It’s even more realistic because of it. In a cell-based structure, you know very few people. Because that is how it’s supposed to be; you compromise fewer operations if nabbed and tortured and you talk (you will; everyone does).
To add on to that, Jean-Francois died without knowing that his own brother was not only also a member of the resistance, but its leader.
That was a shocker, too. I wasn’t sure it was the same guy at first because after all Jean-Francois had just rowed him out to the sub, but I guess he had his scarf over his face? Or maybe it was just so dark he couldn’t see properly.
I loved that little bit of family involvement. When they revealed the identity of the boss on the submarine, it immediately made me wonder if that little room he built in his house wasn’t just for warmth but to be a sound-proof room where he could conduct Resistance business.
And not only didn’t he know, he also looked down on his brother a little (in a paternalistic way) for being a boring non-risk-taker. Ha!
Now I am torn. I don’t know if I want to do a film by an American filmmaker that deals with Algeria indirectly and is so influenced by this film and Melville’s style, it just calls to me to be nominated or a film about the Algerian War itself.
Well, nothing says you can’t nominate one next month and one the month after. Wasn’t this Army of Shadows’s third try at the title? By the way, if you are talking about The Battle of Algiers, I was planning to watch it anyway, so I would definitely vote for it.
I might have been. I might not have. Who knows?
That scene was nerve-racking. I kept thinking “isn’t that guy some collaborationist, thrown there as bait”. Ten minutes in the movie, and I was already a paranoid shell broken by the local fictitious Nazi regime.
One final thought. I normally wouldn’t even have to bring this up, but in the world of Coen brother and Tarantino movies existing, I have to give a final appreciative nod to Army of Shadows for sparing us from overly graphic violence. Whether it was stabbing a guard in the neck, or strangling someone to death or showing us the bloody pulpy faces of tortured prisoners (without actually showing us how they got those faces), the movie never tried to traumatize me with violence like the Coen Brothers regularly do. And I really appreciated that because it let me enjoy so much of the rest of the movie. I can imagine each of those scenes if they’d been done by the Coens, and I bet you that would be one of the only images left in my mind after I was done with the movie.
That’s funny (manner of speaking) because I have exactly the opposite reaction: looking at the horribly massacred faces of the prisoners (especially Jean-Pierre Cassel’s!), I couldn’t help but have my brain run in fear of the terrible tortures they might have faced.
I figured it was just a function of when the movie was made.
Democracy means Voting!
The February Movie Club Nominations are open!
But feel free to keep talking about Army of Shadows.
Watched The Damned United over the weekend. I don’t normally like sports films or biopics, so it probably speaks well for this film that that I quite enjoyed it. I do think it was a bit, not quite hagiographic, about Clough, but certainly portraying him as a tragic hero, rather than an arrogant bastard who also happened to be a great manager. And conversely Revie’s Leeds are portrayed pretty much as straight-up villains. Presumably this is inherited from the book (though I see from one review the book had a darker tone). .
I thought there was plenty of “arrogant bastard” to be had. It also was a meditation on the inability to be content and whether that in and of itself is one one of the factors that propel some to strive for success and excellence.
Did you like the soundtrack?
In the abstract, sure. Compared to the real Clough, not nearly enough.
Have to say I didn’t notice the soundtrack at all. I’m pretty terrible at picking up on them unless they’re particularly striking.
I thought the use of period music really made the great cinematography and editing pop. Great casting and performances too.
Not arrogant enough? 😀
I’m not saying it doesn’t portray him as arrogant. But you have to realise, real Brian Clough made Trump look modest and humble.
Agree, though, the real Cloughie is indeed a hard act to follow.