Get Out

May 8, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
get-out-3

(Directed by Jordan Peele) (2017) In the  promos for Get Out, we see  the agonised, frozen face of a black man, Chris. You will see more such faces in Get Out, but not all of them are black. Decades ago, having withdrawn from the tense atmospherics of a 1980s media party, L was chilling (there was still some hippie in the air, and L is very cool) in a quiet room, exchanging a few words with a well-known African-American singer, who was hoovering up some well-known Australian lollies from a jar on the mantelpiece. An older (white) couple paused on their way out to congratulate said singer with, “thank you for your…

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Henry V (Bedlam Version)

May 7, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Nick Duddy as Henry V2

Henry V (Adelaide University Theatre Guild, 6 May 2017) (Directed by Megan Dansie) “Diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.” (DSM-5). This is some way from the Welsh soldier Fluellen’s reference to Henry V by analogy to Alexander the Great: “in his rages, and his furies, and his wraths, and his cholers, and his moods, and his displeasures, and his indignations…” Henry Five turfed his buddies like Henry Eight did…

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Monkeying About

water-colour of Charles Darwin by George Richmond

water-colour of Charles Darwin by George Richmond

May 5, 1925: Teacher John Scopes is charged with having taught evolution in a Tennessee school. Originally designed as a means of putting the town of Dayton on the map, the case became a circus when Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan rolled into town as defence and prosecuting counsel.  The whole affair became a hoary old film of which The Varnished Culture has previously spoken. Scopes was convicted and fined $100 (which was overturned on appeal because, unusually, the penalty had to be stipulated by the jury rather than the trial judge). But Dayton did great business that summer….

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Neil’s Story

May 4, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Fiction, LIFE |
Prakash

Neil’s Story: A Regretful Refugee (ISIS Imprint) (2017) In this haunting, beautifully-written autobiography of one man’s encounter with a strange and hostile culture, the author shows how Australia’s lack of empathy drove him abroad to do good works in the Levant. It’s a unique clash-of-cultures tale, combining the innocence of Australian youth with the intricate and knowing wisdom of an ancient, sacred culture. Neil describes his formative years under the brutal Victorian regime, where he was forced into indentured servitude as an apprentice mechanic. Eventually he escaped this living hell for the promised lands of the Sunni-controlled part of Syria. Prakash was…

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Time to Pretend

May 3, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |
Pirating Mantis

Pirating Mantis

Time to Pretend  is a 2008 song by the American indie band MGMT (Andrew VanWyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser) from their album Oracular Spectacular.  Despite its youthful, cheerful piping, Time to Pretend is a deadpan, nihilistic lament. The clip (below) makes it clear that the way out of this vale of tears is to go the rockstar route and overdose.  Drop some acid on the beach from “Lord of the Flies”, ride some giant kittens and die in a psychedelic storm of dolphins. “I’m feelin’ rough I’m feelin’ raw I’m in the prime of my life Let’s make some music make some money find some…

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