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November 2002   

Interview: Life After Keating
Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd looks at the world and wonders what might have been ...

Industrial: That Friday Feeling
Anthony Stavropoulos has been working six days a week for the last eight years and now he wants his weekends back. �Remember that Friday feeling?� he asks. �You just don�t get that anymore.�

Bad Boss: Begging to Work
They may put themselves about as the Saints of the Fourth Estate, but bosses at the Big Issue Magazine have been nominated by their own vendors for this month�s Tony award.

Organising: Project Pilbara
Sydney University�s Bradon Ellem reports on how unions are bouncing back in Rio territory

Unions: Off the Rails
The Federal Government is attempting to turn NSW Railways into a political football with a proposal that threatens the safety of freight and passenger trains in NSW and life in our rail Towns, writes Phil Doyle.

International: Brazil Turns Left
Union stalwarts throughout the American hemisphere are cheering the election of Lula � the peanut seller and shoeshine boy, turned union leader - who has been elected as the first working-class President of Brazil.

Environment: Brown Wash
Stuart Rosewarn argues the Johannesburg Sunmmit was a gripping showcase of Australia�s lack of a strategic vision.

History Special: Learning from the Past
Ray Markey looks at union membership growth in the 1880s & 1900s to argue that today�s unions must engage to grow.

Corporate: Will the Bullying Backfire?
Job insecurity, unemployment, a growing gap between rich and poor, massive global poverty and environmental danger are the big issues for the protests at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney.

Technology: Danger Lurks For The Passive
If unions fail to exploit opportunities on the web to gain members, other organisations are likely to fill the void and provide services to workers on the internet.

History: In Labour�s Image
Neale Towart looks at a long-overdue initiative to around NSW through the eyes of the workers.

Politics: Without Power Or Glory
South Coast contributor Rowan Cahill gives his take on the Cunningham by-election result.

History Special: A 'Cosy Relationship'
Barbara Webster looks at Rockhampton between 1916 � 1957 to debunk the �dependence� theory of trade union growth.

Culture: Blood Stains the Wattle
Former Queensland Treasurer Keith De Lacey has turned up in print with a rollicking tale of life during the famous Mt Isa strike of the 60s.

Satire: Iraq Pre-empts Pre-emptive Strike
Saddam Hussein has launched a pre-emptive strike on the United States to prevent it from pre-emptively striking Iraq first.

Poetry: The Executive Pay Cut
Executives accepting pay freezes, or even pay cuts? This outrageous proposal has been put on the table by some capitalists themselves, and taken up by our bard.

Review: Time Out
When a family man invents a new life after losing his steady job, Tara de Boehmler watches his charade escalate until there is no turning back.


Month In Review
War and Pieces of Work
The Bali Tragedy dominated the news this month, leaving many questioning the motive and wondering if this is fallout from Australia�s unquestioning support of George Dubya�s �War On Terror�.

The Soapbox
Beware of Greeks Bearing Historical Allusions
Roland Stephens argues that the current popular line that the USA is a modern day version of the Roman Empire is flawed.

The Locker Room
Over The Fence Is Out
Phil Doyle warms up for another season of hard hitting and fast bowling in the park, making the rules up as he goes along.

The Sea of Hands
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation are five years old. Spokeswoman Dameeli Coates addressed labor Council to mark the event.

Tokyo Youth Call
Tokyo unions are relying on young organisers to infiltrate workplaces as part of a major organising campaign, which focuses on non-unionised companies, reports Mary Yaager.

Still Crazy After All These Years
With new research suggests CEO carry similar personality traits to psycho-paths, the AGM season is proving that there�s little room for logic in our nation�s board rooms.


Why The User Should Pay
Unions have often been the victims of the user-pays ethos � the pointy end of the assault on the State by the Top End of Town that has left our public sector looking like the poor relation to the corporates.


 Bargaining Fees In the Dock

 Deadly �Slave Labour� Racket Exposed

 Zoo Workers Buck Indecent Proposal

 Cabinet Takes Stick To Abbott's Carrot

 Cyber Action Behind Hilton Win

 Aussies Back On Board

 City Workers To Help Country Cousins

 Sour Taste for Wine Workers

 Government Grounds Ansett Levy

 TAB Workers Winners as Cup Strike Averted

 Aussie Post Gets Mail On Sick Leave

 Council Backs Community Radio Venture

 First Steps to Compo Clean-Up

 Workers Out! Conference Opens In Sydney

 Aussie Union Rep Power, Yes Please: TUC

 New Burma Shame File

 Activists Notebook

 Trashing the Siren Theory
 More Bali Feed Back
 Clean Election Laws Now!
 And Now, Some Fan Mail!
 Policy Vacuum
 Tom's Postscript
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Time Out

When a family man invents a new life after losing his steady job, Tara de Boehmler watches his charade escalate until there is no turning back.


Coming to terms with being sacked from a job would be hard for any person. But when you have a young family to feed and a wife that is depending on your consistent contribution, it becomes more difficult still.

So what is the best course of action to take? Should you rush home and tell all, hoping for some support? And would it be a good idea to get back out there ASAP and try and find another job? Or is there another choice.

Laurent Cantet's Time Out tells the story of one man who invents a new option.

Family man and former executive Vincent (played by Aurelien Recoing) chooses to set up shop in a lonely town called denial and simply pretend that he has been successfully headhunted for a new and exciting job at the United Nations.

Working harder to preserve his charade than he has possibly ever worked in his life, Vincent divides his time living out of his car and a small abandoned shack on a snow capped mountain while pretending to his wife and friends that he is working 'on location' in Switzerland.

Becoming a regular loiterer at the real United Nations building he studies in detail all the organisation's public information packs, committing them to memory so he can talk with authority about his pet pretend projects and argue convincingly with anyone who would question his 'employer's' effectiveness on the world stage.

Occasionally venturing back to the United Nations building, he sets up a scam to rip off thousands of francs from his would-be workmates until one man learns the truth behind Vincent's painted on smile. He puts his own dubious enterprise on the line to help Vincent get his feet back on the ground, putting instant faith in his new friend's inherent goodness.

But Vincent is not a man to be trusted, as he soon learns.

Time Out is a painful and insipid movie that stole more than two hours of this reviewer's life before flicking seven months into the future, to a time in which all of Vincent's employment problems appeared to be solved but none of the movie's other loose ends were even remotely tied up.

The fact that it treats Vincent's plight with such sympathy makes little sense in light of ongoing revelations that not only had he been offered a good job but did not take it immediately following his sacking, but that he was in fact dismissed over his total disinterest in doing a day's honest work in the first place.

There is no real justification for lying to his doting wife, who is tortured far more by her instinctual knowledge that he is deceiving her than she could ever be by the truth. And if maintaining his charade is more important than using this extra time to get to know his children a bit better, then where does this man's priorities lay anyway?

It is also a sad waste of plot that for all the energy Vincent pours into playing the role of a United Nations worker, he does not one positive thing with his self-indulgent game.

Despite studying the poverty suffered by African nations he never thinks of using his act for good. He never considers using some of his scam money to help anyone out, or setting up activities to involve his doting community in making a difference.

Throughout the film he has not one moment of true happiness and the fixed smile used to divert attention from his soulless eyes is grating, at best.

And the outcome for Vincent? Without a tad of irony he is offered a management position overseeing a very exciting project in a highly successful company. Perfect management material indeed.

Rating: 1 out of five - tops. (barely worth reading the subtitles)


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