NIGHT SHIFT (Trois Huit)     - A    Narada    Film Review

   in a scene from   
Night Shift (Trois Huit) ,    Directed by Phillip Le Guay, Produced by Marc Olla, 2002

      Viewed On 18 June 2002 .      The film NIGHT SHIFT (Trois Huit) will be showing for a short time at the Bangkok EU Film Festival .    (French w/English subtitles.)    The film should not be confused with NIGHT SHIFT starring Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton (1982).   Now, don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying NIGHT SHIFT was bluntly, and probably intentionally soporific, I am only saying that when the curtain came down, and I walked out of the theater, I was unable to remember whether it was in color or black & white.    A cheerless and overlong treatment of bullying in the workplace.    Pierre ( Gerald Laroche ) is tormented by a complex and potentially dangerous sociopath, Fred (Marc Barbe) .    Pierre finds his amiable and charitable character traits not only don't help to alleviate Fred's animosity, they seem to make him all the more menacing.
             Pierre needs to come to terms with the situation, and he soon sees, with himself as well.    His responses, to include 'taking it out on his family', seem melodramatic to the point of inconsistency.    His unwillingness to deal with his tormenter, instead of engendering interest and suspense in the viewer, causes increasing frustration and disgust.
             Someone needs to explain to director Le Guay that he need not encase his camera in concrete prior to shooting.   Its not done that way anymore.   It is perfectly legal and acceptable to let the camera move with the action, even in low-budget "art" films.    His paralytic camera direction has effectively set the French film-making industry's reputation back another 50 years.
            While individual performances in NIGHT SHIFT were to be commended, this joyless strip of celluloid is an entirely unrewarding experience. It would probably be best to try to catch one or two of the OTHER films at the EU film festival while they are still here.
        Enduring Line Or Phrase:   "You'll soon be an Arab."

Reviewed by Narada for Bangkok Eyes - 18 June 2002

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