war cinema

Oct. 23rd, 2008 09:46 pm
baleanoptera: (BoB Roe Skulking)
Despite the insane workload I do love my current situation. The best thing is that I have an excellent excuse to watch movies. The worst part is that I have to watch movies. Particularly war movies. And if you’ve suspected that there are a lot of bad war films out there then I can assure you that this suspicion is correct.

The last one I dragged myself through was The Battle of the Bulge )

Memphis Belle )

The Thin Red Line )

war cinema

Oct. 23rd, 2008 09:46 pm
baleanoptera: (BoB Roe Skulking)
Despite the insane workload I do love my current situation. The best thing is that I have an excellent excuse to watch movies. The worst part is that I have to watch movies. Particularly war movies. And if you’ve suspected that there are a lot of bad war films out there then I can assure you that this suspicion is correct.

The last one I dragged myself through was The Battle of the Bulge )

Memphis Belle )

The Thin Red Line )
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)
I’ve watched a ton of films lately, but I haven’t posted about any of them – and I’ve pondered a bit why that is. Today, after finishing a far too thick and comprehensive anthology about film criticism I struck upon a possible answer. It’s all the film theories fault.

For instance this is what one theorist said in regards to romantic films (or genres of indeterminate space as he calls them. Don’t ask.):

[...]These genres rely upon a progression from romantic antagonism to eventual embrace. The kiss or embrace signals the integration of the couple into the larger cultural community.

I’ve come to suspect that theories like this work in direct opposition to my enjoyment of the film. I mean would you want to contemplate the integration in the cultural community when all you really want to do is watch Mr. Thornton kiss Margareth?

But at any rate, I’ve decided to get my act together, and actually write a bit about all the films I see:


Harakiri (1962)
poster )

Two things you should now about this film:

1. I think it is possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.
2. I’m a bit loathed to talk about the plot, because there are some twists and turns that really work best if you’re unspoiled.

The story starts with the ronin Hanshiro Tsugumo (played brilliantly by Tatsuya Nakadai) one day showing up at the house of the feudal lord Saito, and asking for a suitable place to commit Harakiri. While readying for his suicide Tsugumo starts to tell the lord his story, and slowly but surely we learn the reason behind his actions.
+++++ )


Ni Livor Nine Lives (1957)
poster )

This is a Norwegian film detailing events during the German occupation of World War II. I don’t usually watch Norwegian films, as they are often uniformly bad. (and if you think – silly me, how bad can they be, then picture a film containing a fifteen minuets long, graphic sex scene on top of live herring! And if you picture watching that film with your class and an extremely religious teacher then you have a bit of my embarrassed youth to go with) But back to Nine Lives, which has the distinction of being not bad. In fact it is very, very good.

It details the exploits of the resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud, who has the rather unfortunate fate of being on the run from the Nazis in rural North Norway. As a result of this he gets to swin across an icy fjord while being shot at, and in one particularly memorable scene cut of his own toes because they have become infected with frostbite. And that is just the first half of the movie. ++++ )
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)
I’ve watched a ton of films lately, but I haven’t posted about any of them – and I’ve pondered a bit why that is. Today, after finishing a far too thick and comprehensive anthology about film criticism I struck upon a possible answer. It’s all the film theories fault.

For instance this is what one theorist said in regards to romantic films (or genres of indeterminate space as he calls them. Don’t ask.):

[...]These genres rely upon a progression from romantic antagonism to eventual embrace. The kiss or embrace signals the integration of the couple into the larger cultural community.

I’ve come to suspect that theories like this work in direct opposition to my enjoyment of the film. I mean would you want to contemplate the integration in the cultural community when all you really want to do is watch Mr. Thornton kiss Margareth?

But at any rate, I’ve decided to get my act together, and actually write a bit about all the films I see:


Harakiri (1962)
poster )

Two things you should now about this film:

1. I think it is possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.
2. I’m a bit loathed to talk about the plot, because there are some twists and turns that really work best if you’re unspoiled.

