we did not see Schnabel's film yesterday because we wanted to head home after the gigantuan lunch, and there were 2 hours to kill before the screening (we may go this afternoon). at home, we watched Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows, a fictional (albeit informed) account of a handful of characters working within the French resistance between 1942 and '44. incroyable! . . . no sexy stars, lots of dull greys and rain and mud and trodging about miserably, and so terribly captivating, moving (even given plenty of noir conventions that are by now more than a little tired -- at one point, leading a resistance fighter-turned traitor to his execution, one character admonishes "one false move . . . [fill in the blank]").
the dvd also includes the short documentary Le Journal de la Resistance (1944), a film shot by 12 different camera operators in and around "the front lines of the final days of German -occupied France". Noel Coward narrates, so there's plenty of Brit-inflected drama, but the images themselves -- and especially the text of the opening scroll -- are powerful enough.
I imagine sharing this documentary with some of my students, many of whom believe that they know something about what it means to fight for freedom; i include myself in this ignorance. i honestly don't think we spend enough/any time discussing the French resistance in educational systems. for my silly part, the film Plenty was the beginning of my education (and my love affair w/ Ms. Streep).
so maybe we'll see Schnabel's film this afternoon. if so, i'll post a review.