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The Panda

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  1. Four episodes into season 3 of Westworld. The season so far is... not good. Yet for some reason I can’t help but keep watching the stupid fuckery Nolan lesser has in store.
  2. Top 100 All Time list is open for FYCs, just another heads up to start compiling a list to submit. They’re not due until July
  3. I mean I still wouldn’t say almost everything prior to dropping cases that low. But yes, safe reopening are clearly possible but they’re again contingent on many of the factors I mentioned. Your post didn’t come across as saying that to me.
  4. That seems like a fairly irresponsible statement to me imo. The ability to safely reopen is contingent on a multitude of factors. While yes, most countries are needing to transition to a stage of some level of operation. But if you do so in states where either cases haven’t even peaked, testing infrastructure and plans for proper contact tracing policies are not being implemented, masks aren’t being enforced, social distancing and risk minimization policies are a guideline and not enforced, then it’s rather naive to think that cases will not spike up again. There are ways to safely reopen, the issue in the US is that, for the most part (in particular red states), the necessary conditions for a safe reopening are not being met. Texas is not Denmark.
  5. Your list will be eligible if there’s an ineligible film on it (as it was last time) but the ineligible film will not receive points US theatrical/VOD release in 2020 is what will make it ineligible.
  6. Some FYC films from my list you should watch that you may not consider off the top of my head:
  7. This is my list 1. Raiders of the Lost Ark 2. Once Upon a Time in the West 3. Schindler’s List 4. Silence 5. The Wizard of Oz 6. Before Sunrise 7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 8. Ran 9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 10. Unforgiven 11. Lawrence of Arabia 12. Children of Men 13. Rashomon 14. Casablanca 15. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 16. Harvey 17. Ikiru 18. Pan’s Labyrinth 19. 2001: A Space Odyssey 20. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly 21. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 22. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 23. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 24. The Grapes of Wrath 25. The Last Temptation of Christ 26. Before Sunset 27. Seven Samurai 28. The Big Lebowski 29. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 30. Life of Brian 31. Spirited Away 32. It’s a Wonderful Life 33. Kundun 34. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003) 35. Apocalypse Now 36. The Searchers 37. Chinatown 38. The Last Picture Show 39. 12 Angry Men 40. All Quiet on the Western Front 41. Aguirre, The Wrath of God 42. Gravity 43. The Last of the Mohicans 44. Rosemary’s Baby 45. City of God 46. Letters from Iwo Jima 47. Brazil (1985) 48. Singin’ in the Rain 49. Solaris (1972) 50. Fargo 51. The Godfather 52. The Godfather Part II 53. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 54. The Empire Strikes Back 55. The Farewell 56. The Passion of Joan of Arc 57. The Sound of Music 58. Saving Private Ryan 59. A Clockwork Orange 60. Stalker (1979) 61. The Great Dictator 62. Parasite 63. Yojimbo (1961) 64. Gladiator 65. Life of Pi 66. Taxi Driver 67. Vertigo 68. Goodfellas 69. The Bicycle Thief 70. The Manchurian Candidate 71. The 400 Blows 72. Donnie Darko 73. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 74. Before Midnight 75. The Shawshank Redemption 76. Star Wars 77. Inside Out 78. Blade Runner 79. Oldboy (2003) 80. The King of Comedy 81. No Country for Old Men 82. The Truman Show 83. Beasts of the Southern Wild 84. Pi (1998) 85. Alien 86. Judgement at Nuremberg 87. Jurassic Park 88. Bridge on the River Kwai 89. Raging Bull 90. Grave of the Fireflies 91. Mad Max: Fury Road 92. The Battle of Algiers 93. All the President’s Men 94. Princess Mononoke 95. Jaws 96. October Sky 97. True Grit (2010) 98. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 99. There Will Be Blood 100. Heat
  8. Hey everyone, I am just getting this up early to give everyone plenty of time to come up with lists. For the time being let’s keep this thread for honorable mentions in the speakeasy until some of the current lists going on complete their voting process and it’s closer to time so this doesn’t eat up focus from them. The main reason for having this early is to give people plenty of time to come up with a list and not feel rushed. There will be two deadlines Soft Deadline, July 5th - Any list submitted after July 5th cannot be edited after it is sent. This is to give me time to properly tally lists as they come in as historically this list receives a mass amount of votes and takes some time to tally. Hard Deadline, July 13th - After July 13th no more lists will be accepted. No 2020 movies are eligible for submission. Your list must be unique. (Example that has happened in the past: If you copy and paste the top 100 grossing films of all time and have that be your list, it will not be eligible.) - This simply means your list cannot be an exact copy/paste of some pre-existing list, most notably another member’s list (this raises suspicions that you are an alt) or a public ranking. Lists must be submitted to me by pm, I will not count lists if they’re only posted in the thread. Points for rankings will be done in tiers as follows 1: 20 Points 2: 19 Points 3: 18 Points 4-5: 17 Points 6-7: 16 Points 8-9: 15 Points 10-12: 14 Points 13-15: 13 Points 16-20: 12 Points 21-25: 11 Points 26-30: 10 Points 31-35: 9 Points 36-40: 8 Points 41-45: 7 Points 46-50: 6 Points 51-60: 5 Points 61-70: 4 Points 71-80: 3 Points 81-90: 2 Points 100-91: 1 Point Happy listing, post FYCs here!
  9. The full top 100 ranking which includes number of votes and placements for movies that tied in points to see how ties were broken 1. Schindler’s List 2. Lawrence of Arabia 3. Saving Private Ryan 4. Grave of the Fireflies 5. Goodfellas 6. Apollo 13 7. Gladiator 8. Titanic 9. Seven Samurai 10. The Bridge on the River Kwai – 11 votes 11. JFK – 9 votes 12. Doctor Zhivago – 8 Votes 13. All Quiet on the Western Front 14. Das Boot – 8 Votes 15. Braveheart – 6 Votes 16. City of God 17. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 18. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 19. The Great Escape 20. Singin’ in the Rain 21. Amadeus 22. Dances With Wolves – 6 Votes, 1 Number 1 Vote 23. Come and See – 6 Votes 24. The Grapes of Wrath – 8 Votes 25. Cabaret – 7 Votes 26. The Right Stuff – 7 Votes, 2 Top 5 Placements 27. Judgement at Nuremberg – 7 Votes, 1 Top 5 Placement 28. The Wolf of Wall Street 29. Catch Me if You Can – 7 Votes 30. Ben-Hur – 6 Votes 31. Silence – 6 Votes, 2 Top 3 Placements 32. Apocalypse Now – 6 Votes, 1 Top 3 Placement 33. 12 Years a Slave – 11 Votes 34. The Big Short – 9 Votes 35. The Last of the Mohicans – 7 Votes 36. Hidden Figures – 6 Votes 37. Born on the Fourth of July – 5 Votes, 1 Number 1 Placement 38. The Battle of Algiers – 5 Votes 39. The Handmaiden – 4 Votes 40. Zodiac – 7 Votes 41. The Sound of Music – 6 Votes 42. Life of Brian – 8 Votes 43. Ran – 4 Votes 44. The Social Network 45. 1917 – 8 Votes 46. Harakiri – 4 Votes 47. Pan’s Labyrinth – 6 Votes 48. A League of Their Own – 4 Votes, 2 Number 1 Placements 49. Lincoln – 7 Votes 50. The Lion in Winter (1968) – 6 Votes 51. Paths of Glory – 5 Votes 52. The Godfather – 4 Votes 53. Bridge of Spies – 8 Votes, 1 Top 5 Placement 54. Malcolm X – 8 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 55. Dunkirk – 8 Votes 56. Throne of Blood – 6 Votes 57. Black Hawk Down – 5 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 58. Glory – 5 Votes, 4 Top 20 Placements 59. A Beautiful Mind – 5 Votes 3 Top 20 Placements 60. The Pianist – 7 Votes 61. All the President’s Men – 5 Votes 62. Spartacus – 9 Votes 63. The Age of Innocence – 5 Votes 64. Gandhi – 6 Votes, 1 Top 5 Placement 65. Gone With the Wind – 6 Votes 66. Chinatown – 5 Votes 67. Kundun 68. Kingdom of Heaven – 6 Votes 69. There Will Be Blood – 5 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 70. Argo – 5 Votes 71. Inherit the Wind – 4 Votes, 1 Top 3 Placement 72. Fiddler on the Roof – 4 Votes 73. The Thin Red Line – 3 Votes 74. Little Women (2019) 75. BlacKkKlansman – 7 Votes 76. The Wind Rises – 5 Votes 77. The Shawshank Redemption – 4 Votes 78. Letters from Iwo Jima – 6 Votes, 2 Top 15 Placements 79. Casino – 6 Votes 80. MASH – 4 Votes, 1 Top 5 Placement 81. Roma – 4 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 82. The King’s Speech – 4 Votes 83. Unforgiven – 5 Votes 84. The Last Samurai – 3 Votes, 1 Top 2 Placement 85. Alexander Nevsky – 4 Votes 86. Aguirre, The Wrath of God – 3 Votes 87. Spotlight – 5 Votes 88. Platoon – 4 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 89. (Tie for 88) L.A. Confidential – 4 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 90. 1776 - 4 Votes 91. The Godfather 2 – 3 Votes, 1 Top 5 Placement 92. Persepolis – 3 Votes 93. A Man for All Seasons – 4 Votes 94. Blood Diamond – 3 Votes 95. Becket – 5 Votes 96. Barry Lyndon – 4 Votes, 1 Top 3 Placement 97. First Man – 4 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement, 1 Top 25 Placement 98. Ugetsu – 4 Votes, 1 Top 10 Placement 99. The Searchers – 4 Votes 100. Cinema Paradiso – 3 Votes, 1 Top 2 Placement
