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inch worm (Rome,Italy)

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Isis Unveiled: Secret of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition - Madame Blavatsky's First Work
Isis Unveiled: Secret of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition - Madame Blavatsky's First Work
by H. P. Blavatsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Profound and heavy read., 8 Jan. 2010
This is a modern day adaptation of Blavatsky's landmark book of the same name and is designed to make Blavatsky's language rather more palatable to the modern reader. She was the founder of the Theosophical Society and the original version of this book is a kind of bible to that group. It is a tour de force and thoroughly engrossing and is certainly quite a heavy read. However I found that taking it in digestible portions was an excellent way to read it as every page is so stuffed full of fascinating information that they cannot readily be speed read or skimmed.

A rewarding book and thoroughly worth the time spent for those interested in the secrets behind alchemical principles and secret codes that were often only for the eyes of those elite few that were the chief religious interpreters of the past.

The Reader [DVD]
The Reader [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kate Winslet
Price: £3.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary performance, 26 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Reader [DVD] (DVD)
It is not difficult to see why Kate Winslet walked away with both an oscar and bafta for best actress for her extraordinary performance in this remarkable film that shows the stamp both of David Hare in the screenplay and Antony Mingella as producer.Her prodigious changes of emotional moods and facial expressions that she shows with an economy that are the mark of a truly 'mature' actress have made a character that is fascinating,mysterious and ambiguous.

The story really is a very simple one set as it is in Berlin of the 1990's but with flashbacks. Boy meets woman is perhaps the simplest way to describe the plot. Love in this particular instance is shown to be the overriding emotion against all odds. The implications of these odds which when we discover them are utterly shocking show that love can throw two people together in all innocence even though one of the individuals involved may be hiding a devastating history.

Within an intriguing story line, Ralf Fiennes is as ever utterly convincing and his performance combined with the excellent David Kross and of course Kate Winslet makes this a film not to be missed. It takes on one of the most difficult of issues, that of the conditioned aspects of right and wrong as well as questions concerning evil acts and their forgiveness. Love it would seem burns it all away but not without a devastating price and lives changed forever and irrevocably.We are left with an open question that probably will never be satisfactorily answered!!

Padre Pio Miracle Man [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Padre Pio Miracle Man [DVD] [2000] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £121.83

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning eye opener, 20 Dec. 2009
This was a two part series for Italian television as part of a regular showing of programmes about remarkable people. Italian TV is particularly good at producing well researched and beautifully presented films of this nature and it is well deserving of the accolades that it has received.

Most notable in this film is the acting throughout particularly of Sergio Castellito who plays the title role. Faced with the difficulties of compressing all the compelling evidence of the miracles performed by St. Pio we are given a moving and spiritually disturbing account of this wonderful man, who received the stigmata.

Unfortunately I feel that the political implications that underly the censoring of Pio by the Catholic church were rather skimpily exposed in this film leaving the viewer rather baffled about the reasons behind so many of what have subsequently been discovered as blatant victimisations of this well meaning man who often suffered from mean minded misrepresentation on behalf of his peers.

Nevertheless the moving and spiritually stirring ways in which Padre Pio survived the political onslaughts that plagued his life is beautifully protrayed.

The film fully opens up the dramatic implications of the existence of a prolific, uncompromising and holy saint in modern times.

At the Feet of the Master
At the Feet of the Master
by Alcyone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.95

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply right, 18 Dec. 2009
Written when Krishnamurti was fourteen years old, the wisdom that this remarkable little book contains one might say seems way beyond the experience that such green years could normally produce. The words were reputably dictated from across the spiritual divide by the Master (it was suggested this was the boddhisatva Maitreya) and Krishnamurti who was still under the manipulative care of influential members of the Theosophical society was being groomed as the forthcoming Messiah or World master. But what may seem far fetched in these more sceptical times should not put the reader off. The writings are easy and most accessible and are written with a simple rightness that I feel potentially speak to all those who are on the Path to find spiritual truth.

