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The Jonathan Meades Collection [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jonathan Meades
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sept. 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001110H14
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,759 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

This three disc collection includes thirteen 10 shows drawn from those Meades has written and performed in since 1990. They belong to no genre but their own. They are staged essays, rehearsed artifices. They are biased and indifferent to 'balance'. By television’s standards they are visually elaborate and verbally complex. But they’re also comic entertainments, both witty and knockabout - they do not confuse seriousness with solemnity.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Not sure about the overall package - selected highlights so by no means complete - but Meades is (nearly always) compelling and always very droll. As a town planner his take on the built environment is refreshing, often finding interesting things to say about the overlooked places. On top of this, Meades and the production crew often found playful and engaging ways to mess with the medium of tv and documentary film making. I laughed out loud at a ludicrous sequence in Magnetic North where they used kids dressed up as knights to depict an historical event involving the crusades which had the ironic caption 'Reconstruction' included so that we wouldn't mistake it for original footage.
The interview with Mark Lawson is included but as other reviewers have mentioned doesn't add to the package. Lawson spends most of his time reading through his prepared questions.
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Eclectic and eccentric. Indescribable. Jonathan Meades does not patronise; he assumes intelligence, wit and perception from his audience. Even if you do not share his views on every subject he beguiles and persuades. You don't have to be serious to make a serious point and in a 30 minute film like "the future", included in this collection, Meades entertains, challenges and educates. If you have come across his work before you will either love it or just not get it. If you have not seen anything by him before, take a chance. The worst that can happen is that you'll learn something: which does not happen very often watching TV in the 21st century. Finally, it is worth stating that it is the kind of work produced by Meades that makes the BBC great. No other broadcaster would commission this stuff. Get it while you still can.
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By Mr. Dc Fowler VINE VOICE on 6 Jun. 2008
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Whether you agree or not with Jonathan Meades his ideas are nearly always perceptive, stimulating and sometimes downright mischievously provocative. He relishes the use of language and uses it as a scalpel to dissect and expose. His approach - thank gods - is diametrically opposite to the majority of presenters and makers of Polyfilla television, and I apologise to the makers of Polyfilla, a fine product I might add, for the simile used here. We have brains but it would seem that the nation generally has tired of using them. Please make this and other Jonathan Meades DVDs available. We desperately need this sort of quality if our evolution from human to gibbon is to be avoided.
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By John Ferngrove TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Oct. 2009
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... be released in full. This tantalising subset of his output that the BBC has deigned to release is scarcely adequate as an aperitif. For those yet to encounter him Meades is an architectural populariser, morbid wit, trenchant humanist, but above all the most penetratingly insightful of social commentators in present day broadcasting. Meades and his team are the most innovative, which is to say downright eccentric, purveyors of that rarest of cultural commodities, intelligent telly. Yes, there are some fine episodes in this package, the roots-affirming Bohemia, the sublime Belgium, the somewhat provocative Get High, and two completely revelatory pieces of Magnetic North. But where is Jerry Building? And Joe Building? Not to mention the supremely surreal Surrealism? We live today in a culture whose defining characteristic is its capacity for the billion-fold replication of the banal. Yet, when something is finally made worth seeing or hearing more than once, why should that thing get its single, erratically scheduled, squirt into the Aether, only then to be buried in the deepest archives where no light shall ever penetrate? Is it because the commissars of culture are wary of fomenting the expectations of the brain-owning public to such dangerous levels that it should come to presume this kind of quality for the norm? Come on Beeb, this just isn't good enough. For those who enjoy Meades at all, there can be no such thing as a `best of' for something there can never be enough of. You cannot release a portion of the whole without incurring real disappointment for what has been omitted.
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Meades often comes under criticism for being too high-brow or perhaps snobby. His programmes are born out of a great love for our cultural heritage and that definitely comes across in one of the DVD features, "Severn Heaven", a defense of self-built working class homes near Birmingham. He finds the beauty in the uncoventional and the ugliness in the established "high culture".

I can't help but feel that most televison is the cullinary equivalant of fast-food, and there is nothing wrong with that, in moderation. But the programmes made by Meades are simply some of the best ever made for the BBC. In culinary terms he is 3-star michellin restaurant and that has got to be a wonderful change to our usual TV dinner.

Please BBC, release onto DVD more of Meades's films and commission some new series??!!!
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Jonathan Meade is capable of keeping you spellbound during the whole show. No time to go get coffee, if you miss a sentence, you have to start all over again. He delivers his point with a florish, looks at all the angles and leaves you dazzled.
A pity that the box is a collection, I want to see all the episodes
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Why does the BBC torture its 'shareholders' in this way? What Mr Meades devotees want is ALL of his programmes, not just a few programmes that remind us of how great the BBC used to be. Perhaps I'm weird but I find that listening to Jonathan Meades (the pictures are a bonus) is like having a brain massage; his use of the English language is delicious and reminds me that I am actually an intelligent human being (although there are some that may dispute this).
That the BBC claim 'copyright' as a reason as to why they can't release more of these programmes is troublesome. I'm fairly sure that the programmes were BBC copyright when broadcast. Which idiot sold the copyright, to whom and why? Buy it back and release the programmes - some of us would pay a good deal to have the full collection.
Could anyone imagine the BBC commissioning these programmes in 2015? Sadly, nor can I. Back to Radio 4 then. Hey ho.
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