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A FLASH OF GREEN

      

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘A Flash of Green’ is actually not on home video. But after reading the 30-year-old column I used for the blog above, which cites it as one of my favorite festival films of that year, I decided to use this space for my old Deseret News review, which was published when the film opened in Salt Lake theaters on Feb. 7, 1986. Although it was released on VHS in the early 1990s, ‘A Flash of Green’ has never made its way to disc. So consider this a plea: Let’s get this movie on DVD!

 “A Flash of Green,” an entry in the independent competition at the ’85 United States Film Festival in Park City, deals with ethics and personal choices, told from the viewpoint of a soured, disillusioned newspaper reporter (Ed Harris) working in a small Florida town.

  

                      Ed Harris, 'A Flash of Green'

Harris finds himself slowly drawn into political shenanigans as he is taken under the wing of a dealmaker (Richard Jordan) who wants to develop a large section of the local bay.

Jordan’s plans are jeopardized by a group of environmentalists led by Harris’ former lover (Blair Brown), so he plans to use Harris to infiltrate the group.

Meanwhile, Harris is so trusted by the environmentalists that he easily accomplishes his work for Jordan. But, as you might expect, Harris finds himself caught in a dilemma when Jordan uses his information in ways Harris doesn’t anticipate.

Eventually, in an attempt to cleanse himself, Harris tries to expose Jordan in print, but his editor kills the story.

  

              Ed Harris, Blair Brown, 'A Flash of Green'

If this were a Hollywood film, “A Flash of Green” would be predictable right down the line (in a manner similar to “The Mean Season”). But it is not.

Harris gives his complex character many shades of gray, and there are no easy answers offered. That makes for a thought-provoking, ultimately fascinating character study that will give the audience pause.

This is also a beautifully shot film, with gorgeous cinematography and an evocative musical score beneath the action.

It was directed with style by Victor Nunez, whose “Gal Young Un” won the grand prize in the 1981 United States Film Festival.

“A Flash of Green” is unrated but would probably carry a PG for some violence and language.