Bigger Than Life

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

cortisone

(dir. Nicholas Ray) (1956) Uber-normal 50s family has life turned on its head when Dad gets hooked on cortisone and starts wearing robes and a crown.  It’s like The Brady Bunch meets Oliver Twist and it fairly crackles.  James Mason’s great performance is almost too big for the film – you want him strait-jacketed only after he stabs everyone in the cast.

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Badlands

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Terence Malick) (1973) Bleak and stark it may be but there is a fairy tale quality in this sanitized, loose but compelling adaptation of the Starkweather-Fugate crime spree in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1957/8.  Kit (Martin Sheen) and Holly (Sissy Spacek) brilliantly capture the sweetest, stupidest and deadliest couple since Bonnie and Clyde. Holly’s girlish internal monologues are laugh-out-loud, close to the style of Stephen Leacock’s Memoirs of Marie Mushenough. This is Malick’s magum opus.

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Accident

October 21, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. Joseph Losey) (1967) Harold Pinter scripted from the novel by Nicholas Mosley: Dirk Bogarde covets his pupil’s girlfriend but lacks the courage to close in.  Meanwhile his academic pal is already on the case.  Everyone deserves censure and they know it.  Moody, slow, richly complex, misanthropic and not-to-be-missed.

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Argo

A worried President Carter.

(dir. Ben Affleck) (2012) Competent, over-praised and ultimately futile defence of the Carter administration.

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Tranquility in Sorrento

Sorento

I essentially completed my novel, Tranquility in Sorrento, Tasso’s town, circa April 2013.  Unlike Joseph Conrad, who, when finishing Lord Jim one early morning, shared a piece of chicken with his cat, I couldn’t hear my cat’s insistent calls to breakfast: he was thousands of miles away.  Moreover, there was no feeling of triumph, merely relief floating in a sea of fatigue and alcohol.  I started this thing in 1979, ignorant of vast swathes of modern fiction, an ignorance that cannot be overcome, perhaps only palliated, by reading 24/7.  By 2013, having worked on it in time to spare and short periods…

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