Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stardust Memories - The Brooklyn Rail Review

Noah Isenberg has contributed quite a nice review of This Great Escape, in The Brooklyn Rail, calling the thing "strange, elegiac, and intoxicating " :

"Throughout his idiosyncratic mix of travelogue, family memoir, and elliptical musings, Steinmetz entertains the thought that there might be some kind of hidden, causal connection between his cousin’s ironic, possibly ill-advised choice to play a Gestapo agent in The Great Escape and his premature death. “Michael Paryla as a Nazi, on the map,” he writes, “not 30 years after his parents fled by train through the same neck of the woods: who catches this on film?” (In truth, it wasn’t totally uncommon for actors once persecuted by Hitler to play Nazis on screen—think of Conrad Veidt in Casablanca or Otto Preminger in Stalag 17.) Oddly enough, the film becomes the final resting place for his cousin: “57 seconds all counting—before we lose sight of him for good, on-screen and off, stardust to rust, so it goes and so it must.” Or, as Steinmetz remarks of his cousin elsewhere, almost suggesting the docu-fantasia mode of fellow Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin’s work: “Alive but not living, stranded in the no-man’s-land of a motion picture.”

Full review here.

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