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Milos Forman’s Loves of a Blonde 1965 – DVD Review

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Loves of a blonde
Directed by Milos Forman
DVD by The Criterion Collection

This honest, yet affectionate, portrayal of innocent emotional expense got Milos Forman his first Academy Award nomination. Mingling poignant, subtle satire with an eclectic cast of characters that are as sympathetic as they are charismatic, the universal experience of one’s first crush as depicted in LOVES OF A BLONDE is still effective almost four decades later.

Forman chose a perfect simplicity of setting and action for a heart’s first surge and disappointment. Based in a population that isn’t exactly oppressive, but certainly “benevolently” manipulative, young women like Andula (Hanu Brejchovou) make the best of their droll existence in close quarters. Instead of concentrating any attention on possible competition between the bored adolescent girls desperate for male eyes with a 16 to 1 ratio, Forman wisely focuses on briefly defining the stark environment, and then the individual’s attempts to muddle through day by day. By remaining observant of a single woman’s journey through a handful of men, her relational skills evolve more naturally than had she just been set apart as different from other women her age.

Though it’s predictable that Milda (Vladmira Pucholta) will not return Andula’s newly acquired desires once he’s had his fill, there is still respect given to both youthful characters for each of their hormonal flaws. Andula is smart enough to stay away from someone who is obviously pushing boundaries by the inch, and yet as an attractive peer who strokes her ego, he’s still a better match than the middle-aged men she’s been stuck in the same room with so far. Milda may be a womanizer, but he’s also a charming lad who fully appreciates his prey. Most impressive is that the layered degrees of Andula’s succumbing to temptation are so sparingly laid out, without the slightest movement towards moral judgment.

LOVES goes on to explore societal avenues that ignorantly provoke and perpetuate sexual exploration by the very impressionable creatures that the powers that be hope will remain chaste. On the one side is the manager of the factory in which the women are coerced into working, encouraging that the women have play time with men as a balance to the long hours necessary to fill quota. But when you live a lifestyle of distracting play to offset drudgery, it’s also easy to end up the passionless parents that Milda is constantly escaping from through the embrace of others, and for which Andula has been used. The factory workers make verbal pacts with one another to keep their reputations intact so that they may find true love some day, sadly the only supposed form of happiness available to them. Despite the humor of this scene, Forman keeps these various ideals on a debatable level, never fully backing any specific path for the naïve to venture on.

Even with these divergent dogmas slithering to the surface that can often depress a viewer, there’s a hopeful sense of finding the proper balance of contentedness of heart and productivity in community through experience. It is part of the human experience to have your heart broken at least once in life. The inevitable occurrence will strengthen a person to become both more adept at noticing an eventual catastrophe, and enjoyment upon finding a gem. Andula has been taken advantage of, but she is also a resourceful girl who is wiser without having lost total emotional capacity, and that leaves a remarkable sense of hope, thanks to Forman’s careful handling of the subject matter.

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Reviews

Dave Saint Show, The (UK Play 2000, John Thomson, Alexander Kirk)

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UK Play Logo

The Dave Saint Show was a comedy about a useless heavy metal DJ on a local radio station. As was usual with with shows on extra terrestrial channel UK Play music videos were interspersed throughout the show.

production details
UK / UK Play – Channel X / x30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2000

Writers: Alexander Kirk, Simon Messingham / Script Consultant: Stacy Herbert / Music: Steve Cripps, Dan Mendford / Costumes: Pookie Russell / Producer: Jim Reid / Director: Mark Mylod

cast
JOHN THOMSON as Dave Saint
ALEXANDER KIRK as AK
KATE LOUSTOU as Jeneane

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Game of Thrones Season Six Opener reviews from around and about

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Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.

Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.

“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.

Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.

“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.

Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.

Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.

However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.

With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.

Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.

It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.

Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.

Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”

Source: The Week

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Reviews

Columbo Series Three Region 1 DVD Review

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Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment

Certificate: Not Rated | 11 Hours and 24 minutes
Available to buy

Extras: Yes

ANYONE IN IT WE KNOW?
Peter Falk, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper

WHAT’S IT ABOUT THEN?
The Columbo releases from Universal are now upto the third season and of course by now it is full steam ahead as Columbo really hits its stride, of course the basic premise of the show dictates that we know who the killer is right from the get go but by the third season the audience was lapping up the way the Superlative Peter Falk as Lt Columbo doggedly pursued

his villain who were always lulled into a false sense of security by Columbo’s grubby mac, battered old car and down at heel demeanour, all tactics designed to throw the suspect off guard before he lets them know that he knows they did it.

Spread over two double sided discs this nicely put together set features all 8 feature length season three episodes, Columbo’s cases include the mysterious death of a well known author, a country singer who is prime suspect in a murder case, he also finds time to uncover police corruption and political skullduggery. Columbo also always managed to attract a high level of guest and this series includes the legendary Johnny Cash in the episode Swan Song as well as the likes of

Jose Ferrier, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Dana Elcar and Robert Culp. A classy slice of 1970’s Tec TV Heaven, Columbo always entertains and should be on any Classic TV fans must have list.

ANY SPECIAL FEATURES?
There’s a great bonus episode from the series Mrs Columbo (which many have claimed isn’t a spin off from Columbo but having now seen an episode it clearly is) this is called Murder Is A Parlour Game (from 1979) and features Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, journalist on a small local paper and married to a never seen Lt Columbo, she investigates when a suicide case appears to be murder, the excellent Donald Pleasance guest stars, this is great fun and is hopefully a precursor to the whole series getting a release.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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