A Delicate Balance

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Tony Richardson) (1973) One Friday night a tense little New England family receives a surprise visit from a couple of old friends. It seems they were at home and suddenly ‘became frightened’ for no apparent reason. So they decide to move in with their oldest friends, opening up some old, and some still warmly moist, scars, testing the limits and concept of true friendship. More delectable, drunken, hate-filled east coast dummy-spits from Edward Albee. The Varnished Culture always draws the cat’s attention to what might happen to him if he ever “doesn’t like us anymore”.

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Chinatown

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Roman Polanski) (1974) Superior latter-day film noir, replete with sophisticated non-plot (something about diverting public water for private purposes), has Faye Dunaway getting away with scenery-chewing, due no doubt to difficulties with character (‘She’s my daughter! She’s my sister! She’s my daughter…’).

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Bigger Than Life

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

cortisone

(dir. Nicholas Ray) (1956) Uber-normal 50s family has life turned on its head when Dad gets hooked on cortisone and starts wearing robes and a crown.  It’s like The Brady Bunch meets Oliver Twist and it fairly crackles.  James Mason’s great performance is almost too big for the film – you want him strait-jacketed only after he stabs everyone in the cast.

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Badlands

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Terence Malick) (1973) Bleak and stark it may be but there is a fairy tale quality in this sanitized, loose but compelling adaptation of the Starkweather-Fugate crime spree in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1957/8.  Kit (Martin Sheen) and Holly (Sissy Spacek) brilliantly capture the sweetest, stupidest and deadliest couple since Bonnie and Clyde. Holly’s girlish internal monologues are laugh-out-loud, close to the style of Stephen Leacock’s Memoirs of Marie Mushenough. This is Malick’s magum opus.

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Accident

October 21, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Joseph Losey) (1967) Harold Pinter scripted from the novel by Nicholas Mosley: Dirk Bogarde covets his pupil’s girlfriend but lacks the courage to close in.  Meanwhile his academic pal is already on the case.  Everyone deserves censure and they know it.  Moody, slow, richly complex, misanthropic and not-to-be-missed.

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