Wednesday, February 6, 2013
This week’s top picks: TV, DVD and CD.
Her Majesty’s Prison Aylesbury
Monday February 18, 9.00pm
Aylesbury prison’s inmates make for some unsettling statistics.
Home to Britain’s most dangerous young criminals, one in five is serving a life sentence for crimes so heinous that the public need protection from these individuals.
Scarier still, Aylesbury’s oldest prisoners are just 21.
Programme makers, Wild Pictures, have won critical acclaim for their previous work in Strangeways, Holloway and Wormwood Scrubs prisons and were given unprecedented access at Aylesbury prison, Buckinghamshire, over four months to make this two part documentary for ITV.
Officers battle daily to keep control over the rapists, paedophiles and gang members who may never again see outside the prison walls, as well as the perhaps more difficult task of rebuilding the lives of the young men who will.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chobsky’s novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was quickly elevated to Modern Classic status and, thirteen years later, Chobsky himself directed intelligent outsider, Charlie (Logan Lerman), and accepting high school seniors, Sam (Emma ‘Hermione’ Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller, We Need to Talk About Kevin) in the cinematic adaptation of his coming of age tale, which is now available on DVD.
The soundtrack does not mirror that of the book however, which will upset fans of the original literary incarnation of Perks, seeing as it was such an integral part of the story, but its celebration of the power of the introvert will exonerate anyone who ever felt marginalised, unsure of themselves or alone.
Of course the film cannot capture every subtle side-story woven into the book, but if this big-screen portrayal introduces more young people to the themes and issues therein, that can be let slide.
Girl on Fire
In the last couple of months Alicia Keys opened Super Bowl 2013 and saw her latest album, Girl on Fire, hit Number 1 in the US, her fifth consecutive album to do so.
She’s back to her basic best with piano ballad, Brand New Kind of Me, the lyrics of which don’t escape her Hell’s Kitchen-cultivated pride but are influenced with a softer, prettier, radio-friendly arrangement thanks to unofficial host of the London Olympics, Emelie Sande, who co-wrote the track.
Keys’ new husband, Swizz Beatz, did the best job of all her collaborative producers on New Day, the only track on the album you can dance to and Nicki Minaj injects some much needed excitement into the album version of the caterwauling single, Girl on Fire.
Other than this Girl on Fire will be exactly what Keys’ core fan base are after.....more of the same.