James Coco

March 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Comedy Film, FILM |

Born March 21 1930 James has a fairly ho-hum ‘hagiography’ but he was sensational in A New Leaf as Henry Graham’s Uncle Harry, who regards his late brother’s appointment of him, as Henry’s guardian, to be an act of spite. Whilst TVC‘s favourite moment in the film comes when Henry (Walter Matthau) is having ‘capital’ (and ‘income’) explained to him by his attorney, Mr Beckett (William Redfield), Coco, as Uncle Harry, is priceless when Henry calls, in order to negotiate a tide-over loan till he can marry a rich heiress.  You can put the link below into your search engine…

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10 Birthdays and A Funeral

'We have to make a birthday tea for 10 and a funeral tea...'

20 March – a big day in cultural history: 43 BC – Ovid “Take your fill of amusement, but cast the veil of modesty over your peccadilloes. Never make a parade of your good fortune, and never give a woman a present that another woman will recognise.” [The Art of Love] “Death is not accustomed to injure genius, and greater fame arrives after we have become ashes…” [Epistle to an Envious Man]. 1828 – Henrik Ibsen “SOLNESS: Human beings haven’t any use for these homes of theirs. Not for being happy in. And I shouldn’t have had use for a…

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16 March, 2018 at “Jade”, Adelaide Fringe Raw, but we ate it up. This performance was one of those closest to the spirit of the Fringe, where non or semi-professionals can test their abilities, and material, in front of an Adelaide crowd, a crowd that is no pushover, albeit less querulous than Milan and less violent than Edinburgh. Co-producers Simon Coad and Adrian Nippress, in collaboration with Simon Goodes, created the gruesome conceit of a mock ‘Telethon,’ with all the forced striving to entertain and chaotic variety which that entails, and whilst The Varnished Culture had reservations (of which more…

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One of the Famous Five

March 18, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC |

Rimsky-Korsakov by Ilya Repin

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, 18 March 1844 to 21 June, 1908 R-K is placed with the so-called ‘Mighty Five’ Russian Composers – Modeste Mussorgsky, Mily Balakirev, Alexander Borodin and César Cui. Neither hidebound by convention nor restrained by the strictures of an academy, they created an original and inventive ‘Russian’ sound. Mussorgsky is regarded as the best, and while Borodin is often ranked second, The Varnished Culture disagrees: “It is regrettable, perhaps, that many today know Rimsky-Korsakov mainly for the ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’, an orchestral interlude from the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, which was written as the century…

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Those Barren Leaves

By Aldous Huxley (1925) “Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books; Or surely you’ll grow double: Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks; Why all this toil and trouble? … Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives.” [William Wordsworth, The Tables Turned (1798)] Huxley’s sojourn among the leisured and treasured and their hangers-on, impoverished chancers all, stationed above the Tyrrenhian Sea, whilst as “clever but ephemeral”* as all his books, is still a hoot, a wiry satire of cultural elites who talk…

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