Krishanamurti broke away from the claustrophobic and manipulative affect on his life of the Theosophical society when he came of age at 21 and formulated his own teachings that embraced all faiths, denounced unnecessary and superstitious religious rituals and despised all boundaries and segregations such as nationality, religious dogma, race, etc, etc.

This book contains the green shoots of the spiritual insight that developed in the mind of one of the 20th centuries greatest spirits. Krishnamurtis Notebook

Kenwood FP580 2-Speed Food Processor - White
Kenwood FP580 2-Speed Food Processor - White
Offered by Bright Sparks Store
Price: £64.89

86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good overall with a few blips, 7 Dec. 2009
I have worked this machine to death really and so I can certainly vouch that it is robust enough. The attachments such as the purifier and the grinders are not particularly efficient and so I find that I seldom use them. The juice extractor is excellent although not very large capacity.A satisfactory set of extra tools and cutters that all seem to do the job. My chief grouch has been that the central axle onto which the bowl sits is detachable so that every time the bowl is removed this axle comes off too and invariably falls out just at the critical moment when one is endeavouring to remove the contents. This is certainly very irritating and inconvenient.

Nevertheless there is a lot of machine and attachments for the money. I bought it to replace a very efficient Braun that I had and which after many years through no fault on its part I overloaded it and broke it. Not wanting to pay the high prices that Braun usually demand for their excellent products I bought this Kenwood.

Next time I buy I shall definitely go back to the Braun. There is no comparison!

The Pianist [2002] [DVD]
The Pianist [2002] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Adrien Brody
Price: £3.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true story in the Jewish ghetto of ww2 warsaw., 7 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Pianist [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
A film based on the book of the true story of the same name depicts the horror of the Jewish Ghetto that the Nazi's created in Warsaw to segregate Jews from Poles.

One of Poland's greatest pianists Wladyslaw Szpilman played by Ian Brady, falls from being one of the first in his land in reputation into the mud, dust, torture and life and death struggle that he experiences first hand from the Nazi's.Shut up in the Ghetto with his family, father (Frank Finlay) and mother (Maureen Lipman) and brothers and sisters, he endeavours to find work to protect his loved ones from the slow starvation that the Nazi's intentionally inflict on the ghetto inmates. Dwelling in a crowded and broken down house in an area whose streets are filled with the corpses of those who have not succeeded in finding food, Szpilman's family begin visibly to deteriorate and to give up hope. Hanging over their heads is the information that begins to seep through that the Nazi's are gradually shipping the inmates of the ghetto to death camps.

Brady is superb in this film and Polanski has produced a masterpiece.

The Painted Veil [DVD]
The Painted Veil [DVD]
Dvd ~ Naomi Watts
Price: £3.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good story well told, 7 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Painted Veil [DVD] (DVD)
This is a beautiful film although it concerns an outbreak of cholera in China in the 1920's. I shall not reveal how it is that a British doctor and his wife find themselves in the thick of this epidemic but suffice it to say that the emotional problems they arrive with are soon swept away by the immediacy of the situation that they find themselves in.

Against the backdrop of stunning and well shot scenery with a fine musical score, this drama plays out in the same low key as is typical of Somerset Maugham's writing with intimate and detailed scenes flowing seamlessly into the external and more general action.

Well interpreted by an excellent cast, notably Edward Norton as the doctor and the beautiful Naomi Watts as his spoilt wife, this is a film that continues to fascinate even on subsequent viewings.


Enemy at the Gates [2001] [DVD]
Enemy at the Gates [2001] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jude Law
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.21

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars snipers in cold blood, 6 Dec. 2009
Essentially this is a film about two top snipers each on opposing sides, Russia and Nazi Germany.This action packed film is based on a true story of a young Russian soldier, Vassily Zaitsev, played by Jude Law, who is thrown into the struggles at Stalingrad like so much canon fodder, without a rifle and with instructions to pick up his partners rifle if and when he gets shot and drops it.

