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The Jonathan Meades Collection [DVD]

Jonathan Meades    Exempt   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: £16.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Jonathan Meades Collection [DVD] + Museum Without Walls + An Encyclopaedia of Myself
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Product details

  • Actors: Jonathan Meades
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sep 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001110H14
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,312 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


This three disc collection includes thirteen 10 shows drawn from those Meades has written and performed in since 1990. They belong to no genre but their own. They are staged essays, rehearsed artifices. They are biased and indifferent to 'balance'. By television’s standards they are visually elaborate and verbally complex. But they’re also comic entertainments, both witty and knockabout - they do not confuse seriousness with solemnity.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And finally- hopefully just part one 29 Jun 2008
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Verified Purchase
When this was due for release earlier in 2008 it was going to cost a stonking 75 quid and contain something like 8 discs. This has now dropped in price and slimmed to 3 disks. We are presented with a selection from the 50 programmes Mr Meades made between 1989-2007 (that's 4 prime ministers worth!) A well mannered surrealist, who gets more confident and inventive as time goes on. He "peels off the drab grey overcoat of preconception, to reveal the lime green posing pouch of reality beneath," as, in his words, his waistline expands and shrinks.

Extras (apart from subtitles) include a helpful introduction by Mr Meades and a rather scary interview with Dominic Lawson where he goes completely to pieces and ums and ahs all the way through.

Abroad In Britain : Severn Heaven
The Black Country playground of the Severn Estuary contains 700 "structures" of bodged together housing, (a more ambitious version of the allotment shed) delightful in their eccentric construction and now sadly viewed as eyesores.

Abroad In Britain : In Search of Bohemia
There are four places in Britain called "Bohemia"- why did people view this area of Czechoslovakia as a way to typecast an alternative racy sub culture.

Further Abroad : Get High
Jonathan unwisely tries to get over his fear of heights by making a documentary. It doesn't quite work out for him. His blow up body double has to perform some of the stunts.

Further Abroad : Belgium
My favourite. Was Magritte not a surrealist, but an accurate portrayer of Belgium life- only you and the man in the penguin costume can decide. The fantastically diverse Brussels suburbs are featured where every terrace house is different (due to lawyer-happy architects).
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please supply! 6 Jun 2008
By Mr. Dc Fowler VINE VOICE
Whether you agree or not with Jonathan Meades his ideas are nearly always perceptive, stimulating and sometimes downright mischievously provocative. He relishes the use of language and uses it as a scalpel to dissect and expose. His approach - thank gods - is diametrically opposite to the majority of presenters and makers of Polyfilla television, and I apologise to the makers of Polyfilla, a fine product I might add, for the simile used here. We have brains but it would seem that the nation generally has tired of using them. Please make this and other Jonathan Meades DVDs available. We desperately need this sort of quality if our evolution from human to gibbon is to be avoided.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meades must... 5 Oct 2009
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Verified Purchase
... be released in full. This tantalising subset of his output that the BBC has deigned to release is scarcely adequate as an aperitif. For those yet to encounter him Meades is an architectural populariser, morbid wit, trenchant humanist, but above all the most penetratingly insightful of social commentators in present day broadcasting. Meades and his team are the most innovative, which is to say downright eccentric, purveyors of that rarest of cultural commodities, intelligent telly. Yes, there are some fine episodes in this package, the roots-affirming Bohemia, the sublime Belgium, the somewhat provocative Get High, and two completely revelatory pieces of Magnetic North. But where is Jerry Building? And Joe Building? Not to mention the supremely surreal Surrealism? We live today in a culture whose defining characteristic is its capacity for the billion-fold replication of the banal. Yet, when something is finally made worth seeing or hearing more than once, why should that thing get its single, erratically scheduled, squirt into the Aether, only then to be buried in the deepest archives where no light shall ever penetrate? Is it because the commissars of culture are wary of fomenting the expectations of the brain-owning public to such dangerous levels that it should come to presume this kind of quality for the norm? Come on Beeb, this just isn't good enough. For those who enjoy Meades at all, there can be no such thing as a `best of' for something there can never be enough of. You cannot release a portion of the whole without incurring real disappointment for what has been omitted.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give us more Meadesy 18 May 2009
By Frank T
One of the blurb reviews describes Jonathan Meades as a "surrealist" and a "dadaist", which might suggest that his documentaries are unstructured, self-indulgent ramblings that place style over content. What's so great about these programmes, though, is how genuinely informative they are. I now know that there are weird, illegal makeshift "villages" along the River Severn, that Belgium has marvellous suburbs, and where the word "Scouse" came from.

The touches of oddness (Meades wearing an Andy Warhol wig, people in pig costumes frolicking in the background, etc.) add fun to counterbalance the highbrow seriousness of Meades' narration - although his deadpan delivery is decidedly tongue-in-cheek, and his quirky but well-reasoned opinions are presented not so as to persuade but rather so as to provoke into thought.

The subjects are mostly obscure: place is a theme than crops up repeatedly, as do food, architecture and history. Meades' narration is verbally baroque and unashamedly highbrow, a real antidote to the patronising oversimplification that is the scourge of "serious" modern TV scheduling.

The only disappointment is the miserliness of the selection. Meades has produced around 50 documentaries at the time of writing, of which a mere 11 are included here. I hope this collection sells well enough to persuade the BBC to release more of them on DVD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
A fine collection from the master of the ironical and pertinent aside.
Published 1 month ago by John P O'Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just buy it. They're unlikely to release much else.
Published 3 months ago by Louise Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently interesting
Trying to describe Mr. Meades' programmes to anyone who hasn't seen them is actually fairly difficult. Read more
Published 4 months ago by N C Rutter
5.0 out of 5 stars A real iconoclast
Several hours of well informed,even controversial,opinionated comment on a range of topics.A real pleasure to listen to and to watch. Read more
Published 6 months ago by John D. Meachen
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan at his best
Johnathan Meades is brilliant witty and can find the beauty in the most everyday objects and everyday life. Have been a fan of his for 20 years or more. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chris Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique
Not sure about the overall package - selected highlights so by no means complete - but Meades is (nearly always) compelling and always very droll. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. S. Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars A little dated but very Jonathan.
These are old-ish 30-40 min BBC programmes,but absolutely Meady all the way thro.Really good entertainment to dip into.Hope the later France ones are released soon on DVD. Read more
Published 10 months ago by tremor
5.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent and clear
Some find Meades use of language off-putting. I relish a writer/presenter who demands the viewer pay attention. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Derek Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars The most distinctive TV-essayist of last thirty years
Meades first came to my attention when I was a student, with The Victorian House, Abroad in Britain, and his collection of essays Peter Knows What Dick Likes (1989). Read more
Published 14 months ago by lonpobty
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Meades - Collection
Superb - The wonderful Jonathan Meades in action. I believe the BBC's original idea was to publish all of the TV programs. This was unfortunately revised & you get just 10 or so. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Murray
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Please form an orderly queue. Product will arrive soon.. 0 27 May 2008
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