Il Cinema Ritrovato 2012 #3

Still drifting with the time machine of Il Cinema Ritrovato, I can profoundly feel the endlessness of the medium. Though this is supposedly a journey through the past, as Henri Langlois points out, it also indicates our very future. In this regard, at least to me, Raoul Walsh is the future and cinephilia is nothing but shaping our future by returning to the rich heritage of the moving images.

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Raoul Walsh’s anti-vengeance Distant Drums (1951), starring Gary Cooper and set in Florida in 1840, is about a journey of professional soldiers and ordinary people through the dangerous Everglades, only to discover at the end that the promised land they are searching for is burnt down to the ground. As one can expect from a Walsh film, they stay on the land and fight, man-to-man. There is no room for self-pity or sentimentalism, and the journey itself becomes a metaphor for self-discovery
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