Free-to-air films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air -

The ter­ri­ble de­struc­tion of arche­o­log­i­cal sites in the Mid­dle East in re­cent years has been pro­foundly up­set­ting. But Pe­tra, one of the most amaz­ing an­cient sites still ex­tant in Jor­dan, con­tin­ues to fas­ci­nate and con­found. Fa­mous for its sand­stone carved fa­cades, it was the on­cethriv­ing cap­i­tal of the Na­bateans from about 300BC and a cross­roads for the over­land spice and in­cense trade. But about AD100 the lo­cals ceased to use the site for tombs as their an­ces­tors had done. Did this mark some cat­a­clysmic event or aban­don­ment of the city? I could haz­ard a guess in re­gards to a cer­tain neigh­bour­ing civil­i­sa­tion and its ex­pe­di­tionary em­peror at that time. But here science has the an­swers. The third sea­son of this bodice-rip­ping tale is screen­ing at the same time as in Bri­tain. Based on the nov­els by Win­ston Gra­ham, it tells the story of Ross Poldark (Ai­dan Turner), who has re­turned to Corn­wall and the family tin mines af­ter fight­ing in the Amer­i­can War of In­de­pen­dence. It be­gan with some shirt-free scenes for Turner that helped es­tab­lish its five mil­lion-strong Bri­tish au­di­ence (though many noted an un­savoury sex scene in sea­son two in which his char­ac­ter was said to act am­bigu­ously at best and non­con­sen­su­ally at worst). This lat­est sea­son is set against the back­drop of French revo­lu­tion and in­tro­duces new char­ac­ters de­scribed as the rich­est and most pow­er­ful peo­ple in Corn­wall. The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe Sun­day, 10.30pm, SBS This doc­u­men­tary traces the cre­ation of the cel­e­brated play The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, which fea­tures the sto­ries of four African Aus­tralian women: Yar­rie, Ami­nata, Yor­danos and The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe Rose­mary — all for­mer refugees and vic­tims of sex­ual abuse and vi­o­lence — who bravely took on the chal­lenge of re­veal­ing their sto­ries in a pro­fes­sional theatre pro­duc­tion writ­ten and di­rected by the in­trepid Ros Horin. It cov­ers a five-year pe­riod and ends with the crit­i­cal suc­cess of the play in Syd­ney and London, and dis­cusses the ways that the women were em­pow­ered by the ex­pe­ri­ence. This doc­u­men­tary has screened at the Syd­ney and Mel­bourne film fes­ti­vals to great ac­claim. Event Hori­zon (Tonight, 8.30pm, Vice­land) is one of the most un­der­rated sci-fi films around. Star­ring Sam Neill and Lau­rence Fish­burne, the 1997 film had a trou­bled pro­duc­tion and was crit­i­cised for be­ing too gory (one mem­ber of the test au­di­ence is said to have fainted). Time, how­ever, has been kind and the film has de­vel­oped a cult fol­low­ing. An­other crit­i­cally re­viled film, and box-of­fice bomb, was 2012’s John Carter (Mon­day, 8.30pm, 7Mate) star­ring Tay­lor Kitsch and based on A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Bur­roughs — it’s ac­tu­ally so bad, it’s good. Carter is trans­ported from the Amer­i­can Civil War to the planet Mars hun­dreds of mil­lions of years in the past, then known as Bar­soom. In Mars’ low grav­ity, Carter is able to leap into the sky; why does ev­ery other Mars movie show peo­ple shuf­fling around like sloths? A guar­an­teed heart warmer, check out Kevin Cost­ner in Field of Dreams (Tonight, 7.30pm, 7Flix), which was re­leased 28 years ago. Also star­ring James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Burt Lan­caster and Amy Madi­gan, its ever­green pop­u­lar­ity can be seen in count­less trivia lis­ti­cles on­line, not to men­tion how phrases such as “if you build it they will come” have en­tered the ver­nac­u­lar.

Yor­danos Haile-Michael in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.