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C. Chalk

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Of Freaks And Men [DVD] [1998]
Of Freaks And Men [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Sergey Makovetskiy
Offered by DaaVeeDee-uk
Price: £24.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars worth watching!, 19 Aug. 2008
I'm really glad I watched this film - its dark, Dostoyevskian, packed chockful with symbolism and layers of meaning - hence the very long review contained in the 'extra features' section (which is worth reading and cribbing from in case you are a media studies student!). The film seems to be about exploitation, travel, the history of cinema, industrialisation - but aside from all this cerebral stuff - its a sheer, unthinking, joy to watch and listen to. The sequence with the steam boat going down the river, belching smoke - the man in front with flowers -accompanied by that luscious Mussorgsky music is about the best thing I can ever remember seeing in cinema - I couldn't stop myself re-playing the scene over and over on my DVD player. Nice simple Russian too - a GCSE student could follow little chunks of it I think. I recommend renting it though - who pays 20 pounds for a DVD nowadays?

Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Simon Critchley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This introduction needs an introduction, 12 Sept. 2007
Nicely written - in an 'over a dinner conversational' style. This book however does seem to assume that you already know quite a bit about philosophy. The frequently re-emphasised theme seems to be about giving an answer to the question 'does wisdom have a place in a scientific world?' The conclusions of the Anglo American philosophy style tends towards a 'no' answer, but the 'continental' way towards a 'yes'. However, the author advises, there needs to be a path chosen to avoid the extremes of scientism and obsurantism. I wasn't expecting such a personal opinion type of book. To make sense of some of the book I had to make extensive use of Wikipedia to find out about all the people and ideas mentioned in the book - Habermas and Levinas etc - I would have preferred it if the book saved me from having to go to Wikipedia so frequently (pleasant as this is - but you do get easily sidelined). Some of the vocabularly is technical and not explained before its used. Still not sure what 'hermeneutic' means and its about the most frequently used adjective in the book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2012 1:27 PM GMT

Black Book [2006] [DVD]
Black Book [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Carice van Houten
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £7.43

17 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars just another depressing action movie, 11 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Black Book [2006] [DVD] (DVD)
dont make the same mistake I made, that this film represents anykind of Dutch coming to terms with/ making sense of the traumatic German occupation a la the brilliant Rademakers films 'the assault' and 'like two drops of water'. The latter years of the German occupation of the Netherlands are just used as a convenient backdrop to stage a violent action thriller where there is definitely no place for any kind of political/historical/psychological insights - as if these might cause offence. Instead a series of gratuitously violent, titillating sex and toilet scenes are the order of the day taking place within the framework of a simplistic and crassly signposted plot involving evil people you want dead and nice people you want to survive. Just one big nasty, depressing film for me. If you're not the 'just give me some titillation' type of film goer, then I advise you to just keep away from this!

The House at Riverton
The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another R&J flop, 5 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The House at Riverton (Paperback)
I don't ususally review, but had to to in this case. This book was awful. I took it on holiday and had been looking forward to reading this, and from other reviews had been imagining something like Remains of the Day etc. The fact that I was on holiday and saved this to last, so therefore had nothing else to read, made me perserve, but if I had been at home I don't think I could have gone on. The plot was obvious from the start, and the 'twist' was absolutely ridiculous. I hated the 'humble' servants... I didn't read the notes at the end, but another reviewer has mentioned that the author has acknowledged 'Upstairs, Downstairs' as being an influence. The paragraphs describing Alfred's shell shock were just like an episode of UD from 30 years ago - showing my age! Years ago, when I didn't know any better, I used to read my mother's Catherine Cookson books. I don't think there's anything to distinguish between the two. I also felt that the author's attempt to include every famous character and important event of the early 20th century were very clumsy and irritating - eg, Titanic, Spanish Civil War, Picasso, etc...

If you liked The Island, you may like this. If not, then don't bother.

Ringleader Of The Tormentors
Ringleader Of The Tormentors
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £3.95

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quality, 30 Jun. 2007
I only bought this album because it was so cheap and Morrissey had a famous name - but I'm so pleased with it I would now pay triple the price. I love Morrisseys soaring, warbling voice - fantastic to try to repeat in the shower and that must be good for your vocal chords and hormonal well being. Morrisseys minimalist lyrics just glow in their unashamed banality. There seems to be a common theme of approaching death but of still being the same and needing to love. The keystone piece for me is 'Life is a PigSty'. If feels like an epic journey through love and death, Dr Zhivago condensed into a rich 7 minutes. If this had been used as a funeral dirge in a popular film like '4 weddings and a funeral' it would now be etched into the nations consciousness, Morrissey would have a CBE and 'Life is a PigSty' be would be an everyday phrase of common use.

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer [DVD]
Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Whishaw
Price: £3.12

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ordinary film of an extraordinary book, 27 May 2007
The book is fantastic for me because, under the guise of a historical thriller or gruesome fairy story, it turns over the age old philosophical puzzle of what it is to be 'normal' in society. Simply put -normal people have a 'normal aura' unconsciously registered by others as normal - a normal 'smell'. Grenouille is abnormal by virtue of having no smell at all. On the other hand he uses his tremendous nose to capture normal auras as scent in order to make himself artifically normal and become noticed or, if he so chooses, unnoticed in society. Even more, he's able eventually to become supernormal and loved by everyone. This supernormal scent is the scent or essence of extreme beauty, which only he is able to properly detect and capture . So you have the split of mass normality of everyday life on one side and, on the other side, the things which are not normal but which we find fascinating by sheer reason of their non-normalness such as mass murderers, extreme beauty, individuals with charismatic power over people. The film doesn't really capture any of this normal/abnormal split for me - nor does it capture any of the humour/satire which is also in the book. The portrayal of Laura Richi's father is unbelievably drab in the film but truly thrilling in the book as an example of a 'normal' person making great efforts to understand and second guess the abnormal motives of Grenouille. My advice is dont go out of your way to watch the film, but do read the book and several times - its a classic!

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