I SUMMER DREAMS (15) The lllm the Beach Boys tried to ban. It more or less iollows the controversial biography oi the band, Heroes and Villains by Steven Gaines and certainly manages to make the lab tlve appear more interesting than their wlshy-washy suri musak. (Channel 5, rental)
I DRIVING MISS DAISY (U) Jessica Tandy stars as the Iormidable matriarch oithe title who is iorced to hire a black chaulteur alter she backs her car into a tree. Gradually herirosty reception thaws and she becomes increasingly reliant on her driverthough, despite her protestations to the contrary, her prejudices remain. A meandering but gently humorous tale that examines the ingrained attitudes oi white middle-class America in a thought-provoking manner. (Warner, rental)
I REPO MAN (18) Emilio Estevez loses his girltriend and his job, but takes up with the Repo men, an elite gang oi losers, whose mission it is to repossess cars when the owners detauit on payments. A bizarre, stylish, witty and genuinely oti-beat debut lealure lrom Alex Cox with a string oi excellent periormances and some crisp camera work by Bobby Muller. (Clo, 29.99)
I LAST TEMPTATIOH OF CHRIST (18) The tilm that had the thumpers in the States talling over each otherto condemn. is actually a plausible ilnot traditional tale oi Christ's lite and times, until the linal lorty minutes that is. Then, in a iantasy segment the cruciiied Christ is tempted with the lite oi a mortal married man -which is what caused all the iuss with the tundamentalists. However, this ialthiul adaptation ol Hlnos Kazantzki’s novel, which goes to some lengths to accurately re-create the milieu oi biblical times, is marred. not by any sacrilegious plot, but by the heavy Brooklyn accents which the apostles are unable to shake olt. (Clc, £12.99)
80 The List 14 - 27 September 1990
The season of mist and mellow fruitfulness marks a turning point in the battle for TV viewers. As the nights draw in and the leaves turn golden. the television stations pull out their heavy artillery and commence an expensive rolling barrage of programmes — to soften us up before they go over the top at Christmas. Here is a selection from the arsenal that will be trained on you shortly.
Your Cheatin’ Heart (BBCI) A humble food journo. Frank McClusky (John Gordon Sinclair), is sucked down into the netherworld of Glasgow‘s Country and Westernophiles in John Byrne‘s follow up to Tutti Frutti. Structurally at least the new six-parter bears more than a passing resemblance to the saga of The Majestics' final tour. with a band on the road north from Glasgow once more. Which, as Byrne sees it. provides ‘A good way ofgetting in the locations.‘ The first episode is due to go out on 11 October.
Loco (Channel 4) A brief ten-day season of feature films. shorts. documentaries and live broadcasts devoted to the train and timetabled to begin on 22 September. All over Britain TVs will be appearing with the cheese and pickle sarneys in front of the parka-clad, end-of—platform brigade.
The Trials oi Lite (BBCI) ‘Whispering‘ Dave Attenborough‘s concluding part ofthe trilogy which began with the story ofevolution in
Life on Earth and moved onto ecology in The Living Planet. This time he examines the barriers we animals have to surmount on the trek from the cradle to the grave. So once again we get to see the Attenborough in his natural habitat. crouched in a bush and talking like a man suffering the latter stages of laryngitis.
The Jonathon Ross Show (Channel 4) Bit cheeky this, having received his training at the feet of the great chatterer Tel on the Beeb. Ross is now to expand his monopoly of the airwaves even further, when Channel 4 broadcast his very own show three nights a week. starting in November. Things get under way next month, however, with a Ross special when he meets director David Lynch.
Nixon (Scottish) Fascinating three-part profile of [)ickie‘s presidency. Among those interviewed are those that helped him clambcr up the ladder and were then ruthlest purged from his command as well as those involved in that little trouble he had over Watergate.
Forthe Greater Good (BBCZ) A new three-part series looking at the formation of policy through the eyes ofa civil servant. a Minister and an MP and at how each one sacrifice their own principles in order to further their career. This time Aunty has taken the precaution offsetting
the episodes ‘in the near future.” The last time they let writer (il’. Newman loose with a script (on Here is the News) it cost them £100.00“, in damages to Duncan Campbell.
(— Marriage of inconvenience
Avid readers oi the Sunday supplements might well be experiencing some ennui at the ceaseless stream at literature concerning the eiiete literary salons oi 20s London. Bloomsbury has been done to death, with the last scrapings oi the barrel just emerging in the lam gt Virginia Wooli’s laundry lists and the ike.
A rather more iascinating story irom the period is the subject oi a new tour-part series on BBC2. Portrait 0i A Marriage is a dramatisation oi the relationship between novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband, diplomat, politician and writer Harold Nicolson, with an interesting complication in the iorm oi her passionate love aiiair with another woman, Violet Treiusis.
Five years into the marriage Nicolson coniessed his homosexuality to his wile, who at the same time was becoming increasingly aware oi her
attraction to women. What iollowed was bizarre, with the married couple pursuing their individual desires across Europe. Vita contemplates running away with Violet and setting up home together, but comes to the conclusion that her husband oiiers her a diiierent kind at love and companionship, and a distinctly more secure relationship.
Twenties aristocratic society laced with lesbian sex is any TV producer’s iantasy, but Nigel Hicolson reiused to
release the rights to his mother‘s diaries tor some time, until actress Patricia Hodge persuaded him the story could be treated with sensitivity. Prurlent viewers intrigued by the lesbian angle should note that producer Colin Tucker and Nicolson had a ‘gentleman's agreement‘ about sex scenes. ‘We see passionate embraces between two women who are Iully clothed,’ explains the producer, ‘and we see two women in bed in lyrical poses or discussing other things. What we never see is two women in bed, unclothed, embracing passionately.’ Portrait 0i A Marriage to some extent goes into new territory in depicting women’s sexuality on the small screen, although slightly hedging its bets with the 'Brideshead iactor'. Beautiiul locations, period costume and unworldly high society characters should make it diiiicult lor the audience to identity with the lovers. Colin Tucker disagrees: ‘There’s a danger that people will think they live in a rareiied world, not knowing anything about reality, simply indulging themselves,‘ he says, ‘but I think we’ve beaten it. For me the story is actually about the battle between convention and adventure that is in every one oi us.’ (Tom Lappin)
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