(15) 98min 0...
‘Where there is peace the warlike man attacks himself.‘ Nietzsche wrote that. Bet he never thought it would be used for a tag line of a film. But Freddy. what a film. Cool doesn't even come close.
Made in 2001, this extraordinarily un-American take on the US military in peacetime has taken a while to reach us over here. The reason for its delay is more a case of terribly bad timing (this anti-war film was ready for distribution at the beginning of September 2001). and of not catching a nation‘s zeitgeist than any real conspiracy.
It‘s 1989 and the Berlin Wall is about to fall. Outside of Stuttgart, West Germany, at Theodore Roosevelt Army Base. Ray Elwood of the 317th Supply Battalion (Joaquin Phoenix) is about to have his comfy hedonistic world rocked. Elwood is a charming chancer, a conscript who’s managed to turn his military servitude into a blossoming network of black market deals. more out of boredom than ambition. His day job as battalion secretary to the inept.
E l A ill.‘it til}. ~t‘i’ JEREMY HARDY V THE ISRAELI ARMY (15) 75min .0.
\r“ .i':l ha.l,- hoped this .‘.'()lll(l turn out to he a British
ai‘.‘.'.'.lr:r tr, Bottling tor (,‘or'r/rnhrne Give one of the counter
funniest and most righteous comedians a vrdeo canier‘a. send ‘illl‘ tr: lel A‘.’l‘~. and on to the occupied territories and .'.at’:l: ltl'l‘. (li'll‘.‘lfl a scathing attack on the Israeli presence llt Palestine ‘.‘.|lll ~.'.'ll and political insight.
It kind of works out like that. hut Hardy is no Michael M >r ;-re llis ambitions ‘.‘-.’llll this doctiiiientaiy were far more 'lii Iii-st Rather than Il‘,|ll() to present a well rounded study at thr- :onllrct, his lilrn seeks only to he an agitprop vehicle tt~ .ir‘arr up support for the International Solidarity lyl.l.l:ll‘l'lll_ a loose l)()(l‘, of peaceniks ‘.‘.’|lll a mission to interrupt Israeli rnilitar‘y action with non ‘~.rio|ent action.
It ri‘ight seeri‘ an odd thing to come across in a regular ."r‘.o;"i‘.i. put in the context ol '.'.‘hat rt sets out to do. the film 'i‘anages to l)l()‘.'l(lf? an illuminating; snapshot of a grim war .'(>.'lt" Ill .'.af: filii‘ed in the ll‘()lllllf3 from April 9007i. lhe llle.tkr‘.ess cf the situation Palestinians imprisoned in their neri‘es h‘. an Israeli curfew. protestors shot at With live reunis iv. teenage arrni, conscripts. a maternity hospital pot‘k :i‘arked '.'.’l”t the scars of a deliberate military attack — is tempered h\. the ‘.-.‘arii‘ lltllllilllll‘, of the people Hardy 'i‘eets angl the endearingl. shanlholic production values of the lllll‘ itself.
tiara“, 'i‘akes little use of his (‘()lll(?(l|<7 skills. preleriing to
present an honest portrayal ﬁll his own fears. preiudices and
anger :n the late of a territ‘le. dangerous and uniiist war. Not a great piece of t‘inen‘a, in other words. hut a poignant and still t‘t‘lllllfﬂll record, iMaik fisheri
I (it I. (3’.’i:;g,'<tz‘.. Sat .‘ti Jul fif'r‘house. [ti/ritlr/rg/l. Tue (’3)
An agitprop vehicle
but caring, Commander Wallace Berman (Ed Harris) allows him to have a burgeoning black market trade in everything from huge quantities of Mop’N’Glo to cooked heroin. When hard arsed Sergeant Robert E Lee (Scott Glenn) arrives. Elwood thinks the new blood is nothing he can‘t handle. but then he lays eyes on the top's daughter, rebellious Robyn (Anna Paquin) and $5 million in stolen arms.
