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inch worm (Rome,Italy)

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The History Boys [DVD] [2006]
The History Boys [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Richard Griffiths
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.21

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quality film, 5 Dec 2009
This film adaptation of the Bennett play of the same name bears the hallmark of its original and creative director Nicholas Hytner.He has produced an entertaining film of great finesse and insight.

Set in a Yorkshire school that has produced a flush of successful A level history students who are candidates for Oxford we are immersed in the pubescent world of teenage boys and their sexual concerns.

The headmaster's preoccupation is how to take these urbane boys and change the bourgeois patterns of their education to date and broaden them into original thinkers or his idea of ideal Oxbridge material.

Central to the story is the colourful character of the General Studies master movingly played by Richard Griffiths, who portrays a humaine personality of great warmth and originality.

Within this rich tapestry of human inter-relationships, we are treated to a humorous insight into the world of teachers and school life which also subtly takes on the polemical debate of recent years regarding just what is history.

This is highlighted not only by the in class debates which the viewer is witness to but by the blatant quote from one of the pupils,'History is just one xxxxxxx thing after another.'

This is a film that is entertaining, humorous and well acted by all and at the same time is rich in subtle implications. Like all good works of art it does not always yield up all its secrets on first viewing.

Notes On A Scandal [DVD] [2007]
Notes On A Scandal [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Cate Blanchett
Price: £3.30

5.0 out of 5 stars acting at its finest, 5 Dec 2009
What a combo, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, and locked into a relationship that is dark and doomed to produce serious repercussions.

Judi Dench plays a battle axe teacher who has been in harness at a rough neck school for many years. She is beguiled by the fragile and delicate beauty of the new art teacher (Cate Blanchett) who is out of her depth in the rough environment.But dangerous amorous liaisons occur in unexpected places and emotional blackmail becomes the ingredient that creates a storyline that is violent and manipulative.

The story coldly opens up into a set of repercussions that destroy the life and career of the young art teacher.The climax sees virtuosic performances by both Blanchett and Dench both of whom give human and thoroughly credible performances which leave the viewer stunned and witness to a devastating experience.

The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006]
The Last King Of Scotland [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Forest Whitaker
Price: £2.70

5.0 out of 5 stars always threatening and a cliff hanger to the end., 4 Dec 2009
A young Scot's doctor gambles his life away to escape his overbearing father and finds himself closing his eyes over a world map to pick out with a pin a place where he can go to get as far away as possible. He picks Uganda and arrives to help in a small outlying hospital.Little does he know that he is walking into a terrifying hell that starts when he quite by chance encounters Idi Amin. On Amin's whim he is propelled into his government as medical advisor with responsibilties that involve the young doctor in back biting politics and intrigue and pretty soon he is out of his depth. He also discovers that the lovable pussy cat side of Amin's character can spin on a sixpence turning him into the tyrant that shocked the world.

How to escape becomes the doctors one preoccupation but it becomes a desperate life and death struggle.

With a storming performance by Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin, utterly convincing and terrifying, this film is a thriller that remains a cliffhanger right to the end.

Delia's Summer Collection: 140 Recipes for Summer
Delia's Summer Collection: 140 Recipes for Summer
by Delia Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how to brighten up your summer even if the sun doesn't shine, 4 Dec 2009
This is a fun cook book with lots of unusual and delicious ideas. Coconut and lime cake for example. Beautifully illustrated, Delia has done it again: created a temptation for every cook to get into that kitchen.

The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener
by John Le Carré
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Le Carre at his best, 4 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Constant Gardener (Paperback)
This is Le Carre at his very best and the book has also transferred into an excellent film.The Constant Gardener [DVD] [2005]The writing is particularly brilliant with marvellous character constructions and beautiful descriptions.

Entering into the crafty and slippery undercover world of British diplomacy in Africa, we encounter a cover up in the pharmaceutical world that leads to one minor British diplomat losing his pregnant wife. Determined to get to the bottom of his wife's death we follow this diplomat's dangerous sorties into the expose of these big and powerful pharmaceutical companies whom he discovers are tied up with the British government in a dangerous and undercover liaison.

Gripping from start to finish!

Redemption, From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee: From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee - The Extraordinary Life Story of Stanley Tookie Williams
Redemption, From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee: From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee - The Extraordinary Life Story of Stanley Tookie Williams
by Stanley Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one very good reason to abolish the death penalty., 4 Dec 2009
It may be argued that there are worse fates than death and one is hard pressed to imagine a worse fate than the waiting game that criminals in certain states in the USA have to undergo when they have the death penalty hanging over their heads. Some wait for years for a possible remission, only to be disappointed. The years that some have to wait can bring a change in a person that means that when the final penalty is carried out the law in effect has not executed the same person who originally committed the crimes.

