Stanley Kubrick – Fear and Desire (1953) (DVD)

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New York Times review:

Quote:
The need for encouragement of fresh talent and its fairly common concommitant, the audacity of youth, was never made more pointed than in “Fear and Desire,” the drama fashioned by a tiny group of young, independent film makers, which arrived at the Guild Theatre yesterday. For, in essaying a dissection of the minds of men under the stress of war, Stanley Kubrick, 24-year-old, producer-director-photographer, and his equally young and unheralded scenarist and cast, have succeeded in turning out a moody, often visually powerful study of subdued excitements. Continue reading

Michael Winterbottom – Welcome To Sarajevo (1997)

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All Reviews.com

‘Welcome to Sarajevo debuted at 1997’s Cannes Film Festival, where it received numerous plaudits but no awards. This impeccably-crafted movie is a daring and powerful piece of work, not only for its willingness to film an unpopular subject, but for the unique perspective it offers, and it stands proudly alongside Winterbottom’s other films. Hopefully, neither the title nor the subject matter will deter viewers from experiencing this memorable motion picture.’ Continue reading

Paul Schrader – Adam Resurrected (2008)

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Quote:
While the Holocaust is certainly a legitimate topic of inquiry for the committed filmmaker, most contemporary treatments of the Nazi camps betray their mission by allowing the viewer to feel altogether too comfortable as they take in the on-screen atrocities. Whether through the establishment of a mitigating historical distance, the adoption of standard genre tropes or the repetition of an established catalog of horrors, films like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and A Secret tend to overly familiarize the events of World War II, allowing the viewer to safely assimilate that conflict’s genocidal horrors. But whatever the flaws of Adam Resurrected, and despite the fact that no physical violence is perpetrated on screen, Paul Schrader never allows the viewer to get comfortably situated, relying on an absurdist central conceit and a rapidly shifting array of intellectual and moral concerns—whose superficial treatment unfortunately leads to a certain diffuseness in the work—to continually de-familiarize his subject. Continue reading

René Vautier – Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès AKA To Be Twenty in the Aures (1972)

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Summary
In 1961, a group of pacifist Bretons are sent to fight in France’s war against Algeria. Reluctant warriors, they are moulded into killing machines by the inspirational lieutenant Perrin and soon find their first taste of conflict. One of the group continues to rebel against the folly of the war and goes on the run with an Algerian prisoner. For all concerned, the experience will not be easily forgotten – for those that survive, that is… Continue reading