Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!

July 14, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Non-Fiction |

July 14, 1789 We have spoken of the ‘glory’ of Bastille Day; let us instead hear more from Carlyle on how inglorious it really was: “…De Launay could not do it. Distracted, he hovers between two; hopes in the middle of despair; surrenders not his Fortress; declares that he will blow it up, seizes torches to blow it up, and does not blow it. Unhappy old De Launay, it is the death-agony of thy Bastille and thee! Jail, Jailoring and Jailor, all three, such as they may have been, must finish….For four hours now has the World-Bedlam roared: call it…

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The Ring Without Words

July 12, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, OPERA, WAGNER |

(Der Ring ohne worte) (Richard Wagner Society SA @ the Grainger Studio, ASO, 10 July 2022) And we thought trying to present Every Musical Ever in an 80 minute show was audacious: in 1987, conductor/composer Lorin Maazel, one of the few Ukrainians we’ve heard of, created a “symphonic synthesis” with the Berlin Philharmonic of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (the tetralogy taking about 16 hours in full), reduced to a 77 minute recording. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate Nicholas Braithwaite, a great friend of the RW Society, gave a very informative and entertaining talk (with musical and visual demonstrations) deconstructing how…

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The Kurt Russell Theater – 40 Years On

July 11, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | PETER'S WRITING |

July 1982: The Best of Times. The town of Springfield was breathlessly clutching its pearls, toffee apples and popcorn, awaiting the Grand Opening of the KRT, when the classics Escape from New York and newly-released The Thing screened on a double bill and Goldie Hawn cut the ribbon to the ‘Dexter Reilly Diner‘ in the complex. Mr. Russell and Ms. Hawn presided over the greatest cultural event in the history of Western Civilisation. Dignitaries and fans swung, shifted, and paraded by an enormous trophy cabinet, containing such priceless artefacts as: Kurt’s junior baseball gear; the quarter Elvis gave him to…

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In the Heat of the Night

July 8, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Norman Jewison) (1967) It looks a little dated now: race is still a Great Big American Problem but in an entirely different way – however, In the Heat of the Night still resonates, largely due to efficient direction and some terrific performances. Styled as a thriller, and fairly glib even on that level, the film has flaws (including over-plotting) but works most effectively as a study of chalk-and-cheese relationships, where our tribes become our talismans and we forget how much alike we really are. (A title song performed by Ray Charles helps). Virgil Tibbs (great name, played by…

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Elvis – The Movie

July 3, 2022 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Baz Luhrmann, Gold Coast premiere, June 2022) [Editor’s note: Rock biopics have greatly improved of late, such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. It was only a matter of time before some ambitious director ‘Followed That Dream’ and tackled the life of Elvis Presley, one of the most significant cultural figures of the twentieth century. Our guest reviewer, Andrew Brown, the biggest Elvis Tragic we know, attended the Gala Premiere on Queensland’s Las Vegas, the Gold Coast (or “Goldy”) with family in tow, to report on proceedings.] We attended the Red Carpet event on the Goldy on 4 June,…

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