8:00 PM, 22nd May, 2004
Buffalo Soldiers is a war story black comedy set in Berlin just prior to the fall of the Wall. The US soldiers at Theodore Roosevelt Army Base are bored; young Ray Elwood has no interest in military decorum and passes the time running a black market in heroin and arms and fraternising with his superiors' wives and daughters. Elwood is popular among his fellow soldiers and has his immediate superior, the well-intentioned perennial loser Colonel Berman, wrapped around his finger, but his corruption and manipulation may catch up with him upon the arrival of the tough, uncompromising Sergeant Lee. Buffalo Soldiers is unapologetically irreverent towards the US Military, and was one of several films shelved after the terrorist attack of 2001, but it isn't because of this that you should watch it; watch it because it is exciting and extremely funny.
9:00 PM, 22nd May, 2004
There isn't too much that can be said about The Third Man that volumes of magazine, newspaper and journal articles haven't already in the fifty or so years since it was released. For me, Carol Reid's film tells a story about love, friendship and international intrigue with a measure of grace and noir-style which makes it a classic. Holly Martins (Cotton) arrives in post-war Vienna in search of work with an old friend Harry Lime (Welles), but finds only shady characters, a determined British Major (Howard) also looking for Lime for reasons which slowly reveal themselves and a mysterious love interest (Valli). A significant feature in the film is the city of Vienna and its shadowy, noir look; dark characters and famous zither musical score. It's a great film which has endured far longer than most others and is similarly worth the 104 minutes beyond most others.