Amazing Leonardo

October 20, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Jesus Garces Lambert) (2019) Made to mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, “Amazing Leonardo” has its moments but seems to suffer from constraints of more than budget. This is potted dramatic biography of the great artist, of which much is known through his notes and the art history of Vasari; here we tend to focus mainly on work during his patronage in Milan by its Duke, Ludovico Sforza, (informed by the work of art historian Pietro C. Marani of the Politecnico di Milano, who assisted Walter Isaacson in his recent book.) Italian A-lister Luca Argentero…

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The Conformist

October 13, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci) (1970) Italian Film Festival, Adelaide, 2019 “Judas hanged himself, or at any rate thought he could not avoid hanging himself, because the people who had suggested the betrayal and paid him for it did not then have the courage to support and justify him; but he would not kill himself nor give himself over to despair, because behind him…he saw the crowds collected in the squares to applaud the man under whose command he served, and, implicitly, to justify him, the man who obeyed orders. His final thought was that he was receiving nothing, in the…

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mother!

October 1, 2019 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Darren Aronofsky) (2017) -1* Directed into a stinking ditch by Aronofsky (whose Black Swan at least one of us in the TVC office quite liked), mother! is a complete whackadoodle of a movie. Whack. A. Doodle. (But not in a good way like, say, Aronofsk’s Requiem for a Dream or  The Lobster). After meretriciously deluding the sad, unsuspecting viewer with a set-up that invokes Rosemary’s Baby, The Others, the Book of Genesis and “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Darren goes completely off piste, off his head and off the (exhausted and ravaged) planet.  The metaphoric Garden of Eden gives way to…

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

August 19, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Quentin Tarantino) (2019) *** In the late 1960s, late in his career, Ezra Pound discussed his monumental work, The Cantos, calling it a ‘botch.’ When asked, “‘You mean it didn’t come off?’ the poet replied: ‘Of course it didn’t. That’s what I mean when I say I botched it.’ He then went on to describe a shop window full of various objects: ‘I picked out this and that thing that interested me, and then jumbled them into a bag. But that’s not the way’, he said, ‘to make’ – and here he paused – ‘a work of art.’”* Hollywood…

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Rocketman

July 15, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

"What do you have to do to get a drink around here?" (Elton at Rehab)

(Directed by Dexter Fletcher) (2019) This H[B]ollywood-style biopic (with a dash of Across the Universe, in its random song-and-dance numbers performed by the cast) neither persuades nor informs: instead, it scopes back from a stagey Rehab group – showing Elton John at an even lower ebb than when he released the notoriously awful record Victim of Love – and traces his life up to the 1980s, when he roared back with Too Low for Zero and staged a faux wedding to a woman. Boxes are ticked: there’s the early austere home life with two egocentric parents (very much not in love with each other),…

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