Village of the Damned (1960, dir. Wolf Rilla; starring George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn, Laurence Naismith). Stoicism, pluck, mental reserve; when headteacher Mr K. summarised this for us in 1982, what was he thinking? Glad I finally caught up with his mid-life crisis.
The Final Programme (1973, dir. Robert Fuest, adapted from Michael Moorcock's 'Jerry Cornelius' novel; starring Jon Finch, Jenny Runacre; hair by Leonard's of London). Studied amoralism does date, rather. Intermittently watchable (sadly Hawkwind-less) curiosity, referencing 2001, Alice in Wonderland, lifestyle supplements. If only they'd filmed (the equally unfilmable) 'An Alien Heat'.
*Watership Down (1978, dir. Martin Rosen; starring John Hurt, Richard Briers, Ralph Richardson, Denham Elliott, Zero Mostel). Comparative theology: trickster species-hero tussles with interventionist God (freedom and authenticity), or a captive, fatalistic theology/ poetics (sometimes ‘high culture’= not knowing where your food comes from)?
A Wrinkle in Time (2018, dir. Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon). Daughter and I’ve both loved Madeleine L’Engle’s classic. This looks beautiful, great casting, a film we need maybe - but I was willing it to be better.
Ready Player One (2018, dir. Steven Spielberg, starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance). A sugar-rush of a film with a 1970s/ 1980s mix-tape soundtrack, blink-and-you’d-miss-it in-jokes and plenty to say about our virtual-reality-addicted near future.
*Pub quiz fact: Art Garfunkel’s Bright Eyes, the song from Watership Down, was the UK no. 1 as Margaret Thatcher first took office as Prime Minister (4th May 1979); once you learn that, it becomes hard not to hear it as a kind of elegy for the postwar consensus. “A fog along the horizon, a strange glow in the sky-y…”