Best of 2020 | TV, Film, Radio

I did actually make it to the cinema a few times this year, and even with lots of big releases delayed there were still a few things worth talking about:

Armando Ianucci’s David Copperfield is by far and away the greatest Dickens adaptation ever, beating David Lean’s Great Expectations, and A Muppet Christmas Carol. Best film of the year by miles, and I hate Dickens

Behind it on the list is Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit, in which Waititi becomes the first actor of colour to play Hitler. Utterly brilliant.

Finally at the cinema I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan. Tenet looked great but the endless time shifts were too much to cope with. Good if you stop trying to follow the plot too closely

Although it didn’t get a cinema release His House, a low budget horror made by the BBC following the arrival in the UK of Sudanese asylum seekers was superb, if very very creepy.

I am a fan of Japanese and Korean cinema and have been for years. When you are as deaf as I am watching with subtitles on is a relief. Parasite was the first foreign language film to win best picture, and it deserved it – a unique mix of family drama and thriller.

Like everyone else I watched loads of TV. Steve McQueen’s series Small Axe following the lives and struggles of the London West Indian community was by far and away the best thing on TV and is a must see.

Lovecraft Country, based on the novel by Matt Ruff, and produced by JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele was outstanding. Taking place in the 1950s it uses Lovecraft’s existential horror to explore race and family in the US. Despite being fantasy horror and set in the past it felt incredibly contemporary as it dealt with the issues raised by Black Lives Matter. The episode set in the Tulsa Massacre was one of the most memorable hours of Television in recent years.

There were also 2 high concept sci fi shows that were unmissable. Devs, a BBC soft sci-fi series covered the issues of time travel and parallel universes much more neatly than Tenet, and was a joy to watch.

Raised by Wolves, Ridley Scotts hard sci-fi epic, with the last of humanity raised by robots on a far off planet, looked brilliant, even making a cold, emotionless robot mother seem believable.

Finally on the radio Shadow over Innsmouth on BBC sounds is the 3rd instalment of the Mystery Machine podcasts. All of them are brilliant updatings of Lovecrafts creepy originals. Highly recommended.

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