I, Tonya

March 12, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

It's a match made in Heaven

(Directed by Craig Gillespie) (2017) We laughed more than cried. Low comedy is more the order of the day here, rather than the high drama of the Great American Will to Win. Doubt is cast on Tonya Harding’s complicity in the cynical assault on her skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan, leading-up to the 1994 Olympic Games. Two borderline mental defectives drove to Kerrigan’s training rink, and while one waited with the motor running, the other gained access to Kerrigan and smashed her knee in (an act of bastardy to which these film-makers seem strangely dispassionate).  OK, it wasn’t quite a Texas…

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Screaming Jets

March 10, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 90 Screaming Jets (Johnny Warman) (written by Johnny Warman; released June 1981) [A one-hit wonder par excellence, Warman’s fable of a nuclear dawn still resonates (“there’s a ring around the sun…and it looks if we’re going back to where it all begun…”) and the sound effects are sensational, including some inspired back-wailing by Peter Gabriel.  A great one-off.] x https://youtu.be/Q26zl7x_EFE

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In Our Nature

March 9, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Gardens, March 2018 With the mosquito-like turbines of ‘Supercars‘ ringing in our ears, The Varnished Culture sought solace in the Gardens, and found this temple of unguents and ointments, a showcase for the interaction twixt people and plants, open for once. This was to exhibit a series of highly-stylised photographs by Tamara Dean, but first, we took-in the rather Belle Époque interior of the Museum, with its wonderful ceiling and the busts of several of the great botanists (Banks, Humboldt) lit atop various display cabinets. It was worth a visit for the magic mushrooms alone……

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Moanin’ Low

March 8, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

We remember Claire Trevor on her birthday (8 March, 1910) for that great scene in Key Largo (1948), as “Gaye Dawn,” remembering old times with former boyfriend Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), who requires her to perform an old torch song to his satisfaction before she can have that much-needed drink.  Gaye sings about as well as this writer, unfortunately for her.  It doesn’t get much more touching than this. There’s a nice little back-story to that scene, courtesy of Wikipedia, quoting from an article by Dennis McLellan in the Los Angeles Times of 28/5/1995: “Trevor was nervous about the scene,…

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Hamlet Sings! We Laugh!

March 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Hamlet, Glyndebourne Festival Opera production, Adelaide Festival Theatre, 6 March 2018 You know the story, or perhaps you can condense it into one word, as did the English stage director Tyrone Guthrie: “Mummy!”  But you might prefer to concentrate on the post-modern man Shakespeare seems to have had in mind with Hamlet: “the revolutionary whose manners and ways of life are attached to the old régime, whose ideals and loyalties belong to the new, and who, by a kind of courageous exhibitionism is compelled to tell the truth about both.”*  Bloom calls the play (which admittedly, has its own structural…

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