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A ten-years-later continuation of Hal Hartley's "Henry Fool", where Fay Grim (Posey) is coerced by a CIA agent (Goldblum) to try and locate notebooks that belonged to her fugitive ex-husband (Ryan). Published in them is information that could compromises the security of the U.S., causing Fay to first head to Paris to fetch them ...
Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture.Written by
Vanessa Exum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a really provocative movie that is artfully filmed.
Good art often offers commentary on the times. When you're in the midst of an era, it's hard to see what characterizes it. I think Clockwatchers does a terrific job of capturing a facet of the temp world of the 80's/90's. I was a temp for a year in 1988. It's quite accurate.
But you don't have to be a temp to recognize these characters. Yes Dilbert, yes Office Space, and especially the beginning of Joe vs the Volcano have these same foils. But I think Clockwatchers' take was unique. The characters were well developed while still being archetypes. There was a subtlety and style that all the others listed chose against.
The direction and cinematography of this film is terrific. It takes guts to burn film doing a close-up of someone's glasses for 10 seconds. There is real art to this film. The writing, the directing, the pacing, editing, all right up at the top of the scale. The acting was fine, but I don't think it's the strong suit of this movie. Toni Collette is a standout. While I love Parker Posey, I think she was probably a bit over the top here. The Muzak, while as mood-setting as the buzz of florescent lighting, can grate at a viewer.
This film touched on too may things to list them all. Here's a sample... What are you doing with your life if you're waiting for it to burn off? Isn't it exhausting and poisoning to pretend to look busy all day? If you are a cog in a machine, and accomplishing nothing at that too, did you really even exist? Are the "troublemakers" in life getting us in trouble, or offering us freedom (note there are two people here stirring up the pot)? What is theft (and theft of services)? Where is the dividing line between unethical play and immorality? At what point do you give up on the dream of personal growth? Are some people "better" than others? What does beauty (and grooming) have to do with it? Does the corporate hierarchy define our worth to others or our self-worth? What is loyalty and betrayal, to whom do you owe how much, and how do you give consent to those obligations/ownership? Work/friends/family are all portrayed as villains and allies wielding this loyalty Sword of Damocles.
One IMDB reviewer said this film was a good way to kill time after work. That's terrific irony. :)
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