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donewiththeusualmusic "ricardofin" (UK)

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Only Yesterday [DVD]
Only Yesterday [DVD]
Dvd ~ Isao Takahata
Price: £9.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, understated film about a young woman's life preparation ..., 29 April 2015
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This review is from: Only Yesterday [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful, understated film about a young woman's life preparation for the moment she will suddenly and without even noticing it at first fall in love; and about the delight that falling in love brings to everyday life. For example: how you can find yourself laughing a lot with the other person, or simply finding that everything they say finds a home in you. One thing I have not seen in other reviews: one of the life episodes that Taeko recalls is at school where the girls were taught about menstruation, and the boys teased them mercilessly for this.. that may or may not be a topic that is comfortable viewing in an English family setting (I have no views, but it's worth knowing about, I think: for example, young viewers may ask 'what's that?' before mum or dad is ready to discuss). All in all, among my top Ghibli movies, with Totoro, Spirited Away, and Poppy Hill.


From Up On Poppy Hill [DVD]
From Up On Poppy Hill [DVD]
Dvd ~ Goro Miyazaki
Price: £10.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful, healing movie, 29 April 2015
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This review is from: From Up On Poppy Hill [DVD] (DVD)
What a wonderful, healing movie. I agree with so many of the reviews here. What can I usefully add.. The music and songs are great (and may stick inside your head) and span many styles of Japanese music. I found it worth watching both English dubbed and subtitled Japanese versions, as the dubbed version is Americanized not only in language but in its characterization of the people (like: much more aggressive than the Japanese version); AND the two versions (dub/s.title) give a much fuller account of the Japanese original when combined. Finally, I love the detail of the animation, like: the way the mother closes her eyes briefly as she gets up before comforting her daughter; there's plenty of examples like this, and spotting them is entertaining as well as engrossing. I highly recommend this movie; it's one of the very best Ghibli movies, imo, if you are not looking for fantasy action animation. I have watched it many times.

PS, photo is for Hecate, who wondered in her review whether Japanese really store vegetables in the floor.
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An Actor's Revenge [1962] [DVD] [1967]
An Actor's Revenge [1962] [DVD] [1967]
Dvd ~ Kazuo Hasegawa
Price: £7.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Masterpiece, 24 Feb. 2013
I chose this movie more or less at random from the local library and now I'm buying it.. it is simply compelling from the first scene and never lets up. My expectation was not high for a movie made 50 years ago, but I found it to be timeless both in terms of theme (revenge, love) and treatment (kabuki style, highly formalized). If you seek a taste of Japan in the West, this is one good source that reaches out to everyone wherever they are from.


LazyTown - Welcome to LazyTown [DVD]
LazyTown - Welcome to LazyTown [DVD]
Offered by crazyukdropship
Price: £7.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good alternative to the news, 29 Oct. 2009
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I used to listen to the news over breakfast and get a bit depressed. Now at her request I watch Lazy Town with my daughter and we laugh, marvel and sing along, truly waking up and raising our spirits in the process. I love these dvds and recommend them to the young at heart of all ages. A much better start to the day than the BBC.


The Last Jet-Engine Laugh
The Last Jet-Engine Laugh
by Ruchir Joshi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Desert Island Book, 6 May 2009
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I bought this book at a second hand stall under Waterloo Bridge in London on a rainy day when I was having a quarrel with a visiting friend, she who once told me 'for every thing you lose there is something you gain'. So we lost hours of friendship through the quarrel, but it steered me towards that stall and that book, and now we are still friends and I have one of my eight desert island books, which is the more treasured for being read so many times and carrying the evidence of each occasion. Joshi has a way with language both English and Indian that transcends the printed word and gets right inside your head. He is brilliant at his characterisations - his people are alive. His plot is unpredictable and gripping. His coverage of issues, like water becoming a war-worthy commodity, is prescient. His humour is laugh-aloud. His love of photography shines through, like when he describes a bar-man waltzing a crate of beer from his fridge. And the story is touching: one man's life, so many loves made and lost, and the one enduring love for his daughter. Go on, treat yourself!


A Bizarre Love Triangle [2002] [DVD]
A Bizarre Love Triangle [2002] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hyo-Jin Kong
Offered by A*BargainProducts
Price: £1.74

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever morality tale, 22 Sept. 2008
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I first saw this film as a hire from Blockbuster's international shelf. It was such a delight, and so cheap on Amazon, that I bought it and by now I've watched it maybe 10 times in all. I love the insight into modern Korean society; the clever narrative technique that peals back layers of understanding one by one as the film progresses; the very cute actors and actresses; and the humour that the film extracts from sex. I love the little-girl whiney voice that the heroine has as she bullies her way through life. I love this film.


Eat Me
Eat Me
by Linda Jaivin
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Long time favourite, 22 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Eat Me (Paperback)
Eat Me has remained on my 'good to have read and good to read again' bookshelf for 8 years now. I read it first by a swimming pool in southern france and I have to say it is the perfect holiday read, aside from other occasions. Sexy, inventive, funny, irreverent.. and best of all is the life that springs from the aussie language - it just fizzes. I read this book about once a year as a tonic for the blues and greys in life. Footnote: a fellow passenger on a long haul flight once confided that he'd read an amazing book.. this was the one. I was able to agree with him that it is a good read. Small world.


Nankuru Naisa
Nankuru Naisa
Price: £12.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a smile every time, 28 May 2007
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This review is from: Nankuru Naisa (Audio CD)
Nankuru Naisa: 'Take it easy'. I heard an upbeat track (Mensoreyo - Toshin Doi, track 8) from this disk on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction, the source of much inspiration. Once in the car-CD, the disk made me smile many times and laugh out loud a few, from sheer joy at the integrity, directness and musicality of these artists. And I don't even understand any specific word... although the album comes with a handy translation of lyrics. Hirayasu has an amazing quality to his voice - 'honest country' is the best way I can describe it; and Brozman somehow melds traditional US country strings with Hawaiian honey sounds. Even my 11 year old daughter now asks to hear this one.. I'm off to buy their first album, Jin Jin/Firefly.

Update, 5 years later. So, did it stand the test of time, 5 years on? Big 'yes'. I think of wine improving rather than say car or body falling apart. This month I went to a concert given by among others Hibiki Ichikawa, London-based player of the Shamisen which I describe to fellow Westerners as like 'a huge country banjo with three strings that you play with what looks like a fancy paint scraper'. Over two concerts I have come to love the richness and amazing subtleties that can be coaxed out of the Shamisen. Ichikawa-san explained how the Shamisen made its way from China to Okinawa to other parts of Japan, growing bigger en route. So now I know: the 'banjo' like sounds amid the many other string instruments on Nankuru Naisa are from the smaller Okinawa Shamisen, or as it says on the sleeve notes, Sanshin (= '3 Strings', ichi ni san..).

I also note the references to the presence of American forces in Okinawa, handled in a light, wistful way. A Japanese friend tells me of the ongoing tensions between the native Okinawans and the US forces.

Moral of the story: the more you dig into this album, the more it reveals. Still a 5-star product, for me.


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