DOCUMENTARY SERIES PIOASSO: MAGIC, SEX AND DEATH
Channel 4, Sun 10 Jun, 7.30pm 000.
When we look back at the 20th centuny, who is the most famous artist of them all? Salvador Dali and his melting watches? Andy Warhol and his soup cans? Damien Hirst and his formaldehyde sheep? No. it's wee Pablo from Malaga. the man whose appetite for women inspired a feminist play. and whose tortured vision of military conflict became an icon of wars bloody ab8urdity.
John Richardson (art collector and chum of Picasso) has created a three-part dissection of the Spaniard's life and work with loving care and an exuberant eye for the detail. He has spoken to family, friends and followers who all appear in awe of his memory; few words of dissent are spoken. Except that he wasn't keen on hearing a woman laugh and appeared to treat gypsies and hobos better than his family.
The beauty of the series is in Richardson’s boundless enthusiasm and the joy with which the camera pans across the paintings. As the subtitle of Picasso suggests. his art was a form of magic, he loved sex and then he died. But there was much more to his life and work than that. And Picasso tells it with vigour.
DOCUMENTARY SERIES FEED
BBC1, Sun 10 Jun, 8pm OOOO
If for you. Jeremy Clarkson means dull and irritating programmes about cars. put aside your prejudice because this new series is well worth watching. Who better than Clarkson to
118 THE LIST 7—21 Jun 2001
investigate the appeal of speed? He's in his element when trying extreme spons in New Zealand and forces his poor old mum onto Britain's fastest rollercoaster to show that not everyone gets a kick out of speed. We've got expert s explaining the brain chemistry which causes our reactions to movrng faster than nature intended. and via Clarkson it all becomes perfectly accessible: dopamine is translated as the ‘well done. mate' drug. The real rush comes from seeing Clarkson reduced. unbelievably. to silence after a bobsleigh experience in Austria. proving that even he has limits. Slap on a bit of philosophising about how thrill-seekers are vital to evolution and you've got an informative and entertaining half hour. (Louisa Pearson)
THE OKLAHOMA BOMBER
BBC1, Mon 11 Jun, 9pm .00.
April 19 is a date forever embedded in modern American history. On that day in 1993. the FBI used military force to end the siege in Waco where David Koresh and his followers were holed up. Exactly two years on from that. the federal building in Oklahoma City collapsed. blown to smithereens in the biggest act of domestic terrorism the USA had ever experienced. The nursery in the building was also ripped apart. and many children were killed and maimed. Bomber Timothy McVeigh, outraged by the government's collusion in the Waco slaughter. insisted the kids' deaths were collateral damage. a phrase he had picked up in the Gulf War.
From all-American hero
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BBC2, starts Sat 9 Jun, 7.30pm .00.
Ken Burns‘ epic twelve-part documentary is the biggest and most hotly debated film ever made about jazz. Having caused a mighty furore on its US broadcast last year, British audiences now have a chance to enter the debate. And then go out and get the lavish, accompanying book (published by Pimlico), and a huge release of logo-branded CDs from Sony and Universal. Burns, who admits to having been a jazz rookie when he started work on the series, takes a social historian’s view of the subject, rather than a music specialist’s. He sees it as completing his trilogy begun with The Civil War and Baseball, and describes it as being aimed at anyone ‘for whom jazz is an esoteric, dense, and unapproachable music’, and focusing not on the music itself but on ‘the people who talk, write,
argue, and fight about it’.
The filmmaker immediately found himself at the centre of the so-called ‘jazz wars’, an impassioned ongoing debate about the nature, history and direction of the form, which pivots around a basic tradition vs. innovation polarity. He took plenty of flak for this approach, based on a conservative ideology which many critics felt presented the music as a dead museum
to public eneri", number one. McVeigh has already had one execution date postponed; and as he awaits his inevitable late. this documentary allows us to weigh up the evrdence. Despite the conspiracy theories (the government did it to clamp down on personal freedoms is the best). it's all pretty damning. Even his lawyers main argument is that he shouldn't be taking the rap alone. The grrevrng families. meanwhile. just want him to suffer. (Brian Donaldson)
DOCUMEN’lARY THE A-Z OF DISASTERS Channel 5, Wed 13 Jun, 8pm 0
The first thing you've got to ask about this programme is what exactly the makers were trying to acl’iieve. Fitting 26 of the world's worst
disasters into an hours long prtxjramine is never going to provide any real insight. But worse than that. it actually serves to trivralise events where thousands of people lost their lives. A flippant holiday-show style voiceover from Dougie Vipond confuses matters even more.
From avalanches to the Zebrugge ferry disaster. we're shown interViews wrth survivor's. experts (including conspiracy and end-ofthe-world theory authors whose crr—zderitials seem less than professionali and documentary footage. But with an allocation of two or three minutes per subject yeti're left unmoved. unenlightened and V‘JOleQflllg what the pornt is. The real disaster is that the convoluted idea behind this programme was ever turned into reality. (L0uisa Pearson)
V for vapid telly
Being part of an epic historical phenomenon
piece, especially since he collapsed the last 40 years into a single, heavily slanted final
Against that, it looks great, with much rare or unseen footage, and takes jazz seriously as an epic social, historical and cultural phenomenon. Decide for yourself. (Kenny Mathieson)
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NICE GUY EDDIE BBC1, Thu 14 Jun, 9pm .00
‘Bicky Tomlinson takes on his first title role!' screams the BBC publicity llthflillllf:. Surely this is an event to rank alongside 'Garlio talksl' or even ‘Aliliot and Costello take on the Miiinrnyf'
Tomlinson. plays Eddie l\/ir;l\./liiéleri, a private eye .r/hose heart of gold leads to him eerng embroiled :n his ’Lliei‘its' marital j,rci,ie'iis. In between r/teterjraphir g cheating husbands and investigating fir/lg,» con‘ipensatior‘. r;iaims. Eddie's cwn (ll/l testis bliss revolves around his shre‘r/ish wife. mam and daughters. but lS interrupted when a hunky Newcastle lad trims up claiming to be his long- lost son Bloody ‘ell.
Tomlinson is as watchable as ever. playing a kind of bathed and shorn JllT‘. Boyle. Unfortunately. this makes it seem like a star
up to his neck in crime
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