Saturday, March 27, 2010

Z, 1969 - Costa Gavras

No I'm not working through a list of one letter movie titles (see my earlier post for M by Fritz Lang). Costa Gavras' political indictment of a fascist government, turning a blind eye at violence against a communist movement, is both gripping and damning. I found this film to be engaging, also I must note that for the time, this film was quite the groundbreaker. The film starts with things already bubbling and doesn't let up. There are a few stereotypically European stylistic choices that, I don't know if I care for. The constant use of off camera dialogue made it feel clinical, and a bit stale, slowing down the momentum at points. The soundtrack (Foley, sound effects) was very sparse, even lacking in areas, leading me to think perhaps such an ambitious film was barely able to be made. Perhaps the filmmakers were working under the gun so to speak. Nervous studio threatening to pull out if it goes over budget? That's just a guess. I am looking past these small stylistic qualms in view of Mr. Gavras' brilliant overall aesthetic. 
What the film delivers on is a scathing look at the behind the scenes goings on of political manipulation, in a very forward looking style. A must see for anyone interested in such things. This film is especially relevant given the times, we live in.
This film was seen through Netflix Streaming of the Criterion version.

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