The Red Tent

1969 IT
Dir: Mikhail K Kalatozov
Str: Peter Finch, Sean Connery,
Claudia Cardinale, Hardy Kruger

The Red Tent depicts Gen. Nubile's North Pole expedition by adirigible 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 unfortunate 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 quite 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 "Network"(1976), after the completion of which he died and got the Oscar posthumously. I also remember that he played an important part in the similar kind of movie titled "The Flight of the Phoenix" in 1965, though it was about desperate persons stranded right in the middle of the Sahara desert instead of freezing arctic ocean and was a fiction completely (incidentally, German born actor Hardy Kruger also appears in both movies). Although I think that it would be very interesting to compare these two movies, because, as one is European made and the other is American, 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 that there are so many awkward flash-back scenes (or rather should be called flash-forward scenes) in it to the extent that 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" seems to 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, and, you, for example, 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 famous international players 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. Although I guess that 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 it wouldn't be 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 alone 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).

All articles are written by Kaminarikozou