Saturday, October 4, 2008

Closely Watched Trains

Jirí Menzell, Czechoslovakia, 1966, bw (7.7*)

Best Foreign Film (AA)
This offbeat film is about a young, bumbling apprentice train dispatcher in a small Czech town during the Nazi occupation. It's an odd time frame for a romantic comedy about losing one's virginity, while being surrounded by others also more interested in amorous activities than some silly world war. It's almost as if the war inside everyone's pants takes precedence, one hardly notices the real war, just some occasional German train officials who come around to talk about "watching the trains closely".

There's not a lot of substance here, but some tasteful comedy about virginity and lust, and mildly erotic scenes done in good taste, especially a famous one involving rubber-stamping a flirtatious teenage girl inside the dispatcher's station. One Oscar

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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