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As recently as ten years ago few people would have chosen to come to Cardiff for a short break or a business event, but two major developments have changed that. Firstly the old Cardiff docklands were transformed into the smart, Cardiff Bay, complete with a large freshwater lake, restaurants and visitor attractions; and secondly, the Millennium Stadium was built to host the Rugby World Cup in 1999.
ALong with these developments came dozens of hotels, including Wales' first 5 star hotel - the St. David's hotel and spa in Cardiff Bay. Now the choice of accomodation is fantastic. Here's a guide to a few of the best places to stay.
Park Plaza Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, www.parkplaza.com
This four star 129 room hotel is just minutes away from Cardiffs cultural highlights and within a stones throw of the citys main shopping area. With original Welsh art in each room and leisure facilities that include a 20m pool, this is a hotel that aims to please the eye as well as weary feet. (rooms around £70 per night)
The St. David's Hotel and Spa Havannah Street, Cardiff Bay +44 (0)2920 454045, www.thestdavidshotel.com
Cardiffs original five star hotel offers 132 rooms all overlooking either Cardiff Bay or the inner harbour and the waterfront. Guests can also enjoy alfresco dining in the summer at Tides restaurant as well as the luxury spa facilities. Prices range from £165 to around £600 for a residential spa break.
Jolyons 5 Bute Crescent, Cardiff Bay, +44 (0) 2920 488775 www.jolyons.co.uk
Commanding stunning views of the new Wales Millennium Stadium, the citys first boutique hotel offers six glamorous rooms, decorated with an eclectic blend of furniture and style. Nestling just below is Bar Cwtch, a cosy wine bar that also serves traditional Welsh breakfasts and lunches. Rooms start from £75 for a single up to £125 for the suite.
Saco Apartments, Cathedral Road, 0845 122 04 05 www.sacoapartments.co.uk
Offering an alternative to standard hotel rooms, these five star graded one and two bedroom apartments overlook Sophia Gardens and Glamorgan County Cricket Ground, and are just a few minutes away from the city centre. The apartments feature a large living/dining area, fully equipped kitchen including dishwasher, master bedroom with king size beds and separate bathroom. High speed internet access and free parking is also available. (rooms availale for around £80 per night)
The Royal Hotel, St. Mary Street
The four star Royal Hotel, which is famed for hosting a farewell dinner for Captain Scott before he set sail on his ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic in 1910, reopened in 2005 after extensive refurbishment. All 64 contemporary bedrooms feature either LCD or plasma screen televisions, DVDs and CD players, award-winning hypnos beds, and 100% Egyptian percale cotton bed-linen. (Rooms start around £65 per night)
NosDa Backpackers, Riverside, www.nosda.co.uk
The Cardiff Backpackers has always been popular with those on a budget, and now the team behind the hostel have opened another venue, directly opposite the Millennium Stadium. Nosda (which means good evening in Welsh) offers a mix of dorms and private rooms, most with en-suite bathrooms, but still with budget travellers in mind. Below the rooms is Tafarn, a Welsh cantina offering all kinds of locally produced and well priced food, and in the basement is Tafod, the underground sound lounge which hosts regular live music nights. (rooms start around £23 per person per night).
There are plenty of other hotels in and around Cardiff of course, and most are just a short walk from the attractions, shops and restaurants. The web site www.visitcardiff.com lets you see what's available and book online.
It's important to be aware of events taking place at the Millennium Stadium, however. On event weekends the hotels tend to bump up their prices, rooms have to be booked for a minimum of 2 nights and they get booked up months in advance of major events.
Book a trip during the week, however, and you're likely to be able to get a great deal. Hotels like the Vale Hotel often offer spa and golf packages at great prices for instance.
Hang around a castle in Wales and sooner or later youre bound to spy some ghostly apparition or hear things that go bump in the night, and as you would expect from a city thats been around 2000 years Cardiff has its fair share of spooky stories.
