Don’t Burn Kevin!

November 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, FILM, POLITICS, Ulalume |
KevHarv

It has come to The Varnished Culture‘s attention that some Hollywood types lack the virtues of the Saints.  Well, fancy!  Turns out that getting drunk and a little ‘forward’ in the 1980s means you go to hell in the 20-teens. Kevin Spacey is getting the Harvey Weinstein treatment, with trimmings, because he not only failed to remember an inappropriate pass from long ago (and thus he must have dunnit) but he formally ‘outed’ himself at the same time, thereby cheapening the sanctity of such a rite of passage (apparently). So forget all about his stage work, or Glengarry Glen Ross, Swimming…

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Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

October 30, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Manolo

(Directed by Michael Roberts) (2017) Do you know the name of that adorable green shoe in the poster for this film?  Do you know where its creator Manolo Blahnik finds inspiration?  Or what sort of outfits he anticipates his shoes will be styled with?  Or why they are as comfortable (relatively speaking, of course) as they are?  Or which are his most popular designs and why?  Nor do we, and this film did nothing to enlighten us. We at TVC (one of whom is an adorer of the great man) went to see this film expecting to learn something about the issues raised above and to…

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The Charge at Beersheba

October 28, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, Classic Film, FILM, HISTORY |
Painting by George Lambert (c/-Australian War Memorial)

Painting by George Lambert (c/-Australian War Memorial)

31 October, 1917: That late afternoon saw the last great cavalry charge in history. The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade staged a ridiculously audacious and brilliant wheeze that routed the opposing forces of the (once truly great) Ottoman Empire. This bit of derring-do cleared the way for the taking of Gaza, and allowed British forces under General Allenby to enter Jerusalem, the first Christian occupier since the Crusades. Allenby had worked out that Beersheba (in Ottoman Palestine) was critical to overcome, in order to advance on, inter alia, Damascus.  But there were fortifications and well-manned, 9 feet-deep trenches, held by Turkish soldiers who were…

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Taming Toxic People (by David Gillespie)

Psycho!
(Image by Suma Iyer)

Psycho! (Image by Suma Iyer)

(The science of identifying & dealing with psychopaths at work & at home) (2017) David Gillespie is neither a dietician, nor a psychiatrist.  And yet he warns us against sugar* and against psychopaths, the latter being the slightly less dangerous of the two, it seems. Gillespie points out that the term “psychopath”  is not defined in DSM, (the book of psychiatric diagnoses), “Antisocial Personality Disorder”  being the closest thing to it, a term which makes one think of Banksy, rather than Ivan Milat.  But Gillespie likes the word ‘psychopath’ – it’s colourful and it’s useful shorthand for “Someone Like Ted Bundy or Idi Amin But Not Necessarily a Murderer”. A psychopath, Gillespie says,…

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Being Wagner

BW2

(by Simon Callow) (2017) Wagner was the Richard Nixon of Art: Revered, and reviled. Hugely accomplished and hugely flawed. Shining Knight and Scaly Dragon. So many words have been written by him, about him, for him and against him that when our literary friend Janelle sent us this book as a gift, it evoked a wan sigh – another Wagner book by an enthusiastic amateur, you might say!  Quelle Horreur you might say! Well, you all ought to be ashamed of yourselves!  This is a lovely book, full of sound insight and as easy to slip between its sheets as…

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