Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Film Trailer Fun - Y'all

Aw hell, (he said in his best Nick Nolte) how bout another continuing column here at T and A? We've already got:


And now, we'll do FILM TRAILER FUN Y'ALL. Let's get things started with (a not so "fun" film, in fact my dear Molly cried and on occasion, so have I) this:

Private Witt: "This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doin' this? Who's killin' us? Robbing us of life and light. Mockin' us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you, too? Have you passed to this night?"

Wow, ya know I still get very emotional when I see that trailer. I can watch the film and stay steady, but the trailer is a brutal montage of the film's essence and power - whew. I regard Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line as the greatest war film ever made. I can't tell you how many people I know hated this film. Well, considering it was released several months after the sheer spectacle of Saving Private Ryan, it's understandable. Horror movies and War movies are the most philosophical of all genres. My colleague Dr. Shaviro might claim 'just horror' but I think one gets you the other, and he might agree with that too. As such, The Thin Red Line is most assuredly one of the most (if not the most) philosophical war film ever made and therein lies it's 'turn off' qualities for the Rambo lovin' crowd (of which I number myself one of). But, to quote a friend of mine, would you rather have popcorn or a full meal? The Thin Red Line is too complicated to do justice in a small blog entry, but I can say that:

The dialectic this film interrogates is very very old. The never ending quest for equilibrium between man and nature. Man's "dominion" over nature as it were, and the struggle... The struggle for one to control and contain the other is what's at stake in this brutally real and extremely powerful motion picture.

I still get goosebumps during many scenes, facilitated no doubt by Hans Zimmer's utterly brilliant score for this film. I believe it to be probably the most important score of the last twenty years. "Journey to the Line" is one of the most perfect fusions of sound and image you're likely to ever witness. I'm not alone in this opinion, Douglas Winter (soundtrack reviewer for Video Watchdog) agrees: "...probably the finest film score of the past decade, and certainly the most influential. Zimmer constrcuted some of the most unconventional cues ever written for the genre: brooding atmospheres of immanence that used ambient string motifs, distant percussion, and native Melanesian chants. The highlight of the disc is the stunning (and often imitated) thematic progression 'Journey to the Line.' (Quoted in VW No. 100). I concur on all accounts - it's a tour de force for Zimmer and marks a turning point in his career. The Thin Red Line paved the way for Zimmer's Wagnerian turns with Gladiator, Batman Begins and King Arthur. The Da Vinci Code is slightly more Medieval in its designs but is full of moments of sublime beauty as with the awe inspiring and hypnotic "Chevaliers De Sangreal."

"Nature's cruel Staros!" Nick Nolte points out to Elias Kostas, but I guess that depends on your point of view.


Anonymous said...

aah the thin red line. To be fair, I can't be the only one that cried during that movie. I may be the only one that holds you personally responsible for it however.

Incidentally, I came over to your blog because I finally watched "The Verdict" per your recommendation months ago. I love the last scene. Women are trouble, eh?


Chick Young said...

Ah, The Verdict. My personal, favorite Paul Newman performance. Yes, that last scene is amazing. That whole movie is PERFECT. But, then you know how I love James Mason!

Women, Trouble? When did I say that?

Anonymous said...

you didn't say women were trouble, I did. I was imploring you to agree with me.

James Mason is totally awesome. What a voice.


Chick Young said...

Oh, I would agree. But I think you already knew that I would. My

Bill Courtney said...


I am access blogger for now and am checking out some of your back posts.In case you are not aware i am in china and blogger and blogspot are blocked here so I must use proxies. Sometimes they work and other times they are so damn slow.

Stuff looks good and I like your writing style. It is a little more polished than what I do I think, but I guess we all have our own voices.

I saw this movie a few times and to be honest I do not care for Terence Malik (SP?) usually. His work is often long and slow and there are these moments where the narrative is from some hidden recess of the person's soul. sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't for me. In The Thin Red Line I think this style worked. I read most the book by James Jones and it was quite a bit different. I had to leave the book behind when I came here to China and never finished it. A great anti-war war movie really that lost it's impact in the shadow of Saving Private Ryan.

And on the topic of war I look forward to what your opinions on M*A*S*H will be, one of my favorite TV shows well. I am going to buy the boxed DVD collection here pretty soon.

Thanks. I will get you linked to my site ASAP since my traffic is growing a little finally. Keep pluggin' away hombre.

Bill in China