world war 2 tagged posts

My Nazi Legacy

My-Nazi-Legacy-posterDirector: David Evans

Writer: Philippe Sands

Cast: Philippe Sands, Niklas Frank, Horst von Wachter

Cert: PG

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2015

 



What’s the story: Jewish international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands tours different countries with the sons of two Nazi war criminals. The men have very different opinions of their fathers’ wartime actions, which affects Sands personally when they travel to the Ukraine and the place where most of his family perished.

My-Nazi-Legacy---swastika-eyeMy-Nazi-Legacy---Horst-von-Wachter,-Niklas-Frank,-Philippe-Sands

What’s the verdict: Director David Evans, a veteran of such heavyweight shows as Whitechapel and Downton Abbey, keeps My Nazi Legacy visually simple, the camera held at a respectful distance from its subjects and rare family photos and archive footage providing a grim look into the recent past.

The complexity comes in t...

Read More

Son of Saul

Son-of-Saul---posterDirector: László Nemes

Writers: László Nemes, Clara Royer

Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont

Cert: 15

Running time: 107mins

Year: 2015



The lowdown: László Nemes’ feature debut, winner of the 2015 Grand Prix at Cannes, journeys to the very centre of Auschwitz’s extermination apparatus. In 1944 the Nazi’s enter a killing frenzy of unprecedented magnitude. A member of the Sonderkommando, Jewish inmates forced to assist the SS with the extermination of new arrivals, attempts to give a young boy a traditional burial against this background of evil. Within this slim story Nemes portrays the insanity of the Nazi’s Final Solution and the horrors facing prisoners placed in an impossible situation.

Son-of-Saul---Geza-Rohrig,-facemaskSon-of-Saul---Geza-Rohrig,-train

The full verdict: Showing the unshowable is the great dil...

Read More

Woman in Gold

Woman-in-Gold---posterDirector: Simon Curtis

Writers: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), Maria Altmann (life story)

Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 109 mins

Year: 2015

The lowdown: Based on a true story,National Treasure’ Helen Mirren fights for her rights against Third Reich crimes with a callow Ryan Reynolds in tow. Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) tries to create cinematic alchemy between his likeable leads but despite compelling subject matter and another puissant performance from the indomitable Dame, the effect is ultimately lacklustre.

Woman-in-Gold---Helen-Mirren,-Ryan-ReynoldsWoman-in-Gold---Klimt-painting 

The verdict: Although not the first time Nazi pilfering of priceless paintings has received the Tinseltown treatment, unlike 2013’s misjudged comedy caper Monuments Me...

Read More

15 Five Star Movies You May Have Forgotten

Lady-Vengeance---feature-image
One of the nicer problems for the first world film fan is not only making time to watch all the movies now available, but also remembering them.

With all year round blockbusters dazzling the eyes it is easy to forget those movies that fired the brain cells and stimulated the imagination in the way the best cinema does.

So, in salute to those special movies that deserve the all five stars yet may have been clouded by a decade of sound and fury or simply slipped under the radar, here are 15 five star movies made since 2000 you may want to reacquaint yourself with.


In the Mood for Love (2000)
The plot: In Hong Kong, 1962 a man and woman living in the same apartment building discover their respective spouses are having an affair and begin a tentative relationship themselves.

Why 5 stars: Cin...

Read More

The Last of the Unjust

The-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-posterDirector: Claude Lanzmann

Writer: Claude Lanzmann

Cast: Benjamin Murmelstein, Claude Lanzmann

Cert: 12

Running time: 218mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Monumental account of the wartime experiences of Benjamin Murmelstein, the only “Jewish Elder” to have survived the Holocaust. That Murmelstein was the final “Elder”, ie forced camp administrator, of the infamous Theresienstadt “model ghetto” made him work dangerously close to Adolf Eichmann, one of the Holocaust’s chief architects. Moreover, it saw him vilified by fellows Jews after the war as a collaborator. Claude Lanzmann’s demanding and rewarding documentary of a fascinating individual is a must-watch event.

The-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-train-stationThe-Last-of-the-Unjust---Claude-Lanzmann,-Rome

The full verdict: In 1985, after more than 10 years in the making, Claude Lanzmann released his 9 hour Holocaus...

