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Brian Sewell's Grand Tour [DVD]
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In this acclaimed 10 part series, Brian Sewell follows in the footsteps of young 18th century English artistocrats whose education was incomplete without a Grand Tour of Italy. His epic journey takes him by various means to Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples, Pompeii, Turin, Milan, Cremona, Siena, Bologna, Vicenza, Paestum, Urbino and Tivoli, via Michelangelo, Raphael, Vesuvius and much else besides.
'Sewell is in danger of becoming a national treasure. It is his unpredictability that makes him such an arresting presenter.' --The Times
'Splendidly eccentric and thoroughly endearing.' --Daily Mail
'Sewell, once again, has managed to be totally unlike anybody else on television.' --The Daily Telegraph
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Top customer reviews
He, in the last programme of his Grand Tour, refuses to participate in the frivolities of a recreated 'masked ball'. This is no aristocratic romp but a party open to the masses, the only requirement needed to go through the doors being the right number of Euros. He longs for the real thing - he imagines aristocrats flirting, perhaps guffaws of drunken laughter, the fondling of breasts, the rubbing of knees under the table. But none of this is to be found - just fakes, people dressing up in costumes and not knowing how to behave.
Then we find him in a Venetian cafe, tearfully recounting his thoughts about the present, his past and their past, as he elegantly sips on his 'Italian style' hot chocolate. In another scene he is at the dinner table in a restaurant, so bored with Italian food that he finds it hard to find something on the menu that he fanices, that isn't 'that round thing' (pizza). He orders the salad of pork fat, and expresses concerns about what it might do to his already strained arteries. He sips the red wine and then pulls a funny face of vague disgust. He is indeed an interesting character, and is of course, in Italy, right on his home turf. A lifetime spent studying the great Italian Masters lends a very considerable intellectual weight to the series. He describes things calmly and with great expertise - Correggio (unjustly neglected today), Michelangelo, Raphael and the rest of the gang. Sewell is someone we don't find on television 'anymore' - he is both too intellectual, too stuck-up and yet too lubricious, too much fun for our safe, santitized modern world. And yet, here he is.
The DVD menus have awful music.
As he says, why dumb things down. If you treat them as equals, they will equal you. So go on, equal him.
Added to the marvellous recollections, interpreted with impish vigour by Brian, are his own observations on the body beautiful, and how Italian art's seemingly pious veneer conceals a perennial obsession with the flesh. Italian history has never seemed such fun.
This is a 2 CD set, much longer than The Naked Pilgrim which means more classic Sewell rumination and even more shots of his wonderful white umbrella.
Go on, treat yourself!
One may agree,or disagree,with his opinions,but,his depth of knowledge,in combination with his impish sense of humour,makes travelling with him around Italy fun,and very informative.
For anyone with a multiregion DVD player,although it is much more expensive,I can recommend the USA version of this series.
The series is spread over 4 discs,and,therefore the picture quality is excellent,and does justice to the subject matter.
Additionally,the american version has subtitles.
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is an entertaining and knowledgeable guide, following in the footsteps of...Read more
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