Recommended films on TV



A Bigger Splash (Thursday 28 May, Film 4, 23.20) was the first English-language feature by Luca Guadagnino, later to find greater acclaim with Call Me by Your Name. Released in 2015, it is an intense, visually stunning film about a privileged foursome playing out their psychodramas around the pool of a Mediterranean villa.

Marianne (an almost mute Tilda Swanton) is a rock star seeking respite from her demanding career. Her boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a filmmaker. Then two disruptive influences arrive: Harry (Ralph Fiennes), an old flame, and Penelope (Dakota Johnson) his youthful daughter. Harry’s insufferable, near-manic bonhomie contrasts with Swanton’s near-silence, yet she is still drawn to him; Paul, meanwhile, is tempted by Penelope.

Filmed in the shimmering colour and light of one of Hockey’s swimming-pool paintings, A Bigger Splash is suffused with sex and intrigue, with a strong element of comedy along the way.


Other World Cinema films of interest in the coming week include an earlier film by Bong Joon Ho, director of the all-conquering Parasite. The ultra-violent Snowpiercer (2013) is an inventive piece of dystopian science fiction that is not for the squeamish. That’s on Sunday (24/5) on Film 4 at 21.00. Then there’s the 2017 documentary Makala, about a man struggling to support his family in the Democratic Republic of Congo by making and selling charcoal. That’s at 01.30 on Monday (25/5) on Film 4.

Some might fancy the absurdist comedy A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014) on Thursday (28/5) at 01.50 on Film4. Jee-woon Kim’s The Age of Shadows (2016), a period drama about Korean resistance fighters struggling against the Japanese, is on Sunday morning (24/5) on BBC2 at 00.45.

Not strictly World Cinema, there is another chance to see Slumdog Millionaire (2008) while for those who prefer English-language films BBC2 has a week of classics: Citizen Kane (1941), Great Expectations (1946), She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Top Hat (1935) and King Kong (1933). Dates, times and channels for all the films are in the listings below.


Saturday 23/511.00Film 4Arthur's Hallowed GroundCharming cricket comedy
15.15BBC2Citizen KaneWelles masterpiece
21.00Sony MoviesPulp FictionWitty and violent Tarantino
22.35BBC4Educating RitaCaine-Walters classic
23.15Channel 4Slumdog MillionaireDev Patel wants to be one
Sunday 24/500.05Sony Movies21 GramsIñárritu crime drama
00.45BBC2The Age of ShadowsKorean period war film
10.35BBC2Great ExpectationsDavid Lean masterpiece
14.05ParamountAttack!Robert Aldrich WWII drama
15.35BBC2She Wore a Yellow RibbonJohn Ford Western classic
17.45ITV1Jurassic ParkDinosaurs run amok
18.50Film 4The Madness of King GeorgeFrom the Alan Bennett play
19.10E4PaddingtonBear necessity
21.00Film 4SnowpiercerClass war on an unstoppable train
23.05 (also Wednesday 23.15)5 Star ScreamWes Craven comedy slasher
23.25Channel 4East is EastCulture-clash humour
Monday 25/501.15Sony MoviesDonnie BrascoPacino, Depp, crime
01.25Film 4MakalaAward-winning doco
09.10 (also Friday 03.00)Sony MoviesMoneyballBrad Pitt baseball drama
14.50BBC2Top HatClassic Astaire & Rogers
15.45 (also Wednesday 20.00)ITV4Apollo 13True-life space thriller
18.45Film 4Super 8Nostalgic sci-fi treat
19.00BBC1Paddington 2Hugh Grant dances!
22.00Talking PicturesThe Naked Civil ServantQuentin Crisp biopic
Tuesday 26/501.10Sony MoviesPremium RushBike messenger thriller
11.00Film 4Tiger BayHayley Mills's film debut
15.05BBC2The Magnificent AmbersonsAnother Welles masterpiece
21.00Film 4ArrivalIntelligent sci-fi
21.00ITV4JawsShark alert!
23.20Film 4PrisonersHaunting kidnap thriller
Wednesday 27/511.00Film 4Stalag 17Billy Wilder PoW drama
16.05Film 4A Night to RememberTitanic disaster classic
21.00Film 4American MadeTrue drug-trafficking drama
Thursday 28/501.50Film 4A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on ExistenceAbsurdist Swedish comedy
13.10Film 4Ride LonesomeRandolph Scott Western
16.50Film 4The Man from LaramieJames Stewart Western
21.00Film 4 Beast (2017)Atmospheric Brit noir
23.10Film 4A Bigger SplashRalph Fiennes dances!
Friday 29/512.40Film 4The Way to the StarsWWII RAF drama
14.50BBC2King KongGo ape
23.15BBC1Young AdultUS small-town satire
23.20BBC2TrumboScreenwriter biopic