Cinema: Catch-22 Caliber

"And if I laugh at any mortal thing,/ Tis that I may not weep," wrote Byron. That philosophical fragment accounts for the duality of all black farce; looking between the cracks, one catches glimpses of hell.

M.A.S.H., one of America's funniest bloody films, is also one of its bloodiest funny films. Though it wears a dozen manic, libidinous masks, none quite covers the face of dread. The time is wartime, any time. Specifically it is the day before yesterday, during the Korean conflict. Somewhere outside Seoul, a group of Army doctors operate —in every sense of the word. Whatever rationality they possess...

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