4 items from 2013
Jack Clayton's masterpiece is full of repressed sexual hunger and throbbing darkness
Fifty-two years young, Jack Clayton's masterpiece The Innocents is as unsettlingly beautiful and insolubly ambiguous today as it was on the day it was released, and remains, along with Robert Wise's The Haunting, one of the great British psychological horror movies. Based on Henry James's The Turn Of The Screw – derived by screenwriters Truman Capote and John Mortimer from the 1950 Broadway stage adaptation by William Archibald – it's a perfect alignment of script and director, stars and subject matter, and it offers a ton of subsidiary pleasures in its casting (including Peter Wyngarde, a decade before Jason King, and Martin Stevens, the lead blond psycho kid from Village Of The Damned).
The striking camerawork comes courtesy of Freddie Francis, who less than two years later would embark upon a second career as a successful director »
- John Patterson
Juke Box Jury chairman who went on to keep leading politicians in line on radio's Any Questions?
David Jacobs, who has died aged 87, was a radio and television broadcaster of considerable versatility and spirit. He was a reassuring presence whether introducing new pop records on BBC television's Juke Box Jury (1959-67) or keeping politicians and other pontificators politely but firmly in line on Radio 4's Any Questions? (1967-84). When this itinerant live programme made a 1976 visit to Basingstoke, in Hampshire, anti-fascist demonstrators hurled bricks because they objected to the presence of Enoch Powell on the platform. With great dignity, Jacobs led the team off the platform – and back on to it 10 minutes later when the police had re-established order.
For his final programme, he was allowed to choose his own panellists. His colourful lineup was the yachtswoman Clare Francis, Ken Livingstone, then leader of the Greater London Council, Lord (Richard) Marsh, »
- Dennis Barker
The London-native actress is learning ever more about America from working on creator-producer Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama. With the series launching its second season Sunday, July 14, she says such upcoming topics as antiterrorism strategies and the 2012 presidential election are increasing her knowledge and understanding of life in the United States.
Mortimer tells Zap2it she finds the Supreme Court -- which made major news last week with its rulings on gay-rights issues -- "particularly" interesting. "Those people can't be voted out once they're there, and it's a wonderful system in a way, but there's also room for questioning it.
"It's unlike anything we've experienced at home [where the British Parliament can remove Supreme Court justices]. These are appointed judges who make extremely important decisions about things that affect all of us forever. There are definitely different interests that you really have to think about. »
With the current success of Father Brown and the past popularity of Rev, priests and vicars may be starting to take centre stage on TV. We pay homage to some of the best small-screen clergy
Traditionally, television has either dressed them up inWith straw hats and used them as the butt of jokes, or portrayed them as hapless victims in Agatha Christie adaptations. But it seems that priests and vicars have begun to take centre stage on the small screen. Following the success of BBC2's comedy Rev, there's currently another sympathetic ordinand on television: Gk Chesterton's prewar detective Father Brown, who has been appearing daily on BBC1 in the afternoons.
Brown is played by Mark Williams (of The Fast Show and Harry Potter fame). He would not have been my immediate idea for the part of Chesterton's squat and gentle character with the odd clothes and large brolly, but »
- Ben Dowell
4 items from 2013
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