Sunday, July 22, 2018

War Film 9: Kagemusha (1980)

In the Japanese Sengoku period, a diminishing number of daimyos battle to see who will unite the country and become Shogun. The Takeda clan is headed by the immoveable Shingen, fighting the combined forces of Nobunaga and Tokugawa. When Shingen is mortally wounded, his generals bring in a double - a kegemusha - to keep the clan from collapsing and their enemies on their toes. A magnificent return to form for the emperor of film, Akira Kurosawa, with Tatsuya Nakadai taking on the roles of the feared Takeda daimyo and his low-caste double. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (27.4MB, 1 hour 15 mins).


Recorded Monday 16 July 2018, edited by Garen Ewing.

Purchase the film from Amazon UK: Downfall | Blu Ray | DVD | (1980).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

War Film 8: Downfall (Der Untergang, 2004)

In the final days of the Third Reich, Hitler rants and raves in the confines of his bunker while his Generals get ever more desperate and the Soviet army closes in. Partially based on the memoirs of one of Hitler's secretaries, Traudl Junge, Bruno Ganz turns in a weighty performance as one of the last century's most devastating figures in this bleak look at the fall of Nazism, and of Berlin, from German director Oliver Hirschbiegel. Click the image below to listen to the podcast (29.9MB, 1 hour 12 mins).


Recorded Sunday 8 April 2018, edited by Murray Ewing.

Notes and Errata: The Battle of Berlin saw the Russians enter the city with about 6,250 tanks, though they had around 20,000 in the vicinity; the Germans ended up with just 40 battle-ready tanks to use in the suburbs. An information board was put up at the site of the bunker in the lead-up to the 2006 World Cup, hosted by Germany. The scene where General Krebs tries to make a deal with the Russians was with General Chuikov, not Marshal Zhukov. Downfall didn’t win an Oscar but was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005 (won by The Sea Inside). The other actor I was trying to remember in, um, Remember (2015) was Martin Landau.

Purchase the film from Amazon UK: Downfall | Blu Ray | DVD | (2004).