Monday, October 1, 2012

690. La Notte di San Lorenzo/The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982)

Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed By: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Written By: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Giuliani G. De Negri, Tonino Guerra
Main Cast: Omero Antonutti, Margarita Lozano, Claudio Bigagli, Miriam Guidelli, Massimo Bonetti


Had there been a "night of the shooting stars" (or night when dreams come true) in my town, I would have wished for this movie to be excluded from THE BOOK, because I was dreading watching it and when I finally did, my dread was realized.

The film is set in Italy (obviously) and follows an entire town as they flee the small village of San Martino, in search of the American soldiers, who promise to rescue them from the German tyranny. The Germans have marked nearly every building in town with a green cross and at 3am, on a particular morning, they plan to bomb the marked buildings. Communicating with a priest, the Germans promise to spare a particular cathedral. The priest brings the message to the villagers, offering his house of holiness as a safe place for anyone who wants to join him. Half of the townspeople do and half flee. The film mainly follows the group that flee, as they cross many miles of land in search of liberation. The film is told in flashback as a mother tells the story to her sleeping baby.

Aaaand that about covers it. Look, I don't want to bash this movie because it's obvious that it was made for a different audience than myself. Usually World War II is the one war that interests me and (don't ask me why) the Nazi party is the one political party that interests me. Actually, ever since starting this project, I always look forward to films about the Nazis, Hitler, Germany during World War II, the Holocaust and the like. It's not that I advocate their behavior, I'm just interested. This film, however, excluded Nazis and took place in Italy, mostly showing the interactions of the villagers as they crossed Italy. It was sometimes fantastical, as it was told through the eyes of a, then, six-year old girl. Therefore, sometimes the story would get a little far fetched as we witnessed the imagination of a child takeover the storytelling. It just didn't work for me.

The one positive scene I can pick out of the entire lot of them is a piece near the end when two characters: Galvano and Concetta, capitalize on a fifty-year crush and finally consummate their relationship. A very beautiful scene, played gently by the actors. Other than that and seeing the beautiful Italian landscapes, this film was a waste of an entry and shouldn't have been included in THE BOOK. End of review.

RATING: 3/10  I'll give it a few notches and actually it wasn't the worst thing I've watched this season, but it's probably in the bottom five.


The Killing Fields (1984 - Roland Joffe)
The Killer (1989 - John Woo)
Ariel (1988 - Aki Kaurismaki)
The Dead (1987 - John Huston)

October 1, 2012  1:10pm

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