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Zaroff (UK)

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Outnumbered - The Christmas Special 2011 [DVD]
Outnumbered - The Christmas Special 2011 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Dennis
Price: 5.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Money to burn, 7 Jun 2012
Most enthused people who watch and then collect the dvds of the Outnumbered series purchases pretty much all of them. Not surprisingly, over time the prices come down on sets. Understandable. Market forces and all that caper.

Now, if they put any specials or as they have done, comic relief skits on with sets of dvds, they must assume the collectors want everything they can get their hands on. Ok. That makes sense.

So why is a singular special, on its ownsome, allll alone in its teeny-weeny box, and lasting a festive 39 minutes of earth-time, asking for 8 human pounds of flesh, sorry, pounds sterling..? Capitalism has no sense of irony it would seem. How festive it is to ask for a large slice of cash for this singular event. Yours sincerely, Ben..no, really..
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2013 4:27 PM BST


Leaving on a Mayday
Leaving on a Mayday
Price: 28.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly music, 2 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Leaving on a Mayday (Audio CD)
I bought this 2 cd/dvd set on the simple proviso: the song 'No, I Don't Remember'..3 versions thereof. Easy. I adore that song, lets hunt her down on youtube. In fact i would normally never pay over the mark for any set of cds, let alone one with live tracks..some artistes cannot cut muster.

But of course Anna Ternheim has played differently on all her cds, varied her state of play, changed her playing-fields. Any one expecting just another lighthouse in the dark bay kinda bash of music like her debut or similar, or praying for stasis will possibly be disappointed. That she has moved about means she is pliable.

I did however think that a few tracks of the main cd were slightly over produced, with her voice hurtling through sounds or instrumentation not unlike Bjork. Yet, the acoustic versions are a scandinavian treat, the live versions at variance with the produced poppy product. In short, like any very talented artist she seems to have room to manouever simply because she doesn't lose something when she experiments, as many can do if they only follow one path.

Not unlike being lost in a studio at times perhaps, i think the only track that overpopped was Make it on My Own, which reminded me (heaven forfend)of a post Abba, Abba, which is no mean feat. The dvd shows that simplicity is the key to a musical entity, and i would dare say this will sit neatly near my Seventh Seal dvd. More gorgeous than death.


The Walk (Extraordinary Classics)
The Walk (Extraordinary Classics)
by Robert Walser
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effusive, 20 May 2012
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Walser's flavouring is that of essaying a narrative, then perhaps yes, i think, commenting on his own process as he creates this blending of essay & story-telling. As he approaches a change in mood, so too does the text change with his ebb and flow. Yet, whereas i cannot abide the overwritten zealous Proust, or the sheer same joke told over & over by Beckett, nor moreover, the intellect stomping-ground of Joyce...this, this swiss fella has vibrantly pursued his own course & is easier on the minds-eye. That his musing, changes of tone come across well, suggests he has also met with favourable translators.

These variably aged, differing story-essay-come-hither-glances of literature gathered here, are as ever a delight. The Walk is the longest 'item' involved, & seems to be the back-bone of the book. The other prose-pieces are as ever an exquisite state of 'walserness'. Not unlike being a bit 'pessoan' after & during the Book of Disquiet.

He seems personally, to be writing without guile, without some sinister purpose, with nary a care for impressing the audience. But he does impress upon the audience, with every sense described. He appears to run his prose work like a mouse, a mouse in a maze, but a mouse that occasionally reminding us he also made the maze. Walser is one of those writers who enjoys to remind the reader there are no walls.


Norton Internet Security 2012, 1 Computer, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Norton Internet Security 2012, 1 Computer, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Offered by Kryonet
Price: 12.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You are NOT coming in with those trainers on.., 13 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What would you want on the door as security of a well-known exclusive club, a nerdling who has his own list of demands for the position of 'door-person', or an experienced operative who may or may not have worked for the secret service?..

I want security that is thorough, knows who & what to keep an eye out for and yet doesn't keep bothering the management with demands. Ok, my 'doorman' might be a bit surly, he might now and then insist he does a scan after a long time with out one, but i know his team is going to deal with the threat with zero tolerance. I like that.


