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Tailor of Panama, The

Director: John Boorman

U.K.-Ireland| 1995. Colour. 31 mins.


Although The Tailor of Panama is a spy thriller starring Pierce Brosnan, Boorman’s most recent film to date is a far cry from the macho, gadget-ridden world of James Bond. Adapted from the novel by John le Carre, and openly acknowledging its debt to Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana, this is the sleazy underside of the espionage world, all self-deluding fantasies and soluble loyalties. Brosnan plays a disgraced MI5 agent banished to the low-prestige posting of Panama, who latches on to a fellow-fantasist, a tailor with pretensions to past grandeur, as a means to his rehabilitation. Boorman makes diverting play with the contrast between grandiose schemes and the tackiest of venues, while Brosnan, slyly sending up his own Bond image, is well matched by the peerless Geoffrey Rush as the eponymous tailor. (U.S.A.-Ireland, 2001. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 109 mins.)Plus Two Nudes Bathing, a witty, irreverent short in which Boorman offers an explanation for the origin of one of the Louvre’s most famous unsigned paintings.

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