What have I been watching
Coast: This is a brilliant series from the BBC (Open University, UK) — each 1 hour episode explores a small part of the UK coastline and examine the geography, the history, the marine life and the archaeology — it is just amazing and I have learnt so many things I didn’t know. It picks up interesting facts about the coastline, from villages that have been washed away in storms, ship wrecks and lighthouses, tidal changes and the long term effects on the coast etc.. The camera work is excellent and the music is beautiful. As you can guess, I love this series. Suitable for teenagers. There are 5 seasons of Coast, other seasons look at French coasts, Norway and the many islands around Great Britain. I would give these series 5 stars. (Amazon link)
Beneath Hill 60 is an Australian-made movie telling the gripping story of Oliver Woodward, a miner from Queensland who, with other miners (1st Australian tunnelers), tunneled under German lines in 1916 (in horrid muddy wet conditions) and then filling the tunnels with explosives (53,500lbs) to create the biggest blast ever made (heard in London) as part of the Battle of Messines. Like any war movie, it reveals the horror of war with soldiers being killed in the trenchers – but it doesn’t glorify war nor has it been turned into some Hollywood drama – it is tastefully done with great acting. It isn’t a film that everyone would enjoy but I found myself fascinated until the end – sometimes a true story is far more amazing than any fictional one. There is some Australian humour which adds a little lightness to the serious story. Amazon link. (it was released last year)
The Lost World of Communism: This DVD gives a fascinating glimpse of life behind the Iron Curtain - based on personal accounts, home movies and photos of those who lived in East Germany, Czech Republic and Hungry from the end of WWII through to the end of communism. It provide a view into a world that we never saw and how communism affected their lives and how many just got on with living as they had no choice. I found this DVD very interesting. (Amazon link)
Singin' in the Rain is a great movie classic - full of fun, singing and heaps of dancing and yes, Gene Kelly could move! Made in 1952, it contains one of the most famous scenes from a movie every made - when Gene Kelly sings "singin in the rain". Its great viewing for a Saturday afternoon. They don't make movies like these any more. Here is some interesting facts about the movie:
* milk was added to the 'rain' so it would show up clearly on the screen.
* Gene Kelly was very difficult to work with and was quite mean to Debbie Reynolds as she had limited dance skills - Fred Astaire stepped in and helped her to dance in the movie.
* When Gene Kelly filmed the "singin in the rain" scene he was sick with a 103-degree fever at the time.
At the moment I am enjoying Downton Abby which is set in Edwardian England (1912). What I have watched so far is great.