TV / DVD

A Gathering at the Funeral Parlour

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We live our lives as we dispatch the dead.

Once a year families in Mexico gather at graveyards to eat with the dead. It's a strangely joyous occasion. There is a flower that the Aztecs called sempixóchitl, the eternal flower, that people arrange in white sprays before they sit down to dinner at the graveside. On that day people give each other sugar skulls with a name label crudely pasted on the forehead. For weeks beforehand the skulls sit piled high at all the local markets, in bright colours, arranged in a pyramid.

Is There a Doctor in the House?

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The trauma of ER is not just medical. Mike Gonzalez gives a diagnosis.

You know before it starts that one person will die and one or two be saved, that a group of people you vaguely recognise from the bus stop will mill around in the background, that it will rain unseasonally, or snow, that Carter will agonise and Dr Green and his surgeon partner will barely hold their lives together. You know that some group of people will arrive bleeding and broken wearing Viking helmets or the togas of a gospel choir.

Where the Sun Never Shines

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Review of 'Dark Days', director Marc Singer

Dark Days is the story of a community of homeless people living in a train tunnel beneath Manhattan. These people, some resident in the cavernous tunnels for up to 25 years, literally scratch out a living in the pitch black amongst swarms of rats while high speed trains fly by. This is all very reminiscent of the folk song Dark as a Dungeon Way Down in the Mines. The rain never reaches the tunnels and the sun never shines here either - but there is free electricity and a broken pipe under which to get a cold shower.

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