Films of the week: Consumed by memories of love and murder

 

Saturday

The Secret in Their Eyes

9.50pm BBC4

(Juan José Campanella, 2009) This Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner runs along parallel timelines in the Argentina of 1974 and 2000. As well as a gripping police procedural about a retired investigator, it's a meditation on justice and corruption; a love story about missed chances; a film about looking back, and about how memories can sustain a life, or sometimes consume one. Ricardo Darin and Soledad Villamil star. ****

Sunday

Brave

8.15am & 4.30pm Sky Movies Premiere

(Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, 2012) Pixar's 13th feature film is its first with a female protagonist: Merida, the feisty, outdoorsy, independent-minded and likeable teenage princess of a Scottish Highland clan, who brings a lot of heart and no small amount of magic to her struggle against her clan's patriarchal traditions. The digital textures and the inventive visual storytelling are of the studio's usual high standard. ****

Monday

Beauty

1.10am Channel 4

(Oliver Hermanus, 2011) François (Deon Lotz) vehemently despises what he calls "faggots", and yet he regularly meets with other racist, middle-class, middle-aged, married Afrikaans men like himself in order to have gay sex, and he is infatuated with the college-age son of a friend of the family. This dark South African drama very methodically probes this weird psychic disconnect, until he cracks. ****

Tuesday

Paris, Texas

12.30am Film4

(Wim Wenders, 1984) That most doleful of American actors, Harry Dean Stanton, plays a man who has lost his way, and wanders in the desert until he can piece back together his memories and his family. Working from a Sam Shepard screenplay, and accompanied by Ry Cooder's slide-guitar score, Wim Wenders made an elegiac slice of pure Americana of the kind only a movie-obsessed foreigner could. Nastassja Kinski also stars. *****

Wednesday

One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

11.25am More4

(Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1942) A Wellington bomber crew crashes behind enemy lines, and will need a lot of pluck, a little luck, and the help of a Dutch resistance leader in order to get home. Its Oscar-nominated effects and documentary aesthetic make for authentic thrills, and this Ministry of Information sponsored film was Powell and Pressburger's first major success. Eric Portman and Bernard Miles star. ****

Thursday

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

11.30pm BBC1

(Wes Anderson, 2004) A whimsical and wilfully quirky film about a melancholy, Jacques Cousteau-style oceanographer (Bill Murray), who is joined on his latest expedition by an eager man claiming to be his son (Wilson). It would be churlish to complain that the characters and scenarios in this comedy are unlikely, when there are quite so many incidental pleasures to be had. ****

Friday

A History of Violence

10pm More4

(David Cronenberg, 2005) Viggo Mortensen stars in Cronenberg's character-led thriller, as the owner of a small-town diner whose instinctive act of bravery during an armed robbery causes those around him to reassess his character. It is masterfully controlled, extremely well played, and asks interesting questions about human nature, the construction of an identity and the possibility of redemption. ****

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