  10. Really enjoyed getting to put this list together, thanks everyone for playing along with the nerding out. As one last treat, sometime this weekend I am planning to map all of the Top 100 films and their time periods and post it here. Should be able to scroll over the different pins and see the location and time period of each movie by their pin. Without further ado, here is the number 1 movie which was practically uncontested for its spot. Also one of the five films that I'd say are in contention for my all time favorite, it includes what I'd consider maybe the greatest scene in cinematic history which I'll post here. If I ever have kids, I'll require them to watch this movie before they graduate. "It's Hebrew, it's from the Talmud. It says, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."" Historical Setting: World War 2, The Holocaust in Poland Source from the Period "July 8th 1942: “At three o’clock (Hello had left but was supposed to come back later), the doorbell rang. I didn’t hear it, since I was out on the balcony, lazily reading in the sun. A little while later Margot appeared in the kitchen doorway looking very agitated. “Father has received a call-up notice from the SS,” she whispered. “Mother has gone to see Mr. van Daan” (Mr. van Daan is Father’s business partner and a good friend.) I was stunned. A call-up: everyone knows what that means. Visions of concentration camps and lonely cells raced through my head. How could we let Father go to such a fate? “Of course he’s not going,” declared Margot as we waited for Mother in the living room. “Mother’s gone to Mr. van Daan to ask whether we can move to our hiding place tomorrow. The van Daans are going with us. There will be seven of us altogether.” Silence. We couldn’t speak. The thought of Father off visiting someone in the Jewish Hospital and completely unaware of what was happening, the long wait for Mother, the heat, the suspense – all this reduced us to silence. October 9th 1942: “Today I have nothing but dismal and depressing news to report. Our many Jewish friends and acquaintances are being taken away in droves. The Gestapo is treating them very roughly and transporting them in cattle cars to Westerbork, the big camp in Drenthe to which they’re sending all the Jews. Miep told us about someone who’d managed to escape from there. It must be terrible in Westerbork. The people get almost nothing to eat, much less to drink, as water is available only one hour a day, and there’s only one toilet and sink for several thousand people. Men and women sleep in the same room, and women and children often have their heads shaved. Escape is almost impossible; many people look Jewish, and they’re branded by their shorn heads. If it’s that bad in Holland, what must it be like in those faraway and uncivilized places where the Germans are sending them? We assume that most of them are being murdered. The English radio says they’re being gassed. Perhaps that’s the quickest way to die. I feel terrible. Miep’s accounts of these horrors are so heartrending… Fine specimens of humanity, those Germans, and to think I’m actually one of them! No, that’s not true, Hitler took away our nationality long ago. And besides, there are no greater enemies on earth than the Germans and Jews.” October 20th 1942: “My hands still shaking, though it’s been two hours since we had the scare… The office staff stupidly forgot to warn us that the carpenter, or whatever he’s called, was coming to fill the extinguishers… After working for about fifteen minutes, he laid his hammer and some other tools on our bookcase (or so we thought!) and banged on our door. We turned white with fear. Had he heard something after all and did he now want to check out this mysterious looking bookcase? It seemed so, since he kept knocking, pulling, pushing and jerking on it. I was so scared I nearly fainted at the thought of this total stranger managing to discover our wonderful hiding place…” March 29th 1944: “Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war. Of course, everyone pounced on my diary.” February 3rd 1944: “I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die. The world will keep on turning without me, and I can’t do anything to change events anyway. I’ll just let matters take their course and concentrate on studying and hope that everything will be all right in the end.” July 15th 1944: “It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too will end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them.”" - Extracts from the diary of Anne Frank (1942-44) Historical Context "In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By the end of the war in 1945, the Germans and their allies and collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the "Final Solution." The Nazis considered Jews to be the inferior race that posed the deadliest menace to the German Volk. Soon after they came to power, the Nazis adopted measures to exclude Jews from German economic, social and cultural life and to pressure them to emigrate. World War II provided Nazi officials with the opportunity to pursue a comprehensive, “final solution to the Jewish question”: the murder of all the Jews in Europe. While Jews were the priority target of Nazi racism, other groups within Germany were persecuted for racial reasons, including Roma (then commonly called "Gypsies"), Afro-Germans, and people with mental or physical disabilities. By the end of the war, the Germans and their Axis partners murdered up to 250,000 Roma. And between 1939 and 1945, they murdered at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly German and living in institutions, in the so-called Euthanasia Program. As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people seen as biologically inferior or dangerous. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war, viewed by the Nazis as the biological "carriers" of Bolshevism, were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or brutal treatment. The Germans shot tens of thousands of non-Jewish members of the Polish intelligentsia, murdered the inhabitants of hundreds of villages in “pacification” raids in Poland and the Soviet Union, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians to perform forced labor under conditions that caused many to die. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and other Germans whose behavior did not conform to prescribed social norms (such as beggars, alcoholics, and prostitutes), incarcerating thousands of them in prisons and concentration camps. German police officials similarly persecuted thousands of Germans viewed as political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, Freemasons, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah's Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of maltreatment and murder. World War II provided Nazi officials the opportunity to adopt more radical measures against the Jews under the pretext that they posed a threat to Germany. After occupying Poland, German authorities confined the Jewish population to ghettos, to which they also later deported thousands of Jews from the Third Reich. Hundreds of thousands of Jews died from the horrendous conditions in the ghettos in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Einsatzgruppen and Waffen SS units, with support from the Wehrmacht, moved behind German lines to murder Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials in mass shootings as well as in specially equipped gas vans. Mass shootings of Jews continued throughout the war, many conducted by militarized battalions of the German Order Police. These shooting operations are estimated to have claimed the lives of more than 1.5 million Jews. n late 1941, Nazi officials opted to employ an additional method to kill Jews, one originally developed for the “Euthanasia” Program: stationary gas chambers. Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi Germany and its Allies deported nearly three million Jews from areas under their control to Nazi-occupied Poland. The vast majority were sent to killing centers, often called extermination camps, at Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were murdered primarily by means of poison gas. Some able-bodied Jewish deportees were temporarily spared to perform forced labor in ghettos, forced labor camps for Jews, or concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Soviet Union. Most of these workers died from starvation and disease or were killed when they became too weak to work. In the final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called “death marches,” in an attempt to prevent the Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another. The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. For the Western Allies, World War II officially ended in Europe on the next day, May 8 (V-E Day), while Soviet forces announced their “Victory Day” on May 9, 1945. