Philip Leacock – The War Lover (1962)

yd32 Philip Leacock   The War Lover (1962)

thgc Philip Leacock   The War Lover (1962)

Steve McQueen is Buzz Rickson, a B17 pilot during WWII. Rickson’s brashness serves him well during wartime, but he finds that he feels out of place during everyday civilian life. His more mild-mannered co-pilot, Bo Bolland (Robert Wagner), however, lives only to get through the war to resume his life with his girl, Daphne (Shirley Anne Field). This wartime character study is based on a novel by John Hersey, who also wrote the screenplay. Continue reading

Valerio Zurlini – Le soldatesse aka The Camp Followers (1965)

 Valerio Zurlini    Le soldatesse aka The Camp Followers (1965)

thgc Valerio Zurlini    Le soldatesse aka The Camp Followers (1965)

Quote:
Shot almost entirely on location in Greece in an awesome deep-focus newreel-documentary style black-and-white (with the emphasis on the blacks), `Le Soldattesse’ is the story a group of prostitutes that have been recruited for the military brothels of Italian soldiers during WW II, and the long truck ride they take trying to get to their destinations through a war-torn mountainous area. Three military men of different rank have the job of taking them through, and the relationships they develop with the girls on this trip is the real subject matter of the film. Sublimely beautiful Sixties New-Wave icon Anna Karina plays the most cheerful of the ladies of leisure but there are no real leads in the film, all 5 or 6 of the main characters are given equal screen time and Zurlini never falters once as he draws poetic and hilarous performances full of insights from each character. On a higher level “Le Soldattese” becomes a deep examination of one relatively minor but revealing absurdity (prostitutes being carried to brothels in a war-torn area to boost troop morale) overlapping the bigger, related absurdity of the war itself and Mussolini-era fascism. Continue reading

Pierre Granier-Deferre – Le train aka The Last Train (1973)

v7qe Pierre Granier Deferre   Le train aka The Last Train (1973)

thgc Pierre Granier Deferre   Le train aka The Last Train (1973)

May 1940 – Germany invades Europe, people panic and try to flee by any means possible. In France, Julien, a radio repairman, boards a train with his wife and child. As the men are placed in cattle cars with only the women and elderly allowed in the passenger cars, events begin their fateful turning as the insignificant repairman encounters an attractive fugitive and love begins – a doomed love. Continue reading

Roberto Rossellini – Roma, città aperta AKA Rome, Open City [+Extras] (1945)

 Roberto Rossellini   Roma, città aperta AKA Rome, Open City [+Extras] (1945)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Roberto Rossellini   Roma, città aperta AKA Rome, Open City [+Extras] (1945)

Review from the Criterion website :
This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring some well-known actors—Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancée of a resistance member—Rome Open City (Roma città aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work garnered awards around the globe and left the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake. Continue reading

Sergei Loznitsa – Blokada AKA Blockade (2006)

 Sergei Loznitsa   Blokada AKA Blockade (2006)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Sergei Loznitsa   Blokada AKA Blockade (2006)

Icarus Films PR about the movie:
The longest siege during World War II was that of Leningrad, which lasted for 900 days, from September 1941 to January 1944, when Hitler attempted to starve the Soviet city of three million people into submission. Estimates of the number of residents who died from starvation, disease or cold range from 641,000 to 800,000.

Comprised solely of rarely-seen footage found in Soviet film archives by director Sergei Losnitsa, BLOCKADE vividly re-creates those momentous events, featuring a meticulously reconstructed, state-of-the-art soundtrack added to the original black-and-white silent footage. The result gives viewers the eerie impression of being not just an observer but virtually a participant in the events as they unfold on the streets of Leningrad. Continue reading

Aleksandr Sokurov – Dukhovnye golosa. Iz dnevnikov voyny. Povestvovanie v pyati chastyakh aka Spiritual Voices (1995)

B0007LFPKW.01.LZZZZZZZ Aleksandr Sokurov   Dukhovnye golosa. Iz dnevnikov voyny. Povestvovanie v pyati chastyakh aka Spiritual Voices (1995)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Aleksandr Sokurov   Dukhovnye golosa. Iz dnevnikov voyny. Povestvovanie v pyati chastyakh aka Spiritual Voices (1995)

Quote:
The film develops as the author’s diary, where unbiased narration is dissolved in the lyrical intonation. You watch the real persons in the particular circumstances on the screen. They are Russian frontier–guards on the Tadjik–Afghani border. But it is also a piece of art, where aesthetic laws give the theme and arrange the facts taken from life.

That is why the film begins with the story about Mozart, about death concealing under the poor cover of the daily routine, about music, breaking through this cover and absorbing spiritual voices of the Universe. And that’s why the northern landscape is being shown during a long while, motionless and at the same time subtly changing.
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Branko Bauer – Ne okreci se sine AKA Don’t Look Back, My Son (1956)

 Branko Bauer   Ne okreci se sine AKA Dont Look Back, My Son (1956)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Branko Bauer   Ne okreci se sine AKA Dont Look Back, My Son (1956)

Plot:
A partisan comes secretly to town to find about what happened to his little son who barely remembers him. He is horrified when he finds out that his son is raised in a colaborators’ orphanage, brought up to hate and fight communists and partisans. He decides to take his son to the freed territory out of town…
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pixel Branko Bauer   Ne okreci se sine AKA Dont Look Back, My Son (1956)