FILMS OF THE WEEK
THE BIG MOVIE
Super 8 (2011) 12 Saturday, 9pm, Ch4 When children are the protagonists of a film, it doesn’t mean adults in the audience can’t relate to it. On the contrary, it gives grown-up viewers the chance to look back on their own childhoods with a new perspective. Set in 1979, Super 8 follows a group of young teens who witness (and catch on camera) a catastrophic crash that derails a freight train and unleashes otherworldly forces on their unsuspecting town. The children – Ryan Lee, Elle Fanning and Gabriel Basso (above) among them – share a secret, a key to the strange goings on, but they also have families and far more ordinary problems to contend with. Produced by Steven Spielberg, the spirit of his family classic E.T. lives on in this plucky group of young friends whose close encounter helps them to come of age.
CLASSIC FILM CHOICE
Airplane! (1980) 12 Sunday, 9pm, ITV4 Movie parodies aren’t often thought of as trailblazing. After all, the whole point is to poke fun at other, original films. But Airplane! is the exception, a comedy that spoofs Hollywood’s bigbudget disaster flicks and emerges a true original. On a flight from LA to Chicago, passengers and crew are struck down by a bout of fish-related food poisoning and there is no one to fly the plane, except inflatable autopilot Otto (above, with Julie Hagarty) whose skills do not extend to landing the craft. The humour is silly and absurd but also innocent, unpretentious and timeless. The point of the film is simply to make its audience laugh out loud or groan with relish at the corny but perfectly timed cliches. The cast are all in on the joke, too. Remarkably, Leslie Nielsen and Lloyd Bridges were new to comedy, but after Airplane! their careers flew in new directions.