Sunday, September 7, 2014

498. Z

Directed by Costa-Gavras

We are getting so close to the halfway mark; how crazy is that?  I am going to have to find a way to celebrate. Maybe I will get a free drink if I explain the situation: "Hey, I have reached 500 on my 1001 movie blog.  Well, actually I have seen more movies than that, it's just I am going chronologically so I have written 500.  I have maybe seen 900.  No, I don't write them ahead of time.  Yes, I realize that it is a stupid system."

This film is centered on the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis.  Now, the last event I remember learning about in Greek history was the Battle of Marathon.  I am a little behind the times and I suspect a lot of people are in the same boat as me.  I had to do quite a bit of research to understand what was going on in this film.  So this experience may have felt like more a homework assignment than a way to relax, but I still enjoyed it.

This film is known for how well it builds tension.  I have ridiculously high standards for suspense after seeing the perfection that was Wages of Fear.  I agree that this movie was admirably done and I will say that I was quite tense throughout the duration of the movie.  Still, it wasn't without its dead time and I found myself watching the clock quite a bit.  It was worth a watch, though, but be prepared to do some reading if you are as ignorant about Greek history as me.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The letter "Z" apparently means "he is alive" in Ancient Greek.

Tied with "M" for shortest movie title of all time.


  1. Hey.. I just did this one, and it didn't take it.. Mutter mutter.

    I like political thrillers.. and I like films about real historical events (as long as dealt with accurately).. and films about conspiracy and shady goings on.. So I probably built this one up a bit high in my expectations (plus I found it hard to get hold of).. and ended up being a bit disappointed..
    But only a bit.. all the points you raised I agree with..

    1. I was a disappointed as well. I really enjoyed JFK so I was hoping it would be something like that, but it was a lot worse.

  2. I came from the other end, expecting very little and got much more than I bargained for. It does help to get a historical briefing, but I only got that in retrospect and still it worked.