Friday, January 05, 2007

Best Depressing Film of 2006

Jean-Pierre Mellville, veteran of the French Resistance and director of "Army of Shadows" said "The war period was awful, horrible... marvelous." This sums up his film, one of the most pitch dark movies you will ever see. Here, complete dedication to a cause, no matter how just, leads inevitably to the loss of your soul.
First released in 1969 in France, but never in America, this bleakest of films was finally distributed to a few lucky art houses in 2006. Decades after he made the film, Melville said, "Don't forget that there are more people who didn't work for the Resistance than people who did." Watching this film, you can't forget it. As life goes on with a semblance of normality around them, grizzled, desperate men struggle against their Nazi occupiers, committing terrible and heroic acts in what becomes an exercise of totaly futility. It's a film of long silences, of loaded glances, and the streets of Paris populated only by German soldiers. It's a masterpiece.
But after you've seen it, go out and have a drink with your friends. Try to find some joy or meaning in life, or this film may just convince you there's no such thing.

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