Download War and Film (Reaktion Books - Locations) by James Chapman PDF

By James Chapman

From the onset of the movie medium, administrators have came upon struggle an perpetually compelling and fruitful topic for his or her artwork. In warfare and picture, Chapman explores their fascination in addition to audiences’ enduring have to learn and adventure the vicissitudes of war.Chapman examines the problems of truthfulness and realism that come up in depictions of battle, no matter if within the meant fact telling of conflict documentaries or Hollywood conflict scenes which are “more lifelike than the genuine thing.” The ebook considers motion pictures from the U. S., Britain, and Europe, and the nationwide responses to cinematic depictions of specific conflicts. In case reports of such mythical works as Das Boot, Apocalypse Now, and All Quiet at the Western entrance, the ebook parses their dominant narrative subject matters, starting from conflict as a unnecessary tragedy to strive against as a thrilling and heroic event. yet few movies, Chapman contends, probe into the deeper ramifications of war—the mental scars left at the soldier and civilians.A learn of outstanding breadth and scope, conflict and picture exposes the ability of cinema in shaping our perceptions of violent clash.

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Which of the films, however, is the more authentic? In so far as The Battle of the Somme is compiled from actuality footage shot at the front – even the ‘fakes’ are closer to the real thing than Spielberg’s mocked-up combat film – then it should probably be regarded as more authentic than Saving Private Ryan. That said, however, The Battle of the Somme gives no indication of the extent of casualties suffered by the British on the first day of the Somme (some 20,000 dead and nearly twice that number wounded), whereas Saving Private Ryan virtually wallows in the carnage of Omaha Beach (where some 3,000 Americans lost their lives and half as many again were wounded).

62 Apart from its value as primary source material for future historians, there were two main uses to which this actuality film 53 was put. The first was for intelligence and training: film assisted in such matters as gauging the accuracy and effectiveness of aerial bombing and in the development of new weapons technologies. Such films were made solely for the armed forces and were often regarded as secret: British test film of weapons systems such as the ‘bouncing bomb’ (a misnomer used to describe the aerial mines used against the Ruhr dams in 1943) and the ‘panjandrum’ (a rocket-propelled giant wheel designed to clear the beaches of mines on d-Day but never put into service) remained classified for half a century after the war.

The film did not come close to any sort of reality, or so she contended, because ‘reality is experienced’. This is essentially 61 the same criticism that would later be levelled against Saving Private Ryan: that its much-lauded realism was merely a set of representational conventions. ’75 While her underlying point is undeniably correct – all film involves a degree of artifice and can never be an entirely unmediated reflection of reality – her assessment of the film as clichéd and self-indulgent was not representative of the critical consensus, which regarded it as a powerful and original piece of work.

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