sun 22/04/2018

documentary

True Horror, Channel 4 review - a Ronseal approach to ghost stories

As if the real world wasn’t scary enough... Ghost stories are en vogue at the moment, and after the BBC’s hit-and-miss Requiem, Channel 4 brings True Horror to the small screen – a collection of "real" ghost stories, told by witness interviews and...

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Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation, BBC One review - ‘He was a cool guy and everybody loved him’

When doctors told Doreen Lawrence her son had died she thought, "That’s not true." Spending time with his body in the hospital, aside from a cut on his cheek, it seemed to her he was sleeping. The death of a child will always be strange, and in the...

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The Queen's Green Planet, ITV review - right royal arboreals

QCC isn’t the name of a new football club, nor some higher qualification for those toiling at the Bar, but stands for "Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy". Had you heard of it? On the eve of the Commonwealth conference, along came Jane Treays's gently...

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Boy George and Culture Club: From Karma to Calamity, BBC Four

The title signalled what was coming so clearly, it may as well have been called When Bands End Badly: the two camps, the arguments and sniping and the eventual collapse of Culture Club’s US and UK tour to promote an album of new material. It’s...

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Civilisations: First Contact, BBC Two review - David Olusoga goes for gold

After the suave theatrical persuasions of Simon Schama and the earnest professorial shtick of Mary Beard, in episode six of Civilisations (BBC Two) it was the turn of David Olusoga, the third of the documentary's triumvirate of presenters. He began...

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Score review - breathless dash through music and film

The crucial yet almost indefinable role of music in film – it’s a subject ripe for exploration and celebration, from the musicological technicalities of leitmotifs and ostinatos, through to the colourful characters working to bring directors’...

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The Islands and the Whales review - masterful, sensitive eco-documentary

A feature-length documentary on whaling in the Faroe Islands: you might think you can see it unfolding already. Hardy Viking fishermen battling the elements, gruesome killings of majestic sea creatures, implied or outright condemnation of the...

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DVD: Queerama

Last year, the BFI commemorated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality with the release of Queerama, part of its Gross Indecency film season. Now available on DVD, the documentary from Daisy Asquith eschews standard...

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Big Cats About the House, BBC Two review - irresistible feline-human bonding

There is a jaguar in the house. Aged five days, and having been rejected by her mother, Maya has arrived from the wildlife park where she was born for hand-rearing by Giles Clark at his home in Kent. The cub is going to spend her early days with his...

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Being Blacker, BBC Two review - absorbing film about family, culture and society

They don’t commission many television documentaries like Being Blacker (BBC Two) any more. That is not unconnected to the fact that Molly Dineen downed her camera a decade ago. Dineen began filming in another age, before the arrival of kiss-me-quick...

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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story review - Hollywood's brainiest beauty

Hedy Lamarr really ought to be the poster girl for the Time's Up movement. “Any girl can look glamorous," she once said. "All she has to do is stand still and look stupid.” She was the model for Catwoman and Disney's Snow White. It's less well known...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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