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Saturday, March 4, 2017

La Notte Di San Lorenzo (aka Night Of The Shooting Stars) (1982)

Set in a small town in WWII Italy, the Germans are retreating as American forces approach. But when the Germans order the town's inhabitants to gather all together in the church, half of the citizens decide to sneak off during the night and seek out the approaching Americans. Directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, this is a lovely memory piece. In its own way, it's not unlike HOPE AND GLORY which would come 4 years later. Both films look at war through a child's eyes. The story of STARS is recalled by a woman who was a child at the time and the whole thing is seen by her as a great adventure rather than a dangerous undertaking. When the horrors of the war become too much even for her, she fantasizes them as epic battles on the plains of Troy. Whether her memory is reliable is irrelevant, the Taviani brothers have given a magical yet surprisingly unsentimental look at the often absurdities of war as when old friends from opposing sides greet each other warmly before killing each other. And what faces! The enchanting score is by Nicola Piovani. It's must see cinema! With Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano, Claudio Bigagli and Mario Spallino.  

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