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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 29/09/2009 - 08:59

Could you live without your gadgets? Can you remember when you did? I love mine although I tend to be picky about what I buy and I never rush out and buy the latest as soon as it hits the shelves. Last Night's UpGrade Me on BBC4 offered some fascinating insights into our tech culture. I was pretty stunned when the 11/12-year-old schoolkids dumped their gadgetry on the desks - phones, cameras, gaming machines, MP3 players... Those children have never not had gadgets. Electric Dreams (BBC4, 9pm) will take a couple of kids from Reading, and their parents, back to the 70s to spend a week without digital enhancement. They'll be waving goodbye to a staggering amount of TVs, computers and phones and replacing them with board games and Raleigh Choppers. This promises to be a trip down memory lane for older viewers as well as an interesting exploration of What We Used To Do before the invention of semiconductor chips.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 28/09/2009 - 08:31

What I love about BBC4, apart from it broadcasting a huge range of cultural programmes now sadly absent from BBC1 and BBC2, is its ability to run lengthy thematic seasons and cover a topic in great depth and from many angles. The recent Scottish season was a good example. So it's no surprise now the tour the highlands and lowlands has drawn to a close that BBC4 is launching a new strand.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 28/09/2009 - 07:18

Roman Polanski arrested

Director Roman Polanski has been arrested while on his way to collect a Lifetime Achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. More on this story available here at Screen Jabber.

Vin Diesel revs up development at One Race

Former Universal executive David Ortiz has been hired by Vin Diesel to development projects for his One Race production company. The aim of this new appointment is to bring in projects with a global audience in mind. More on this story at Variety.

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Roman Polanski held in custody

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 27/09/2009 - 15:04

Legendary director Roman Polanski has been taken into custody on a 31-year-old arrest warant, according to Swiss police. Polanski was detained on Saturday while on his way to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.

 He was being held ahead of a possible extradition to the US for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, the Swiss Ministrry said. Polanski fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to the charges, and in recent years, he has tried to have the rape case dismissed, but a US judge formally rejected his requests in May.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 27/09/2009 - 08:39

Sunday viewing tonight is about food and travel rather than corsets and conflict. Yep, we're two Dickens short of an historic drama just now but there are some choice nuggets on the terrestrial channels nonetheless. Nicely tying in with the cinema release of Darwin biopic, Creation, Channel 4 is launching a three-parter on the great man. The Genius of Charles Darwin (7pm) is presented by his almost-equivalent, Richard Dawkins who explores the meaning of Darwin's work and seeks out modern evidence that backs up his theory of evolution. (BBC4 is also showing Darwin's Struggle at 9pm, which examines the writing of the naturalist's most famous book.)

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 26/09/2009 - 15:10

Nostalgia rules the ether tonight as the channels pay tribute to a couple of giants. First up, BBC2 says Farewell to Floyd at 9.05pm to mark the passing of television's first rock 'n' roll chef, the late, great Keith Floyd. Pour yourself a large glug of cabernet sauvignon to accompany this celebration of the maverick foodie.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 15:47

There's an annoying trend across the channels that's sprung up in recent years - the 30-minute documentary. It started with the return of Panorama in this truncated format then spread faster than swine flu to the other networks. It's frustrating because you can't really do a subject any justice in 30 minutes - even an hour will barely cut it most of the time. On the commercial networks, you don't get even 30 minutes because of the ad breaks. And Panorama is proof now that the short format is the televisual equivalent of reading Take A Break.

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Telly Notes: The one with the sitcom birthdays

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 11:28

This week we have said ‘happy birthday’ to two legendary, beloved sitcoms, one American, one British, both incredible. The elder, Friends, premiered on NBC on 22 September 1994, the younger, Spaced, arrived on 24 September 1999 on Channel 4.

The 15th birthday celebrations for Friends would be more poignant had the sitcom not been played over, and over, and over, and over again on E4 and Channel 4 ever since its official end in 2004. It seems likely that we’re locked in a sort of ‘groundhog day’ where Friends is concerned. Hardly an hour goes by in which it is impossible to flick over and find a ‘The one with ...’ just starting or finishing.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 07:17

Weinsteins go back to their roots
The Weinstein Company
has revealed that its Dimension production company will be preparing a number of remakes and franchise reboots. The company is currently talking to Wes Craven to return to direct Scream 4, which has already announced that Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette are due to return. The company also has plans for Spy Kids 4, Halloween 3 and remakes of Children of the Corn, Short Circuit and An American Warewolf in London. More on this story at Variety.

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RAGE: The Premiere...

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 25/09/2009 - 00:04

Tonight (Thursday September 24 2009) saw the fruition of the world’s first ever completely interactive, multi-venue film premiere. Held at London’s BFI Southbank, Rage, written and directed by Sally Potter, was broadcasted live via satellite to over 35 additional venues across the UK.

The unusual one-night-only screening of the film was then followed by a Q&A session with the director and some members of the cast. Questions were submitted by members of the audiences across the UK via text or Skype direct from their mobile phones, or via the internet using Twitter.

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