The Killing of a Sacred Deer

November 21, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (2017) You have probably already worked out that the title, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, refers to the punishment meted out by Artemis to Agamemnon for his killing of one of her deer – he was doomed to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. Now, I hear you say, isn’t that also a punishment of Iphegenia’s mother, her siblings and oh, I don’t know, Iphigenia? Of course Iphegenia is later avenged and the whole House of Atreus thing kicks off, but I digress…The point is that cardiologist Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), the Agamemnon of this tale and his family, are being punished for something…

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OK, Corral

November 10, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Gunfight at OK Corral (1957), directed by John Sturges; Tombstone (1993), directed by George P. Cosmatos. This legendary reckoning between the Earps and the Clantons was a lot more ambiguous than portrayed in these films, it didn’t take place at the OK Corral, and it only lasted 30 seconds or so.  Tombstone is a lot closer to historical fact than John Sturges’ 1957 effort, yet it takes a fair while to get going, and somehow lacks the cohesive force of the earlier film.  Kurt Russell is a stout and steely Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer (who has the best lines) is impressive as…

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November 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966) As part of the British Film Festival in Adelaide, this 1960’s classic returned to the big screen on 6 November 2017.  It is the film encapsulation of ‘swinging London’ – Preening celebrity photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) swings from high art to low fashion to taking random snaps of lovers in Maryon Park.  But the girl (a typical vacant, open-mouthed Vanessa Redgrave) protests, too much methinks; regretfully, Thomas has too much sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on his giddy mind to notice. After parrying the girl’s entreaties to return the film, he develops the roll…

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Wake in Fright: Conclusion

October 16, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

October 2017 We have spoken with fervent admiration of the book and the film but nevertheless found some good things in the first part of this television re-make, updated to render the appalling bleakness of the story more palatable, and credible, to a new generation. The point of the original film was its grand mix of hedonism and nihilism, which needed no explanation and would actually have suffered for it. To a more prosaic audience, perhaps (one arguably a trifle less worldly?) more needs to be explained, or constructed. And such scaffolding over the underlying story dissipates its elemental power. Part Two opens with the…

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Wake in Fright


(by Kenneth Cook) (1961) (Directed by Ted Kotcheff) (1971) (TV mini-series directed by Kriv Stenders) (2017) “May you dream of the Devil and wake in fright.”  Kenneth Cook began his terrific debut novel with this ancient curse, and then set his Dantesque tour in hell in a one-horse town where innocent, city-boy teacher John Grant, learns all about the dark underbelly of the Australian bush. Experience can be a brutal teacher and in the book, the hospitality of the locals from “The ‘Yabba” is far worse than anything a gang of criminals or terrorists could serve up: it’s a never-ending free-for-all…

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