Went the Day Well?

July 15, 2011 3 Comments

This week’s must see movie breaks my usual convention of  recommending a film that I have seen and think is just too good to miss.  The Detroit Film Theatre is screening Alberto Cavalcanti’s 1942 masterpiece “Went the Day Well?”  this weekend (Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm).  I have not yet seen the film, but I realized that if I wait until I see it this weekend, some might miss the chance to discover  it.  Think of a British  World War ll film addressing the fear and ?paranoia of  Nazi infiltration(sometimes referred to as the “fifth column”) made in 1942!!!!!  Much of the motivation in making the film was apparently to rally the British to withstand the German assault as they pounded Europe and set their sites on England.  The film has been called “proto-Tarantino”(a la Inglorious Bastards) and far superior to other better known films of that time such as Mrs. Miniver.  Again, I have not seen the film and don’t plan on spoilers(yes, unlike the audience who originally viewed the film, we do know how things turned out…but prepare for an interesting twist in the film’s beginning)….It also seems to me that the fear of invasion can be easily updated and Americanized to the current hysteria about Islamic threats and suddenly the movie may feel quite up to date.. I do plan to followup this post with another after I see the film….but it sounds way to good to miss….See you at the DFT!!!!! (and be careful how you write your sevens….movie hint)   Jolyn Wagner

DFT Presents, Must See Movie of the Week
3 Comments to “Went the Day Well?”
  1. jwwmo4 says:

    Wow!….It’s 1942 and Europe has been absorbed into the Nazi Empire..Britain sits watching and waiting (the Yanks have entered the war but not yet invaded the continent)…could it be bleaker? Wait….could a movie help???? A movie??????? Hitler long appreciated the power of film to move his idealogy forward.Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous “Triumph of the Will’ remains an unsurpassed use of propaganda filmmaking…..The DFT has also recently screened Veit Harlan’s infamous “The Juif Suiss”(Harlan was the only filmmaker to be tried for Nazi war cirmes..his film was so rabidly anti-Semitic)
    …”Went the Day Well” directed by Alberto Calvacanti is Britian’s recognition of the same power…what a film! This is a remarkable film on many levels…it begins “after” the war (remember that in reality the war was anything but over) as an older villager recounts the brave efforts of the villagers to defeat the invading Nazi infiltrators(speaking “perfect’ English etc)..a very effective conceit to spur on the real Brits to do what was needed to achieve what had (according to the film) already been achieved…Victory…there are many Tarantino-esque moments (albeit without the overt gore)..no punches are pulled however and the lines between good guys and really bad guys were never clearer(the Nazis were very very very bad)…..watching this film in 2011 is a moving experience (movie experience) of a pivotal time…the plucky Brits did indeed withstand the invasion attempts(although more by air than village by village invasions)..

    .the Detroit Flim Theatre and Elliot Wilhelm have once again given it’s Detroit audience a marvelous gift….and opened an ongoing dialogue about the power of film…thanks!

  2. jwwmo4 says:

    If “Went the Day Well” leaves you hungry for more opportunity to experience the fascinating relationship between film and the major forces battling for victory in World War II, you are in luck…..The Discovery Channel is screening a new series beginning September ll(a timely debut) called “Home Fron Britain” which will actually show some of the films produced during that time…..there is a great website called “www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/ which does a terrific job of describing some of the films and the upcoming series. Documentary filmmaking has always been fascinating…sounds like a “must see” series to me….let’s talk about it!…Jolyn

  3. Dan says:

    I hope no one refuses to see the brilliant WENT THE DAY WELL due to the attempt to link it with utter rubbish like Tarantino’s deranged movie. This film was made by people with intelligence, talent and a respect for their audiences. And it is extremely enjoyable.

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