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Thursday, 8 February 2018

"Land of Mine"

A war film of a different kind. I am writing to recommend this Danish film.

World War II. During the Occupation, the Wehrmacht laid around 1.2 million landmines along the beaches of the West coast of Denmark. At the end of the war, thousands of German POWs were forced to dig them up (you laid them, you find them) despite this being outlawed under the Geneva Convention. The film follows a group of German teenage conscripts, boys really, being forced into the work by the Danish authorities and supervised by a Paratrooper sergeant.

For me, even after 24 hours I find myself conflicted by the ethics of the action, is this justice or is it vengeance?

Saturday, 3 February 2018

"Darkest Hour"

Yesterday afternoon - I went to the cinema on my own; B did not wish to see this film.

This is very much an actors' film. Gary Oldman's role as Churchill and Kristen Scott Thomas' as his wife Clemmy, both are amazing and outstanding performances and their scenes together are intimate and moving. There is great support work from Ronald Pichup (Chamberlain), Stephen Dillane (Halifax), Ben Mendelsohn (Bertie/King George VI) and Lily James (Elizabeth Langley, Churchill's personal assistant) make this film a wonderful ensemble piece.

This is a good film - not great - but good. The location work and the mise en scene are very good but the story, the plot, these are fine but jarring; the idea that Churchill used the London Underground as a way of getting close to the populace, to judge the popular mood, no, that does not fly for me.