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, more than 250,000 survivors found shelter in displaced persons camps run by the Allied powers and the United Nations Refugee and Rehabilitation Administration in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Between 1948 and 1951, 136,000 Jewish displaced persons immigrated to Israel, while others resettled in the United States and other nations outside Europe. Other Jewish displaced persons emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last camp for Jewish displaced persons closed in 1957." - INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Historical Accuracy "A while ago Natalie Zemon-Davis wrote that authenticity is achieved if films represent the values, relations, and issues of a period, and let the differences of the past be, instead of remodeling the past such that it might resemble the present.100 Schindler's List implies rather the counter-argument: the impression of truth should be based on the current conventions of cinema and the convergence with present-day normative and political beliefs, namely the universalization and Americanization of the Holocaust after the fall of communism. Yet this antagonistic thesis is as one-sided as Zemon-Davis's. As we have seen, the impression of truth rather relies on balancing elements of the present and even the future with those that actually do refer to the past. This idea might be true for all forms of historical discussion;101 the decisive factor seems to be, however, that the times appear to blur seamlessly into each other, and that the historicizing, transient images being semiotically and emotionally charged, too give authority to a creation of meaning related to the present and the future. It is this seamlessness, this skillful composition of intertextual references and different time layers, that are systemically concealed on the one hand and that are made accessible to reflection on the other, that has become a major point of criticism of Spielberg's movie. Good arguments have been made to criticize the narrative closing toward salvific history; beyond this, the ability to represent the Holocaust in a closed narrative has been generally challenged, followed by a plea for a radical self-reflexivity of postmodern cinema. But such criticisms miss the point that film thrives on its ability to make us forget that we are not dealing with immediate images, but with narratives. As a medium able to explain the world, cinema ideally delivers the images for the mythical narratives that give present meaning to the past. Facing contingent living conditions and increasingly unmanageable amounts of information, the need for an orientation in time, for reliance and certainty, is as urgent as ever. What we need is not a constant debunking of the portrayals films provide, but rather a general awareness that films are able to represent only particular truths from a particular perspective despite their apparent omniscience. When cultural historians analyze films today, they do so mostly on the precondition of seeing them as a kind of "mentality reservoir," as artifacts that can provide information about the values and ideas that were common at a certain period of time. Regarding Schindler's List, such an analysis may be premature: the "Americanization" of the Holocaust, that is, the establishing of a transnational salvation-narrative focusing on Western values, has not recognizably passed its zenith yet, despite (or maybe because of) 9/11. Nevertheless, developments have occurred: authenticity has ceased to be the sole silver bullet regarding the issue of the Holocaust. Since the second half of the 1990s, there has been in the cinema an increasing number of satirical discussions of the so-called "final solution" and Nazism overall.107 This trend can be seen as an indication that both forms have become a part of the common knowledge of popular culture, a trend to which Schindler's List has contributed a good deal. Apparently, historical authentication is not necessary in order to create evidence. The next generation has decided to apply its own standards. The debate between Saul Friedlander and Martin Broszat has shown that his tory and memory can be separated only in an ideal view, and that these two should rather be thought of as two poles of a continuum rather than as clearly distinguish able categories.108 Something similar could be said about the relationship of the aesthetic-artistic truth of film and the empirical (re)constructions of historiography, which are complementary and should likewise not be seen as independent from each other. However, this should not keep us from pointing out time and again the tensions between the different approaches, from discussing their associated capabilities and limits, and from reflecting upon their changing historical conditionality." - Balanced Truth: Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" among History, Memory, and Popular Culture Christoph Classen and Kirsten Wächter History and Theory Vol 48, No. 2 Theme Issue 47: Historical Representation andHistorical Truth (May, 2009), pp. 77-102 The Film Itself The Story "Oskar Schindler is a vain and greedy German businessman who becomes an unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric German Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, it is a testament to the good in all of us." Critic Review ""Schindler's List" is described as a film about the Holocaust, but the Holocaust supplies the field for the story, rather than the subject. The film is really two parallel character studies--one of a con man, the other of a psychopath. Oskar Schindler, who swindles the Third Reich, and Amon Goeth, who represents its pure evil, are men created by the opportunities of war. Schindler had no success in business before or after the war, but used its cover to run factories that saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews. (Technically, the factories were failures, too, but that was his plan: "If this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I'll be very unhappy.") Goeth was executed after the war, which he used as a cover for his homicidal pathology. In telling their stories, Steven Spielberg found a way to approach the Holocaust, which is a subject too vast and tragic to be encompassed in any reasonable way by fiction. In the ruins of the saddest story of the century, he found, not a happy ending, but at least one affirming that resistance to evil is possible and can succeed. In the face of the Nazi charnel houses, it is a statement that has to be made, or we sink into despair. The film has been an easy target for those who find Spielberg's approach too upbeat or "commercial," or condemn him for converting Holocaust sources into a well-told story. But every artist must work in his medium, and the medium of film does not exist unless there is an audience between the projector and the screen. Claude Lanzmann made a more profound film about the Holocaust in "Shoah," but few were willing to sit through its nine hours. Spielberg's unique ability in his serious films has been to join artistry with popularity--to say what he wants to say in a way that millions of people want to hear. In ''Schindler's List,'' his brilliant achievement is the character of Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson as a man who never, until almost the end, admits to anyone what he is really doing. Schindler leaves it to ''his'' Jews, and particularly to his accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), to understand the unsayable: that Schindler is using his factory as a con game to cheat the Nazis of the lives of his workers. Schindler leaves it to Stern, and Spielberg leaves it to us; the movie is a rare case of a man doing the opposite of what he seems to be doing, and a director letting the audience figure it out itself. The measure of Schindler's audacity is stupendous. His first factory makes pots and pans. His second makes shell casings. Both factories are so inefficient they make hardly any contribution to the Nazi war effort. A more cautious man might have insisted that the factories produced fine pots and usable casings, to make them invaluable to the Nazis. The full measure of Schindler's obsession is that he wanted to save Jewish lives and produce unusable goods--all the while wearing a Nazi party badge on the lapel of his expensive black-market suit. BOT User Review "Such an achievement." - @ShouldIBeHere "The filmmaking on display is so good it transcends the utter blackness of the subject matter. I saw it five times in theaters. The first time, it was still in limited release, and I drove 40 miles to San Francisco to see it by myself (I was 19 and none of my friends were interested). There was this old man seated next to me (honestly, I didn't even really notice him until the end), and when the credits were rolling and everyone in the theater was just sitting there, pole-axed, he turned to me and said, "I was there, in one of those camps."I was so flabbergasted and stunned all I could manage was, "oh wow..." (Surely one of the more idiotic things I could've said), and then he got up and left.The 40-mile drive back home was a thoughtful and powerful one." - @Plain Old Tele "I saw it when I was in University in Ottawa. Saw it with 4 friends. We drove home in silence. No one knew what to say. You're just speechless after watching something like that. IMO, Spielberg didn't need that film to show us how good a film maker he was but for all those who just thought of him as someone who directed light hearted movies for kids, they never thought that again after this. And I don't think you'll ever have another director have a year the way he did in 93. Jurassic Park destroyed box office records and then Schindler's List kills it at the Oscars." - @baumer "The movie that shows the beauty of the human soul and the