Lady sings the blues and battles drugs problem by Richard Jones

The United States vs Billie Holiday (MA 15+)

BillieGreat 20th century female jazz and blues singers often formed strong bonds with violent and controlling men. Billie Holiday, one of the greatest of them all, was no exception. She’s bullied, hurt and financially ripped off by a succession of husbands, managers and lovers. But Billie has a largely supportive male entourage who tour with her on the road from the small town, smoky bars to larger jazz clubs. Continue reading

Selling milk-based products to the masses in 1820 by Richard Jones

A look at First Cow (PG)cow

These days everything we need can be bought at specialist downtown shops and supermarkets. We also can have food and beverages delivered after ordering on-line so it takes time to remember how different things were back in the 19th century. In those far distant times a simple beverage such as milk wasn’t available in bush or outback locations. Continue reading

Down the bunny’s hole with Hitler by Richard Jones

JOJOA look at Jojo Rabbit (M)

I’m not averse to an occasional humorous take on a serious historical event so I was looking forward to Taika Waititi’s spoof movie. He’s very busy with this production. He directed the film and played the role of Adolf Hitler who’s 10-year-old Jojo’s imaginary friend and adviser, occasionally a bit gruff with the little lad. And as well Waititi had written the script which won him the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at this month‘s Academy Awards. Continue reading

Blundering through the mud-encrusted trenches by Richard Jones

A look at 1917 (MA 15+)

1917Director Sam Mendes had a large movie portfolio behind him before his interest in World War 1 was sparked by an ageing family member.

Some years back his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, told him a tale about a young soldier instructed to cross enemy lines, alone, to alert a fellow-British outfit they were about to run into a carefully staged German trap. So Mendes took up the story although instead of a single soldier entrusted with the information he enlists two. Continue reading