MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR LAWRENCE
1983, Janus Film, 123 min, UK/New Zealand/Japan, Dir: Nagisa Oshima

In this captivating, skewed World War II drama from Nagisa Oshima, David Bowie regally embodies Celliers, a British officer interned by the Japanese as a POW. Rock star Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also composed this film’s hypnotic score) plays the camp commander, obsessed with the mysterious blond major, while Tom Conti is the British lieutenant colonel Lawrence, who tries to bridge the emotional and language divides between captor and prisoner. Also featuring actor-director Takeshi Kitano in his first dramatic role, MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE is a multilayered, brutal, at times erotic tale of culture clash, and one of Oshima’s greatest successes.


EUREKA
1983, Park Circus/MGM, 130 min, UK/USA, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

Gene Hackman, Mickey Rourke, Rutger Hauer, Joe Pesci and Theresa Russell are the all-star players in this strange tale inspired by the mysterious 1943 murder of Sir Harry Oakes in the Bahamas. A gold prospector (Hackman) strikes it rich in the Canadian wilderness and then moves to a Caribbean island, where he hopes to live in luxury; instead his reward is misery, paranoia and pursuit by killers. Roeg’s underrated drama recalls his earlier THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH as it explores the isolation of vast wealth.


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