pure filth and hatred of that same exact soul.A towering achievement." - @The Futurist "one of the most powerful viewing experiences in film historyI really feel everyone should be required to see this movie, its humanity portrayed at its highest of highs and the opposite of thatand Liam Neeson got robbed for Best Actor with all due respect to Tom Hanks in Philadelphia (my favorite actor as well)Ben Kinglsey and Ralph FIennes are legendary as well" - @GiantCALBears "Appropriate that my first review on the new site should be dedicated to the most moving, powerful, and best film of all time, Schindler's List. From top-notch acting, with a compelling lead by Neeson, who dominates as Oskar Schindler in one of the most moving roles I've seen on screen, to powerful storytelling, it's a must see. Fiennes delivers a haunting performance as psychotic Amon Goeth, the new "caretaker" of the camp. His performance is as captivating as Neeson's. Ben Kingsley also delivers a stunning performance. All around, excellent acting. The story is superbly crafted, and the ending is a tear-jerker. One of the greatest scenes in cinematic history is Schindler's personal epiphany of ways he could have helped save more Jews, by selling a car or a ring, etc. Very moving scene in a bleak and tearjerking movie that should be witnessed by everyone." - @The Creator "Jesus Christ." - @Jack Nevada "Even though I've seen this movie far fewer times than anything else in my all-time top ten, it's undeniably powerful and unforgettable. As great as Spielberg is with popcorn entertainment, his stark approach with this film is just right, and it's hard to think of other films that have struck as much of an emotional chord within me as this one." - @Webslinger "This is why we watch movies. A masterfully crafted film that never loses your attention throughout the whole three hours. The writing, directing, acting, cinematography, editing, score are all of the greatest quality and this is without doubt one of the best movies ever made." - @darkelf "One of the most emotionally draining movies I've ever seen, but also one of the best viewing experiences I've had. Such a poignant piece of film history done with class. Neeson and Fiennes haven't been better and should've won in their respective categories. The cinematography is one of my favorites of all time, and the girl with the red coat is one of my favorite scenes of all time. Every person should see this at least once in their life. Speilberg hasn't made a better film since." - @acsc1312 "What more can I say? Such a fantastic film." - @Spaghetti Factoids Schindler's List was directed by Steven Spielberg. It received 143 points and 20 votes. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (2), Belarus (1), Brazil (1), Burma (1), England (1), France (3), Germany (2), Israel (2), Korea (1), The Ocean (3), Outer Space (1), Ottoman Empire (1), Poland (2), Japan (5), Russia (1), Scotland (1), Rome (1), Spain (1), United States (18), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (2), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (2), 19th Century (5), 1920s (2), 1930s (3), 1950s (2), 1960s (8), 1950s - 1980s (1), 1990s (1), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (3), Middle Ages (2), World War 1/1910s (4), World War 2/1940s (11) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - Austria (1), 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - The Ocean (1), 19th Century - United States (4), 21st Century - United States (2), 1910s - The Ocean (1), 1910s-1920s - Russia (1), 1920s - United States (1), 1930s - Germany (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1930s - United States (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1950s - United States (1), 1950s - 1980s - United States (1), 1960s - Brazil (1), 1960s - Outer Space (1), 1960s - United States (5), 1960s - Vietnam (1), 1990s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (2), Classical Period - Rome (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Middle Ages - Scotland (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (2), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (2), World War 1 - Ottoman Empire (1), World War 2/1940s - Belarus (1), World War 2 - Burma (1), World War 2 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Germany (1), World War 2 - Japan (1), World War 2 - The Ocean (1), World War 2/1940s - Poland (2), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: James Cameron (1), Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), Kevin Costner (1), Andrew Dominik (1), Stanley Donen (1), David Fincher (2), John Ford (1), Milos Forman (1), Bob Fosse (1), Mel Gibson (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Ron Howard (1), Terry Jones (1), Philip Kaufman (1), Gene Kelley (1), Elem Klimov (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Stanley Kramer (1), Akira Kurosawa (2), David Lean (3), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Fernando Meirelles (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Lewis Milestone (1), Wolfgang Peterson (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (3), Ridley Scott (1), Steven Spielberg (4), Oliver Stone (2), John Sturges (1), Isao Takahata (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Peter Weir (1), Robert Wise (1), William Wyler (1) Decades Represented: 30s (1), 40s (1), 50s (4), 60s (8), 70s (3), 80s (7), 90s (10), 00s (7), 10s (9)
  11. It's okay Tele, it didn't beat this one. "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it." Historical Setting: World War 1, The Ottoman Empire Source from the Period "The following notes have been expressed in commandment form for greater clarity and to save words. They are, however, only my personal conclusions, arrived at gradually while I worked in the Hejaz and now put on paper as stalking horses for beginners in the Arab armies. They are meant to apply only to Bedu; townspeople or Syrians require totally different treatment. They are of course not suitable to any other person's need, or applicable unchanged in any particular situation. Handling Hejaz Arabs is an art, not a science, with exceptions and no obvious rules. At the same time we have a great chance there; the Sherif trusts us, and has given us the position (towards his Government) which the Germans wanted to win in Turkey. If we are tactful, we can at once retain his goodwill and carry out our job, but to succeed we have got to put into it all the interest and skill we possess. 15. Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is. 18. Disguise is not advisable. Except in special areas, let it be clearly known that you are a British officer and a Christian. At the same time, if you can wear Arab kit when with the tribes, you will acquire their trust and intimacy to a degree impossible in uniform. It is, however, dangerous and difficult. They make no special allowances for you when you dress like them. Breaches of etiquette not charged against a foreigner are not condoned to you in Arab clothes. You will be like an actor in a foreign theatre, playing a part day and night for months, without rest, and for an anxious stake. Complete success, which is when the Arabs forget your strangeness and speak naturally before you, counting you as one of themselves, is perhaps only attainable in character: while half-success (all that most of us will strive for; the other costs too much) is easier to win in British things, and you yourself will last longer, physically and mentally, in the comfort that they mean. Also then the Turks will not hang you, when you are caught. 22. Do not try to trade on what you know of fighting. The Hejaz confounds ordinary tactics. Learn the Bedu principles of war as thoroughly and as quickly as you can, for till you know them your advice will be no good to the Sherif. Unnumbered generations of tribal raids have taught them more about some parts of the business than we will ever know. In familiar conditions they fight well, but strange events cause panic. Keep your unit small. Their raiding parties are usually from one hundred to two hundred men, and if you take a crowd they only get confused. Also their sheikhs, while admirable company commanders, are too 'set' to learn to handle the equivalents of battalions or regiments. Don't attempt unusual things, unless they appeal to the sporting instinct Bedu have so strongly, unless success is obvious. If the objective is a good one (booty) they will attack like fiends, they are splendid scouts, their mobility gives you the advantage that will win this local war, they make proper use of their knowledge of the country (don't take tribesmen to places they do not know), and the gazelle-hunters, who form a proportion of the better men, are great shots at visible targets. A sheikh from one tribe cannot give orders to men from another; a Sherif is necessary to command a mixed tribal force. If there is plunder in prospect, and the odds are at all equal, you will win. Do not waste Bedu attacking trenches (they will not stand casualties) or in trying to defend a position, for they cannot sit still without slacking. The more unorthodox and Arab your proceedings, the more likely you are to have the Turks cold, for they lack initiative and expect you to. Don't play for safety. 