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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(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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Eight Days a Week

November 29, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

The Beatles (sans Ringo) at Adelaide Town Hall, 1964 (photo courtesy of "The News")

(Dir. Ron Howard) (2016) For any Beatles baby, or post-Fab Four folks who want to see what the fuss was about, this documentary, featuring engaging new footage but no new insights, is an entertaining and memorable review of the touring years of the World’s Most Famous Pop Group. The Beatles were an ‘event sociological’ in the 1960s: you can use them as a parlour game to track through that wacky decade: Cavern Club Brian Epstein Mop Tops Jelly Babies Yeah, yeah, yeah Pierre Cardin jackets Ed Sullivan Show Milkmen whistling their tunes “Rattle your jewellery” A Hard Day’s Night MBEs Help! Live…

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Get it up proudly (photo by Thomas Good)

(Produced & Directed by Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg) (2016) Is a Great Man not also a Man?  Think of the Emperor Tiberius, or John F. Kennedy.  The flesh is weak, and our moral standards can’t harden when some slack should be cut. In 2011, 7-term congressman and Democratic attack-dog Anthony Weiner (a kind of American Sam Dastyari) resigned office over salacious ‘sexting’, featuring close-up photographs of his bulging underwear, weiner prominent. After the dust settled from that, Mr Weiner (a scrappy, combative, demonstrative Weiner) decided to run for Mayor of New York City in 2013.  This documentary follows that campaign, with what seems…

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