Films of the week: Need an Eighties blockbuster… who ya gonna call?
Friday 25 October 2013
6.55pm Channel 5
(Ivan Reitman, 1984) It's a general rule of Hollywood that the greater a comedy's recourse to expensive special effects, the less funny it will be. And the 1984 mega-hit Ghostbusters is the exception that proves it. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis star as disgraced academics who set up in business as ghost hunters, and retain admirably straight faces amid all the daffy paranormal activity. *****
(Lone Scherfig, 2009) Adapted by Nick Hornby from a memoir by the journalist Lynn Barber, An Education is about the frustrations of being a 16-year-old girl (Carey Mulligan) in pre-feminist, early-Sixties Britain, and how one might easily be seduced by an older man (Peter Sarsgaard) with a glamorous lifestyle. The period detailing compensate for the script's slight tendency towards didacticism. ****
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
(Ronald Neame, 1969) Miss Jean Brodie (Maggie Smith) is an unconventional teacher at a straight-laced Thirties Edinburgh school for girls. She's the model for similar inspirational characters in movies such as Dead Poets Society and Dangerous Minds, but Muriel Sparks's novel and this adaptation are less impressed by her recklessness, and thus far more interesting than those films. ****
(Joanna Hogg, 2010) Full of overly polite conversation, awkward pauses and simmering resentments, Joanna Hogg's second film is the sort of toe-curling comedy of embarrassment you might get if Mike Leigh was better at portraying the English upper-middle classes. Like her first, Unrelated, it's set over the course of a family holiday – but this time it's in the Scilly Isles rather than Tuscany. Tom Hiddleston stars. ***
The Man with Two Brains
6.25pm Sky Movies Greats
(Carl Reiner, 1983) You could argue that Steve Martin's third film is an exploration of Cartesian mind-body dualism, but really it's just a madcap and gag-stuffed tribute to old "mad scientist" movies. He plays Dr Hfuhruhurr, a brain surgeon married to a femme fatale (Kathleen Turner) but in love with another woman – or at least, her disembodied brain, floating in a jar. ****
(Benjamin Christensen, 1922) This formally, technically and narratively inventive Danish silent horror is a real Halloween treat. It begins as an apparently academic treatise on witchcraft – "from a cultural and historical point of view, in seven chapters of moving pictures", and with a humanist, rationalist slant. But then it stealthily darkens into something far creepier and more disturbing. *****
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly
(Julian Schnabel, 2007) This beautifully shot and inspiring film marvels at the heroic efforts by which the 43-year-old editor of French Elle (played by Mathieu Amalric), after having suffered a stroke, was able to re-impose himself on the world, learning to communicate with his one remaining functioning body-part and dictate the memoir that it is based on, one blink at a time. ****
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove