Painted Veil director John Curran says he greatly admires and was deeply influenced when young by Mike NicholsCatch 22. I admire it also (mainly for the elaborate and carefully planned choreography that went into the cinematography, and for Richard Sylbert‘s production design) but with reservations — reservations that are not minor in nature.
For Curran to ignore the problems with Catch 22 in a piece like this is…well, curious. At the very least he’s guilty of tunnel vision. Nichols himself has had problems with this film all his life, and he admits to most of them in his DVD audio-track discussion of the film with Steven Soderbergh.
Nichols speaks at one point about how Catch 22 has very little in the way of unspoken undercurrents or, as he puts it, “the things that [characters] do not say” which are often what films are finally about.