We make places. And places make us. We respond to what we have created. But how does this compact between mankind and its greatest artifices work?
Jonathan Meades addressed this in a multitude of ways: visually, comically, rhetorically, obliquely, argumentatively and whilst swimming fully clothed.
And also passionately. For these programmes are the expression of an obsessional preoccupation with places and with the properties they reflect: fantasy and necessity, escape and expectation, individual assertion and collective fear.
Abroad In Britain : In Search of Bohemia
Jonathan Meades goes in search of the buildings and possible continued lifestyle and ethos of "Bohemians", looking at some present artists and poets in their studios and habitations, and considering two of the places in Britain called Bohemia, particularly looking at the architecture and character of Bohemia, the suburb of Hastings.
Abroad In Britain : Severn Heaven
Jonathan Meades looks at the community of people west of the Black Country, who have adapted and modified what were chalet-type wooden huts built in the 30s as holiday housing as homes.
Further Abroad : Belgium
Magritte was a Social Realist. Jonathan Meades explores Belgium and discovers that surrealism is the norm in coffin shops, finch sport, horse eating, vertical archery, cinema-churches, and the museums of underwear, penguins and ironing.
Further Abroad : Get High
The perilous attractions of vertigo. Documentary about unusual architecture, focussing on the theme of vertigo, with visits to aqueducts, office blocks, cliff-hanging houses, diving boards and cathedrals.
Even Further Abroad : Absentee Landlord
Investigates the churches that have been built since the Second World War.
Even Further Abroad : Double Dutch
Jonathan Meades explores The Fens.
Even Further Abroad : Remember The Future
When The World Was Modern: Big Tech of the 60s. Investigates technological relics from the 1960's.
Meades Eats... Fast Food
Meades looks at junk food, convenience food, the popular diet and associated risks.
Abroad Again: Father To The Man
Meades revisits the places his father took him to as a child in the hope that they may shed some light on the very obsession they fomented. Nostalgic? Certainly. And literally too - in that it evinces a longing for a lost home. Sentimental? Hardly.
Magnetic North - episode 1 of 2
Jonathan Meades travels from the flatlands of Flanders to Germany's spectacular Baltic coast in an attempt to decipher exactly what “Northernness” entails
Magnetic North - episode 2 of 2
Jonathan Meades travels through the Baltic states to Finland in an attempt to define “Northernness”, and sees castles, Lith dancing, totem poles, terrestrial sputniks and crosses.
We make places. And places make us. We respond to what we have created
Jonathan Meades abroad Collection
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“This box set is fantastic. Every episode is workout for the brain. Jonathan talks in waves of ideas with wit and insight. It is necessary to frequently stop, rewind and to digest in sections to grasp the whole meaning of what he is saying. They are visually stunning. Every shot and scene has been thought out to hold the attention, compliment the narrative, amuse and amaze. If Jonathan was the only program on the BBC, the television license would still be worth it! Please, please, oh please, could you release all of them as a set or rebroadcast them. These are gems and should be help up high as a demonstration of what the BBC can do! (Not all of us are content with either football or Eastenders!)”
“I can only reiterate Dennis's comments. It's such a shame that this 3 disc set only samples this gentleman's recordings. There is simply no one else like Mr Meades currently broadcasting on TV today. His sometimes caustic wit - insights - his extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge - makes him unique. Not only do we need ALL of Mr Meades previous programmes to be released as a box set - we also need to see a great deal more of Mr Meades now and in the future. BBC: make the most of this seriously talented man. ”
From: Jeremy Bridges
“Very good, Meades is a very good.unfortunatly the BBC in their infinite wisdom have not put all of the documentaries on the DVD. Why? because they do not care anymore they are more intrested in documentaries hosted by self proclaimed experts who are liberal with the facts.We need more Meades and others like him, I am fed up of that melodramatic rubbish produced these days, 'The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler' (on sale now) being one example, intended for a dumbed down audience it simply reads like a GCSE textbook, I don't even understand why it was produced, Kershaw has done it (good), Meades has done it (better than Kershaw, but not on this DVD) even Lawrence Olivier has done it (a long time ago).”