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Wind your way to the cinema

Published: 
Sunday, March 2, 2014

Carnival Sunday and, even though BC on TV sends you to the movies TWICE today, the cable/DirecTV choice could keep you at home, with two films that could easily have been named best of the week (*The Artist, 7.10 pm Max, Schindler’s List, 2.35 pm TCM) and two others BC on TV will itself watch, a Palestine-leaning documentary (5 Broken Cameras, 5.30 pm Max) and a rock concert (Radiohead at Austin City Limits 8 pm HBO2). Carnival Monday offers another possible best film of the week in BC on TV’s by far and away-favourite Western, not picked only because it was recently (*Heaven’s Gate, 9 pm Monday Enc3) and the perfect musical for the non-soca crowd feeling like they’re being blocked in (Pink Floyd: The Wall, 10 pm TCM). After that, it’s a long, mostly cinematically dry week to another great Western, generally regarded as Sam Peckinpah’s best (*The Wild Bunch, 5.15 pm Friday TCM).

Today’s best film: 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen/ 2013/ UK-USA/ Biography-Drama-History/ 134 mins/ Rated R for violence, cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality) 11 am today, 2 pm, 5 pm and 8 pm every day, and 11 pm Friday and Saturday, MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain BEST FILM OF THE WEEK. Watch this if you liked Amistad, Boys Don’t Cry or Django Unchained. Time your arrival at or departure from your Carnival Sunday all-inclusive fete to allow you to see the most eagerly anticipated film amongst the world’s filmmakers, which has finally reached the big screens in Trinidad, just when Trinidadians take on serious movies the least! The best films in T&T have the shortest runs and this may be the best film of the century, so go real fast. It is harsh, deeply upsetting, painful to endure—and critically important. This is where we started from, and it’s no surprise where we ended up, still willing to inflict pain on one another at the drop of an eyelash. T&T will be able to assess itself, as a society, depending on whether it “prefers” this historically accurate account or the Quentin Tarantino version with plenty more explosion and thing. Harsh as it is, it could have been a lot harder, if the worst moments of Solomon Northup’s autobiography had been included.

Today and rest of the week: Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener/ 2013/ USA/ Romantic Comedy/ 93 mins/ Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence, language and partial nudity) 10.40 am today, 1 pm, 3.30 pm, 6 pm, 8.30 pm, and 10.45 pm Friday and Saturday MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain. Watch this if you liked Blue Jasmine, Nobody Walks or The Sessions. Toss your pirate DVD copy out and head for the big screen for James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini’s last film and the first moving pictures to properly harness the huge dramatic talent of Julia “Elaine on Seinfeld” Louis-Dreyfus. Enough Said represents both Independent American cinema and the least reliable of all movie genres, the romantic comedy, at their best. Centred squarely on the relationships between its characters and the outstanding performances of all, including Catherine Keener in support, Enough Said never flags for an instant and offers enough laughs to more than make up for the one fly in the ointment, namely, a plot that might have worried Shakespeare over its believability. 

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven/ 1984/ USA/ Horror/ 91 mins/ R for violence, strong language and sexual content) 10 pm Thursday Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked Insidious, Paranormal Activity or The Shining. BC on TV’s third-favourite horror, after The Shining and The Exorcist, Nightmare’s magic comes from director Craven’s melding of the dream world with the waking one to create a film as big on atmosphere as it was small on budget. Three full decades after it was made (without a frame of CGA), the viewer’s body hair stands on end for several of the most memorable images in cinema, like Freddy trying to push through the wall above Nancy’s bed (achieved with a piece of ordinary latex and a startling imagination) or the children skipping rope, singing, “One, two/ Freddie’s coming for you” up to “Nine, ten/ Never sleep again”. Arguably the most astonishing sight in the film, though, is an unbelievably young, pre-21 Jump Street Johnny Depp. Recommended like obeah. Best of the rest:  Mon: A Lonely Place to Die, 10 pm HBO; Tues: *Das Boot, 3 pm TCM; Wed: Everything Is Illuminated, 9 pm MaxW; Thurs: Romeo and Juliet (1968 Franco Zifferelli version), 3pm TCM;  Fri: The Wild Bunch, 5.15 pm TCM; Sat: Pale Rider, 6 am TCM. *Starred films have been chosen in the last three months. Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.

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