Cardiffs most well known ghost is that of the 2nd Marquess of Bute, who died suddenly one night in his home of Cardiff Castle and whose ghost now haunts the library close to where he died. Tours of Cardiff Castle take place every day, and a short journey North takes you to another of the Marquess' homes, Castel Coch. Also known as the Red Castle, this ancient building is claimed to be haunted by a woman named Dame Griffiths, whose son fell into a dark pool nearby and was never seen again. Her ghost now wanders the woods searching for her lost son.
To increase your ghost hunting chances, however, then a visit to Britains most haunted museum is a must. The Museum of Welsh Life, which has free entry and is only a short distance from the centre of Cardiff, is home to dozens of buildings transported from all over Wales and reconstructed brick by brick in the museum grounds.
Together with the building, however, come the ghosts. One of the first inhabited buildings was Llainfadyn cottage from Rhostryfan. It housed dozens of children from 1762 until the mid twentieth century and visitors to this simple stone-boulder cottage have heard and seen children playing, laughing and crying inside its thick lime-washed walls.
The 18th century Cilewent farmhouse has also been home to bizarre goings on. Upon opening the locked wooden trap to the loft , museum staff were startled to find tiny footprints in the dust covering a series of Welsh wooden chests and several visitors complained of feeling ice cold when entering the building.
Visitors to the Penrhiw Chapel, a white Unitarian chapel from Carmarthenshire, have also been shocked to see the macabre sight of the 'toili', a phantom funeral procession, in which they would recognise friends, family or even themselves.
Such is the wealth of ghostly tales in South Wales that a group dedicated to the investigation of the paranormal has been set up.
The activities of the South Wales Paranormal Research Group include ghost watches, some of which the public can attend, at sites such as Margam Castle and Llancaiach Fawr manor. Many of these sites run ghost tours around Halloween time, but for a year-round ghost tour your best bet is Creepy Cardiff. On this walking tour around Cardiffs civic centre you will discover the tales of ghosts in the National Museum, local pubs and even the alleged burial place of Queen Bodecia.
Check out www.visitcardiff.com for more information about visiting Cardiff.
There's no such thing as a free lunch. Just bare that in mind before being sucked in by the free offers of hostels in LA, and learn from my mistakes.
I arrived at LA's central station on a hot, February afternoon. The sun was already baking the pavements and blazing off the cars as they streamed by.
I was on a tight budget. I'd just travelled across the US by train for a bargain price of $150, and now I needed a place to crash. The Los Angeles Backpacker's Paradise Hostel seemed to be the answer. Free lunch, free airport transfer, free breakfast, free shuttle bus to venice beach, free taxi to the hostel - this was the one.
The warning bells should have rung when I looked at the address of the hostel, however. Inglewood. A neighbourhood just South of Crenshaw, of 'Boy's in the Hood' fame, and just North of South Central LA - an area notorious for gang fights and drive by shootings.
The word 'free' was still fresh in my mind though, and at $12 a night it would save me plenty of cash, so i put in the call for the free free taxi to the hostel.
It's difficult to comprehend just how vast a city LA is. After an hour of driving I still hadn't reached my destination, and before I got there - a friendly neighbourhood driver drove his SUV into the back of my taxi, and then sped off without stopping.
My taxi driver shot off in pursuit, speeding through red lights, screeching round corners, all while scribbling down the licence plate of the offending SUV. I been in LA barely two hours and already i'd been in a car chase.
A local cop came by to take the details of the accident. "Anybody hurt?" he asked, and upon seeing my British passport - "do you like Depeche Mode? I love them, and the Cure. By the way, don't go out on your own after dark in this neighbourhood."
So here was the catch to all the free stuff. The hostel was in an area with hookers, pimps and hustlers on every corner, a dangerous, grotty area where it really wasn't safe to walk around after dark.
