Night of the Shooting Stars (1982)

The Night of the Shooting Stars (8 out of 10)

La Notte di San Lorenzo
dir. Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani

Should You See the Film?
The Nazis tell some Italian villagers they must stay inside the church. Anyone found outside will be shot. Some of them do not trust the Nazis, so they leave the church to look for Americans. A woman, who was a girl at the time, retells the story from her memories.

If you’ve seen the Poseidon Adventure (and if you haven’t, you may not want to read on), this film is like that except we see people living their lives amdist the fear and threat around them.

Personal Comments

On the journey, the vilagers are always afraid of being spotted by the Fascists or the Nazis, so there is a constant anxiety. But amidst this tension the people manage to live fully. Perhaps it’s this tension that heightens their senses and the natural beauty of the Italian countryside. Moments of simple pleasure are heightened. I liked the scene when the two ladies are washing their feet in the stream. There’s something simple and beautiful at the same time. The feeling of urgency electrifies their lives, sometimes in quiet ways. Moments of tragedy seem muted, however. At times people die, and the people seem almost too tired and stressed out to care. These moments seem strange when I recall them, but at the time, they seemed to make sense.

If there was a problem I had, it had to do with some of the staging and composition of the scenes. There’s a kind of cheap, campy quality–sort of like staging in a Monty Python sketch that take away from magic of some of these scenes. Perhaps, the really old vhs copy was to blame for this.

Still, there are some magical human moments in this film, and that’s what made me like it so much.

  1. No Comments

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.