Art films for new TV channel

Principal cast members of The Son, a sprawling family saga starting on DStv’s new SundanceTV (channel 108) at 9pm on Tuesday, June 6 . Picture: James Minchin/AMC.

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BY BILLY SUTER

PIERCE Brosnan heads the cast of The Son, a sweeping new family saga scheduled to start on DStv’s new channel,  SundanceTV (channel 108), at 9pm on Tuesday June 6.

The SundanceTV channel celebrates independent feature films, world cinema, documentaries as well as outstanding original drama series. It launched on DStv on June 1, exclusively to DStv Premium customers as a 24/7 linear HD channel.

The Son, based on the 2003 novel by Philipp Meyer, tells a story that spans 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family. The 10-episode drama traces the story of Eli McCullough (Brosnan) and his transformation from good-natured innocence to calculated violence, as he loses everything on the wild frontier, setting him on the path to unsurpassed wealth and privilege.

The Son deftly explores how Eli’s ruthlessness and quest for power triggers consequences that span generations, as the McCulloughs rise to become one of the richest families reigning in Texas.

Also among the cast are Jacob Lofland  as young Eli (known to the Comanche as Tiehteti Taiboo, “Pathetic White Boy”) and Henry Garrett as Pete McCullough, Eli’s youngest son.

Then there’s Zahn McClarnon as Toshaway, a Comanche tribal chief who views young Eli as a son after capturing him; Jess Weixler as Sally McCullough; and Paola Nunez as María García, Pete’s childhood friend, who becomes complicit in some of the escalating violence in South Texas

Elizabeth Frances appears as Prairie Flower, and Sydney Lucas portrays Jeannie McCullough, Eli’s granddaughter and Pete’s daughter, who becomes a key figure in the family business.

In spite of some early tepid reviews, the series, shown in America in April, has been renewed for a second season, reports Wikipedia.

Pierce Brosnan as patriarch Eli McCullough in The Son, based on a 2003 novel by Philipp Meyer. Picture: James Minchin/AMC

“We’ve listened to what our customers are saying about our content, and are committed to bring them more fresh content more often and fewer repeats. SundanceTV will bring great variety through its high-quality art movies and unforgettable series,” says Aletta Alberts, head of content for MultiChoice.

“We’re confident our customers will welcome SundanceTV to the DStv family and into their homes.”

SundanceTV is a renowned global brand, true to the vision of its founder, Robert Redford, to celebrate creativity. It offers a compelling mix of exclusive festival films and original drama series and delivers an upscale and highly engaged audience of films and series fanatics.

Launched in 1996, SundanceTV showcases today’s creative icons and the emerging talent of tomorrow while celebrating the unique spirit of creativity and independent storytelling established by the world-renowned annual Sundance Film Festival.

Among some fine film festival selections scheduled to premiere on the channel is the gripping documentary Cries From Syria, which bears witness to the resiliency of the people of Syria in the wake of their exposure to unthinkable crimes against humanity.

Also set for the channel is I Smile Back, said to be an unflinchingly authentic and humanising portrait of a suburban wife and mother dealing with depression and disillusionment that send her careening into a secret world of reckless compulsion.

The Eyes of My Mother is another title to look forward to. It marks the debut movie from writer-director Nicolas Pesce and is the tale of Francisca. She grows up in a secluded farmhouse where her mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death.

One afternoon, a mysterious visitor horrifyingly shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatising the young girl, but also awakening some unique curiosities. She clings to her increasingly reticent father, but Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a distinctly dark form.


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