The Weir Career

January 26, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM |

The films of Peter  Weir (1974 – 2010) Peter Weir’s career is an enigma. He has huge reserves of talent, and we absolve him of all sins thanks to Picnic alone, but there are pockets of emptiness in many of his films, all of which are watchable (OK, maybe not Green Card). (As Norman Gunston might have asked, “13 films in 40 years, Peter? What do you do for a living?“) With the once respected Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences limbering-up to give Peter a career-end-Oscar, we review his oeuvre. 1974 The Cars That Ate Paris: known…

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Tár

Directed by Todd Field (2022) To err is human; to forgive, Divine; to cancel, de rigueur. Lydia Tár (not her real name?) is a pianist, ethnomusicologist, composer, and the first female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. She’s as busy as a bee: at a festschrift, she plugs her new book to Adam Gopnik of the ‘New Yorker’ (they wouldn’t invite Steve Bannon, but this luvvie? No problem!) and she is preparing the forthcoming live recording of Mahler’s 5th. She’s teaching (and bullying) at Juilliard; lunching with a moneyman who wants to pick her brains; she’s hiring and firing; she’s…

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A Difficult Woman

January 18, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Modern Music, MUSIC |

Renée Geyer (11 September 1953 – 17 January 2023) “A white Hungarian Jew from Australia sounding like a 65-year-old black man from Alabama.” This how Geyer described herself, one of the true originals, and the first (and best) Australian woman to master Soul, Jazz, R & B songs (think “It’s a Man’s Man’s World,” “Since I Fell for You,” “Heading in the Right Direction,” “Stares and Whispers,” “Stormy Monday,” “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Difficult Woman,” and the pop classic “Say I Love You.”) She was interpreting, and enhancing, the great world songbook long before Rod Stewart or Jimmy Barnes. Whilst…

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The Old Stoic’s Lethargy

January 6, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, PETER'S WRITING, Poetry, POLITICS |

POEM FOR THE YEAR (with apologies to W. H. Auden) This earth in 2023 Is not the planet fit for me, A world, I need, to give me hope Opposed to the end of a rope. *** My Eden landscapes and their climes Are great constructs from rational times, When reason meant, at least, induction, Not dogma posed as deduction. *** The plastic bags we gather to be Transformed as if by alchemy: I chose to send them whence they came, The ground, from fossil fuels by name. *** I’m now required to approve Blighted wind farms that rarely move:…

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Amsterdam

January 2, 2023 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by David O. Russell) (2022) The judgment of eminent film critic David Stratton is, we suspect, affected by seeing everything. TVC perhaps suffers from the reverse circumstance: we don’t see very many films, because life is too short. We do try to guard against the impulse to stick to films we’ve already seen, and remind ourselves that it was ever the case that 90% of films made are rubbish. It is just that now the rubbish is even more nauseating in its freighted agitprop, the production quotas and standards that would make the Hays Office blanch (in a different…

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