March 2 2010 through March 8 2010
By John Seal
March 1, 2010
From the obscure to the obscurest to the merely overlooked or underappreciated; they all have a home in the TiVoPlex! All times Pacific.
1:30 AM HBO Signature
Double Indemnity (1944 USA): You know what? That made-for-TV remake of Double Indemnity I ‘recommended' a few months ago wasn't as bad as I thought it would be—but that said, it wasn't particularly memorable, either. Billy Wilder's adaptation of James Cain's famous novel is definitely memorable and one of the crown jewels of film noir, with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck playing a couple of amateur grifters hatching an insurance plot they hope will set them up for life. Unfortunately for them, however, inquisitive investigator Edward G. Robinson is on their heels and ready to thwart their efforts. Forced to pull its punches and avoid the tragic ending of Cain's novel by the Production Code, Double Indemnity remains, nonetheless, one of director Billy Wilder's best—with recognition also due to Raymond Chandler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Wilder.
6:00 PM Sundance
Addicted to Plastic (2008 CAN): I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastic. First synthesized by an American scientist 101 years ago, it's now one of the most common substances on the planet, and this National Film Board of Canada documentary takes a look at how this eco-unfriendly invention earned its ubiquity. The film takes us to the beautiful refuse lagoons of the Pacific Ocean, where thousands of old water bottles huddle together for warmth, and also examines how plastic is now as much a part of the food chain as baseball, Mom, and apple pie. Especially that slice of apple pie you got at the supermarket that came individually packaged in a clear plastic container. Also airs 3/3 at 12:45 AM.
6:00 AM HD Net
Tarka the Otter (1979 GB): For years I thought 1969's Ring of Bright Water was the only otter movie ever made. My mother took me to see it at the ABC Cinema in Southport (Lancashire) and it was, to that point, the most devastating experience of my young life. This was no Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, nor even Carry on Up the Khyber: this was tragedy writ large, at least for a sensitive seven-year old who thought otters were the cutest thing since sliced lardy cake. Tarka the Otter was produced ten years later, but by then this punk-rock smitten teenager was more interested in midnight showings of Dawn of the Dead than animal adventures. In fact, until quite recently, I assumed Ring and Tarka were the same film —I mean, really, how many otter films can one world handle? Well, at least two, apparently. Based on a story by the great English novelist Henry Williamson, this otter movie tells the tragic tale of another impossibly cute aquatic mammal who comes to a sticky end. I'm not ready to be traumatized again, but if you are, it should look amazing in HD.