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Michael Bo (Frederiksberg Denmark)

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Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend
Mary Pickford Rediscovered: Rare Pictures of a Hollywood Legend
by Kevin Brownlow
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One spectacular book, 4 Oct. 2003
Somebody lent me this spectacular coffee-table book, and I could think of nothing else than how to acquire a copy of my own. Brownlow's text is lucid and warm with memories and real feeling for Miss Pickford, but it is also highly perceptive and reevaluates some of the star's films. But most of all: the pictures, portraits as well as movie stills, are so beautifully reproduced they make your heart ache and make you want all of Miss Pickford's films on your DVD shelf. The texture of those photos - creamy, multi-dimensional ... Don't get me started. This book is invaluable.

Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro / Jean-Pierre Vincent, Paolo Olmi, Opéra de Lyon [DVD] [2003]
Mozart - Le nozze di Figaro / Jean-Pierre Vincent, Paolo Olmi, Opéra de Lyon [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Giovanni Furlanetto
Price: £24.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is unobtrusive good enough?, 4 Oct. 2003
Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong as such with the Lyon 'Figaro'. It's just nowhere near as interesting or good, as it were, as others available on DVD.
Director Jean-Pierre Vincent wants nothing so much as not to get in the way, which is sort of applaudable. Sets are appropriately rococo, costumes of the nightie persuasion. The singers are more than decent, led by Giovanni Furlanetto's sincerely affecting and immensely well-sung Figaro - the highlight of the set.
Paolo Olmi has a nice ear for Mozart, but nothing he does is exactly memorable.

Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt [DVD] [2002]
Mozart: Don Giovanni -- Zurich/Harnoncourt [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Rodney Gilfry
Offered by Windmill Books UK
Price: £6.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget about the buffo part, 4 Oct. 2003
The Flimm production of 'Giovanni' from Zurich is no masterpiece, but it does have a lot going for it. Wonder's sets and the way they are lighted evoke the multi-textured realms of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, and Harnoncourt's musical realization of Mozart's score is idiomatic and quite a far cry from the way the Classicists are normally perceived. There is such drama, such heightened emotion at play here, and it is never any less than a matter of life and death, which is hardly what composer and librettist intended with their buffo-opera, but, but, but: it works. Flimm's ideas are few and far between, but he never intrudes. Three singers stand out with absolutely marvellous performances: Saccà is utter tenorial purity as Ottavio, Bartoli is a hissingly venomous but ultimately heartbreaking Elvira, but even more so Gilfry in the title role, his sexuality is hypnotic, his legato silken, his arrogance stupendous. His is almost an Oscar-worthy performance.

La Boheme - Pal [DVD] [2003]
La Boheme - Pal [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ David Hobson

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now that's empathy!, 4 Oct. 2003
This review is from: La Boheme - Pal [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
It's been years and years since I was last able to cry at Mimì's deathbed, but Luhrmann's production will do that to you. The Rodolfo sobbed loudly even after curtain, and was clearly deeply affected during curtain calls - now that's empathy! The staging as such is traditional enough, what Luhrmann achieves so wonderfully well is what goes on between the singers/actors. The fact that they are young, agile and sexy may have a little something to do with it, but beyond all that they create their own space with love and affection, and play their emotions out so naturalistically that they will almost embarrass you as the voyeur. When their hearts break, you should mind your ownk, that's how serious it gets.

Lehar: The Merry Widow [DVD]
Lehar: The Merry Widow [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yvonne Kenny

9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You see, operetta is NOT easy, 4 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Lehar: The Merry Widow [DVD] (DVD)
This is very heavy-going business indeed which almost amounts to a crime when you consider the vivacity of the score, the sweetness of its melodies, the intelligence of its characterizations. But there you are again, operetta is not easy to stage or sing or conduct. Costumes and sets have a certain conservative kind of handsomeness, but the new dialogue is persistently vulgar and unfunny, direction drags along the floorboards, and the singers have been heard to better advantage. Not recommended.

Offenbach: Orphee aux Enfers -- Lyon National Opera/Minkowski [DVD]
Offenbach: Orphee aux Enfers -- Lyon National Opera/Minkowski [DVD]
Dvd ~ Natalie Dessay

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joie-de-vivre, 4 Oct. 2003
Châtelet, director Pelly and conductor Minkowski sure have a way with Offenbach. As with their 'Belle Hélène' you find none of the usual operetta stupidity and facetiousness, and the whole things abounds with sprightly, musically intelligent joie-de-vivre. The singers, not least the vocally and scenically virtuosic Dessay as well as Steven Cole as the seedy John Styx, are marvellous, lighting is a revelation, the sets are ever evocative, the transfer is ideal. What else can I say?

True Blue [DVD] [1996]
True Blue [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Johan Leysen

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Music drowns the movie, 4 Sept. 2003
This review is from: True Blue [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
The acting is great, the writing is wonderful, the amount of beefcake is staggering, and the score, by Stanislas Syrewicz, is simply the most obnoxious, vulgar and banal that I have ever encountered in a movie. "Listen!", says Coach, closing his eyes, "You can hear the boat sing!", but instead of listening to oars paddling through water or some such, Syrewicz just rapes the volume button triumphantly, his banal muzak soaring with angel choirs and trumpets. Talk about a composer not having any respect for subject matter!

No Title Available

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An excuse to watch soft-porn, 9 May 2003
Let's face it, this picture is a halfway decent way to get upclose to those gorgeous, creamy-skinned, well-trained, young Hollywood hotties. It has ambitions to be both frank and challenging and technically worthy, but is is in reality sooo banal, and the narrative tricks that the extras make so much of are self-absorbed and not about telling a story at all - watch the unending split-screen meeting of the two protagonists. There is absolutely no reason in the world why something as trite as that should be told in such an elaborate fashion, but there you are ... All pulp.
Not recommended, although a young actor, Russell Sams he is called, makes quite a spectacular impression at the dinner table midway through the picture.

Shiner [DVD] [2001]
Shiner [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Michael Caine
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £3.77

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My heart in my throat, 3 May 2003
This review is from: Shiner [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I am a big fan of the picture, because it so subtly plays with your expectations, and fails to deliver in such a spectacular fashion that the ending becomes the whole glorious point of it. Michael Caine, better than ever, is a lowlife boxing promoter who, with age and increasing paranoia, sees it fit to go out with a bang, on a level with the great Shakespearean tragedies. True to form, everyone dies around him, as he strives to find the meaning of life, the reason for all the terror that he initiated himself. In the final few pictures my heart was in my throat, I was that excited.
Go buy it, rent it, whatever - it has the makings of a great picture.

The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers [1946] [DVD]
The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers [1946] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Barbara Stanwyck

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bide your time, 28 April 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's face it, this is not one of Lewis Milestone's best pictures, but is has its qualities, not least in the fullblown romantic scale, quite overdone, but there you have it.
YOU WILL NOT WANT THIS LASERLIGHT TRANSFER THOUGH, as it will probably be the worst you ever bought (unless you ever bought other LaserLight titles, because they are all excruciating to watch and listen to).
Please stay away from this, and bide your time, until another edition sees the light of day.
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