PVR – a paradigm shift in television

Humax PVROur video cassette recorder (VCR) stopped working this week. Not so long ago, this would have meant a trip to the repair shop, a £35+ charge and a few days’ wait. Now the repair shops have all gone from the high street, and a VCR with a fault is just a box to be disposed of. I still find that difficult, and I have to overcome the instinct to make do and mend which has been passed down through countless generations of my family. So I still haven’t quite got rid of the dead VCR, and I am considering eBaying the remote control – which would salve my conscience whether or not someone bid on it.

In the meantime, I have discovered the world of the Continue reading

The Golden Door – please, where’s the door?

< < Spoilers >>

Nuovomondo or The Golden Door, written and directed by Emanuele Crialese, is a film about Sicilian peasants emigrating to America. It’s received almost universal acclaim, but for me, the movie jarred and bored alternately.

Talk about stereotypes! The Sicilians were portrayed as ignorant, superstitious simpletons permanently coated in a thick layer of grime. The film opens with two of the characters scrambling barefoot up a rocky scree, carrying rocks in their mouths. They were small enough to fit in a pocket or shoulder bag, but no, they have to cut their mouths transporting them in this unnecessarily troublesome way.
Continue reading

Das Leben der Anderen – disappointing

Went to see The Lives of Others recently. Atmospheric and evocative, but a bit slow, over-long. The greatest fault was in the screenplay spelling out every single plot element so that even the dimmest cinemagoer could not fail to understand what was going on, and who did what. Too rounded at the end as well.