Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Under Milk Wood (1972)

Director: Andrew Sinclair
Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O'Toole, Glynis Johns, Vivien Merchant, Siân Phillips



I agree with many of the review comments already posted here, so I won't say more about the film itself. Instead, it hasn't yet been pointed out that the DVD (produced by Sundance and Hart Sharp Video) also contains an hour-long documentary about Dylan Thomas, tucked away in the extra features. "Dylan on Dylan" is in some ways more interesting than the film adaptation of _Under Milkwood_. It runs through a biography of him along with old photos and audio, bits of biodrama reenacted, and especially includes footage from the WWII wartime morale propaganda films that Dylan Thomas wrote! One of those is a genuinely forceful parody: he appropriated the original propaganda film made _for_ Hitler by Reni Riefenstahl, and redid the sound -- so that Hitler's speech is more of an honest description.  This feature documentary also includes a brief interview with two actresses who performed with Dylan Thomas live in _Under Milkwood_ virtually on the same day that he collapsed and died.

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