baleanoptera: (Historical Buzzing sensation)


I'll admit to being relieved that the nationalistic and "patriotic" Italian film about Barbarossa tanked at the box office. Like most normal people I'm not overly fond of jingoistic, discriminating films, and I'm hard pressed to see why the world needs another one of those.

Still, I've researched Barbarossa-symbolism in the past, and so a tiny part of me is fascinated by the Redbearded Emperor still being symbolically potent so to speak. Albeit in this film Barbarossa is clearly the villain, as opposed to the 19th Century German version with all his pseudo-religious trimmings.

An article about the film )

If you're interested in what all the fuss is about the trailer can be found here:
Barbarossa )

Sadly, I've only found a trailer in Italian without subtitles - but the dialogue is pretty standard. In fact I'd say you could guess most of what is being said, including Barbarossa declaring that the city of Milan will be a tomb for its defenders. And the endless cries for "Liberta!" hardly needs translation.
baleanoptera: (BoB Lewis)

From Ken Burns' The War


The Battle of Midway

During World War II director John Ford to a break from directing epic westerns starring John Wayne and devoted himself to making propaganda documentaries. The most famous of these was the twenty minutes long colour film The Battle of Midway:
video under cut )

The film is famous for its actual combat footage, particularly the way the camera shakes with the impacts of the blasts and how shots of the soldiers are predominantly close-ups due to the need to stick together during the bombardment. Both the shaky camera and the close-ups were later employed by Steven Spielberg in the Omaha beach landing in Saving Private Ryan, and later in Band of Brothers, particularly in the episodes Day of Days and crossroads. ++++ )

Ken Burn's The War

In Ford's The Battle of Midway the images tell the main story, but they are effectively complemented by the rhetoric of various voiceovers. A repeated phrase is how the soldiers are from this town, or that town or "any other American town". At one point the narrators says: "men and women of American. Here comes your neighbor's son", combined with mentions of the name of the various soldiers we see close-ups of. It all helps create a personal, intimate feeling that seems to confirm the film's claim that "this is our front yard". The reason I find this interesting is that Ken Burns in his documentary The War does exactly the same thing. ++++ )
baleanoptera: (Film Buster Keaton Sherlock Jr)
3:10 to Yuma

At one point in 3:10 to Yuma Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is beaten repeatedly in the face with a shotgun. The guy hitting him is enraged to the point that the others almost have to drag him away, and when they do we see dark blood trickle out of Wade’s mouth and down his chin.

And then....that’s it. )


Quo Vadis

This is one of those epic sword and sandal epics, with Romans in tiny skirts and women with anachronistic hairstyles. Since Quo Vadis is from 1951, the women sport 1950’s hairstyles – except the evil empress who looks like something out of sci-fi film. The men are very good at posing, the women’s breasts are very pointy, and the Technicolor is as garish and wonderful as the rest of the film. I cannot help it – I love these old films with their flim-flam approach to history and boasts of "A cast of thousands!"


The story is simple )

Francesco, guillare di Dio

If 3:10 to Yuma couldn’t decide when it wanted realism to apply and when it didn’t, and where Quo Vadis possibly went looking for realism in all the wrong places then Roberto Rossellini decides to approach realism from a completely different angel; by casting monks from Nocere Inferiore monastery as St. Francis and his brothers.The film deals with )

Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare doesn’t bother with realism. In fact Where Eagles Dare laughs realism in the face and then has Clint Eastwood shoot it with a sub-machine gun. Based on a book and script by Alistair McLean the film is supposedly set during World War II. To be honest it could be set during any war and any conflict, but I suppose the Nazis make for smashing villains. There is a plot – of sorts. Truthfully I cannot sum it up better than the film’s tagline:
They look like Nazis but . . . The Major is British . . . The Lieutenant is American . . . The Beautiful Frauleins are Allied Agents!
If you to that add a castle )
baleanoptera: (Film Buster Keaton Sherlock Jr)
3:10 to Yuma

At one point in 3:10 to Yuma Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) is beaten repeatedly in the face with a shotgun. The guy hitting him is enraged to the point that the others almost have to drag him away, and when they do we see dark blood trickle out of Wade’s mouth and down his chin.

