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A Canterbury Tale

Draft Review by Dean Duncan May 26, 2015

The mystery of the glue man is a marvellously quirky entrée into a very rich, very beautiful and very loving contemplation of eternal verities in times of trial, although the wartime setting is firmly established, it’s interesting how they quickly leave behind all things modern and create timelessness, the non-actor American soldier is a very important presence, and quite a lovely one–it’s not just Hue and Cry, as I’d once thought, but straight through from Drifters that British Cinema prefigures Italian neo-realism in many or most of the important ways–all things from his woodworking background through to his revelation at Canterbury show that this appeal to culture and history has no time for narrow nationalisms, in this way this ends up beating, for me, the important and excellent Olivier Henry V, which must have been produced contemporaneously, and which has the same intent and many of the same ways of achieving it (not by design, I’m sure, but because of something in the air), this says that we’ve been around forever, and that sun and beauty and community are our heritage and our legacy, and that they’ll continue to be so, the extra thing is that there are no losers in this film, nor enemies either, and all types from all wheres can join in, as with the Veidt films, and Col. Blimp, the obvious and thrilling precedent, or rather complement, is Renoir, his plotting of horizontal connections across man-made borders may be more complex (and more pessimistic) than the Archers’ various elaborations, but their effortless cross-disciplinary excursions (absolutely at home and masterful pictorially, literarily, musically, theatrically) are quite worthy of their more celebrated spiritual relative, and more importantly, they appear to love their characters just as much, and the people playing them besides