Saturday, January 7, 2012

Holiday DVDs

I had a binge of DVD watching over the holidays - I was cutting fabrics prepping for quilts, and doing other hand-y things - most of the time.  Here's a quick run down.

My second time watching this (the first time was at the cinema more than 20 years ago), but this time I paid attention to the details - the cooking - the feast of the title - is incredible and wonderfully filmed.  But the poverty of spirit, the idea that our true happiness and fulfilment will come in another life - that was dark and depressing.  Well worth watching, though.

Talk about wonderful - this is one of the best "behind the scenes" docos I've seen.  All in French, with subtitles - it give you a sense, one little tiny inking of all that has to happen before a production appears on stage.  The dancers appear to be doing everything just right, but then they are told to adjust this, change that - almost imperceptible, but always seeking perfection.

 I'm pretty sure I've seen this before, but couldn't remember all the details.  The delivery was rather rapid fire - more suited to the stage I feel - or maybe it was to give a sense of the hustle and bustle of Sydney?  Some great lines and good concept - but I did find it all a bit neat and tidy and packaged - lacking some emotional depth.

What a marvellous pair - Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.  I'm a huge Holmes fan, and these movies stand the test of time - clever twists and turns in the plot, and great acting.

This is based on a book by Elliott Tiber - his version of how he got involved in Woodstock.  The organisers dispute his claim that he was instrumental in getting the festival moved to a farm neighbouring his parent's motel - who knows? As a movie, it stacks up well - and I knew that when I saw that Ang Lee was the director.  The parents are a bit too black, Elliott a bit too white, but emotionally it draws you into the unreality and amazing experience of Woodstock.

Pretty raunchy, and very Spanish - meaning nothing really gets resolved and there are some strange characters - but it's a kind of musical in a way, so it all works.  I don't know why, because there were a couple of characters I could have happily punched, but I liked it.

I was given this DVD set as a gift a few years ago and have only just now got around to watching it - all 5 DVDs!!!  The pilot was shot in B&W and I watched it 3 times - once on its own, once with Mel Brooks' commentary and once with Buck Henry's commentary.  It was hilarious that Smart has to leave a concert because his (shoe) phone is ringing - commonplace now!!!  The episodes are great - lots of different writers meant that each storyline had its own flavour, but of course consistent with the original concept. 

Wow - mud music and madness indeed.  What an undertaking!  A lot of the film has the organiser Michael Eavis talking to camera as he drives around the site.  He has been doing this since 1970!  A farmer and chapel goer, he kind of looks Amish with his beard, but he is so positive and still gets into the spirit.  If you've ever been to a festival you will recognise the silly, enormous, hats, the earth-lovers, and mud, but there's a lot more nudity and extreme views and some rather wild performers too...all just wonderful stuff.

At one stage (quite a few years ago now) I could say that I had seen every Woody Allen film - loved them.  Now - not so much.  This is not a bad film, but it's dark.  At one stage I was madly in love with Kenneth Branagh.  Now - not so much.  He has the trademark Woody Allen fumbling/stammer-y delivery down pat - and he captured the essence of the character, but....hmmm...those thin-to-the-point-of-disappearing lips...  But it's really an ensemble movie, and there are some great moments.

One of my absolute favourite TV shows - I had seen most of the series on TV but they bear watching again.  Wil Anderson's timing and control of the discussion is perfect, and the insights from the panel are amazing.  Psychology at it's absolute applied best.

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