Modern Classics: 5 British Miniseries For The Evening

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Modern Classics: 5 British Miniseries For The Evening
Modern Classics: 5 British Miniseries For The Evening

Video: Modern Classics: 5 British Miniseries For The Evening

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Text: Vasily Milovidov

ON THE WEEKEND EVENING WHEN THERE ARE NO FORCES, the most difficult thing to decide are two key things: what to cook and what to see. In order not to rush about for a long time, sorting through the lists of the best by genre, author or year, we have compiled a recipe for the perfect vacation for you. Here are five miniseries to spend a precious evening on.

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Spy, get out

A screen adaptation of John le Carré's spy novel and an absolute classic of British television, local Seventeen Moments of Spring. George Smiley, a quiet, thoughtful old man and a retired deputy head of British intelligence, is summoned from retirement and assigned to look for a Soviet spy among his colleagues. Intoxicatingly confusing and sometimes wildly funny series with the outstanding release of the great Alec Guinness in the title role. After him was filmed the sequel "People Smiley", also worthy of attention. In 2011, Swedish director Thomas Alfredson shot a full-length version of "The Spy" with Gary Oldman in the lead and a scattering of stars in the rest of the roles - completely different in habits, but no less outstanding.

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At the edge of darkness

Edge of Darkness, 1985

At the same time cynical and idealistic six-part thriller, the main television sensation of the British 80s. In the middle of gray and rainy Thatcher England, sad Yorkshire police officer Ronald Craven is investigating the murder of his daughter, a green activist. Soon, the hero gets stuck with his head in government and corporate conspiracies around nuclear weapons, and his only assistants are a cheerful CIA officer and the ghost of a dead daughter. The series itself is gradually turning from an ecological thriller into an esoteric parable - in the finale, perhaps humanity dies, and the hero becomes a tree. "On the Edge of Darkness" was written by the classic of British television Troy Kennedy-Martin, and Martin Campbell, the future author of two good "Bonds" and a bunch of nonsense, directed it.

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Big game

State of Play, 2003

An exemplary political thriller, which in many ways launched the careers of great screenwriter Paul Abbott and director David Yates, who soon shot several parts of Harry Potter. A reporter for The Herald undertook to investigate the mysterious death of a young girl - an employee and, as it turns out, the mistress of his old friend, a prominent member of parliament. The Big Game was filmed without unnecessary frills, but it works like a clock and keeps all six episodes in suspense. In addition, now the series is doubly pleasant to watch because of the concentration of familiar faces on the screen - the main characters are played by David Morrissey, John Simm, Bill Nighy, as well as still very young James McAvoy and Kelly MacDonald. The Game was also remade into a pretty good American thriller with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck.

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Crimson petal and white

The Crimson Petal and the White, 2011

Desperate and notoriously doomed to failure, but still worthy of attention, an attempt to squeeze into a four-part series a 900-page revision novel by Michel Faber, author of "Stay in My Shoes." In England of the century before last, the not too successful heir of the perfume business, William, falls in love with a nineteen-year-old prostitute nicknamed Sweetie, an intelligent girl who dreams of getting out of the social bottom and becoming a writer for her years.

Soon, William transports the heroine to his house, where his insane wife and neglected daughter are hidden from the outside world. Faber's sleepy book was a stylization of a Victorian novel, in which it suddenly became possible to use obscene language and frankly write about sex, and the series by and large successfully tries to convey its atmosphere. The heroes are played by very good Romola Garay and Chris O'Dowd, and Gillian Anderson also appears on the screen.

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End of the parade

Parade's End, 2012

A screen adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's most important tetralogy for modernism, adapted for the screen by playwright Tom Stoppard. Stoppard returned to television on this occasion for the first time in thirty years. The story of the collapse of the era on the fields of the First World War, told through the life of one person. Christopher Tietjens, a successful civil servant and a man of high moral standards, lives in an unhappy marriage with a windy and unfaithful wife Sylvia, raises not his own child and has a platonic affair with a lively suffragette Valentine, but soon finds himself forced to go into the trenches.

Stoppard handled the original source masterfully: he threw out the useless fourth part, accelerated the narration, did not lose his smart thoughts and pulled all the jokes from the streams of consciousness into the foreground. As a result, "End of Parade" came out as a rare adaptation of an important novel, which does not simplify anything and emphasizes all the right places. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall and Adelaide Clemens.

Photos: BBC

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