The Culture Arts

Top Picks: The BET miniseries 'Madiba,' The xx's 'I See You,' and more

The movie 'Denial' has impressive performances from actors Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson, PBS's 'City in the Sky' looks at how the movement of airline passengers is conducted safely every day, and more top picks.

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  • Staff

Reinvigorated sound

The third time’s a charm for the unassuming London trio The xx. I See You is a subtle and endearing mash-up of dance floor and shoegaze indie pop that shouldn’t compute but slips under your skin and stays there, like a warm glow. It’s a reinvigorated sound for the former schoolmates (Jamie Smith, singer/guitarist Romy Madley Croft, and bassist/vocalist Oliver Sim), who surprised themselves and the music world in 2009 when their odd and moody self-titled debut hit it big.

Fishburne as Mandela

Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne takes on the role of the legendary Nelson Mandela for the new BET miniseries Madiba, which debuts Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. The series, which costars David Harewood and Orlando Jones, tells the story of how Mandela became involved in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Viewers should be aware of some violence.

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Specific weather

The Weather Hunt app goes beyond a regular forecast and looks at a very specific area. Users can zoom in on a map to see differences in weather between even close locations. Pull up the app to find out whether you’ll need that umbrella this morning. The app is available free of charge for iOS.

Air traffic control

Air travel is likely routine to many by now, to the extent that airplane passengers don’t think about the many other people traveling through the clouds at the same time. How is the movement of all these passengers conducted safely every day? The PBS program City in the Sky looks at how it happens. The program debuts Feb. 9 at 10 p.m.

Court battle

In the film Denial, Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) is sued by historian David Irving (Timothy Spall), with Irving accusing Lipstadt of saying he venerated Hitler. Lipstadt must prove the Holocaust occurred in order to defend herself in court. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that Spall and actor Tom Wilkinson, who portrays barrister Richard Rampton, give “first-rate performances.” The movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.