Clearly spooked by the world wide phenomena of World Cup football, being broadcast in this country on the not-often-looked SBS between the hours of 1030P and 7A, the commercial channels have decided not to run anything worth your effort this week. The only clash that I can see is the likes of the nut-heads (like me) who go to bed earlier mid-week to cater for an early morning clash and full day at work thereby preventing any evening movie watching. At least that explains the canny counter-promotion of Bend it Like Beckham (Fri 7 845P).
The World Cup opening ceremony is midnight Friday with Australia’s first match against Japan, 11P Monday. For the group 1 phase (which lasts 2 weeks) there will be three games per night : 11P, 2A, 5A. As previously noted, I will probably end up watching most of the 5A games – some exceptions to apply of course !
For all of that, David Lean’s 1957 ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ (Mon 7 12P) is a great study in English military fortitude (stiff upper lip and all that, played wonderfully by Alec Guinness) set against the brutal Japanese concentration camp in which they serve in Burma – an historic resonance for Australian audiences because of the experiences of our own servicemen at the hands of the Japanese during the second world war. Guinness, as the Colonel of the imprisoned Allied forces, takes charge of building the eponymous bridge, reasoning that it will give his defeated men a sense of purpose and strengthen discipline. Is he complicit in aiding his enemy or does he have no choice ?
The American protagonist, played by William Holden is not so engaging a character however his side story does lead the story to its tragic and inescapable denouement.
I suppose there is James Cameron’s Titanic (Sat 7 840P) also with Leonardo and Kate Winslet but once is plenty for mine.