Pay-tv films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

The re­ac­tion of an au­di­ence at the Cannes film fes­ti­val doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily pre­dict any­thing; af­ter all, there are count­less lists on the in­ter­net of fa­mous films that were booed, such as 1976’s Taxi Driver and 1994’s Pulp Fic­tion. David Lynch has had a mixed re­cep­tion through the years at the sto­ried fes­ti­val. In 1990 his film Wild at Heart was roundly booed but went on to win the Palme d’Or. In 1992, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, his big-screen pre­quel to the tele­vi­sion se­ries and an ad­mit­tedly dif­fi­cult work, was also jeered. This year, his Twin Peaks re­vival won a five-minute stand­ing ova­tion. (At the Syd­ney pre­view screen­ing, the re­ac­tion was more of as­ton­ish­ment.) Af­ter a one-week hia­tus, the new se­ries re­turns with episode five of 18. In an age when po­lit­i­cal satire is get­ting trick­ier, no one is do­ing it bet­ter than Veep, star­ring Julia Louis-Drey­fus as the now for­mer US pres­i­dent Selina Meyer. More peo­ple seem to nom­i­nate this show as an ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of how Washington, DC, works over al­ter­na­tives such as House of Cards, Scan­dal or The West Wing — a no­tion I find in­tu­itively ap­peal­ing. Here, in sea­son six of the ac­claimed com­edy, cau­tion has been cast to the wind as the writ­ers seem de­ter­mined to push the jokes as far be­yond the pale as pos­si­ble. Race, re­li­gion, gen­der — noth­ing is be­neath them to lam­poon. Last week marked the re­turn of fan favourite Hugh Laurie as Tom James. This week’s episode is ti­tled Judge. Long Strange Trip Stream­ing on Ama­zon Prime Video The fi­nale of Judd Apa­tow’s sem­i­nal TV se­ries Freaks and Geeks fea­tured Lind­say Weir, played by Linda Cardellini (now star­ring in Net­flix’s Blood­line), pre­tend­ing to set off for sum­mer camp at uni­ver­sity but ac­tu­ally join­ing her friends fol­low­ing the Grate­ful Dead in a Kombi — such is the band’s en­dur­ing cul­tural sym­bol­ism. This new doc­u­men­tary, ti­tled Long Strange Trip, ex­ec­u­tive­pro­duced by Martin Scors­ese and di­rected by Amir Bar-Lev, as­sem­bles in­ter­views with the band, road crew, fam­ily mem­bers and no­table Dead­heads to re­veal the his­tory of the Dead and the psy­che­delic sub­cul­ture the band fos­tered, and to chart the rise and fall of 20th-cen­tury coun­ter­cul­ture. With lots of buzz around about Net­flix’s new true-crime se­ries The Keep­ers, which in­ves­ti­gates the mur­der of a Catholic nun in 1969 amid ac­cu­sa­tions she was killed for de­fend­ing sex­u­ally abused girls, check out the Os­car-win­ning film Spot­light (Tonight, 8.30pm, Mas­ter­piece), also based on a true story of cler­i­cal sex­ual abuse. Un­like the Net­flix se­ries, newspapers come out of this film look­ing quite heroic; the then real-life ed­i­tor of The Bos­ton Globe, Marty Baron, is still fight­ing the good fight as ed­i­tor of Jeff Be­zos’s The Washington Post, which has adopted the in­spir­ing tagline “Democ­racy dies in dark­ness”. From the end­lessly in­ven­tive mind of Char­lie Kauf­man, di­rec­tor of 2015’s Ano­ma­l­isa, check out his 1999 fan­tasy com­edy film Be­ing John Malkovich (Fri­day, 8.30pm, Mas­ter­piece). Di­rected by Spike Jonze, and star­ring John Cu­sack, Cameron Diaz and Cather­ine Keener along­side Malkovich, it in­tro­duced among other meta­phys­i­cal odd­i­ties the no­tion of a build­ing with a floor 7½. Di­rected by Ron Howard and star­ring Tom Hanks, Kevin Ba­con, Bill Pax­ton, Gary Sinise and Ed Har­ris, 1995’s Apollo 13 (Fri­day, 10.25pm, Mas­ter­piece) tells the heroic story of a NASA mis­sion gone awry.

Sem­i­nal US band the Grate­ful Dead

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