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30 Day Film Challenge

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 15 – Your Favourite War Film

Well, I couldn’t for the life of me think of a film that depicts my life, so I decided to change today’s category. There’s a favourite Action film category coming up that would cover war films but I really think they are deserving of their own.

This 1964 film tells the story of the defence of Rourke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. Rourke’s Drift was a tiny mission station in present day South Africa consisting of a church, hospital and store-house with a small contingent of soldiers stationed at it. Around 150 men of the 2nd Batallion 24th Regiment of Foot under the command of Lieutenant Bromhead (Michael Caine in his first major role) receive word from a messenger that the rest of their regiment consisting of almost 2000 men has been slaughtered at the Battle of Isandlwana by a force of 20,000 Zulu warriors, 5,000 of whom are now heading for them.

Under orders to hold the station at all costs, Bromhead and the other officer on site, Lt. Chard of the Royal Engineers (Stanley Baker) prepare their men to defend. What follows has gone down in the military history of not only Britain but the Zulu nation as well. The film is expertly directed by Cy Enfield and recieved the full support of the Zulus during production. The Zulus in the film are all played by actual Zulus and the Zulu King by his own great-grandson. Along with fantastic performances by the two leads, Nigel Green shines as the unflappable Colour Sergeant Bourne and Richard Burton narrates at the beginning and end.

The film is in the Public Domain, so I have no qualms in linking you to the entire movie on Youtube (in High Definition no less)

There’s no good trailer for this film so instead here is a clip of one of the early Zulu attacks-

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 14 – The Film That No One Expected You To Like

Well, it’s a romantic film so that automatically makes it unlikely that I’d like it but this film of two parallel time lines is just so good. It’s a very clever film with some brilliant writing and great performances from the leads Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 13 – A Guilty Pleasure

Yes I know this movie is a ridiculous special effects and action fest with little story line, but it’s great fun and it has Neil Patrick Harris in it which is a plus for any movie. Would You Like To Know More!?!

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 12 – A Film By Your Least Favourite Director

“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” was directed by Larry Charles. If you can call it that. Sticking an impressionist in a silly suit with a racist accent and having him go round and make a fool of himself in front of people and filming it is not a valid film making technique.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 11 – A Film By Your Favourite Director

Well, this may seem like a cop out choice, but if I go through my favourite films, one director keeps popping up over and over – Steven Spielberg. This is one of his best films, a masterclass in suspense.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 10 – A Film With Your Favourite Actress

I had to think hard about this one. I don’t really have a favourite actress so I chose what I think is the finest actress performance ever which is Jodie Foster as FBI Agent Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. One of the best films ever made.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 9 – A Film With Your Favourite Actor

My favourite Actor is Sam Neill. He’s featured twice on this list already (The Dish, Jurassic Park) but this is one of his earlier films. An Australian psychological horror set in the middle of the ocean. A Royal Australian Navy Captain John Ingram (Neill) comes home on leave to discover that his wife and baby have been involved in a car accident on their way to pick him up. The wife Rae (a young Nicole Kidman in her breakthrough role) survives but the child dies. To get away from this terrible tragedy, John takes his wife on a month long cruise on their private yacht. A couple of weeks in, in a dead calm ocean, a larger ship appears on the horizon. A man gets in the ship’s rowing boat and rows towards them. He claims that he is the only survivor of a food poisoning on board that has killed the rest of the crew. Having his doubts about the story, John rows back to the ship while the man sleeps and discovers the horrible truth.

This is probably one of the best films to come out of Australia. A truly terrifying movie without falling into the gore of modern horror films. Definately worth a watch.