Klute

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

(dir. Alan J Pakula) (1971) Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda) aspires to act.  John Klute (Donald Sutherland) is a hick who comes to N.Y. to find his missing friend, who may have availed himself of Bree’s services.  Together, they make a strange town-and-country team, each taming the other. This very nifty thriller has a fine look and feel to it. The ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ is a (venerable) Hollywood cliché but Jane Fonda’s performance gives you a real person. Amongst the rest of a fine cast, Charles Cioffi as the sinister boss is a standout.

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The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress

(by Beryl Bainbridge) An odd, slight, oddly touching and slightly naff story of a road trip to oblivion, culminating in the death of RFK; but is the dysfunctional, libidinous Rose ‘the girl in the polka dot dress’ who exclaimed, ‘We shot him!’ as reported in the LA Times on 6 June 1968?  Bainbridge’s last, almost finished novel is, unlike The Original of Laura, worth reading.  

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Eyes Without a Face (Les Yeux sans Visage)

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, CRIME, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. by Georges Franju) (1960) Necrotic facial tissue was never so fascinating.  Brilliant (well, in theory) plastic and reconstructive surgeon wants to fix his daughter’s face, ruined in an accident – but he needs replacement skin. That does not bode well for the the pretty young students of Paris…. TVC knows of no scene more chilling than when the callow student is treated to a handkerchief soaked in chloroform…  

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Edge of Darkness

(Dir. Martin Campbell) (1985) Northern copper Ronnie Craven has picked up his daughter Emma from college and taken her home to eat ratatouille when a loony ex-con and informer jumps out of the bushes and shoots her dead, presumably meaning to kill the father. After (whilst still in?) the shock of this outrage, Craven starts to manifest numerous delusions, probably stemming from post traumatic stress disorder.  For example, he thinks he’s a tree!  He still converses with Emma.  He thinks the murder-gone-wrong was nothing more than a front for a vast, labyrinthine conspiracy by the dark forces of global nuclear…

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Dogville

(dir. Lars von Trier) (2003) Before he developed a cinematic messiah complex and turned out stuff such as Melancholia, Trier did some intriguing and dramatically satisfying work. If viewers can overlook staginess, this film is a gem, an Arthur-Miller-meets-Eugene-O’Neill tour in hell, with great turns by a really interesting cast. Not for all tastes. Ms Kidman’s momentous philosophical discussion with Mr Caan at finale a highlight.

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