Monday, 30 January 2012

Welsh Movies

Now one of my all time favourite movies is the 1942 propaganda film Went The Day Well.
For those that don't know, it is an account of the Nazi takeover of a rural English Village during the second World War, and features a whole plethora of stiff upper Brits killing the bosh over their tea and crumpets!
The postmistress from Went The Day Well -axing the filthy hun

Tonight at Theatre Clwyd, there was a showing of two "Welsh" films which kind of mirror the story in Went The Day Well. The first was a cracking "short" propaganda film from 1943 called The Silent Village.

Aimed to be a tribute to the population of a small  Czechoslovakian mining village called Lidice, which was destroyed by the Nazis, The Silent Village "reenacted" the 1942 atrocity by using the real life citizens of the South Wales mining village Cwmgiedd in a documentary type narrative that works remarkably well

The real men of Cwmgiedd sing "Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau "just before being "shot"
The main feature.... the Welsh thriller Resistance 
proved to be somewhat of a bummer especially after the creaky spirit shown by The Silent Village, but it did take a slightly different slant on the same subject matter.
In Resistance, the Germans have invaded Britain, and in an isolated Welsh Valley a somewhat sympathetic German Captain (Tom Wlaschiha) and his men, encounter a small group of women left alone by their menfolk who have joined the resistance movement.
Hampered by a tiny budget and a somewhat confusing story, this beautifully shot film,proved to be in the end , well, just a little bit dull... but I must admit that my disappointment  was probably fuelled by memories of Went The Day Well's  robust postmistress running amok with an axe!

The Talented Tom Wlaschicha  and Andrea Riseborough in Resistance

14 comments:

  1. We watched 'Went The Day Well' recently, John. I liked it - particularly the bit where the old dear smashes in the head of the German. I think I bought the DVD on your recommendation, and - for once - we concur in films. Didn't realise it was Welsh though.

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  2. Went The day well isnt welsh ( read again I said it was set in an English Village) but I love it so much I wanted to see these two "welsh" versions of it

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  3. This sounds interesting John...Almost as interesting as what I heard on the news this evening that Shirley MacLaine is joining the cast of Downton Abbey for season 3...

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  4. John your mind runs in the most interesting directions...from beloved meat worthy piggys to post mistresses bashing in Hun Heads! I'll see if Netflix has any of these movies...I always love a good head bashing!

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  5. What about 'The Englishman who went up a mountain'? Quite a fun film, regardless of the highly slappable Hugh Grant.

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  6. Black and white movies were the mainstay of my childhood weekends. If they were romances my Dad would disappear into the greenhouse for a couple of hours and if they were 'cowboys' my Mum would go and soak in the bath, leaving me to watch with the remaining parent.
    Went the Day Well was one of the few where I had two companions.
    Excellent film.

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  7. Resistance is much more comprehensible if you've read the book first - and I'd recommend both but in that order. beautiful and moving film, shot in the hills around Abergavenny where it was written.

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  8. Without the least iota of disrespect to those originally involved or to their incredible (choiceless) sacrifices, I can't help but think that Blighty might not have been so bankrupted and ruined had we simply let the gentleman with the dodgy moustache roll in - and then nobbled him using every sweet little old dear in our arsenal. There's more than one way to boil a bad egg...

    Air hair lair - do have tea and a warm crumpet (with a firmly grasped cricket bat behind our back, at the ready). Hindsight's a wunnerful thing.

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  9. marianne
    yes I think I needed to read the book.....I think the movie was not helped by it's leading lady who, I thought was incredible lifeless and dull...though the lady that played Maggie (Sharon Morgan) and Tom Wlaschiha who played the captain were excellent

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  10. Far too intellectual for me you film buff egghead!

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  11. THE SILENT VILLAGE sounds fascinating. Haven't seen RESISTANCE, either, but may catch it on DVD. You can't beat WTDW, though: a bona fide British classic, that.

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  12. They all sound good to me

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  13. Love that first photo - will have to look it up

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  14. I love 'Went the Day Well'. I shall watch it tomorrow - thanks for the remindere.

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