The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (U)
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Time Out saysPowell and Pressburger’s glorious 1943 epic is back on screens after a dazzling digital restoration overseen by Martin Scorsese and Powell’s widow, Thelma Schoonmaker. The film’s compassionate detailing of the adult life of Clive Candy (Roger Livesey), who we first meet as a bald old buffer in a Turkish bath in Mayfair during World War Two and then flash back to follow from his youth as a spy during the Boer War onwards, is as moving and surprising as ever: it’s a masterclass in deconstructing and defying a caricature. Perhaps it’s some of the film’s striking tableaux that the restoration best serves: the camera rising above the Berlin gymnasium as Candy enters into a dawn duel with Theo (Anton Walbrook), the German who will become a lifelong friend, or the snapshot of a car bouncing along the devastated fields of World War One. ‘Blimp’ is desperately sad, too, in its suggestion that time, age and loss make dinosaurs of us all. But its brilliance lies in its insistence that even dinosaurs deserve empathy and maybe even love.
Author: Dave Calhoun
Fri May 18 2012