21 August – Birthday Cake for Filmfolk

August 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Image by Kgayhart

We don’t suggest film-makers are horses, but several interesting players celebrate birthdays today… 1892: Charles Vanel Charles was the whispery menace of films of the 1940s and 1950s, most memorably in The Wages of Fear (above) and To Catch a Thief (below). 1924: Jack Weston His career didn’t have many highlights, but as Elaine May’s corrupt and needy attorney in A New Leaf, he was sensational. 1930: Frank Perry He had more misses than hits, but The Swimmer, based on a story by John Cheever, was out of the top drawer: 1944: Peter Weir Probably the greatest Australian director, whose films…

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18 AUGUST – COLLECTIVE BIRTHDAY CAKE

August 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Classical Music, FILM, MUSIC |

18 August 1750 – Antonio Salieri His work has faded, leaving behind a (probably unfair) reputation of the poisoner of Mozart… 18 August 1920 – Shirley Schrift (Shelley Winters) The needy, blowsy slattern with a heart of gold and born to lose – Shelley’s specialty. Her great film moments: The Great Gatsby (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and especially Lolita (1962). 18 August 1933 – Roman Polanski His reputation has taken a battering of late, but he gets a plea in mitigation for films such as…

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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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“The Party of the First Part” – Jean Hagen

August 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Jean Hagen (born 3 August 1923) gave the performance of a lifetime as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Lina might look dumb but she’s formidable, in fact, and a scrapper!  Witness her resistance to replacement by actresses without her fog-horn / breaking-glass voice, when she reminds the studio head of Monumental Pictures about relevant clauses in her contract:

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Auto-Focus: Our Runners-Up

July 14, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | FILM |

"What? No Shawshank Redemption? You idiots!"

Settle down folks. Our Top 20 list was drawn with blood, sweat and tears. We are not going to ‘out’ ourselves, except to say that we regard ourselves as disinterested, more qualified than the Archibald Trustees, and more cohesive than the Nobel Committee. We can’t hope to please everyone by our list (by definition, exclusionary). Our runners-up list was a lot longer, and friendlier (almost unanimous, with some spectacular exceptions, viz., Lawrence of Arabia): Ace in the Hole (Directed by Billy Wilder) (1951) All About Eve (Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz) (1950) All the President’s Men (Directed by Alan J. Pakula) (1976)…

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