The story of Stanley Tookie Williams is just such an example. Undergoing a self exploration while waiting years for his death penalty to be put into effect he educates himself and transforms his mental attitude and begins to do astonishing work in prison resulting in his nomination for the Nobel prize.None of this transformation results in a lessening of his sentence and is a poignant reminder that there seldom is any justice in taking the life of a criminal no matter how heinous the original crimes are. We all move on in time and in the case of certain criminals they either harden in their attitude or as in the case of Tookie they endeavour to make themselves reintegratable.

This book opens up so many debates about the difficult subject of crime and punishment and the futility of the outdated systems of punishment that still exist today in so-called modern and enlightened societies. It may be easy for most of us to be armchair activists, however Tookie Williams takes us into the real life atmosphere of the criminal prison and the pressures and difficulties that are constantly on an inmate to maintain a criminal attitude. Tookie fought against all odds and this is the record of those struggles which make inspiring reading but with little hope for the future of criminal detention centres and for the debate surrounding the death penalty. Let's hope that one day Tookie can make that all important difference!

Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Offered by marvelio-uk
Price: £29.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars collect it while you can, 4 Dec 2009
This is a tremendous recording and a stunning listening experience. The opening of the final act is Pavarotti at his most rivetting and Sheril Milnes gives the ensuing duet bite and agressive credibility.This also is a marvellous performance by Sutherland although not as fresh as she was at the beginning of her dazzling career, but the collaratura is amazing.Of course the performance given by Ghiarov is polished and delightful. Definitely one for the collection and an opportunity to hear the dying art of bel canto singing at its best.

R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie [An Alpine Symphony]
R Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie [An Alpine Symphony]
Price: £6.21

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true test of your sound system, 4 Dec 2009
This is a listening experience unique in the world of classical music and is a test of any sound system and its ability to pick up on tiny nuances as well as cope with the potentially colossal volume of a well honed orchestra, The Berlin Phil.

Describing an allegorical journey to the mountain peak Strauss takes us on a kind of Pilgrim's progress, through the colourful alpine meadows, past the sparkling streams to the foot of the formidable peak that appears through the clouds. Then the intrepid journey upwards and one of the most stunning musical descriptions of the calm before the storm, an approaching storm, the turbulence of a full scale blizzard and then finally the emergence from the clouds once more of the mighty peak.

Karajan still lives with us through this wonderful and unique interpretation and to date there has never been anything to touch it.You won't be disappointed in fact I feel sure that you will be absolutely thrilled. If you haven't got a particularly good sound system, be warned, this recording may just be the catalyst to send you rushing out to buy one.

Violin Concerto/Serenade melancolique [IMPORT]
Violin Concerto/Serenade melancolique [IMPORT]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great threesome, 3 Dec 2009
This is a flawless performance by Perlman under the baton of one of the world's greatest maestros, Eugene Ormandy with one of the world's greatest orchestras, The philadelphia. A perfect recipe for great listening as well as a definitive interpretation of the Violin concerto of Tchaikovsky. Perlman's great gift of perfect intonation and unpretentious delivery is the hallmark of this great virtuoso. Within the scope of his breathtaking technique he always lets the music speak for itself. This, combined with Ormandy's equally sensitive approach, makes for a high quality EMI recording that is a must for the collector. Brilliant and inspiring!Seems however that it is currently unavailable so I enclose the following link for a recording of the same but with the addition of the Mendelsohn Violin concerto conducted by Haitink with the Concertgebouw orchestra.The latter I have not heard and can make no comment.Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos

An Infinity of Little Hours: The Trial of Faith of Five Young Men in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order
An Infinity of Little Hours: The Trial of Faith of Five Young Men in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order
by Nancy Klein Maguire
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating insight into monastic life, 3 Dec 2009
Nancy Klein Maguire is to be highly praised for her admirable and thorough effort to bring the world of the Carthusian order into the public domain. She does so with the utmost sensitivity and consequently the reader feels privy to an extraordinarily vivid insight into this world that still roots back, despite the recent unprecedented changes, to the world of St.Benedict and the strict regimens that were his hallmark.Following the lives of a small group of hopeful potential novices she opens up their motives and their intentions in becoming comtemplatives. Some survive the rigours of the life and others fall at the first hurdle. We learn the struggles that are endemic in this way of life, spartan in the extreme, and some are even unhinged by the experiences.
This is an in depth study that leaves a sense of wonder that there are still people in this frenetic world that can take on the solitude and the potential privation of such a way of life.
Maguire writes in a fluent and accessible style and she has created a work that makes for fascinating reading and insights into Christian meditation that would seem to have been expressly kept for the purposes of monastic life and not for the layman.

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