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And finally- hopefully just part one
on 29 June 2008
When this was due for release earlier in 2008 it was going to cost a stonking 75 quid and contain something like 8 discs. This has now dropped in price and slimmed to 3 disks. We are presented with a selection from the 50 programmes Mr Meades made between 1989-2007 (that's 4 prime ministers worth!) A well mannered surrealist, who gets more confident and inventive as time goes on. He "peels off the drab grey overcoat of preconception, to reveal the lime green posing pouch of reality beneath," as, in his words, his waistline expands and shrinks.
Extras (apart from subtitles) include a helpful introduction by Mr Meades and a rather scary interview with Dominic Lawson where he goes completely to pieces and ums and ahs all the way through.
Abroad In Britain : Severn Heaven
The Black Country playground of the Severn Estuary contains 700 "structures" of bodged together housing, (a more ambitious version of the allotment shed) delightful in their eccentric construction and now sadly viewed as eyesores.
Abroad In Britain : In Search of Bohemia
There are four places in Britain called "Bohemia"- why did people view this area of Czechoslovakia as a way to typecast an alternative racy sub culture.
Further Abroad : Get High
Jonathan unwisely tries to get over his fear of heights by making a documentary. It doesn't quite work out for him. His blow up body double has to perform some of the stunts.
Further Abroad : Belgium
My favourite. Was Magritte not a surrealist, but an accurate portrayer of Belgium life- only you and the man in the penguin costume can decide. The fantastically diverse Brussels suburbs are featured where every terrace house is different (due to lawyer-happy architects).
Even Further Abroad : Remember The Future
So much for the white heat of the technological revolution! Jonathan looks at the unashamed "futuristic" radio masts, power stations and cold war listening devices of the 50s and 60s.
Even Further Abroad : Absentee Landlord
Church architecture from Gothic to present day. Featuring a choir boy singing "Bat out of Hell".
Even Further Abroad : Double Dutch
The influence of Dutch culture on Norfolk- vast expanses of drained agribusiness fields and gables. Although there are also similarities with Alabama.
Meades Eats... Fast Food
We owe our national obsession with fried food to Sephardic Jews (Fish and chips first appeared in the mid 19th century). Fast food is all about appearance and deception. The vegetarian in me laughed as he constructed a sausage- first take your condom.....
Abroad Again: Father To The Man
Jonathan explains how the influence of his father formed his obsession with architecture.
Magnetic North - 1+2
Bored with banal phrases such as "the Venice of the North", Jonathan seeks to reaffirm the rights of the North of Europe to be considered as an architectural and cultural gem. We explore the still telling influence of the mediaeval Hanseatic League cities. A very impressive essay with lots of shots of spirit and herring.
I was very impressed by the whole collection and frankly I'm baying at the moon for some more!