Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Grim War

Interesting to see that Elem Klimov's Come and See topped the list of Time Out's 50 greatest WWII movies.  It is one of my favorites as well as Klimov gives the viewer a very visceral account of the battle lines in Belarus during the war.  This side of the Soviet-German war was rarely mentioned at the height of the Soviet Union, and I don't think Klimov would have gotten the movie made if not for Perestroika.

Surprisingly, the only other Soviet film to make the Top 50 was Kalatozov's The Cranes are Flying.  Notable omissions include Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood and Larisa Shepitko's The Ascent.  Shepitko was married to Klimov.

However, I would say that the seeming simplicity of Ivan's Childhood is deceiving.  As I noted before, I'm not convinced the war scenes were real, but that Tarkovsky was using the standard war film conventions to tell a much more compelling story that prefigured such works as The Stalker, which ostensibly was a post-apocalyptic film.

Anyway, it is nice to see Klimov get top billing.  Here's Klimov on the making of the film.  Hit "CC" for subs.

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