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« Tacit Knowledge -- Polaroid | Main | Magazine Culture Redux »

October 19, 2002

TV Alert

Friedrich --

We postmoderns tend to take for granted how well-off we are in terms of access to entertainment. You've got the Web and cable TV? Then you're in better shape to enjoy the fruits of the cultural world than any pre-1950s king or queen.

Here's a Clip and Save guide to the upcoming week on cable.

*Rising Sun (HBO Saturday at 3 a.m.). Philip Kaufman directs Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes in an adaptation of Michael Crichton's Japanophobe novel. Semi-effective as a thriller; sharp and sophisticated as a comedy about multiculuralism.
*Training Day (Cinemax, Tues at 8 pm; Wednesday at 3 am; Fri at 10 pm). Denzel's Oscar-winning performance, and a snappy, gritty urban thriller in its own right. Ethan Hawke does a beautiful job setting off Denzel's performance, by the way. Second bananas deserve credit too.
*Vanya on 42nd Street (IFC; Monday at 10 am and 4 pm; Tuesday at 8 a.m.). The sublime Louis Malle/Andre Gregory/Wallace Shawn adaptation of Chekhov's play. See what ensemble acting is really about.
*Sweet Smell of Success (TCM; Sunday at 6 pm). This urban tale about tabloid Manhattan stars Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, and was directed by Alexander Mackendrick. A flop when it first came out, it's now a legend, and helped establish a tough, flamboyant New York style. You'll see where a lot of Scorsese's style comes from.
*Antonio Banderas is interviewed on Inside the Actor's Studio (Bravo; Sunday at 8 pm).
*Joy Ride (Cinemax, Sunday at 10 pm, Thursday 11 am and 8 pm), a low-key but genuinely scary (and very handsome) thriller. Directed by John ("Red Rock West") Dahl.
*The Making of 'Gone With the Wind' (TCM, Wednesday at 8 pm). I'm not a fan of the movie that is this documentary's subject, but the story of the film's production should be fascinating.
*A Men Who Made the Movies hour on the director Raoul Walsh (TCM, Friday at 7 pm)

*On A&E's American Justice, host Bill Kurtis can take a little getting used to, but he and his show do a terrific job of presenting stories of crimes and criminals. This week's episodes include
*An hour on the disappearance of the famous atheist Madalynn Murray O'Hair (9-10 pm Wednesday)
*An hour on Karla Faye Tucker, a Texas double-murderer (Wed., 10-11 pm)
*An hour entitled Girl in the Box (Saturday, 5 pm), about a strange kidnapper/kindappee case. He kidnapped a hitchiker and made her his sex slave for seven years. Horrifying. But she never seems to have made any effort to escape. Perplexing.



posted by Michael at October 19, 2002


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