The story starts with the ronin Hanshiro Tsugumo (played brilliantly by Tatsuya Nakadai) one day showing up at the house of the feudal lord Saito, and asking for a suitable place to commit Harakiri. While readying for his suicide Tsugumo starts to tell the lord his story, and slowly but surely we learn the reason behind his actions.
+++++ )


Ni Livor Nine Lives (1957)
poster )

This is a Norwegian film detailing events during the German occupation of World War II. I don’t usually watch Norwegian films, as they are often uniformly bad. (and if you think – silly me, how bad can they be, then picture a film containing a fifteen minuets long, graphic sex scene on top of live herring! And if you picture watching that film with your class and an extremely religious teacher then you have a bit of my embarrassed youth to go with) But back to Nine Lives, which has the distinction of being not bad. In fact it is very, very good.

It details the exploits of the resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud, who has the rather unfortunate fate of being on the run from the Nazis in rural North Norway. As a result of this he gets to swin across an icy fjord while being shot at, and in one particularly memorable scene cut of his own toes because they have become infected with frostbite. And that is just the first half of the movie. ++++ )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)
Well, it’s now official. I will be taking media studies this autumn, and in the spring I’ll hand in my master thesis in media studies. The fact that I already have a master in Art History points to the fact that I’m possibly a bit insane. (I’ve been through this shitstorm once – and now I’m doing it again? But I get to write about war films and Band of Brothers)
At any rate – both to keep me grounded and to hold on to whatever sanity I have left – I thought I’d post a bit about my favourite art objects.

(and if you are reading this Nol then know this is all you fault! The art posting I mean. Not the crazyness of doing media studies. Your question about my favourite art period got me thinking, and thinking, and thinking. Still no answer – but there is this:)

-----------------------------




Detail of Urnes Portal

The Portal of Urnes Stave Church



Portals and thresholds are dangerous places in all older, North European churches. They mark the division between the sacred inside and the profane outside –and thereby obtain a symbolic as well as practical function. The result is that most portals are lavishly decorated, often with saints and angels like the portals at Chartres or Vézelay.
text portal? )
baleanoptera: (Norge Stavechurch)
Well, it’s now official. I will be taking media studies this autumn, and in the spring I’ll hand in my master thesis in media studies. The fact that I already have a master in Art History points to the fact that I’m possibly a bit insane. (I’ve been through this shitstorm once – and now I’m doing it again? But I get to write about war films and Band of Brothers)
At any rate – both to keep me grounded and to hold on to whatever sanity I have left – I thought I’d post a bit about my favourite art objects.

(and if you are reading this Nol then know this is all you fault! The art posting I mean. Not the crazyness of doing media studies. Your question about my favourite art period got me thinking, and thinking, and thinking. Still no answer – but there is this:)

-----------------------------




Detail of Urnes Portal

The Portal of Urnes Stave Church



Portals and thresholds are dangerous places in all older, North European churches. They mark the division between the sacred inside and the profane outside –and thereby obtain a symbolic as well as practical function. The result is that most portals are lavishly decorated, often with saints and angels like the portals at Chartres or Vézelay.
text portal? )
baleanoptera: (Soldier with tounge)
Dear f-list (especially the North-American contingent).

I need some help here.
I'm working on an article about propaganda and art in the 1940's and one of the American pieces is by Norman Rockwell. Am I correct in remembering that there is a saying "it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting" to describe something nostalgic and sentimental - and it is his sentimental and idyllic paintings he is best known for?

You see all my books focus on his artistic development. They say nothing about his legacy in popular culture, and that is partially what I need. So I any of you could enlighten me in regards to the Rockwellian-pop culture I'd be every so happy.



And this is the specific painting in question )
baleanoptera: (Soldier with tounge)
Dear f-list (especially the North-American contingent).

I need some help here.
I'm working on an article about propaganda and art in the 1940's and one of the American pieces is by Norman Rockwell. Am I correct in remembering that there is a saying "it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting" to describe something nostalgic and sentimental - and it is his sentimental and idyllic paintings he is best known for?

You see all my books focus on his artistic development. They say nothing about his legacy in popular culture, and that is partially what I need. So I any of you could enlighten me in regards to the Rockwellian-pop culture I'd be every so happy.



And this is the specific painting in question )

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