wed 01/03/2017

documentary

Meet the Lords, BBC Two

To Westminster and Meet the Lords, a series which Radio Times assures me follows “the larger-than-life characters” in one of our “most idiosyncratic and important institutions”. Obviously it was shot well before the current Brexit deliberations in...

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Lost in France

Pulling together a music documentary strikes me as a simple enough concept. Gather your talking heads in front of a nice enough backdrop, splice with archive footage in some semblance of a narrative order and there you go. There’s no need to, say,...

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Storyville: Life, Animated, BBC Four

Slipped out in the Storyville slot without much fanfare, Life, Animated is the Oscar-nominated documentary which won a theatrical release and rave reviews in the US and UK last year. It’s a horribly clichéd word, but heart-warming is the best way to...

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Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra, BBC Four

Two years ago BBC Four had a film about a year in the life of Scafell Pike. Arriving at glacial pace is the sequel: Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra. The star this time round is more of a best supporting character actor than a headline...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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Andrew Marr: 'I don’t want to look like I'm in pain'

Television audiences love seeing familiar faces in different contexts – whether it’s actors exploring their ancestry in Who Do You Think You Are? or politicians awkwardly busting their moves on Strictly. But there’s always a risk that the camera...

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Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde, BBC Four

Despite having been a rock star since the late Seventies, Chrissie Hynde seems to be an introverted, elusive sort of person. If this Arena profile was anything to go by, she lives as a virtual recluse, positively revelling in solitariness. Like the...

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LoveTrue

What’s love all about anyway? That’s the almost certainly unanswerable question that Israeli-American director Alma Har’el sets out to tackle in her strange, feverish, at times downright hallucinatory documentary LoveTrue. The problem is, by the end...

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Unforgotten – Series 2 Finale, ITV / After Brexit: The Battle for Europe, BBC Two

From Jimmy Savile to the Rotherham scandal, child sexual abuse has become a recurring nightmare of our society, and thus is inevitably grist to the TV dramatist’s mill. It has been a crucial component in The Missing, National Treasure and...

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Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President, Channel 4

Tom Lehrer famously declared satire dead when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger not long after he'd bombed Cambodia back to the Middle Ages. Lehrer never wrote another song. Meanwhile other satirists battle on. Every day...

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Hospital, BBC Two

It’s the ghastly scenario of a grim morality play. A man called Simon comes into hospital for the removal of a tumour in his oesophagus and the construction of a new food pipe. But there are not enough berths in the intensive therapy unit to ensure...

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David Bowie: The Last Five Years, BBC Two

It’s been 12 months since the news guy wept and told us: David Bowie, ever out in front, became the first to depart in the year of musical mortality 2016. After the initial lamentations, the memorial tributes have been a mixed bag. Best was the...

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