Small Screen Machine 03.04.20

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Small Screen Machine

Our weekly recommendations of great films on the telly

Welcome, particularly if you are receiving this for the first time. We’ve been tidying up our distribution list (yes, it has come to that) and more e-mail addresses have been added. From next Friday, we’ll be changing the format of this newsletter, so that you are hearing from us just once a week, with TV film recommendations and other news too.

Morvern has selected our top pick this week. Morvern’s a bit of a horror/cult afficionada and this week she’s suggesting a dose of ‘daylight dread’.

And Soon the Darkness
If you have access to terrestrial television and haven’t yet discovered Talking Pictures TV, then where have you been?! Talking Pics has quickly become renowned in the last few years for screening high quality archive film and TV material, particularly British cult classics. This coming week is no exception, in particular with underrated thriller gem And Soon The Darkness – a slow-burn suspense from 1970 that follows the increasingly sinister story of two young women on a cycling holiday in rural France. From the director of Dr Phibes and The Avengers this is quite a different offering of ‘daylight dread’, sure to give you some late-night chills!

And Soon the Darkness (1970, 15)
Talking Pictures TV (Freeview 81)
Wednesday 8 April at 10.05pm

And a few more ideas from Angie are below. None of Angie’s picks have been shown on Screen Machine, but they have been carefully selected by her to appeal if you have recently seen and enjoyed e.g. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (True Romance), Mary Poppins Returns (Nanny MacPhee) or a costume drama (Marie Antoinette).

Until next week, stay safe and well everyone.


True Romance
(1985, 18)
Friday 3rd at 11.20pm
Sony Movies

A shy clerk marries a hooker, kills her pimp, and together they go on the run with a suitcase full of cocaine and the Mob in hot pursuit.  A tale of star crossed lovers, written quarter of a century ago by Quentin Tarantino, it’s fascinating to compare this with his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which you may have seen last year in Screen Machine. The starry cast features Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken and Oscar winner Brad Pitt.

Girl With Green Eyes
(1963, PG)
Saturday 4th at 9.20pm
Talking Pictures
Did you enjoy Taste of Honey from last week’s Small Screen Machine? Girl with Green Eyes, released 2 years later and also starring Rita Tushingham, is another great from that gritty “realist” era of British film making.  A Catholic Irish farm girl and her worldly best friend move to Dublin in search of excitement. There, they both fall for a worldly writer played by Peter Finch. Adapted from her novel The Lonely Girl by the celebrated writer Edna O’Brien.

Whisky Galore

(1949, U)

Thursday 9th at 3.25pm
What is there left to say about this film?  The remake was very popular on the Screen Machine three years ago and here’s your chance to enjoy all the charm of the original. Definitely a jewel in the crown of Ealing comedies.  Oh, and just in case anyone doesn’t know, it’s based on the true story of the SS Politician, which sank off the the coast of a Hebridean island en route from Liverpool to Jamaica. The locals do their best to rescue its cargo of 250,000 bottles of whisky before the authorities arrive.

Nanny MacPhee
(2005, U)
Saturday 4th at 4.50pm

The charming story of seven Victorian youngsters whose behaviour is so beastly that they’ve driven away 17 nannies. What can their exasperated widowed father do? Armed with a magic stick, mysterious Nanny McPhee is like an updated Mary Poppins.  Hugely enjoyable period fantasy adventure, starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Kelly Macdonald. And there is a bonus to this when sequel Nanny MacPhee and the Big Bang screens on Tuesday 7th also on ITV2 at 5pm.

Marie Antoinette
(2005, 12)
Tuesday 7th at 4.35pm
Sony Movies

Director Sofia Coppola’s modernist take on the life of the controversial former queen of France, following her marriage to Louis XVI at the age of 15 and her ascension to the throne at just 19. Beautiful to look at and with a soundtrack of 1980s new wave and punk. There’s a masked rave to Siouxsie and the Banshees’s Hong Kong Garden! This is French royalty as seen by Hollywood royalty, a study on the pressures of privilege more than on revolution. We had a couple of costume dramas about queens last year on Screen Machine, three if you count our very own Dancing Queen aka Operator Iain!  Those who saw Mamma Mia probably know what we’re talking about.

(2005, 15)
Friday 10th at 9pm
Horror ChannelThe film boasts all the thrills and excitement of the early Star Wars movies. A gang of interplanetary smugglers is pursued by a government assassin searching for a teenage girl who has taken shelter on board their spaceship. The sci-fi television series Firefly was cancelled mid-run in 2002, but acquired such a fervent cult following that writer/director Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was able to revive it for the big screen and it didn’t disappoint.


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