May 31, 2006

This Week on Australian TV

Stale week for tv this week, which I suppose it alright considering I find it impossible to watch any of the movies I intend to. There are a few could-be gems scattered about though!

SBS airs a 2002 French film titled The Devils from Christophe Ruggia, which sounds like it could be interesting. But I'm neither here nor there about it frankly. Before that there is one of those Asian horror movies that are so popular. Nightmare (2000) by Byeong-ki Ahn has the following plot: "Seven friends will die one by one for protecting a terrible secret. Can a vengeful spirit be stopped?" Yawn. I bet one or two survive and the rest die in gross situations - one of which will involve eyes being guaged, poked or completely ripped out. How about The Mod Squad (1999), which is today's Midday Movie on channel 7. No? Good choice.

The only movie on today that I've even heard about is The Banger Sisters (2002) from director Bob Dolman. It stars Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn (who snagged a Golden Globe nomination for this), Geoffrey Rush, Erika Christensen and Eva Amurri (Sarandon's daughter who i loved in Saved!) so it could be a mild curiosity. But really... who am I kidding? It looks crap.


Nathaniel's recent History of Tarzan actually makes me interested in watching the 1943 Wilhelm Thiele directed Tarzan's Desert Mystery. It has a 7.6 IMDb score, which is mightily impressive and it's from the Johnny Weismuller years. Hmmm.

I've mentioned many times how few Katherine Hepburn films I have seen in my years. So the sight of George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952) starring the Hep (lol, STD jokes be gone) and Spencer Tracy immediately piques my interest. It was nominated for an Academy Award (Screenplay), BAFTA (Best Actress), Golden Globe (Best Actress and Newcomer for Aldo Ray) as well as the WGA and DGA prizes so it's got some credit! Plus any chance to expand my viewing of Katherine, Spencer and George Cukor is a good thing.

On Saturday night we have Mrs Doubtfire of which I am an unashamed fan (don't EVEN start ragging on Mrs Doubtfire y'all), Hot Shots! Part Deux and the Sandy Bullock thriller Murder by Numbers (or Murd3r 8y Num8ers as the ridiculous promotions would have us believe it's called).

Oh, and look! Another british inspirational movie! Purely Belter from Mark Herman. Blah.

The only thing on today that I want to watch is the second half of Answered by Fire. Part 1 was really good so here's hoping the conclusion is to! Also on is Tarsem's The Cell (2000) of which I am a huge fan (shut up!). But I own it on DVD so why would I watch it on tv when it's sure to be edited from it's original R18+ rating?

And one of the purely dumbest movies of the new millenium gets an airing! Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). Everything about that movie was horrible and this is coming from me, someone who loves the original. This was truly awful and the only positive thing I can think of in relation to this movie is specimen that you see below. What does he have this movie? An eight-pack? ten-pack? Whatever it was, colour me impressed (as if I wasn't already. I love me some Justin)

I've never heard of anything on today.


The Legend. The Master. Jacques Tourneur. Cat People (1942) is, in my eyes, a masterpiece. One of the greatest horror films of all time (if you can call it that) and a brilliant piece of cinema. My favourite movie in a movie filled with many possibilities, is the scene Jane Randolph's character is walking home beside the large zoo wall fearing somebody (or something, naturally) is following her. Roger Ebert informs us in his Great Movies write-up of the film that this scene is actually filmed over the very same stretch of street, but edited so it appears longer. Nice work. I consider the cinematography by Nicholas Masuraca to be some of the finest I've ever seen. So dark, so fearful, so mysterious. And Simone Simon is great.

Also on tonight is an intriguing feature that some of you may be minutely aware of. During last year's Oscar season, Fiji submitted it's first entrant into the Best Foreign Language Film ring, called The Land Has Eyes (2004) from director Vilsoni Hereniko. It didn't make the shortlist, but it's getting an airing tonight on SBS and, if nothing else, it should at least be gorgeous to look at as Fiji is indeed one of the most beautiful places. The film's title (Pear ta ma 'on maf) apparently comes from an old saying "The land has eyes and teeth and knows the truth" and the film is about a young girl becoming a warrior or something. The film is the first ever made by a Fijian native, so I'll definitely try and watch it as it seems like an important piece of film.

When I sat down originally to watch the sequel to Cat People, entitled The Curse of the Cat People (1944), I was excited. It had Simone Simon again along with Kent Smith and Jane Randolph. It was directed by Robert Wise (!!!) and Gunther von Fritsch (Robert Wise as we all know was a famous editor, Curse was his first directors job I believe) and, well, it was the sequel to CAT PEOPLE!!! However... I didn't like this much at all. Simone Simon, despite getting first billing, is barely in it at all, and compared to the original, it's as dull as dishwater (and, to be honest, the original isn't exactly thrills a minute). This one has a young girl having visions of a woman with a tortured past. I wont explain any more if people haven't seen Cat People.

Now The Leopard Man (1943) I'm excited for! It's another Jacques Tourneur RKO horror film and considering Cat People and I Walked With a Zombie are classics, I sort of want to believe this will be as well. You gotta love the idea of a movie starring someone called simply Margo playing a character called Clo-Clo. How bizarre. But, really, Jacques Tourneur! Master.

Also on tonight is SBS' Wednesday night Europe film. Tonight is a real treat for me, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher. After Hidden I'm very interested in Haneke and I heard great things about this film and especially Isabelle Huppert's performance way back in 2001 when it was released. Will definitely try to catch this, it's been on my DVD queue for a while now. And SBS is all about widescreen and no adverts.

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