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A. D. K. Miller "c500" (London)

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A Hole In My Heart [DVD][2004]
A Hole In My Heart [DVD][2004]
Dvd ~ Thorsten Flinck
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.49

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one to watch with your parents!, 18 Nov. 2008
By the time Moodysson made this movie in 2004 he had already achieved a huge degree of commercial success with "Together" (5*) and "Lilya 4-Ever" (5*). One of the privileges of "making it" is that it allowed him the freedom to do whatever he wanted afterwards. Any project he chose to do next would receive not only all the funding it needed but also a wide audience of people who had enjoyed any of his earlier masterpieces. Fans of his earlier films, including even the brutally hard-hitting Lilya 4-Ever were in for a real shock!

The entire cast consists of four characters and the story (if you can call it that) takes place almost entirely within the confines of a small flat that they share in a Stockholm suburb. Richard and his son Eric do not get on, and the latter spends all his time in his room listening to thrash metal on his headphones with the blinds closed, while his dad and his friend make porn videos starring themselves and a pretty young woman who believes that this kind of work will one day lead to better things.

The haphazard editing which includes some extremely unpleasant random close-ups of human bodies under surgical operation and several interludes of random gore (for no reason that is related to the main story) creates an unsettling feeling of carnage and chaos throughout . As the film goes on the movies the characters make get more and more extreme and it soon becomes clear that Richard has no intention of sending them off to anyone or even watching them. He is just doing it for kicks. Meanwhile, the only character we sympathize with, Eric, continues to stew in his room hating what is going on outside.

None of the characters appear to have a life outside this sordid little flat. Both men appear to have serious issues about their childhoods and their parents but there is not sufficient character development to say with any certainty what we are supposed to think about that. In a way, that is precisely the point. The movie does not tell you what to think, does not give you anything in the way of a serious story to keep you interested, and does not conform to any conventions of structure or style.

There is no question that most (not merely some) viewers will find A Hole In My Heart offensive. Some scenes are gruesome, and few are entertaining. But somehow it keeps your attention all the way through and it is utterly convincing, even when it is banal and nonsensical. Completely devoid of any answers, it is not even clear what the questions are. At one point, Moodysson appears to be asking whether there is any ethical difference between hardcore porn and a movie about hardcore porn. Later he seems to be questioning whether a history as a victim of abuse inevitably leads to abusive tendencies. It is impossible to know what questions - if any - he is trying to raise. Does he deliberately sidestep the violent climax we are dreading throughout the film? And if so is he trying to make us feel guilty for being disappointed? Who knows...

Maybe he just wants to show viewers lives that they would never ordinarily witness (hopefully) and thereby make viewers feel something they would never usually feel.

Usually I hate it when artists or works of art are described as "important" but in this case it is totally appropriate. If it weren't for Moodysson and others like him who push the boundaries of acceptability and challenge our pre-conceptions of what is considered to be art, then art would cease to evolve. A Hole In My Heart is not his best film, but comparison with his other works - or indeed, any other movie - is futile. I am pretty sure that he does not care whether anyone enjoys watching his characters meander listlessly through their debauchery.

Give a man like Lukas Moodysson free rein (reign?) and this is what you get. It is a movie that only he could possibly have made; a weird, almost indecipherable assault on the senses the like of which you have definitely never seen before.

No Title Available

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great watch spoilt by cost-cutting manufacturing, 5 Nov. 2008
Wave ceptor technology is truly amazing and this watch is solar powered too, which means not only do you never need to reset the watch, you don't need to change the battery either - ever. Unfortunately I agree with the other reviewers 100%. Why are the adjoining panels between the watch and the strap made of plastic? It would only have cost a few pence more to make them of stainless steel and it would have made the watch a lot more desirable. It almost spoils a great product. Great technology, cheapened by cost-cutting manufacturing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2011 6:30 AM GMT

Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD]
Herzog / Kinski Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Klaus Kinski

10 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dubbed and therefore pointless, 20 Oct. 2008
How can you go to all the trouble of dragging a boat over a mountain, and yet decide that recording the actors voices properly is too much bother. All these films are let down severely by the fact that the voices are dubbed, and badly. I don't mind subtitles, but I want to hear the actors. That should not be too much to ask in this day and age (or indeed in the day and age of these movies). People rave about Kinski's performances, but in my view they are not experiencing the whole thing under these circumstances. Another bad thing is that Aguirre is in 4:3 instead of widescreen for some reason. I was expecting hours of thought-provoking entertainment. Instead I was bored and irritated.

