Dead Man

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

(dir. Jim Jarmusch) (1996) Johnny Depp rides again, or should it be sails, into the sunset, only this time, weird works. [As Depp Indian films go, this is as good as The Lone Ranger is execrable…]

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Civilisation

(by Kenneth Clark) Really a compilation of scripts for a television series, this book, much ridiculed and parodied over the years (remember Monty Python’s “Are you civilised? Have you been civilised recently?”), is a wonderful, personal, informed view of humankind and culture from classical times to the then present (1968). Elegiac, nostalgic, pessimistic; almost everything in the arts since has borne out Clark’s view that “we can destroy ourselves by cynicism* and disillusion, just as effectively as bombs.” [* A cynic being a “man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s…

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Chinatown

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

(dir. Roman Polanski) (1974) Superior latter-day film noir, replete with sophisticated non-plot (something about diverting public water for private purposes), has Faye Dunaway getting away with scenery-chewing, due no doubt to difficulties with character (‘She’s my daughter! She’s my sister! She’s my daughter…’).

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Brother’s Keeper

November 3, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(dir. J. Berlinger & J. Sinofsky) (1992) A great, ambling account of a yokel murder case. One of the Ward boys (farmers with arrested development, putting it mildly) ups and dies; the State thinks one of the other Ward boys dun it.  Film-makers get an extra half-star for inhaling near the Ward boys. Note to DA’s pathologist and the defence attorney: never appear on film again.  It’s all a little exploitative, but unmissible all the same.

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Breaking Bad

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

(created by Vince Gilligan) (2008-2013) A high octane, cold-sweated, overheated, pretzel-plotted, prodigious, ragged and pitiless low tragedy, the best thing on television for years. LESLEY ADDS.  No-one is redeemed.  No-one is spared.  It’s all a murky brown and very, very nasty.  Crime pays.  No it doesn’t.  Maybe it does.  No, probably not.  Oh I don’t know.  Second only to the greatest TV drama series of all time – Edge of Darkness. (Note: see also the prequel, Better Call Saul)

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