And then....that’s it. )


Quo Vadis

This is one of those epic sword and sandal epics, with Romans in tiny skirts and women with anachronistic hairstyles. Since Quo Vadis is from 1951, the women sport 1950’s hairstyles – except the evil empress who looks like something out of sci-fi film. The men are very good at posing, the women’s breasts are very pointy, and the Technicolor is as garish and wonderful as the rest of the film. I cannot help it – I love these old films with their flim-flam approach to history and boasts of "A cast of thousands!"


The story is simple )

Francesco, guillare di Dio

If 3:10 to Yuma couldn’t decide when it wanted realism to apply and when it didn’t, and where Quo Vadis possibly went looking for realism in all the wrong places then Roberto Rossellini decides to approach realism from a completely different angel; by casting monks from Nocere Inferiore monastery as St. Francis and his brothers.The film deals with )

Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare doesn’t bother with realism. In fact Where Eagles Dare laughs realism in the face and then has Clint Eastwood shoot it with a sub-machine gun. Based on a book and script by Alistair McLean the film is supposedly set during World War II. To be honest it could be set during any war and any conflict, but I suppose the Nazis make for smashing villains. There is a plot – of sorts. Truthfully I cannot sum it up better than the film’s tagline:
They look like Nazis but . . . The Major is British . . . The Lieutenant is American . . . The Beautiful Frauleins are Allied Agents!
If you to that add a castle )
baleanoptera: (ROS Robin)
As always when I should have been writing a paper, I have been busy doing something else. This time that something included rereading for the unknown time François Bourgeon’s absolutely wonderful comic Les Compagnons du crepuscule ( The Twilight Companions/Companions of the Dusk)

The story is set during the Hundred Years war in France, and tells the story of a knight with a shady past, and his two followers whom he drafts on his quest to fight the darkness. If the darkness is real or just a result of the knights twisted mind is never really answered, but the story is definitely a bit magical with lots of myth references and symbols. Particularly important is the wild, mystic forest vs. the civilized city/castle, and the siren symbolised by the Melusine.

cut for large images )
Does this sound familiar to any one? Especially [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai - have you read this? It is mythic, magical medieval times, and apart from the lack of Clannad it would fit perfectly into the Robin of Sherwood universe. (it even has dorky haircuts!) Though it is a shade darker and more disturbing than RoS.

For a fascinating and in-depth analysis of the narration and feminine aspect of the story go here:This story, shall the good man teach his son: History and Femininity in François Bourgeon's Les compagnons du crépuscule.really large image )
baleanoptera: (ROS Robin)
As always when I should have been writing a paper, I have been busy doing something else. This time that something included rereading for the unknown time François Bourgeon’s absolutely wonderful comic Les Compagnons du crepuscule ( The Twilight Companions/Companions of the Dusk)

The story is set during the Hundred Years war in France, and tells the story of a knight with a shady past, and his two followers whom he drafts on his quest to fight the darkness. If the darkness is real or just a result of the knights twisted mind is never really answered, but the story is definitely a bit magical with lots of myth references and symbols. Particularly important is the wild, mystic forest vs. the civilized city/castle, and the siren symbolised by the Melusine.

cut for large images )
Does this sound familiar to any one? Especially [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai - have you read this? It is mythic, magical medieval times, and apart from the lack of Clannad it would fit perfectly into the Robin of Sherwood universe. (it even has dorky haircuts!) Though it is a shade darker and more disturbing than RoS.

For a fascinating and in-depth analysis of the narration and feminine aspect of the story go here:This story, shall the good man teach his son: History and Femininity in François Bourgeon's Les compagnons du crépuscule.really large image )
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)


I've fallen a bit in love with a blog. It is called Shorpy - the 100 year old photo blog, though that title shouldn't be taken literary as they've recently posted a lot of kodachrome images from the Second World War. And such stunning images as well. The colours are nearly vibrant and translucent, and I find them particularly interesting when compared to the almost monochrome vision of World War II as seen in Letters from Iwo Jima or Saving Private Ryan.
click for rather large images )

It is pictures like these that makes you wonder why we continue to depict the Second World War as a bleak and shadowy place. Do we desaturate the colours of the films to fit the mood of the story? Or are we influenced by the grainy, black and white look of old documentaries? In other words are we so used to looking at blurry black and white films that this has become the staple for how the war should be depicted? So that a movie with vibrant colours would seem "off",even if it in reality would not be?

But do you know the really scary part? One of the films that most accurately depicts World War II as far as colours go is Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor. Troubling isn't it?

