TV Picks of the Week – 26-09-16 By Lisa Jewell
Whether you’re staying in or setting the DVR, here are our top cultural TV picks for the week ahead.
Documentary – John Connors: The Travellers
Wednesday 28th September, 9.35pm, RTE1
John Connors is best known for his acting role in Love/Hate but he has developed documentary making skills with the successful I Am Traveller earlier this year and this new documentary, John Connors: The Travellers.
He teams up with experts and researchers from the Traveller community as they trace the history, folklore and culture of travellers in Ireland. The film takes a look at both the official history when it comes to the State’s interventions but also focuses on the personal stories and folklore recorded through generations of families.
It’s an often eye opening documentary and the approach of having people from the Travelling community shaping the film makes sense and gives particular insight.
Film – Her
Saturday 1st October, 00:55am, Channel 4
This film’s premise is a little odd, which is why it became a bit of a funny punch line when it came to the award ceremonies during 2014. Basically, the joke was all about the ridiculousness of a man falling in love with a computer and how that relationship would be consummated.
But actually, the film is really about loneliness in a time when we’re surrounded by people and linked to so many more through technology. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, who lives on his own and is soon to be divorced. Life basically consists of work and home and he is in a state of isolation until he gets a new operating system called Samantha that is designed to be personalised just for him.
The film is most definitely not played for laughs and the performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson (voice of Samantha) and Amy Adams are very heartfelt. The way that the futuristic city is shot is also a joy to watch and the overall direction by Spike Jonze makes it a must see film.
Documentary – The Woman Who Swims with Killer Whales
Sunday 2nd October, 8.30pm, BBC4
Ingrid Visser is a marine biologist and arguably one of the world’s foremost experts on killer whales. This documentary shows her at work in her native New Zealand, where she learns more about the pods there, which have a declining population.
Visser’s approach is to get right into the water with the killer whales and observe their behaviours at close hand. Some might argue it’s an approach with risks but Visser has never been harmed and many of the killer whales have become familiar with her. Visser is a critic of theme parks like Seaworld and her research on the natural behaviours of orcas in the wild has often contradicted their practices.
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