Thursday July 29, 2010 21:59

Movie #0030 – Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Posted by Michael

Directed by: Andrzej Wajda
Starring: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ewa Krzyzewska, Waclaw Zastrzezynski
First Viewing

Synopsis: A couple of resistance fighters try to figure out what to do next after realizing that they’ve botched an assassination attempt on a communist politician.

Well, that was a pleasant surprise. Not that I was expecting this to be bad, but I was unfamiliar with director Andrzej Wajda, and so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

As it turns out, Wajda’s impressive direction was probably the highlight of the film; stylish and filled with intricately-composed, Citizen Kane-esque low angle shots, you can definitely see the influence Wajda has had on directors over the years. I won’t go into spoilers, but there’s a moment towards the end of the film that was as memorable and as visually striking as anything I’ve seen in quite a while. You’ll know it when you see it.

Of course, this wouldn’t have added up to all that much if the film itself hadn’t been up to snuff — the protagonist’s realization, over one long night, that he can’t necessarily do his duty and live a normal life was deftly handled, and though the film wasn’t perfect (it drags slightly in parts) it was definitely quite memorable.

Buy the movie at Amazon

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