Monday, March 26, 2012

Fringe, Pattern, Rail, Ornament - Diamonds of the Night (Jan Nemec, 1964)

In this terse, miserable masterpiece of the short-lived Czech New Wave (tanks have a way of having their way), two boys escape from a concentration camp train & are eventually hunted down & shot by a pack of toothless, bedraggled old men for the bounty of sausages & beer. The essential narrative is cut to pieces by the boys' fragmented, death-charged memories of their swiftly-emptying ghetto -- girls, tablecloths, the tile patterns in hallways, keyholes, doorbells, mail slots, tapestries, narrow empty streets, fantasies of invisibility, of heroic & cowardly violence...

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