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The commander of a failed 1928 Arctic airship expedition is remembering the events of the "Italia" airship flight, crash and subsequent rescue efforts. The "ghosts" of people involved in ... See full summary »
Watching this I was reminded of Hollywood Westerns of the mid-1950s, with the saturated color and framing of faces for psychological effect. The constant orchestral score was sometimes unnecessary and somewhat annoying; but as an interview with the director points out, the idea wasn't a grim war story, or even a political screed, but a love story, where sweeping music isn't out of place; and this is a love story.
The scenes with the nomads are striking and unforgettable; the desert sequences are also memorable, as is most of the film.
Much of the acting could be considered somewhat overwrought, with people flinging themselves down on the ground and making exaggerated gestures, so much so it almost seemed a modernized film with silent movie performances.
For those unfamiliar with the original novella, it may not matter, but the movie stays quite close to the story.
Honestly, this movie does seem dated, but is well worth the time for several scenes of honest beauty and some decent-enough acting performances. And, I have to admit, while I watched the majority of the film with more or less dispassionate interest, I was unprepared for the rifle shot at the end. It's much, MUCH more shocking than I expected, and if only for that reason, this movie sticks in my head.
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