Oct 4 — COMPLIANCE
Forty-nine years ago, a famous experiment by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram showed that most people would comply with orders to inflict electrical shocks on study subjects when ordered to do so by a firm authority figure.
In COMPLIANCE, a movie based on a series of real life events, a firm sounding police officer telephones a fast food restaurant, and demands that an attractive young counter clerk be detained on suspicion of theft, and eventually searched.
“Watching COMPLIANCE,” writes the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane, “I began to squirm and talk back to the screen, but not because I disliked the movie, which I think is brilliant. American movies are saturated in physical violence; this one is devoted to spiritual violence.
“COMPLIANCE is about something serious—our all too human habit of obedience when we are faced with authority. The movie is driven by an urgent moral inquiry, yet it has the mesmerizing detail and humor of a very idiosyncratic fiction…
“The sixtyish fast-food manager keeps the restaurant working as she deals with the police, while the other employees, fond of Becky but hapless, take part in her detention and humiliation, doing what the man on the phone orders. Director Craig Zobel works close to his characters, catching them at moments of doubt before they press ahead. The actors display a perfect balance of casualness and intensity. I didn’t detect a false note.”
COMPLIANCE plays one show only, 7 p.m., Thursday, October 4, at the Empire Theatres Studio 10, 325 Prince St., Sydney. Tickets: $11; Students $7. All prices include HST.