Shadows of War
Innovation and Tradition in European Cinema 1940-1950
The 1940s : a decade of extreme conditions and social unrest – brutal economic conditions, a devastated infrastructure and tight political control.
cinefest will focus on filmmakers’ reaction to war and the aftermath. What artistic solutions did film directors in different European countries find to handle the chaos and the human and cultural catastrophes around them?
The central focus will be the repercussions of the general economical and political situation on the aesthetic and artistic production. One facet of this will be a look at the fractures or continuities in filmmakers’ careers.
Among the great variety of films from the 1940's we will show three British movies:
Thursday, 19 November 2009, 8:30 pm:The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
GB 1942/43. Dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. 163 min, OV
with Roger Livesey, Anton Walbrook [Adolf Wohlbrück], Deborah Kerr, Albert Lieven, John LaurieBritish officer Clive Candy is a soldier who has dedicated his life to following the traditional ideal of fighting with a fair set of rules, even in war. As a young man he is highly decorated after taking part in the Boer War. When he learns that a German has been spreading rumours about British war crimes, he travels to Berlin on his own account to defend the honour of the British army. He duels with a Prussian officer, who first becomes his lifetime friend, and then marries the woman who Candy is in love with. After World War I he meets his friend again, first as a prisoner of war, later as a fugitive from the Nazis. Candy, now a general, meets a woman who reminds him of his true love, but unfortunately, both women die. In World War II Candy’s ideas of honourable warfare are drastically out of date: He goes into early retirement and at a training of the Home Guard he is taken by surprise by a young lieutenant who does not care about the rules.Sunday, 22 November, 9:00 pmThe Way Ahead
GB 1944. Regie: Carol Reed. 105 min, OV with German subtitles
with David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald, John Laurie, Leslie Dwyer, Peter UstinovThe Way Ahead is a feature film version of "The New Lot" produced for the British cinema audience: After the war begins, more and more civilians are drafted into the army. The film shows the training of seven men, of different economic and social classes, who are put into a legendary infantry battalion. At first they are not very eager to undergo the tough training. But soon they find unity in their differences and realize that their leading officers – the charismatic lieutenant Jim Perry and the tough sergeant Fletcher – are teaching them to be an effective team, able to succeed at the front. On the way to their first mission their ship is heavily
bombarded. Eventually they get into their first combat situation in a village in Tunisia. The end
title of the film does not read »The End« but »The Beginning«.Special EventTuesday, 17 November, 7:00 pmOverlord
GB 1975. Dir: Stuart Cooper. 84 min
with Brian Stirner, Davyd Harries, Nicholas Ball, Julie NeesamPresented by Roger Smither (Imperial War Museum)The highly artistic combination of documentary footage from the archive of IWM with newly shot scenes tells the story of a young recruit caught up in the preparations of the Allied invasion in 1944. For decades "Overlord" was nearly forgotten but was rediscovered in the USA and Britain (through DVD editions) a few years ago and will be recognised as an example highlighting the important and creative work that film archives do.All films are shown at the Metropolis Cinema, Steindamm 54, 20099 Hamburg
Ticket price: 4 -6 Euro
For accreditation to the festival, go to www.cinefest.de