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Denis Joe "Denis Joe" (Liverpool, Britain)

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Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD]
Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD]
Dvd ~ Crissy Rock
Price: 3.60

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Realism At Its best, 4 Mar 2009
This review is from: Ladybird, Ladybird [DVD] (DVD)
Ken Loach has become the director par excellance in Britain. Often unjustly compared for Mike Leigh, Loach does not patronise his subjects (unlike Leigh, whose films portray the worst stereotypes and show an incredible level of laziness)instead the camera takes a back seat alowing the story to unfold.

Ladybird, Ladybird is the greatest example of this technique. Loach points the camera and has enough faith in the actors to give what is needed.

For me, this is the film that shows Loach at his very best. The story seems rather humdrum: battered wife stuggles against the authorities and wins the battle in the end. The actors in this film carry the story. Crissy Rock is outstanding and gives one of the most convincing and horrific performances I have seen. Ray Winstone is superb as the brutal partner but also creates a feeling of vulnerability (Loach seems to have it in for most of the 'Southeners' in this film). Vladimir Vega is also outstanding and provides a very realistic portrayal of a refugee's life.

The film can be viewed on many levels. For me it shows the greatness of the human spirit.

One finds little sympathy for the authorities: the social workers and the police.

At a time when parents are under attack and professionals dictate every aspect of child rearing, this film flies in the face of what is taken for granted these days.

Ladybird, Ladybird is Loach at his most controversial since the groundbreaking 'Cathy Come Home', which rocked the establishment with its portrayal of homelessness in the 1960s.

As with all his films, Loach allows the voices to speak for themselves and in doing so, allows the films to be non-judgemental. This is what makes his films so powerful and what makes ladybird, Ladybird such a harrowing film.Paranoid Parenting: Why Ignoring the Experts May Be Best for Your ChildReclaiming ChildhoodThe Ken Loach Collection Volume 1 [DVD] [1967]The Ken Loach Collection Volume 2 [DVD] [1965]
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2011 3:22 PM GMT

The Sopranos - Complete HBO Season 1-6 - Deluxe Edition [DVD]
The Sopranos - Complete HBO Season 1-6 - Deluxe Edition [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Gandolfini

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Acme Of Television, 1 Feb 2009
Having grown up with television I became aware that each decade had its defining television moment. It was that programme that tuned into the zeitgeist. When the Sopranos hit the shores of Britain it seemed that here was just another drama on the mafia. At its best it seemed as good as anything Scorsese could have made. But the Sopranos was something more. The lead character was in counselling whilst the very collective around him was falling apart.

The world, which the mobsters from Cagney to De Niro showed us on our screens, was one of order where everyone knew their place and where the nature of life created those who were committed and those who wanted a `bigger slice of the pie'.

The loss of the collective (neighbourhoods, trade unions, political parties, etc.) within society was reflected in the Sopranos as `the family' (like most families) fell apart, reflecting the undoing of a cohesion that was becoming unstuck within the real world.

For me the Sopranos never shared the fatalism of the post-modernist or Francis Fukuyama. It doesn't provide answers but raises many questions about where we are actually going in these times of a loss of faith.

The portrayals of characters are not one-dimensional. The writers dig deep into the psyche to give us complexed individuals. There are no stereotypes. Instead we are presented with a universe on the brink of imploding.

This boxed set brings together an outstanding collection of episodes that make up television at its very finest. At this price it represents outstanding value. because this is the jewel in the crown of television.

When cinema tried to ape it with `Analyse this/that' it was pathetic in the extreme (De Niro should have hung his head in shame for having any part of such garbage). The people who brought us the Sopranos, gave the world a treasure that can never be recast.

Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems (American Poets Project)
Louis Zukofsky: Selected Poems (American Poets Project)
by Louis Zukofsky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry doesn't get much better than this., 10 Jan 2009
Louise Zukofsky is not very well known in Britain, but along with Williams and Olsen he is one of the most inventive poets of the 20th century.

This small volume is as good an introduction to Zukofsky's poetry as anything else. It contains a generous selection from all his published volumes (which are difficult to get hold of) including the homophonic translations of Catullus as well as a selection from his magnum opus `A' (in my opinion the greatest of all the long poems).

My only gripe is that this volume doesn't contain `Mantis', a beautiful, and highly original, sestina.

There is a great collection of Zukofsky's short poems that may be available on the marketplace, if this whets your appetite.

Elliott Carter: Mosaic; Dialogues; Enchanged Preludes; Scrivo In Vento
Elliott Carter: Mosaic; Dialogues; Enchanged Preludes; Scrivo In Vento
Price: 12.30

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding overview of the work of a true genius, 5 Jan 2009
I remember when the Naxos label started up. Most (including myself) dismissed their budget CDs as a gimmick. The early releases were unadventurous. But as years went on Naxos began to release recordings that were indispensible, even raiding the Marco Polo label.

For me it has been the American Classics label that has proved to be a great achievement and it is this recording of the music of the greatest living composer, which crowns that achievement.

The opening and closing tracks (Mosaic and Dialogues, respectively) are the first time that I have heard them. It shows that Mr Carter still makes demands on the listener and expects the listener to work for their appreciation. Between are some of the greatest pieces of solo works written. What makes these pieces so important is that they represent the limits that a player can impose on their instrument.

The New Music Consort, as a group and as soloists, give some of the best interpretations of Carters music I've heard. They play with a passion and intelligence that the composer demands.

This CD is an outstanding introduction to the music of this 20th (and 21st) century composer. For the lover of Carter's music, it is also a must.

Japanese Verse Forms: 4 (Practical poetry)
Japanese Verse Forms: 4 (Practical poetry)
by Ann Coffey
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars There are better ways to spend your money, 22 Dec 2008
Out of desperation I bought this overpriced pamphlet as there is very little on Japanese poetry form.

This could have been written by a child who had come across some Haiku. It begins with the usual flipancy that exists by telling us that it is all a matter of syllable count.

Well it isn't. Haiku was originally a part of a larger poem (eg: Choka)and even on its own it should follow a strict rule that givces meaning to each line. In western pieces one would also think that the writer would be concerned with the sound of the poem.

None of this is even touched upon in this pamphlet. Instead the reader is patronised with a simply how-to set of instructions that end up as how-not-to.

There must be better things that you can waste your money on.

What's The Matter Boy?
What's The Matter Boy?

5.0 out of 5 stars Subways and Sex, 29 May 2008
This review is from: What's The Matter Boy? (Audio CD)
There is very little to say about this album beyond the fact that it is one of the greatest of all time.

I saw the Sect more times than any other group. They were supporting the likes of the Banshees, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, etc. but it as the Subway Sect who stuck in my mind.

Goddard sang of heartbreak of his girlfriend falling for a lesbian ('Watch That Girl'), Mistrust ('Stool Pidgeon) as if these things were facts of life for everyone.

This is an album to love and cherish (Things that punk wasn't supposed to promote).

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