Masquerade and Other Stories (Quartet Encounters)
Masquerade and Other Stories (Quartet Encounters)
by Robert Walser
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microcosmonaut, 9 May 2012
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Imagine if you will, a significant detail in zen buddhism suddenly appearing from the pen of a depressed yet vibrant swiss chap twirled with smoke-rings, in the form of prose-poetical koans; add a dash of Pessoa's detachment & self-effaced delight in otherness, a soupcon of Beckett if he were at all pleasant to be around, then stir in a measure of wonderment that Wordsworth could only speculate upon. Perhaps drizzle a light grizzly bears tears over these precise, perfumed, prestigious particulars with the quiet flair of an introverted eccentric & idiosyncratic idiom atomiser. Heat with time. Adjust lighting to allow for a bright Kafkian flare to dazzle but silently. Serve with absolutely anything under the sun. Remember to disregard any hint of hinderance. Read to loved ones. Smile, wave your arms. Leave the book in plain sight, perhaps near a poet.

Robert Walser has ripened in the literary realm and is now becoming an acquired taste, somewhat rarefied. A literary touch not unlike that of saffron. No, i lie, like air.


The Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003 (Two Discs) [DVD]
The Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003 (Two Discs) [DVD]
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: 9.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunters, 27 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There may well just be two camps regarding Quay brothers films. Not unlike those who either like licking marmite off penguins, and those who don't. Either this is your bag or it is something that should remain inexplicable.

The range of flavours here are toward their usual shadowy, hinting of a nightmare hinterland, even in the colour shorts that are not pure monochrome. A persistent tone of catching these worlds in the act. A persuasive entry ticket into the realm of someone's psyche. Many arty phrases could i engineer.

However, add to the precision involved, their insightful & entertaining commentary on these pieces, and even more interest is aroused. The addition of details, of phantasmic allusions to authors, artists and particularly outsiders of every stripe, is what appeals. The uncanny seems almost natural, the necessary measure for the haunting sounds & discordant melody of the image.

If there's any flaw in this excellent rendering & restoration it is that someday a box-set of Quay Brothers complete works, after much license stamping in the mode of Kafka, would mean this exquisite series of overtly engothed artifices will be on a shelf, quivering with envy.


Agnosia [DVD]
Agnosia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martina Gedeck
Price: 5.31

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy caper, 27 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Agnosia [DVD] (DVD)
There is perhaps a fatal flaw in marketing to as many people as possible, a generic foreign film that plays around genres & narrative tones. How do you sell the various concepts within the film, of which there are many, in a few direct eye-catching words. We usually end up with a vague film that intrigues some & yet disappoints others. Simply remarking its a 'beautiful' film is hardly useful.

However, contrary to popular misconceptions, this film is quite easy to classify or at least create signposts for. To begin with, the film has subtitles. Neat, clear and i did not feel obtrusive text. Most of the film smoothly runs on images anyway. Thence we can feel the mood and tone is all, its about expressing an atmosphere. This is a congenial, almost Remains of the Day via the Godfather back-drop. The scenarios are such that it takes in action, mystery, thriller & overall a romantic tragedy unfolding. The even tempo or some might say slow, or perhaps regal pacing might annoy many. But this is a different century spain, & the tone and pace, the feel of the simple narrative tricks all seem suitable to the tale told. One should rarely hurry a tragedy.

Now step back and classify a mystery romance period thriller tragedy that is shot gorgeously in fine cinematography and yes, has occasional art-house pretensions. The film is in fact overall, in a reductionist way, a glimpse, a mere hint at a larger canvas. There is a hinting at what could have been, people are deceptive, the young woman with the agnosia is the pivot and centre-point but is not the entire narrative. She is the reason the tragedy has to unfold. Which it does. Evenly and yet with changes of genre & tone of feeling. To classify this piece would simply be to say it is very much 'cinema', reliant on techniques and acting through imagery rather than explanation or exposition.

Personally, this was a graceful mystery that became ever clearer a romantic tragedy. The mistrust of ones senses & the sad tendency of deceit of those humans one must rely on, almost ensures that from the start, 'this will not go well'..

Beautiful & elegant, this is more than the sum of it's part, no mere operatic drama, it is a theatre of the conceptually disquieting.


