30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 2

| Posted by Lou | The time is 9.00pm here in London UK |

First allow me to address the elephant in the room ("hello elephant, that's a mighty fine trunk you've got there!") - yes, by the 2nd day we had failed to make this a daily thing. Thus we have decided it is not going to be a "30 Consecutive Days of Film" kinda deal... more like an excitingly random feast where you'll never know when your next invigorating post about film will appear. Anyhoo...

The most underrated film

An excellent question, and there are two films that stands out for me - the first being Buffalo Soldiers. It is a dark satire about bored American soldiers getting up to naughties in West Germany just before the fall of the wall.

It is underrated because nobody saw it due to the very unfortunate luck of its first screening being September 8th 2001. Starting out as a much hyped upcoming indie release, the 9/11 attacks rendered it immediately unmarketable and blacklisted. The only reason I knew it existed is because it stars one of my all-time favourite actors, Joaquin Phoenix (as well as Our Anna Paquin, Kiwi girl made good). But the film is good - really good.

The story centres around an ever-so-laid-back but smartest-guy-in-the-room soldier Ray (Joaquin) whose modus operandi is to keep his boss (Ed Harris) happy while shagging his wife and running a profitable black market business behind his back. Things are complicated by the arrival of a tough and watchful Sergent (Scott Glenn) who pisses Ray off, provoking him to ask out his daughter (Our Anna) just to spite him. A charming romance, hilarious soldier hijinks, and a bit of serious drama ensue.

The best part of the film is the satire of the military, with the most shocking (and hilarious) occurrences actually being based on true events. The overall tone and theme is perfectly described in an early voiceover: "War is hell; but peace - peace is fucking boring."

The film is also a good reminder of what a charismatic and interesting actor Joaquin can be when playing "regular guy" characters. I'm sure his name will come up again throughout my 30 Days, but I might speak about him differently next time as mock-doc I'm Still Here is winging its way to me from LoveFilm as I type...

The other film I would like to mention is Dirty Dancing. This film is a true one-of-a-kind - beloved by people the world over and elevated to a legendary status that few films achieve. However, as it is a film that largely appeals to women and sits within the cheesy romance genre, it is totally disrespected.

Well I for one think it is one of the ultimate wish-fulfilment stories (is there a man or a woman alive who doesn't wish they had a teenage love affair this epic?), containing one of cinema's greatest lines of dialogue (it doesn't even matter that she isn't technically in a corner), and ending in a dance that is as iconic as Gene Kelly singing in the rain (The lift! The lift!). This is wrapped in a genius blend of cheese and sentimentally, littered with smokin' hot chemistry that makes a clothed foreplay dance seem positively pornographic.

Dirty Dancing - I salute you.

2 thoughts on “30 Days of Film: Lou's Day 2”

  1. OH! And... the perils of non-committal costume direction. Eighties meets the sixties. Oh yeah.

    I should mention here that I love that film too. But I don't think I've managed to make Louis watch it yet - despite our 'down with the kids mini high school film festival' late last year after he finished Tcoll, where I snuck Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You into the playlist. But I think he refused the love that is DD. Silly boy.

    She's like the wind... through the trees...