PezzFest 2018: Night Nine

PezzFest 2018 Double Double Film Series

Welcome back, have you figured out the difference between your ideal world, and reality? And do you know who your friends are? I hope you do, and I hope you’re ready to face a battle of a different sort. . .

Cheers to good movie watching – silence your cell phones, zip your lips, and let the good times roll.

NIGHT NINE: Spoils of War

War takes, and, unfortunately, it gives. The majority of us will (thankfully) not experience the horrors of being on the front line, or getting captured, tortured, and seen and treated as an enemy of the people. But for the unlucky few, there’s little reward.

There’s torture, for years, leaving behind the confidence that your life once knew and instead enduring pain, humiliation, and the fear that at any moment you could be killed.

For others there is nothing but confidence. That you are on the right side of things, that it’s all worth it ––

the suffering, the distance from home, the face-to-face fights with the enemy. It’s all worth it in the justice you can bring to the world by eliminating vile villains that plague society.

There is no shame in quelling hatred even if hatred is in your own heart.

Seven Beauties

Seven Beauties

Lina Wertmuller was the first woman nominated for a directing Oscar, for this film. Structurally, Seven Beauties remains challenging for today’s lot of storytellers to match. An Italian man deserts his army during WWII, and through his ordeals as a captured POW we also see glimpses of his life before the war, the confident man he was on the streets, at home, among his family and friends. And this confidence is ripped away, bit by bit, torn down by his captors. The eventual withering of the soul, and his survival through stripped-away pride, is heart-wrenching and told with a deft hand.

Disturbing, funny (in that uncomfortable “I think I really need to chuckle because this is making me squirm” kind of way), horrific, and sad, this is a “war” story that is not only a war on the battlefield, but within one person’s soul.

inglourious

Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. One cannot debate that the writer-director has quite a strong track record of stories and unique perspectives on fading genres. But Inglourious Basterds takes the war move to a new level. It combines several stories into one grand-scale finale, a revisionist history that is as much relevant today as it is a comment on the past.

A band of American Jewish soldiers set out to kill Nazis in covert operations. A British Intelligence officer acts the gentleman in a rendezvous with a German spy. An actress with a hatred of Hitler puts country over pride to save the world. And a Jewish woman who watched her family murdered suddenly finds inspiration to fight back when an opportunity walks in her door. All of this occurs while the “Jew Hunter” Hans Landa grins through manipulative, murderous intent, at once putting his victims at ease while terrifying their inner souls.

Christoph Waltz seemed to have come from nowhere to portray Hans Landa, arguably the greatest movie villain of the 21st Century so far. Watch it for him, and stay for the glorious fireworks that offer a small dose of satisfaction in flushing the worst of mankind into the toilet of (cinema) history.

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