The hostel had to lure naive backpackers to this area somehow. So for a few days I enjoyed the swimming pool, the free food, the free shuttle buses, but the dorms here were large and busy and it wasn't worth the risk of straying outside too often. I learnt my lesson. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and this hostel certainly wasn't paradise.
The appeal of South East Wales is clear to see, from its rolling green hills and valleys to its Medieval castles and its cosmopolitan capital city, but in the last few years a new attraction has been emerging that promises to add an extra dimension to trips in the region Welsh wine.
There is evidence that intrepid wine makers in South Wales have been cultivating vineyards for nearly 2000 years. The Romans, 12th century Cistercian monks and the Marquess of Bute all produced wines, but it has only been in the last few decades that vineyards in the area have been able to produce commercially successful wines.
Around eight vineyards now operate in the area, growing several grape varieties including Seyval Blanc, Bacchus and Pinot Noir. The larger vineyards produce around 5000 bottles a year, but when it comes to award time, all of the Welsh vineyards have had some success, with several of their sparkling whites and roses receiving commendations.
The reason for this recent commercial success is down to climate change. Southern Wales is experiencing milder winters and longer summers better conditions than the usual wet summers and long winters of the past.
Wine isnt the only reason for the vineyard tours, however, as many visitors are able to combine a wine tasting with a trip to nearby castles, museums and historic sites.
Parva Vineyard in Monmouth for instance is within easy reach of Tintern Abbey; Sugar Loaf Vineyard in Abergavenny is only a few minutes drive from the Blaenavon World Heritage site, and Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan is only a short distance from the Museum of Welsh Life.
All of the vineyards are also within a two hour drive of Cardiff, which means tours can take advantage of luxury accommodation, a wide choice of restaurants and bars, and transport links to the rest of Wales and the UK.
Twenty-four hours in a city normally means whistle-stop tours, rushed meals and a pocket full of expensive bus and train tickets. Thankfully, things are different in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The city is so compact that nothing is more than 15 minutes away, which means visitors can spend a more leisurely time exploring the city.
Within the one square mile of Cardiffs bustling city centre are the big three attractions: the Millennium Stadium, the National Museum and Gallery and Cardiff Castle. These attractions sit alongside luxury hotels, a network of shopping malls and arcades and a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes.
The Millennium Stadium, built in 1999, helped place Cardiff firmly on the world sporting map and has played host to the Rugby World Cup, super-groups including REM and U2 as well as the FA cup final for the past five years. Now no visit to the city is complete without a tour of the 74,000-seater stadium, which offers visitors the chance to explore the changing rooms and even try out the Queens seat in the Royal Box.
Cardiff Castle is just around the corner from the stadium, but has been there a little longer - around 2000 years. A fort was first built in Cardiff by the Romans in AD55 and further fortifications were added by the Normans in the 11th Century. Then, in the late 19th Century, the 3rd Marquess of Bute spent a portion of his vast fortune on an extravagant refurbishment, transforming the castle interiors into a Gothic, mock-Medieval palace.
A couple of minutes walk from the castle is another surprising find; the National Museum and Gallery of Wales. Two wealthy Welsh sisters bequeathed their large art collection to the gallery in the mid 20th century, resulting in Cardiff owning one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, with works by Renoir, Monet and Cezanne amongst others.
A 10-minute journey South of the centre, either on the hop-on hop-off tour bus or by train, is Cardiff Bay, the capitals newest development. One hundred years ago the docklands were the hub of the worlds coal industry, transporting millions of tonnes of coal across the globe. The docks were left to decay after the decline of the coal industry, but have now been reborn into a popular tourist attraction.
The Bay boasts a 200 hectare freshwater lake for sailing and watersports; the five star St Davids Hotel and Spa, cuisine from around the world in the restaurants in Mermaid Quay, and the new home for Welsh National Opera the Wales Millennium Centre.
