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A Banquet to Inception: the seven best films to watch on TV this week
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A Banquet to Inception: the seven best films to watch on TV this week

Pick of the week

A Banquet

One night at a party, teenager Betsey (Jessica Alexander) walks into the woods and walks out a changed person. She stops eating and shows all the signs of a mental health crisis, but tells her worried mum Holly (a convincingly frazzled Sienna Guillory) that she has been gifted prophetic, apocalyptic visions. Ruth Paxton’s disquieting psychological horror teases a supernatural answer to Betsey’s symptoms, but it is mainly a gut-wrenching tale of anorexia and how it can affect those around the patient. Guillory is fantastic as the single mother striving to hold her family together but being drawn into her child’s fantasies – at the cost of her own sanity.
Friday 24 May, 11.10pm, Film4


Brendan Gleeson in Calvary.View image in fullscreen

If there is any doubt about Brendan Gleeson being one of the great actors of our time, John Michael McDonagh’s 2014 drama should convince you. He stars as Father James, a small-town Irish cleric told by someone during confession – so in confidence – that he is going to kill him in one week. The man was raped by a priest as a boy and wants to kill James in an act of revenge. As he continues his pastoral duties, James wrestles with this potential death sentence. Gleeson exudes intelligence, compassion and humour in a film full of whip-smart dialogue.
Thursday 23 May, 2.05pm, Sky Cinema Greats

A Woman of Paris

Edna Purviance and Adolphe Menjou in A Woman of Paris.View image in fullscreen

For his 1923 foray into pure drama, Charlie Chaplin felt obliged to announce in the opening titles: “I do not appear in this picture.” But this is far from a lesser work. Chaplin as writer-director brings moral nuance and a lack of sentimentality to a story set amid Paris’s idle rich. Edna Purviance plays Marie, whose plans to elope to the capital with poor artist Jean (Carl Miller) fall through. But she goes anyway and finds a comfortable life as the mistress of “gentleman of leisure” Pierre (a carefree Adolphe Menjou) – until she bumps into Jean again and old feelings revive.
Saturday 18 May, 1pm, Sky Arts

The Secret of Kells

Evan McGuire and Christen Mooney in The Secret of Kells.View image in fullscreen

The first animated feature by the exceptional Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey’s 2009 kids’ adventure tells the tale of the ninth-century illuminated manuscript the Book of Kells. Brendan (Evan McGuire) is the inquisitive nephew of Kells Abbey’s abbot (Brendan Gleeson) – and while his uncle is fortifying the walls against a Viking attack, he sneaks into a mysterious forest nearby on a quest to help complete the biblical tome. Fantasy elements overlap with dark ages drama, told in bold, colourful images inspired by Celtic art and myth.
Sunday 19 May, 11am, Film4

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road.View image in fullscreen

As a taster for the prequel Furiosa – in cinemas from Friday – here’s George Miller’s 2015 reboot of his own 80s apocalyptic rust’n’dust trilogy. Tom Hardy takes over as renegade desert loner Max, but his monosyllabic character plays second fiddle to Charlize Theron’s fierce oil tanker driver Furiosa. She has gone on the run with her leader’s “breeders” – a harem of fertile women – and Max finds himself joining their escape plan. All burnt orange in the day and steel blue at night, it’s a vivid watch, fuelled by Miller’s trademark combustible action.
Monday 20 May, 9pm, Sky Showcase


Leonardo Dicaprio in Inception.View image in fullscreen

You’ve not lived until you’ve seen a Paris arrondissement folded over on itself. Luckily, Christopher Nolan has got one to show you – and many more gobsmacking visual treats in his 2010 thriller, about a corporate espionage team who can infiltrate others’ dreams. Leonardo DiCaprio is their boss, given the job of implanting an idea in the brain of businessman Cillian Murphy but in danger of falling into deeper and deeper dream states in the attempt. Time-bending and imaginative, with James Bond-like touches.
Tuesday 21 May, 8pm, Sky Cinema Greats

The Sorcerers

Catherine Lacey and Ian Ogilvy in The Sorcerers.View image in fullscreen

One of only three films made by Witchfinder General director Michael Reeves before his early death, this quirky chiller pits the swinging 60s generation against their more staid forebears – and finds that human nature can be twisted at any age. Medical hypnotist Marcus (Boris Karloff) and his wife Estelle (Catherine Lacey) invent a machine that can control another’s mind and choose feckless youngster Mike (Ian Ogilvy) as their first subject. Their descent into vicarious thrill-seeking – like a proto-Being John Malkovich – is rapid and giddy.
Thursday 23 May, 11.15pm, Legend Xtra

Source: theguardian.com