The Battle of the Somme
This astonishing 77 minute film gets a centenary rerelease. It was shot a few days before and after the initial attack on 1 July 1916 by Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell, the only cinematographers allowed anywhere near the front line. It was released in cinemas on 21 August 1916 and an estimated 20 million people saw it — half the UK population. Although conceived as propaganda, it was widely seen as showing the reality of the war.
Summer, ITV Encore
Series four of the excellent Regan-era Cold War spy drama begins this summer. Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) and her husband Philip (Matthew Rhys) are still Russian sleeper agents posing as an all-American married couple living in the suburbs of Washington, DC, bringing up their unsuspecting children. Family, loyalty, betrayal and deception are at the heart of the drama and the thrills gain authenticity from series creator Joe Weisberg, a former CIA agent.
The Get Down
12 August, Netflix
“You don’t know what the fucking get down is?” Well, it’s Strictly Ballroom and Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann’s first major TV series. Luhrmann brings his usual style and chutzpah to this story of teenagers in New York’s South Bronx in the 1970s. This was the era of new music that led to disco, punk and hip-hop, taking in the SoHo art scene, CBGB, Studio 54 and the newly-built World Trade Center.
Punk on Film
August, BFI Southbank
Film director, DJ and musician Don Letts curates this season of documentaries, feature films and archive rarities drawing attention to the diversity of the punk movement and its huge influence on filmmakers. Screenings include Letts’s own The Clash: Westway to the World, Derek Jarman’s Jubilee from 1978, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, the Kathleen Hanna doc The Punk Singer and Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain. The season encompasses World Punk Day featuring screenings of Afro Punk (2003), which follows black punks in the US, Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (2009) and Punk in Africa (2012).
Three weeks of music, theatre, opera, dance and fringe events. Particularly anticipated is Berlin’s Schaubühne Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Richard III at the Lyceum from 24 to 28 August. Local hip hop act Young Fathers return to play the Hub on 14 to 15 August and Anohni will be performing tracks from her album Hopelessness at Edinburgh Playhouse on 17-18 August.