War

Vittorio Cottafavi – La trincea (1961)

VITTORIO COTTAFAVI
pubblicato su “Alias” – Il manifesto del 26 maggio 2007
Lorenzo Esposito e Donatello Fumarola

Vittorio Cottafavi – La conquista dell’immagine (televisiva)

Quando, fra il 1981 e il 1985, Vittorio Cottafavi firma i suoi due ultimi film prodotti dalla Rai, Maria Zef e Il diavolo sulle colline, la televisione è già lo specchio di un mondo in frantumi. La riduzione di spazi di pensiero, parallela all’occupazione dello spazio-tempo da parte dell’ideologia dell’inserzione, riguarda da vicino la rabbia e il dolore di queste immagini ultime. Immagini perfette, che dell’esperienza cine-televisiva, forniscono la lezione magistrale attraverso il racconto profetico della fine della civiltà contadina (Maria Zef), e si innestano nel punto nevralgico della crisi – come dimostrano i nostri giorni, mai rientrata del tutto – politica, economica e sociale italiana (la Torino del 1937 raccontata da Pavese ne Il diavolo sulle colline). Read More »

André Malraux – Espoir aka Days of hope (1945)

1937, the Spanish civil war. Republicans fight against Franco’s army and need to bomb a bridge… in Teruel.
Turned on location… and almost in situation. Read More »

Vsevolod Pudovkin – Potomok Chingis-Khana aka Storm Over Asia (1928)

In 1918 a simple Mongol herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the occupying army. However he is captured when the army tries to requisition cattle from the herdsmen at the same time as the commandant meets with the reincarnated Grand Lama. After being shot, the army discovers an amulet that suggests he was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. They find him still alive, so the army restores his health and plans to use him as the head of a Mongolian puppet regime. Read More »

Roger Corman – Von Richthofen and Brown AKA The Red Baron (1971)

Synopsis:
World War I: an allied squadron and a German squadron face off daily in the skies. Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, leads one, and, although one of his decisions cost the life of his predecessor, he expects his men to honor codes of conduct. The allied squad has similar class divisions: its colonel, an aristocrat, laments that men he considers peasants are now fliers, including a cynical and ruthless Canadian, Roy Brown, the squad’s ace. As the tactics of both sides break more rules and become more destructive, the Baron must decide if he is a soldier first or part of the ruling class. He and Brown have two aerial battles, trivial in the larger scheme yet tragic. Read More »

Andrew V. McLaglen – Shenandoah (1965)

Synopsis:
In Shenandoah, Virginia, widower farmer Charlie Anderson lives a peaceful life with his six sons – Jacob, James, Nathan, John, Henry and Boy, his daughter Jennie, and his daughter-in-law and James’ wife Ann Anderson. Charlie does not let his sons join the army to fight in the Civil War that he does not consider their war. Jennie marries her beloved Lieutenant Sam, but they do not have a honeymoon since Sam has to return to the front. Charlie’s youngest son Boy is mistakenly taken prisoner by soldiers from the North so Charlie rides with his sons to rescue Boy, while James and Ann stay on the farm. It is time of violence and war, and tragedy reaches the Anderson family. Read More »

King Vidor & George W. Hill – The Big Parade [+Extras] (1925)

Quote:
A Superlative War Picture.
An eloquent pictorial epic of the World War was presented last night at the Astor Theatre before a sophisticated gathering that was intermittently stirred to laughter and tears. This powerful photodrama is entitled “The Big Parade,” having been converted to the screen from a story by Laurence Stallings, co-author of “What Price Glory,” and directed by King Vidor. It is a subject so compelling and realistic that one feels impelled to approach a review of it with all the respect it deserves, for as a motion picture it is something beyond the fondest dreams of most people. Read More »

Franklin J. Schaffner – Patton (1970)

Synopsis:
“Patton” tells the tale of General George S. Patton, famous tank commander of World War II. The film begins with Patton’s career in North Africa and progresses through the invasion of Europe and the fall of the Third Reich. Side plots also speak of Patton’s numerous faults such his temper and tendency toward insubordination, faults that would prevent him from becoming the lead American general in the Normandy Invasion as well as to his being relieved as Occupation Commander of Germany. Read More »