Jan 18, 2007

The Wages of Fear

I showed the last forty-five minutes of the French classic to my two junior classes today. Each erupted in shouts and gasps at the ending, which shocks you even if (and as) you see it coming.

It's a nice parallel to The Stranger, since the film's characters face a situation straight out of Camus, risking their necks to transport nitroglycerine over treacherous mountain roads to put out a raging oil fire. Their motivation: pay, desperation, derring-do. Their task: conquer fear.

I don't want to spoil it by overanalysis. Take my word that it's one of the most gripping and tense films ever made. Even after seeing just the last third, one student said, "It's too much! I can't handle the stress!" Mission accomplished.

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