Early i.In the Twenty First Century, A Zed and Two Noughts comes across as the period piece it is; relentlessly 80s in its look, it’s self-consciously post-modern in a way that was very fashionable back then, when loose combinations of unlikely themes and images combined to make interesting melanges that were both intellectual and visual — visceral, the critics would probably have said. Certainly, it was very post-modern in 1986 to cast Jim Davidson, a comic known for being frequently racist, sexist and homophobic in an art-house production, and although he is good enough to act (just) you’d have to wonder at the logic of his appearance, other than for the director’s own sake. It’s the sort of cleverness that can only backfire, although at least Davidson wasn’t encouraged to perform any of his ‘impressions’.
In The Last Metro, Andréa Ferréol plays the actress whom Gerard Depardieu craves, ‘like for a warm croissant,’ he says. Most of the characters in The Last Metro are defined by how they react to the claustrophobic German occupation of Paris, but Ferréol’s character Arlette seems to miss out here and functions as a foil for others, and weirdly we never see her out of the theatre situation or find out anything about her character, other than the fact she is lesbian.