The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes [DVD]
The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes [DVD]
Dvd ~ Amira Casar
Offered by The World Cinema Store
Price: 6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invention of Quays, 17 April 2012
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Differing to the first longer feature with humans by the Quays, Institute Benjamenta, this stands in a slightly differing frame..

The concepts of operatic performance, of just performance in general seems to contaminate the whole ensemble, everything is measured long & hangs in the air. The animation is lesser than many watching Quays earlier shorts might prefer. However, the animations, particularly automatons, now seem to suggest & become the more surreal for their sudden appearances amongst the 'real' human interaction.

More dialogue than monologue than previous, more music that apparently is library stock of a ballet theme, than the jarring notes in the past. Perhaps many people dislike this more 'palatable' arrangement, slightly forced upon the Quay brothers by financing companies..,which suggests 'make us something people will understand'. Well, no, you still won't quite grasp every layer in one sitting..

As mentioned in the interview also on the disc, the film has been disliked by many, possibly expecting more of the same from their last venture. However, this is a film that i think it fair to say, on third viewing or so will suddenly be a source of adoration. Its visually sonorous, flitting timeless.

Aside from many authors i mused upon when seeing Institute Benjaments, or related filmic thoughts, the main one that came to mind here was the book 'The Invention of Morel' by Casares. Very much a similar shade of metaphysical romances..

Give it all a chance to mellow & the 'alternate' Quays styling will impress upon the memories very finely.


Institute Benjamenta (DVD + Blu -Ray)
Institute Benjamenta (DVD + Blu -Ray)
Dvd ~ Quay Brothers
Offered by ludovico_institute
Price: 8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreyer Kafka Pessoa Has, 15 April 2012
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Literary sensibilites that arose from viewing/witnessing this artisans masterwork...Pessoa's Book of Disquiet, because this film is based on Robert Walser, & the dream/real poetry/prose of the whole piece felt so similar in tone & a microcosmic/macrocosmic abstraction and emotional obfuscation that i simply sat slack-jawed as i watched.
Other authors who wandered through the mind were of course Kafka, Meyrink or even Grabinski.

Filmic memories that arose were: Dreyer's 'Vampyr', which has the similar twilight sensation of faerytale threaded with precise shadow & light play (and play is exactly the Quay's methodology), touching upon Murnau's 'Sunrise', and a sense i felt watching 'Phantom Carriage' by Sjostrom; pertinent also would be the world of Has, namely 'Saragossa Manuscript', 'Hourglass Sanatorium', in the persistent filling of the frame with surreal interest & ferment!

Personally, as i am very much a photographer, the macro/close-ups & use of monochrome is a sheer delight to see focused and refocused, the focus-puller should have had a field day..ho ho.

But, as ever, cast aside the mere intellect and memory keys, and the film eagerly struck a chord, which it maintained throughout, art and artifice, the superlative acting skills, the precision of effects, all amass to an 'Outsiders' metaphysical, existential theatre.

A very deft, subtle use of eccentric literature, artisans attention to occultic elemental detail and an eye for the depths inherent in inanimate objects.. Any praise i heap upon this work of 'pure' cinema (that does sound pretentious but its harkening back to silent cinema and innocent clarity), would be faint praise indeed...

In short, lets be slightly vulgar, one either embraces eccentricity in artforms or shuns it as one would a plague carrier. Couple my enthusiasm with decent sized insightful booklet, useful thought provoking features and it is only now that i realize that i have waxed lyrical and nostalgic about a simple, monochrome flickering riddle. A come-down indeed into the real world, imposing order on this exquisite participation mystique.


Vault Of Horror [DVD]
Vault Of Horror [DVD]
Dvd ~ Terry-Thomas

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vipco House of Terrible Horrorness, 7 April 2012
This review is from: Vault Of Horror [DVD] (DVD)
Most people have noted the quality of this release.
Audio, feeble. Visually: mediocre dupey feel, like one of those nights you accidentally tried to record a decent flick on VHS, back in the old days, but onto a jiggery shuddery worn tape..oh the pain the next day..

Yep, that's about it. Marvelous to see Amicus or Tigon films given an airing. This one has some good E.C. comics grue under the covers. Ruined of course by the half-baked release from the Vipco land of ironicly inept releasing-mechanism. Avoid vividly, like an invite to a 'bring a burnt betamax' party.


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