11 items from 2014
Orphaned baby animals will be filmed for a new BBC One show as they attempt to make their way in the wild.
Nature's Miracle Orphans will see Max Hug Williams and Ellie Harrison travelling to Costa Rica and Australia respectively to meet people who care for orphaned animals and teach them the skills they need to survive in the wild.
Williams will visit Kids Saving the Rainforest in Costa Rica to get to know a three-toed sloth called Newbie who has a dangerous illness, a two-toed baby sloth called Tiny, and an anteater called Al - who has to learn how to, well, eat ants.
Meanwhile, Harrison will go to the Cape Otway Conversation Centre in Australia to meet an abandoned koala called Danny - who ran up the leg of the driver who stopped to save him - and at Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter near Melbourne she'll get to know baby wallaby Neil. »
PBS was tops among networks with 12 wins, followed by Nickelodeon and syndicated programs with 10 apiece. CBS took eight, Hub Network claimed six and the now-defunct Toln.com soap venture won five.
A complete list of winners follows:
Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series
- Variety Staff
Australia... it's a vast, beautiful, welcoming country. It's also full to bursting with things that can kill you, if the big screen is to be believed. Inspired by Mia Wasikowska's plucky 1,700-mile trek across the Outback in Tracks, we flag up the traps and tropes she should watch out for.
Exotic wildlife proliferates Down Under, most of it deceptively lethal. Witness the baby stolen by a dingo in horrifying Meryl Streep-starrer A Cry In The Dark (1988). The same – real – tragedy loosely inspired Razorback, a mullet-tastic 1984 horror about a giant marauding pig, directed by Highlander's Russell Mulcahy (mooted tagline: 'There Can Only Be Oink'). The less said about the ballet-dancing were-roos of The Marsupials: The Howling III (1987), the better.
The turtles need our help. In honor of Earth Day, Rosario Dawson, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Ted Danson and a number of other celebs have come together to try and promote the conservancy of our shelled friends through a PSA for the organization Turtle Conservancy. According to their website, The Turtle Conservancy is "the premiere facility for breeding Critically Endangered turtles and tortoises in the world. Our conservation breeding program now includes 32 species of turtles and tortoises, with 12 of the 'Top 40 Most Endangered' according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group." Watch the clip to see more of our »
Yesterday, Ed told you that This Week with George Stephanopoulos hired anti-gay pundit Laura Ingraham. Salon‘s Alex Pareene says that’s just the latest step in a rightward lurch for the Sunday morning talk show, one that involves hiring conservative pundits who make for terrible television. But, really, if you want to watch a Sunday morning talk show, you should be watching Up with Steve Kornacki. Under Kornacki, Up is a lot more political, and Kornacki has turned out to be incredibly skilled at asking the tough questions that cut to the truth of the matter.
It’s finally happening. EW says that NBC has scheduled The Maya Rudolph Show for May 19. The variety special will feature appearances by Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Craig Robinson and Chris Parnell with a performance by Jannell Monae. The variety show is a genre that has struggled on TV (oh, »
- Lyle Masaki
At its best, Under The Skin plays like an episode of Nature, crying out for David Attenborough to narrate the action. The relationship of our alien protagonist (who is never named) to her environment is functionally that of an animal predator, largely bereft of moral dimension and taking interest only in what she perceives as prey. Like many predators, she presents a false front to lure her victims, taking the form of not merely a human, but Scarlett Johansson, both coming into her own and subverting her role as a sex icon. She is observed here outside of her natural habitat but perfectly in her element, tracked like a documentary subject in a style that could best be likened to cinema verite when it isn’t outright hallucinatory. And like moths to a flame, her prey comes to her, but as Skin is careful to point out, one underestimates both »
- Anders Nelson
Hidden Kingdoms (BBC1) | iPlayer
Wild Brazil (BBC2) | iPlayer
Benefits Street (C4) | 4oD
House of Fools (BBC2) | iPlayer
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (E4) | 4oD
The BBC – historically weak under fire – came out with its hands up ahead of its new three-part wildlife series Hidden Kingdoms, which has had the audacity to capture the action-packed worlds of nature's smaller creatures by way of blue-screen technology, custom-built "stages", storyboarding and other black arts of the film-making trade likely to provoke cries of "Fake!" or (anticipating the distress of poor David Attenborough innocently settling down at 8pm on Thursday with his TV dinner): "How could you, you bastards!"
In fact they showed us how, as is now the custom, in a fascinating 10-minute segment at the end. All else being truthful, »
- Phil Hogan
Empire fetishism, off-planet solutions, rewilding: is there more to kids' TV than meets the eye?
Thomas And Friends
Engine empire fetishism: Despite its admirably integrated travel system, Sodor is an island still in thrall to outmoded and discredited ideas of empire. The inhabitants are literally railroaded with faux-paternal ruthlessness by Sir Topham Hatt, an obese Orwellian "controller" who humiliates and demeans anyone who dares deviate from his operational plans. One extreme reading of the show is that Thomas, Percy, Emily and the rest of the steam team are actually humans suffering indentured servitude; could it be we are seeing them exclusively from Hatt's power-drunk viewpoint, and his cholesterol-throttled brain can only conceive of them as wheeled chattel?
Off-planet solutions: Set on a "junk planet" drowning in so much waste that the only salvageable materials available to construct a spacecraft are an empty baked-bean can and a battered kitchen funnel, »
- Graeme Virtue
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
“Certain experiences you can’t survive, and afterward, you don’t fully exist, even if you failed to die. Everything that happened…is still happening, only now it’s 20 years later, and what happened is just story.”—from the novel Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto
“Strange is the night where black stars rise.” – from The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
True Detective is many things at once—an immersive character study, a gripping head-trippy murder mystery, a psychological profile of the anti-hero zeitgeist, a tour de force for Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. But simply and deeply, it is »
- Jeff Jensen
Odd List Ivan Radford 7 Jan 2014 - 06:37
Last year may only be a memory, but its film themes linger in the mind. Here's Ivan's pick of 2013's best soundtracks...
Just a quick scan down the list below reveals an extraordinary breadth of genres and subject matters, from imposing, expensive science fiction films to quiet, intimate stories about men at sea on boats or outlaws breaking out of prison to be with their wives. Disparate though the films are, they're all linked by at least one common motif: their music is utterly brilliant.
So with 2014 already well underway, and an entire new wave of films with great music in them beckoning, join us as we look back to the movies of last year, their finest soundtracks, and the must-listen pieces of music you can dig out on each one.
Must-listen track: Don't Let Go
When does sound »
11 items from 2014
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