TV & Radio Saturday May 7by Fiona Rae
Antiques Roadshow rolls into Bath, and the last series of Midsomer Murders.
Antiques Roadshow (Prime, 7.30pm). The lovely Fiona Bruce returns with some pretty flash finds at the Bath Assembly Rooms, including a marble statue that takes six men to lift, a pair of antique bronzes found under a caravan, and a genuine Constable.
From Street to Sky (Maori, Saturday, 8.30pm). The merry month of May is NZ Music Month, and Maori is scattering the music documentaries through its schedule like paua pearls. From Street to Sky is about reggae musician, Rastafarian and dad of Che Fu, Tigilau Ness. The Niuean New Zealander has been playing and making music for the past 30 years, and is also known as a protester (he participated in the Maori land march, protested against the Springbok Tour and was at Bastion Point) and for founding the Twelve Tribes of Israel Rastafarian movement in Auckland in the 1970s. The doco is “is an interesting and touching look at a caring rebel, a formidable protester, and talented musician whose songs reflect a life devoted to unity and compassion,” said the NZ Herald.
Glastonbury (Maori, 9.30pm). Not New Zealand music, but what the hey. A look at the largest outdoor music festival in the world that is held nearly every year in Somerset, England. Glasto still has a hippie vibe; most of the profits go to charity, and to restoring the land on Michael Eavis’s farm once the crowds have gone.
Midsomer Murders (Prime, 8.30pm). New episodes of Midsomer, but also John Nettles’s last series – however, the end is eight episodes away, time for Barnaby to solve many, many murders and patronise sidekick DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes). Nettles talked to the Telegraph in 2009 about his decision to leave; Neil Dudgeon has replaced him for a 14th series, playing Barnaby’s cousin, DCI John Barnaby.
The Wedding Planner (TV1, 8.30pm). A big week for romcoms. This one suffers from the central problem with the genre: boy almost always ends up with girl, thus the same film is essentially recycled in a million different ways. Here, the dramatic framework is an organiser of weddings (Jennifer Lopez) who’s doing the do for a handsome doctor (Matthew McConnaughey) and falls in love with him. As well as being formulaic, it’s also badly cast and you might want to slap smug McConnaughey. (2001) 3 – Diana Balham
Men in Black (TV2, 8.30pm). Well-dressed alien hunters Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are funny and cool in a film that draws in lovers of action, sci-fi and comedy. Sharply written and with plenty of slime for younger viewers, this was bound to please: Men in Black II (2002), not so much. The third is due out next year. (1997) 8 – Diana Balham
The Break-up (TV3, 8.30pm). Jennifer Aniston continues her quest to find the serious actor that lurks within: she nailed it with The Good Girl, which screened two weeks ago, but returned to the soft, squishy embrace of the romcom soon after. This may have been a mistake, though, as this is neither romantic nor very comedic, and leads one to ask, why would the gorgeous, successful art dealer move in with the goofy slob – played here by Vince Vaughn? Anyway, as the title suggests, they break up, so perhaps that’s the answer. Celeb trivia: Aniston and Vaughn became a couple during filming and then – guess what? – they broke up. (2006) 6 – Diana Balham
Broken Embraces (Rialto, Sky 025, 8.30pm). Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz’s fourth film together is characteristically sumptuous and thought-provoking but not their best work. It doesn’t help that Cruz is dead for most of the film. She plays Lena, who is killed in a car crash 14 years before the story begins. Lluís Homar is Mateo/Harry, a man blinded in the same accident and unable to move on. Melodramatic in a European way, but good performances from the leads. (2009) 7– Diana Balham
The Matador (TV2, 10.30pm). Two men walk into a Mexican bar. One is an ageing, broken-spirited hitman (Pierce Brosnan) and the other is a very ordinary travelling salesman (Greg Kinnear). A quirky and off-kilter comic thriller, and Brosnan is just loving being the sleazy guy – good with a gun but so not James Bond. (2005) 7 – Diana Balham
Wimbledon (TV3, 10.45pm). A romcom with balls. Nice Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander), struggles to be sexy as an ageing English tennis pro who plays a round (or two) with Kirsten Dunst, an up-and-coming player. This is pleasant if not terribly convincing and the leads look as if they’d rather sit down with a plate of strawberries and cream than kiss each other. Bettany and Dunst played a lot of tennis to prepare for this: the serves are genuine but the other strokes were done without a ball, which was digitally added later. Who knows what kind of heat would have been generated if Hugh Grant and Reese Witherspoon – the original choices – had been available. (2004) 6 – Diana Balham
Marie Antoinette (TV1, 10.40pm). Kirsten Dunst is the teenage bride who lived fast and died young in 18th-century France in this gorgeous multicoloured take on the famous life of the cake-proposing queen. Sofia Coppola’s third film pumps along with funky music (Air and others) and looks très stylish: Spanish shoe king Manolo Blahnik made hundreds of pairs of one-off shoes and top Parisian patisserie Ladurée provided the pastries. But for all its visual beauty, there’s something a bit empty about the whole thing: you come away feeling as if you’ve eaten all those petits-fours and are starving again half an hour later. (2006) 6 – Diana Balham
Saturday Morning with Kim Hill (Radio New Zealand National, 8.10am). Guests are Tariq Ali; sisters Atka Reid and Hana Schofield, who tell their story of growing up in Sarajevo and the war that separated them in Goodbye Sarajevo; Fred Allendorf, whose 2007 book Conservation and the Genetics of Populations, co-authored with Gordon Luikart, investigates how genetics can be used to conserve species threatened with extinction; American bebop saxophonist Sonny Rollins; New Zealand's premier trombone quartet BonaNZa; British novelist David Mitchell; and Historian and poet Dr Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, currently Waikato University's 2011 writer in residence.
Seeded (95bFm, 11.00am; Radio Control, 2.00pm; Radio Active, 9.30am; RDU, 2.00pm; Radio One, 10.00am). Today Seeded looks at the life and work of comedian and TV greenie Te Radar, whose musical choices seem to be pretty much limited to groups that start with “the”: his picks include the Smiths, the Dead C, the 3Ds and the Verlaines. – Diana Balham
Frequencies: 95bFM, Auckland 95FM • Radio Control, Palmerston North, 99.4FM • Radio Active, Wellington 88.6FM • RDU, Christchurch 98.5FM • Radio One, Dunedin 91FM
Music Alive (Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00pm). Coming live from the Auckland Town Hall tonight is a special concert from Jenny Wollerman (soprano) and the New Zealand String Quartet featuring The Abiding Tides, a work by Ross Harris that premièred at the 2010 New Zealand Festival with the same performers. The piece employs poetry by Vincent O’Sullivan, set against Harris’s evocative music that references the sinking of the Titanic. Wollerman was greatly moved by the piece, and “the way the great technologically advanced and luxurious liner set off with such high hopes and expectations, only to founder so suddenly and tragically”. Like the Titanic, The Abiding Tides is also heading overseas next year, as part of the New Zealand String Quartet’s March concert series at new London venue the King’s Place. We wish it bon voyage. Tonight’s concert also includes Mozart’s String Quartet No 22 (Prussian) and Dvorák’s String Quartet No 14. – Diana Balham
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