Rialto Channel's blog

RIALTO CHANNEL – Friday 25 January, 8.30pm

Drama: With petrol in short supply in Kinshasa, DRC, Riva and his sidekick J.M. plan to get hold of a secret cache which they can sell for a huge profit. They’re not the only ones who want the liquid cash. Cesar is a ruthless foreigner from Angola thriving in Kinshasa’s lawless streets. A lesbian military officer joins the fray. Even the church will betray its tenets for a piece of the action. But Riva’s main nemesis is Azor, a crime boss in the classic style: big, decadent and brutal. He’s not a man to mess with, but his girlfriend Nora may just be the most seductive woman in all of DRC. Riva catches sight of her dancing at a nightclub and it’s not long before Nora matches the fuel cache as his most coveted target.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Thursday 24 January, 8.30pm

In January Rialto is going green! All documentaries this month explore issues that face our environment.

The fight for the last great mountain in America’s Appalachian heartland pits the mining giant that wants to explode it to extract the coal within, against the community fighting to preserve the mountain and build a wind farm on its ridges instead. With Bobby Kennedy Jr. enlisted as a passionate force for preserving Coal River Mountain and the economic power of the fossil fuel industry twisting democracy to its advantage The Last Mountain highlights a battle for the future of energy that affects us all.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Wednesday 23 January, 8.30pm

Drama: Maria’s husband and children give her a puzzle for her 50th birthday. She’s delighted, and finds it a great discovery. Not only does the patient housewife have fun doing the puzzles, she’s also really good at them. Overflowing with enthusiasm for her new-found passion, she goes back to the shop where they bought the gift for another puzzle. There her eye is caught by a notice on the message board: “Partner for puzzle tournament wanted”. Maria musters her courage and, despite her family’s misgivings, answers the announcement.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Tuesday 22 January, 8.30pm

Drama: The Kavanagh Building in Buenos Aires was a spite-fuelled project by Corina Kavanagh to obstruct the sight line of an aristocratic family who had spurned her daughter. That’s just one of the architectural observations made by Mariana and Martin, who both agree that the architecture of a city reveals something about the soul of its people; so what does it say that both of these denizens of contemporary Buenos Aires are hyper-intellectual and hopelessly neurotic?

They’re also both young and attractive, making for a perfect romantic comedy couple but with the very real obstacle of the two people never actually meeting. Mariana studied architecture but works as a shop window dresser; Martin works as a web designer. She has a phobia of elevators and obsesses over a Where’s Waldo? puzzle; he has a meticulously prepared backpack, which includes a collection of Tati films, in case of panic attacks. They both live in cramped shoebox apartments on the same street, and the film is a chronicle of their near misses as they deal with their own separate romantic misfortunes.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Monday 21 January, 8.30pm

Drama: The setting is Leeds in the 80’s, where Betty tells her son, Mark, about her affair with Polish neighbour, Craze, in the 50’s. We then flashback to her dull housewife-life in the 50’s, where her days revolve around looking after baby Mark, and cooking for her husband, Donald. All this changes when she meets Craze at the local dance club, and later finds out he lives downstairs. Betty gives in to his charm, and the affair begins. That is until his wife, Moira finds out, and shoots him at the fairground. All while she’s pregnant with his child. Starring: Billie Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl).

RIALTO CHANNEL – Sunday 20 January, 8.30pm

Drama: Set in the 17th Century in the city of Macon an ugly woman suddenly gives birth to a beautiful, healthy baby. The fellow citizens perceive it as a wonder and rumours say that she could not be the real mother of the baby. Her 18-year-old virginal daughter uses the situation and claims the baby as her own, the result of an Immaculate Conception. The citizens start to worship the baby and the daughter. The Bishop’s son also gains interest in the daughter which begins to cause trouble for both and could jeopardise the daughter’s claim. The bishop does not look favourably on the relationship and the outraged Roman Catholic Church intervenes, with cruel justice. Acclaimed and eclectic director Peter Greenaway aims at a deconstruction of Christian mythology in this sumptuous and colourful film starring Julia Ormond and Oscar Nominee Ralph Fiennes.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Saturday 19 January, 8.30pm

Drama: Route Irish (a nickname for a deadly stretch of road between Baghdad airport and Iraq’s Green Zone) stars Mark Womack as Fergus, a hot-headed ex-SAS soldier who’s devastated by the death of his best friend Frankie, who came to Iraq to work alongside Fergus for a private contractor. Unable to shake the feeling that something’s not quite right with the official story, Fergus investigates and uncovers evidence that suggests Frankie might have been deliberately murdered. However, Fergus is unaware that the private companies behind the conspiracy will stop at nothing to get what they want and they soon bring in an enforcer to retrieve the video evidence by any means necessary. Meanwhile, Fergus also finds himself falling for Frankie’s widow Rachel and persuades her to help him as more evidence comes to light.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Friday 18 January, 8.30pm

Documentary: What do you get when you ask the people of the world to chronicle a single day in their lives? You get 80,000 submissions, 4500 hours of footage, from 192 countries. Kevin Macdonald has taken this raw material, all shot on July 24, 2010, and created a 90-minute paean to what it means to be human in the world today.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Thursday 17 January, 8.30pm

In January Rialto is going green! All documentaries this month explore issues that face our environment.

Queen of the Sun is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

RIALTO CHANNEL – Wednesday 16 January, 8.30pm

The Big Picture stars Romain Duris as Paul Exben, a loving family man and successful Paris lawyer who’s about to be handed the firm by his terminally ill boss (Catherine Deneuve). However, Paul’s blissful life is shattered when his wife Sarah suddenly asks for a divorce and he realises she’s been having an affair with their cocky photographer neighbour, Gregoire. When Paul confronts Gregoire with his knowledge of the affair, events spiral horribly out of control and Paul ends up accidentally killing him. Realising that his life of blissful luxury is over, Paul takes steps to steal Gregoire’s identity before disposing of the body, faking his own death and moving to former Yugoslavia, where his new life gets an unexpected boost after he befriends drunken newsman Barthelme and meets a sexy photo editor.