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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James Coco

March 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Comedy Film, FILM |

Born March 21 1930 James has a fairly ho-hum ‘hagiography’ but he was sensational in A New Leaf as Henry Graham’s Uncle Harry, who regards his late brother’s appointment of him, as Henry’s guardian, to be an act of spite. Whilst TVC‘s favourite moment in the film comes when Henry (Walter Matthau) is having ‘capital’ (and ‘income’) explained to him by his attorney, Mr Beckett (William Redfield), Coco, as Uncle Harry, is priceless when Henry calls, in order to negotiate a tide-over loan till he can marry a rich heiress.  You can put the link below into your search engine…

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Moanin’ Low

March 8, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

We remember Claire Trevor on her birthday (8 March, 1910) for that great scene in Key Largo (1948), as “Gaye Dawn,” remembering old times with former boyfriend Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), who requires her to perform an old torch song to his satisfaction before she can have that much-needed drink.  Gaye sings about as well as this writer, unfortunately for her.  It doesn’t get much more touching than this. There’s a nice little back-story to that scene, courtesy of Wikipedia, quoting from an article by Dennis McLellan in the Los Angeles Times of 28/5/1995: “Trevor was nervous about the scene,…

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