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Profile for Mr. Simon W. Davies > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. Simon W. Davies "swgdavies" (Southampton, UK)

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Tribe : Complete BBC Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [2005]
Tribe : Complete BBC Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Bruce Parry
Price: £10.00

55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The third series was the best, 7 Dec. 2007
There seem to be many Bruce Parry fans out there, and I'm sure they'll all hate this review. However, writing as someone that teaches archaeology and anthropology at a UK university, I have to take issue with some of the claims being made for this series. It is primarily about Bruce Parry himself, and his responses to the situations in which he finds himself, rather than a serious anthropological series. This self-absorption was thankfully reduced in the third and final series, when we got to learn a little more about the people he was with. There is of course a serious limit to what can be experienced in a month living with a group: you only get a small snapshot of daily life.

I do object to Parry's constant assumptions that the groups he's visiting are "relics" from a bygone age, and have only now had to change in response to contact from the modern industrial world. That is not true; people have always changed, You cannot stop people wanting new things -- as long as it's on their own terms -- simply to keep them "pure", and thus living up to romantic ideals of how they should live. Many of his statements about how long-lived these cultures are, and until recently how unchanged, are actually not supported by evidence.

In short, while I applaud Bruce Parry's attempts to bring some of these groups' plight to wider attention, these films should not be taken as serious anthropological records. They are beautifully-filmed and well-made "Anthropology-lite", offering all-too-brief glimpses into the everyday life of far-flung peoples.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2013 8:56 PM BST

No Title Available

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't see why there should be outstanding copyright issues, 8 Jun. 2007
Dear John was released on VHS a few years ago, with minor edits "for copyright reasons". Why has Cinema Club now discovered "outstanding copyright issues" that would delay its release? Perhaps they hadn't actually got permission to release it. An excellent series, long-overdue for DVD release.

Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD]
Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Troughton
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £6.65

8 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Troughton stories, 4 July 2005
Considering that most of the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who is now lost, the BBC are somewhat stuck for choice when it comes to DVD releases. The Mind Robber is generally above the mediocre level of the Troughton era, but not by much. The story is confused and, ultimately, boring. One or two ideas in the whole story are good and interesting, but they are overused, and become dull long before the end.
The performance of the actor playing the Master (not the character introduced in the later Pertwee era) is, to put it politely, bizarre; it is certainly very hammy and misjudged. In short, only buy this story if you are curious about Doctor Who in the late 1960s; everyone else will find it rather thin gruel. The story is 100 minutes long, but it lasts more like a century. With badly acted/written/directed drivel like The Tomb of the Cybermen already released, along with the rather dull Seeds of Death, we can no doubt look forward to the future release of utter tat like The Dominators (not as interesting as it sounds...) and The Krotons. The War Games, in my humble opinion, is the only Troughton story worth waiting for to be released on DVD.

Shadowlands [DVD][1985]
Shadowlands [DVD][1985]
Dvd ~ Joss Ackland

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the later film, 31 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Shadowlands [DVD][1985] (DVD)
Much has been made of Nigel Hawthorne's disappointment at being passed over for the role of C.S. Lewis in favour of Anthony Hopkins, having already played it on the stage. However, the actor who has a real right to feel disgruntled is Joss Ackland, who turns in a superb performance in this little film, with strong support from Claire Bloom. Everything about this film is excellent. It was made by the BBC for its "Everyman" strand (a series which tends to discuss religion rather than dramatise its dilemmas) in 1986, and proved so popular that the play was then transferred to the stage, and thence to the big screen. If you can get hold of a copy, then I advise you to seize the chance to enjoy the original (and best) rendition of this story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 12, 2011 9:29 AM GMT

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