The centre was inspired by the Welsh landscape, language and culture, much of it was built with Welsh materials and it provides a suitably impressive stage for Welsh opera singers such as Bryn Terfel and Katherine Jenkins as well as a wide variety of international musicals, ballet, theatre and modern dance.
Another short 15-minute drive from the Bay takes you out to the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan. Nestled here are championship standard golf courses at the Vale Hotel, acres of vineyards producing award winning Welsh wines, and one of Britains most interesting and ambitious museums.
The Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagans is home to a variety of historic buildings from across Wales all of which were taken apart brick by brick and carefully reconstructed in the museum to present a view of life in Wales over the last 500 years. The museum village features a working bakery, blacksmiths, saddler, tea shop and store, and you are guaranteed to hear Welsh, the language of heaven, in everyday use.
A visit to Wales doesn't have to end after 24 hours of course. Cardiff's main train station provides links North to the Brecon Beacons national park, West to the Pembrokeshire Coast or a quick 2 hour journey East to London. A trip to Cardiff is a capital idea.
For more information on short breaks in Cardiff go to www.visitcardiff.com or phone the visitor information centre on 0870 909 2005.
Zen masters often set their students a Zen question, to help them enter a state of transcendence and reach enlightenment. For example "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" Or, "If a tree fell in the middle of a wood, and no-one was there to hear it, would it make a noise." I have been pondering over my own Zen question for a while now, "How do you make a choc ice?" How do get chocolate around ice cream? Surely the chocolate must have melted, and therefore be hot - so how does it not melt the ice cream. Puzzling. Now I know there must be a sensible answer to this, but that’s boring - if anyone has any unique theories on the creation of choc-ices, please leave them in the comments pages. If not, have a think about it, and you shall soon Zen out and be at one with the world.
Having read the opinions on npower, british gas, northern electric and others it seems that they're all dreadful, cause huge amounts of hassle and rip you off. The reason why - if someone's satisfied with their service, they get low bills and no hassle, what are they going to write 75 words on? I'm going to write about those lovely people who call round your house asking if you want cheaper bills though, as I'm one of them :) It's amazing how rude people can be when all you're doing is offering them lower bills. Personally I don't lie to customers, if I did, loads of people would cancel, and I'd get fired. Also people would have to very stupid not to realise what they're doing, for as well as signing a contract over BIG red letters which say GAS CONTRACT, and ELECTRICITY CONTRACT, you have to sign a checklist stating you know what is going to happen. This checklist tells customers that: npower is guaranteed not to raise their rates until 2003; that all the service and maintainence stays with BG and the regional electric board; that they've signed a contract; that there is no fee for transferring; that they have a 14 day cancalation period; and that it's on a monthly contract. I also need a telephone number, postcode and in most cases a meter number to sign someone up. We're also not allowed to sign up anyone slightly vunerable - this means people over 65, under 18, disabled, blind, deaf, mentally impared, and people who are just plain stupid. This is incase we get accused of pressurising someone vunerable into a sale. There are people who confuse and manipulate people to get sales, but the vast majority dont lie. We dont need to lie, as npower offers a good deal, saving most people around £100 from their bills. All you're doing is paying less for the what you've already got. Makes sense doesn't it? If someone comes to your door th
ough, ask to see their ID, and actually listen to what they're saying. If you really want them to go away, just say you've already got it. Never say no.
I achieved excellent A-level results, however as I wasn't predicted these results, I ended up at a new university, (I was rejected by all the 'old' ones) and soon discovered that even though I got an A in a particular A-level, I was doing the same course as someone who had acheived an E at the same A-level. The course therefore wasn't fantastic, and neither was the university, and now having graduated I find that I'm not particularly qualified at anything, I just have a background in my chosen field. However because of this, I decided to set up my own business venture, designing birthday cards, the idea being to demonstrate my iniative, promotion, design, and managment skills to potential employers. This is something I would never have done if I hadn't been to a new university. My course was fairly practical rather than theoretical, so it forced me to get off my arse and organise my own work, having only 2 hours of lectures a week at one point I was forced to do most of my learning myself. I beleive this 'life preparation' is far more useful than the degree itself, the confidence and organisational skills I gained are invaluable, and things I doubt I would have gained had I just had to revise for exams from books. However had I been offered a place at an old uni in the first place, I would have jumped at the opportunity, and if I go back to uni again for another degree I would prefer to go to an old uni. Just to see if the grass is greener on the other side maybe.
