Sunday BC on TV – A trifecta of the best films on DIRECTV
For anyone lucky enough never to have seen the best American movie ever made, just like yesterday, both parts screen on Paramount: The Godfather Part I, 6pm, The Godfather, Part II, 9.35pm BEST FILM OF THE DAY; you are hardly likely to find a better way to spend six-and-a-half hours this year; perhaps ever.
Today’s Number One Film:
The Exorcist, 10pm Turner Classic Movies. Watch this if you liked The Omen, The Shining or the original Wes Craven A Nightmare on Elm Street. Though gore and special effects have been greatly improved in modern movies, The Exorcist, at 44 years old, is far, far scarier than most of today’s rubbish. Before excess replaced finesse, this movie had people running screaming out of cinemas all over the world. Watch the scene with the crucifix – far, far more upsetting than the book version – and you’ll see why. The openin music alone, the first minutes of Mike Oldfield’s 25-minute long, ‘Tubular Bells’ is by itself terrifying. This, the “version you’ve never seen”, includes three seconds of footage – the stairs descent – that adds years to the viewers’ life through sheer creepiness. A masterpiece of unease, distress and fright. Directed by William Friedkin/ 1973/ USA / Horror/ 122 mins/ R for strong language and disturbing images.
The Sting, 2.10pm Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked Ocean’s Eleven, Catch Me if You Can or Cool Hand Luke. The Sting is pure entertainment as Paul Newman and Robert Redford reprise their cute bad boy roles from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid in another period piece – this time pulling off a huge con job in gangster-dominated pre-WWII Chicago. This may be the slickest movie ever made and is certainly the slickest of its genre, making the modern Oceans Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen look rough by comparison; and, as lanyap, it features some of the best music ever written for cinema, with the Scott Joplin theme becoming ragtime’s greatest hit. Not a literary worth, perhaps, but perfectly made and hugely entertaining. Recommended with the certain knowledge you’ll be touching the side of your nose and whistling “The Entertainer” for a week. Every bit as good today as it was 45 years ago. Directed by George Roy Hill/ 1973/ USA/Caper-Comedy-Crime/ 129 mins/ Rated PG but suitable for family viewing.
The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, (aka Le scaphandre et le papillon) 10.50am Cinemax. Watch this if you liked The Sea Inside, Goodbye Solo or The Wrestler. For French speakers or Spanish sub-title readers only and neither group will be laughing much. The true account, astonishingly beautifully filmed, of the almost complete paralysis of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby and his amazing life thereafter. Beautiful and deeply touching but also heartbreaking. A film for people who love both film and life itself, and can appreciate a work of art without being shattered by it. Directed by Julian Schnabel/ 2007/ France-USA/ Biography-Drama/ 112 mins/ Rated PG-13 for nudity, sexual content and some language.
JUST NOSED OUT:
*Pleasantville (Drama-Fantasy), 12 midday HBOS; **Steve Jobs (Bio-Drama), 9pm HBOS; Meet the Fockers (Comedy), 7.05pm FoxCom; Clueless (Rom-Com-Young Adult), 10.15am CnCl; The Sand Pebbles (Classic-War), 9.15am FoxClas; Mr Pip (Drama), 11.55am FoxCin; Night Train to Lisbon (Drama-Mystery), 1.55pm FoxCin; Don’t Breathe (Crime-Thriller), 4.55pm HBO2; Fair Game (Bio-Drama-Thriller), 12.50 midday Prmt.
BEST Pay Per View BET: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Action/Adventure: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, 3.10pm FoxMov.
Art House/Independent: **The Lobster (Drama-Fantasy-Sci-fi-Thriller), 8.25pm Max.
Biography: **Black Mass (Crime-Drama-Thriller), 8.05am HBOC; Frida, 9.55am FoxCin.
Children/Family: **Garfield: The Movie, 11.40am FoxFam.
Classic: **Spartacus (Action-Drama-Epic), 4.20pm FoxClas.
Comedy: **Keanu (Action-Crime-Thriller), 10.15am HBOC
Drama: Legend (Tom Hardy Kray Bros Bio), 5.45pm MaxP.
Documentary: Spotlight (Docudrama-History), 2.40pm HBO2.
Foreign: Phoenix (German Holocaust Drama), 5.20pm FoxCin.
Horror: **Unfriended, 5.10pm HBOP.
Sci-fi-Fantasy: **Surrogates, 11.20am HBO
Thriller: Deadpool (Superhero), 6.10pm FoxAct.
War: Fury, 6.45pm HBOC.
*Starred films have been chosen in the last year. ** Double-starred films have been chosen in the last two months. Particularly strong Also Ran choices are bolded.
Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.