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Ian Hunter

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Ghosts By Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love
Ghosts By Daylight: A Memoir of War and Love
by Janine di Giovanni
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving story, 22 Oct 2011
Through a loosely told chronology, the story flits between present realities and past memories. Both are littered with the horror of war; the civil kind. In essence though, it is about two people caught up in the journalism of war and other conflicts. It's hard enough to be normal in such circumstances. When love enters the picture, it is a wonder that such emotion erupts at all, let alone survives. This story is therefore about such a thing; love in the midst of war and conflict. It is a moving story. I found the structure of the writing slightly irritating; the oscillation between the present and the past. For that reason alone, four stars.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.

P.S. For Ian Hunter, the author and reviewer, page 240 perhaps carries his epitaph: 'people who deeply love each other cannot always live together; this is the real sadness of life'. It is certainly the enduring sadness of mine in this turbulent year, 2011.


Don't Let Me Die on a Sunday [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Don't Let Me Die on a Sunday [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Élodie Bouchez
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £10.30

2.0 out of 5 stars A curious film, 13 Oct 2011
It opens in club-land; flashing lights and writhing bodies. The protagonists work in a hospital, in the morgue. An event takes place that sets off a chain of responses; one, stunningly surprising. To mention the event would give the entire plot away. The plot becomes divergent. Weird things start happening. I continued watching, wondering what the point might be. It's certainly complicated. Club-land returns. More unfathomable stuff follows and then... It's a curious film on which the point was certainly missed by me.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


Torremolinos 73 [DVD] (2003)
Torremolinos 73 [DVD] (2003)
Dvd ~ Javier Cámara
Offered by simply-well-priced
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and loving, with humour and pathos, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: Torremolinos 73 [DVD] (2003) (DVD)
Another bleak urban scene to open matters; bleaker still because he is selling encyclopaedias of the History of Spain (with the inducement of a free statuette), door-to-door, in an apartment block of many. There is no working lift so he climbs many floors, lugging his wares. He returns to his own apartment, soaked by the rain, is confronted by his landlady; his rent is three months in arrears. It's misery. He enters his apartment and another dimension to his existence presents itself.

Sales are plummeting for encyclopaedias. In Scandinavia, sales are rocketing for An Audio-visual Encyclopaedia of Human Reproduction. The company owner wants to make a Spanish version. Employees are asked to volunteer with their wives to demonstrate the reproductive process. Our salesman volunteers and does so for his wife as well.

The source of the movie's title is revealed in a very funny sequence, where he is having to produce an ejaculation for a sperm count. It is touching on various levels.

The film proceeds, as a film within a film. The climax is intensely emotional, on two counts.

This is a touching and loving film, with humour and pathos.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


House of the Sleeping Beauties [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
House of the Sleeping Beauties [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Vadim Glowna
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £10.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sullen film, 10 Oct 2011
They are indeed asleep. A widower of 15 years seeks solace in their unconscious company. He lies beside the beauty selected for him. He touches, caresses and occasionally kisses, while reflecting on his life and the prospect of death. There is nakedness but no eroticism. The touching and caressing (for which he is paying) seems like a form of tactile therapy. The madam muses openly, `he is a man not at peace with himself'; a confirmation of the therapeutic benefits of this arrangement perhaps. The reason for each girl's sleeping is revealed. If you are in the mood for an essentially sullen film then this is for you. It is, in essence, a prolonged conversation. It's much too clever for me to understand. Others might simply call it weird.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


Secret Things [DVD] [2005]
Secret Things [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Jean-Claude Brisseau

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 9 Oct 2011
This review is from: Secret Things [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is the most stunningly erotic film I have ever seen (and my earliest reviews start in this genre, in an attempt to understand the woman I was then in love with!). To give the plot away would be a serious breach. Let's just say, the opening sequence is strong, the relationship between the central characters is strong, their ambitions are strong and their methods are strong too. It is an exploration of eroticism, with purpose. It is filmed stylishly and on several occasions, my breath was taken away. It's a superb contribution to the genre!

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


Straw Dogs [1971] [DVD]
Straw Dogs [1971] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dustin Hoffman

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How thin the veneer of civilisation, 9 Oct 2011
This review is from: Straw Dogs [1971] [DVD] (DVD)
This may be fanciful but I draw a parallel with this film (and its descent into savagery; the loss of civilisation in a remote English village) and that same loss in William Golding's Lord of the Flies (on a remote tropical island). There is a brooding under-current of potential menace almost from the start. The young wife is becoming disillusioned because her husband is wrapped up in his mathematical research work. "I need to be left alone!" he declares. She needs him; his love, his attention. Local men are repairing the roof to the garage. They see her in her mini skirt and bra-less sweater and think their lecherous thoughts. She passes an open window to the bathroom, opposite where the workmen are and can see clearly. She has removed her sweater (in preparation for the bath) and stands for seconds, topless, looking at them. Is she wanting the thrill of `being seen'? She certainly wants attention. Eventually she gets it. Her husband is lured to a day of shooting ducks. While away, one former friend knocks on her door. She offers him a drink. He makes a pass. She asks him to leave. He tries to kiss her. She slaps him. He slaps her back. Her hair is pulled as she is dragged to the sofa, rape ensues, where she protests then takes him for the `attention' she wants. As it ends, another lecher has entered the room and been watching. The sordid business is repeated, this time with no allusion to fleeting tenderness. The rest of the film descends further into simple violence. This was controversial when first released (at a similar time and with a similar reaction to Clockwork Orange). This is not for the faint-hearted. Its serious point however may be to show how thin the veneer of civilisation actually is!

