Films: ELIMINATE: Archie Cookson

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ELIMINATE: Archie Cookson

ELIMINATE: Archie Cookson

United Kingdom, 2011, 91 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Crime, Dark Comedy, Drama, Political, Thriller
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Rob Holder
Producer: Ioanna Karavela
Editor: Valentina Riva
Screenwriter: Rob Holder
Cinematographer: Stein Stie
Principal Cast: Paul Rhys, Claire Skinner, Paul Ritter, Georgia King, Philip Manikum, Nicholas Day, Ewan Stewart, Richard Cambridge, Freddy Downham

In this quiet and darkly humorous spy thriller, first-time director Rob Holder deliberately dispenses with most of the action and instead focuses on the spy: a defeated man faced with a choice between certain assassination or the fight of his life. Alternating between the self-loathing and the pathos of the main character, Holder (who also wrote the script) allows us to laugh at Archie’s ineptitude while appreciating his hidden reserves of determination and passion.

Given notice from his stale desk job and going numb from the daily lie of his failed marriage, Archie survives an assault on his office by dark-suited agents only because he is passed out in a sound booth after a night of too much wine and too little sleep. He awakens surrounded by the bodies of his coworkers and soon learns that he is being hunted by mysterious senior officials attempting to cover up secrets and recover incriminating tapes.

Archie fights his urge to give up and instead buys time from his would-be killers by playing on the sympathies of Ennis Miller, an old friend in the espionage game—who happens to be the man hired to dispatch him. While his family accepts the news of his imminent death with droll stoicism, Archie finds solace by confiding in a call girl with questionable motives. Holder exposes Archie’s true character by gradually revealing the surprising allegiances of those around him.

Special thanks to Open Media Foundation

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