Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Lost Command/Les Centurions: Take II

If Mark Robson's Lost Command / Les Centurions (1966) -- like his Peyton Place (1957) and Valley of the Dolls (1967) -- could be tweaked here and there, it could be very sharp indeed. I'd start with a whole new soundtrack, something from the mind of Ennio Morricone (who is still with us) probably. In any case, the Algerian Revolution / Guerre d'Algérie (1954-1962) war scenes are particularly strong. Watching them, I couldn't help but see the real similarities with the Iraq War (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-present).

Together with Gillo Ponecorvo's masterful La battaglia di Algeri / The Battle of Algiers (1966), Lost Command / Les centurions gives a clear picture of how this kind of conflict plays out. It's not a pretty sight.

Surprise, ambushes, reprisals, bombings, assassinations, murder, civilian deaths: it's all there, and we're seeing plenty more of the same reality in 2012.

Today's Rune: Signals.

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