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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 6 May 2018

On an otherwise pretty dismal day for film choice, all three of today’s picks equally deserve the BEST FILM OF THE DAY; BC on TV has listed them in “rarity-of-screening” order.

Today’s Number One Film:

Lawrence of Arabia, 10.54am, Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked The Bridge on the River Kwai, 12 Angry Men or Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. David Lean’s masterpiece tells the largely true tale of the Englishman who meddled in the Middle East in World War I, trying to bring Arab tribes together (towards His Majesty’s advantage). Though the real life TE Lawrence’s brother declared he should not have recognized his own brother from the screen version, Peter O’Toole’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the harrowing change in Lawrence from lighthearted dilettante to burdened war veteran remains the meat of the film, with lots of hefty potatoes supplied in the famous cinematography, score and action set pieces. The criticisms of the film upon release – that it crammed too much history into two hours of adventure cinema, relied on composite characters and simply invented stuff for dramatic purposes – would probably not even arise today. It won six other Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Cinematography. If only one film in all time deserves the label, “epic”, it’s probably this one. Directed by David Lean/ 1962/Adventure-Biograhphy-Drama-History-War/ UK/ 226 mins/ Rated PG.

Also watch:

Pulp Fiction, 5.27pm Fox Movies. Watch this if you liked Desperado, Django Unchained or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Still Quentin Tarantino’s best film all-round, notwithstanding the sparkling True Romance script, the gritty film noir power of Reservoir Dogs or the bloodthirsty passion of Kill Bill Vol I or Django Unchained. With Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta in what were arguably their best roles ever, you could hardly go wrong. The impact of the three tales sandwiched by the killer intro and outro will be lessened on the small screen, of course, and that is a huge loss. The Big Needle Scene becomes a small needle scene; but the dialogue will still blow all the shortcomings of TV as a medium away. “That’s gotta be one charming motherfiretrucking pig! Do you see a sign outside my house saying, “Dead Nigga Storage”?” All cinema should be as glorious as this.Directed by Quentin Tarantino/ 1994/ USA/ Crime-Thriller-Drama-Mystery/ 154 mins/ Rated R for strong graphic drug use and violence, including rape, pervasive strong language and some sexuality.

*Inception, 10.35am MaxPrime. Watch this if you liked Shutter Island, The Matrix or Pan’s Labyrinth. With Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing & Mixing Oscars and Best Director, Screenplay, Music, Special Effects & Best Sci-Fi Film Saturns, the most imaginative American film since Adaptation manages to mix visceral, pulse-racing action & tension with real cerebral satisfaction. Even if you don’t understand it – and, once you pay attention, you will, and will love it – the action and effects alone could blow your mind. Simply excellent. Perhaps the best American film made so far this century (even if by a Brit director). Directed by Christopher Nolan/ 2010/ UK-USA / Action-Sci-fi-Thriller/ 148 mins/ PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.

Just Nosed Out:

The End of the Tour (biodrama), 8.10am Max; Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (documentary-music-politics), 5.38pm ISat; *Creed (action-drama-sports), 7.10am & 4.55pm MaxP; Million Dollar Baby (drama-sports), 2.02pm HBOS; Carlito’s Way (crime-drama), 5.07pm FoxCin.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Cast Away, 12.15 midday CnCl.

Animated/Family: Kubo and the Two Strings, 11am & 9pm HBOF.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen fantasy rom-com), 4.05pm MaxU.

Classic: Once Upon a Time in America (crime-drama), 6.36am FoxClas.

Comedy: Paul (Seth Rogen sci-fi stoner comedy), 2.02pm FoxMov.

Documentary/Biography: MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (sports), 10.05am Max.

Drama: The Fault in Our Stars (young adult tearjerker), 6.20pm CnCl.

Horror: Christine (Stephen King book-based, John Carpenter directed), 10pm TCM.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: The Age of Adaline, 7pm HBOS.

Thriller: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (sci-fi), 6.40pm HBOP.

War: Hacksaw Ridge, 6.35pm HBOC.

Western: The Dark Command, 9pm FoxClas.

*Starred films have been picked in the last year. **Double-starred films have been picked in the last two months.***Triple-starred films were picked last week.

Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.

Please verify times.Advance Internet scheduled times can be wrong, especially at month-end.