Monday 20 July 2020

On Free to Air 9 GEM (Sydney, Ch 92) on Saturday 25 July – A Cinephile bonanza (with advertisements).

Emeric Pressburger & Michael Powell
Does anyone actually watch movies on TV anymore? Especially old movies that dont rate any sort of mention in the TV guides. I suspect that the stations like the one I'm about to mention wouldn't even rate asterisks. 

But maybe this Saturday Channel 9 might be praying for rain that will drive people to the guide.  GEM one of 9’s digital channels whose programming was previously noted by Barrie Pattison, has wall to wall movies (chock full of advertisements) for 15 hours straight. So does SBS Movies I hear you say, every day and night (and also slightly less chock full of advertisements).   But SBS doesn’t have movies by Powell & Pressburger, Fritz Lang and Anthony Minghella plus lesser lights Frank Launder, Richard Quine, Burt Kennedy and Terence Fisher one after another. 

However, I hear you say again, SBS On-Demand’s free movie library (with a minute of ads about three times in an hour) is the best in the business so why should we be worried about what’s on free to air anymore? Good point indeed but you do need the internet for it not just a plain old aerial. 

I was going to say it was just like the old days but I’m not sure that, apart from the Channel 9 and the ABC’s midnight to dawn shifts, any free to air station ever gave us seven movies in a row, especially at times when you could sit and watch without losing sleep.

So here’s the line-up

11.00 The Tales of Hoffmann (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1951)
1.30 The Happiest Days of Your Life (Frank Launder, UK, 1950)
3.15 The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, USA,1944)
5.15 Paris When it Sizzles (Richard Quine, USA, 1964)
7.30 The Talented Mr Ripley (Anthony Minghella, UK/USA, 1999)
10.20 Return of the Seven (Burt Kennedy, USA, 1966)
12.20 Dracula Price of Darkness (Terence Fisher, UK, 1966)

Is it surprising that after the first two all that follow are remakes or sequels?

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