Dogville

dogville

(dir. Lars von Trier) (2003) Before he developed a cinematic messiah complex and turned out stuff such as Melancholia, Trier did some intriguing and dramatically satisfying work. If viewers can overlook staginess, this film is a gem, an Arthur-Miller-meets-Eugene-O’Neill tour in hell, with great turns by a really interesting cast. Not for all tastes. Ms Kidman’s momentous philosophical discussion with Mr Caan at finale a highlight.

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Doctor Faustus

drfaustus

(by Thomas Mann) Formidably long and deep, Mann’s novel was written from 1943 to 1947 and represents his “F.U” to Germany for feting Hitler and forgetting Mann. Still, Mann was right and this work is his masterpiece, one of the most authentic studies of genius.  Roger Scruton called it “Mann’s great valediction to Western culture.”

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A Distant Episode

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |
101px-Desert_with_a_lot_of_palmtrees_Tunisia

(by Paul Bowles) Like the cove in George Orwell’s piece about bookshops, we generally ‘do not desire little stories’, yet this is P’s personal favourite, along with Joyce Carol Oates’ Where are You Going, Where have You Been?. Warning: Both stories are particularly nasty.

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The Dinner Game

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Comedy Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
thedinnergame

(dir. Francis Veber) (1998) Kenneth Tynan said that you have to be cruel to be kind in high French comedy. In the present case, a bunch of nasty Parisian swells convene a regular dinner in which they have to bring along an unsuspecting dill, each with his own dumb hobby/obsession that their hosts can suavely, and discretely, mock. The book publisher’s friend has, by accident, found an idiot for the next round – in fact, he’s a world champion. But most satisfyingly, cruelty loses to stupidity in this sublime Gallic turn, and one also learns how many matches it takes…

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A Delicate Balance

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
adelicatebalance

(dir. Tony Richardson) (1973) One Friday night a tense little New England family receives a surprise visit from a couple of old friends. It seems they were at home and suddenly ‘became frightened’ for no apparent reason. So they decide to move in with their oldest friends, opening up some old, and some still warmly moist, scars, testing the limits and concept of true friendship. More delectable, drunken, hate-filled east coast dummy-spits from Edward Albee. The Varnished Culture always draws the cat’s attention to what might happen to him if he ever “doesn’t like us anymore”.

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