The first time I heard this band on radio 1 in 1994, I thought they were called Skunk and Nancy, and so I wondered why I couldn't find any information about their track Little Baby Swastika. I fell in love with their sound instantly, it was something different, raw loud music with powerful lyrics and vocals, and great melodies fused with kick arse guitar. I snatched up their first single release - Selling Jesus, and since then I have bought every CD single they have released. Some of the b-sides on these singles are better than the tracks which did make the albums, one of my favourite Skunk tracks for instance, is still a b-side from that first single. Which by the way, can still be found in music shops, but it's fairly rare and will cost about £5. Skunk now often release two versions of the single, and include new tracks, live tracks, remixes and acoustic versions. This may not happen in the future however due to the crap rules that have been introduced governing single releases. Last year I finally saw Skunk live, after 5 years of waiting for them to play somewhere near me. The gig was at Nottingham Rock City, and even though I was expecting alot, they did not disappoint. Opening with Charlie Big Potatoe, you could literally feel the music blasting from the speakers. The mosh pit was great fun, and reletavely friendly, ie, no one was trying to kill or maim anyone else. This is without doubt, the best gig I have ever been to, but then I'm biased. Skunk Anansie are one of those bands that I have grown up with, as I've grown so have they, and soon we'll both conquer the world! (lol) They have been descibed by Lemmy of Moterhead as the best band to come out of Britain in the last ten years, I'd certainly agree, and reckon there best is still to come. If anyone else shares the same passion, I would suggest looking out for bootleg albums too, I have one which features an outstanding duet bet
ween Skin and Lenny Kravitz, recorded from a Dutch TV show and never officialy released. There's also a great Skunk remix of Bjorks Army of Me out there. Anyone know of any other Skunk rarities? There are few bands which I am truly passionate about, but Skunk Anansie is definitely one of them. I cannot really explain in words why I love them, so you'll just have to listen to their music. UPDATE - Tony Iommi has teamed up with Skin and Cass to create a track called Meat, which can be found on his album due for release in October. And my God does it kick arse.
Picture the scene. Stretching out above you the snow capped peaks of the Alps, the warm sun filters down through the tall trees and glistens on the clear water as you float downstream. Ahead of you however the river starts to bubble and splash up over the rocks. You are about to begin the ride of your life. Nothing involving water is as exciting as white water rafting, in fact very little at all is as exciting. I've been fortunate enough to have experienced it twice, once in Austria and once in France, both in gorgeously hot weather. When you do reach a rapid however, your full attention is needed, a crew of eight or ten will all need to paddle hard and stay focused if you want the raft to travel in the right direction. You do get very, very wet while rafting, as even if you don't fall in, which does happen, you often have to lean over to the front or sides, and let huge waves flow over you. There's also the fact that you have to get your wetsuit wet in the first place - this once invloved jumping in a freezing cold waterfall pool, a slight sadism by the trip organisers also on display here however. There's also the small fact that the raft has holes in it - to let the water flow out of course. As a beginner we only rafted on low grade, easy rapids; and as this only requires basic training, it means you can get on the water very quickly. Iv'e paddled higher grade rapids in a canoe, but it just doesn't compare to rafting, as there's more of an adrenaline rush in a raft. It is better however to go during a rainy season, the higher the water level, the higher the excitement. If you are unable to go white water rafting try watching the film The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. As the rapids featured in this movie are outstanding - the plot's quite fun too. I'm now saving my pennies so I can afford to go rafting in Africa or Canada, as if you go once, you w
ill want to go again, I guarantee.