ETA: This is not a colour photo, but the composition is just too wonderful and surreal.
baleanoptera: (WWII Lady marine)


I've fallen a bit in love with a blog. It is called Shorpy - the 100 year old photo blog, though that title shouldn't be taken literary as they've recently posted a lot of kodachrome images from the Second World War. And such stunning images as well. The colours are nearly vibrant and translucent, and I find them particularly interesting when compared to the almost monochrome vision of World War II as seen in Letters from Iwo Jima or Saving Private Ryan.
click for rather large images )

It is pictures like these that makes you wonder why we continue to depict the Second World War as a bleak and shadowy place. Do we desaturate the colours of the films to fit the mood of the story? Or are we influenced by the grainy, black and white look of old documentaries? In other words are we so used to looking at blurry black and white films that this has become the staple for how the war should be depicted? So that a movie with vibrant colours would seem "off",even if it in reality would not be?

But do you know the really scary part? One of the films that most accurately depicts World War II as far as colours go is Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor. Troubling isn't it?

ETA: This is not a colour photo, but the composition is just too wonderful and surreal.

Templars

Dec. 6th, 2007 01:31 pm
baleanoptera: (Crow Lady with crow)
Swedish Scandinavian Templars! Coming this December the movie Arn - Knights Templar. (ps. there is a little language sign at the top of the page that turns everything into English)

The film is based on the books by Swedish author Jan Guillou, which have been a huge success in Scandinavia. They tell the story of Arn, a young Swedish noble man and later knight who fights in the Crusades and later in Sweden. Not to fond of the books myself, but I'm unable to pass up a film set in the Middle Ages and with Templars! Also it doesn't look all that bad. Hee.

Templars

Dec. 6th, 2007 01:31 pm
baleanoptera: (Crow Lady with crow)
Swedish Scandinavian Templars! Coming this December the movie Arn - Knights Templar. (ps. there is a little language sign at the top of the page that turns everything into English)

The film is based on the books by Swedish author Jan Guillou, which have been a huge success in Scandinavia. They tell the story of Arn, a young Swedish noble man and later knight who fights in the Crusades and later in Sweden. Not to fond of the books myself, but I'm unable to pass up a film set in the Middle Ages and with Templars! Also it doesn't look all that bad. Hee.
baleanoptera: (Default)
The city where I live in is doing a wonderful thing. It is taking all the old photographic archives and making them available on the net. All the old photos left to the city or somehow in the city's care is being made available - with names if possible.


Cut for quite a lot of pictures )
baleanoptera: (Default)
The city where I live in is doing a wonderful thing. It is taking all the old photographic archives and making them available on the net. All the old photos left to the city or somehow in the city's care is being made available - with names if possible.


Cut for quite a lot of pictures )
baleanoptera: (Verweer girl with milk)
Grote Kerk )

Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), was a Dutch painter and a contemporary to Rembrandt. His favourite subject to paint was churches. More specifically the huge, white interior of Protestant reformed churches.
Braavo Kerk )
There is an odd feel to his paintings. Look as I might I always end up feeling like I’m only seeing half of what is there. That the true motif is half hidden by that pillar and it is in fact the tiny man to the right that is seeing the whole of the thing. I, the viewer outside the frame, am reduced to a peeping tom by Saenredam. Forever trying to peer behind that pillar – to see what is really there.

In fact his paintings remind me more of photos than anything else. They have a feel of reality stopped and perfectly copied. A snap shot of urban Dutch life. The people in the paintings are not posing for the painter. They are not lined up for an easy overview. Contrast if you will with Raphael and his The School in Athens.
Interior of the Buurkerk )
I love his paintings because they make me feel like I’m inside the church room. It’s almost as if I can hear the chatter of the people and the echoes they must make in the room.


The key is that Raphael, and most painters after the Renaissance used the laws of the central perspective to form their images. This states that the image should be harmonious and easily recognisable to the viewer outside the frame. There is a vanishing point, usually in the centre of the painting – and all lines and compositions are adapted to this point. Why in the centre? Because that is where our, aka the viewers, eyes would look first. So we, outside the frame, are the paintings major form of reference. Man is the measure of all things, as Da Vinci and others were so fond of saying.
St. Odulph Kerk )
For Saenredam this is not the case. In his paintings man is just a small part in the integrated whole. The world he shows is not one that is shaped to soothe the eye of the beholder. Instead the beholder, inside or outside the frame, is again and again shown that they are just a small part in a larger picture. But since we are so used to seeing old paintings composed after the rule of the central perspective his images can at times look a little strange to us.
Braavo Kerk )
We are used to seeing images that shape man as the centre and orders the world into harmony around his eye. But this is not something natural; it’s just a visual convention. I’m going to borrow a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi and say that "the many truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view." But I’m going to re-write it a little bit and say that "What we see depend greatly on our point of view".


