V TV REVIEW
‘We don‘t see enough of yer.‘ said the grizzled old Yorkshireman. every bit as forthright as any county stereotype. ‘We see ('harlie pretty regular. bttt it‘s not the same as his mam.‘ The Queen beatned happily back. and if we are to believe what she stated resolutely early on itt Elizabeth B ( BBCl l. ('harlie will be playing second fiddle for some time yet. ‘lt‘s a job for lil'e.' she said. and
Eliza/writ R surpassed expectations by being vastly superior to all the previotts sanctioned Royal puff docttmentaries. which had Sir Alastair Burnett being painfully obseqttiotts to minor princelings and their Hello fodder consorts. Producer Edward Mirzoeff took a gentle offbeat 40 .llinutcs- approach and it paid off. not because of any frisson ofexcitement at privileged access to Royalty. but because its subject came across as a sensitive. well-balanced. witty and acerbic middle-aged woman with an unparalleled knowledge of world affairs and leaders. ()ur political
leaders cause us hideous
embarrassment every day. but it would be difficult to find a seemlier
‘How much do I win?’ she asked, as she was solemnly presented with three crisp blue portraits of herself and a handful of change.
Not that the programme was about big issues. wars. politics or constitutional crises. The tiny details and snatches of dialogue were what made it exquisite. The Italian potentate proffered a gift ofthe most hideous wrought-iron fruit twisted into the shape of a bowl. ‘How dclightful.‘ grinned the Queen. exchanging subtle glances with an uncomfortable Princess ofWales. In the Southern States. all about her were smiling fixedly at one of those embarrassingly exuberant Gospel choirs while the Queen failed to
conceal her boredom.
In the USA. she repaid the indignities inflicted by the colonies on her great-great-great-great grandfather with ample interest. outclassing and outthinking the humbled Yanks at every turn. ()n a visit to a baseball game. a flunkey suggested Prince Philip would be asked to pitch the first ball. ‘()h
A‘AAAAAA AAA‘ A‘AAAAAAAA'AA gtatttAuAAAL
I7 (I really.‘ queried the Queen with a pregnant pause. ‘Are you sure'." Phil remained in his seat. Forced to travel by train (President ('arter sold the Presidential yacht. the scoundrel) and obscured by badly placed microphones when giving a speech. the Queen sauntered through such slights serenely. and threw a party on her own yacht Britannia to show the locals up. Nancy Reagan shamelessly demanded dccaffeinated coffee in the manner of a grumpy old crone haranguing a waitress. l'he Queen gave her a quizzical look and summoned Nancy's coffee in between imparting a little political wisdom to Mr Reagan.
This was the formidable stateswoman. equally at home swapping anecdotes with Nelson .Mandela and Lech Walesa. ‘You‘re expendable.’ she gleefully told 'l'ed lleath when he got a bit too pompous. She was comfortable in the role. bttt it was one she had learnt by necessity. By nature she is a countrywoman. patrolling Sandringham in a Land Rover. checking the gait ofthe foals at her stud and gossiping about shrubberies with garden party guests and Prime Ministers alike.
‘Relaxing' at home unfortunately entails having the ‘great and good‘ round to supper at Windsor Castle. We were treated to the memorable sight of Kenneth Baker and Neil Kinnock competing for attention like two yappy little corgis. rewarded by an occasional word or smile from their Queen. Royalty as an ideological idea takes some defending. Embodied in Elizabeth 11. making selfvimportant strutting men look like so many insignificant schoolboys. it seems an eminently enjoyable joke worth treasuring.
She lost her cool only once. at Epsom on Derby Day. ‘They‘re off.‘ she squeaked. pointing out Piggott moving up on the rails. Tut-tutting like a seasoned Ladbrokes shop regular at the novices taking Tattenham (‘orner on the wrong leg. she remained calm as they crossed the line. before realising that she held the winning ticket in the Royal lottery. ‘How much do I win‘." she asked. as she was solemnly presented with three crisp blue portraits of herself and a handful of change. Sixteen quid may not be tnuch but it raised a bigger smile than the Reagans ever witnessed. (Tom Lappin)
Looking for an alternative to Anneka Rice polluting your telly? Check out the latest video releases filling the shop shelves over the next two weeks.
ITerminatorZ—Judgment Day( 15) In a neat post-modernist critical turnabottt. Arnie Schwarzenegger. formerly reviled as a talcrttless hunk of Austrian meat. is now acclaimed for his minimalist style and the sheer visual exttberance of his films. ()n its cinema release. this was the most expensive movie ever made. and it shows. The effectsare stunning. notably the liquid metal 'l‘erminator sent back in time to eliminate Arnie (now a nice gtty) and the yottng boy who is destined to become a resistance hero. You'll pick uptlte plot. learn to ignore some of the occasionally dire dialogue. and love this to death for the spectacle. even on small-screen.
