THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR

fifthhorsemanisfear

The Fifth Horseman is Fear
Facets video
1964 / B&W
2:35 anamorphic 16:9
100 min.
…a páty jezdec je Strach
Street Date July 25, 2006

Starring Miroslav Machácek
Cinematography Jan Kalis
Production Designer Milan Nejedla
Film Editor Miroslav Hájek
Written by Zbynek Brynych, Ota Koval, Ester Krumbachová from a book by Hana Belohradska
Produced by Studio Barrandov
Directed by Zbynek Brynych

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THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR- To go by reviews on IMDB and AMAZON as well as various critics sites this Czech film is supposed to be a masterpiece. The recently departed Roger Ebert who I agreed with in some things called it.. “a near perfect film.”

Having watched it I have to say… not so much.

While I understand its historic significance in being an early filmic examination of life under an oppressive regime, I found its execution falling far short of its acclaim.

And as someone who is a fan of classic cinema and consider films such as THE THIRD MAN, and ODD MAN OUT and THE CRANES ARE FLYING, historically significant and brilliant films, THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR is not a brilliant film. It has moments of interesting cinematography that unfortunately gets lost in the unfinished bones of a movie, a movie that is more exercise and experiment than finished film. I found THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR tedious rather than engaging; and the screeching and overwrought performances and dialogue, felt false and empty.

I respect the film’s courage for trying to say something of import, given the perilous nature of when and where the film was made, but I have to say I don’t think the film says it well. Not today, and not even upon its release.

A film that by all means view if you can see it for free, but not something that I think you will be particularly enriched or intrigued by in the viewing. GRADE: If you can see it for free… fine, otherwise avoid. ** out of ****.

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Album of the Day: TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

In an age of bits and bytes I still like having the CD (still bits & bytes, but more of them :)). The physical item, the liner notes, the process, Plus MP3 is not the music, it is an approximation of the music. A compression of the music. A whole generation raised on the lie of music, rather than its truth.

Something the NO APOLOGIES podcast said about kids raised on their mp3 downloads and American Idol, realizing when they go to a real concert, that till then… they had never actually heard music before.

Today’s recommended CD is TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

Tassili:Price the CD Here


“Just as it took a bitter, misguided war to kick-start the Summer of Love, Tinariwen was born out of refugee camps in North Africa in the early 1980s during a prolonged period of unrest.

This band of genuine nomads turned rebel fighters might never have made it out of the desert and onto the world stage if French band Lo’Jo hadn’t caught Tinariwen performing at a festival in Mali in 1998 (eight years after it had returned to its homeland from exile) and invited the musicians on tour. Since then, championed by the likes of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, the band has received numerous awards and accolades, and stands at the forefront of desert blues.

Not bad for a band that didn’t acquire its first acoustic guitar until 1979, and for years after would perform for free for anyone who had a blank cassette and was willing to record the performance to share with others — basically YouTube without the Internet.

Tinariwen — which means “empty spaces” or “deserts” in its Tuareg tongue — has grown into an ever-evolving collective with a handful of core members, which helps its sound stay fresh. On its fifth studio release, “Tassili,” the band expands its horizons further with guest artists Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Nels Cline (Wilco) and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. All are musicians at the top of their creative game.”
—-By K. D. Kelly Amazon Reviewer