"Looking is not commonly understood as a complex matter. Generally, vision is treated as autonomous, free and pure. However, looking is not a simple matter, and seeing is related both to what is known and to what counts as available to be observed. What is seen depends on who is looking, at what, in which site. Seeing is relative rather than absolute"
- Elaine Hooper-Greenhill from Museums and the Interpretations of Visual Culture
baleanoptera: (Verweer girl with milk)
Grote Kerk )

Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), was a Dutch painter and a contemporary to Rembrandt. His favourite subject to paint was churches. More specifically the huge, white interior of Protestant reformed churches.
Braavo Kerk )
There is an odd feel to his paintings. Look as I might I always end up feeling like I’m only seeing half of what is there. That the true motif is half hidden by that pillar and it is in fact the tiny man to the right that is seeing the whole of the thing. I, the viewer outside the frame, am reduced to a peeping tom by Saenredam. Forever trying to peer behind that pillar – to see what is really there.

In fact his paintings remind me more of photos than anything else. They have a feel of reality stopped and perfectly copied. A snap shot of urban Dutch life. The people in the paintings are not posing for the painter. They are not lined up for an easy overview. Contrast if you will with Raphael and his The School in Athens.
Interior of the Buurkerk )
I love his paintings because they make me feel like I’m inside the church room. It’s almost as if I can hear the chatter of the people and the echoes they must make in the room.


The key is that Raphael, and most painters after the Renaissance used the laws of the central perspective to form their images. This states that the image should be harmonious and easily recognisable to the viewer outside the frame. There is a vanishing point, usually in the centre of the painting – and all lines and compositions are adapted to this point. Why in the centre? Because that is where our, aka the viewers, eyes would look first. So we, outside the frame, are the paintings major form of reference. Man is the measure of all things, as Da Vinci and others were so fond of saying.
St. Odulph Kerk )
For Saenredam this is not the case. In his paintings man is just a small part in the integrated whole. The world he shows is not one that is shaped to soothe the eye of the beholder. Instead the beholder, inside or outside the frame, is again and again shown that they are just a small part in a larger picture. But since we are so used to seeing old paintings composed after the rule of the central perspective his images can at times look a little strange to us.
Braavo Kerk )
We are used to seeing images that shape man as the centre and orders the world into harmony around his eye. But this is not something natural; it’s just a visual convention. I’m going to borrow a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi and say that "the many truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view." But I’m going to re-write it a little bit and say that "What we see depend greatly on our point of view".


"Looking is not commonly understood as a complex matter. Generally, vision is treated as autonomous, free and pure. However, looking is not a simple matter, and seeing is related both to what is known and to what counts as available to be observed. What is seen depends on who is looking, at what, in which site. Seeing is relative rather than absolute"
- Elaine Hooper-Greenhill from Museums and the Interpretations of Visual Culture
baleanoptera: (BoB Roe Skulking)


Since it was on sale I splashed out and bought The Real History behind Foyle's War. It tells of the true stories that inspired the series, as well as being filled with glossy pictures both from the series and the real events.

Did you know that Sam was based on creator Anthony Horowitz'z governess Norah Fitzgerald, who was a WAAF driver during World War II? "Known to her superior officers as "Fitzy", she told Anthony about her marvelous life in uniform and all the fun she had driving important people in a motor car at a time when most girls like her were not expected to be going out working at all. There was also, however, almost inevitably, a sad side to her stories: she fell in love with a pilot and was devastated when he was killed during the Battle of Britain. Sam then, is Anthony's tribute to Fitzy, a feisty, intelligent, inquisitive young woman who relishes the prospect of making her mark in an unfamiliar world." (p. 65)

For some reason this makes me love Sam even more(if that is possible!).

Andrew Foyle and his RAF antics were based on the memoirs of two RAF pilots called Richard Hillary and Geoffrey Wellum, and especially Hillary's book The Last Enemy.
Hee - I love knowing things like that.

