While science fiction movies frequently incorporate themes such as fear of technology and alien life forms, filmmakers often use them as a format to discuss such issues as radical politics and questions of human identity.
Romance is part of the attraction of the cinema, with its gorgeous stars and passionate on-screen (and off-screen) love affairs. This program looks not only at the famous romantic stars of classic Hollywood like Marilyn Monroe and later Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, but it also looks at Hollywood's reflection of social attitudes towards sex, love and marriage and how they have changed over time. A comparison between the suppressed feelings of Brief Encounter, the sexual freedom of A Bout de Souffle and the sexual domesticity of Annie Hall provides a new and intriguing angle on the genre of romantic films. Features Dino de Laurentiis, Raoul Coutard, Bigas Luna and Nora Ephron.
The heist has been the centre of many of the greatest and varied films in cinematic history. This episode examines this popular genre from Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, influenced by classic film noir but retold in documentary style, to Jules Dassin's Rififi, featuring a classic heist sequence, to 1960s stylish caper films such as The Italian Job and Topkapi. The more violent heists of Hong Kong cinema became a source for Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and this episode looks at the recent re-invention of gangster films. Features Jules Dassin, Takeshi Kitano, Claudia Cardinale, Mario Monicelli and James Harris.
A series exploring major movies through time and across the world that define a particular film genre focussing on The Western, Science Fiction, The Heist, Epics, World War II and Romance. One of the most popular widespread of movie genre, Westerns follow the classic story-line of individual fighting against lawlessness and evil played out to expansive backdrops and scenery in films such as Stagecoach and Shame. Global successes such as The Magnificent Seven, Fistful of Dollars and Butch Cassidy won worldwide acclaim and more recently Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven have defined Western movies as a formidable force in modern cinema. Features James Coburn, Eli Wallach, William Goldman, Yoshio Tsuchiya and Katharine Ross.
A compelling look at the portrayal of World War II, this program reveals the myths, propaganda and the rise of realism in the war film. British wartime films were made as propaganda but also drew on a strong documentary tradition.