Coming to theatres via Fathom Events for one night only tomorrow, Thursday, May 23:
THE COLD BLUE
AFI Docs 2018
New York, Traverse City
A meditation on war composed of archival film of B-17 bombers shot by William Wyler.
Constructed from the recently rediscovered raw color footage shot by William Wyler for his classic 1944 documentary THE MEMPHIS BELLE, Erik Nelson’s project brings together survivors of the Eight Air Force to reflect on their experiences of WWII. For the bulk of the film, excerpts of Wyler’s striking footage plays while veteran airmen offer audio commentary, sometimes instructive, other times poignantly personal, and occasionally darkly humorous. For its coda, Nelson turns the camera onto some of his subjects, contrasting the nonagenarians with archival photos in their military prime, and gently interviewing them about their perception of the sacrifices they made. Organized into titled sections that also provide brief statistics or facts about the missions flown and the dangers faced, the film has a somewhat episodic feel, but manages to remain engaging despite this, buoyed by its breathtaking visuals.