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Marcus Manilius (UK)

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Pusher Trilogy [DVD]
Pusher Trilogy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jesper Salomonsen
Price: £6.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Viewing, 29 Sep 2012
This review is from: Pusher Trilogy [DVD] (DVD)
Initially unimpressed, I was really drawn into these films, as they quickly became compelling viewing. The Copenhagen drug world is a horrible place to be, peopled by characters whose lives are unrelentingly grim: pimps, whores, thugs, junkies, pushers. All of them on the make, all of them ready to pull a fast one on the next guy, if they can make a fast buck from it. Even the women are horrible types and many of the scenes in which the action takes place are bleak and garishly-lit. There are scenes of extreme violence, carried out in a most casual manner.

Each of the three films in the trilogy follows one main character through a period of about 24 hours. There is Frank, the small-time pusher for whom it all goes so badly wrong in every deal. Tonny is a shaven-headed, heavily tattooed nutcase who can't seem to do anything right. All he wants is to impress his dad, but his dad now has a much younger son to love. Milo appears to be Serbian ex-military. In the first film, he is a drug kingpin with a ferocious looking sidekick who deals with all the problem cases. In film 3, his power is on the wane and he has to suffer humiliation at the hands of younger dealers, all of whom want to be boss.

These films are like documentaries. They could be shown to young people as a warning against the perils of drug-use. They give a very different take on the Scandinavian model.

Highly recommended.


Reilly - Ace Of Spies [DVD]
Reilly - Ace Of Spies [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sam Neill
Price: £10.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Splendid, Sam., 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: Reilly - Ace Of Spies [DVD] (DVD)
I have to say that this is superb drama - the characters are all first-rate actors and the production is faultless. It's worth watching just to see how people dressed at the turn of the last century - the men look as though they have just come from their tailors and the women are all tightly corseted and gloriously coiffed. Reputations and vast sums of money are at stake as Germany, France, Russia and Great Britain vie with one another for supremacy on sea and land. The safety of the empire is paramount and HM's spymasters will stop at nothing to get an edge over their old foes, and friends, for that matter. Sam Neill does a slendid job as Reilly; he is easily more impressive than most of the James Bonds who have (dis)graced our screens over the last so many years. When there is no story worth speaking about, all the action in the world won't fill the void. On the other hand, if you have a believable story, a good script, fine acting and glorious period detail, the protagonist doesn't need to behave like an ape on steroids to draw the viewer in. Wonderful viewing.


Understanding Mechanics
Understanding Mechanics
by A.J. Sadler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £37.79

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Higher Mathematics, 18 Aug 2012
This is one of a number of recommended texts for the Advanced Higher Applied Mathematics course. I have two of the other titles, but this one stands head and shoulders above them in terms of the clarity of explanation, relevance of worked examples and abundance of challenging examination questions. The exercises at the end of each chapter contain some very demanding work, even for capable and well-motivated students. If they can manage the material on offer here, they should have no trouble with the final examination. I used this with a student last year and he was very happy with it as a textbook.


Piano Mania [DVD]
Piano Mania [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Cibis

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overtuned, 14 July 2012
This review is from: Piano Mania [DVD] (DVD)
The main attraction of this DVD is the wonderfully capable and endlessly inventive Steinway piano tuner Stefan Knuepfer and the maddeningly demanding pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who prepares for and then records Bach's the Art of the Fugue.There are a few moments containing Lang Lang and slightly less on Alfred Brendel. Julius Drake and Ian Bostridge get even less time. Pianos are tried and discarded, they are tuned and retuned. Hammers are replaced, prodded, raised, lowered, and all in pursuit of the perfect sound. I found myself wondering, at different times, how Herr Knuepfer managed to keep his temper, but he did, and, with a smile on his face, gave the artists just what they wanted.
This DVD is an interesting look behind the scenes and might be for ardent pianophiles.


