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A trifecta of the best films on DirecTV & cable

On a great day for wide-ranging film choice, three films that have been the Best Film of the Day before screen a little too early on this Carnival Sunday to get the nod they deserve: 2001: A Space Odyssey BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 6.05am Max; *Lawrence of Arabia, 8.40am Max and **Boyhood, 7.08am HBO2. A Perfect Murder, (6.55am MaxP), the very strong remake of Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder also fails to place for that reason. The only music challenging the soca on DirecTV is Dire Straits: On the Night (9am TCM).

Film of the Day:

The Hours 7.05pm Fox Cinema. Watch this if you liked Closer, House of Sand and Fog or The Ballad of Jack & Rose. Technically masterful – indeed, marvellous – adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s novel recreating a single day in the lives of three women, one in 1923, one in 1951 and one in 2001. A powerful and ultimately hopeful film although dealing with that entirely depressing subject matter: the human condition

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A Hope in Hell Conclusion; or perhaps “The End”

YOU DON’T HAVE to be intelligent to stop believing in God, just open-minded. Admit the possibility that there is no omnipotent, omniscient, caring Creator, deserving of worship and capable of intervention in our lives, and the idea takes root at once, is watered heavily by the available evidence and blossoms into the rational rejection of even the most well-intended of superstitions.

What’s more, there being no God explains everything in a complete way that there being a God cannot. The non-believer does not have to agonize over why God would allow bad things to happen to good people; he can simply go to work to make the world a better place; better to give a thirsty child a glass of water than to say three novenas begging God to make it rain.

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A Trifecta of Today’s Best Films on the Box

Today’s number one film:

Pleasantville, 12 midday MaxU. Watch this if you liked The Truman Show, Groundhog Day or Stranger Than Fiction. An excellent film on all levels, starting with an outstanding script and backed by flawless direction and magnificent performances. Technically it is not only sound but ground-breaking, with the medium of cinema itself being used to make the film’s points, via colour taking over the black & white screen as the spirit of rebellion and free thinking spreads.

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​Holy Smoke & Mirrors

Part II of A Hope in Hell

FROM THE TIME we grasped that to be born meant having to also die, we’ve not been happy with the concept. William Saroyan, the great American short story writer (he is to O. Henry what backgammon is to ludo, or vintage calypso is to modern soca), said it best: “Everybody has to die but I always believed an exception would be made in my case”; if there were a God, surely She would give William Saroyan a break for that, precisely because it is literally deathly funny.

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A Trifecta of Today’s Best Films on the Box

If BC on TV could be sure of English subtitles, the Hungarian thriller/horror, White God, would have been today’s number one pick; though it is probably not today’s “best” film, it is almost certainly the most original – even with Locke, The Lobster, Slumdog Millionaire, Stranger Than Fiction and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind all screening.

Today’s number one film:

Slumdog Millionaire, 10am Fox Movies. Watch this if you liked any of Bride & Prejudice, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala AND Life is Beautiful, American Beauty or The Departed. Danny Boyle’s exuberant direction makes the stark poverty of inner-city India bearable long enough for his deeply compassionate and sympathetic story of young love to take hold; worth it just for the clever flashing back from the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Read more

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