Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If.... (1968)

Cannes Film Festival 1969

Palme d'Or
Lindsay Anderson

Paramount Pictures
Directed by Lindsay Anderson
My rating: 2 stars out of 4
(Blu-ray, Criterion Collection)

Set in an English boarding school for boys, new arrivals are tormented and bullied in typical juvenile ways. Among the older boys, the power struggle is more serious. Tradition gives some the right to punish others for seemingly trivial matters. When that right is abused, the others rebel. It's hard to tell what is fantasy and what is reality, even with the abrupt changes from color to black and white which is supposed to indicate it. There is almost no plot, and the final massacre hits a little too close to home for modern audiences, dulling its effect.

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