The Red Tent
Dir: Mikhail K Kalatozov
Str: Peter Finch, Sean Connery, Claudia Cardinale, Hardy Kruger
The Red Tent depicts Gen. Nubile's North Pole expedition by a
dirigible which resulted in crash landing.
The Red Tent is a true story depicting the North Pole expedition
by a dirigible led by Italian Gen. Nubile in 1928, which resulted in crash landing at somewhere in the vicinity
of the North Pole. One more thing making this event famous is, the world famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen
was also lost in an attempt to rescue the survivors of this accident. Peter Finch plays Gen. Nubile, and Sean Connery
plays Amundsen. I consider their performances are quite excellent, especially watching Sean Connery play a role
other than James Bond at that time is refreshing. And Peter Finch seems to be always reliable and acting persuasively.
That's true even when he played a demented TV announcer in the movie titled Network,
after the completion of which he died and got the Oscar posthumously. I also remember he played an important part
in the similar kind of movie titled The Flight of the Phoenix in 1965, though it was about the desperate
persons stranded right in the middle of the Sahara desert instead of freezing arctic ocean and that was a fiction
completely (incidentally, German born actor Hardy Kruger also appears in both movies). Although I think it would
be very interesting to compare these two movies, because, as one is European made and the other is American made,
there seems to be several significant differences between them in spite of both handling similar situations, I
don't have any intention to explicate it in this review, because there are other intersting points I want to mention
about The Red Tent.
Unfortunately, this film lacks serious drama aspect, and also the
excessive use of flash-forward technique is marring the movie
Several critiques seem to have been brought against this film on the ground
there are so many awkward flash-back scenes (or rather should be called flash-forward scenes) in it to the extent
they almost destroy the integrity of the movie itself. I'm afraid I must agree to this remark. Had it not been
for these unnecessary scenes and, instead, had it been spiced up by more appropriate drama aspects such as struggles
for survival, which The Flight of the Phoenix succeeded in conveying, the film could have been one of the
best movies of this kind, and surely I would have given the film a five stars without any hesitation. Nevertheless,
I consider the film is entitled to be referred as an excellent movie.
The Red Tent is by far the most beautiful movie ever made.
One reason for it is, The Red Tent is by far the most beautiful movie
ever made. The scenary of arctic ocean is quite marvelous, though I don't know exactly where the film was shot.
Furthermore, the simple score composed by famous Italian screen music composer Ennio Morricone (He is also famous
in the field of classical area. In that area, he composes such kind of music like music-concrete or something like
that, which is definetely not for ordinary audiences. Sometimes I wonder he might be composing very beautiful screen
music in order to compensate it.) is surely augmenting the beautiful atmosphere. The scene of icebergs crushing
into arctic ocean is literally breathtaking and awe-inspiring, and I assure you will be able to easily feel the
resistance of nature refusing the trespass of human race by watching these scenes. Even it shouldn't be referred
by the word "resistance", for resistance is the activity a fragile creature like human being trys to
conduct. Nature is always beyond human being's imagination, therefore you would never be able to fully understand
the meaning of glaring eyes of a tiger that was about to eat you at his lunch time. Anyway, by this point alone,
I can recommend you to watch this movie at least once.
Internationality is the key word of this movie, and it is essential for
our future world.
Another reason is concerning this film's characteristic of international nature.
By saying so, I am not only referring to the international casting participating in this movie, but also referring
to the nationality actually involved in this accident in 1928. The expedition itself is composed of Italian personnel.
The person firstly picking up the SOS signals from the abandoned survivors is a Russian, though I don't know whether
it is historically accurate or not. The first contact with the survivors is made by a Swedish pilot (played by
Hardy Kruger), and, of course, aforementioned Amundsen is a Norwegian. Though I guess there must have been serious
struggles among these countries as to which country would be the first one to reach the Sauth Pole and the North
Pole, they seem to work cooperatively and heroically beyond their nationalities once something bad has happened.
Considering the fact the age was between two world wars, national interest must have been prioritized over everything
else. Nontheless, they conduct rescue tasks together, if not called remarkably cohesive. Probably facing something
far bigger than human interest, i.e. nature itself as I mentioned before, they might have been compelled to do
so. Or rather they might have acted heroically because of their intention to show the bravery of their own country.
But, whatever is the reason, this kind of cooperative works organized beyond nationality was, and, is, and, will
be the most important element to achieve world level objectives. And it is especially true in the age when all
the world is connected by the nexus like the Internet, even if it only means the connection in an information area
for now. So whenever I watch this film, I cannot help feeling the freshness, the freshness that would not be attainable
by the elements only limited to one country's local interest and propaganda, and I never feel any dreariness from
this film usually accompanying this kind of stories. Finally thanks to the gorgeous internatinal casting of this
film, which has certainly succeeded in augmenting international feel of this film. There are British players (Peter
Finch, Sean Connery), Italian (Claudia Caldinale among others), German (my favorite Hardy Kruger), and also Russians
(judging by the name, director must be a Russian). It's pity there are very few movies like this one these days.
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