The Circus

(Showtime) This documentary (more of a fly-on-the-wall ride-along) looks at the bizarre 2016 primaries and general election in the US. The access to the candidates is terrific, even better than the Pennebaker piece, but you get the sense that whilst Donald Trump kept on winning, his rivals kept attacking the Republican candidate next in line, as they clearly couldn’t accept such an outlier: denial of clear facts over bruised feelings aka derangement syndrome, replicated even after he was endorsed by the GOP and contested the election against Hillary Clinton. The footage is king here; but the analysis is also vastly…

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Salvador Dali – In Search of Immortality

February 18, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by David Pujol) (2018) Mercury Cinema, Adelaide, 17 February 2020 As Dalí maintained, he was surrealism.  It was probably his only constant in life.  He was born 11 May 1904 in the Catalonian town of Figueres, named (‘reincarnated’) after a brother who had died a year before, aged two, doted on by his mother (who died when he was 16: “the greatest blow I had experienced in my life. I worshipped her… I could not resign myself to the loss of a being on whom I counted to make invisible the unavoidable blemishes of my soul.”)  His father was…

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Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

October 30, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Michael Roberts) (2017) Do you know the name of that adorable green shoe in the poster for this film?  Do you know where its creator Manolo Blahnik finds inspiration?  Or what sort of outfits he anticipates his shoes will be styled with?  Or why they are as comfortable (relatively speaking, of course) as they are?  Or which are his most popular designs and why?  Nor do we, and this film did nothing to enlighten us. We at TVC (one of whom is an adorer of the great man) went to see this film expecting to learn something about the issues raised above and to…

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Salinger

(Documentary by Shane Salerno, 2013) (The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, 1951) The consolation of philosophy.  That gave Salinger some peace from his war-borne PTSD, his difficulty with close relationships, his hankering for younger women, his feather-like sensibilities and his disdain for almost any other living writers. It also gave us his best book, Franny and Zooey (1955), but regretfully, it conferred upon him an unwholesome permit to abjure the world, retreat to a snow-bound hut and write for the sake of writing. Alas, he may have been clapped-out by the time he perfected his Unabomber impersonation – his 1965 story,…

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Chicken People

August 13, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Documentary, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Nicole Lucas Haimes) (2017) We’d rather fry it than spy it. A shotgun wedding of Best in Show and Brother’s Keeper, Chicken People is a massively inconsequential account of the hopes, dreams and struggles of a few select oakies, trying to breed the best bird in class and ultimately, in show.  Full of “characters,” the film, though competently made and shot, can’t disguise the fact that it would struggle to make it to prime time free-to-air, let alone the cinema.

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