Monday, September 29, 2008

Bergman and Melville?

This week I am awaiting for a Criterion Collection two-disc set of Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows a curiously poignant film from the director of Bob le Flambour and Le Samurai, but it is none-the-less one of the great pieces of war film that I have ever seen. It follows several members of the French resistance during the period of Nazi occupation in France and their trials and sacrafices.

In any case, what brings this post to fruition is that my roommate was watching my copy of Bergman's Shame last night and I found myself thinking about how beautifully these two very different films come together, despite their glaring differences to make companion pieces for one another of war and peace time thoughts and actions.

Again, these two films have little in common, but I believe that there is a linking between the two that is magnetic in nature. If you have seen both films and would like to add some more thoughts to this slim post, please share. If you think there are glaring mistakes in this post, please explain and if you think that there are some other films that could fit in with these films please let me know, because I am endlessly intrigued with war cinema and the actions and consequences that are shown so vividly in them.

1 comment:

Weaverman said...

I'm a huge admirer of both Melville and Bergman and where these two films are concerned it is Melville who has the edge for me. Both films deal with people who are desensitised by war to the point where they are prepared to kill - although the motives of the characters in each film are somewhat different. We perhaps hope that if the call came we might be heroic and patriotic like the resistance fighters in the Melville but secretly we fear that we might behave in the venal and ignoble manner of Von Sydow in the Bergman, which is perhaps why I disliked SHAME for all its greatness as a piece of filmmaking.