Buffan Soldiers is just great, part Bilko, part M'A‘S'H but wholly its own thing. lts callous insouciance
Bilko and the man
often shocks, deliciously. The detail of the performances, costumes and the sets are a treat. Plus David Holmes' thorough work on collating and creating a time-relevant soundtrack is one of the best things he's done for a while.
So they can‘t find no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? They should send in Elwood the specialist, he'd find them and sell them to the Chechnyans for half the price. A dark, irreverent joy. (Paul Dale)
Selected re/e.‘rse from In lh‘ Jun".
(1t )Mi'lw GOODBYE LENIN! (15) 121 min 0.0
Don’t mention the wall
Goodbye Lenin.’ has been a genuine box-office phenomenon in Germany but German comedies. like hot Scottish summers. can be infr'eguent befuddling beasts to us brutish Scots.
Wolfgang Becker's film has a high concept in there s<>mewhere.V\/racked wrth guilt about his inability to help his mother iKatrin Sass) when she has a heart attack. Alexander Kerner (Daniel Bruhli is entrusted With responsibility for avording any shocks to her system when she comes out of hospital. But given that his n‘other has slept through the fall of the Berlin wall. he attempts to create the iIIuSion that the world hasn't changed. Roping in his girlfriend. his neighbours and a Video-director to fake news broadcasts. he creates an iIIuSion that. like his mother's health. cannot last forever.
Don't mention the wall. It's a sweet conceit. milked to good effect by his fresh-faced leading actOrs and an inevitable. but still touching resolution. The comedy. however. depends so strongly on cultural references that audiences outside Germany are unlikely to understand that rriany of the film's Jokes fall Hat. And like the aspiring film director in his film. cutting wedding VIdBOS in imitation of Kubrick's 200 l. Becker steals too much from other films, borrowmg key scenes from A C/ockwork Orange and La Dolce Vita to little effect. Goodbye Lenin.’ is a smart little film. but don't put on your laughing trousers: Germans, as cliche land mild xenophobiai might suggest. are dab hands at drama. but their attempts at comedy might leave you cold. (Eddie Harrisoni I Se/ected release from Fri 25 Jul.
AGENT CODY BANKS
(12A) 102mm 0
lust-ti to n‘aarne that] had a rocket ﬁring l nth}: Esprit secreth garaged underneath my [‘l!ll‘.tl\ spht‘ \l ".issrv-ori‘
.‘.lll its“. ' still a daydreaii‘ina '\ .i at heart. then fray-"f \ Kurt Ha'lks; ina', :ust be your kl‘,ltltlti‘lr'
A shy tiut smart teenager [Ranks .l rankie lytiiriiji l‘at. llll'\.'.ltlllltlly been trained at surr~nier riariiy \‘JIll Wratt‘i a tent skills \"v’hen n< ‘~ted physio. tiroli "Lilli! [lr (Zonnorsr Martin [lonoyani is kiitriappt-it it is Hanks that the t ZIA turn to for help lhe girl f;ll‘~, super sri, homes in on his target ‘.‘.'llllt* enduring an uneasy relationship ‘.'.|lll lttlllll‘t‘ latale Honir a Mill (Alllllr' llarniarii
A crass (lllll‘l‘lllll (l()‘.\/ll of a Iaughatiie genre. Age/it i’ Todi' Banks sees i rankie Mtiiii.’ making the ylllllli, although headlong plunge riiight he more accurate, from highly likealile rnotipet ’lll Malcolm in the Middle to deeply annoying tel-n star He's aided and abetted by take the money and guru performances from Ian McShane and [)Ullr’r/(lli, while he jumps through lousy blue screen hoops to reach the rite/italile ending
[Everyone involved should hang their heads in shame. but they're not. They're shooting Agent (Jot/v Hanks J’ right now. this evH plan has to he stopped. and there's only one man for the Job Now where are the keys to that Lotus? (Eddie Harrisoni I General release from Fri 25 Ju/
This evil plan has to be stopped
1.'-':‘. Jul 2713 THE LIST 4"