Lapse ofmem­ory

FLASH­BACKS OF A FOOL Di­rected by Bailie Walsh. Star­ring Daniel Craig, Harry Eden, Jodhi May, Olivia Wil­liams, Miriam Kar­lin, Kee­ley Hawes

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews -

re­lease, 113 min

16 cert, gen IF YOU’RE in the mood for Generic 1970s Com­ing-of-Age Movie #3, then you might like to take a glance at the de­but fea­ture from Bailie Walsh.

The di­rec­tor, who shot some of Mas­sive At­tack’s most fa­mous videos, demon­strates that, like many film-mak­ers from a sim­i­lar back­ground, he has a good eye for a strik­ing im­age. A shot of ba­con fry­ing in pan fea­tures quite porno­graphic lev­els of pink­ness and damp­ness. The English sea­side – ac­tu­ally South Africa – ap­pears to have been painted in ex­pen­sive shades of Burnt Ochre. It’s very pretty, very glam and very taste­ful. But, my word, it feels old (and not just be­cause most of the ac­tion takes place 30 years ago).

The film is book-ended by se­quences il­lus­trat­ing a movie star’s text­book de­cline into ine­bri­ated ob­so­les­cence. Daniel Craig, who also shares a pro­ducer’s credit, rolls around the bed­room with Cal­i­for­nian strum­pets, ar­gues with his per­sonal as­sis­tant, then makes his way to a lunch meet­ing with his eas­ily dis­tracted agent. Af­ter be­ing told that he is now too old for an up­com­ing lead role, he stomps into the Pa­cific and, while float­ing pic­turesquely, falls into a nos­tal­gic reverie.

It is the 1970s. How do we know? Be­cause the teenage ver­sion of the fu­ture star clutches a copy of

to his chest for a good 10 min­utes. Later, while pre­par­ing him­self for a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment of sex­ual awak­en­ing, he prances about his girl­friend’s house to the strains of the first Roxy Mu­sic album. Her pad con­tains tubu­lar steel light­ing, hi­lar­i­ous deep-pile car­pets and – oh, please no! – a con­spic­u­ously dis­played fon­due set. Bailie must have had to re­strain him­self from invit­ing Bruce Forsyth round for a glass of So­dastream cola.

cen­tral act (the hero’s se­duc­tion by a horny neigh­bour straight out of a film), his fal­ter­ing friend­ship with a less frag­ile youth, and one ab­surd mo­ment of vi­o­lent melo­drama has less to do with the 1970s as they were than with the ver­sion of the decade that ap­peals to con­tem­po­rary rock stars. Hard though it may be to credit, young peo­ple did ac­tu­ally lis­ten to mu­sic other than Bowie and early Roxy in 1974. Not ev­ery pale boy wore make-up.

Still, the film, well acted through­out, has a warmth that is hard to to­tally re­sist, and never looks any­thing less than rav­ish­ing. Though not a patch on the su­per­fi­cially sim­i­lar it will do well enough.

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