We Don't Need Another Hero: David Edwards Talks to Gregor Jordan about Buffalo Soldiers. (Australian Film and Film-Makers)

By Edwards, David | Metro Magazine, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

We Don't Need Another Hero: David Edwards Talks to Gregor Jordan about Buffalo Soldiers. (Australian Film and Film-Makers)


Edwards, David, Metro Magazine


IN BETWEEN HIS HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL FIRST FILM, Two Hands (1999), and his latest work, Ned Kelly (2003), Australian director Gregor Jordan made his first 'American' film, Buffalo Soldiers (2001). Due to a combination of circumstances, the film's release both in the US and Australia has been delayed, although it has shown at several festivals.

Buffalo Soldiers tells the story of Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix), a soldier with too much time on his hands and not enough money in his pocket. The time is 1989, the place is West Germany, and the Cold War is still raging. But in this quiet little pocket of the US military machine, it doesn't so much rage as limp along. In this environment the entrepreneurial Elwood is running a very profitable Black Market operation under the nose of his unsuspecting CO (Ed Harris). But the arrival of a new sergeant (Scott Glenn) threatens Elwood's comfortable existence. So he fights back in the best way he knows how--by dating the sergeant's attractive daughter (Anna Paquin).

Although the film was made in 2001, as Jordan explained, it has had a tough time getting a release. 'Look, Buffalo Soldiers is a tricky film to get out there at the best of times', he said.

It was hard to write, it was hard to make; so the fact that it's hard to release is not a surprise. It's a movie that's not conventional at all. It's black comedy, it follows an anti-hero story, it's quite anti-establishment--more so now than when it was made! The film was premiered in Toronto and was actually sold to Miramax on the night of September 10 2001. I guess it [then] became clear that releasing the film had become even more precarious than before. So Miramax decided to delay the release and wait to see what happened.

Despite its focus on the American military, Jordan doesn't think of Buffalo Soldiers as an 'American' film as such.

The weird thing is, it's an American film, but it never really was American, you know. The producer of the film was German; the writer of the book is American; the production company that financed the film, Film Four, are British; it was all shot in Germany with a mostly English crew; the actors are all American ... I guess it is an American story but in a way the European-ness of the film is a big part of it as well; you know that fact that it's about Americans in a foreign land. So, yes, it's an American film, but it never really felt like it ...

It felt like an international film. I mean, the crew came from all over the place--the gaffer was Irish, the electrics crew were all Swedish, the production designer and the editor were Australian. So it felt like a big, international film; it felt like a film of the world.

In a case of Australian talent and success translating into the international arena, it was Jordan's work on Two Hands that landed him the job.

The producer, Reiner Grupe, had been given a copy of Two Hands and he said he watched it twice and got on the phone and said, 'Let's get Gregor'. He had this idea that he wanted an Australian to direct this film. The reason was, he said, that he liked the way Australians kept this kind of peculiar objectivity on the world. I guess when I think about it now, it's kind of crazy--the idea of bringing over this relatively inexperienced director from Australia to make a film about American soldiers in Germany.

Jordan says he was attracted to the project by the originality of the film's concept.

I'd never seen that world portrayed before in a film. I also liked the ideology behind the film--the idea that a lot of people like war and if you don't give them a war, they'll make one of their own. I hadn't really seen that idea before in a film. To me, war films always portrayed the opposite: that war is hell and war is a terrible thing. I'd never seen the idea that war is kind of cool, and there are a lot of people out there who really like it. So I guess I was intrigued by the material. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

We Don't Need Another Hero: David Edwards Talks to Gregor Jordan about Buffalo Soldiers. (Australian Film and Film-Makers)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.