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Jill Bush

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Judy At Carnegie Hall
Judy At Carnegie Hall
Price: £11.27

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An anti-depressant experience of huge proportions., 7 Mar 2002
This review is from: Judy At Carnegie Hall (Audio CD)
Bear with me as I get flowery and overdramatic about this album. When I bought it on vinyl back in the eighteenth century it seemed a terrifying amount of money to spend on a bit of plastic but it was worth every penny and still is now it's on CD at last. It's probably the most uplifting recording I have, hideously tasteless in parts and seeping copius amounts of over-the-top emotion guaranteed to make most reserved Brits cringe but at the same time quite wondrous and life affirming. It's an album of monumental mood swings, "Chicago" knocks you over energy and va-voom, "How Long Has This Been Going On" has you sobbing melodramatically into your coffee and then suddenly "If Love Were All", breaking your heart; the most exquisite ballad sung with uncharacteristic Garland understatement that gives it huge emotional impact. Her voice is by turns wobbly and strident but manages to heave and twang your heartstrings so disconcertingly that you have to do a little displacement coughing to hide it...
It still makes me laugh out with happiness and the ironing goes by in a flash whilst in the company of such effervescence. Those afternoons I would put it on when my parents were out and sing along Very Loudly are amongst my fondest memories of adolescence - Judy and me against the world and determined to sing it into submission. Fabulous stuff.

Snakes and Ladders (Dirk Bogarde's Autobiography)
Snakes and Ladders (Dirk Bogarde's Autobiography)
by Dirk Bogarde
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable and haunting, 7 Mar 2002
Some things stay in your mind years after you've read them. The story of Dirk Bogarde's doomed friendship with the ailing Judy Garland in Snakes and Ladders was one of them for me, and I was very moved by his bewilderment and anguish at her death. The book is full of similar portraits of friends like Kay Kendall - Bogarde's ability to convey the radiance of her personality in a few perceptive paragraphs is a rare thing in an actor's autobiography. His discomfort about being a movie star is well known but his insight into the fading British studio system of the 50s and early 60s has a wry sensitivity which has not been equalled.
The recent television biography of Bogarde seems to be perpetuating the image of him as an unhappy genius and left me feeling quite depressed, which "Snakes and Ladders" didn't. It's a full and often richly humorous read that I prefer to remember him by.
If you like a bit of show bizz now and then but get bored with most actors' memoirs then you'll find this book a surprisingly satisfying read.

Magic of Sinatra
Magic of Sinatra
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterclass for all Potential Swingers, 7 Mar 2002
This review is from: Magic of Sinatra (Audio CD)
When it comes to best kept secrets, it's about time this one was out in the open. Andy Prior is the best male jazz singer in Britain today and has been plugging away for years producing sharp and joyful big band music. Someone tell Robbie Williams, for goodnessakes, if you're going to sing this stuff you have to be able to swing.
Andy Prior sings, he plays trombone, he's a bandleader, he's funny and he's better looking than Harry Connick Junior. My favourite is "I wish you love". Do the man a favour and spread the word.

A Life in Movies
A Life in Movies
by Michael Powell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to find a Very Special Place for, 4 Mar 2002
This review is from: A Life in Movies (Paperback)
There is only room for about 8 books in my bedside cabinet which is an uncomfortably small niche for nearly 3 decades of literary adventure. I had relegated Michael Powell's "A Life in Movies" to the shelf on the other side of the room but it' s becoming uncomfortably clear that reinstatement is a necessity in order to prevent cold feet from too many early morning trips across the floor.
I read it first when I was 21, now I'm 32 and every time I think of just a short dip into it again, I find myself dipping long enough to end up with prune-like, wrinkled fingers. This book is a joy. Michael Powell was by all accounts not an easy man to get on with but his writing has real joi de vivre, drawing you into a world of movies that sadly no longer exists. He is a cocky, confidant narrator with a gift for dialogue and in some cases, unnervingly, dispassionate observation. For those who love his films, it's a hugely rewarding experience to revisit the creation of some of the most evocative images in world cinema. The story of "I Know Where I'm Going" and his affectionate portraits of its stars, is as satisfying a piece of travel writing as autobiography or film history. His discussions with partner and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger are detailed with the same skilled storytelling instinct that the Archers films excelled in: he asks Pressburger why the girl in the story wants to go to the island of Kiloran and Pressburger replies with 'one of his mysterious smiles..."Let's make the film and find out"'.
Powell's honest description of his tangled love life (as he struggles to decide whether to marry the actress Deborah Kerr, or the woman who became his wife, Frankie) is disarmingly frank and unrepentant but it's a measure of the charm of his writing that you don't judge him for it, full as it is with loving praise for both women. It's this enthusiasm for people, places and communication through cinema that suffuses this book. It's a happy experience to be in the company of a generous raconteur who wants to share his passions with the world. When he talks of making Roger Livesey's "lovely, husky voice beloved all over the world" or of Frankie christening "I Know Where I'm Going" by singing the title song on a London bus and then disappearing, it's enough to make anyone feel that film making is the ultimate creative pleasure.
But here's an irony - no pictures in my paperback copy!
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