Gary Littman

OWNER OF THE LANGUAGE HOUSE

Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

"Swiss Army Man": Coming to a cinema near you

Wow! How cool is this?

Two of Hollywood’s most admired and talented actors, Daniel ‘Harry Potter’ Radcliffe and Paul Dano star in a film called Swiss Army Man, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival at the weekend.

   

Yes, it’s true. Cross my heart. But how, you may ask, could such a star-studded and salubriously-titled film slip under the radar? Before you Google-off in search of a trailer, here’s a question for you. What do you think Swiss Army Man is all about?  I’ll give you a clue. It’s one of the following:

  1. A film in the genre of Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant which follows 24 hours in the life of a cocaine-addled Swiss soldier who guards a luxury hotel in a Swiss ski resort during a meeting of international leaders. Full frontal nudity and class A drug consumption. Radcliffe is a soldier from an unnamed small village in the Valais and Dano is an American journalist, who befriends him in the hotel spa.
  2. An action thriller in the genre of Die Hard 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 etc... Radcliffe is a shy, bespectacled Swiss soldier who is forced to defend a group of world leaders in an alpine ski resort called Sovad (how original) under attack from terrorists from a fictional country called Ozbikestan. Dano is the evil mastermind. The scene to watch: Ten minutes of torture with a Swiss Army Knife – you couldn’t possibly imagine it has all those functions.
  3. The quirky and surreal story of a suicidal man (Dano) who befriends a corpse (Radcliffe). A mix of the Dadaiesque and schoolboy humour. The film’s crowning moment is when Jano uses the flatuent corpse as a jet ski. In fact the corpse (Radcliffe) is almost as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife. Masturbation and fart scenes. One reviewer called the film "the longest fart joke in the history of cinema." Not for the weak-hearted or Harry Potter fans.
  4. The fictionalised life story of Karl Elsener who opened a knife cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz in 1884 and went on to produce the iconic Swiss Army Knife. Radcliffe plays Elsener and Dano plays the role of his son. A heavy metal soundtrack with lots of blade sharpening. Stainless steel performances by the two actors, but the film looks like a public relations film for Swiss knives. But much sharper than that FIFA film.
  5. A tale of love, lust and murder inside the Vatican city. An English priest (Radcliffe) assigned to the Vatican falls in love with a Swiss Papal guard (Dano). Jealousy, political machinations and Latin masses in the murky cold world of cassocks and crosses. Full frontal nudity and a brilliant cameo from Professor Dumbledore, sorry I mean Michael Gambon as a Pope (who is not so Innocent).

And the answer is... grrcchhhccchh (the sound of an envelope being torn open) is...  Oooophh! What is that terrible smell? And the answer is 3. Yes, Esquire magazine called it 'the longest fart joke in the history of cinema', as well as 'distasteful, surreal, childish, oddball, but with flashes of brilliance'.

Variety magazine ran with this headline: Sundance: Daniel Radcliffe’s Farting Corpse Movie Prompts Walk-Outs.

Radcliffe, once again distances himself from his holly and phoenix feather wand with this, probably his most outlandish role; a corpse with a jet-powered arse. He also possesses a Swiss-army knife assortment of other supernatural skills, including an animatronic GPS-powered penis that points the way through his trousers. Ooops….was that a spoiler? Or have I just spoiled your appetite?

Swiss Army Man sits comfortably in the WTF genre and it’s highly unlikely that it will be jet-skiing its way to a multiplex cinema near you.

Now what about those other film pitches? Any interested producers out there?

Swiss Army Man is directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead

 

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