It takes a special talent to piss off the liberals, the conservatives, the church, the Nazis, and the Resistance, but Henri-Georges Clouzot is a special talent. Of course, holding a mirror up to German-occupied France during the war is a pretty easy way to garner that reaction. Clouzot did just that in Le Corbeau, his 1943 proto-noir. And aside from getting everyone mad at him, he also made it with Continental Films, the sole authorized movie production house in Nazi-occupied France, which give the post-war government the ammunition needed to bar the film's release forever as well as ban Clouzot from ever making a movie again. Both bans lasted just a few years.
We return once again to films of The Archers, the illustrious British duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, with The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. Made during the blitz and released in 1943, Blimp is certainly a pro-war propaganda film, but specifically propagandizing what sort of war the British should be fighting. Spoiler: I find the moral of this film absolutely reprehensible. Pat doesn't find it much better. It's a long film with a lot going on, and as such this is a bit of a long episode. Enjoy!
We're digging into a Carl Th Dreyer boxset this week and starting things off with Day of Wrath from 1943. Dreyer made one feature film per decade after The Passion of Joan of Arc -- well, two in the 40's if you count Two People, which Dreyer didn't so maybe we won't either -- and every one of them is a masterpiece that's going to sit with me for a long time.