Set in 1919, during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Miklós Jancsó’s The Red and the White is a war film unlike any other. In the brutal Civil War which took place, Hungarian volunteers supported the ‘Red’ revolutionaries in a war of attrition against the ‘White’ counter-revolutionaries.
In the ‘60s and ’70s, Hungary’s Miklós Jancsó, with his gorgeous camerawork and dancelike choreography of landscapes and characters, was heralded with such titans of the arthouse as Tarkovsky, Bergman, and Antonioni. His best known film, this expansive war movie is a landmark of visionary cinema.
This is what happens when you let men be in charge. Unlike his other films, this one puts you right in the action. Which just adds to the chaos. "Come here. Come here. Go away. Go away." Jancso is a masterful choreographer. My favorite scene might be at the 39 minute mark when Krystyna Mikolajewska is running towards the river legs akimbo. She's like a child, innocent in this crazy game with no rules.
Form echoing content - Jancso establishing the conflict and tension between the 'Red' revolutionaries and 'White' counter-rebels with long takes and no close-ups until the denouement. The detached control parallels the ethos of the 'White' infantrymen. One of the most influential masters of film form and cinematic objectivity.
this incessant camera fluency always feels so logical and relevant when placed in historical contexts.it's modest objectiveness rings factual truth,thus the feeling that this camerawork said more than most dialogues ever do. by means of an enginereed nonsensical leaping from scene to scene, don't expect an accurate Russian revolution for it wasn't aimed;expect an Antonioni account of it,done with a plastic camera-pen