23. The open reason that Bedu give you for action or inaction may be true, but always there will be better reasons left for you to divine. You must find these inner reasons (they will be denied, but are none the less in operation) before shaping your arguments for one course or other. Allusion is more effective than logical exposition: they dislike concise expression. Their minds work just as ours do, but on different premises. There is nothing unreasonable, incomprehensible, or inscrutable in the Arab. Experience of them, and knowledge of their prejudices will enable you to foresee their attitude and possible course of action in nearly every case. 24. Do not mix Bedu and Syrians, or trained men and tribesmen. You will get work out of neither, for they hate each other. I have never seen a successful combined operation, but many failures. In particular, ex-officers of the Turkish army, however Arab in feelings and blood and language, are hopeless with Bedu. They are narrow minded in tactics, unable to adjust themselves to irregular warfare, clumsy in Arab etiquette, swollen-headed to the extent of being incapable of politeness to a tribesman for more than a few minutes, impatient, and, usually, helpless without their troops on the road and in action. Your orders (if you were unwise enough to give any) would be more readily obeyed by Beduins than those of any Mohammedan Syrian officer. Arab townsmen and Arab tribesmen regard each other mutually as poor relations, and poor relations are much more objectionable than poor strangers. 25. In spite of ordinary Arab example, avoid too free talk about women. It is as difficult a subject as religion, and their standards are so unlike our own that a remark, harmless in English, may appear as unrestrained to them, as some of their statements would look to us, if translated literally. 26. Be as careful of your servants as of yourself. If you want a sophisticated one you will probably have to take an Egyptian, or a Sudani, and unless you are very lucky he will undo on trek much of the good you so laboriously effect. Arabs will cook rice and make coffee for you, and leave you if required to do unmanly work like cleaning boots or washing. They are only really possible if you are in Arab kit. A slave brought up in the Hejaz is the best servant, but there are rules against British subjects owning them, so they have to be lent to you. In any case, take with you an Ageyli or two when you go up country. They are the most efficient couriers in Arabia, and understand camels. 27. The beginning and ending of the secret of handling Arabs is unremitting study of them. Keep always on your guard; never say an unnecessary thing: watch yourself and your companions all the time: hear all that passes, search out what is going on beneath the surface, read their characters, discover their tastes and their weaknesses and keep everything you find out to yourself. Bury yourself in Arab circles, have no interests and no ideas except the work in hand, so that your brain is saturated with one thing only, and you realize your part deeply enough to avoid the little slips that would counteract the painful work of weeks. Your success will be proportioned to the amount of mental effort you devote to it." - T. E. Lawrence, The 27 Articles of T.E. Lawrence Historical Context "The Ottomans rose to power in the 14th-15th centuries, capturing land, wealth and power from the dwindling Byzantine Empire (based in Constantinople, but called Istanbul in Turkish). From Istanbul, and the region of Turkey, the Ottomans dominated areas ranging from Central Europe to the Balkans to the Black Sea region, including the recently contested Crimean peninsula, the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa from Egypt westward to Algeria. Within the vast domains of the Ottoman Empire was a veritable babble of language groups (Turkish was the official language; there were at least 35 minority languages), ethnicities and religious affiliations. The Ottoman Empire controlled one of the most diverse sets of people ever successfully governed. For all its flaws, the Ottoman Empire provided order, peace, stability, cultural continuity and imperial persistence over a bewildering diversity of peoples and persuasions. Truly the Ottomans maintained one of the world’s great empires. But it was not to be. Despite the Ottoman imperial motto of “The eternal empire,” as the centuries progressed problems from within and without the empire led to decay. By the 1800s, Europeans derisively labeled the Ottoman Empire “The Sick Man of Europe.” Seeking to preserve itself as a living, sustainable empire, the Ottomans sided with Germany in World War I. They hoped that Germany would provide them salvation from the encroachments of competing foreign powers. Of course, as history played out, the 1919 treaty of Versailles effectively labeled Germany and its allies, such as the Ottoman Empire, the losers responsible for the devastation and damage of World War I. The victors were primarily Britain and France. According to the rules of war, France and Britain divvied up the spoils of war. Those spoils included the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire had ensured political stability and peace for centuries in the Middle East, minimizing the conflicts potentially inherent in differences of race, ethnicity, nationalism, language and religion. Now, with the death of the Ottoman Empire, the rules that had kept full-scale internal conflict from the Middle East were gone. And apparently without calculating the consequences, Britain and France, influenced in part by the European invention of nationalism, decided to impose nationalism on peoples, religions, languages and ethnicities. Most Western countries have a sense of nationalism derived from hard-won, agentive self-determination, often attributed to a revolution (e.g., the American or the French revolutions). In contrast, with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the peoples of the Middle East were not allowed self-determination or even much self-rule. They became protectorates of foreign powers. France and Britain drew new borders, effectively inventing new countries that had never existed previously: Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and by some measures Israel/Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. How many Americans would have pride in their country if some war-winning foreign power invented our borders and chose our leaders? This rhetorical mental exercise has obvious answers. Thus, is it any wonder that people throughout the Middle East have felt such angst and consternation about controlling their own lives for the nearly 100 years since the end of World War I? Why, then, does World War I matter today? Because the conflicts of the present are, in part, the unresolved conflicts of the past. If we seek to resolve the conflicts of the present, we must first understand and resolve the conflicts of the past." - Taylor Halverson, PhD Historical Accuracy "Today, T.E. Lawrence remains one of the most iconic figures of the early 20th century. His life has been the subject of at least three movies—including one considered a masterpiece—over 70 biographies, several plays and innumerable articles, monographs and dissertations. His wartime memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, translated into more than a dozen languages, remains in print nearly a full century after its first publication. As Gen. Edmund Allenby, chief British commander in the Middle East during World War I, noted, Lawrence was first among equals: “There is no other man I know,” he asserted, “who could have achieved what Lawrence did.” Part of the enduring fascination has to do with the sheer improbability of Lawrence’s tale, of an unassuming young Briton who found himself the champion of a downtrodden people, thrust into events that changed the course of history. Added to this is the poignancy of his journey, so masterfully rendered in David Lean’s 1962 film, Lawrence of Arabia, of a man trapped by divided loyalties, torn between serving the empire whose uniform he wore and being true to those fighting and dying alongside him. It is this struggle that raises the Lawrence saga to the level of Shakespearean tragedy, as it ultimately ended badly for all concerned: for Lawrence, for the Arabs, for Britain, in the slow uncoiling of history, for the Western world at large. Loosely cloaked about the figure of T.E. Lawrence there lingers the wistful specter of what might have been if only he had been listened to. As first articulated by T.E. Lawrence, the goal wasn’t to permanently sever the Turks’ southern lifeline, but rather to keep it barely functioning. The Turks would have to constantly devote resources to its repair, while their garrisons, receiving just enough supplies to survive, would be stranded. Indications of this strategy are everywhere evident along Highway 15; while many of the original small bridges and culverts that the Ottomans constructed to navigate the region’s seasonal waterways are still in place—instantly recognizable by their ornate stonework arches—many more are of modern, steel-beam construction, denoting where the originals were blown up during the war. The GARP expeditions have produced an unintended consequence. Jordan’s archaeological sites have long been plundered by looters—and this has now extended to World War I sites. Fueled by the folkloric memory of how Turkish forces and Arab rebels often traveled with large amounts of gold coins—Lawrence himself doled out tens of