Films of the week: Learning curve in a lock-up for would-be gangster
Saturday 11 August 2012
11.45pm Channel 4
(Jacques Audiard, 2009) This extraordinary crime film charts a French-Arab inmate's progression, over the course of a six-year prison sentence, from terrified 19-year-old to fully fledged gangster. It's set apart from other such dramas by its anthropological attention to the texture, detail and racial demarcations of prison culture, as well as by its sweaty-palmed intensity. Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup star. *****
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1963) Icy blonde socialite Tippi Hedren pursues a man (Rod Taylor) to a California coastal town where birds gather ominously and then, for no known reason, begin to attack the human inhabitants. A witty chiller staged with unparalleled clarity of purpose, Hitchcock's third Du Maurier adaptation is a study in nature's implacability and the unknowability of evil. *****
(Quentin Tarantino, 1997) Paying tribute to the blaxploitation genre, Quentin Tarantino cast Foxy Brown's Pam Grier in this Elmore Leonard adaptation, as a sassy airline stewardess who smuggles drugs on the side. She was a revelation in the role, and Samuel L Jackson, Robert De Niro and Robert Forster make up the rest of a quality cast in what remains Tarantino's most classy and controlled film. ****
My Darling Clementine
9.50am & 1am Sky Movies Classics
(John Ford, 1946) Having known the real Wyatt Earp, John Ford was able to make bold claims about the authenticity of this re-staging of the gunfight at the OK Corral. But it's Ford's skill as a storyteller that makes the film so rich and alive, and it's the detail of the characters' lives and relationships, rather than the climactic shootout, that make it so memorable. Cathy Downs and Henry Fonda star. *****
Three Colours: Blue
10pm Sky Arts 1
(Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993) Juliette Binoche gives a compelling performance – brittle on the outside, tender and raw inside – in this lushly textured, music-focused and emotionally rich drama about a woman whose husband – a famous composer – and child are killed in a car crash. She abandons the trappings of her comfortable life and attempts to remove herself from human contact. Life, however, muscles in. *****
(Michael Curtiz, 1942) Of all the gin joints, Ingrid Bergman's (above, with Humphrey Bogart) glamorous resistance fighter walks into the one in Casablanca owned by her non- partisan and bitter ex. Bogart (who's previously only played gangsters and the PI Sam Spade) made for a terrifically cynical romantic lead; the supporting cast is superb and the dialogue has several of the best-known lines in all movie history. *****
The Deer Hunter
(Michael Cimino, 1978) Michael Cimino's film about the lives of a group of Pennsylvanian steel workers before, during and after their tour of duty in Vietnam, is a rare and bold bit of film-making made up of stunning set-pieces and violent but controlled shifts in tone. Robert De Niro was the only established star among a cast (Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep) who later proved to be greats. *****
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians