As the London Olympics provides some of the most stunning backdrops to an event ever seen it seems appropriate for Rialto Channel to be screening films from a man who has made this city such a central part of his films.
Mike Leigh was born in Manchester but it’s clear from his films, which are mostly set in London, that he has a genuine love and affinity for the city. He’s just completed a made for TV short film loosely inspired by the Olympics called A Running Man, a lightweight domestic comedy that celebrates London as much as it does sporting endeavors.
Throughout August we’re celebrating Leigh’s career in our Directors Showcase, and one of my highlights this week has got to be Secrets and Lies (Sunday 12th August, 9.50pm).
This comedy/drama stars Brenda Blethyn as Cynthia, a lonely and isolated working class woman trying to re-connect with her family, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, as Hortense, a successful woman adopted at birth who begins to try and trace her mother.
Rita Kempley from the Washington Post summed it up nicely by describing Secrets and Lies as ‘a magnificent melodrama that draws both tears and laughter from the everyday give-and-take of seemingly ordinary souls’. She wasn’t the only one the film impressed; it received 5 Oscar nominations (1997), won the Palme D’or at Cannes (1996), and also picked up various BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards (1997). It’s well worth a re-visit or catching for the first time.
Also screening this week as part the Double Exposure documentary series is the strangely compelling The Revelation of the Pyramids (Wednesday 8th August, 8.30pm).
This documentary looks into one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, the pyramids at Giza, and questions who built them and why. I’m not really into conspiracy theories, however, even I was entranced by actor Brian Cox’s urgent, conspiratorial narration and insistence that he was about to present what would be a life changing revelation.
If you’re into intrigued by the pyramids, Egypt, other ancient cultures around the world and have an interest in mathematics, then this documentary is for you…although you might be surprised by it’s conclusion.
And don’t forget that during August the World Cinema on Tuesday evenings at 8.30pm presents the Italian Film Season, featuring some delightful Italian dramas and comedies. You can also go in the draw to win a sexy VESPA LX50! You’ll find competition and entry information here http://www.rialtochannel.co.nz/competitions.