Friday, 5 July 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 203: Mon Jul 22

The Big Red One (Fuller, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 5.50pm

This film is being shown in the Passport to Cinema season and will be introduced tonight by Dominic Power. The movie also screens at BFI Southbank on July 28th and 30th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A heroic effort by critic Richard Schickel to reconstruct Samuel Fuller's most ambitious feature--a semiautobiographical account of his own fighting unit during World War II, severely truncated by distributors when first released (in 1980). This isn't a director's cut, but it's 50 minutes longer than the original release, with 15 previously missing scenes and 23 extensions of existing scenes supplied from surviving footage, with Fuller's script and notes used as guidelines. Starring Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, and Bobby Di Cicco as well as Stephane Audran and Christa Lang (with a cameo by Fuller himself), this multifaceted, earthy, and philosophical reflection on war runs the gamut from realism to surrealism. What it lacks in cohesion it more than makes up for in comprehensiveness, as it follows Fuller's combat experience from North Africa to Sicily, France, Belgium, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. It's a grand-style, idiosyncratic war epic, with wonderful poetic ideas, intense emotions, and haunting images rich in metaphysical portent. Packed with energy and observation, it is full of unforgettable, spellbinding moments.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here is the trailer.

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