Film4 Listings for Thursday 27th February
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Throne of Blood (Film) Film icon 4 star rating PG certificate
Akira Kurosawa's classic drama is an atmospheric, pared-down reworking of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the feudal Japan of the Middle Ages. Toshiro Mifune stars as Taketoki Washizu, a distinguished warrior who, in an encounter with a mysterious woman in a woodland glade, learns that he is fated for glory and power, but his rise to the top will be fleeting. He's subsequently goaded by his ambitious wife Lady Asaji Washizu into fulfilling the prophecy by becoming lord of the lofty, cloud-shrouded castle that dominates the landscape. It's a tale of ruthless assassination, and not only for those who block his path. In addition to being another example of Kurosawa's innovation and mastery of the medium, Throne of Blood was also said to have been American poet TS Eliot's favourite film. First play on Film4.
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Isuzu Yamada
(Black and White, Premiere, Subtitles, Subtitled, In Japanese with English Subtitles, 1957, PG, 4 Star)
They Might be Giants (Film) Film icon U certificate
George C Scott and Joanne Woodward star in this curious comedy-drama, directed by Anthony Harvey and written by James Goldman. Justin Playfair is a New Yorker who made a fortune as a lawyer but, following his wife's death, has started to believe that he is Sherlock Holmes. His brother Blevins realises that if he can get power of attorney he can help himself to Justin's wealth - and attempts to get the delusional man committed. But, unfortunately for Blevins, the psychiatrist assigned to the case is Dr Meredith Watson. Not only does her name fit the bill, but she finds herself being caught up in her violin-playing, deerstalker-wearing patient's world, and sets off with him on a series of surreal, peril-imbued adventures around Manhattan.
Starring: Lester Rawlins
(Widescreen, Subtitles, U)
They Rode West (Film) Film icon 3 star rating U certificate
When Allen Seward, the new medical officer at a remote cavalry fort, discovers a Native American tribe infected with malaria and in danger of dying, he decides to help them. But he faces a battle of wills with his less-enlightened captain, Peter Blake, in Phil Karlson's exciting western.
Director: Phil Karlson
Starring: Robert Francis, Donna Reed, May Wynn, Philip Carey, Onslow Stevens, Peggy Converse
(Subtitles, 1954, U, 3 Star)
Please Sir! (Film) Film icon 3 star rating PG certificate
Hilarious movie spin-off from the popular TV sitcom in which teacher Bernard Hedges takes troublesome class 5C to a holiday camp with inevitably comic and disastrous results. Scripted by sitcom experts John Esmonde and Bob Larbey.
Director: Mark Stuart
Starring: John Alderton, Deryck Guyler, Noel Howlett, Joan Sanderson, Richard Davies, Erik Chitty
(Subtitles, 1971, PG, 3 Star)
The Golden Compass (Film) Film icon 3 star rating PG certificate
Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards star in Chris Weitz's family fantasy-adventure, based on the first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Twelve-year-old orphan Lyra Belacqua lives in an Oxford college, where the academic and domestic staff do their best to push her enquiring mind down conventional educational routes and quell her tomboy tendencies; it's a losing battle. One day, having sneaked into a private meeting of the college's dons, Lyra learns of mysterious events taking place in the Arctic. Soon after, amid news of mysterious child abductors called the 'Gobblers', her best friend Roger vanishes.
Director: Chris Weitz
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen
(Widescreen, Subtitles, Audio Described, 2007, PG, 3 Star)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Film) Film icon 5 star rating 18 certificate
Sci-fi sequel unfolding a life-and-death battle to avert a nuclear holocaust. A supercomputer that sought to destroy humankind sends a virtually indestructible, shape-shifting cyborg back to our time to kill the human resistance leader in his youth. Aided by another cyborg, the boy and his mother try to alter the events that led to the computer's creation and the nuclear war it triggered.
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton
(Widescreen, Subtitles, 1991, 18, 5 Star)
Harsh Times (Film) Film icon 4 star rating 15 certificate
Christian Bale plays Jim Luther Davis, a disturbed Iraq veteran back on Civvy Street and looking for easy money. He and his childhood buddy, the easily led Mike Alonzo, are out on the streets, juiced up on beer and dope, but when they find a gun, things take a darker turn as they get involved with the Mexican drugs dealers who owned the piece. David Ayer's stark drama also contains an intriguing subplot as agents from the Department of Homeland Security approach Davis, hoping to use his skills for their own purposes.
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Christian Bale, Freddy Rodríguez, Eva Longoria Parker, Chaka Forman, Tammy Trull, J.K. Simmons
(Widescreen, Subtitles, 2005, 15, 4 Star)
Trees Lounge (Film) Film icon 3 star rating 15 certificate
Steve Buscemi stars in, and makes his directorial debut with, this comedy-drama about a Long Island bum whose life is a complete mess. Tommy has been sacked from his engineering job by his boss Rob for 'borrowing' some money from the till; his girlfriend Theresa has taken up with Rob; and Tommy's relatives have him firmly marked down as the black sheep of the family. So it's little wonder that he spends his time in the Trees Lounge bar getting legless with his pal Mike. But, quite unexpectedly, a family tragedy gives Tommy the opportunity to turn his life around... Also starring Chlo? Sevigny, Samuel L Jackson and John Ventimiglia.
Director: Steve Buscemi
Starring: Carol Kane, Mark Boone Junior, Steve Buscemi, Bronson Dudley, Anthony LaPaglia, Michael Buscemi
(Subtitles, 1996, 15, 3 Star)