Small Screen Machine

Our weekly recommendations of great films on TV

This week’s Top Pick was chosen by Drew, who opted for The Cable Guy, while Angie has recommended four other films.

The Cable Guy (1996, 12)
Sony Movies, 7.05pm on Tuesday 4 August
The Guardian recently ranked Jim Carrey’s top 20 film performances, and his role as Chip, the eponymous cable guy, came in at number four. This is interesting since the film wasn’t well-received upon release. Audiences expected another wacky-but-likeable character Carrey was famous for, such as Ace Venture: Pet Detective, or Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber. But Chip was a change in direction. While still wacky and Carreyesque, he has a dark and sinister undertone that was off-putting to audiences. But viewed in hindsight, Carrey’s ability to make Chip unsettling yet sympathetic demonstrates the depth and nuance we’d later see in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


Howards End (1992, PG)
Film4, 6.05pm on Sunday 2 August
A beautiful costume drama that won three Oscars and stars the glorious Emma Thompson. Based on E. M. Forster’s classic 1910 novel, it’s a story of class relations in turn of the (20th) century Britain.


Animal Farm (1954, U)
Film4, 1.05pm on Monday 3 August
Adapted from George Orwell’s searing political allegory, this was the first feature-length animation produced in Britain. Animals rebel against their unscrupulous owner and gain control of his farm only for the pigs leading the revolt to succumb to greed and corruption.


Drive (2011, 18)
Sony Movies Action, 11.10pm on Wednesday 5 August
Fasten your seat belts for this film which won Best Director at Cannes. A stuntman and getaway driver is attracted to his neighbour and thereby drawn into a dangerous underworld. Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks star.


The Book of Life (2014, U)
Film4, 11am on Thursday 6 August
“refreshingly sparky and laugh-out-loud funny family film” The Observer.
A warrior and a musician battle for the heart of a super-independent heroine amidst Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. Over 60 years on from Animal Farm, how has animation evolved?



Screen Machine Gets a Deep Clean


A big thank you to Judith and Cameron, the husband and wife team in charge of Pro Clean Highland, and who gave Screen Machine an extensive deep clean last week. They used special anti-viral agents on the upholstery, carpet, and seats, and did such a good job everything looks brand new!

Thank you Judith and Cameron!

Photos taken by our senior operator Iain MacColl




Brian Griffin: POP – You can watch this Photography on Screen collaboration with Street Level Photoworks about one of the most eminent British photographers of the seventies and eighties. In it, he discusses his music photography, including some insights into his techniques in making the images for the covers of Depeche Mode, Siouxsie Sioux, Iggy Pop, Kate Bush, and Simple Minds, amongst others.

Into Film – Into Film are offering many online film education resources for children and young people, including membership of their Youth Advisory Council, their Artemis Fowl and #Review100 competitions, and their Eco Explorers resource about key environmental issues. If you’re new to Into Film then you’ll need to sign up for a free account to access their resources.

MUBI – You can still sign up for a free three-month membership with MUBI, who recently added a library of hundreds of previously curated films for you to choose from. If you cancel before the end of your trial then you won’t be charged. If you decide to stay on, you’ll be charged a standard paid subscription with MUBI. (You’ll be entering into a contract with MUBI, not with Regional Screen Scotland or Screen Machine.)

BFI Japan 2020 – The BFI are releasing featured collections of some of Japan’s most lauded films on their online player, including the work of directors Akira Kurasawa and Yasujirō Ozu, as well as selections of anime, J-horror, and other classics. To watch, you need to sign up to the BFI Player for £4.99 per month. Please note that you’ll be entering a contract with the BFI and not with Regional Screen Scotland or Screen Machine.



Screen Machine Movie Trivia Quiz

Ten more questions for you to test your general movie knowledge this week. Once you are done, highlight the hidden text at the bottom for the answers.

1. In what year did the BAFTAs host their first film awards ceremony?
2. Before casting James Earl Jones as the iconic voice of Darth Vader, who did George Lucas originally plan to voice the role?
3. What was Steven Spielberg’s salary for ’Schindler’s List’?
4. What three roles does Peter Sellers play in ‘Dr Strangelove’?
5. Judi Dench won the Best Supporting Actress as Queen Elizabeth in ‘Shakespeare in Love’. How long is she on screen?
6. In the 1980 comedy ‘Airplane!’, how does Dr Rumack respond when Ted Striker says: “Surely you can’t be serious!”?
7. How old was John Singleton when he directed the 1991 drama ‘Boyz n the Hood’?
8. Which member of The Beatles financed the production of ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ (1979)?
9. How many times is the phrase “Old Sport” said in ‘The Great Gatsby’ (2013)?
10. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter have appeared in seven films together. How many of them can you name?

1. 1949. BAFTA was founded in 1947, originally as the British Film Academy with the awards called the British Film Academy Awards. 2. Orson Welles. 3. Nothing. He refused a salary and used his profits to fund the USC Shoah Foundation. 4. RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, US President Merkin Muffley, and Dr Strangelove. He was also meant to play American pilot Major TJ “King” Kong. 5. Just under 8 minutes. 6. “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” 7. 23 years old. The following year, at age 24, he was nominated for the Oscar for Best Director, becoming both the first African-American and youngest person to be nominated for that award. 8. George Harrison. 9. 55 times. Almost all are spoken by Leonardo DiCaprio. 10. ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ (2005), ‘Corpse Bride’ (2005), ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ (2007), ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010), ‘Dark Shadows’ (2012), ‘The Lone Ranger’ (2013), ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (2016).


We’ll be back with more news next Friday. We hope that you all have a great week and stay well.