Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Fri Feb 1 2008
This remarkable dramatisation of the preparations of a young British soldier (Brian Stirner) for the 1944 D-Day landings has languished in obscurity since it won the Silver Bear in Berlin in the mid-’70s. Working in collaboration with the movie archive of the Imperial War Museum, Cooper watched some 3,000 hours of WWII footage before selecting material for the impressive montages which interlace his simple, but movingly told period narrative which he shot on old equipment and stock with cinematographer John Alcott.
In its quiet way, it’s something of a triumph: narratively, Cooper manages to give a moving, elegiac quality to this soldier’s chronicle of a death foretold; and aesthetically, in his finely-edited sequences of often aerially-shot archive footage – of war-torn cities, the strafing of columns or trains, dog fights over the Kent countryside – he brings out the strange, emotive beauty contained in these images of an economy of death.
Author: Wally Hammond