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2011 10:58 PM BST


Her Privates We
Her Privates We
by Frederic Manning
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately fascinating, 25 Sep 2011
This review is from: Her Privates We (Paperback)
Initially, this book did not engage me, either intellectually or emotionally. The first 132 pages simply conveyed the monotony of war - The Great War - "the war to end all wars"; World War 1, when 60,000 British soldiers were killed in the first day (THE FIRST DAY!) of the Battle of the Somme. Anyway, until that page, the book was one of forging friendships, various characters and the sheer persistence of army procedure and administration, all seemingly in preparation for the next attack. Then, on page 133, the declaration of friendship appeared between the three central characters: `The three of us shall be together and then... well, it's not much use looking ahead, is it?' Then on page 140: `...into which some voices would interject "another poor mother has lost her son" as though to affront the sinister fate against which they were determined to march with a swagger'. They were swaggering to the Somme! Then on page 213: `They shook hands, the three among themselves and then with others near them. Good luck chum. Good luck. Good luck... He (then) moved towards the ladder' (to go over the top)! If this is what it was like, then it was a monotonous hell, interspersed with fighting, trenches, mud and comradeship bordering on love, acknowledged often as transcending its conventional form between man and woman. Ultimately, it is a fascinating book.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


North West Frontier [1959] [DVD]
North West Frontier [1959] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth More
Price: £3.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good adventure, 12 Sep 2011
Kenneth More is the stalwart British army Captain Scott; perfect casting. Lauren Bacall is the independent minded governess to the young prince; the object of the collective escape attempt from marauding tribesmen. Herbert Lom is excellent in a role that, if revealed, would give the plot away. Wilfred Hyde White bumbles along as he always seems to do but with disarming charm. The real stars though are the engine and its driver, Gupta, played by I.S. Johar. His picturesque (not quite perfect) English is both funny and genuine, in the scheme of things. The American governess professes to speak her mind because that's what she has a mind for! The wife of the governor, in response to jibes about the British Empire, states in one beautiful delivery;"half the world is civilised only because we have made it so!"; a sublime riposte. The opening battle scenes are captured well in the broad sweep of the excellent cinemascope photography. Frankly, it's a really good adventure yarn set in the North West Frontier of a corner of the globe where, at its imperial high point, `the sun never set'.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


Shall We Dance [DVD] [1998] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Shall We Dance [DVD] [1998] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Kôji Yakusho

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender and touching, 11 Sep 2011
The central character is a `wage slave'; work, home, eat, sleep, having just bought a house for his wife and teenage daughter outside the teeming metropolis of Tokyo. He spots a dance studio and wistful looking instructor from his commuter train. Eventually, he musters courage, gets off the train where the studio is, hesitates, then with diffidence, stumbles into the world of the waltz, quick-step and more. At the beginning, he hasn't a clue what he's doing. Meanwhile, a demonstration of the tango is first, exaggerated then poignant. His mood changes; he has something to lift him from the drudgery of his life. His wife becomes suspicious. She hires a private investigator. "He might be caught up in something weird" she suggests. Blackpool is acknowledged as the ballroom-competition capital of the dancing world. The film is tender, touching and well worth watching.

The impertinence of this DVD is to show the trailer to the American re-make of this title before the original Japanese film; extraordinary bad taste and bad manners.

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


Ping Pong [DVD] [2004] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Ping Pong [DVD] [2004] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Yôsuke Kubozuka
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £13.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Different perspectives on life, 10 Sep 2011
This is about diametrically opposing approaches to life. The common bond is the childhood friendship that continues into adulthood, galvanised and tested by a passion for ping-pong (table tennis). This is not `pitter-patter' table tennis. This is the real thing. As the film progresses, there are more and more playing sequences and reflections by the players; about themselves (the introverted stuff) and about their opponents (harsh sentiment at times). The point is that all have a passion for a passionate game (and for those of us who have played it seriously, we understand that notion). Peco is the precociously brilliant, extrovert player. Tsukimoto is his boyhood friend; the introspective player. Peco plays with aggressive and flamboyant 'top-spin'. Tsukimoto plays defensively, chopping each shot with heavy 'back-spin'. The increasingly prolonged playing sequences are poetic to watch. The film reaches a perfect crescendo, when these two meet in the final of a tournament. The question is, which perspective on life wins? Watch the film!

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.


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