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Shooting the Past (1999) [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Lindsay Duncan, Timothy Spall, Liam Cunningham, Billie Whitelaw, Emilia Fox
  • Directors: Stephen Poliakoff
  • Writers: Stephen Poliakoff
  • Producers: Helen Flint, John Chapman, Peter Fincham, Simon Curtis
  • Format: PAL, Colour, HiFi Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 194 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AISIF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,539 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Winner of the Prix Italia. Written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff. Starring Lindsay Duncan, Timothy Spall, Liam Cunningham, Billie Whitelaw, Emilia Fox, Arj Baker and Blake Ritson.

As the representative of a US corporation, Christopher Anderson is developing a country house on the outskirts of London into a business school for the 21st century, which would be fine … if it were not the home of a unique photographic collection, cared for by a small but determined staff.

Review

"A mediatation on the nature of photographic images, a celebration of old-world English eccentricity at threat in a world of high-tech glossiness and a reminder that nothing in our heritage is sacred" -- Sunday Times

"… his TV masterpiece" -- The Independent

"… mesmerizing …" -- The Guardian

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A unique library of old and modern photographs are put under threat when the building they are housed in is suddenly sold. The new owner of the property, Liam Cunningham played by the able Christopher Anderson, has no interest in the photos and doesn't care what happens to them. In fact most of the photos will be destroyed with the crème de la crème of the collection being sold on. All Liam is interested in is renovating the building and making a hefty profit for the business he represents.
However the library's many eccentric employees won't give up without a fight and from then on a war of wits and determination is played out among a wonderful array of black and white photographs that represent the past, the present and even the future.
The characters in this film are truly delightful, especially Timothy Spall who plays the oddball Oswald Bates, a man with a memory for faces so attuned that he can see resemblances between a person he has only seen once and those whose pictures are imprinted upon photographic paper.
However the battle to save the collection seems doomed, with every attempt the Library staff makes being thwarted but fate has something wonderful in store for Liam Cunningham and it is this wonderful twist in the story that ultimately will save the collection for future generations.
This is a fabulous film, originally a three part series for the BBC in the late 1990s I think it would have been a success if it had been released in Art House Cinemas all over the World.
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Comment 86 of 89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
if i could choose one tv series to watch over and over again until my dying day it would be Shooting the Past. Poliakoff is an absolute master of beauty and atmospheric tension and i adore this series to death. it combines all my favourite things - photos, old paris, murders (you'll know what i mean),memories and the stories that go with fotos. The music is absolutely beautiful and sends shivers down my spine just thinking of it. It is so perectly in time with the story that you would think it was magic. i have not one bad word to say about this film, and it wil be a treasure that will stay with me for always, inspiring me to never give up, no matter how bad the situation seems.
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Format: DVD
I saw the series upon transmission and I was utterly captivated. This is writing and direction at its best (by Stephen Poliakov), with performances being absolutely second to none. The atmoshere conveyed by the wonderful cast who manage this time-warp photographic collection is a mixture of sadness, tension, irony and amusement as those consider their stand against the dark external forces that arrive in the form of the brash American businessman who appears hell-bent on breaking up the collection for profit and destroying everything that those within have known for so long.
Timothy Spall (Auf Weidersehn Pet's Barry), as the archivist, gives what could be described as his best ever screen performance. This is classic British TV drama and an absolute must for every self-respecting DVD collection - and should be viewed by anyone who questions whether British television is still capable of producing drama of the highest quality.
Comment 53 of 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 26 Dec. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I was lying on the couch one night watching TV looking for something to watch. I flicked onto BBC2 and heard that Shooting The Past was about to start. As there was nothing else on (and as i thought it was a history documentary) I started to watch.
Within a few seconds I was engrossed. Firstly by the sound-track and then by the amazing quality of story and acting. Timothy Spall is perfect in the role of Oswald. All the other actors are perfectly suited to thier charachters.
The story is hard to describe so i wont bother trying. Its something you have to watch and experience.
Comment 31 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This is an enthralling story of a London Photo Library under threat of demolition. A strange subject I know, but well worth a watch.
Aside from the likeable characters and the gorgeous soundtrack, this is British Drama at its best. I was moved to tears on several occassions and relished the one factor that is so frequently lacking in television dramas, I had no absolutely no idea how the tale would be resolved. I defy any first time viewer to guess!
It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! I cannot impart how enjoyable this programme is, and urge anyone with a love of photograghy, drama, comedy or music to give it a go. You will be pleased that you did.
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Format: VHS Tape
Shooting the Past is an unusual story full of eccentric characters who have one thing in common - the collection of photographs they are trying to save. They are all passionate and determind, gradually getting through the closed mind of the American buyer who wants to turn the building where the photographs are housed into a business school. The story told to him through the photographs, of his own family history is atmospheric, sending shivers down ones spine. This film has to be seen to be truly appreciated, I would advise anyone to buy the video, they won't regret it.
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