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Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
DirektÝren for det hele (2006) (The Boss Of It All)
Verdict: Crisp office and theatre satire
It's been convenient for the owner of the company not to admit to being the owner, but simply a manager. He invents a fictitious 'boss of it all' to blame anything unpleasant on, while putting himself across as the staff's best friend. Whenever there's a dirty firing to be done, or a staff outing to be cancelled, 'the boss of it all' gets the blame. But when the true owner is ready to sell the company (and sell the staff down the river), his invented 'boss of it all' has to materialise to meet the buyer face to face, and sign the paperwork. Solution? Hire an actor.
Trouble erupts. The actor's a method man, influenced by his theatrical theorist idol Gambini - who favours dramatic pauses between most words, and a soot mark across the forehead. The actor's also a decent bloke, who is appalled by the dirty tricks of the owner.
The owner has made a further complication - he's created a different version of the boss for each of his colleagues, to suit his manipulations - inventing email contact from the boss. The boss of it all has proposed marriage to a dowdy pa - in reality to stop her handing in her notice. He's told the office's randy female HR director that he's gay, so that she'll shag the 'manager' instead. And he's coy about telling the actor what he's done. So the actor has to find out how his character has been described to each person, without revealing that he doesn't know. He's not helped by the office characters themselves being quite mad - in one case clearly psychotic.
The Boss Of It All ruthlessly takes the piss out of actors and the pretentions of the theatre, and every aspect of office life - two crisp satires in one film. It's extremely funny, often in an enjoyably quiet way.
The language is Danish, with English subtitles. Subtitles in the press-screening print - which may be the same as the public distribution print - are very poor in technical quality. Their language content is fine, but they are in white against what is often a white background. Trying to read them is often difficult, and takes concentration away from the action. They're particularly needed, because a lot of the humour is in the words. It's such a good film for an English-speaking audience - a long-lasting cult film in the making - that re-doing the subtitles would be well worth the production cost.
Credits: Full cast and crew credits on IMDB here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469754/
reviewed Friday 13 October 2006 / NFT2, National Film Theatre, London
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