FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Robert Redford's Quiz Show goes behind the scenes of a television programme to reveal a fascinating slice of 1950s American history. Your choices for what we'll show on Tuesday 4 June are between three more films that go behind the TV screen but tell satirical rather than historical stories. Up for the vote are...
"With a wide range of incisive, sardonic, hyperbolic humor and drama, Lee sketches the circular connections between racist images, racist policies, and the lack of leadership to resist them." - Richard Brody, New Yorker
Pressurised by the network bosses, black television writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) is forced into writing a racist comedy show. At first clueless about how to approach the project, he eventually, with the help of his young assistant Sloan (Jada Pinkett), manages to come up with the most racist and obscene show imaginable: 'Mantan - The New Millennium Minstrel Show'. However, Delacroix is unprepared for what follows; the show, featuring a blackface hero called Mantan (Savion Glover) and his sidekick Sleep 'n' Eat, becomes the most popular thing on television. In many ways, Spike Lee's satire feels more relevant now than it did at the start of the millennium.
"This tale of a failing network that feeds on the mental breakdown of one of its anchors, cannibalising itself for ratings, feels as savagely relevant now as it did when it was released nearly 40 years ago.' - Wendy Ide, Times
Ageing television presenter Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is on the edge of a mental breakdown when he is fired. He decides to open his heart to his audience, breaking down live on TV. Incredibly, this boosts his ratings, and Beale is re-hired and given his own show on which he can scream and shout. The film won three Oscars, with Paddy Chayevsky winning an award for the Best Original Screenplay. In many ways, Sidney Lumet's satire feels more relevant now than it did in the mid 1970s.
"To be sure, the movie has plenty of laughs, but like sunlight on the deceptively calm surface of the sea, its light humour dances fitfully over dark and dangerous undercurrents." - Washington Post
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) has a seemingly idyllic lifestyle: a secure job, a loving family and a peaceful home. Yet, unbeknownst to him, his entire existence has been one long TV series, the people around him Hollywood actors, the town a massive studio set, and the whole show orchestrated by a visionary director (Ed Harris). In many ways, Peter Weir's satire feels more relevant now than it did at the end of 90s.