thousands of English pounds’ worth of gold in payments to his followers—locals quickly descend on any newly discovered Arab Revolt site with spades in hand to start digging. “So of course, we’re part of the problem,” Saunders says. “The locals see all these rich foreigners digging away,” Saunders adds wryly, “on our hands and knees all day in the hot sun, and they think to themselves, ‘No way. No way are they doing this for some old bits of metal; they’re here to find the gold.’” While the Aqaba campaign is considered one of the greatest military feats of the early 20th century—it is still studied in military colleges today— Lawrence soon followed it with a masterstroke of even greater consequence. Racing to Cairo to inform the British high command of what he had achieved, he discovered that the previous British commander in chief, never a strong supporter of the Arab Revolt, had been dismissed following two failed frontal attacks against the Turks. His replacement, a mere two weeks into the job when an emaciated and barefoot Lawrence was summoned to his office, was a cavalry general named Edmund Allenby. Rather lost in Lawrence’s electrifying news from Aqaba was any thought as to why the junior officer hadn’t informed his superiors of his scheme, let alone of its possible political consequences. Instead, with his newfound celebrity, Lawrence saw the opportunity to win over the green Allenby with a tantalizing prospect. During their slog across the desert, Lawrence had, with only two escorts, conducted a remarkable reconnaissance mission across enemy-held Syria. There, he told Allenby, he had determined that huge numbers of Syrian Arabs were ready to join the rebels. Lawrence also vastly exaggerated both the strength and capability of those rebels already under arms to paint an enticing picture of a military juggernaut—the British advancing up the Palestine coast, as the Arabs took the fight to the Syrian interior. As Lawrence recounted in Seven Pillars: “Allenby could not make out how much [of me] was genuine performer and how much charlatan. The problem was working behind his eyes, and I left him unhelped to solve it.” But Allenby bought it, promising to give the rebels all the aid he could and consider them equal partners. From now on, in Lawrence’s estimation, the British Army and Arab rebels would be joined at the hip, the French relegated to the margins. If the rebels reached Damascus first, they might be able to wrest Syria from the French altogether. Or so Lawrence hoped. It was at Carchemish that Lawrence first came to despise the despotism of Ottoman Turkey, and to imagine an independent Arab nation with Syria at its heart; today, of course, Turkey is a democracy while Syria is in the grips of an unspeakably savage civil war. Karkamis, where the town’s sleepiness gives way to a tinge of menace, sits at the very dividing line between those two realities. The hilltop sprawl of Hittite ruins is now a Turkish police post, off-limits to visitors, while at the base of that hill a 15-foot-high concrete wall topped with concertina wire has recently been erected. On the other side of that wall, in the Syrian town of Jarabulus, fly the black-and-white war flags of a rebel group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, an Islamic fundamentalist faction so murderous and extreme it has been disavowed by its former umbrella organization, al-Qaeda. In Karkamis’ grim little park, idle Syrian men who managed to escape tell of family and friends being butchered at the hands of ISIS, of how Jarabulus has become a ghost town. A Syrian refugee in his mid-40s, unwilling even to disclose his name, tells me that he had planned to escape with his family six months earlier when, on the eve of their departure, ISIS had grabbed his teenage son. “I sent my wife and younger children on to Lebanon,” he says, “but I stayed behind to try and get my son back.” He points to a teenager in blue jeans and a red T-shirt sitting on a brick wall a few feet away, gazing up at the canopy of trees with a placid, faraway smile. “That’s him,” he says. “After six days, I managed to get him back, but the terrorists had already destroyed him.” The father taps a forefinger against his own temple, the universal gesture to indicate a person gone mad. “That’s all he does now, smile that way.” From the Turkish side could be heard the call to jihad wafting from the ISIS’s loudspeakers. Somewhere over that wall, a half-mile from the Carchemish ruins, sits Lawrence’s old research station, a former licorice storehouse that he lovingly repaired and converted into a comfortable home. Now, it is a place that no Westerner will likely see for a very long time to come." - The True Story of Lawrence of Arabia The Smithsonian Magazine The Film Itself The Story "Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. With the aid of native Sherif Ali, Lawrence rebels against the orders of his superior officer and strikes out on a daring camel journey across the harsh desert to attack a well-guarded Turkish port." Critic Review "David Lean’s magnificent and sensual 1962 epic is back at London’s BFI Southbank in a 70mm print. Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson’s terrifically bold adaptation of TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a movie with all the sweep and antique confidence of a cavalry charge. Lean demonstrated a mastery of storytelling structure, scale, perspective-shifting, the intense closeup moment, the colossal widescreen panorama – epitomised by the film’s most famous coup de cinéma: having accepted his commission to go out to the Middle East with the Arab bureau in the first world war, and allowed audiences to savour his marvellous profile, Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence blows out a match and the scene changes to the burning desert at sunrise. The screen is ablaze. The dunes undulate in the heat, and Maurice Jarre’s score ululates along with it. It is Lawrence’s destiny to unite warring Arab tribes to fight the Turks and the Ottoman empire in the British interest. But Lawrence’s own loyalties become divided, and he falls in love with the Arab nations and all their fondly (or condescendingly) imagined ascetic martial heroism, perhaps the way Byron did with Greeks during the war of independence a century before. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars became a key text of orientalism, and the movie intuits its romantic grandeur, while amplifying its absurdity and conceit. As for O’Toole, he made one of the most outrageously charismatic debuts in film history with his performance: a Valentino for the 1960s, one of the working-class young lions like Caine and Finney. He is physically beautiful, with mesmeric eyes of china blue. His long, handsome face was that of a seducer, a visionary, an anchorite, a sinner or a saint, and is entirely comfortable with the ambiguities of his sexual nature, about which the movie is reasonably frank. It is an oddity that there are no women characters: Lawrence’s love affair is with the desert, with the pan-Arab nations and, well, with Arabs themselves. Omar Sharif is superb as his ally Sherif Ali – he made almost as much of a career-defining splash as O’Toole – although it is uncomfortable now to see Alec Guinness cast in blackface as the wily Prince Feisal. An exhilarating, immersive experience." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian BOT User Review "One of my favorite movies. The epic that every other epic after it wanted to be." - @CoolioD1 "One of the true greats. A seamless blend of a huge epic and a character study that never even comes close to being messy or boring." - @Jake Gittes "LOA's script is a masterpiece of subtlety and economy. There's not a wasted word." - @Plain Old Tele Factoids Lawrence of Arabia was directed by David Lean. It received 119 points and received 15 votes. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (2), Belarus (1), Brazil (1), Burma (1), England (1), France (3), Germany (2), Israel (2), Korea (1), The Ocean (3), Outer Space (1), Ottoman Empire (1), Poland (1), Japan (5), Russia (1), Scotland (1), Rome (1), Spain (1), United States (18), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (2), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (2), 19th Century (5), 1920s (2), 1930s (3), 1950s (2), 1960s (8), 1950s - 1980s (1), 1990s (1), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (3), Middle Ages (2), World War 1/1910s (4), World War 2/1940s (10) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - Austria (1), 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - The Ocean (1), 19th Century - United States (4), 21st Century - United States (2), 1910s - The Ocean (1), 1910s-1920s - Russia (1), 1920s - United States (1), 1930s - Germany (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1930s - United States (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1950s - United States (1), 1950s - 1980s - United States (1), 1960s - Brazil (1), 1960s - Outer Space (1), 1960s - United States (5), 1960s - Vietnam (1), 1990s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (2), Classical Period - Rome (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Middle Ages - Scotland (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (2), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (2), World War 1 - Ottoman Empire (1), World War 2/1940s - Belarus (1), World War 2 - Burma (1), World War 2 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Germany (1), World War 2 - Japan (1), World War 2 - The Ocean (1), World War 2/1940s - Poland (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: James Cameron (1), Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), Kevin Costner (1), Andrew Dominik (1), Stanley Donen (1), David Fincher (2), John Ford (1), Milos Forman (1), Bob Fosse (1), Mel Gibson (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Ron Howard (1), Terry Jones (1), Philip Kaufman (1), Gene Kelley (1), Elem Klimov (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Stanley Kramer (1), Akira Kurosawa (2), David Lean (3), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Fernando Meirelles (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Lewis Milestone (1), Wolfgang Peterson (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (3), Ridley Scott (1), Steven Spielberg (3), Oliver Stone (2), John Sturges (1), Isao Takahata (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Peter Weir (1), Robert Wise (1), William Wyler (1) Decades Represented: 30s (1), 40s (1), 50s (4), 60s (8), 70s (3), 80s (7), 90s (9), 00s (7), 10s (9)
