Screengrab: High Art, Very Low Art and Warren Beatty

Screen GrabRichard Lutz gets all continental and heavyweight for his movie choice on the box this week.

Want some sombre, highly intellectual, high faultin’ sub-titled stuff from the Italian master Bernardo Bertolucci? No? Well, I thought as much. So, skip to the end where I list the junk pile dandruff that everyone really watches…

But to the Euro-art: The Conformist (Mon, 01.25AM, Ch4). This grand scale film, almost operatic in magnitude, takes a look at a weak-willed middle-class waster from 1938 Italy who just wants to be valued and loved. And the quickest way, he believes, is to become a Mussolini hit man.

His first operation is to kill his old liberal professor. And so it goes with moody French actor Jean Louis Trintingant realising he has big choices to make. Not only in what he has to do. But also dealing with a wavering sexuality and wrestling with 1930’s political dynamics.

It is a stand alone beauty of a film, watching the will o’ the wisp Trintingnant become another victim of the brutal ideologies of the era. But there is another reason why this movie is important.

Bertolucci had a major impact on two American/Italian directors – Coppola and Scorsese. The Godfather had elements of The Conformist as did other big films like Scorsese’s Mafia movies where people, no matter how big and strong, get tossed around n the maelstrom of bigger events. de Niro worked for both Bertolucci and Coppola and The Conformist’s cinematographer Vittorio Storaro did that mega-scale work on Apocalypse Now.

There..I done the upmarket stuff for you.


I now wish to re-align your limited attention t  the kids’ channel CBBC, y’know the one you plop your little bundles of fun in front of when you want some peace and bloody quiet.

It’s a Scooby Doo festival (well, maybe that’s too high-minded a word for it). Let’s just say the channel is slapping a lot of the full length cartoons all over the place.

So, you get for your licence fee or your download twitch for this week:  Chill Out, Scooby Doo; Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire; Scooby Doo! Where’s My Mummy; and of course, my own favourite, Aloha, Scooby Doo.

Whew, talk about art house….

Other items you want to peek into: Bonnie and Clyde (Thurs; 22.15, Sky Atlantic); Quadrophenia (Wed; 23.45, ITV4) or Terrence Mallick’s Tree of Life (Thurs, 22.45, More4).