I was one of the lucky few who were able to hear songs from this album sung live at a secret gig. The venue was the Blue Note in London, packed full with 400 odd people - all huge Bjork fans, and everyone enjoyed it. Homogenic has a very different style to her previous two albums, and may surprise some listeners with its unique sounds. And the sounds are unique, Bjork acheived this by recording natural sounds from her native Iceland, such as geysers and moving iceburgs, these create crunching, raw sounds and unusual drumbeats. These industrial beats are beautifully mixed in with sweet strings and vocals, it sounds like Bjork has fused lullabies with death metal and created a stunning sound. And heres a trick to get even more from some of the tracks on this album. Leave the balance in the middle and you'll hear the beats and the strings; put it all the way to the left and you'll hear mostly strings, all the way to the right - mostly drumbeats. You can therefore listen to three different versions of the album. The highlights of this album are Joga, and bachelorette - which have both been released as singles. The full track listing is: Hunter, Joga, Unravel, Bachelorette, All Neon Like, 5 Years, Immature, Alarm Call, Pluto, and All is Full of Love. If you're not a huge fan of Bjork I'd recommend you listen to this album, you may be plesantly surprised. Then again you may hate it. It's worth a listen either way. Visit Blorks website at http://www.bjork.co.uk/bjork
If you write here on dooyoo, it probably means you enjoy writing, and you're quite good at it. If so, join your student paper and get loads of free stuff. Student radio stations and papers receive loads of free promo CD's and demos from record companies and bands, the idea is that the writers will review them and provide free advertising - direct at one the largest record buying sections of the public. Becoming a CD reviewer for your paper will not only get you a few free CD's (although the best ones are often kept for the radio station) it also means that you will hear new albums way before they are released. (taping CD's is also an option of course.) It doesn't just stop at free CD's. With a bit of blagging and a bit of persuassion, you will also be able to get yourself to gigs for free, to cinema previews for free, DVD releases, club launch parties and loads of other stuff. All you have to do is write a review. If you're not a student however, It may be worth checking if there's a local reviews paper which requires contributors, and if there isn't set up your own fanzine or webzine. If a company thinks it's going to something out of it, such as free advertising and publicity, they don't mind giving away loads of stuff - which is also why student papers are able to give away good stuff in competitions. So by spending a few hours a week writing for a university magazine, you'll find you'll loads of cool new things, and suddenly loads of friends after your cool new things.
Daphne & Celeste got on the Leeds & Reading bill by lying. Originally they lied to a journalist, telling him they were playing when they wern't, however this began a rumour saying that there were. This lead to a petition on the internet to actually get them on the bill, and eventually they were given a 15 minute slot between A and Blink 182 - both very rocky bands. At Leeds they performed Ohh - Stick U, UGLY, and there new one, School's out. They did get huge amounts of crap and abuse thrown at them, but my god were these girls lucky. They performed on the first day, when the ground was still fairly solid, if they had performed on the monday, they would have been pelted with huge amounts of nasty, wet, smelly mud. I think it would have been worth the admission price alone to have seen that. In fact, this should be a regular event at Reading/Leeds, we should nominate are most hated bands/singers to get pelted with mud and other crap. My suggestions would include Steps, Sclub7, all boy bands, and Robbie Williams (whose song even got booed off the stereo system thing before Embrace's set). If you have any suggestions for bands you'd like to see pelted with mud, list them below. Or if you disagree with my suggestions, say so, don't just rate this Not Useful like some fool has already, I want to read your opinions.
