The Lost Weekend

February 21, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Billy Wilder) (1945) An early Wilder classic; one of the first great Drunk Films, and one that has hardly dated in its universal relevance. A middle-aged drunk can recover an awful lot of esteem by calling himself “a writer” (as this reviewer knows). In The Lost Weekend, Don Birman (Ray Milland) is a ‘drunk-called-writer’, who gives his brother Wick (Philip Terry) and his girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman) the slip, so he can carve-out a few days to write that novel about his battle with the bottle.  But since Don always struggles with paperwork, he decides to just hit…

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Kirk Douglas

February 6, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, Ulalume |

(1916 – 2020) Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky, his new name suited him down to the ground: he was one of the post-war film types who looked like businessmen (like Burt Lancaster). He formed his own production company in the 1950s and was instrumental in bringing works and talents to the fore (he gambled in giving script work to blacklisted Dalton Trumbo; he saw the potential in Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and took it to Broadway in 1963). As an actor, he was a strong presence; at times, he was almost too intense.  That drive worked very well…

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North by Northwest

January 5, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Staged at Adelaide Festival Theatre, 4 January 2019 (Directed by Simon Phillips) (1959 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock) Everybody knows the story: Manhattan Ad-man Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a (non-existent) government agent, kidnapped, framed and chased across the country by Cold War heavies. Hitchcock’s romantic thriller is a classic, featuring legendary scenes such as the interlude on the train to Chicago between Thornhill (Cary Grant) and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), the attack on Thornhill by a crop-duster, and the chase over the Mount Rushmore monument. And besides Grant and Saint, there were James Mason as a suave villain, Martin…

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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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21 August – Birthday Cake for Filmfolk

August 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Image by Kgayhart

We don’t suggest film-makers are horses, but several interesting players celebrate birthdays today… 1892: Charles Vanel Charles was the whispery menace of films of the 1940s and 1950s, most memorably in The Wages of Fear (above) and To Catch a Thief (below). 1924: Jack Weston His career didn’t have many highlights, but as Elaine May’s corrupt and needy attorney in A New Leaf, he was sensational. 1930: Frank Perry He had more misses than hits, but The Swimmer, based on a story by John Cheever, was out of the top drawer: 1944: Peter Weir Probably the greatest Australian director, whose films…

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