TV Picks of the Week By Lisa Jewell
Whether you’re staying in or setting the DVR, we’ve your top TV picks for the week ahead.
Film – Once Upon a Time in America – Monday 24 October, 9.30pm, TG4
Sergio Leone’s epic film is largely told in flashback and tells the story of a group of Jewish gangsters from New York, from childhood right through Prohibition and into the 1960s. It’s loosely based on a semi autobiographical novel called The Hoods and stars Robert De Niro as the main character Noodles, with James Wood, Elizabeth McGovern and Jennifer Connolly also featuring (the latter in her first film role).
The writing, directing and acting are all exemplary, along with a masterful soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. The non linear narrative with its jumps in time can be challenging for the viewer so it’s definitely a film that you need to pay attention to.
Documentary – Fatal Experiments: The Downfall of a Supersurgeon
Tuesday 25 October, 10pm, BBC4
This three part documentary tells the story of Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini who wowed his colleagues at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute with his innovative new tracheal transplant procedure.
When his patients started dying, however, it quickly became clear that all that glitters isn’t gold.
Continues on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Documentary – Michael Moore In Trumpland
Saturday 29 October, 11pm, Channel 4
Talk about a quick turnaround from filming to our TV screens. Michael Moore filmed two nights of his one man show in a theatre in Wilmington, Ohio, back in early October and just 11 days later, he premiered the resulting film for an audience in New York. It was a surprise release with very little advance publicity. Now, as well as being available for purchase through streaming channels, it’s being shown here on Channel 4.
It’s obvious that it’s hitting the screens in advance of the Presidential election on 8 November, when it has the opportunity to prove its political currency.
If you’ve seen any previous Michael Moore documentaries, you won’t be surprised that its polemic is in favour of a more liberal and democratic way. Essentially the film is an appeal to undecided voters and any Trump voters who might be swayed to vote for Hillary Clinton and sets out the reasons why. He does have the odd pot shot at the Republican candidate but the film is not really focused on taking him down in the way that Moore zeroed in on George W Bush, for example, in his film Fahrenheit 911.
As Moore said while introducing the documentary in New York, “What the country doesn’t need is to be told that Trump is a crazy and dangerous psychopath, sociopath, all of that. I think he has written and produced that movie and it appears daily.”
While clearly a Hillary Clinton supporter, Moore does highlight a few concerns he has about her but these very much fall into the shade compared with Trump’s deficiencies.