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The Subtle War Film


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While I do agree that films like Schindler's List, Das Boot, All Quiet on The Western Front, The Thin Red Line and Birth of a Nation etc... all excel beyond the normal shoot em up war film style. I have always had a weakness for a lot of the slower more subtle war films such as Au Revoir Les Enfants and Forbidden Games and more modern war films like For A Lost Soldier, Strayed, Melena and A Very Long Engagement. While in most instances, these films don't focus as much on the violence of war, they do a very good job conveying the emotional atrocities of the same time period.. Like saying goodbye to each other in Au Revoir and the boy who risks a great deal to keep the girls innocence in Forbidden Games. These films are an emotional, private, and intimate journey's set against the back drop of these great conflicts. They are very affective and tragic. Like so many of the more acclaimed and honored films of their day's. It is obvious however, that without the violence and action, many of these great films will more then likely be forgotten by society much sooner then their more popular counterparts. It is a great tragedy in itself. A tragedy, but proof of mans need for a violent self release. A release that can only be experienced in the movies.

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  • 1 month later...

Excellent post and I agree with you 100%. The problem with today's films is that most of them are aimed at the teenage/young adult audience who like their films fast, loud, full of action and bloody. It also helps if they don't have to think.


No offense to those in that age group who spend their time watching classics on TCM. You are all very bright and stand well above your peers. In the long run, you'll get far more pleasure from films the the others will.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"what we have here is FAILURE to communicate..."


Everyone has their favorites and for their unique reasons. There are war films we'll remember for its action (e.g. Saving Private Ryan), and then there're those we'll remember for the emotional impact that's evoked through dialogue, expressions, and the depiction of a situation within specific context (e.g. Au Revoir Les Enfants, El Salvador, Mrs. Miniver, Gallipoli, Merry Xmas Mister Lawrence, etc....)


you can like something from a movie for reasons not even intended by the filmmakers, or you can enjoy subtext laid within that most cannot see... isn't that the great thing about the movies?

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