Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Fires on the Plain (1959)

Well, yet ANOTHER Criterion cover convinces me to watch this film over all others.
I mean, tell me this picture doesn't intrigue you:Exactly. On to the movie...

Man, I thought Germany, Year Zero was depressing and hopeless...this grim, bleak, deliberate motion picture details a soldier near the end of World War II. This particular soldier happens to have tuberculosis. Because of this, the army won't take him, and continually sends him to the sick bay. The sick bay won't take him because he has tuberculosis, and don't have any extra beds (unless of course he has food.) So, he is doomed to wander around the jungle, starving to death, and waiting to die.
(Oh, and I have even mentioned that he runs into cannibals on at least two separate occasions. As if life wasn't fun enough.)

This was an amazing, sobering motion picture, and perfectly captured the bleak futility and horror of war more than any other war film I can think of, even more so for the fact that every shock grows naturally; nothing is included just to shock or gawk at, except perhaps for how beautiful the camerawork is...it's filmed in luscious 2.35:1, and there are many shots of the landscape, swallowing the main character whole.

Didn't make my #1 spot of '59, but came damn close.

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