  12. "James, earn this... earn it." Historical Setting: World War 2, The Invasion of Normandy Source from the Period "SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is will trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking." - General Eisenhower's Order of the Day, 6/1944 Historical Context "In May 1944, the Western Allies were finally prepared to deliver their greatest blow of the war, the long-delayed, cross-channel invasion of northern France, code-named Overlord. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was supreme commander of the operation that ultimately involved the coordinated efforts of 12 nations. After much deliberation, it was decided that the landings would take place on the long, sloping beaches of Normandy. There, the Allies would have the element of surprise. The German high command expected the attack to come in the Pas de Calais region, north of the river Seine where the English Channel is narrowest. It was here that Adolf Hitler had put the bulk of his panzer divisions after being tipped off by Allied undercover agents posing as German sympathizers that the invasion would take place in the Pas de Calais. Surprise was an essential element of the Allied invasion plan. If the Germans had known where and when the Allies were coming they would have hurled them back into the sea with the 55 divisions they had in France. The invaders would have been on the offensive with a 10-to-1 manpower ratio against them. The challenges of mounting a successful landing were daunting. The English Channel was notorious for its rough seas and unpredictable weather, and the enemy had spent months constructing the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile line of obstacles. This defensive wall comprised 6.5 million mines, thousands of concrete bunkers and pillboxes containing heavy and fast-firing artillery, tens of thousands of tank ditches, and other formidable beach obstacles. And the German army would be dug in on the cliffs overlooking the American landing beaches. At the Tehran Conference in August 1943, Allied leaders scheduled Overlord to take place on or about May 1, 1944. In the meantime, they prepared ceaselessly for the attack. Trucks, tanks, and tens of thousands of troops poured into England. “We were getting ready for one of the biggest adventures of our lives,” an American sergeant said. “We couldn’t wait.” Meanwhile, the American and British air forces in England conducted a tremendous bombing campaign that targeted railroad bridges and roadways in northern France to prevent the Germans from bringing in reserves to stop the invasion. Allied leaders set June 5, 1944, as the invasion’s D-Day. But on the morning of June 4, foul weather over the English Channel forced Eisenhower to postpone the attack for 24 hours. The delay was unnerving for soldiers, sailors, and airmen, but when meteorologists forecast a brief window of clearer weather over the channel on June 6, Eisenhower made the decision to go. It was one of the gutsiest decisions of the war. Just after midnight on June 6, Allied airborne troops began dropping behind enemy lines. Their job was to blow up bridges, sabotage railroad lines, and take other measures to prevent the enemy from rushing reinforcements to the invasion beaches. Hours later, the largest amphibious landing force ever assembled began moving through the storm-tossed waters toward the beaches. Most of the Americans were packed into flat-bottomed Higgins boats launched from troop transports 10 miles from the French coastline. Vomit filled the bottom of the boats, and as water kept rushing in over the gunwales, the green-faced men had to bail this vile stew with their helmets. Though it was cold, the men were sweating. Planners had divided the landing zone into five separate beaches. The British and Canadians landed at Juno, Gold, and Sword beaches. The Americans landed at Omaha and Utah beaches. The fiercest fighting was on Omaha Beach where the enemy was positioned on steep cliffs that commanded the long, flat shoreline. Troops leapt from their landing boats and were pinned down for hours by murderous machine-gun fire that turned the beach into a vast killing field. “If you (stayed) there you were going to die,” Lieutenant Colonel Bill Friedman said. “We just had to . . . try to get to the bottom of the cliffs on which the Germans had mounted their defenses.” By midday, the Americans had surmounted the cliffs and taken Omaha Beach at a heavy cost: over 4,700 killed, wounded, or missing out of the total of approximately 35,000 who came ashore that day, a loss rate of more than 13 percent. By nightfall, about 175,000 Allied troops and 50,000 vehicles were ashore with nearly a million more men on the way that summer. The Normandy invasion was one of great turning points of 20th-century history. An immense army was placed in Nazi-occupied Europe, never to be dislodged. Germany was threatened that same month by a tremendous Soviet invasion from the east that would reach the gates of Berlin by the following April. The way to appreciate D-Day’s importance is to contemplate what would have happened if it had failed. Another landing would not have been possible for at least a year. This would have given Hitler time to strengthen the Atlantic Wall, harass England with the newly developed V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets, continue to develop jet aircraft and other so-called “miracle weapons,” and finish off his killing campaign against ethnic and sexual undesirables." - D-Day: The Allies Invade Europe The National WWII Museum in New Orleans Historical Accuracy "The truth is not that simple, and Saving Private Ryan represents another case in the ongoing struggle for film historians, who must constantly deal with modern critics who judge artistic events by the standards of their own times. For the combat movie, this means if there's no blood and guts, there's no glory. Although there is no question that Spielberg made a fine film or that Tom Hanks and the rest of the cast have done an excellent job, there are issues of film history to be addressed in evaluation. No one is going to argue with the WWII veterans who have stated that Saving Private Ryan is the most realistic presentation of combat they've seen. There is also no question but that Spielberg has achieved integrity in his images. He closely consulted with historian Stephen E. Ambrose (author of Citizen Soldiers) and Dale Dye, a retired Marine Corps captain who acted as his chief military adviser. The issue to be discussed is not combat accuracy (or the quality of the movie) but rather accuracy about the history of the World War II combat genre and Saving Private Ryan's place in that history. Taking an overview based on actual screenings, where does Saving Private Ryan fit? It has been defined by modern critics as groundbreaking and anti-generic, "the desire to bury the cornball, recruiting poster legend of John Wayne: to get it right this time."1 The primary differences that have been cited are (1) its realistic combat violence, (2) its unusual story format in which soldiers question leadership and the point of their mission, and (3) its new and different purpose. The violence of Saving Private Ryan's opening sequence (the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach) is overwhelming. Spielberg's mastery of sound, editing, camera movement, visual storytelling, narrative flow, performance, and color combine to assault a viewer, to place each and every member of the audience directly into the combat experience. Spielberg anchors the audience in Tom Hanks (as Captain John Miller), and provides three recurring motifs for Hanks/Miller's response to war: the elimination of sound (cinematic), a shaking hand (performance), and a resistance to explaining his prewar background (narrative). All are simultaneously internal and external, and all are clearly understood by the audience to be what they are: the stress of the combat experience. The elimination of sound is particularly effective, since it is both logical in the narrative (the captain's hearing could have been damaged by the shock of battle noise) and psychological (it physicalizes the emotional trauma he is undergoing). As