Am I the only person in the world who thinks this is all overrated rubbish?
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2009 12:08 AM BST

Book of Longing
Book of Longing
by Leonard Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait Of The Artist As A Wise Man, 25 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Book of Longing (Paperback)
As fans of his music will testify, Leonard Cohen has a unique gift for translating emotion into words with art and sincerity. This book consists of various poems, passages and doodles that bear all the hallmarks of classic Cohen. Anyone who has ever struggled in life with crushing disappointment may recognize Cohen's perfect verbal distillation of their pain. Others will just enjoy the humour, wisdom and frankness. Many people are put off from reading poetry because of the unintelligible abstraction that characterizes so much of the medium. This well-presented volume is the perfect antidote. The pieces vary in subject and scope, but women and growing old are recurring themes. The prevailing impression is that Leonard Cohen is very modest - especially considering the fame and adulation he has enjoyed and endured since the sixties - and that he tries to do, and be, his best. The word is "mensch".

Science Museum Strength Ball
Science Museum Strength Ball

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, but ultimately ripped off from superior Power Ball, 24 April 2008
I had no idea what a Strength Ball was until someone gave it to me as a present and as soon as I started playing with it I was hooked. To put it simply it is a ball within a ball. The whole thing is about the size of a tennis ball. You start the interior ball rolling with a piece of string and thereafter the aim is to keep it rolling by holding the Strength Ball and moving your wrist around. Sound boring? Then give it a go and see what you think. I think you'll find it strangely addictive. Not everyone picks it up as easily as me but then I am a natural at most things ;-) I really wish I could end the review there, but unfortunately the digital display broke after one day of ownership which is obviously not good enough. So I agree with the other reviewers. It's a superb toy, good exercise and very addictive BUT it is very poorly made. Go for the superior Power Ball instead.

Les Onze Mille Verges or, the Amorous Adventures of Prince Mony Vibescu (Peter Owen Modern Classic)
Les Onze Mille Verges or, the Amorous Adventures of Prince Mony Vibescu (Peter Owen Modern Classic)
by Guillaume Apollinaire
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously filthy and unforgettable, 5 April 2008
Lez Onze Milles Verges chronicles the sexual adventures of the Romanian pseudo-Prince Mony Vibescu, without doubt one of the most hedonistic and sadistic "heroes" in literary history. It is one long f_kfest from which the reader emerges quite confused emotionally. In parts the book is absolutely hilarious - one part made me laugh harder than I ever have reading a book - and others are extremely disturbing. If you can get past the shock factor of some parts - the author appears to be attempting to make each chapter more outrageous than the last - then you will be rewarded with some great laughs and a lingering historical sub-plot which comes into focus right at the end and raises the question of exactly what Apollinaire is really up to here. Not for everyone, but if you cannot enjoy this then in my opinion you take sex - and life - far, far too seriously. Brilliant!

Southern Nights ("Rebel Inc")
Southern Nights ("Rebel Inc")
by Barry Gifford
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't believe how good it was, 27 Mar. 2008
Barry Gifford is the David Lynch of modern literature - always insightful, never less than compelling, frequently weird, and always just on the fringe of the kind of exposure he deserves. Southern Nights is a collection of three great novels about the American South and the various good, bad and crazy people that live there. Gifford does not preach - he does not weave into the text any of his own political ideals - he just tells stories many of which have no resolution or message. The three books combine to introduce us to what seems like hundreds of wildly varying characters. No sooner have we witnessed a snapshot of one life than we are whisked away to another. Not all the characters in the third novel, Baby Cat Face, are as gripping as those we meet in the first two books but it is hard to fault it just because of the sublime standard of the first two books. The reason I read books is because occasionally you get that "I cannot believe how good this is" feeling. It's even better when the book is something you discovered by chance and is not that well known. The first two books in this collection have plenty of moments like that.

Selected Poetry (Poetry Library)
Selected Poetry (Poetry Library)
by William Blake
Edition: Paperback

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Snore, 5 Feb. 2008
Even on the odd occasion when the reader understands Blake's obscure religious references, and even if one recognizes the Classical references ("The shadowy daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc"????), one is still confronted with the blatant truth that his poetry is hopelessly outdated and dull. Far from extending our sense of the everyday world, Blake invites us into a murky, nigh-on indecipherable madman's dreamland and rewards us for our attempts to make sense of his rants with nothing more than confusion and frustration. English teachers the length and breadth of the country will continue to extol the supreme virtue of this "genius". But if you are looking for an enjoyable or enlightening read then stay well away. And if you are not, then what are you reading for?

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