[Videolib] Night and Fog

Randy Pitman (vidlib@videolibrarian.com)
Fri, 15 Oct 2004 09:51:55 -0700

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Hi Pat,

The Criterion DVD is excellent. Here's our review in "Video Librarian" from
last year:

September/October 2003 (Volume 18, Issue 5)

Night and Fog
Criterion, 32 min., in French w/English subtitles, not rated, DVD: $14.95
"War nods off to sleep, but keeps one eye always open." As absolutely
devastating and relevant at the dawn of our already war-torn 21st century as
it was upon its initial release in 1955, Alain Resnais's Night and Fog is
not only one of the best films ever made about the Holocaust, but also one
of the best documentaries ever made, period. Narrated by actor (uncredited)
Michel Bouquet, and filmed in the deserted concentration camps of Auschwitz
and Majdanek 10 years after the Allied liberation, this half-hour
heartbreaker intertwines then-contemporary, nearly bucolic color footage
with harrowing archival images and clips from the time that Jewish men,
women, and children arrived at their final destinations on trains in the
"night and fog"; followed by the indignities of being shaved, numbered, and
bunked three to a bed (Jean Cayrol's hauntingly poetic script refers here to
the "fiercely contested blanket"); and culminating, finally, in death.in the
work fields, the inhumane "clinics," or the gas chambers. Touching on the
differences in designs of the concentration camp gates "meant to be passed
through only once," the camp's ghastly semblance of city life (hospital,
residential area, prison), and the in-context-Orwellian camp slogans such as
"Work is Freedom" and "Cleanliness is Health," Night and Fog is so much more
than simply a gruesome catalog of stills and clips (although these are some
of the most disturbing in existence). It is, rather, a fierce dirge, a film
that firmly grabs you by the head and says "look and remember, this is man's
work." The film is presented in a new high definition digital transfer with
restored image and Dolby Digital mono sound, and the disc features a
five-minute interview with Resnais and a brochure with a pair of essays and
crew profiles. Highly recommended. Editor's Choice. (R. Pitman)



Randy Pitman
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
Web: www.videolibrarian.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat McGee" <pmcgee@tntech.edu>
To: "videolib" <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 7:27 AM
Subject: [Videolib] Night and Fog

> I'm calling on the collective wisdom of the list here. What is the best
> edition of this title? DVD or VHS. Our current copy has subtitles that
> are very difficult to read.
> Many thanks.
> Pat
> Patricia B. McGee
> Coordinator of Media Services
> Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library
> Tennessee Technological University
> Cookeville, TN 38501
> 931-372-3544
> pmcgee@tntech.edu
> _______________________________________________
> Videolib mailing list
> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

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