Friday, July 06, 2007

Burn! (1969)

If Gillo Pontecorvo's extraordinary The Battle of Algiers is historical recreation written with fire and lightning, this subsequent film, the last he would make for ten years, is historical allegory written with smoke and fog. Marlon Brando turns in a powerful and charismatic performance (even with the overdubbing), but Pontecorvo never quite gets a handle on his material, so that what should strike home with the force of a mallet instead floats right on by. Some solid moments, but it doesn't cohere into the statement it so desperately wants to be.

Grade: C+


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