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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Z (1969) d. Costa-Garvas

Yves Montand plays the charismatic leftist politician whose assassination at the hand of right wing thugs provides the impetus for the plot in Costa-Garvas' 1969 film, Z.

Movie Review
Z (1969)
d. Costa-Garvas
Criterion Collection #491

  Oh the great joy of being able to take in top shelf cinema and literature without having to endlessly plan the books and films one is going to watch.  I thank my lucky stars every day that I live in a world where all books and movies (but especially the older ones) are available for free, essentially.  I couldn't even tell you how much money I've saved, but just using my "Categories" as a rough estimate- I've watched 98 Criterion Collection films.  Those cost 30 dollars a piece- so that is three thousand dollars in just the last six months or so.  And then books- I've got at least one hundred free books read on my Kindle- so let's say seven dollars a book (shipping a used book from Amazon costs four bucks typically, so even a book that costs a penny ends up costing you a few dollars)- that's another 700.

   Z is a political thriller about the assassination of a charismatic left-wing political leader and the subsequent investigation/cover-up.  Z won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film when it was released, and it's easy enough to see why.  Costa-Garvas apparently based Z on the real-life assassination of Greek leftist leader Gregoris Lambrakis, but sets the film in a nameless French speaking country that merely resembles Greece.  Costa-Garvas has technique and pacing aplenty, you feel like you are watching a Hollywood film, rather than a "foreign" picture.

  There really isn't a dull moment in Z, it's essentially an action movie/thriller/police procedural overlap and I had no trouble making it through.  Z isn't high art exactly, but it is fun and worth watching.

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