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The Roy Andersson Collection BR [Blu-ray]
The Roy Andersson Collection BR [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Holger Andersson
Price: £33.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steady Frames, 24 Jun. 2016
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Love all four pieces; lots to consider and plenty to mull. Looks and feels great end-to-end. Thanks, Roy.


Peter & the Wolf (Rock version)
Peter & the Wolf (Rock version)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this but don't think it's the best put together ..., 24 Jun. 2016
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Really enjoyed this but don't think it's the best put together homage out there. The Mann band plays well, and Viv's voice is entertaining as always, but the overall balance seemed a tad wrong, and the fade outs gave it the appearance of not having been holistically designed. Happy to admit, though, that I might be placing today's standards on yesterday's work.


The Disco Years
The Disco Years
Offered by mivendo UG
Price: £17.46

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rose sung by a thorn, 21 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: The Disco Years (Audio CD)
Not so keen on the format of the albums; medley, individual tracks and instrumentals all on the same disc. Makes it less convenient to listen to in the car, for example, as you seem to go around the same tracks too soon. Still, the quality of what's there is great; her singing, the conformist disco, sound quality etc. really good.


In Search Of The Dark Ages [DVD]
In Search Of The Dark Ages [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Wood
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £16.70

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not dark and brooding as you'd expect from a modern piece., 21 Sept. 2015
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Really enjoyed this. Old style which I prefer from the glamour over content approach of today. Thought the tricky subject was tackled nicely.


Mozart: The Marriage Of Figaro [3CD Box Set]
Mozart: The Marriage Of Figaro [3CD Box Set]
Offered by recyclabubble
Price: £5.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic opera, 21 Sept. 2015
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Very much enjoyed this version (though the free download isn't the same, and doesn't seem to be complete).


Painting from Life in Acrylics - Mitch Waite (2 x DVDs)
Painting from Life in Acrylics - Mitch Waite (2 x DVDs)
Offered by The Watercolour Artist
Price: £28.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Colour an issue?, 18 Sept. 2015
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Not bad reference material, and helps inspire. First disc overviews colour, tone, form etc, which is good for back-to-basics painting, and the second disc walks those practices through for more considered works. Couple of issues with the set, though; 1) some nuances in colour etc didn't quite display well on my set (don't think it's my setup as I've defaulted to clean, and have only ever see an overexposure of blue in other films), and 2) Mitch tells us he's going to be more adventurous with colour in one example, but I didn't feel it was adventurous enough. Still, a nice guy, useful refresher, and always good to see over the shoulders of painters in their element.


Oil Sketches - Peter Brown
Oil Sketches - Peter Brown
Offered by The Watercolour Artist
Price: £27.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Discernible skill, 18 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: Oil Sketches - Peter Brown (DVD)
Not a huge amount of tuition, but great to see his approach; you can ascertain his thinking through watching him work. Nice guy, too, which helps.


The Secret History of the World
The Secret History of the World
by Jonathan Black
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If it's little understood or believed, it must be true., 11 Sept. 2015
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The book pulls together many historic writings and modern perspectives, looking predominantly at western esoteric traditions, and attempts to consolidate them into a single theory. Many people looking for the big answers outside standard religion and philosophy have had similar views to the author, and what Black writes is nothing new; just a modern, semi-science-conscious slant.

The standpoint suggested is that the universe is conscious-based, and that matter is a recent development. As we’ve evolved (or indeed devolved) deeper into that universe of matter, we’re told we’ve lost our connection to the spiritual. Over that time, however, there have been particular groups and individuals who have discovered, or been initiated into, ‘the truth’. The book seeks to persuade readers that these stories provide holistic proof of its conclusions.

It is generally presented as a chronology, with particular elements of our history conveniently missing where they do not fit the mould. Things seem hopelessly out of place too; alchemy is referred to throughout the book, but only explained toward the end. Perhaps this is just a symptom of the nature and complexity of the subject, or could it be sloppy, confused writing? It covers some good ground with respect to international religions and philosophies, but usually only in brief. There are lots of examples, and it’s a fairly extensive read, but there are many elements either missing or desperately lacking in detail. This makes the book useful as reference only, and much less convincing.

For example, Black states, pretty much out of the blue, that the, “Lohan, like the Mona Lisa, was created so that if you commune with it, it will speak to you.” There are two ways of looking at this; that most great art has the ability to communicate with its audience (which is true, but how is that esoteric?), or that it is designed to magically interact with man, personally (in which case, where’s the rationale, sentiment, justification, proof etc.?).

Similarly, we’re advised that Raphael’s “great masterpieces depicting the Madonna and Child, with their strange and uniquely compelling quality, were in effect painted from memory.” I understand that this is the belief of esoteric tradition, but I need more info than that. Why would one think so, and on what basis is the tradition established? Just because the artist focussed on particular biblical stories? Well, perhaps Andy Warhol only ate Campbell’s?

With that in mind, one can see this book as just a roll-call of famous names, each listed to establish tentative linkages and supposed proofs. Where scientists and intellectuals have investigated alternative philosophies, we’re told they’re all from the same underground pot. There seems to be no room for diversity of thought.

I suggest that one should not believe something just because it is written, others have believed, or because the old theologies still pertain to basic truths. Faith, belief and opinion only seem to have divided and troubled man through history, despite ‘the answer’ remaining unknowable. I am therefore fundamentally rationalist, treating theology as concept, and question everything; science, religion, the soul, spiritual matters, existence and the like.

I have, however, tried to rate this book by its general presentation rather than from any theological position that might compromise my understanding and appreciation. It’s been very difficult, purely because of the nature of the material. The two stars are just because it gave me a good giggle every now and again. The trouble with this subject is that you’re likely to upset those who are invested in their beliefs, and especially with this work, as the author makes it very clear what he does and does not believe. Esotericism is, for many people, metaphorical, and promotes free thought, but this book contains as much doctrine and opinion as most other religions. This I found disappointing, as I would have preferred the author to have informed, unbiased. What we’ve got, though, is a book that tries to persuade. And if that was the intention, it fails, as the arguments are loose and ineffectual.


Vulnicura
Vulnicura
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect mix, 14 April 2015
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This review is from: Vulnicura (Audio CD)
This, I would suggest, is Bjork's best work to date. A sombre Vespertine. End to end it's perfectly crafted, and not so morose that you'll never want to go back to it. Proper arty in places, and I'm a sucker for the way it morphs and changes. If Bjork's single now (presume that's its point) I'm up for it.


The Tour Of Doctor Syntax In Search Of The Picturesque, A Poem [by W. Combe, Illustr. By T. Rowlandson].
The Tour Of Doctor Syntax In Search Of The Picturesque, A Poem [by W. Combe, Illustr. By T. Rowlandson].
by William Combe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice reproduction, 14 April 2015
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Didn't realise the work was so wordy, being an art fan over poetry, but what's there is great.


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