November 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966) As part of the British Film Festival in Adelaide, this 1960’s classic returned to the big screen on 6 November 2017.  It is the film encapsulation of ‘swinging London’ – Preening celebrity photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) swings from high art to low fashion to taking random snaps of lovers in Maryon Park.  But the girl (a typical vacant, open-mouthed Vanessa Redgrave) protests, too much methinks; regretfully, Thomas has too much sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on his giddy mind to notice. After parrying the girl’s entreaties to return the film, he develops the roll…

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Veronica, by Nicholas Christopher

Waverly Place, Manhattan.  (Image by Beyond My Ken)

Waverly Place, Manhattan. (Image by Beyond My Ken)

The cover of Nicholas Christopher’s A Trip to the Stars bears the fiat, “A novel by the author of Veronica“, as if that were an enticement. Had I read Veronica first, I would not have read A Trip to the Stars, which is a literary proof of the fact that fate is fickle. Veronica commences thus – “In lower Manhattan there is an improbable point where Waverly Place intersects Waverly Place.  It was there I met Veronica, on a snowy, windy night. She was looking for her keys on the sidewalk in front of a brownstone beside the Convent of…

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“Once More, With Feeling”

November 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA |
Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Statue of Hans by Johann Konrad Krausser (photo by T. Voekler)

Hans Sachs (born 5 November 1494, in Nuremburg), was an early version of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Carole King, Elvis Costello, all the great songsmiths and wordsmiths of popular music. Thing is, he did it solely for glory, not bread and jam; for the latter, he kept his day job. For his life, he got one of the great operas of all time; today, he gets birthday wishes from The Varnished Culture.

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The Cars That Ate Reason


Mitsubishi folded car manufacturing in Australia in 2008.  Last year, Ford closed. This October, Holden closed its plant at Elizabeth, with stacks of local workers shown the door and associated industries going to the wall.  It is not as if we made crap cars.  It wasn’t from lack of an enthusiastic local market for Holdens and Fords. And it’s not as if the good old Aussie taxpayer hadn’t stumped-up its fair share of subsidised cash to keep the embers glowing. Market forces are many and varied. But they tend to follow immutable, organic, rules.  When organised car-making started up in…

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Dance of the Screamers

November 3, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 87 Dance of the Screamers (by Ian Dury and the Blockheads) (written by Ian Dury and Chaz Jankel; released May 1979)           [Ian Dury (1942 – 2000) was unique, a unlikely Essex mix of Music Hall, New Wave and Court Jester.  Some of the songs were plonking but many were really interesting in terms of structure and lyrical feeling, and the sound was sure – from Sweet Gene Vincent, Billericay Dickie, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Inbetweenies, This is What We Find, I Want to be Straight, Spasticus Autisticus to Lonely…

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