What TV’s on at the BFI in July 2012

Richard Burton in Walk With Destiny

Time for our regular look at the TV that the BFI is showing, this time in the month of July 2012. There’s a surprising amount on offer, mainly as the result of an Aristocracy season that includes one of Richard Burton’s few TV plays, but also because there’s something of a BSkyB theme to the month, with a preview of Sinbad , which features that nice Naveen Andrews from Lost, a lot of comedy from Sky, including Moone Boy with The IT Crowd‘s Chris O’Dowd and Parents with Smack the Pony‘s Sally Phillips, as well as a panel discussion about comedy featuring Sky’s head of comedy Lucy Lumsden.

And is that weren’t enough, there are previews of BBC2’s Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, featuring lots of nice people including Jeremy Irons and that nice Tom Hiddleston from The Avengers, as well as an old version of Hamlet made for schools back in the 60s.

Sun 1 July 13:30 NFT1: TV Preview: Sinbad + Q&A
Impossible Pictures for Sky 1 HD 2012. Dir Colin Teague. With Elliot Knight, Naveen Andrews, Orla Brady, Elliot Cowan. 60min
Banished from his homeland of Basra, Sinbad finds himself cast out to sea on The Providence. He must now embark on an epic and emotional quest to rid himself of a curse placed on him following the death of his much-loved brother, and embrace his new destiny. Sinbad is a 21st-century reimagining of the classic Arabian Nights tales and is a gritty, high-octane adventure for all ages.

We are delighted to welcome actor Elliot Knight, director Colin Teague and visual effects supervisor Dave Houghton to take part in a Q&A after the screening.

Mon 2 July 17:30 NFT1: Henry IV Part 1
Neal Street co-production with NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC2 2012 Dir Richard Eyre. With Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston, Julie Walters, Alun Armstrong, Joe Armstrong, Michelle Dockery, David Hayman, Maxine Peake, Geoffrey Palmer, Iain Glen. 116min
King Henry (Irons) faces a rebellion while his son and heir Hal (Hiddleston) wastes his days with Falstaff (Russell Beale) and a disreputable crowd at the Boar’s Head, a London tavern which is home to Mistress Quickly (Walters) and Doll Tearsheet (Peake). As the rebellion worsens, the King forces Hal to recognise his duties as heir to the throne.

Mon 2 July 20:00 NFT1: Henry IV Part 2
Neal Street co-production with NBCUniversal and Thirteen for BBC2 2012 Dir Richard Eyre. With Jeremy Irons, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston, Julie Walters, Alun Armstrong, Joe Armstrong, Michelle Dockery, David Hayman, Maxine Peake, Geoffrey Palmer, Iain Glen. 116min

In the aftermath of the Battle of Shrewsbury, the rebels continue their quest to overthrow the King. Consumed with worry, Henry IV grows increasingly frail. The Royal forces outwit the rebels without a fight. After the illness and death of his father, Hal is crowned King Henry V. The new King has to choose between old friends and his newfound responsibility. Followed by a panel discussion, hosted by executive producer Sam Mendes, with director Richard Eyre and members of the cast – please check BFI website for confirmed panel.
Joint ticket available £13.75, concs £10.25 (Members pay £1.50 less)

Tue 3 July 18:30 NFT3: TV’s Comedy Renaissance: Lucy Lumsden in Conversation
Join Lucy Lumsden (BSkyB Head of Comedy and former BBC Head of Comedy) as she discusses what makes comedy on television work. Lucy will examine the challenges of arriving at BSkyB to turn the broadcaster in to a major player in the production of UK television comedy and how she set about achieving this in only the first two years in the post with the success of shows such as Trollied, Stella and The Café. Illustrated with clips of past successes and the shows Lucy has found the most influential, we will also look forward to the path ahead for television comedy.
Tickets: £5

Tue 3 July 20:45 NFT1: Moone Boy
BSkyB-Baby Cow-Sprout Films-Hod Cod Productions-Grand Pictures 2012. Dir Declan Lowney. 24min
Written by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy, Moone Boy is set in a small town in Ireland in 1989 and follows the antics of the youngest member of the Moone family, 11- year old Martin. Martin has a unique perspective on life, aided by imaginary friend Sean Murphy, played by Chris O’Dowd. Martin’s imagination comes into play both in his childish drawings, which come alive through animation, TALK and in the ridiculous schemes he comes up with, against Sean’s better judgement. With Sean’s help, Martin negotiates life as the youngest in a chaotic, scatterbrained family.
+ Parents
BSkyB-Objective Productions 2012. Dir Simon Delaney. With Sally Phillips, Tom Conti, Darren Strange. 23min
is a sharp, quick-witted multi-generation comedy about a married couple (Phillips and Strange) with two teenage kids, forced to move back in with their parents when Phillips’ bread-winner mum loses her job and consequently their family home. Joining Sally Phillips, Chris O’Dowd and Lucy Lumsden on the panel will be writers Lloyd Woolf and Joe Tucker.
Tickets £10, concs £6.75 (Members pay £1.50 less)

