Monday, April 02, 2012

"Cinema of Resistance"

Fred Zinnemann, who won directing Oscars for 1953's World War II drama "From Here to Eternity" and 1966's historical epic "A Man for All Seasons," never played by the rules. He rankled under the studio system and fought to get the films he wanted to make, not the inconsequential pictures the studios chose for him.

"What he was interested in were characters who had to fight for what they believed in against all odds," said his son, Tim Zinnemann. "That is how he was in life."

So it's no wonder that the Getty Research Institute's retrospective on Zinnemann is called "Cinema of Resistance" because it reflects both the themes of his films and his personal philosophy.

The four-film festival begins Tuesday at the Getty with 1944's "The Seventh Cross," Zinnemann's first major hit, starring Spencer Tracy as a German communist who escapes from a concentration camp in prewar Nazi Germany.

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