First Reformed

November 24, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Written and directed by Paul Schrader (2018) As Chesterton is said to have said, ‘When you stop believing in God, you start believing in anything.’ This small but intense film about loneliness, isolation and moral agony, centred upon a narrator in crisis, echoes to an extent Schrader’s script for Taxi Driver, and its catharsis is similarly flawed, albeit more ambiguous. Much of the initial reaction has been to declare this film Schrader’s masterpiece, but we are of the view that his best film by far is the superb Affliction (which, again, bears some superficial resemblance to that on display here)….

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Bohemian Rhapsody

November 5, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Bryan Singer) (2018) If you don’t get a shiver down the spine during the opening scene of Bohemian Rhapsody, as we follow Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) onto the stage at Live Aid, you don’t deserve Freddie, or this terrific film – a goose-pimpling, foot-stomping bio-pic with heart. Yes, it follows the usual trajectory of ambitious boys putting their all into their music, despite evil managers and uncaring music company execs.  Yes, we know the story, and the film may not be entirely historically accurate, but like its namesake song, the whole is more than the sum of its parts.  Some…

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Adelaide (Short) Film Festival Thoughts

October 16, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

GU Film House, Hindley St. Adelaide, 15 October 2018 It’s hard to tell a story.  It is an Art. And part of the art is in selection and concision. That said, there are several feature films that run for a couple of hours which we never want to end.  P feels this way, for example, about Accident, and Vertigo.  Others, like Picnic at Hanging Rock, seem to begin and end at exactly the right time…and place.  But others are quite long enough, thank you – think Lawrence of Arabia, which L wishes would terminate early, when Lawrence’s motorcycle goes off…

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The Wife

August 17, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Björn Runge) (2018) The Nobel Committee stuffs-up again? That’s no surprise – ask Rosalind Franklin!  But we doubt the entire world of readers, writers, publishers and critics could be so dumb as to believe Joan Castleman (Glenn Close), married to faux Jewish intellectual Joe (played by Jonathan Pryce as a cross between John Cheever and Howard Jacobson), had nothing to do with his sensitive, deliberately-paced, richly-textured, (almost feminine!) body of work, for which he gets to go to Stockholm and get a medallion handed him by a team of flaxen-haired cheerleaders. This #me-too melodrama is based on the…

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Hereditary

June 15, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Toni Overdoes It.

(dir. Ari Aster) (2018) Aster’s first feature performs well on The Babadook Horror Movie Scale.  There’s a large, unnaturally dark house, the topography of which is unclear, with curtains, a basement and lamp-lit corners; an insect invasion or two; a cute shaggy pet dog (not long for this world), and a creepy kid. Hereditary reminds us though, to add to the list – a medium, a séance, lights which might be ectoplasm, reflections of faces, a room which must not be entered until The Big Reveal, books which no-one opens until The Big Reveal, and old photographs which are just lying about, un-examined, until The…

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