18 AUGUST – COLLECTIVE BIRTHDAY CAKE

August 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Classical Music, FILM, MUSIC |

18 August 1750 – Antonio Salieri His work has faded, leaving behind a (probably unfair) reputation of the poisoner of Mozart… 18 August 1920 – Shirley Schrift (Shelley Winters) The needy, blowsy slattern with a heart of gold and born to lose – Shelley’s specialty. Her great film moments: The Great Gatsby (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and especially Lolita (1962). 18 August 1933 – Roman Polanski His reputation has taken a battering of late, but he gets a plea in mitigation for films such as…

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“The Party of the First Part” – Jean Hagen

August 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Jean Hagen (born 3 August 1923) gave the performance of a lifetime as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Lina might look dumb but she’s formidable, in fact, and a scrapper!  Witness her resistance to replacement by actresses without her fog-horn / breaking-glass voice, when she reminds the studio head of Monumental Pictures about relevant clauses in her contract:

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Our 20 Finest Films

July 13, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Classic Film, FILM |

The Varnished Culture has not been hibernating these few weeks in late June and early July. We have convened, and over many screeching, shrill, shrieking debates, several pots of coffee and several bottles of fine Jeanneret riesling from the Clare Valley, we have, with some dissents, compiled our list of the Greatest. We hope for, but do not expect, tolerance from film buffs out there. But if you can bottle the acid and lower the static, please let us have your thoughts (but be prepared to defend them!) There’s no mileage in exhaustively setting-out our Committee’s criteria, or allowing too…

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Wings of Desire

June 13, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Wim Wenders) (1988) Having recently seen the great Bruno Ganz In some OK and under par films, TVC decided to attend the closing night of the German Film Festival in Adelaide and get amongst the champagne and canapés (and we should confirm that we did not, and do not make a habit, of accepting free tickets or hospitality). Wings of Desire is Wenders’ great masterpiece, in which two “recording” angels, Damiel (Bruno) and Cassiel (Otto Sander), swan about Berlin (an historic and increasingly bizarre town, described by its Mayor a while ago as “poor but sexy.”) The photography of the city…

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Milos Forman Flies the Coop

April 13, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, LIFE |

(18 February 1932 to 13 April 2018) An exemplar of Eastern European new wave, he got out of his native Czechoslovakia just before the Soviets brought Winter into the Prague Spring. He’ll be remembered in particular for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Hair (1979), Amadeus (1984) (filmed in Prague, under the wary eyes of Comintern flunkies), The People vs Larry Flint (1996) and Man on the Moon (1999). A number of his projects never got off the ground (as if that’s the way to treat one of the more intelligent film directors). Vale, Milos.

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