would not necessarily be terrible. todd haynes�* brilliantly inventive velvet goldmine was similarly denied access to bowie�*s back catalog, but sparkled anyway. there is no authentic me. it'sjust fear. yet with stardust, a clunky script co—written by director gabriel range makes heavy weather of alleged psychological scars,
11:50 pm
painting bowie�*s supposed fear of family schizophrenia in unsubtle strokes that lack invention, insight or wit — the key elements of bowie�*s ever—changing career. perhaps there's a different way to talk about me when you're on the phone. comedian podcaster marc maron does his best to hold it all together as stateside publicist ron oberman, and jenna malone cuts a vaguely sympathetic figure as bowie�*s wife angie. butjust when you think that maybe they can save this debacle, along comes james cade, whose impression of mark bolan is so toe—curling that i had to take my shoes off and then throw them at the screen. it all recalls the opportunist silliness of 2003's grand theft parsons, another film which turned a modern rock legend into a bad joke. you can find stardust on a range of home viewing platforms, but bowie fans would be better served just dusting off their old lps and basking in the majesty of a talent to which this shoddy affair cannot hold a candle. oh, and if you want some of the real bowie on screen, then check out next week's secrets of cinema on pop movies. bbc four, tuesday night. i mention it only in passing. now we're getting somewhere.
11:51 pm
now, 1945 saw the release of david lean�*s acclaimed adaptation of noel coward's blithe spirit, a hit stage play which had taken london and broadway by storm. margaret rutherford and kay hammond, both of whom started in the original stage production, reprised their roles as a medium and a ghost — the latter conjured up by a seance which reintroduces her to former husband rex harrison, now remarried to constance cummings. now, these roles have been refilled by, respectively, damejudy dench, leslie mann, dan stevens and isla fisher in a new version of blithe spirit which adds some perfunctory nods to modernity while still retaining the basic skeleton of the original. elvira? hello? i haven't the foggiest idea of how to send her back. directed by downton abbey alumnus edward hall from a script by nick moorcroft, meg leonard and piers ashworth, this latest incarnation was due to open in uk theaters last year. but after covid delays,
11:52 pm
it was acquired for sky cinema. you're in trouble now. i'll be honest — i can't imagine this somewhat lackluster production ever setting movie theaters alight, even with a starry cast whose performances range from the kooky to the caricatured, with a rather irritating lack of panache. i can feel it in my base chakra. probably trapped wind. and while lean�*s original won an oscar for its spectacular poltergeist effects, this looks more like a drab tv movie thatjust happens to be set in some eye—catching art deco surroundings. how dare you! "just photograph it, dear boy," coward had apparently told lean, believing his play to be near perfect. i shudder to think what coward would have made of this adaptation, which is, at best, innocuously forgettable.
11:53 pm
altogether more ambitious, although also derivative, is archive, an eerie science—fiction drama from writer—director gavin rothery which lifts rifts from everything from moon and ex machina, to blade runner, marjorie prime, ghost in the shell and even robot and frank. how are you feeling? theo james is george almore, an isolated scientist attempting to imbue the spirit of his dead wife into a secretively developed artificial intelligence. having previously built two prototypes, george seems to have struck gold with his third attempt, a biomechanical creation that can carry the recorded thoughts and consciousness of his lost love. i know what you're doing in there. but what will happen to the cast—offs that still need to be cared for, and can george really conduct such wild experiments under the radar? we received the notifications of your wife's transition. - she's not ready to go yet.
