View image Christian Bale in Werner Herzog's "Rescue Dawn."
For the first half of Werner Herzog's "Rescue Dawn," the fictionalized movie based on his documentary 1997 "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," I wasn't sure if Herzog had tamed the commercial feature or if it had tamed him. By the end, I felt it was the most harrowingly realistic and unsentimentalized P.O.W. film I'd ever seen.
The story is "inspired by" Dieter Dengler, an American Navy pilot (born in Germany) whose plane crashed in 1965 in Laos, where there wasn't supposed to be any bombing and before there was a "War in Vietnam." U.S. "military advisors" were there, supporting the South Vietnamese, but as far as most Americans were concerned, "war" hadn't broken out. Dengler survived the crash, was captured by Laotians, and held in what he and his fellow captives believed to be a Viet Cong camp. By the time Dengler arrived, some of the handful of Americans and Vietnamese interred there had been detained for more than two years already.
CANNES, France--The so-far disappointing 2003 Cannes Film Festival stirred from its torpor over the weekend with sex, violence and dogma. This being Cannes, dogma got the most attention, as Lars Von Trier, a founder of the minimalist Dogma movement, unveiled his three-hour "Dogville." This is one of the most confounding and exasperating films of the festival, and maybe it is brilliant, but I will not be able to determine that until I have recovered from the ordeal of sitting through it.
SALT LAKE CITY--Fans of the Sundance Film Festival's opening nights make bets with first-timers that Geoffrey Gilmore, the festival's director, will walk onstage and use these exact words: "It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this year's Sundance Film Festival."
PARK CITY, Utah Of course I've seen all the wrong films so far at the Sundance Film Festival, according to the touts who whisper in my ear before screenings. It is always this way. You think you're seeing wonderful films, and everybody assures you that you've missed the masterpieces and are hopelessly out of the loop.