Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hmm …

… Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Well, I am sufficiently literate historically to know that the Great War was anything but, except in terms of its unprecedented scale. But I don't think that is any reason for not seeing Jackson's film. We all know the original films were produced by the British military. (Recall the reaction to John Singer Sargent's painting Gassed.) To bring the world and the life recorded therein into vivid color seems to me to make the participants less distant, both in time and place, and that means to make them more human. Of course, war is horrible. No news there. And World War I was particularly horrible. But to deny that there nothing noble happens during war is as purblind as the myth Hedges is denouncing. The real tragedy is that, sometimes, war is necessary. Should World War II not have been fought?
PostScript: I just came from seeing Jackson's film and, in my view, Hedges's article is a crock. I think They Shall Not Grow Old may well be the most terrifying film I have ever seen. Yes, the voices of the veterans at the beginning do record the enthusiasm they felt before their enlistment, and yes, they seem to have felt that what they did in some way proved worthwhile. But maybe Hedges should have stuck around for the rest of the movie. Guess he missed one of those voices near the end talking about the pointlessness of war. Jackson's film takes World War I out of the history books and makes it a real live experience. I would like to have Hedges explain just what is so jingoistic about the ghastly shots of the dead and wounded, and the incessant pounding of the guns. Talk about letting your ideological viewpoint get in the way of your eyesight.

The more people who see Jackson's film the better, I think.

Post bumped.

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