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8.15.2007

OVERLORD

Overlord (1975)
Directed by Stuart Cooper
Written by Christopher Hudson and Stuart Cooper








There is audacity of process here, intercutting archival wartime footage with a madeup soldier’s story- - - a kind of time travel on one hand, the way it was shot using tech from the era, and a kind of obsessing over the mildew of history on the other, the way it belabors the specific textures for resonance. It’s gimmicky but one with legs to at least stand on if not marathon the distance. You can only go so far before fact starts subduing fiction, after all, but that could be the apex of its slightly pedestrian sentiment - - - war's immensity and how it swallows the people fighting it whole, soldiers as cogs in the machineries of combat. But then the madeup soldier (and John Alcott) starts to fabricate perverse, impressionistic fantasies about his dying in battle that twists everything into an investigation on notions of history as grand, spurious hallucination. * * *


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