The stories themselves are also based on real events. The spy in Fifty Ships is based on a real spy Carl Meier, who came to England the 3. September 1940. he was caught because he walked into Lydd in Kent to buy some drinks and cigarettes. "With no knowledge of English licensing laws, his first port of call was a pub where he asked for some cider. The landlady explained that she could not serve him just yet and recommended that he take a look around the town. When he came back it would be time. When he came back the landlady had summoned help and Meier was taken to Lydd police station." (p. 95)

Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum, London has been a consultant for the book. Charman's finds few faults with Foyle's war except this which rather amused me:

"The attention to detail that goes into 1940's costume is impressive", he says, "but no one who did not live in the 1940's really knows how to wear those clothes. Milner, for example, looks slightly awkward in a hat. In old movies like Waterloo Road , people knew how to wear hats, how to dress in 1940's clothes. You can the period detail right, but the actors will always look slightly out of place in the old clothes because, for example, gentlemen nowadays do not wear hats like that." (p. 57)

Poor Milner! ;D


Hmm...now I really want to watch Foyle's War again.
baleanoptera: (BoB Roe Skulking)


Since it was on sale I splashed out and bought The Real History behind Foyle's War. It tells of the true stories that inspired the series, as well as being filled with glossy pictures both from the series and the real events.

Did you know that Sam was based on creator Anthony Horowitz'z governess Norah Fitzgerald, who was a WAAF driver during World War II? "Known to her superior officers as "Fitzy", she told Anthony about her marvelous life in uniform and all the fun she had driving important people in a motor car at a time when most girls like her were not expected to be going out working at all. There was also, however, almost inevitably, a sad side to her stories: she fell in love with a pilot and was devastated when he was killed during the Battle of Britain. Sam then, is Anthony's tribute to Fitzy, a feisty, intelligent, inquisitive young woman who relishes the prospect of making her mark in an unfamiliar world." (p. 65)

For some reason this makes me love Sam even more(if that is possible!).

Andrew Foyle and his RAF antics were based on the memoirs of two RAF pilots called Richard Hillary and Geoffrey Wellum, and especially Hillary's book The Last Enemy.
Hee - I love knowing things like that.

The stories themselves are also based on real events. The spy in Fifty Ships is based on a real spy Carl Meier, who came to England the 3. September 1940. he was caught because he walked into Lydd in Kent to buy some drinks and cigarettes. "With no knowledge of English licensing laws, his first port of call was a pub where he asked for some cider. The landlady explained that she could not serve him just yet and recommended that he take a look around the town. When he came back it would be time. When he came back the landlady had summoned help and Meier was taken to Lydd police station." (p. 95)

Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum, London has been a consultant for the book. Charman's finds few faults with Foyle's war except this which rather amused me:

"The attention to detail that goes into 1940's costume is impressive", he says, "but no one who did not live in the 1940's really knows how to wear those clothes. Milner, for example, looks slightly awkward in a hat. In old movies like Waterloo Road , people knew how to wear hats, how to dress in 1940's clothes. You can the period detail right, but the actors will always look slightly out of place in the old clothes because, for example, gentlemen nowadays do not wear hats like that." (p. 57)

Poor Milner! ;D


Hmm...now I really want to watch Foyle's War again.
baleanoptera: (Norge bryggen detalj)
Maybe you noticed that a few of my post titles are called "Picturing History"? You might have chalked this up to bad title-imagination, and you wouldn’t be far wrong – but there is also an underlying method to the madness.

This then is a meta-like post trying to sort out all the different arguments and views I’ve played with in the Picturing History posts. I’m not rightly sure this will interest any one but me, but it might. And if you’d like to take peek at that part of by brain that revels in academic geekery – well this is a good opportunity.

The present post considers the difference between, and the juxtapositions of, history and memory. With history being the science concerned with correct historical facts and an objective view. Memory would be its bastard baby – filled with emotion, value and pathos. It’s sometimes wrong, but it’s never uninteresting. To simplify: history would be the encyclopedic reference, and memory the bloody, lusty and colourful tale spun around the same event.

In which I say a quick definition, but clearly mean a rather long one. It can be skipped. )

So in conclusion; memory doesn’t have to be factually correct to work or have value. Take for instance Casablanca. Rick never says "Play it again Sam", but "Play it Sam. Play As Time goes bye" Yet "play it again" is the one people remember and the one most often quoted when referencing the film. So just because some thing is recalled incorrectly does not mean it’s not functional. (The disclaimer here would be that if it is just one person that remembers incorrectly the memory will not work. The memory aspect needs to be a collective thing – a common base of reference.)

