Monday, October 30, 2006


I haven't seen this film yet but I think I will go into San Francisco to see it some time this week. It's at the Lumiere and sounds really, really intriguing, especially after reading the following post from Stephen Farrow on RATM (I have been on RATM for over ten years as has Stephen, and I trust his judgment and opinions):

Yes, *that*. (Or, What I Did This Evening)

It's an interesting film - gripping, dark, very disturbing, and not at all what some of the reviews (and a good number of people who haven't seen it) are painting it to be.

Certainly, it doesn't glorify, encourage or in any way condone murder. Quite the opposite - it presents a horrific act, and shows that it has horrific consequences. It's not about partisan politics *at all* - it's a documentary style presentation of a dark and frightening hypothetical scenario, cleverly presented in verité style via the digital manipulation of images, and the hypothetical situation it sets up is quite plausible in the context of current events in the USA and elsewhere.

It's also incendiary - with this subject matter, that's a given - but it doesn't sensationalise the subject matter at all. It's not a lurid thriller, it's a bleak, sober "what if?", and the way it portrays Bush - almost entirely indirectly, via interviews with "aides" - is interesting, in that *everything* said directly about Bush until almost the end of the film comes from a character with a conservative viewpoint, and the speech he's seen giving (edited, obviously, from news
footage) presents him at his most humourous and appealing. The film assassinates the man, but not the character, though it *is*, in the end, unequivocally anti-war. It does, though, very strongly suggest that "President Dick Cheney" is a phrase you never want to hear (but then we all already knew that anyway), and it has interesting things to say about the erosion of civil liberties.

If you're in the USA, you've probably read some quite negative reviews of this film. It might make you angry, and it's certainly a bleak 90 minutes in the cinema, but it isn't at all, as I said, what some of the reviews have made it out to be, and it's worth seeing it and making your mind up for yourself. It's a very, *very* skilled piece of film-making.

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