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tv   The Film Review  BBC News  January 30, 2021 11:45pm-12:01am GMT

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few days in london. i think it's probably the weather more than anything else that's going to drive swampy and his brigade out of these tunnels. i swampy and his brigade out of these tunnels. a, a, tunnels. i never thought i would mention him — tunnels. i never thought i would mention him again, _ tunnels. i never thought i would mention him again, did - tunnels. i never thought i would mention him again, did you? i tunnels. i never thought i would . mention him again, did you? thank you so much forjoining us this evening, very good of you to review the front pages for us. that's it for the papers this evening. do buy one in the morning or subscribe to one. just keep us talking about the front pages. coming up nuts, it's time for the film review. night night. —— coming up next. hello and welcome to the film review with me, mark kermode,
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reminding you that while cinemas may be closed, there is still plenty of new movies to enjoy in the comfort and safety of your own home. the most mainstream release this week is the dig, a bittersweet real life drama about the unearthing of the sutton hoo treasures on the the eve of world war ii. what are they? do you hazard a guess? burials, men, i'd expect. we are standing in somebody's graveyard i reckon. viking. maybe older. apparently local girls used to lie down on them in the hope of falling pregnant. i've heard plenty of legends. is that why you want to dig, mrs pretty? details of buried treasure?
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ralph fiennes stars as basil brown, the self—taught archaeologist who wears his immense learning lightly and who is enlisted by carey mulligan�*s wealthy widow, edith pretty, to excavate the imposing burial mounds on her property. "my interest in archaeology began like yours," edith tells the initially sceptical basil, "when i was scarcely old enough to hold a trowel." and so begins an unlikely friendship between two very different people, both of whom believe the past speaks. the line thatjoins them to theirforebears, isn't that what you all say? something like that. adapted by screenwriter at moira buffini from the historical novel byjohn preston, the dig is an extremely likeable fare, beautifully lensed by cinematographer mike eley, who captures the lonely landscape and the darkening skies of the drama. would you have dinner with me? yes. fiennes and mulligan are perfectly cast in the lead
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roles and there's strong support from the likes of monica dolan, ken stott, and the young archie barnes as edith's son robert, who find solace in his friendship as edith's son robert, who finds solace in his friendship with basil as his mother's health fails. if i have a complaint, it is that the film gets rather sidetracked by a subplot that sees lilyjames' real—life archaeologist peggy falling forjohnny flynn's fictional airman rory, a distraction that feels as though it has been foregrounded simply to broaden the film's appeal to a younger audience rather than as an organic addendum to the central story. but that aside, this is engaging stuff, boasting a similar melancholic charm tojessica swales' lovely summer land, one of my favourite films of last year. you can find the dig on netflix now. american film—makers justin benson and aaron moorehead are the team behind the 2017 oddity the endless, a strange little movie about two brothers revisiting the ufo death cult
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to which they formerly belonged. although made on a comparatively small budget, the endless had eerie atmosphere to spare, offering a genuinely strange and haunting experience. the same cannot be said of their latest, synchronic, another sci—fi inflected mystery adventure with high ambitions but one that doesn't quite hit the mark. jamie dornan and anthony mackie star as paramedics dennis and steve, who start to encounter people who have been driven to death or distraction by the titular drug. yeah, that is a body, not a burn victim. new kid called it in. when dennis' daughter goes missing, steve, who's facing his own medical crisis, resolves to help his friend with the aid of the mystery drug, which, it transpires, can transport the user to another time.
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as with benson and moorehead's previous films, synchronic is brim full of interesting ideas and admirably bonkers dramatic conceits. but arriving as it unfortunately does in the wake of chris nolan's mega—budget head—scrambling tenet, which recently came out on blu—ray, it can start to look like a cheap b—movie version of a more celebrated and accomplished a—list film. there's nothing wrong with that per se, but i think the film—makers had far higher goals, certainly on the basis of their back catalogue. synchronic, which is available now on a range of digital platforms, is fine, although ultimately rather unremarkable, which is unusual for these inventive film—makers.
