Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking at Zinnemann by Guest Blogger, Kingrat

This week I have asked my insightful friend Kingrat to share his thoughts on a director whose diverse career seems to warrant more appreciation than he normally receives--despite his remarkable fifty year career when he brought to each film a distinctive realism and an unfashionable concern with the spiritual yearnings underlying the turmoil of the 20th century.  King's crisply worded and discerning posts regularly appear on the Silver Screen Oasis and Turner Classic Movies Forum. Anyone who has enjoyed reading his astute comments there knows that his use of language, his keen sense of humor, and love of film shines through all his posts. Thanks, Kingrat! - Moira

Fred Zinnemann in his prime
When Moira kindly invited me to write an article for her blog, I immediately thought of a director she and I both hold in high regard: Fred Zinnemann. Specifically, I'd like to share some evolving thoughts about his approach to directing and his accomplishment.


My main area of interest in film is from the beginning of sound until the collapse of the studio system in the late 1960s. During the last three years I've become even more interested in the classic era, thanks to TCM and websites like the Silver Screen Oasis and the Turner Classic Movies forum where I can learn and exchange ideas with other film lovers. Attending the two TCM film festivals has also been a golden opportunity.

A starting point for thinking about Zinnemann: To a greater extent than most of his contemporaries, Zinnemann is international. He has filmed on location on four continents. Although he was able to escape the Nazis, both his parents died in a concentration camp. Is it surprising that several of his films concern World War II and its aftermath, or that moral choice comes to the foreground in most of his films?

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