IN CINEMAS THIS WEEK
Halloween – slasher sequel with Jamie Lee Curtis
The Cleaners – doco about the secret censorship of the web.
A Star is Born – 4thversion of “backstage” musical (actually 5thversion, if you count What Price Hollywood?(1932), which has the same story: boozy producer, Lowell Sherman, discovers wannabe star, Constance Bennett). In the 2018 iteration it’s country star, Bradley Cooper, and actress-singer, Lady Gaga. In the 1976 version Kris Kristofferson falls for Barbra Streisand. In 1954, James Mason drinks; Judy Garland sings. In 1937, Janet Gaynor is on the rise, Fredric March is on the skids.
Donbass– darkly funny drama of contemporary life in Ukraine.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (poster left) – animated romantic drama with the Title of the Week Award.
Westwood– doco about the grande dameof British fashion, Vivien Westwood.
Namaste England– romantic, Bollywood comedy.
ON THE TELLY
Monday 12.00pm 9Gem:The Servant (1963) – creepy story of upper class chap (James Fox) gradually undermined by his manservant (Dirk Bogarde) and sexy sidekick (Sarah Miles). Patchy (Harold Pinter at his silliest), and dated, but with excellent performances, stylish direction (Joseph Losey) and photography (Douglas Slocombe).
Tuesday 8.35pm and Wednesday 11.50am Fox Classics: The Big Country(1958) Epic, starry, slightly cool, but expertly made western about a feud over water rights. Gregory Peck unstiffens; Jean Simmons is loveable; Burl Ives is nasty; Franz Planer’s lensing is exquisite, and Jerome Moross’s score is splendid. Record it and speed through the abundance of seniors-centric commercials.
Friday 12.00pm 9Gem: The Sound Barrier. Despite its characters, riddled with British upper-middle class restraint (particularly Ann Todd, the director’s wife), David Lean’s The Sound Barrier (1952) is a beautifully shot (Jack Hildyard) portrait of the cost of scientific progress on individuals. Ralph Richardson is chilling as a De Havilland-type patriarch, who must succeed to the detriment of his own flesh and blood.