August 25, 1983
After all the bullshit I happily dissected for this Summer of Nub series, I knew I shouldn’t skip the revered international classic that dropped in the final week of August ’83. The one that’s in the Criterion Collection, that was brought up so lovingly when co-star David Bowie died in 2016, and when composer/co-star Ryuichi Sakamoto died in March. I’ve been giving you the lowdown on every cheapjack part 3, off brand space opera and fantasy sword guy you ever heard of, then right when I’m about to wrap up I swing in with this highly acclaimed drama that happens to have been released in four American theaters between JARED-SYN and HERCULES. Film criticism won’t know what hit it.
One problem, though: what if it turns out I don’t really understand MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE very well? What then? Well, I guess I’ll just confess that up front. We must be able to admit that we don’t know everything. But come along and help me parse it, if you want.
I really went in blind, so this was news to me yesterday: it’s the story of mostly British prisoners in a Japanese P.O.W. camp in Java, 1942. The titular Lieutenant Colonel is played by Tom Conti, who’s immediately unmistakable as the guy who played Albert Einstein in OPPENHEIMER. It’s impressive because yeah, he looks so much like Einstein, but the resemblance never would’ve occurred to me. Casting directors know what they’re doing. (read the rest of this shit…)