During the massacre of Russian soldiers that follows, Vassily has occasion to prove his crack sniper skills by picking off several German officers in quick and staggeringly accurate succession and saving the life of one of the Russian propaganda officials(Joseph Fiennes). This official sees the opportunity to propel the young Russian into the maelstrom of the Russian propaganda machine whose manipulators are being mercilessly prodded on by their new officer in command Nikita Krushchev (Bob Hoskins) to find something to revive the morale of the troops. Vassily is seen as the perfect hero figure to inspire Russia and its flagging armies into finding the renewed inspiration to fight for their fatherland to the last.

The Nazi's answer to this crack shot Russian sniper who has become a national hero overnight and who daily succeeds in picking off German officers is one of Germany's leading snipers (Ed Harris)who is shipped in to rid the Germans of the Russian thorn in their side.What follows is a cold blooded game of cat and mouse which keeps us on the edge of our seats to the very bitter end.The back drop to this life and death game are the final battles for Stalingrad in all their horror and bleakness. The sets are stunning and overpoweringly depressing, and we are immersed into the degradation of these all important battles which were the most vital in the second world war.

Romance, indeed a love triangle, involving a young woman linguist who has become a Russian soldier (Rachel Weisz), can even bloom in such settings as these and becomes a thread that feeds through the plot right up to and beyond the final stand off.

The film is well cast and masterfully shot and the action is rivetting and although one always hesitates to call any war film entertainment especially one as violently graphic as this one, gripping in the extreme is the sense of open vulnerablity a sniper feels when he knows that he has been spotted by his adversory. We become witnesses to a fascinating duel between two people who are prepared to sit long hours absolutely still and to bear extreme cold and to play a seemingly endless waiting game. This almost enters into similar implications as are to be found in Japanese or Chinese martial arts, when the target and the targetter become one!

The Life And Death Of Krishnamurti
The Life And Death Of Krishnamurti
by Mary Lutyens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary story that defies explanation, 5 Dec. 2009
Mary Lutyens who knew J. Krishnamurti for most of his life gives an in depth profile of this enigmatic man. His discovery in India c 1909 by the British Theosophical society who fought through the courts to keep him in their care because they believed he was the new Messiah, the new world leader, the reincarnation of the boddhisatva Maitreya, led to a life that became one of the most remarkable stories in human history.

The reader who is unacquainted with Krishnamurti's wonderful teaching should not let the rather far fetched beginnings that his life was subjected to affect them too negatively because Lutyens gives us a full and necessary account of what led up to Krishnamurti's break with the Theosophical society when he came of age.

What followed were free but difficult fruitful years of his world reknowned teachings that did not profess any religion but which opened up the prospect of an enlightened society through each individuals effort to find the meditation that can cleanse the brain of its conditioning.

HIs life brought him into contact with many influential people including the present Dalai Lama, the physicist David Bohm, and the writer Aldous Huxley to name but a few.

This was a man who was outspoken against gurus, religious dogma and ritual and who categorically did not wish to be made into any kind of icon or leader. In his quiet and wise way he was able to bring an influence to bear that brought about the funding of several schools worldwide that base their educational tenets on his teaching without himself ever having personal wealth.

One cannot read this book without finding some seriously open questions as to just what was the power that spoke so eloquently through this man who when he was discovered as a boy had a vacant and unintelligent expression and was a duffer at school.And yet as a man he was surrounded with an intense spiritual presence of great power that many rational and respected people were able to confirm.

The legacy of his teaching and the many books that he wrote is the real wealth that he surrounded himself with and they are still just as relevant today 25 years on from his death.

Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Love Actually [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Alan Rickman
Price: £2.93

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love, love, love, this film actually!!!, 5 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Love Actually [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This film is worth watching just for Hugh Grant's sexy dance as Prime Minister,but if you want an all round happy film for Christmas this is it with English humour at its best.Full of super stars and real life stories that usually cheesily end up with happy endings. The list of good looking and glossy stars is long.Treat yourself to a bit of fun for Christmas!

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