TV things at the NFT next month

As usual, the NFT has a few nice TV treasures on display next month, as well as some excellent events. Here are the highlights, IMHO.

Friday 11th May: Preview: The War on Democracy + John Pilger intro

Pilger’s first feature-length film for the cinema, looking at Latin America. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gives Pilger a rare face-to-face interview.

Saturday 19th May: Bar Mitzvah Boy

Jack Rosenthal’s bittersweet comedy about a teenage Jewish boy’s coming of age. Plus 15 minutes of clips from the strand.

Saturday 19th May: Play for Today discussion

A panel of writers, directors, producers and academics debate Play for Today and its impact. How did it work and what were its achievements? No idea who the panel are though.

Wednesday 23rd May: A Night With the Bonzos

TV appearances by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and Son of the Exploding Sausage. May feature appearances by actual Bonzos.

Wednesday 23rd May: Coming to England

Floella Benjamin leads a discussion on the experiences of first-generation immigrants to the UK in the 50s and 60s. Includes a screening of Coming to England, the autobiographical account of her journey to the UK.

Friday 25th May: Eccentric England

One Man’s Week: Vivian Stanshall BBC 1975 30min

The Bonzos’ Viv Stanshall cycles around Muswell Hill, hunting records and attending to his terrapins.

Dave Allen in Search of the Great English Eccentric ATV 1974 52 mins

Meet a man who resides in a small iron box, plus Bonzos cohort Bruce Lacey, who has a home-made robot-lady in his shed. Meanwhile, Ivor Cutler plays the harmonium and sings at the zoo.

The Moon and the Sledgehammer UK 1971 65 mins

Words like ‘weird’ and ‘odd’ do not do justice to this remarkable, eerily beautiful folk documentary recording the exploits of a strange, mysterious family living deep in the woods – according to their own rules – along with their giant steam engines, pump organs, broken-up buses, and all manner of outlandish regalia. Once seen, never forgotten!

The Mediatheque will be crammed with Play for Today stuff that you can view for free as well. Plus there’s film stuff at the NFT as well, apparently.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.