11:54 pm
of course. it may not be the most original idea, and the final reel twists won't surprise any genre enthusiasts, but an atmospheric score by steven price — who won an oscar for his work on gravity — and typically eye—catching cinematography from the great laurie rose lift this above the realms of mere repetition into something strangely haunting and effecting. it's nice to finally talk to you. supporting players stacy martin and the recently nobled tobyjones obe add lively heft, but it's james who carries the drama, following in the footsteps of lonely screen astronauts like bruce dern and sam rockwell. do you need my help? leave me alone. current lockdown restrictions may have nixed the planned cinema release, but viewers can find archive on digital download from monday. free at last, free at last! thank god almighty,
11:55 pm
we are free at last! i'll leave you with news of mlk/fbi, an engrossing documentary about the us government's surveillance and harassment of martin luther king that seems all the more relevant in these troubled times. after the march on washington, it's clear that martin luther king jr is the most dangerous negro in america. and we have to use every resource at our disposal to destroy him. considering dr king to be a communist threat,j edgar hoover went to great length to dig into his private life, hoping to discredit him with evidence of extramarital infidelities. this represents the darkest part of the bureau's history. tracing the racist tropes of hoover's campaign back to birth of a nation and beyond, sam pollard's film argues that the fbi�*s activities weren't some kind of renegade aberration but a key part of an
11:56 pm
existing political order. they were running a surveillance state. along the way, we hear from former fbi directorjames comey, who says that the records of the bureau's action made him feel physically sick when learned of a cache of unreleased surveillance tapes that some believe should never be heard. it's compelling and alarming fair, a warning from history that there are those who will stop at nothing to retain white power. the greatness of america is the right to protest for rights. mlk/fbi is available on vod and through virtual cinema screenings now. that's it for this week. thanks for watching the film review. stay safe and i'll see you next week. hello there. after the snow that some of us had last week, this week, the weather focus shifts to rain,
11:57 pm
enough rain in a few places over the next few days to give the very real risk of some flooding. now, having said that, monday morning is getting off to a decent start, a lot of dry weather around. one band of rain across the north coast of northern ireland, the far south of scotland. that will drift up towards the central belt. some wintry showers in northern scotland. eastern counties of england holding onto some brightness, but further west across england and wales as well, we'll see thickening clouds, some mist and hill fog and some outbreaks of rain through the afternoon. and as we go through monday night into the early hours of tuesday, that rain will spread across england and wales, becoming really heavy and persistent over high ground in north wales, northern england, some of that rain getting into northern ireland as well. very mild by the end of the night down towards the south, staying colder further north across scotland, but we'll also remain drier with just a few showers. but for tuesday, this procession of weather fronts is going to be working its way across the british isles, bringing
11:58 pm
some heavy and persistent rain. you can see where we're expecting the wettest of the weather. for a time across northern ireland, maybe into southern scotland, but certainly across northern england, wales. pretty wet across the southwest as well, where it will also be pretty windy. further north, lighter winds across the northern half of scotland, some spells of sunshine, but it will be chilly across the northern half of the uk, whereas for the south, very mild indeed, 12—13 celsius. but i think it is the rain that gives most cause for concern. met office yellow warnings in force across all of england and wales through the middle part of the week. but there's an amber warning in force across parts of the south pennines and the peak district, and in this area, there is the potential certainly for some flooding and some travel disruption if you do need to make an essential journey through tuesday and indeed on into wednesday, because you can see the rain just keeps on coming, particularly across england and wales. northern ireland and scotland always a little bit drier, but maybe some snow mixing if the rain does get up into southern scotland, because there will be some colder air in place across
11:59 pm
the northern half of the uk. and as we move out of wednesday into thursday, as our rainmaker area of low pressure deepens and slides away eastwards, the winds will pick up. those winds will start to come from the north, so it will feel colder for the end of the week and snow could return.
12:00 am
this is bbc news. i'm samantha simmonds with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. russian police detain the kremlin critic alexei navalny, who was nearly killed by nerve agent poisoning last year, as he lands back in moscow. mass vaccinations begin at another ten centres in england from monday as the foreign secretary lays out the government's targets for the roll—out. twitter suspends the account of us republican congresswoman marjorie taylor greene for repeatedly making false claims about election fraud. # da—doo ron—ron—ron, da—doo ron—ron...# and the american music producer phil spector, who helped define the sound of the �*60s, has died in prison aged 81 while serving a sentence for murder.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on