5 things to watch this weekend – 3 to 5 May

The broken and the weak amass while angels and demons look on. Just another weekend of essential viewing…

3 May 2019

By Peter Hill

Bosch (2014–)

Where’s it on? Amazon Prime

Bosch (2014-)

Power tools and warranties dominate the search results for Bosch, but it turns out to be a reliable annual treat in the streaming calendar. Jeff Bezos’ chequebook buys great directors (Ernest Dickerson often shoots the best episodes) and an excellent lead in Titus Welliver, whose Detective Harry Bosch tackles matricide, porn and pill mills in modern Los Angeles. Season five has just debuted – if you don’t want to revisit the lot you could start with season four, as new showrunner Daniel Pyne nurtured an intimacy and sharpened the edges to the adaptations of Michael Connelly’s novels.

Night of the Demon (1957)

Where’s it on? Horror Channel, 6:55pm, Sunday

Night of the Demon (1957)

The case for this classic has been made more eloquently elsewhere, but it’s always worth repeating. Jacques Tourneur’s film has cursed parchment and a looming dread, and it’s vital viewing. There’s also the genius of Peggy Cummins and the beastliness of antagonist Niall MacGinnis. The story is simple – a sceptical professor probes satanic mayhem – but the production was marked by rancour of the kind where the screenwriter, years later, said that should he encounter the producer, “I’d shoot him dead.” None of that is felt on screen, where this elegant perturber sweeps in with all the immersive style of its 1957 debut.

The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

Where’s it on? BFI Player

The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

As Scott Walker’s score bleeds in, a world takes shape. It is cold and stiff and home to Prescott (Tom Sweet), the child whose privileged life masks a deep darkness. His rage finds its first target at parents Bérénice Bejo and Liam Cunningham, but as his defiance grows, so does his awareness of how to use it. Brady Corbet’s first feature has echoes of Ordet, Haneke and others, but it feels like an original vision and it jabs away in the memory. His new film, Vox Lux, stars Natalie Portman and is released in UK cinemas this weekend.

Maps to the Stars (2014)

Where’s it on? BBC2, 11pm, Sunday

Maps to the Stars (2014)

If celebrity is indeed a mask that eats the face, Orson Welles’ chauffeur is surely qualified to paint one. He, Bruce Wagner, has penned a dark and unignorable story of new Norma Desmonds, child stars, shrinks, hangers-on and the ‘chore whore’ who connects them. David Cronenberg brings this world to life by framing his cast – Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusack – in isolation and watching as their neuroses pile and topple. USA Today’s review still tickles:  ‘If a pointless and nasty Hollywood satire filled with vile characters and no one to root for sounds like a good time, go see.’

Lunch Hour (1963)

Where’s it on? Talking Pictures, 6am, Saturday

Lunch Hour (1963)

Workplace trysts are an evergreen subject for cinema, but they rarely score a bullseye like this. The woman (Shirley Anne Field) and the man (Robert Stephens) enter a hotel room. Intimacy at last, away from his marriage and their jobs. It’s taken some planning, he tells her, as in flashback we see how an elaborate fantasy can become an exquisite hell. There’s a persuasive edge to the dialogue and stories, swiped from the cast during lunches with barrister John Mortimer, who incorporated their gossip into this adaption of his own play. James Hill’s editing and direction help drive home this genuinely subversive hobbling of male fantasy.

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