The Great Gatsby

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
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(dir. Baz Luhrmann) (2013) We were in glamorous Station Street, Birmingham, which turned out to contain “The Electric”, the UK’s oldest cinema. So The V.C. went to see Gatsby in 3D. Looked great but Baz has not nailed the brief: who could? Joel Edgerton looks like Tom Buchanan but talks like Ron Burgundy…Jordan Baker, Meyer Wolfsheim, Owl Eyes, have walk-ons and nothing to do. Gatsby is played like a sad sack with Asperger’s…Luhrmann should take a tip from Visconti when he filmed “Death in Venice”: forget revision, in fact, forget a script – just film the book.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, HISTORY, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, USA History |
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(dir. Sergio Leone) (1966) The western as grand opera, with a poke at the Civil War thrown in. See in particular the late Eli Wallach scrambling about for the grave with the buried treasure. x https://youtu.be/_ZHEu7HusG4  

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God’s Funeral

Hardy is dead, but is God?

Hardy is dead, but is God?

(by A.N. Wilson) A beautiful & rich review of Victorian and Edwardian thinking, as God’s life support was unplugged and how later generations may come, in time, to feel the need to apply resuscitation. As Kenneth Clark observed, heroic materialism and Marxism aren’t enough. We need something more.

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The Glass Bead Game

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(by Hermann Hesse) Hesse’s ideation of his own life as a monk is a heavy but worthwhile read.

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The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress

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(by Beryl Bainbridge) An odd, slight, oddly touching and slightly naff story of a road trip to oblivion, culminating in the death of RFK; but is the dysfunctional, libidinous Rose ‘the girl in the polka dot dress’ who exclaimed, ‘We shot him!’ as reported in the LA Times on 6 June 1968?  Bainbridge’s last, almost finished novel is, unlike The Original of Laura, worth reading.  

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