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altogether more celebrated is beginning, a haunting georgian—french co—production written and directed by dea kulumbegashvili, which has won numerous international festival awards and now finds its natural home on streaming service mubi. ia sukhitashvili is jana, wife of david, a religious leader in an isolated community ofjehovah�*s witnesses whose place of worship is firebombed in an astonishing opening sequence. it looks like the set—up for a mystery thriller, with david concerned about tracking down those responsible, but instead the film focuses on the inner life of jana, who is trapped by her surroundings,
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misunderstood by her husband, and sexually harassed by a visitor who claims to be a detective, but seems to be something altogether more sinister. kulumbegashvili has described jana as somebody who would be a "secondary character in any other film". certainly she gives the impression of being a bit—part player in her own life, robbed of agency or understanding, trapped in somebody else's story. shot on 35mm by arseni khachaturan and edited by matthieu taponier, whose credits include the soul—shaking son of saul, beginning, which takes its title from the bible, makes for deeply unsettling and uncomfortable viewing. some critics have drawn comparison with the films of michael haneke, but to me
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this is closer to the work of carlos reygadas, whose films i admire but don't actually like, and who here serves as an executive producer. in the end, i'm not entirely sure what to make of beginning, although it has stuck with me, which is always a good sign. you can check it out for yourself on mubi. for a couple years, we have been waiting for answered prayers. i refer to it now as my posthumous novel. writer and withering society wit truman capote's two most famous books both spawned acclaimed movies, breakfast at tiffany's and in cold blood. capote himself has also been the subject of the couple of biopics, the 2005 film capote for which philip seymour hoffman won an oscar, and 2006's perhaps less—lauded infamous, for which tobyjones deserved awards recognition. now in the documentary the capote tapes, we hear interviews conducted by george plimpton with the writer's friends and enemies along with
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a collage of talking heads and home movie footage to build a portrait of the real capote. he was writing these thinly veiled stories about people he knew and he basically told all their secrets. the response was, how could your friend do this to you? he must've known therei was danger in all of that. dick cavett, norman mailer and lauren bacall are among those remembering the writer who said of his famously unpublished book answered prayers "either i'm going to kill it or it's going to kill me." a thinly veiled expose of his high—society friends, the book, which he claimed to be working on for decades, surfaced only in magazine extracts that alienated his posh cohort and also suggested that the finished work might not be the "proust in the age of warhol" masterpiece that everybody was waiting for. the depressing truth is that after in cold blood in the mid 60s, capote did little of note other than appear on chat shows and hang out with rich
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celebrities at studio 5a. as this documentary makes clear, no one knows whether a finished manuscript of answered prayers exists. and even if it did, would anyone care? the capote tapes is available now at and on other digital platforms. kim jong—nam has been assassinated. two women have just been arrested in connection with the murder. altogether more riveting of the documentary front is assassins, a film about the murder of kimjong—un�*s half—brother, kimjong—nam, by two young women who later claimed they thought they were taking part in a harmless video prank show. yes, really.
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caught on camera smearing a deadly chemical on the kim jong—nam's face at kuala lumpur airport, the women, one vietnamese and one indonesian, were arrested and tried for murder. meanwhile, a group of north koreans who had apparently masterminded the killing, widely believed to have been ordered by kimjong—un, returned home safely. by turns jaw—dropping, bewildering and horrifying, assassins leads us through the stranger than fiction tale with impressive array of amusing surveillance footage, with each twist and turn more gobsmacking than the last. —— news and surveillance footage. the story really does beggar belief, but in the hands of director ryan white, it becomes
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a chillingly credible thriller. all the more gripping because it's actually true. for details of virtual cinema screenings and on—demand info, go to that's it for this week. thanks for watching the film review. stay safe and i will see you next week. doubts, man. they never go away. you think the wedding day will dissolve that, it is profound but... i get it, bruh, you're a guy in a relationship. hello. sunday gets off to a cold, frosty start. icy in places where there have been wintry showers overnight and parts of northern scotland and where saturday was quite wet. many staying dry with some sunshine, although that turning hazy but thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain to southwest england and northern ireland. some sleet and
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snow into the hills, but after some low levels retiring, what will be another quite cold, raw day out there. a bit damp and drizzly over night into monday across parts of wales and southern england. for the rain, sleet and wales and southern england. for the rain, sleetand hail wales and southern england. for the rain, sleet and hail snow, some wintry showers and not as cold going into monday morning. on monday, england and wales keeping plenty of clouds. for northern ireland, a wet start, rain and hailsnow clouds. for northern ireland, a wet start, rain and hail snow which will push onto parts of scotland. the prospect of a bit of snow pushing northwards during monday. holding onto sunny spells and wintry showers. .
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this is bbc news — with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm maryam moshiri... the world health organization warns that an eu decision to impose export controls on coronavirus vaccines risks prolonging the pandemic. after that potential bust—up between britain and the eu — uk ministers say it's time for a re—set in relations. the mystery of the russian palace — does this building belong to vladimir putin — or his formerjudo partner? and — up for the cup — fans celebrate in brazil — after palmeiras win the copa libertadores.


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