Television: Pick of the week

21st March 2003 at 00:00
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

C4 Thursday, March 27, 10-10.25am

As Easter approaches, there is little new in the schools schedules. We do, however, get another chance to see this enjoyable adaptation of the 14th-century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, even though it is more suited to Christmas than Easter. A mysterious stranger arrives at King Arthur's court and issues a challenge which is taken up by Sir Gawain on Arthur's behalf, but he finds he is caught up in a more bizarre exploit than he could have guessed. There is adventure, humour and eroticism in the story, told here as an animated film, with a visual style inspired by medieval stained glass. It should encourage some of its 14 to 19-year-old viewers to go back to the poem, perhaps even in the original language. The film is also available on cassette at pound;14.99 (from 4Learning, Tel: 08701 246 444).

Church and Mosque

BBC2 Tuesday, March 25, 12.30-1am

Subtitled "Religious Architecture in Venice and Istanbul", this film offers a comparison between two key architects in different religious traditions.

The first is Andrea Palladio, whose church of Il Redentore at Giudecca looks sensational when viewed across the water from Venice. It serves as an example of the Classical revival - a model of harmony and simplicity. Not far away in Istanbul is the lovely Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque, also built in the late 16th century by the architect Mimar Sinan, considered the founder of Islamic architecture. The cities were rivals and trading partners and these monuments suggest similarities and differences in their cultural traditions.

Religious Studies: Philosophy and Ethics

BBC2 Sunday, March 23, 3-5am

A new two-part series for GCSE RS, examining how philosophy views questions of belief and how religion tackles ethical matters. These include medical ethics, human relationships, peace, equality andpoverty.

Tracy Beaker: Life in a Children's Home

BBC2 Mondays and Fridays, March 24 to April 4, 11.35-11.50am

The 26-part children's TV dramatization of Jacqueline Wilson book The Story of Tracy Beaker is reduced to four 15-minute episodes for the instruction and enjoyment of seven to nine-year-olds. Tracy is a rebellious 10-year old consigned to the home that she calls "the dumping ground". However, it takes more than this to dampen her spirits. Each programme focuses on what it means to be "in care" and how this affects a child's life: difficulties about being invited to sleep over with friends, writing tasks that involve telling about your family, being bullied and having no one to turn to.

The films are designed to stimulate class discussion and the topics can be examined further by visiting www.bbc.co.ukcbbctracybeaker, which has games and other activities, as well as a teachers' section suggesting ways in which the stories can be further exploited in the classroom.

Beckett on Film

C4 Friday, March 28, 9.30-11.45am

This is another chance to catch some of the shorter films in Channel Four's ambitious series of Samuel Beckett plays. This selection includes Footfalls, What Where, That Time, Come and Go, A Piece of Monologue and Rough for Theatre 1. Footfalls is the longest at 28 minutes and Come and Go the shortest at a mere nine minutes. However, those nine minutes are performed by Anna Massey and Sian Phillips. A booklet describing the Beckett Film Project and exploring the main themes of the writer's work, is available from 4Learning (pound;4.95, PO Box 400, Wetherby, LS23 7LG).

For full TVlistings go to: www.channel4.co.uklearningmainprogrammesspring2003.cfmwww.bbc.co.ukscho olswhatsontvindex.shtml

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