Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Secrets of British animation BBC Four 12:30 am

A documentary exploring more than a century of animation in Britain including the creative and technical inventiveness of our greatest animation pioneers. BBC4 says: “The defining characteristic of British animation has always been ingenuity. Unable to compete with the big American studios, animators in Britain were forced to experiment, developing their own signature styles. The documentary uncovers the trade secrets of animation legends like Bob Godfrey, John Halas and Joy Batchelor, Len Lye and Bristol’s world-renowned Aardman Animations.”

Tracey Emin: this cultural life BBC4 2:30 am

A deeply personal interview in which artist Tracey Emin talks to John Wilson about the experiences that have shaped her life and career. Tracey speaks about undergoing treatment for cancer, her two abortions, and the profound impact that both of these experiences have had on her artistic output. She also discusses the extraordinary effect that a painting by Mark Rothko had on her as a young woman, her affinity with the work of Edvard Munch, and her friendship with David Bowie. I’m a big Fan of Emin who I think is both brave and original. I was fascinated by her Desert Island Discs choices and story and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Mark Kermode’s Christmas Cinema Secrets BBC4 11:00 pm

I try to ration my Xmas themed TV programmes as they can be a bit overwhelming but Mark always has something interesting to say. In this Christmas special, Here he analyzes what makes the perfect Christmas movie.

Peterloo Film4 1250 am

A film bringing to life the story of the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protesters were killed and hundreds more injured. A fascinating insight into how brutal the UK state can be to its own people.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Love, Simon Film4 1.25am

See our review here

Russell Howard: Lubricant is available on Netflix from Tuesday, the 14th of December I admit that I have a Marmite reaction to Russell Howard’s material. I either love or hate it. He can be very funny but his Woke virtual signaling can irritate.

Brexit the Uncivil War is available available on Netflix from Thursday 16 of December. It’s the dramatised account of Dominic Cummings efforts to convince British voters to vote to leave the European Union. I’ve seen it before but I think it’s worth another viewing.

Out now to buy and rent are two films I saw at the cinema.

Respect where Jennifer Hudson does an excellent job of playing Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Aretha had a troubled life and an amazing talent. Despite the ups and downs, this is a film with a positive message.

If The Many Saints of Newark has a message I’m not sure what it is but I doubt that it’s positive! As a big fan of the Sopranos, an American crime drama television series created by David Chase, I love this prequel, however. It gives an insight into the life of Tony Soprano. Young Tony is played by the late James Gandolfini’s (who played Tony in Sopranos) son Michael. Set in 1960s New Jersey it shows Tony growing up and growing meaner.


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