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2 items from 2016

Catch-up and download: from We Can Be Heroes to Outlander

11 April 2016 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Chris Lilley’s mockumentary makes a welcome return to the iPlayer while Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore swaps outer space for time travel over on Amazon Prime

Before there was Angry Boys and Summer Heights High, there was We Can Be Heroes. Chris Lilley’s first series suggested that right from the start he was a true chameleon of a performer as well as a fine spoofer of a certain kind of overly earnest aspirationalism. This mockumentary quest to find the Australian Of The Year introduces Shh’s Ja’ime King, Angry Boys Nathan and Daniel, and Phil Olivetti, the hero of a terrible bouncy castle accident. Available from Thursday.

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- Gwilym Mumford

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Sundance: ‘Wiener-Dog’ Filmmaker Todd Solondz Talks Drawing Inspiration From ‘Benji’

24 January 2016 8:46 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Todd Solondz has taken on pedophiles, teen bullies, rapists and all manner of deviants.

But nothing in his previous work will prepare audiences for his latest protagonist — an adorable dachshund. In “Wiener-Dog,” the “Happiness” filmmaker follows the titular pooch as it is passed around from one dysfunctional owner to another. This being a Solondz movie, there’s plenty of dark gags, from explosive doggy diarrhea to an automobile-induced trip to the pet cemetery, that are certain to make the comedy one of the most divisive films to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

It’s the first film Solondz has had at the Park City, Utah, gathering since “Welcome to the Dollhouse” premiered to great acclaim in 1995. In a fitting bit of symmetry, “Wiener-Dog” checks in with that film’s teenage protagonist Dawn Wiener, now living an unfulfilled life as a veterinary assistant. There’s a casting switch though. »

- Brent Lang

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