Caspar David Friedrich

November 20, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART |

(1774-1840) The strictly religious Pomeranian created some of the greatest landscapes of land and mind, leaving, not a fashionable school of design, but a romantic legacy that has moved later generations, including (alas) modern artists who were unable to draw.  His bleak world-view is encapsulated in his paintings, and some of the scenes of desolation and ruin are oddly prescient.  He at times recalls Poussin, Lorrain, Corot, even Constable, but he adds true Germanic gloom, revealing and half concealing a world whilst giving the viewer the impression of being beyond it. He made landscape, as painter David d’Angers observed, a…

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Murder by Decree

November 16, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, HISTORY, POLITICS |

22 October 2020 Another serving of much-needed food-for-thought from the John Bray Alumni Network of the University of Adelaide: this one from Bill Smith AM, former plod and police prosecutor in Whyalla (country SA) who came to the Big Smoke, got his degree, and found himself immersed in the frustrating but fulfilling world of international criminal justice. Modern crimes against humanity, in reflection of the new world order, have been somewhat inverted in practical application. Whereas a whole new jurisprudence had to be developed in the wake of the crimes of the Nazi regimes, the end of WWII, the development…

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Total Eclipse of the Mind: Worst Cover Ever

November 15, 2020 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | LIFE |

The Varnished Culture has mixed views on Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”  But irrespective of your view of this song, no-one deserves the homage given here on the Brazilian show “Alerta Amazonas.” Apart from the lead singer’s superb, surreal, extemporized, almost skat-like delivery of the libretto, we also loved the very artistic choreography and faux percussion of the Japanese performance artist, waving his pointless mallets about.  But best of all is the reaction of the host, who looks like he badly needs an escape plan…

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Sean Connery

November 14, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM |

(25 August 1930 to 31 October 2020) He wasn’t quite what Ian Fleming had in mind, but on the big screen, he was the first and best James Bond: moving like a panther, coiled like a spring, throwing away his throw-away lines with an amused accent that seemed to cross Eton with Edinburgh. The Bond films were a sociological event in the 1960s and 1970s, before they descended to a worn-out party joke of a franchise. Connery starred in Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and…

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Brian Pern: A Life in Rock

November 12, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Documentary, FILM, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

BBC TV (2014 – 2016) These 3 series, following, in semi-documentary style, the musical wanderings of Stowe-educated prog rock mystic and pain-in-the-neck Brian Pern, is one of the most hilarious things on TV, a worthy descendant of This is Spinal Tap, only better because it is not so loosely based on Peter Gabriel. The [Genesis/Thotch] pastoral schoolboy silliness of the early seventies gives way to the Great schism of 1977, allowing Brian Pern to pursue both solo career and role of secular saint and activist, where his insane lack of sense of linear time drives record producers, his former band,…

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