the action unfolds, the audience sees blood, vomit, dead fish, dismembered arms and legs, wounds spurting fountains of blood, torsos disintegrating while being dragged to safety. Men drown, are wounded, and are shot and killed in a chaotic atmosphere of fear and bewilderment. Medics are forced to make ruthless decisions about the wounded ("Routine!" "Routine!" "Priority!") as they advance among what appears to be every soldier on the beach, all apparently dying. This opening sequence is a nightmare. Today's audiences are shocked into silence while watching. No one talks, and no one munches popcorn or rattles candy wrappers. What has reactivated the combat genre? In asking the question, it's probably a good idea to remember that World War II did not exactly disappear from American lives. It has remained with us in movie revivals, television shows, books, magazines, documentaries, and the History Channel. Among the many reasons being suggested for the new movie versions are: male directors who watched combat films as boys and now want to make their own; a new conservatism that takes us backward to simpler times; the millennium that makes us want to reevaluate the century; and so forth. Until we see the combat films to come, however, we cannot really know what they will add up to. It's a new chapter for the evolutionary process, and what we know now is that Saving Private Ryan may be the seminal film. It certainly will be the first key movie in the new era. In the meantime, we need to place Ryan's role in the genre's history accurately. It is not that audiences had never seen soldiers question leadership or objectives, or that they had never seen violence or heard doubts expressed. We live in an era of desensitizing movie violence. The New York Times pointed out that Starship Troopers, a space fantasy, also showed us bodies blown apart, limbs flying through the air, and plenty of blood and gore. What Saving Private Ryan does is take the carnage out of space and back down to the human level. Spielberg has asked us to think about it and ask ourselves where we are going in the future in this country. As the "old" Private Ryan asks his wife—and by extension, the audience—"Did I earn it?" he connects the movie directly to the "me" generation. Is one individual worth it? What Saving Private Ryan means is in its final admonition: "Earn it." Spielberg's true accomplishment is that he has used familiar genre elements for a new purpose, putting them together in a brilliantly visualized movie that causes Americans to take the war seriously again." - TRANSLATING WAR: THE COMBAT FILM GENRE AND SAVING PRIVATE RYAN Jeanine Basinger, Historians.org The Film Itself The Story "After the invasion of fortress Europe on June 6th 1944, Cpt. Miller leads his squad from the 2nd Ranger Battalion of the 29th Infantry Division, on a mission to find and bring home Private James Francis Ryan after the death of his brothers. The mission takes them through Nazi occupied territory to establish contact with Ryan's unit, an element of the 101st Airborne Division. This exciting war thriller brings the reality of history's bloodiest war into the homes of ordinary people, but also brings to light the reality of broken and lost families in a time of total and encompassing war." Critic Review "There are movies and then there are movies. And then there is Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan." Searing, heartbreaking, so intense it turns your body into a single tube of clenched muscle, this is simply the greatest war movie ever made, and one of the great American movies. In one stroke, it makes everything that came before – with the exception of two or three obscure European variants on the same theme – seem dated and unwatchable. And it redefines the way we look at war. Generically, it could be called the last example of that vanished category, the unit tribute film. But this unit is not the 2nd Ranger Battalion or the 101st Airborne. Rather, it is a generation: those men born in the late 1910s and early '20s, who, when asked, simply put aside their tools and settled the great issue of the century, determining who would administer the industrial revolution, dictatorship or democracy. They did this without complaint, bitterness, anger or remorse. Then they came home and picked up their tools again. To this day, few will talk about what they saw and did, and Spielberg shows us why. Spielberg's ability to capture the palpable madness of all this borders on the incredible. The first 25 minutes of the film – a re-creation of Omaha Beach from the point of view of an all-too-human Ranger captain, who's been here and done this, but not at this level of violence – is surely one of the great tours de force of world cinema. From the spillage of viscera, the shearing of limbs, the gushing of blood and the psychotic whimsy of the bullets, to a final kind of fog of panic and soul-deep fear, he makes you glad it was your daddy's job, and not yours. But Spielberg also understands war's deepest reality, which is that being there is not enough, and being willing to die for your country is also not enough; you have to be willing to kill for your country. So much of the battle carnage pictured in "Saving Private Ryan" is based on the craft of close-quarter, small-unit combat: It's watching men maneuver across terrain for geometrical superiority, hunting for a position to vector fire in on the enemy. He who shoots from the best position and brings the most fire to bear, he's the winner. The thermodynamics of infantry combat: Shoot well, shoot fast, shoot often. Where does this unprecedented version of war come from? It may come out of a few other movies, ironically all of them German. I think of "Das Brucke" ("The Bridge"), "The Winter War" (actually Finnish, about the short, brutal Russo-Finn war of 1940), or "Stalingrad" or even "Das Boot" – all movies that portrayed unflinchingly the iron randomness of war. But more vividly, it has clearly been informed by a close study of as much archival footage of The Real Thing as can be had. In this sense, it's ersatz documentary, with desaturated '40s color, jittery, terrified camera movement (you feel the cameraman's fear of getting hit) and the sensation of overwhelming chaos." - Stephen Hunter, Washington Post BOT User Review "A tremendous modern war film. It gets overly sentimental in the final minutes though at the same time I like that it doesn't come out and say that "saving private ryan" was definitely 100% worth the deaths of 6 squad-members who might have lived otherwise." - @4815162342 Factoids Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg. It received 83 points and 14 votes. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (2), Belarus (1), Brazil (1), Burma (1), England (1), France (3), Germany (2), Israel (2), Korea (1), The Ocean (3), Outer Space (1), Poland (1), Japan (5), Russia (1), Scotland (1), Rome (1), Spain (1), United States (18), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (2), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (2), 19th Century (5), 1920s (2), 1930s (3), 1950s (2), 1960s (8), 1950s - 1980s (1), 1990s (1), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (3), Middle Ages (2), World War 1/1910s (3), World War 2/1940s (10) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - Austria (1), 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - The Ocean (1), 19th Century - United States (4), 21st Century - United States (2), 1910s - The Ocean (1), 1910s-1920s - Russia (1), 1920s - United States (1), 1930s - Germany (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1930s - United States (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1950s - United States (1), 1950s - 1980s - United States (1), 1960s - Brazil (1), 1960s - Outer Space (1), 1960s - United States (5), 1960s - Vietnam (1), 1990s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (2), Classical Period - Rome (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Middle Ages - Scotland (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (2), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (2), World War 2/1940s - Belarus (1), World War 2 - Burma (1), World War 2 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Germany (1), World War 2 - Japan (1), World War 2 - The Ocean (1), World War 2/1940s - Poland (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: James Cameron (1), Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), Kevin Costner (1), Andrew Dominik (1), Stanley Donen (1), David Fincher (2), John Ford (1), Milos Forman (1), Bob Fosse (1), Mel Gibson (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Ron Howard (1), Terry Jones (1), Philip Kaufman (1), Gene Kelley (1), Elem Klimov (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Stanley Kramer (1), Akira Kurosawa (2), David Lean (2), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Fernando Meirelles (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Lewis Milestone (1), Wolfgang Peterson (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (3), Ridley Scott (1), Steven Spielberg (3), Oliver Stone (2), John Sturges (1), Isao Takahata (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Peter Weir (1), Robert Wise (1), William Wyler (1) Decades Represented: 30s (1), 40s (1), 50s (4), 60s (7), 70s (3), 80s (7), 90s (9), 00s (7), 10s (9)
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