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TGIF columns are in order by date from the most recent.

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 24 August 2018

Today’s Number One Film: The Silence of the Lambs, 1.15pm HBO Signature. Watch this if you liked Manhunter, Psycho or Se7en. Though judged by some critics to be not as scary as Manhunter, the first movie based on the “Hannibal Lecter” books, The Silence of the Lambs is a top-notch thriller with huge atmosphere and two very strong performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. The cage-to-elevator-to-ambulance scenes alone make the whole film worthwhile. Of course you have to come to terms with the extremely challenging concept of a cannibal – someone who eats human beings - being a “star”, but that’s a piece of cake

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Trump Quaking

THE BEST THING about being away from the Internet and television for the last week was that, for seven blissful days, I did not once think about Donald J-for-Jackass Trump.

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A Red House for Mr Biswas

To mark the enigma of departure, I offer this affectionate parody, peopling our Red House with the tragicomic c.haracters of Miguel Steet. The words italicised below are mine; Sir Vidia’s prose in plain type, as untouched as it is untouchable, is taken direct from Miguel Street.

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Jasper the Lionhearted

Emancipation Day showers pelting down and I’m criss-crossing St James, searching in vain as well as in rain, for doubles for my daughter. In a side street, in the middle of the road, in the rain, he sits, wet tail wound around his damp, straggly, reddish-brown fur.

He looks like a preemie fox. Standing on rear tiptoe, his front paws at full stretch would barely touch my knees. He turns a baleful eye towards me. Bounce me, nuh. Raindrops spattering my spectacles, I call out to him. He moves reluctantly to sit right outside the driver’s door. His big brown eyes lock with mine.“It looks like he’s saying, “Take me with you”,” I say to my son, who arches a doubtful eyebrow. “More like, “End it all, please”.”

He doesn’t look cared for – looks like his owner couldn’t possibly care less, actually – but a small crossbreed, didn’t arrive here as a stray; and my wife has already dog-napped someone’s pet in Barbados, thinking she was “rescuing” him.

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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 12 August 2018

Today’s Number One Film: *The Hours 9.30pm Fox Cinema BEST FILM OF THE DAY. 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. A hugely enjoyable drama with a soul-shaking denouement should

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