Suddenly Last Summer

Sydney Theatre Company, Opera House, March 2015 A  thin story, not as shocking now as it was when Tennessee Williams wrote it, or even when it was filmed in 1959. Presented here as a sort of live cinema – for much of the play the actors are videoed as they perform in a pot-plant garden behind the screen on which the video is shown. Doors and windows open and shut.  Robyn Nevin doesn’t really have much to do.  Eryn Jean Norvill as Catherine and Mark Leonard Winter as Dr Cukrowicz  are impressive. Sebastian’s part  is  effective and powerful.   An odd choice of play for such an…

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The Buried Giant

March 19, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(by Kazuo Ishiguro) A plodding tale about memory, being nice to one another and Sir Gawain. Fittingly, the dragon who may or may not be the villain of the piece is thin, bloodless and apparently asleep.  The plot meanders episodically. The characters Axl and Beatrice are loving and real in their way, but the other characters are indistinguishable.  There is no soul, no gravitas, no depth.  Is the giant Arthur? or the dog of war? or does it have some eschatological meaning?  Either way it stayed well buried. If one wishes to read about King Arthur’s nephew, try Sir Thomas Malory (picture of the Grail on…

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The Heart is a lonely Hunter

(Carson McCullers) Not as completely ghastly as a Flannery O’Connor but up there in the southern Gothic oh-my-gawd stakes.  The ultimately empty, Christ-like Singer and the yearning tomboy Mick are stock characters perhaps but they live and breathe in this story of poverty, hopelessness and waste.  Ian Hunter’s “Cambreau” from Strange Cargo and Conrad Veidt’s “Stranger” from The Passing of the Third Floor Back meet Scout Finch in a boarding house, a café and a ditch.

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March 18, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Mr Gibson

(William Gibson). I thought that, having read Neal Stephenson and Philip K. Dick, I knew all about cyberpunk and would find Mr Gibson’s most famous book old-fashioned and dull.  Wrong.  Mr Gibson invented it all.  This book is even referenced ( via a bendy, circular world) in the recent blockbuster, Interstellar.  Read it.

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March 18, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Mozart didn't goof off in the darkroom

(Dir. Richard Linklater) (2014) Why all the fuss?  The only evidence of twelve years of production is the aging of the characters. A tired story line – a feckless, unthinking mother, no father.  Boy falls in love with girl next door.  As Dopey Mum says, “I just thought there would be more.”

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