Wed 4 July 18:00 NFT2: Nancy Mitford 1904- 1973: A Portrait by Her Sisters
BBC 1980. Dir Julian Jebb. 63min
With interviews with most of her sisters combined with footage of Nancy herself (best known for the success of her books Love in a Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love) and provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into the aristocratic world of the Mitford’s childhood.
+ The Lively Arts: Jessica Mitford – The Honourable Rebel
BBC 1977. 60min

Tells of her journey from English aristocrat to Communist Party worker then successful author (The American Way of Death) and finally feted grande dame of US liberal society.

Thu 5 July 18:00 NFT2: UnLOCked: For Schools: Hamlet
ITV 1963. Dir Tania Lieven. With Barry Foster, Sidney Tafl er, Michael Aldridge, Jennifer Daniel. 125min
A rare opportunity to view an early ITV Schools version of Hamlet, starring Barry Foster. Foster had been appearing on stage since the late 1940s and had appeared in many Shakespeare plays before getting this chance to play the role he always claimed was his favourite. This first-rate production demonstrates the attention paid to such broadcasting at the time. It originally aired in five parts but was edited together without programme breaks for re-transmission in the US, and it is this seamless print that will screen tonight.

Wed 11 July 20:40 NFT2 Whicker Considers: The Aristocracy Business
YTV 1968. Dir Michael Blakstad
Alan Whicker, with his usual incisive wit, looks at the lordships of the North Riding of Yorkshire. + Aristocracy: Episode 4: Survival of the Fittest
BBC 1997.
Dir Sam Organ.
Looks at what it means to be an aristocrat in the modern age.
+ Man Alive: Living Like A Lord
BBC 1966. Dir Richard Thomas. 28min

A look at the spread of the ennobled in the 20th century.

Thu 12 July 18:10 NFT3 The Wednesday Play: And Did Those Feet?
BBC 1965. Dir Don Taylor. With David Markham, Willoughby Goddard, Patrick Troughton, Silvia Kay. 106min.

Write David Mercer forces the Establishment to confront its own demise.

Sat 21 July 16:00 NFT2 Play For Today: Country
BBC 1981. Dir Richard Eyre. With Leo McKern, James Fox, Wendy Hiller, Penelope Wilton, Jill Bennett. 85min

Conceived as the first of a series of ‘Tory stories’, this is a dissection of an aristocratic family on the eve of the 1945 Labour landslide.
+ Timewatch: The Rise and Fall of the Aristocracy
BBC 1984. 18 min
Asks why the English aristocracy have faired better than their continental counterparts.

Tue 24 July 18:20 NFT2 Women of our Time: Nancy – A Portrait of Lady Astor 1879-1964
BBC 1979. 50min
A fascinating insight into the life and career of the first woman to take a seat in the House of Commons.
+ Lady Astor (Interviewed by Kenneth Harris)
BBC 1962. 28min

Provides tantalising glimpses into a lost aristocratic world, her relationship with Churchill and the attitudes of fellow MPs to her taking her seat.

Tue 31 July 18:00 NFT2 Walk With Destiny aka The Gathering Storm
BBC 1974. Dir Herbert Wise. With Richard Burton, Virginia McKenna, Ian Bannen, Robert
Hardy. 75min
Offering glimpses of the domestic and political life of the Churchills prior to the war and charts how Winston was brought in from the political wilderness to take up his final great role as wartime leader.
+ At Home: Randolph Churchill
BBC 1957. Dir Humphrey Fisher. 40min

The BBC was allowed to broadcast live from the family home and provides a fascinating time capsule of the period.

Champions’ priority booking: 11.30am June 11
Members’ priority booking opens: 11.30am June 12
Public booking opens: June 19

£8.50 (members)
£5.25 (member concs)
£10.00 (non-members)
£6.75 (non-members concs)
Under 16s £5.00.

All shows are £5 on Tuesdays. Conc prices are available to senior citizens, students, unwaged and disability visitors. Proof of eligibility may be required.

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details.