O Lucky Man!

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Lindsay Anderson) (1973) (Seen at the Britsh Film Festival, Palace Nova Cinema, North Adelaide, November 2019) We still can’t believe we saw this freak-show, so overlong that afterwards you need immediately to check-in to an oxygen tent.  Whilst we rather liked Lindsay Anderson’s If…, the first ‘instalment’ of the Michael Travis ‘Trilogy’ (if that doesn’t sound too grand), as to this sorry excuse for a film, one can do little more than plunder from a review of the generic Anderson approach, written by Clive James*: “If Anderson had brought nothing but his talent to the job, the show…

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The Aspern Papers

November 17, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Julien Landais) (2018) “…So Percy Shelley, his wife Mary and their friend Edward Trelawny indulged in a little Venetian ménage à trois…” No, start again. “Shelley washes up from the Golfo dei poeti, in the deep blue Tyrrhenian Sea, where his wife finds a portrait and a satchel of early drafts“…This won’t do. “Henry James was bedazzled by European sophistication and scared of its vestiges in formidable and incorruptible women, so one day he decided to revamp Madame Merle and Isabel Archer within a literary mystery of elegant design, where the papers of debauched dead poet Jeffrey Aspern…

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A Joke With No Laughs: “Joker” is the Worst Movie of the Year

October 26, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Todd Phillips) (2019) Joker is All Dog, from snout to tail. It displays a breathtaking conceit as to its own importance, a delusion, in fact, of grandeur, and of relevance. It shamelessly rips-off much better films such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. It is completely tired and lustreless; it is neurotic and incoherent; it is inept, pretentious and self-indulgent; it has no insights to offer, just tritely psychologised solemnity that gets so murky it’s (almost) funny. In fact there is a special kind of unredeemed awfulness throughout the entirety of what we might loosely call…

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Parasite

October 20, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Bong Joon-ho) (2019) Mercury Cinema, OzAsia Festival, Adelaide, October 2019 Parasite begins as broad comedy, turns dark, and ends in ambiguity. The down-at-heel Kim family, ‘semi’ basement dwellers living in squalor, inveigle themselves, one by one, into the retinue of the rich and flashy Park family. The machinations by which they become attached, in turn, as tutor, art therapist, chauffeur and housekeeper are amusingly (though improbably) done. (We particularly liked the references to over-hyped abstract expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat, the ‘artist’ referenced by Kim’s ‘art-expert’ daughter after a brief surf on Google). For a while, all is well, and…

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Amazing Leonardo

October 20, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Jesus Garces Lambert) (2019) Made to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, “Amazing Leonardo” has its moments but seems to suffer from constraints of more than budget. This is potted dramatic biography of the great artist, of which much is known through his notes and the art history of Vasari; here we tend to focus mainly on work during his patronage in Milan by its Duke, Ludovico Sforza, (informed by the work of art historian Pietro C. Marani of the Politecnico di Milano, who assisted Walter Isaacson in his recent book.) Italian A-lister Luca Argentero…

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