Diamonds of the Night


Drama / War

IMDb Rating 7.5 10 1493


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February 05, 2019 at 05:12 AM



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1hr 6 min
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1hr 6 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Maciste_Brother 10 / 10

Dream-like and haunting. A one of a kind film experience

I saw DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT one late night and I thought the movie was a recorded dream. It felt so unreal and dream-like that I thought I was inside someone's head and experiencing their dream state. The 60 minute long film is experimental but even so it's more powerful than an entire year's worth of best films. It has a documentary feel to it but the repetitious editing (day-dreams?) and amazing sound-scape obviously pulls it out of that category. The film at times feels more real than reality. The cinematography was jaw-dropping. The image quality of the version I saw was faded and it didn't look like it was a new digital transfer (or maybe that's how the film was made to look like), regardless the look was unique: super fluid editing, camera composition and movement. It's a truly amazing cinematic achievement, probably more so today as it clearly stood the test of time and its experimental qualities resonate beautifully today.

A must see for fans of pure cinema.

Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx 8 / 10

Visceral Czech Holocaust movie with superb editing

The movie follows the diamonds of the night, two plucky lads from Prague. The Nazis are giving off bad vibes to our brace of youngins, they're on a train wearing coats with letters KL painted on the back, which look suspiciously like they could be standing for Konzentrationslager (concentration camp). So the geese attempt to climb out of the sauce and jump train. That's the first scene of the movie which is a brilliant tracking shot that should be cinematic history if it's not already regarded as such. They run/stumble to the top of a hill whereupon they collapse, and you can feel their bronchi beseeching air, the blood in their mouths, the two different types of saliva, thick on the roof, thin under the tongue. The guys are less acting than living an experience that the director is demanding of them. It's very reminiscent of the Zanzibar film Le révélateur that came four years later in France, and although the use of sound here is good, it could, very much in common with that film, have been shot without. In that sense it's very cinematic.

The film as a whole is one of the best pieces of editing you can see, and shots of survival in what look like the fir-carpeted foothills of the Sudeten mountains are juxtaposed with memories of Prague, where they have just come from. In particular we see the closed doors of people who won't help them, who we don't see, and rather fabulous Wellesian shots of Josefov and other quiet areas of Prague. A lot of the editing is repetitive and short shots are later expanded on. One example is a ghostly love story that is cut off by the purging of the Jewish areas. The use of sound here is quite good, even in shots where there should be no sound you hear muffled glaucous conversations that make everything seem very strange.

It's another Holocaust shock film really, the shock of the Third Reich has never really gone away, apparently civilised modern society all across Europe disintegrated into a quagmire of venality and self interest, which leads one to wonder whether, even on one's own street, there are not folk who would cheerfully dismember you given abrogation of the usual checks and balances of society.

Reviewed by boyzonee 8 / 10

Yes, the woods ARE dark and deep, but...

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."

Some of you may know these Robert Frost lines from the Charles Bronson vehicle "Telefon" where a renegade Soviet intelligence officer (Donald Pleasence) used them for re-activating KGB sleepers in the USA.

In this Czekoslovakian movie the woods are dark and deep indeed, but there's definitely no time to sleep for the two young guys here, on the run from a Nazi concentration camp. The two escapees are being hounded by a band of old (and armed) German villagers, intent on killing them at any cost.

Jan Nemec's film isn't exactly easy to come by, so maybe that's why no one else has a comment on it. I myself haven't had an opportunity to watch it for more than 30 years. It seemed longer then, but actually runs only 63 minutes.

Based on a true story by Arnost Lustig who spent 3 years in Nazi camps and escaped on the way to Dachau. Remarkable b/w cinematography by Jaroslav Kucera and Miroslav Ondrícek that will linger on for a long time. Shouldn't be missed for that reason alone.

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