This is a Robbery

April 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(The World’s Biggest Art Heist) (Directed by Colin Barnicle) (Netflix, 2021) The documentary tells (at Dickensian length) an intriguing story: how in 1990 two men dressed as Boston police officers were admitted to the elegant and boutique Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in dead of night, tied up the two slipshod guards and stuck them in a basement area, and helped themselves, in a leisurely fashion, to 13 artworks, several of them priceless (to use an old cliché). SPOILER ALERT: We have to plough through 4 episodes to learn that, $10m reward notwithstanding, the works have not been recovered, nor anyone…

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Art Deco

April 15, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, LIFE, PETER'S WRITING |

What a Waste The Burial of Art Deco (With apologies to T. S. Eliot) Art Deco is the cruellest style, breeding High tech out of a dead hand, mixing Memory and elegance, stirring Dull wood with sprightly lacquer. Opulence kept us warm, covering Earth in sleek geometric stylized forms, A magpie greed with décoratifs. Le Corbusier surprised us, waging war on decor* With its many forms and guises; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into midtown Manhattan And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. “The elegant display of surplus labour in privileged objects.”** And when…

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The Witching Hour (Anne Rice)

In 1818 Mary Shelley created Frankenstein’s monster, a bag of bones held together with dead flesh and animated by gothic electricity.  In 1990 Anne Rice created The Witching Hour, a 1,207 page bag of bones held together with dead prose and flaccidly animated by pseudo-gothic raving. The Mayfairs are a family of witches who limp, from Europe, to a southern United States plantation, to the Garden District of New Orleans (Louisiana’s Gothic Central). Their bones are clothed in lush foliage, incest, madness, torture and incantations. Pursuant to some vague female version of the entail, one woman in each generation inherits…

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Wings Clipped

April 12, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE |

(Glenelg v Eagles, Glenelg Oval, 10 April 2021) The Bays shook off their first round sluggishness in taking on the reigning premier on a cool, blustery late Saturday afternoon. Morning rain had been mopped up by the breeze, so there was no real excuse for a return for great effort of 1 goal nine points late in the first half. Still, the Eagles were struggling as well and by the last few minutes, Luke Reynolds goaled, with the visitors up by a solitary point at half time. As the skies darkened, Glenelg’s endeavour began to be matched by its aim….

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Much More Than Scenery

April 9, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Non-Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Landscapes of South Australia by Alex Frayne (2020) The Varnished Culture has hitherto grudgingly conceded photography as an art; this sumptuous volume has fully convinced us. Over 200 pages of beautiful photographic plates, in brilliant, vibrant tints or tasteful, crisp black-and-white, this is a book for a bedside table, not a coffee table. If one is fortunate to live in South Australia, it fires the imagination and galvanizes the traveller to breathe the immense and often desolate beauty of the State, especially in these days of border-hopping restrictions; for those of us who regard camping as akin to a root…

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