Monday, August 13, 2007

Catch 22

Do I really need to actually review this work of seminal genius? If you haven't seen it - rent or buy a copy straightaway.

Screamingly funny, chillingly dark and one of the most important anti-war films ever. A stellar cast including Art Garfunkel playing the mild and doomed Nately; Orson Welles is utterly wonderful as General Dreedle; John Voight plays the arch-capitalist Milo Minderbinder....the list just goes on and on. The performances are all suitably taut, the direction captures the intensity of the book and the screenwriter managed to keep most of the best one-liners intact.

There is a particularly noticeable moment when the whole surreal / madcap
flavour of the film alters when Nately is killed during an air-raid that has been undertaken by the US airmen under contract to the Luftwaffe. From then on the darker, rotten underbelly of wartime is brought to the fore and Yossarian plunges into a more depressive characterisation. Beautifully done.

You'll have gathered that the film club met again last night. Dong and Shazzer brought some scrummy chocolate dinosaurs again but we ate them before I remembered that I wanted to take a photo of them for this blog. Ah, well, next time. Frankenkeith was with us as well. All the menfolk had already seen Catch 22, and Keith seemed to remember the book almost verbatim. Mrs The Millbrooker is now going to read it having been suitably inspired by a great piece of cinema.
I'd only seen the film once before and that was 29 (gulp) years ago; I was quite anxious to know whether it really was as good as my fifteen year old self had thought it. I'm pleased to say it certainly was, and what's more I think it's improved with age like a fine vintage wine.

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