7 items from 2014
BBC2's first world war drama 37 Days was a march over very familiar territory. Spoiler alert: negotiations didn't work
37 Days (BBC2) | iPlayer
Line of Duty (BBC2) | iPlayer
Mind the Gap: London vs the Rest (BBC2) | iPlayer
As Russia's forces gathered on its western border last week, we were reminded once again that history repeats itself. First as tragedy, then as a three-part BBC series.
The particular section of history dramatised in 37 Days has been repeating itself of late like a pub bore on a baked bean diet. We may have our educational lacunae in this country, but surely most viewers could now gain an Oxford history first on the causes of the first world war.
Written by Mark Hayhurst, who scripted 2011's The Man Who Crossed Hitler, 37 Days covered the period between the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 and Britain's declaration of war against Germany on 4 August. »
- Andrew Anthony
An appealing odd-couple relationship is at the heart of this heartfelt study of sex addiction with few of the director's usual provocations
To recap: Lars von Trier makes an explicit film called Nymphomaniac; he orchestrates some traditional tongue-in-cheek Trier publicity about "hardcore" and "softcore" versions; he even induces excitable critics in Denmark and elsewhere to pull a gallery of orgasm faces in homage to the naughty poster campaign – like a Victorian medical textbook about congenital idiocy. Yet his new film is his most inoffensive, which is to say its offensiveness is deliberate; it's the first Von Trier film that is not a tiresome practical joke on the audience. It is about the most tender, platonic relationship imaginable: a depressed and exhausted woman and an elderly, vulnerable man, played superbly by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgård.
Skarsgård is Seligman, a lonely old bachelor who discovers Joe (Gainsbourg) lying bruised, bleeding and semi-conscious near his apartment building. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Mention the name Hercule Poirot and chances are that the first thing that pops into your mind is David Suchet’s moustachioed visage. Suchet, of course, portrayed Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian export for 24 years, from 1989 to 2013, during which time he starred in every major Poirot story that the author wrote. As great as these televisual treats were, though, I have very fond memories of the trio of Poirot movies that are included in this new Blu-ray collection.
Though I never saw them at the cinema, Murder On The Orient Express (1974), Death On The Nile (1978) and Evil Under The Sun (1982) always seemed to crop up on television whenever there was a Bank Holiday (on rotation with The Great Escape (1963) among others) and guaranteed that we as a family would sit together, glued to the screen, no matter how many times we’d seen them.
The first of these three movies, »
Maximilian Schell dead at 83: Best Actor Oscar winner for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ (photo: Maximilian Schell ca. 1960) Actor and filmmaker Maximilian Schell, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as the defense attorney in Stanley Kramer’s 1961 political drama Judgment at Nuremberg died at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, on February 1, 2014. According to his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, Schell died overnight following a "sudden and serious illness." Maximilian Schell was 83. Born on December 8, 1930, in Vienna, Maximilian Schell was the younger brother of future actor Carl Schell and Maria Schell, who would become an international film star in the 1950s (The Last Bridge, Gervaise, The Hanging Tree). Immy Schell, who would be featured in several television and film productions from the mid-’50s to the early ’90s, was born in 1935. Following Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, Schell’s parents, Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Margarete Schell Noé, »
- Andre Soares
From Ealing to Poirot by way of The Wicker Man, the Studiocanal back catalogue is filled to the brim with classic films that serve our home entertainment adventures of discovery and rediscovery. Now with the release of The Poirot Collection that brings together the three feature films of Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun, a glorious Blu-Ray warmth is offered to the crime aficionado during these winter months.
One of the icons of detective literature and television, Hercule Poirot first emerged from the imagination of the English writer Agatha Christie, before Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and David Suchet introduced her creation to the screen. Between them they have imbued Poirot with a Shakespearean presence; each interpretation an individual joy to watch, »
- Gary Collinson
★★★☆☆Hercule Poirot has been a mainstay on British television screens over the past quarter of a century thanks to David Suchet's definitive portrayal of the portly Belgian sleuth. Courtesy of UK distributors StudioCanal, three of the great detective's most widely watched feature-length cases are now available on Blu-ray in a new box set - entitled The Poirot Collection - featuring Albert Finney's Academy Award-nominated turn in Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and two of Peter Ustinov's appearances as Agatha Christie's flatfoot in which he encounters Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Under the Sun (1982).
- CineVue UK
To mark the release of the Poirot Collection on 20th January, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
The collection brings to life three of Agatha Christie’s best-known novels, with Albert Finney marking the beginning of Poirot’s on screen journey along with Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca) who gives an Oscar® winning performance in Murder on the Orient Express. Death on the Nile sees Peter Ustinov step into Finney’s shoes to great acclaim. Four years later, Ustinov reprises the role alongside some of Britain’s best-loved actresses Jane Birkin, Dame Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg in Evil Under the Sun.
Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Small Print
Open to UK residents only The competition will close 22nd January at 23.59 GMT The winner will be picked at random from entries received No cash alternative is available
The usual »
7 items from 2014
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