Flipside Movie Emporium Forum Index Flipside Movie Emporium
Discussion Forums Locked & Archived for Browsing
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Best War / Anti-War Movies
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Flipside Movie Emporium Forum Index -> Movie Talk
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.26.2003 5:10 pm    Post subject: Best War / Anti-War Movies Reply with quote

Another thread transplanted from the old board:

There are so many remarkable war pictures, I had difficulty setting parameters for my "favorites." As a result, I've drawn up several lists. I thought about dividing the titles by the war they depict, but I realized my interest in war movies has little to do with battle and history. Instead, I've placed titles into the same categories where they exist in my head. I tried to limit my choices to three in each category, but the first list sort of got away from me.

The Human Cost of War
All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone, 1930)
Au Revoir Les Enfants (Malle, 1987)
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler, 1946)
Black Rain (Imamura, 1989)
Forbidden Games (Clement, 1951)
A Midnight Clear (Gordon, 1992)
Open City (Rossellini, 1945)
The Pianist (Polanski, 2002)
The Dehumanizing Effect of War
Casualties of War (De Palma, 1989)
Paths of Glory (Kubrick, 1957)
The Shop on Main Street (Kadar, 1965)
The Social Consequence of Violence
Schindler's List (Spielberg, 1993)
The Thin Red Line (Malick, 1998 )
Three Kings (Russell, 1999)
The Prevention of War / Cold War
Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick, 1964)
The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer, 1962)
Seven Days in May (Frankenheimer, 1964)
Sheer Creativity and Imagination
Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979; Redux isn't different enough to alter the original's impact)
The Grand Illusion (Renoir, 1937)
Night of the Shooting Stars (Tavianis, 1982)
Documentaries
Mein Kampf (Leiser, 1960)
Night and Fog (Resnais, 1956)
One Day in September (Macdonald, 1999)

If I selected a few based purely on the excitement of battle?surely a dangerous way to evaluate a war film?I might pick Saving Private Ryan, The Guns of Navarone, and The Last of the Mohicans.

Finally, five overrated war films are Black Hawk Down, Braveheart, Full Metal Jacket, Kelly's Heroes, and Tora! Tora! Tora!.

Side question to ponder: Does the effectiveness of an anti-war film hinge upon the degree of violence depicted? Is there a correlation between the amount of bloody dismemberment we witness, and our acceptance of an anti-war theme?

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Movieguy1021
Grip


Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me...Full Metal Jacket being overrated? It's anything but...the first half of the film is the best piece of cinema I have ever seen! And the second half ain't half bad either!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm gonna have to agree with Eric that Full Metal Jacket is overrated, but cannot see where the hell he's coming from saying that Black Hawk Down is. I also think Maxwell's Gettysburg is one of the best war films to ever be released, not that it fits into one of the catagories provided.

...And by the way, guys. I take all the credit for referring Sam 'Movieguy1021' Hoelker to the Flipside forum. Wink
_________________
Danny Baldwin

View My Reviews
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what I said about Black Hawk Down upon its release: "Tension is not a byproduct of sheer nonstop combat, but based on Ridley Scott's repetitive actioner, tedium might be. What does Black Hawk Down say about war that isn't already painfully obvious to any thinking person? There's nothing to this perpetual firefight except faceless grunts surgically mowing down nameless baddies. Free of political and human context, the warriors -- American and Somali -- are just dartboards, targets as impersonal as the glistening hardware frequently featured in adoring close-up. "

It might also be relevant to cite several good reviewers that also disliked the picture. I'd start with Andrew O'Hehir and continue on to Elvis Mitchell and David Sterritt.

As for Full Metal Jacket, allow me to quote Pauline Kael: "The first three-quarters of an hour is basic training in the Marines stripped down to a cartoonish horror show; it's military S&M, and the pounding compulsiveness can easily be taken for the work of a master director. After that, the movie becomes dispersed, and you can't get an emotional reading on it. Kubrick probably believes he's numbing us by the power of his vision, but he's actually numbing us by its emptiness... This is James M. Cain in Vietnam."

Or David Thomson: "Full Metal Jacket was an abomination, obsessively disciplined, and striving to make a Vietnam in English locations. It is the sort of film Mr. Torrance [from The Shining] might have made."

Or Roger Ebert: "A strangely shapeless film... We've been here before, in other war movies, and we keep waiting for Kubrick to spring a surprise, and he never does. Full Metal Jacket is uncertain about where to go, and the movie's climax, which Kubrick obviously intends to be a mighty moral revelation, seems phoned in from earlier war pictures. After what has already been said about 'Vietnam' in the movies, Full Metal Jacket is too litte and too late."

I agree with all three. Jacket is one of Kubrick's worst films. Many of my students consider it "profound," but perhaps that's because they haven't seen enough movies (or life) to know better. Still, at least they're interested in more than just The Hulk and Legally Blonde.

