First Reformed

November 24, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Written and directed by Paul Schrader (2018) As Chesterton is said to have said, ‘When you stop believing in God, you start believing in anything.’ This small but intense film about loneliness, isolation and moral agony, centred upon a narrator in crisis, echoes to an extent Schrader’s script for Taxi Driver, and its catharsis is similarly flawed, albeit more ambiguous. Much of the initial reaction has been to declare this film Schrader’s masterpiece, but we are of the view that his best film by far is the superb Affliction (which, again, bears some superficial resemblance to that on display here)….

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Bohemian Rhapsody

November 5, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Bryan Singer) (2018) If you don’t get a shiver down the spine during the opening scene of Bohemian Rhapsody, as we follow Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) onto the stage at Live Aid, you don’t deserve Freddie, or this terrific film – a goose-pimpling, foot-stomping bio-pic with heart. Yes, it follows the usual trajectory of ambitious boys putting their all into their music, despite evil managers and uncaring music company execs.  Yes, we know the story, and the film may not be entirely historically accurate, but like its namesake song, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.  Some…

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Our Best (& Worst) Australian Films

October 29, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Classic Film, FILM |

"The Devil's Playground"

THE BEST DOZEN: OUR LIST Bliss (1985) (Directed by Ray Lawrence) [“After Harry Joy dropped dead… his life was never the same again.” Hell is real! Ray Lawrence creates a totally original rendering of the Peter Carey novel, as good as his next film (see below) is not, with evocative and surreal touches and a great turn by Barry Otto as fallen adman Harry Joy.] The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) (Directed by Peter Weir) [It gives “Mo-Town” a whole new meaning. No-one got this when it came out, a jet-black comedy of mythic, small-town, country-dark Australia.] The Castle (1997) (Directed by…

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Adelaide (Short) Film Festival Thoughts

October 16, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

GU Film House, Hindley St. Adelaide, 15 October 2018 It’s hard to tell a story.  It is an Art. And part of the art is in selection and concision. That said, there are several feature films that run for a couple of hours which we never want to end.  P feels this way, for example, about Accident, and Vertigo.  Others, like Picnic at Hanging Rock, seem to begin and end at exactly the right time…and place.  But others are quite long enough, thank you – think Lawrence of Arabia, which L wishes would terminate early, when Lawrence’s motorcycle goes off…

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Hal Ashby

September 2, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, LIFE |

Born 2 September 1929, Ashby was ultimately destroyed by the counterculture that fostered him.  Starting with impressive editing work in the 1960s, he had a run of really interesting films in the 1970s: Harold and Maude (1971) (Suicide sure is funny in this film, as is the family priest’s “talk” with Harold about his relationship with a virtual octogenarian…) The Last Detail (1973) Shampoo (1975) Bound for Glory (1976) Coming Home (1978) Being There (1979)

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