The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

July 21, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Werner Herzog) (1974) [He did exist: and his back story, true identity, and untimely end remain a mystery. Various suppositions and theories have all been unmasked as absurd.  Be that as it may, the myths around Kaspar offer a useful trope for film-makers. And in the case of Werner Herzog, it inspired his best film (along with Fitzcarraldo). The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser features all of his most infuriating flourishes, yet it manages to move and fascinate. Its a kind of Pygmalion-meets-The Wild Child-and-Bad Boy Bubby, with a dash of Ruprecht-the-Monkey-Boy from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.] It opens with Kaspar,…

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“The Elephant”

July 9, 2020 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Uncategorized |

“{Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant (The only harmless great thing), the giant Of beasts, who thought none had to make him wise, But to be just and thankful, loth to offend (Yet nature hath given him no knees to bend) Himself he up-props, on himself relies, And, foe to none, suspects no enemies, Still sleeping stood; vex’d not his fantasy Black dreams; like an unbent bow carelessly His sinewy proboscis did remissly lie.” “The Elephant” by John Donne

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

(dir. David Dobkin) (2020) (Netflix) If you love the Eurovision Song Contest, read on. If you hate, or are merely indifferent to it, stop reading now.  No-one likes that kind of negative weirdness. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was scheduled for release in May 2020, in order to coincide with the final of the real Eurovision contest in Rotterdam this year, but the final was cancelled, tragically, due to some little pandemic or other.   Who wouldn’t risk a bit of respiratory failure for the chance to see acts  like this – Thank goodness that at least we…

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Putin the Fabulist

June 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS, WW2 |

Best buddies

The National Interest, a magazine self-described as “America’s voice for strategic realism,” published an article, “The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II” by the totalitarian democrat, Vladimir Putin, on 18 June 2020. The link is: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982?page=0%2C2 Mr Putin states that “the Nazis were defeated first and foremost by the Soviet people…” One can excuse this as an excess of patriotic zeal, perhaps, but we are not sure whether the other countries that hazarded blood and treasure in that effort would choke on their Weeties at Putin’s breathtaking conceit.  Where, for example, was the Soviet Union when…

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All You Need is Love

June 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

25 June 1967: “All You Need Is Love”, the Beatles’ anthem of peace, was beamed to the World via a global television broadcast from the EMI studios in London. The sheer logistical immensity of the broadcast, coupled with the over-loaded production, gave the song a certain cachet, although it is essentially a condescending, lumpen hymn to an utopian Neverland, with lyrics that are the purest dross.  Yet it lingers, like a piece of old furniture one intends to put out in the hard rubbish but never does, which says something for its unabashed sincerity and heartfelt elements. Perhaps the better…

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