Zara Hedderman Rory Kiberd Michael McDermott ILLU
STRATION Marina Marinina The Good Boss Director: Fernando León de Aranoa Talent: Javier Bardem Release Date: July 15 Juilo Blanco (Bardem) is the owner of a factory in a provincial Spanish town. Blanco is dead set on winning an award for business excellence by any means necessary. Charismatic and wheedling, he meddles in the personal lives of his employees so that nothing goes awry when the committee comes to appraise the factory. A former employee made redundant, disgruntled to the brink of despair, is camping out front barking his protestations through a megaphone and refuses to leave. Another complicating issue is Blanco’s sexual appetite for nubile interns. Will Blanco succeed in ingratiating himself with the committee, or will his myriad problems thwart his efforts? This film has many strengths. Bardem is brilliant here, clearly relishing this role as he addresses his staff with oily condescension. The Good Boss is also wellplotted, the various machinations of the characters coming together in satisfying ways at the end. Mostly, this is a pleasingly nasty comedy, on point on how those in power strive for virtuous optics over the actual wellbeing of those in their charge. And yet, there was a nagging feeling this film kept eluding greatness. I wanted it to commit more to the darkness of its vision and see more of the devastation wrought by Blanco’s avarice. At times the film falls between two stools: comedy and drama. This kind of workplace lunacy is real and commonplace. Better to play it straight and let the inherent black comedy speak for itself. The ironically jaunty soundtrack also keeps things firmly in the realm of frivolity, overdetermining the mood. So it comes down to an issue of tone rather that content. This film is intelligent and very well-constructed. A perception exists that Spanish bosses are not good at keeping the personal and the professional separate, and this film, in which conflicts of interest abound, is devilishly insightful on that front. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a very good film that could have been a complete knockout with some tweaks. RK Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time Director: Robert B. Weide and Don Argott Release Date: July 22 Kurt Vonnegut was one of the pre-eminent authors of the twentieth century, “an oracle for the baby boomer generation” and a much beloved rites of passage writer for teenagers. His sixth novel Slaughterhouse-Five became an instant classic, announcing Vonnegut as the voice of a silent generation with his fictional justice to the horrors of war. A Prisoner of War in Dresden, Vonnegut informed his principal character Billy Pilgrim with his own personal insights. Robert B. Weide is possibly best known for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He started his fan correspondence with Vonnegut 40 years ago, so this can be clearly classified as a labour of love. It also marks the first and therefore authoritative look into the writers’ upbringing and life. The film spans his childhood in Indianapolis, his experiences in World War II, his marriage, family, and divorce, his early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman, and the long years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual breakthrough in 1969 which led to the discovery of his earlier works and propelled him to write Breakfast of Champions. Eventually the tide of critical acclaim ebbed. Weide’s enduring friendship with Vonnegut lends an easy, accessible charm to this work. He recounts the challenge of piecing together this work and how the film almost “infringed” on the friendship by the end, having concerns it would be the other way initially. Intriguing, enthralling and enlightening, Unstuck in Time reignites a spark of affection in those familiar with him and serves as a wonderful introduction for the unacquainted. “I have written again and again about ordinary people who try to behave decently in an indecent world,” said Vonnegut about his work. He died aged 84 in 2007. MMD Jake Wyler Banana split? Andie Walsh Does it come in pink? Romeo Montague I am fortune’s fool Carrie White Prom is going to be lit Heather Duke It will be very Patrick Verona Was that a yes? Marieme (Vic) I do what I want Donnie Darko They made me do it Ren McCormack You like Men at Work? Dionne Davenport There goes your social life JULY - SEPTEMBER Marty McFly Nobody calls me chicken Amber Keenan I’ll go out with ya Allison Reynolds Leave me alone Steve Bolander Nancy Downs You can’t stay 17 forever You don’t exist to me Edward Cullen Hold tight spider monkey! Olive Penderghast Forget what you heard Max Fischer I saved Latin Regina George Is butter a carb? Jeff Spicoli Hey bud, let’s party!