Monday, August 11th, 2003
I rented The Quiet American last night. A fictional account of Saigon during the last days of French rule and the start of US ‘intervention’, this film was one of the many artistic casualties of September 11, as its portrayal of American foreign policy wasn’t necessarily sterling. I didn’t think it was overtly critical either, but you can’t help but be a little bit cynical at the idealism and naivete of Brendan Fraser’s titular character – representing America itself, natch – given how history played itself out in Southeast Asia. Michael Caine is excellent as the British reporter who becomes entangled in Fraser’s mission as well as a love triangle involving Fraser and Caine’s young Vietnamese mistress. The film operates on many different levels – as a romance, political thriller, war film – that it stretches itself a little thin and while satisfactory, none of these levels is realized as well as they could be. Still, worth seeing. I particularly enjoyed the Viet Nam timeline offered as a bonus feature on the DVD – a good capsule history of the Viet Nam conflict from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Nada Surf and The Tyde will be playing a venue to be announced in Toronto on October 16. Both bands put out very good pop records this year, and it should be a good show. The Tyde did some serious damage to my hearing when they opened for Pernice Brothers last month, but I’ll travel prepared this time. I’m trying very hard to come up with some kind of ‘surf’ and ‘tide’ joke, but am drawing a blank. Tiny Mix Tapes had the pithy “Nada Surf Is Rolling In With The Tyde” for their headline. Man, talk about your missed opportunities. I will blame it on Monday morning.
Stop Canadian Change – truly a cause worth supporting. The FAQ is particularly inspiring.
np – Steve Earle / Jerusalem