Star Trek: Picard
Where’s it on? Amazon Prime Video
Make it go! That was my reaction to the first season of Picard, which closed with Patrick Stewart’s death, and the porting of his consciousness to a robotic clone (who I think was also on writing duties). This new milking of the celestial cash cow has more finesse, a new showrunner and two crowd-pleasing signings. Whoopi Goldberg and John de Lancie are repatriated, the latter taking on his persona as omnipotent gameshow host Q, who puts Picard on trial and gives the series its arc. Episode directors include Lea Thompson AKA the Back to the Future films’ Lorraine Baines-McFly.
Funeral in Berlin (1966)
Where’s it on? GREAT! movies classic, Sunday, 6:50pm
There’s a deal on at Harry Palmer World: see one, get one free. On the night that ITV serve up their Ipcress File remake, you can find original tenant Michael Caine in his second adventure. A high-profile defector is Palmer’s target this time, with some great throwaway gags (“Bitte, mein Herr?” asks the waiter. “No, Löwenbrau, please,” deadpans Caine) and a top-notch supporting cast lead by Oscar Homolka, the crumpled Austrian who had worked with Hitchcock and Marilyn Monroe.
Where’s it on? In cinemas and on BFI Player
Refugee stories suddenly feel very relevant indeed, and this animated documentary taps horror and hope in the telling. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen interviews his friend Amin, who tells of a happy childhood in Kabul, curtailed by war, escaping the mujahideen only to be trafficked into a country they never wanted, and a life under siege. Memories whirl up in brushstrokes, of rickety overladen boats, police brutality and, beneath all that, a young boy with a secret he thinks will damn him. This enthralling film, destined to be a classic, ensures it does not.
The Adam Project (2022)
Where’s it on? Netflix
The Netflix algorithm assures me this is ‘witty’ and ‘exciting’, so I am sold. Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner feature, which is apt because it sounds a bit like 13 Going on 30, as adult time traveller Ryan Reynolds teams up with his 12-year-old self to do something which will no doubt involve sass and swagger. Pros: Catherine Keener’s in the cast, and it will have a champagne budget. Cons: it’s from the director of Night at the Museum (and Night at the Museum 2).
Pain and Glory
Where’s it on? BBC4, Saturday, 9pm, and on BFI Player
Pedro Almodóvar’s films are a show-home for outsider free spirits, where sins haunt and desires burn within. Salvador (Antonio Banderas) knows this. He is a filmmaker broken by old loves and bad choices. When given a fresh chance, he must address the past to steer the future. There is frequent beauty in this imperfect life, crafted by a director and a star at their peak. The Spanish director uses art to heal, and, as in the recent Parallel Mothers, this film stirs the soul.