Thursday, July 26, 2012

174. The Battle of San Pietro

The Battle of San Pietro
Directed by John Huston

I knew going into this that this wouldn't be the most enjoyable experience.  War documentaries aren't really my thing; I seem to prefer movies where I learn as little as possible.  The positive side was that this movie is only around thirty minutes long.

I set this film up in my sister's bedroom.  She seemed to take this as an excellent time to not study the film, but to teach me how to walk in heels since apparently I am the disgrace of the family when I wear them.  A decision is still pending on whether or not I am allowed to wear my black heels Saturday night.  I imagine you will eagerly await the verdict with me.

Anyway, I didn't pay to much attention as soon as the narrator started droning on about the soldiers.  It is a load of propaganda fluff anyway so I didn't miss too much wisdom.  Skip it.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

US army considered it too damaging to a soldier's morale to be shown.

Cut to a 32 minute version since it was considered to anti war.


  1. You didn't pay much attention, but it was a load of propaganda fluff with little wisdom? I was looking up a book on Amazon once and saw that one of the reviewers underneath had angrily dismissed it as a load of ill-informed, biased rubbish and that it was so bad he had stopped reading after the first page. To which another person had asked underneath how a single page could possibly be sufficient basis for such a damning review.

    The film claims that "a few" of the scenes were shot before or after the event "for continuity". Normally this is code for "most" and, looking it up, this was the case here also. For a number of reasons live filming was simply impossible but apparently everyone agrees that the final results on film convey an authentic representation of how it really was.

    I thought it was pretty interesting, an insight and an angle that you wouldn't normally see and that would certainly have been very unusual if not unique at the time.

    1. Wow. That was a pretty good burn. Been getting super into documentaries lately so maybe I'll try it again.

    2. It's a chicken and egg problem; do bad films cause us to stop paying attention or does not paying attention in the first place cause us to dismiss the film as bad?

      If you're watching documentaries, have you seen One Day in September or Capturing The Friedmans? Both left my jaw gaping in astonishment after I saw them.

    3. No, I haven't seen either! I'll add them to my watch list.

  2. I'd certainly back up Dessie in very strongly recommending 'One day in September' as, to quote "left my jaw gaping in astonishment after I saw them.". In fact, as it's many years since I saw it, I feel like digging it out and rewatching.

    1. I actually had no idea how the real events of ODiS concluded, which just added to the tension etc.

      It's the same guy who made Touching The Void, which I would assume we're all already aware of?

      I saw Capturing The Friedmans at a cinema in Belgium when I was working there. As it finished, I just stared at the screen in dumbfounded silence. The credits rolled, and I sat there. The lights came on and I sat there. Two more minutes passed and I just sat there unmoving. Eventually I became aware of the staff waiting for me so I picked up my jumper, stood up and turned around to go. Imagine my surprise to discover that the whole of the rest of the audience were still sitting in shocked silence behind me - far from being the last, I was in fact the first person to leave.

  3. Wow, I just noticed that Kevin MacDonald, who made One Day in September and Touching the Void is the grandson of . . . the wonderfully-titled Emeric Pressburger who co wrote, produced and directed so many films on The List including The Red Shoes!