The sixth chapter in "32 Days of Movies", an audiovisual tour through 366 films.
Storm Clouds Gather
In a quiet European cafe, a couple bicker and, by bickering, flirt. It is charming, wistful...and more than a little poignant: argument as gradual romance rather than violent dispute. In another establishment, in another European country, this same couple (or so it seems) find themselves surrounded by a bloodthirsty crowd, hands raised high in stiff salute, singing lustily about their glorious leader. Upon reflection, that cafe scene becomes even more poignant, tragic even. War has come to Europe, and by extension, to Hollywood.
Today like yesterday American films predominate (plucky little Britain, simultaneously engaged in the fight of its life, mangages the sole non-Hollywood entry). Yet what a difference - yesterday mostly escapist entertainments, today far more troubled pictures. Oh, there are still screwball comedies, nostalgic period pictures, and wacky cartoons. However, at least three clips go toe-to-toe with Hitler - including one of those wacky cartoons. Nearly half these stories include the war (albeit not in selected clips) and a couple more make sideglancing references.
Tomorrow those references will become submerged and internalized in a fascinating fashion; for now, though, they remain out in the open. By the last clip, Hollywood itself has gone to war, and that last duck-tailed salute nicely subverts those arms raised in chilling unison at chapter's beginning.
I have covered today's films here, here, here, and here. I posted an essay by someone else here.