Self and Other III

film 3 of 3

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 18, 2015

This is an elusive film; in fact, like several other P&P productions, it’s quite eccentric, to the point of being positively strange;

It certainly took me a few tries to find my way in, but having done so I now, & for some time since, find it to be completely admirable, a triumph of craft, concept & ethical heft; outstandingly beautiful colour & design only support an even more beautiful attitude, a love and generosity with which every character is drawn and every scene directed;

Triumphs abound in this really remarkable war picture: that astounding duel sequence, with its vivid pure colours, its indirect rendering, its how’d-they-do-it balance of material & ethereal/spiritual; the quirky, unexpected love story, which in its lost opportunity & decades-long obsessiveness aches most prettily and poignantly, & also manages to encapsulate an effective, affecting statement about the Brotherhood of Man, & Woman; the trophy ellipses, which mark the passing of the seasons as originally & strikingly as Citizen Kane¬†did; Livesey & Walbrook, & Kerr; the Armistice, and Mendlessohn…

Again, or as before with these remarkable collaborators, their Renoirian production is not finally pacifist; after rendering honour in a manner so particular, detailed & comprehensible as to be almost replicatable, it avers that honour must now, of necessity, in the face of Hitler, be abandoned; as mentioned, it’s elusive! That’s the thing about so many international or art or independent productions, isn’t it? Harder. Better!¬†