The Girl on the Stairs
The Girl on the Stairs
by MR Barry Ernest
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Read, 8 April 2012
This review is from: The Girl on the Stairs (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book. It's thoroughly researched and well written. I don't see how there could be any room at all for doubting the information which the author presents. It does leave questions unanswered, of course it does, but he accomplished what he set out to do all those years previously - he wanted to find the witness to the assassination who categorically stated that she neither saw nor heard Oswald descending the stairs from the sixth floor of the book depository after the shots were fired. It wasn't just Oswald that she didn't see or hear, she was adamant that no-one came down from the floors above!? So, if you have any interest in what happened in Dallas all those years ago, read this book.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2012 6:24 PM BST


Monsieur N [DVD]
Monsieur N [DVD]
Dvd ~ Philippe Torreton
Price: £10.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Le Petit Caporal, 13 Oct 2011
This review is from: Monsieur N [DVD] (DVD)
This a film about Napoleon's last years on St. Helena and the alleged mystery surrounding his death. It's finely acted and the period costumes and scenes give it a splendidly authentic touch. If you've seen Le Colonel Chabert or The Duellists, you'll know what to expect. I don't feel that it has the excitement of either of the aforementioned films, but it will certainly hold your attention for 2 hours. The drama moves between the intimacy of his small court on the island and the attempts by the English to keep him under close surveillance, and the time after his reburial in Paris. Apart from Richard E. Grant, who plays the governor of the island, most of the faces were unfamiliar to me. Much of the dialogue is in French with English subtitles. So, did he die from arsenic poisoning of his wine and who was the culprit? Or was it the arsenic in the wallpaper? Was it his body in the coffin? And why was the body of his butler Cipriani never discovered? Qui sait?


The Ultimate Guitar Collection
The Ultimate Guitar Collection
Price: £7.20

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy and Wistful, 17 Aug 2011
This was a chance purchase and one which brings great pleasure. The second disc, in particular, is exquisite. I find the music evokes in me a feeling of wistfulness that few other pieces do. One after the other, they seem to conjure up a world of loss: the still tender memories of a distant love-affair; the golden days of youth viewed through the lens of age. Something of the sort. The playing is heavenly. Wonderful stuff.


Nagananda of Harsa: The Sanskrit Text with Annotated English Translation
Nagananda of Harsa: The Sanskrit Text with Annotated English Translation
by Harṣavardhana, King of Thānesar and Kanauj
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Nagananda, 10 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this volume without knowing much about it, other than that it had the Sanskrit text of the Nagananda, of which I'd read 80 lines or so in an introductory course Reading Sanskrit: A Course for Beginners, and it only cost £2.99. I was pleasantly surprised, as it has an introduction, a full summary of the plot and an excellent few pages on the different poetic metres used. The Sanskrit text occupies the top third of the page, below which is a fairly full running vocabulary in which very long words are split up into their constituent parts, a prose version of the text (on most pages, but not all) in which all words are again broken up, and a translation. It's not unlike Peter Scharf's Ramopakhyana: The Story of Rama in the Mahabharata - A Sanskrit Independant-study Reader, which is also excellent. In fact, it occurs to me that, since this book was first published in 1992, Scharf may have used the idea of the layout for his own volume, but that's only conjecture. The only downside to the book is that the paper used for printing is turning brown. Otherwise, an excellent tool for the Sanskritist.


Ponchielli: La Gioconda
Ponchielli: La Gioconda
Offered by Get it in a Jiffy
Price: £30.56

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hair Raising, 25 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ponchielli: La Gioconda (Audio CD)
I knew of the legend of Maria Callas, but had never heard her sing. Then I came across a clip of her singing Suicidio! from La Gioconda and felt the hair on my neck standing up. On the basis of that single aria, I bought this recording and spent many happy hours over the summer months getting to know it. She has a wonderful voice, but the opera is packed full of splendid music from the chorus and the other singers too. Being a tragedy, it all ends miserably, of course, but it's rousing stuff, and as good a place as any to begin an acquaintance with Callas.
The recording is on three discs and comes with a substantial booklet containing photographs, an introduction, a brief biography of Ponchielli, a summary of the opera and the libretto, all in English, French, German and Italian.


KALIDASAS MEGHADUTA
KALIDASAS MEGHADUTA
by Kālidāsa
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head in the Cloud Messenger, 25 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: KALIDASAS MEGHADUTA (Hardcover)
This volume contains an introduction in English, the Sanskrit text of the poem broken down into padas (four lines of text) , a running Sanskrit commentary by Vallabhadeva, a list of spurious verses and, very importantly, a full Sanskrit-English vocabulary. Sanskrit texts are fairly easy to obtain, but the beauty of this little book is that you don't need to spend hours thumbing through a dictionary to find the meaning that you want. The text seems straightforward enough, although I am using a literal translation which I found on the net and which is invaluable. I haven't read any of the Sanskrit commentary, but may return to it at some time. There is a useful bibliography at the back, from which I found a reference to Kalidasa's complete works, which is now on my wish list. Printed in India, the paper is fine and the text is very clear.
All things considered, an excellent volume for the intermediate/advanced student.


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