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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of man's battle with the Sea.
"Man Of Aran" has been described as a masterpiece of man's battle with the sea, which is a pretty accurate description for once. Robert Flaherty was the the great pioneer of the documentary drama. His "Nanook of the North" made way back in 1922 was a landmark documentary film about eskimo life. It surprised and enthralled audiences of the time and is still watched even...
Published on 3 May 2010 by Bob Salter

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The importance of extra features
I have very fond memories of the first time I watched this film.
I watched it again but now I also watched a documentary about the film and
feel really disappointed in Robert Flaherty.

The main thing to know about this film is that it is not a documentary. It is poetry.
It is definitely worth watching it but, after the film, do watch the one...
Published 21 months ago by lucas


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of man's battle with the Sea., 3 May 2010
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: MAN OF ARAN (DVD)
"Man Of Aran" has been described as a masterpiece of man's battle with the sea, which is a pretty accurate description for once. Robert Flaherty was the the great pioneer of the documentary drama. His "Nanook of the North" made way back in 1922 was a landmark documentary film about eskimo life. It surprised and enthralled audiences of the time and is still watched even today. "Man of Aran" raises the bar even higher. Excellent recent films like "Ten Canoes"(2007) and "Tulpan"(2008) owe a huge debt of gratitude to Flaherty that should not be forgotten.

Set on the desolate and windswept islands of Aran off the West coast of Ireland, we follow the day to day battle for existence against the elements by the islanders. Their's was a hard life dictated by the seasons and the prevailing weather conditions. The sea which was their best friend could also be their worst enemy. But despite the harsh conditions the film also shows the breathtaking beauty of the islands, where quick changes in weather and light can transform landscapes in an instant to Elysium fields. Flaherty follows the life of a family struggling to make a living on the edge of the world. The film has been criticised for using different people, rather than one family as depicted in the film, purely on the basis of looks. The hunting of the basking shark that was depicted as part of island life had actually stopped many years before. But surely this artistic licence can be granted to Flaherty? Even David Attenborough is not above such tricks! Such is the power of the film that it gave me a lifelong love of the West coast of the emerald island, perhaps the most beautiful place I have ever visited. Flaherty's wonderful film captures the time period before everything changed. The islands are now a tourist destination, with the residents living much more comfortable lives. But where are the storytellers over the peat hearth? They are just a memory now!

If you are interested in films or books with a Gaelic theme, that depict a way of life now gone, I can heartily recommend the following items.

1) Michael Powell's wonderfully BFI restored film "Edge of the World"(38), an insightful film based on the real life evacuation of St Kilda off the West Scottish coast.

2) Maurice O'Sullivan's magical little book "Twenty Years a Growin", based on his life on the Blasket Islands also off the West coast of Ireland. A beautiful place that I have had the privilege of visiting. Now of course long since abandoned.

3) J M Synge's superb account of island life "The Aran Islands". First written in 1907, Synge accurately depicts the life of the islanders amongst whom he lived, in what is a very human and moving account, but also of great value to the scholarly ethnographer. A unique work.

4) ***IMPORTANT*** Although the restored region 1 DVD is excellent, it is worth checking out the 2009 album "Man of Aran" by British Sea Power. They have provided a track for the film rich with penny whistles, glockenspiels, sedate pianos and also a lovely folk duet. The music compliments the film perfectly. Most importantly the album also contains the double bonus of the film DVD. If you wish to purchase the film DVD, then at the time of this review this is may be the most economic way of doing it. Don't take my word for it, you can see for yourself.

To the serious student of the cinema, and anyone with a heart for the old Gaelic way of life, then this is a must see film.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter another world, just 70 years away . . . ., 12 May 2001
Take the plunge and enter another world. Sparse scenery,sparser dialogue, this truly atmospheric film invites you to the Isle of Aran off the coast of Western Ireland and once there, you just don't want to leave. Beautifully paced, you will be absorbed into the islanders' lives and emerge cleansed of all the stresses you thought you had in the twenty first century. If any film will help you get your life in perspective, this is it. Just let it enthrall, charm and captivate you. Awesome.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The importance of extra features, 11 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
I have very fond memories of the first time I watched this film.
I watched it again but now I also watched a documentary about the film and
feel really disappointed in Robert Flaherty.

The main thing to know about this film is that it is not a documentary. It is poetry.
It is definitely worth watching it but, after the film, do watch the one hour documentary
"How the Mith was made" that is in the extra features. The documentary is absolutely essential.
The only problem is that the documentary lacks subtitles. Too bad because even native English speakers
will have difficulty to understand part of the interviews with people from the island of Aran.

There is also a short documentary, "Return of the Islander", that has the most beautiful sunset that I've seen on a film.
It also has the most beautiful image of seagulls. The extra features also has two short documentaries directed by Robert Flaherty.

I was thinking that maybe this film would deserve a better job than the one did by Park Circus.
Things like being on blu ray instead of dvd and also it would be nice to have a booklet. But,
seeing Robert Flaherty under a new light I think not. A DVD with no booklet is enough for this film.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Tough guys, 17 July 2011
By 
Mrs. L. J. Mitchell "LJM" (Gosport,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This film gave a lot of pleasure to a 90yr old Irish man living abroad.Good quality recording and enhancement of a great story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult, 29 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful effort to document the day-to-day life of yesteryear on the remote island of Aran
Recommended to us by an Irishman with an interest in history.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cinema milestone, 13 Oct 2013
By 
Catherine (Montefiascone, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
A really great film never ages. Were the Aran Islands to sink into the Atlantic, they would live forever in Flaherty's masterpiece.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not work in Ireland, 9 Oct 2010
The DVD does not run on European apparatus. I tried to contact the seller but was not successful. I did not understand that there was a difference between the US and European systems when I purchased the product. I accept my responsability in the matter. A question of buyer be aware. I accept the loss.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars review, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
This was bought as a present so I do not know if it was acceptable. It is not to my taste.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles, 29 July 2011
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Images are excellent, but, alas, not a single subtitle. I am a foreigner, and need english subs to understand fully. So, i have to rip the DVD to an avi file, download spanish subs, translate them into English... I would rather have subs than those useless extras.
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0 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE ! DO NOT BUY ! WASTE OF MONEY ! rubbish, Dubbed old black and white, uninteresting, 17 Sep 2012
By 
Emsii (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
BEWARE ! DO NOT BUY THIS ! YOU WILL WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A CHEAP QUALITY DUBBED OLD FILM ! I'D GIVE IT ZERO STAR IF I COULD ! ITS THE WORST DVD EVER ! found this utter rubbish. wish i hadnt paid almost 14 for this dvd. didnt realise, be aware= it is a film of 1920 in black and white and the voices are dubbed over in english. it is so terrible its an utter waste of money! very short. all you see are some people out in the sea, big waves, some woman carrying a basket, man banging rocks, woman spreading seaweed. it is an OLD film. at the end you can see the commentaries and even the commentaries were people in the 70s! YOU WANT A GOOD FILM? GET ROAN INISH! THAT ONE IS 5 STAR! sorry but this film is so so boring and is an old black and white 1920s film. the commentary did say the people couldnt speak english so they'd dubbed the words over. even the camera used was an ancient ancient old old camera of the 1920s. wish id known - id never have bought this dvd! IF I COULD I'D GIVE IT MINUS ZERO STAR !!! THIS DVD IS REALLY REALLY BAD ! VERY BADLY MADE & DUBBED ! wouldnt even pay 1 for it !!!
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Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD]
Man of Aran (Restored Edition) [DVD] by Robert J Flaherty (DVD - 2011)
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