Black Angel

January 17, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Roy William Neill)(1946) This obscure Universal film noir is rather odd in an intriguing, almost surreal way. A blackmailer, Mavis Marlowe (Constance Dowling), ex-wife of part-time pianist/composer and full-time drunk, Martin Blair (Dan Duryea), turns up strangled in her apartment, one of Blair’s songs reverberating on the record player. Blair was on the spot earlier but the Doorman, under instructions, told him to go jump, whereupon he went on a bender of epic proportions. Meanwhile, Kirk Bennett, a poor sap who’s been having an affair with Mavis, visits, but finds her dead and busily incriminates himself by leaving…

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The End of the Trak

January 7, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, LIFE |

Trak Cinema’s final night, Saturday, January 2, 2021 “The little cinema with the big programmes” sadly called it a day, the other day. (Small independent operators, particularly in the provinces, have done it tough, what with the larger chains, streaming services and the plague). The final screening was in Cinema 1, the Trak’s original theatre, which opened on 26 December 1975 with Jeremy and Where the Lilies Bloom. On closing night, the Trak gave the large gathering a slight, quiet, but very appropriate film, The Smallest Show on Earth (1957). A young couple, Matt and Jean (played by Bill Travers…

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2020: Like a Sad Film

December 31, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | FILM, LIFE |

The World of Film was visited by the Masque of the Black, rather than Red, Death, this year. No, not Plague, but Time. While you listen to some appropriate Funerary Music, here’s a selected roll-call of stars now under management of One Sole Agent: Wilford Brimley – the gruff and grizzled descendant of Walter Brennan appeared in key supporting roles in Brubaker, The China Syndrome, The Thing, Tender Mercies, The Natural and The Firm but for our money, he was at his best in a small key role in Absence of Malice (1981). Sean Connery Brian Dennehy – Brian was…

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Unhinged

December 7, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Derrick Borte) (2020) (Netflix) The portentous opening credits, and indeed the horrendous opening sequence, suggest that Unhinged is going to have something profound to say about contemporary wrath, taking its Road Rage homily as a linchpin: sort of a cross between Duel, Falling Down and Romper Stomper. Alas, instead we get a trashy, c-grade, repulsively violent serving of haute psychomania. Russell Crowe (an un-named man in a pickup truck) is at the end of his tether.  Understandably distracted, he dawdles at an intersection with the lights on green.  This causes annoying and scatty single mum Rachel (Caren Pistorius),…

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Good Marxists Are Anarchists

November 26, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, FILM |

The Marx Brothers: Trotsky hated anarchists. Anarchists do not belong in the corridors of power (which they seek to explode), or dark and dusty back rooms of evil-looking pubs, or marching in the streets, or in any organized gathering, in fact. “The anarchists have suffered as much as any minority from the historian’s cult of success. They never made a successful revolution. Their political theories are full of logical flaws and mistaken assumptions. The sympathy which one type of anarchist doctrine might have won has been lost by the ruthless and senseless violence and terrorism which was characteristic of another…

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