Memory comprises of anecdotes, tales and phrases within a culture. I felt The Wire season two did a beautiful job portraying how memory forms the backbone of a collective identity. This is probably why I did a huge post on it.

Sometimes we remember based on slightly crooked information – like the World war II photos by Robert Capa. Or we remember and form a view based on how we want things to look and how we are used to things looking more than the way things were. There is our habit of recalling the Middle Ages as dark, mysterious. Or our recollection of Antiquities as dotted with white marble statues, when in most of them were painted. Quite festively.

Cut for Caligula - in colour! )
The question then arises; Even if we remember all these things slightly incorrectly, does that make our memory without value? I would say no. For if memory, as I proposed earlier, is part of what forms our identity - then all these memories, even the factual wrong ones, are important in understanding of who we are. To say the white marble statues are wrong, simply because they aren’t historically correct, would be false. For we have grown used to seeing the white marble, and for us it holds all manner of significance in addition to being a historical artifact.

Memories in the forms of Memoirs can also be important in that they give us a more emotional, sometimes personal, dimension that has a habit of being sidetracked by historical facts. For me the beauty of the HBO series Band of Brothers is not its historical dimension, but that it brings to life memories and a memory culture.

Somethings we need to remember. And we don’t need facts to be reminded either – a painting, like Anselm Kiefer’s Lot’s Wife, can do just as much to trigger memory as a list of historical artifacts can.
a finishing quote, aka the words of wisdom )
baleanoptera: (Norge bryggen detalj)
Maybe you noticed that a few of my post titles are called "Picturing History"? You might have chalked this up to bad title-imagination, and you wouldn’t be far wrong – but there is also an underlying method to the madness.

This then is a meta-like post trying to sort out all the different arguments and views I’ve played with in the Picturing History posts. I’m not rightly sure this will interest any one but me, but it might. And if you’d like to take peek at that part of by brain that revels in academic geekery – well this is a good opportunity.

The present post considers the difference between, and the juxtapositions of, history and memory. With history being the science concerned with correct historical facts and an objective view. Memory would be its bastard baby – filled with emotion, value and pathos. It’s sometimes wrong, but it’s never uninteresting. To simplify: history would be the encyclopedic reference, and memory the bloody, lusty and colourful tale spun around the same event.

In which I say a quick definition, but clearly mean a rather long one. It can be skipped. )

So in conclusion; memory doesn’t have to be factually correct to work or have value. Take for instance Casablanca. Rick never says "Play it again Sam", but "Play it Sam. Play As Time goes bye" Yet "play it again" is the one people remember and the one most often quoted when referencing the film. So just because some thing is recalled incorrectly does not mean it’s not functional. (The disclaimer here would be that if it is just one person that remembers incorrectly the memory will not work. The memory aspect needs to be a collective thing – a common base of reference.)

Memory comprises of anecdotes, tales and phrases within a culture. I felt The Wire season two did a beautiful job portraying how memory forms the backbone of a collective identity. This is probably why I did a huge post on it.

Sometimes we remember based on slightly crooked information – like the World war II photos by Robert Capa. Or we remember and form a view based on how we want things to look and how we are used to things looking more than the way things were. There is our habit of recalling the Middle Ages as dark, mysterious. Or our recollection of Antiquities as dotted with white marble statues, when in most of them were painted. Quite festively.

Cut for Caligula - in colour! )
The question then arises; Even if we remember all these things slightly incorrectly, does that make our memory without value? I would say no. For if memory, as I proposed earlier, is part of what forms our identity - then all these memories, even the factual wrong ones, are important in understanding of who we are. To say the white marble statues are wrong, simply because they aren’t historically correct, would be false. For we have grown used to seeing the white marble, and for us it holds all manner of significance in addition to being a historical artifact.

Memories in the forms of Memoirs can also be important in that they give us a more emotional, sometimes personal, dimension that has a habit of being sidetracked by historical facts. For me the beauty of the HBO series Band of Brothers is not its historical dimension, but that it brings to life memories and a memory culture.

Somethings we need to remember. And we don’t need facts to be reminded either – a painting, like Anselm Kiefer’s Lot’s Wife, can do just as much to trigger memory as a list of historical artifacts can.
a finishing quote, aka the words of wisdom )

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