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Brian Sewell's Grand Tour [DVD]


Price: £19.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Brian Sewell's Grand Tour [DVD] + The Naked Pilgrim - Road To Santiago [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Christopher Bruce
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Wag TV
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Sept. 2006
  • Run Time: 390 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GYHU6W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,077 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

In this acclaimed 10 part series, Brian Sewell follows in the footsteps of young 18th century English artistocrats whose education was incomplete without a Grand Tour of Italy. His epic journey takes him by various means to Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples, Pompeii, Turin, Milan, Cremona, Siena, Bologna, Vicenza, Paestum, Urbino and Tivoli, via Michelangelo, Raphael, Vesuvius and much else besides.

Review

'Sewell is in danger of becoming a national treasure. It is his unpredictability that makes him such an arresting presenter.' --The Times

'Splendidly eccentric and thoroughly endearing.' --Daily Mail

'Sewell, once again, has managed to be totally unlike anybody else on television.' --The Daily Telegraph

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By N. Clarke on 17 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As much as many people find Brian Sewell to be insufferably pompous, he comes into his own when the subject matter fires his imagination, and for all Italophiles this should be on their Christmas list. Brian takes the viewer on a splendid tour of the peninsula aboard his left-hand-drive Mercedes, stopping to ruminate on the worthy artistic, cultural and architectural aspects of the country, while frequently underlining the more base motives of 18th-century Grand Tourists - sex, drink, and gambling.

Added to the marvellous recollections, interpreted with impish vigour by Brian, are his own observations on the body beautiful, and how Italian art's seemingly pious veneer conceals a perennial obsession with the flesh. Italian history has never seemed such fun.
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86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By C. Harman on 11 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hot on the heels of his nude rush into the Spanish sea at the end of The Naked Pilgrim and unashamedly elitist as ever, here is Brian Sewell's second televison series.

He, in the last programme of his Grand Tour, refuses to participate in the frivolities of a recreated 'masked ball'. This is no aristocratic romp but a party open to the masses, the only requirement needed to go through the doors being the right number of Euros. He longs for the real thing - he imagines aristocrats flirting, perhaps guffaws of drunken laughter, the fondling of breasts, the rubbing of knees under the table. But none of this is to be found - just fakes, people dressing up in costumes and not knowing how to behave.

Then we find him in a Venetian cafe, tearfully recounting his thoughts about the present, his past and their past, as he elegantly sips on his 'Italian style' hot chocolate. In another scene he is at the dinner table in a restaurant, so bored with Italian food that he finds it hard to find something on the menu that he fanices, that isn't 'that round thing' (pizza). He orders the salad of pork fat, and expresses concerns about what it might do to his already strained arteries. He sips the red wine and then pulls a funny face of vague disgust. He is indeed an interesting character, and is of course, in Italy, right on his home turf. A lifetime spent studying the great Italian Masters lends a very considerable intellectual weight to the series. He describes things calmly and with great expertise - Correggio (unjustly neglected today), Michelangelo, Raphael and the rest of the gang. Sewell is someone we don't find on television 'anymore' - he is both too intellectual, too stuck-up and yet too lubricious, too much fun for our safe, santitized modern world. And yet, here he is.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Johnston on 18 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If only more people were like Brian Sewell then the world would be a finer place. This DVD, the follow-up to his erudite 'Naked Pigrim', shows Brian doing what he does best. Passionate and damning about his subjects combined with a lusty appreciation of the sexual appetites and mores of the eighteenth century Grand Tourists, Brian fires up the Mercedes one more time for a trip around Italy once seen as a huge museum of Western Culture.

This is a 2 CD set, much longer than The Naked Pilgrim which means more classic Sewell rumination and even more shots of his wonderful white umbrella.

Go on, treat yourself!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Over ten episodes (on two DVDs), our Brian follows in the footsteps of the eighteenth-century English milords as they travelled the length and breadth of Italy as part of their education into manhood. Although the Grand Tour as a concept was by and large ended by the French Revolutionary Wars at the end of the eighteenth century, Brian tells us along the way how he himself had done his Grand Tour fifty years previously when he was "an impoverished student" in his early twenties. Now he does it in more style and with certainly more money, using his gold-coloured classic Mercedes instead of horse and carriage.

As he descends the Italian side of the Alps via the snowy Mont Cenis pass, Brian tells us in the way that only he know how that the milords, "from here ... were no longer their own masters. They were conducted over the mountains by peasants speaking some ungodly language ..., peasants so big, so ugly, so obviously the result of incest - goitred, swollen-eyed, buck-toothed, hang-jawed, hideous beyond belief." Times have thankfully changed, as he heads for their and his first port-of-call: Turin - and then onto Milan, where surprisingly there is no Last Supper by Leonardo to be gloried or damned by our Brian. (After `The Naked Pilgrim' series, he seems to have regained his healthy religious scepticism.)

Brian's route takes him down the Po valley through Cremona and Parma to Bologna; then across the Apennines to Florence; then on to Rome via San Geminiano, Sienna, and Orvieto. He travels as far south as Naples (where he is seasick in the bay) and Pompeii and Paestum, before heading north again to Raphael's Urbino via Todi.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. A. Maurice on 19 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
Brian Sewell does have strong opinions on the buildings,and works of art seen in this series.
One may agree,or disagree,with his opinions,but,his depth of knowledge,in combination with his impish sense of humour,makes travelling with him around Italy fun,and very informative.
For anyone with a multiregion DVD player,although it is much more expensive,I can recommend the USA version of this series.
The series is spread over 4 discs,and,therefore the picture quality is excellent,and does justice to the subject matter.
Additionally,the american version has subtitles.
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