New Cineaste, history

The new issue of Cineaste is out and it’s expanded with a “Film and History Supplement.”

I haven’t had time to read the articles in depth, but a brief skimming looks promising:

ïA 2-page spread on Salt of the Earth (we’re somewhere around its 50th anniversary), which actually mentions the recent Los Angeles screening I blogged about a few months ago. (Incidentally, a settlement has been agreed upon, and it’s nice to see the same old faces at my local grocery stores again.)

ïDecent reviews of some recent personal favs (My Architect, The Return, Bus 174)

ïRobert Brent Toplin on “Cinematic History: An Anatomy of the Genre,” which includes these truisms: “Cinematic History Simplifies Historical Evidence and Excludes Many Details,” “Cinematic History Simplifies Plots by Featuring Only a Few Representative Characters,” “Cinematic History Offers Partisan Views of the Past, Clearly Identifying Heroes and Villians,” etc.

ïThe Cineaste Editors’ Choices for Favorite/Worst Historical Films, given that “history via film is not just a matter of fidelity to authentic period detail and factual accuracy, but to mood, manners, gestalt, zeitgeist, feelings.” (Tom Doherty)

Ten Favorite Historical Films
1. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965)
2. The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
3. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
4. Night and Fog (Alain Resnais, 1955)
5. The Rise of Louis XIV (Roberto Rossellini, 1966)
6. The Battle of Chile (Patricio Guzman, 1975-79)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)
8. The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophuls, 1970)
9. JFK (Oliver Stone, 1991)
10. Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi, 1962)

Ten Worst Historical Films
1. The Birth of the Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915)
2. Mission to Moscow (Michael Curtiz, 1943)
3. Mississippi Burning (Alan Parker, 1988)
4. The Green Berets (John Wayne, 1968)
5. Revolution (Hugh Hudson, 1985)
6. North Star (Lewis Milestone, 1943)
7. The Alamo (John Wayne, 1960)
8. They Died With Their Boots On (Raoul Walsh, 1941)
9. Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)
10. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemekis, 1994)

(And it’s interesting to note that JFK is a runner-up in the Worst category as well.)