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently saw Abel Gance's "Napoleon," the legendary silent film that pioneered the use of rapid editing, splitscreen usage, multiple projection, and superimposition. One could argue that it's not strictly a war film, but I would say that its techniques in portraying battles place it at the forefront of war films. It's brazenly pro-war, and surprisingly nationalistic, but its influence can be seen in a surprising number of war movies nowadays. (I'm also surprised at how consistently entertaining it was for a four-hour silent French movie.)

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 06.28.2003 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I agree about "Full Metal Jacket" - it seems untruthful and distanced, and Kubrick (who is one of my favorite directors) seems to be kicking back and letting the film run on autopilot. The first half of the film does elicit a certain basic sympathy, but it seems to be stark and cold for the sake of being stark and cold. The second half treats its characters like little toy soldiers. When I first saw it, some moments had a raw power to them, but then I realized that even those moments said nothing worthwhile.

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.29.2003 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen Napolean since, well, since I was your age, Matt, perhaps even earlier. In fact, if I remember correctly, it was one of the very first silent movies I ever watched. I don't remember any specifics, but I do recall the innovative use of triptychs (the extravagance of which seemed to represent Gance as well as Napolean), the Carmine Coppola score, and how it is, indeed, "consistently entertaining."

I think it's fair to consider the movie as a war picture, but it wouldn't come close to making my list above.

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.29.2003 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost forgot to mention how Gance was always fascinated by cinematic novelties, like the triptychs--the simultaneous projection of three images, combined to make a larger canvas. If I remember right, he called it Polyvision, or something like it. I also recall thinking, upon my viewing years ago, that the technique seemed extraneous and rather gimmicky. That response was probably shortsighted. Now that we have rapid Avid editing, and common split forms (such as in "24," and The Hulk), perhaps Gance was simply far ahead of his time.

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 06.29.2003 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree, actually, that the climactic triptych sequence, which is well-respected and deservedly so for its innovation, does not seem to fit in with the story, and I was much more affected by the sheer number of images in the scene where the ghosts of the French Revolution speak to Napoleon before his conquest of Italy, and I was astounded by the scene where the army is chasing Napoleon on horseback, with its split-second editing. I love the film, but I would argue that Gance's triptych sequence is actually one of the weakest moments (then again, I saw it on a television, which I'm sure isn't nearly as impressive).

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 06.29.2003 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Danny,

Yes, Gettysburg doesn't quite fit any of the categories I listed above. I too like that picture, although in my mind it doesn't compare to those I named. I suppose the reason I didn't create a category for films that merely re-enact history is because the war pictures that resonate the most with me are those that do more--which helps explain why I categorized my favorites thematically rather than according to the war depicted.

If I were to name the best Civil War pictures only, I might consider Gettysburg for inclusion (if only because that's a category with slim pickings). Still, I don't have much interest in dividing war films according to their historical chronology--I much prefer to shelve them the way my own mind separates them, which is according to larger aesthetic concerns.

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
ArnaldoLerma
Grip


Joined: 12 Jul 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Arlington VA USA

PostPosted: 07.12.2003 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re best anti-war movies, don't forget The King of Hearts Reply with quote

I dont recall who did this french movie, but it is an excellent anti-war movie:

THE KING OF HEARTS.

regards

Arnie Lerma
_________________
Ferengi + Borg = Scientology

I'd prefer to die speaking my mind than live fearing to speak.

http://www.lermanet.com - mentioned 4 January 2000 in

The Washington Post's - 'Reliable Source' column re "Scientologist with no HEAD"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.19.2003 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

King of Hearts was directed by Philippe De Broca in 1966, and concerns a French town left to the local asylum residents after it is abandoned during WW1. I haven't seen it for about 12 years--so take my comments with a pinch of salt--but I remember liking the notion that their craziness offers safe respite from the insanity of war. Still, I'm always suspicious of movies that suggest only the "crazy" are truly sane, while the rest of us are truly crazy. Was I Am Sam the most recent entry in that subgenre?

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.19.2003 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me crazy, but I think at the climax of "28 Days Later," the vicious zombies become somewhat reluctant heroes, and the truly crazy ones become the British soldiers and our hero himself.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.19.2003 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Call me crazy


Okay. Very Happy

I certainly agree that Boyle intends to show that the soldiers and protagonist are crazy (or at least "infected" with the same social rage and arrogance that is being criticized). But the zombies become "somewhat reluctant heroes"? Hmmm. Can you clarify, Matt?

Eric
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.19.2003 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that viewpoint is probably way off base - but when that military base is overrun at the end by zombies, and the extremely cruel soldiers are savagely attacked, it seemed like just desserts, like we sort of actually rooted for the zombies to destroy those soldiers. I guess the only point, though, is that it's often difficult to separate kinds of villainy - the zombies certainly aren't being heroic, although they are killing the villains, because they are doing so out of the same rage that fueled the soldiers. I guess it would be more accurate to say that basically everyone in the movie is a villain at one point or another.

Matt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Flipside Movie Emporium Forum Index -> Movie Talk All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001-2007 phpBB Group