War

Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani – La Masseria Delle Allodole AKA The Lark Farm (2007)

As adapted from the roman by Antonia Arslan and co-directed by legendary Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, The Lark Farm marks one of the few international features to tackle the Armenian genocide head-on. The story (with its thematic parallels, in the early scenes, to De Sica’s 1970 Garden of the Finzi-Continis) concerns the Avakian clan. An Armenian family living an affluent lifestyle and periodically shuttling back and forth between their two comfortable homes, the Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day. Read More »

Mikhail Kalatozov – Letyat zhuravli AKA The Cranes are Flying (1957) (HD)

Synopsis:
Veronika and Boris come together in Moscow shortly before World War II. Walking along the river, they watch cranes fly overhead, and promise to rendezvous before Boris leaves to fight. Boris misses the meeting and is off to the front lines, while Veronika waits patiently, sending letters faithfully. After her house is bombed, Veronika moves in with Boris’ family, into the company of a cousin with his own intentions. Read More »

Bohdan Poreba – Droga na zachód AKA Road to the West (1961)

Quote:
During the last days of WWII, an old railroad worker and his assistant guide a train liaded with explosives to the Western front. The journey is a perilous trek through rough terrain, occupied by ruthless German soldiers, desparate deserters, and dangerous gangs seeking easy money. Read More »

Arthur Lubin – Francis AKA Francis the Talking Mule (1950)

The truthful soldier Stirling didn’t know how to lie about his source of information, the talking army Mule, Francis, so he was treated as a lunatic and led to one after another hilarious situations, where the mule was the only one that appeared in his right mind. In the process of all this, the mule assisted in uncovering a spy, Mareen, who pretended to be lost among the jungles, but was actually… Read More »

Blake Edwards – What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)

Synopsis:
American officers Lt. Christian (James Coburn) and Capt. Cash (Dick Shawn) are among the soldiers ordered to take over a small town in Sicily during World War II. Remarkably, the townsfolk have no problem being occupied by the American troops — they just want to ensure that their annual festival goes on as planned. With wine flowing freely, Christian, Cash and their peers soon get in over their heads, leading to lots of confusion on the part of both Allied and Axis forces. Read More »

Sam Wood – Command Decision (1948)

Synopsis:
General Dennis of the US Force in England in World War II finds that he must order his planes deeper and deeper into Germany to prevent the production of military jet planes that will turn the tide of battle to the Germans. He must fight congressmen, and his own chain of command to win the political battle before he can send his planes out. His problem is complicated by a very narrow window of good weather necessary to allow his effort to be successful. Adapted from a stage play, it attempts to look at the challenges of command in the political arena. Read More »

Dejan Zecevic – Neprijatelj AKA The Enemy (2011)

Bosnia, 1995, the seventh day of peace: an engineering unit is removing mines from the border between the two sides who, until recently, were at war. Each of the soldiers is burdened with experiences from the front line; each is facing his fears in his own way. Some are prone to self-destruction, some are happy to be alive, others take refuge in prayer… Suddenly, in the ruins of a destroyed factory, they discover a walled-in basement – and in it a man, who quietly sits behind a desk, next to an ashtray filled with cigarette butts, as if he were actually waiting for them. Pandora’s Box is about to be opened… – (MUBI) Read More »