I Let Him Have It ( 15)This garnered huge publicity and meagre takings on its cinema release. which coincided with the reopening ofthe derek Bentley case. Peter Mcdak directs the tale of the notorious miscarriage ofjustice. which is powerful without being flashy. (First Independent)
I Alice (15) Manhattan neurosis. Mia Farrow. themes of family. love and self-discovery; no prizes for gttessing this isa Woody Allen film. Farrow plays frustrated housewife Alice Tate. who is thoroughly bored with her life. despite having all the material possessions she could desire. lt isonly when she
, meets a (‘hinese healer
and begins to experience life under the influence of magical potions that she realises what her true needs are. It‘s an awkward. slight film. beautifully acted and shot but with unappealing characters and a leaden plot. (20:20 Vision)
I Everybody's FinetPG) From the makerof
‘ ('t'nt'nm I’umdiso.
Guiseppe 'l'ornatore. 50s
screen idol Marcello Mastroianni plays a retired widower living alone iii a rural district of Sicily who decides to gather all his children fora family meal. An odyssey around ltaly follows. with Mastroianni finding his children have failed to live up to his dreams. but are afraid to admit it.
[Essentially it‘s a rather sentimental travelogue. closer to bathos than tragedy. bttt Tornatore provides enough charm to retain the interest.
I To Catch a Killer( 18) Brian Dennehy plays \Vay ne (iacy. a clever attd ruthless serial killer w ho tortures and murders 33 young men. ()n the surface. (iacy is a well-liked husband and father who devotes his time to charitable cattscs and confronts the police face to face when they suspect him of the crimes. It's a moderately chilling version of a true story with the detective Joe Kozenczak (Michael Riley ) emerging as an instinctive and tenacious hero. (Odyssey)
I Perfect Weapon ( 18) ((‘l(‘)
I A Kiss Before Dying ( 18) (CIC)
IABow OfCrowst 15) (CIC)
I Pump Up The Volume (15) (20:20 Vision)
I Blue Steel (18) (First Independent £10.99)
I Communion ( 15) (First Independent £10.99)
I Liverpool's Greatest FA Cup Victories—Volumez Another collection of soccer highlights from the 60s. 70s. 80s and 90s. looking at a side whose Cup form has been decidedly erratic. (Watershed £10.99) ITottenham Hotspur's Greatest FA Cup Victories- Volume 2 Spurs. on the other hand. have been regularly brilliant in the tournament. (Watershed £10.99)
I Twin Peaks 5. 6 and 7
( 15) According to TP fanzine Coffee and Donuts. these tapes haven‘t been selling too well. Nevertheless here is a new batch. covering episodes 12—20. with each tape running for 135 minutes. (Screen Entertainment £12.99 each)
I Classic Serial: Buddenbrooks Thomas Mann's first novel. and argttably his masterpiece. charts the decline ofa powerful family. the Bttddenbrocks. bttrghers of Lubeck. itt the 19th century. Based on Mann's own family history. it is also a metaphor for the endingofa certain society and way of life — which is probably why Ilitler banned it. (Radio 4. starts Sat 15.7.05pm) I Macbeth A new radio prodttction which places the ‘Scottish play' firmly itt context: when it was first performed in tone. Kinglames I had just survived an assassination attempt by Fawkes (‘atesby and others personally known to Shakespeare. The relevance ofthe play to his owtt interests may ttot. then. have been all that coincidental. Special sound effects involv ing the clanging of real military eqttipment and authentic 17th ccntttry religious music add to the drama. (Radio 3. Sttn to. 7.30pm) I Mark Goodier's Evening Session Four evenings‘ worth of the Sugarcubes. the hottest thing tocome ottt of Iceland since Magnus Magltltsson. Their first LP Life's I'm) (iumf sold over two million copies worldwide. bttt recently the band took a break to get ‘proper jobs’ back home — they're a level-headed bunch. (Radio 1 . starts Mon 17. 7.30pm) I Monday Play: The Birth Machine This award-winning. Atwoodesque-sounding play by Elizabeth Baines trips into a future where machines have been invented to attend women in childbirth. Mothers. in fact. have almost become superfluous. (Radio 4. Mon 17.8pm) I Limpopo Lives A British journalist. born of Nigerian parents. Adcola Solanka takes her first trip south of the equator. describing what it is like to be a black Briton in Malawi. Zimbabwe and South Africa. (Radio 4. Wed 19.7.45pm) I Fashion Icons Katie Puckrik ( The Word) delves into the archives of fashion history to discover what it is that givesclothes cult status. The first in a series. this show examines the rebel-image ofthe leather jacket. and features interviews with Andy Kershaw and a few Hell‘s Angels. (RadioS. Thurs 20. 9.30pm).
50 The List 1-1 — 27 February 1992