Read More

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

The-Woman-in-Black---Angel-of-Death---posterDirector: Tom Harper

Writer: Jon Croker

Cast: Phoebe Fox, Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine

Cert: 15

Running time: 98mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: When a British horror movie does £20m, a sequel is frighteningly inevitable. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death arrives minus star Daniel Radcliffe, but with an intriguing new story concerning children evacuated to the countryside during World War 2. Unfortunately, they arrive at the most dangerous house in England, residence of one particularly stern matron. Phoebe Fox impresses in the Radcliffe “must-solve-the-mystery” role and twists on the WiB formula are about enough to justify a return journey to this Hammer house of horrors.

The-Woman-in-Black---Angel-of-Death---Phoebe-FoxThe-Woman-in-Black---Angel-of-Death---Humfrye

The full verdict: Whatever form it takes – first rate novel, hit stage play, terrifying 1989 TV movie, crowd ...

Read More

Brad Pitt and David Ayer Talk Fury

Fury Press Conference - Brad Pitt, David Ayer, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, John BernthalDepicting the last just war as a hellish landscape of body parts and impossible moral quandaries, Fury is a potent mix of a guys on a mission movie shot with a modern viewpoint. War’s brutalising effects, the atrocities the Nazi regime inflicted upon its own people and heart-in-throat battle sequences are shown with raw immediacy putting you inside the eponymous Sherman as the shells fly.

Closing the 2014 London Film Festival, the film was joined by its director David Ayer, plus cast members Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, John Bernthal and Logan Lerman. At the film’s press conference they spoke eloquently and informatively about bringing to the screen a memorable portrayal of conflict in the final days of World War 2.

Questions were asked by the moderator and journalists from a...

Read More

Fury (2014)

Fury - posterDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer

Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, John Bernthal, Michael Pena

Cert: 15

Running time: 135mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: War may be Hell, but once more makes for blistering cinema. Brad Pitt gives arguably his best performance to date as Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier, leading a seasoned Sherman tank crew deep into Nazi Germany during the last gasps of WW2. But, the arrival of Logan Lerman’s callow Norman forces the men to see how three years of conflict has brutalised them as moral quandaries pile as high as the bodies. Riveting and shocking, with the horror of war painted in bold red strokes. Make tracks to see it.

Fury - Brad Pitt in Sherman tankBrad Pitt;Shia LaBeouf;Logan Lerman;Michael Pena;Jon Bernthal

The full verdict: To ensure we don’t miss the central War is Hell message, Fury opens with a German officer riding a whit...

Read More

Mizuho Nishikubo talks Giovanni’s Island

Giovanni's Island - Junpei, KantaTwo brothers’ experiences on an island off the North tip of Japan in the year’s after World War 2 form the core of Mizuho Nishikubo’s Giovanni’s Island. When the Soviet army lay claim to the island of Shitokan, Junpei and Kanta find themselves forced to share their home with a Soviet family and their school with Soviet children before seismic decisions jeopardise the fragile peace and send the boys on a terrifying journey.

We caught up with director Nishikubo and associate producer Francesco Prandoni to discuss the film.

Mr. Nishikubo, this is your first film in five years. How did it come about?

Mizuho Nishikubo: Giovanni’s Island’s writer, Shigemichi Sugita, told me he had come across an interesting, or not interesting maybe I should say unusual war story that he wanted to...

Read More

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game - Benedict Cumberbatch, posterDirector: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Graham Moore, Andrew Hodges (book)

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Rory Kinnear, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong

Cert: 12

Running time: 113mins

Year: 2014

 

The lowdown: Alan Turing, the tragic father of modern age computing, is the focus of Headhunter’s director Morten Tyldum’s engrossing biopic. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a performance of pathos and intelligence as the genius mathematician and cryptanalyst who led the team which cracked the Nazi’s Enigma code machine, turning the tide of the war, while hiding a damaging secret of his own. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Charles Dance round out a great cast in a moving and gripping portrayal of one of Britain’s most unsung heroes.

The Imitation Game - Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark StrongThe Imitation Game - Benedict Cumberbatch, Charles Dance, Mark Strong

The full verdict: Easy c...

Read More