As the world reflects upon the outbreak of the First World War a century ago, I recommend viewing one of the standout films set during the war years and immediately following. My review of A Very Long Engagement (Un Long dimanche de finançailles, 2004), the film adaptation of Sébastien Japrisot's novel of the same name, joins other reviews of World War I works at The Mookse and the Gripes. Besides being a favorite film from a favorite director, A Very Long Engagement is remarkable for its scope, its cinematographic style, its performances and, particularly now, as we draw parallels between our present world and the complexities of 1914 Europe, its ability to make the past stirringly real. In short, even if you have already seen the film, it is worth another watch for its continued relevance. Yet it is so much more than a war film: it is, in fact, a timeless account of the battle between hope and despair.
Publication announcements, bookish items of note and the occasional literary musing.