This major British filmmaker got several hours of coverage on BBC 4 on Sunday night. This included one of his best films, Point Blank (Warner Bros. 1967). Unfortunately it was shown in a cropped version, 16.9, which is not even a film ratio. To add insult to injury the BBC 4 logo was visible throughout the screening, and given the use of chiarascuro it was noticeable. Then over the end credits, actually in the right ratio (the Panavision format), we got an announcer’s voice. Something similar happened the other week with Whisky Galore (Ealing, 1949), but at least that film was screened in the right ratio.
The film was followed by a documentary Me and Me Dad (Colorframe, 2012) by his daughter Katrine. This was a personal and family portrait, composed rather like a series of snapshots. However the film clips, including Point Blank, were all shown in the right ratio. Every now and then John Boorman commented on his film work and also occasionally added directions for the filming. Both were illuminating.
I would like to suggest a season of Boorman’s films on television, but if they are treated like the one film was the other night – probably do not bother.