TELEVISION / BRIEFING: A man with X appeal

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The Independent Culture
Friday sees the release of Malcolm X, so before getting involved with Spike Lee's agenda, you might want to check out SEVEN SONGS FOR MALCOLM X (9pm C4), Black Audio Film Collective's account of the assasinated activist. Following him from zoot-suited jail-bird to child of Islam, their film is at its best when 'X' is let off the analytical leash and allowed to talk for himself, and on his legacy to young blacks today. 'He told the truth in an unvarnished, ruthless manner; and it's still a valid analysis,' says Thalani Davis, who contributes comment along with Spike Lee and Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz (who join Oprah Winfrey this Thursday). Whether young blacks will find much validity in the film's rather dated agit-prop style is a different matter - actors in static poses; captions like 'the hour of bondage' and 'a revolutionary remembers his childhood'. Get with the programme, guys, for, as Nietzsche nearly said: 'Godard is dead'.

It's nice to see boffins being given their head once in a while, and HORIZON (8pm BBC2) is usually happy to oblige. Here Be Monsters goes into deep space in search of the Big Bang via the inner workings of a black hole. The voyage is possible thanks to space telescopes, which, amongst other advantages, cut earth-bound smog out of the equation.

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