The Killing of a Sacred Deer

November 21, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (2017) You have probably already worked out that the title, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, refers to the punishment meted out by Artemis to Agamemnon for his killing of one of her deer – he was doomed to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. Now, I hear you say, isn’t that also a punishment of Iphegenia’s mother, her siblings and oh, I don’t know, Iphigenia? Of course Iphegenia is later avenged and the whole House of Atreus thing kicks off, but I digress…The point is that cardiologist Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), the Agamemnon of this tale and his family, are being punished for something…

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Carmen (Opera di Roma)

November 19, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

2017, Opera di Roma Border Control, Under the Volcano and Breaking Bad meet in this production of Opera di Roma, disastrously staged & directed by Valentina Carrasco.  Of which more later, but whilst any dumb directorial decision cannot defeat Carmen, it may nevertheless diminish it somewhat. Set impressively in the Roman Baths at the Terme di Caracalla (one was reminded of pop concerts at Red Rocks), the music stood out, with conductor Jesús López-Cobos content to let it do its own work in the main, and the leads in fine voice.  Veronica Simeoni is a fine exemplar of Bel Canto, although she…

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OK, Corral

November 10, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Gunfight at OK Corral (1957), directed by John Sturges; Tombstone (1993), directed by George P. Cosmatos. This legendary reckoning between the Earps and the Clantons was a lot more ambiguous than portrayed in these films, it didn’t take place at the OK Corral, and it only lasted 30 seconds or so.  Tombstone is a lot closer to historical fact than John Sturges’ 1957 effort, yet it takes a fair while to get going, and somehow lacks the cohesive force of the earlier film.  Kurt Russell is a stout and steely Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer (who has the best lines) is impressive as…

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November 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966) As part of the British Film Festival in Adelaide, this 1960’s classic returned to the big screen on 6 November 2017.  It is the film encapsulation of ‘swinging London’ – Preening celebrity photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) swings from high art to low fashion to taking random snaps of lovers in Maryon Park.  But the girl (a typical vacant, open-mouthed Vanessa Redgrave) protests, too much methinks; regretfully, Thomas has too much sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on his giddy mind to notice. After parrying the girl’s entreaties to return the film, he develops the roll…

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Don’t Burn Kevin!

November 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, FILM, POLITICS, Ulalume |

It has come to The Varnished Culture‘s attention that some Hollywood types lack the virtues of the Saints.  Well, fancy!  Turns out that getting drunk and a little ‘forward’ in the 1980s means you go to hell in the 20-teens. Kevin Spacey is getting the Harvey Weinstein treatment, with trimmings, because he not only failed to remember an inappropriate pass from long ago (and thus he must have dunnit) but he formally ‘outed’ himself at the same time, thereby cheapening the sanctity of such a rite of passage (apparently). So forget all about his stage work, or Glengarry Glen Ross, Swimming…

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