The Sorrow and the Pity

(dir. M Ophuls) (1969) A leisurely pace prevails, as diverse men chat about France under German occupation.  This casual approach belies the serious and vital theme that slowly works into the brain and heart:  courage and conscience under duress and in crisis.  

Continue Reading →

Something Happened

(by Joseph Heller) The best review of this amusing, desolate book was by Kurt Vonnegut in the NYTRB, reproduced in his collection, Palm Sunday, where he nails the essential bleakness of Heller’s worldview: “that many lives, judged by the standards of the people who live them, are simply not worth living.” ‘Everyone seems pleased with the way I’ve taken command.’  

Continue Reading →

Snooty Baronet

(by Wyndham Lewis) Lewis was an incendiary hater and this savage and hilarious trifle is worth a read for his acrid scenes involving his literary agent, ‘Humph’, including the delightful dispatching thereof.

Continue Reading →

The Sistine Chapel

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

Image courtesy of Titimaster

Unless you have some Papal credentials, see the Vatican City with a proper guide. Not merely to jump queues but to navigate the treasures within. Giotto’s triptych; Caravaggio’s Entombment; the Laocoon; Raphael’s Transfiguration, Liberation of St Peter and School of Athens…some of the greatest mythical painting ever made and there it all is, before you, towering over the tourist hurly-burly, busy taking selfies. Blessed with a bit of height, the Varnished Culture could stake out some wall space and gaze over the sea of baseball caps. Down sparse casements and through subterranean galleries of truly hellish ‘modern’ art, up a…

Continue Reading →

Silver Linings Playbook

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir.D.O. Russell) (2012) Mad boy goes home to live with Mom and Dad (Jacquie Weaver and Robert De Niro, with little to do) finding love with a fellow screwball.  You shouldn’t bet, but you can bet on this – the outcome is a fix from go to whoa. TVC saw this with mother. For a film about mental illness, it would have been nice to feature some authentic craziness but nooooo. Not a trace of subtlety or credibility – but Mum liked it!

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.