Fellow Film Club Members and Movie Buffs:
In the midst of one of driest late summers in memory, more of us need to stay indoors, bathed in air conditioned splendor, and the piece de resistance would be watching an award-winning film. Join us this Friday, 9/14/12 to see an incredible dramatic film, THE QUIET AMERICAN (2002).
It was directed by Phillip Noyce, who was born in Australia, has directed six films in Hollywood, and now prefers his native land. He has directed 49 films since 1969; some of which include BACKROADS (1977), DEAD CALM (1989)…bringing him to Hollywood, PATRIOT GAMES (1992), CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (1994), THE BONE COLLECTOR (1999), RABBIT-PROOF FENCE ( 2002), CATCH A FIRE (2006), and SALT (2010).
Phillip Noyce has said, “Nothing gives me more pleasure than to sit in a cinema where one of my films is screening–and to feel the pleasure that I’m giving to the audience.”
There was an earlier version of THE QUIET AMERICAN (1958), starring Audie Murphy, Michael Redgrave, and Claude Dauphin, directed by Joseph Mankiewicz.
The musical score was done by Craig Armstrong, who has written scores for 28 films; some of them include THE BONE COLLECTOR (1999), MOULIN ROUGE! (2001), LOVE, ACTUALLY (2003), RAY (2004), and ELIZABETH: The Golden Age (2007).
Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella were two of the 15 producers. They shot a lot of the film in Viet Nam. The U.S. release of this movie was held up for more than a year because of the terrorist attack on America on 9/11/01–not wanting audiences to view the movie as anti-American. Miramax was so spooked that they considered releasing the film directly to video. It was Michael Caine who convinced them the film should have a normal release; it became more of a critical success than box office. Before Brendan Fraser was cast as Pyle, Tom Cruise showed some interest in the project, and Noyce wanted Heath Ledger for the part; but later was very pleased with Fraser in the part.
Thomas Fowler: [voiceover] I can’t say what made me fall in love with Vietnam – that a woman’s voice can drug you; that everything is so intense. The colors, the taste, even the rain. Nothing like the filthy rain in London. They say whatever you’re looking for, you will find here. They say you come to Vietnam and you understand a lot in a few minutes, but the rest has got to be lived. The smell: that’s the first thing that hits you, promising everything in exchange for your soul. And the heat. Your shirt is straightaway a rag. You can hardly remember your name, or what you came to escape from. But at night, there’s a breeze. The river is beautiful. You could be forgiven for thinking there was no war; that the gunshots were fireworks; that only pleasure matters. A pipe of opium, or the touch of a girl who might tell you she loves you. And then, something happens, as you knew it would. And nothing can ever be the same again.
THE QUIET AMERICAN (2002)
Directed by Phillip Noyce @ 101 minutes
The film stars Brendan Fraser, Michael Caine, Do Thi Hai Yen, Rade Serbedzija.
Synopsis: Saigon, 1952, where three people are caught in the chaotic grips of the Vietnamese war of liberation from the French colonial powers–a prophetic story of love, betrayal, murder, and the origins of the American war in Vietnam.
Based on the novel by Graham Greene.
Tagline: In war, the most powerful weapon is seduction.
Michael Caine was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role.
The cinematography was done by Christopher Doyle, a fellow Australian, who has lensed 62 films since 1983. A fascinating world traveler, he has been an oil driller in India, a cow herder in Israel, and a doctor of Chinese medicine in Thailand. He has worked in China with director Kar Wai Wang on 8 films; some of his films include CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994), PSYCHO (1998), IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000), RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (2002), and LADY IN THE WATER (2006).
Rotten Tomatoes shared that 87% of critics liked this film, but only 68% of the audience gave positive feedback.
Peter Howell of THE TORONTO STAR wrote, “For Caine, this is a peak performance in a career that has had many of them.”
Mick LaSalle of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE wrote, “ This is a smart and literate effort, that despite some weaknesses in overall concept, it has one undeniable asset–there’s not a single weak scene.”
Prairie Miller of the LONG ISLAND PRESS wrote, “As in other great movies, I loved the multiplicity of social and political forces that symbolically layered and exquisitely complicated unforgettable characters.”
Daniel M. Kimmel of the WORCESTER GAZETTE wrote, “This is a powerful film and provocative drama that demands to be seen.”
So make sure to mark your calendars, and make reminders in your smart phones, in order to join the Tacoma Film Club this Friday, September 14, 2012 as we proudly screen Phillip Noyce’s THE QUIET AMERICAN (2002). We will screen it at 924 Broadway, in the historic Pythian Temple, at street level, across from the Theater in the Square, in the heart of the Tacoma’s Theater District. Look for our large banner outside. The door opens at 6:15 p.m. for some relaxed fellowship and sharing. Those who care to are welcome to bring snacks and beverages, including wine, to share with others. If there are favorite films you have, that you would like the Club to screen in the future, make sure to fill out a movie suggestion sheet; found next to the collection box on the snack table. After a few announcements and some hosting, the film will screen at 7:15 p.m. It is 101 minutes long, so the movie will be over by a few minutes after 9 p.m.
See you at the movies!