Any fan of Douglas Adams will love this game, and any fan of excellent stratedgy games will also love it. The premise of this game is based on a throwaway line in one his novels, commenting on how the Starship Titanic vanished soon after it's launch. The game begins shortly after that, with the ship actually crash landing into your house and you being invited on board. The aim of the game is to discover why the ship has crashed, and get everything back in working order so that you can return home, and my god is it complicated. There are months worth of puzzles to solve, and if some aren't done in the correct order, you may as well start again. In fact I had to cheat, and use the strategy guide, and if I hadn't I would never had completed it. Puzzles include collecting ingredients such as pureed starling to make a cocktail, getting an upgrade to first class, and figuring out the navigation controls. The comedy is of course very Adams-esque, and makes this game very different to others you've probably played. What really makes this game a touch above the rest however, is the interaction with the robot characters - these have an almost unlimited number of responses, and will actually answer your questions with relevant answers, rather than set answers for certain key words. This means that you can have entire, if insane, conversations with the characters, even on off-topic subjects. Terry Jones does the voice of the parrot by the way, and Douglas Adams has a few cameos in the game. The PC game comes on three discs, because it is so vast, and because the graphics are so outstanding. Also available are the strategy guide, and a novel written by Terry Jones - the novel won't provide you with any clues on how to solve the game however. WARNING. If you've got A-levels or a dissertation to do however, don't buy this, as you'll get sucked in and the hours will fly by. Otherwise, it'
s an excellent purchase.
Many people have a stigma against black and white films or movies with subtitles, beleiving they will be rubbish. I'm trying to bring attention to some films which are often neglected. So following on from my top ten of foreign movies (found in the world section) these films, in no particular order, are some of my favourite black & white ( or mostly black and white ) movies. They cross a wide span of decades, and there's bound to be at least one you'll love. I've even included one movie which is in b/w and has subtitles! American Histroy X. Starring Edward Norton this film only uses black and white for arty flashbacks, it's still however an excellent movie. The film focuses on the relationship between Norton and his younger brother (Edward Furlong) as they both become trapped in the culture of Neo-Nazi's. The conclusion can be guessed easily, but this doesn't make it any less powerful. Schindler's List. 1993. When Spielburg puts a bit of effort in, he really can come up with a superb movie. The film is all in b/w (apart from a little girls red dress) in order to provide it with its authenticity. Based on a booker prize winning novel, this really is a movie which should be seen by everyone. Double Indemnity. The classic film noir, featuring outstanding, innuendo filled dialogue, femme fatales, murders, betrayals and flashbacks, this is the movie which set the standard for film noir. Psycho. 1960. The original b/w Hitchcock version of course, this movie should be seen in a cinema to experience the full effect. Brighton Rock. A great spiv movie, with Richard Attenbourgh in one of his first ever roles as the menacing Pinky, he comes to a nasty end off Brighton pier though. 12 Angry Men. 1957. Another film set in just one room, this film proves that special effects or action movies aren't needed to create a great movie, as it's the screenplay and the acting tha
t makes this film amazing. Set inside a jury room the film follows the differing decision of twelve jurors on a complex case - and while this may not sound exciting, it truly is gripping stuff. Night of the Living Dead. Another classic b/w which has been remade in colour, but the original is still best of course. Zombies eating human brains and being shot in the head is all that needs to said about this film. Some Like it Hot. 1959. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, on the run from the mob and disguised as women, infiltrate a female brass band featuring Marylin Monroe. Unbelievably funny with loads of classic quotable lines, 'a must see.' Seven Samurai. 1954. Although clocking in at over three hours, this movie inspired The Magnificent Seven, and Kurosawa even inspired George Lucas. Outstanding action scenes together with a bunch a believable and likable characters make it worthwhile sitting through the subtitles. Casablanca. Well it is a classic, and it is also quite fun to watch - if not only to find out where all the often quoted lines come from, and so you can understand the many spoofs of the film. Other excellent b/w films that I've seen ages ago and can't remember well enough to review include: Rumblefish, Angels with Dirty Faces, 39 Steps, and A Matter of Life and Death.