Film Reviews by Chris Tew

Welcome to Chris Tew's film reviews page. Chris Tew has written 3 reviews and rated 3 films.

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Emil and the Detectives

Emil and the Detectives in 2020

(Edit) 25/11/2020

A children`s film from Weimar Germany just before the advent of the Nazi`s.The interest for me was twofold;The script was one of the first by "Billie Wilder" who as Billy Wilder became a Hollywood scriptwriter and later director in the 1930`s.The film is set in pre war Berlin before it was destroyed.One can see the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church as well as the overhead train lines.Lastly the film is enjoyable particularly

the enthusiasm of the hoards of children detectives and the pantomime villain.There is also as a bonus a version in english from 1935.Obviously they didn`t use subtitles at that time.

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The Occupation

Life in Western Ukraine during WW2

(Edit) 27/10/2020

Set in the disputed border area between Poland and Ukraine during the German Occupation.It tells the story of a young Jewish girl and her brother who escape from a town the Germans are liquidating.The girl takes on the identity of a Christian friend and is taken in by a farmer in Western Ukraine to look after their children and work on the farm. .The atmosphere of the film is tense as the girl learns to take communion in the orthodox church.The family get on with their life through which there are sudden episodes of violence.Very fine production and acting.A somewhat disturbing film which highlighted the local effects of the German Occupation of Russia during WW2.At the end the Russians retook the area and the girl returned home.We were told at the end that it was a true story.The brother was betrayed and shot.The lady married one of the few remaining Jews in the town and lived in the USA where she died in 2018.A very fine film.

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Don Quichotte Chez La Duchesse: Le Concert Spirituel

An 18th century comic opera

(Edit) 13/08/2018

This piece was recorded by the same group for Naxos in the 1990’s.However it gains considerably by being seen in the theatre in the palace of Versailles.There are 4 main characters;Don Quixote and Sancho Panza,The duchess and a narrator.The production is lovely.The music is a mixture of French recitative with short airs and dances.There is a scene towards the end where there is a march for a Japanese man who sings nonsense which is “translated” into French by a bass which is very good.There is spoken dialogue so the video is twice the length of the audio CD.there are two interludes.In one the conductor sings in a matador outfit what sounds like a Maurice Chevalier song in French and a lady in Spanish costume sings a Zarzeula song in Spanish.The audience enjoyed it as I did very much.

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