Saving Private Ryan

Not rated yet!
Director
Steven Spielberg
Runtime
2 h 49 min
Release Date
24 July 1998
Genres
Drama, History, War
Overview
As U.S. troops storm the beaches of Normandy, three brothers lie dead on the battlefield, with a fourth trapped behind enemy lines. Ranger captain John Miller and seven men are tasked with penetrating German-held territory and bringing the boy home.
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  • The 10 Best Steven Spielberg Films
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom Trailer HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)Though a bit silly in places, this followup starring Harrison Ford and Spielberg’s soon-to-be-wife Kate Capshaw was also bursting with energy and wickedly amusing stunts, not to mention the thrilling moment when Indy avoids death by slipping below a sliding door but then reaches back for his battered fedora. It’s a quintessential example of Spielberg’s good-natured wit.  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Saving Private Ryan - Officialu00AE Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 9. Saving Private Ryan (1998)Spielberg’s definitive WW II picture frequently makes no sense --  why would a simple infantry platoon try to take on an armored battalion, when all Capt. Miller’s troops have to do is stroll across a bridge and blow it up behind them? But it deserves a place in the annals of cinema history for its breathtaking, nerve-shattering opening scene of the D-Day invasion, a tableau that redefined what gritty, gruesome war realism could be.  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Catch Me If You Can - Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 8. Catch Me If You Can (2002)Leonardo DiCaprio has never given a better performance than he did as the boyish con artist Frank Abagnale, who breezes through the 1960s on forged checks and pretends to be a pilot, a surgeon, a lawyer and anything else that strikes his fancy. Alas, Tom Hanks’s Boston accent as the FBI man on his tail is unfortunate.  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Richard Dreyfuss in "Always" 1989 Movie Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 7. Always (1989)A beautifully told, romantic ghost story, this uncharacteristically disarming adaptation of Spielberg’s childhood favorite A Guy Named Joe featured the most nuanced and appealing female character he ever conjured up, Holly Hunter’s Dorinda, who loses her courageous boyfriend (Richard Dreyfuss) when he dies piloting a plane in the course of trying to put out a forest fire. He continues to exert a supernatural pull on her life even as she finds love with another man.  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Jurassic World - Official Trailer (HD)', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 6. Jurassic Park (1993)That the film was a special-effects landmark wasn’t really the key to its success: Spielberg made the dinosaurs matter by taking the time to establish his cast of characters and their conflicts well before any monsters appear. And he found brilliant ways to use his trademark tongue-in-cheek humor to offset the terror. Who else but Spielberg could get a laugh out of the familiar legend, “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear”?  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Jaws Official Trailer #1 - Richard Dreyfuss, Steven Spielberg Movie (1975) HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 5. Jaws (1975)Forty years on, the shark thriller has lost much of its shock value, and its pace now seems deliberate rather than frenzied. But the 27-year-old Spielberg’s ability to manufacture dread and suspense from a malfunctioning prop (the crew couldn’t get the damn mechanical shark to work half the time) was uncanny, and the manly camaraderie of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss as they ventured out alone into the wilderness to save the townsfolk was like that of a trio of gunslingers daring to settle the West.  var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Schindler's List (1993) Official Trailer - Liam Neeson, Steven Spielberg Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 4. Schindler’s List (1993)Releasing two defining films in a single year proved Spielberg was still operating at peak levels two decades into his unprecedented career. The problem of how to do a Holocaust film was one that had essentially flummoxed Hollywood for 50 years before Spielberg found the proper approach: Amid the squalor and the massacre, he cast his vision toward the shining light of humanity embodied by the savior Oskar Schindler, personified by the quiet dignity of Liam Neeson in a star-making performance. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2015/4/17/the-10-best-steven-spielberg-films/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • A History of Violence
    Unexamined Premises Writing early in the aftermath of the evil -- not tragic, evil -- events in Colorado, Roger Simon has laid out some challenging thoughts on Hollywood's philosophical culpability in such horrific crimes of violence:Given the horrifying death toll, rare as the likes of Holmes may be, we have to account for the similarly deranged and aberrant. We owe that to the dead of Colorado and elsewhere. Moreover, we should not encourage these events, wittingly or unwittingly. And by we I mean the people who make films (which includes me).I am not calling for censorship here, nor for gun control laws, but for a modicum of self-censorship on the part of the filmmakers and the film and television industries. They should ask themselves to what end is the violence they are portraying and whether it need be so explicit. Can they make their points as effectively, perhaps more effectively, without the endless splatter and gore?Allow me to take this argument in a slightly different direction. If you glance to the right of this column, you'll see the three (so far) books in my "Devlin" series, about a top-secret and very lethal operative for the Central Security Service, as well as the great Irish-American gangster Owney Madden's own personal memoir (channeled through me) of the most violent days of Prohibition, And All the Saints.  To wrap up this orgy of literary ultra-violence, there's As Time Goes By, my prequel/sequel to Casablanca, which finds Rick and Ilsa wrapped up in the assassination plot against the architect of the Final Solution, Reinhard Heydrich, the Hangman of Prague.So you're not going to find me arguing against violence per se. Violence, alas, is a part of life, and a history of civilization is also a history of violence  -- of force met with force, of great armies clashing on the plains, or two special ops waging a secret war in the back alleys of Berlin. To those who say that violence never solved anything, I say: ask Hitler. As Al Capone famously observed, in his neighborhood (Brooklyn), you got farther with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word.Saving Private Ryan is violent. 300 is violent. Enemy at the Gates is violent. But they are about men at war. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2012/7/22/a-history-of-violence/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • The Truth About The Greatest Generation
    Lifestyle I was watching the (A&E Biography) of Ted Williams, the baseball player. This guy raised himself as a latchkey kid, gets drafted by the Boston Red Sox, becomes the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. At the peak of his career, he signs up for World War II, becomes the most decorated fighter pilot in that war, goes back into baseball. He’s the last guy to hit .400, sleeps with every woman in Boston twenty-two times, signs up for the Korean War, gets four more medals.And then the show ends and I look up on the shelf above my TV. There’s a picture of me in fifth grade holding a three-inch sunfish.-- Nick DiPaolo, Raw NerveIn 1998, broadcaster TOM BROKAW coined the phrase the “Greatest Generation” to describe the American men and women born more or less between 1901-1924, “who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity [on] the war's home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort.”“It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced,” Brokaw wrote, because they fought “not for fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.”Decades earlier, in his inaugural address, JFK (himself a decorated veteran of the Second World War) had presented a memorable thumbnail sketch of his own cohort:[T]he torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage.Later, RONALD REAGAN (and rookie speechwriter PEGGY NOONAN) paid unforgettable tribute to “the boys of Pointe du Hoc” – all greyhaired grandfathers by the time the president saluted them at Normandy, forty years after they’d struggled onto the beach:These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war. (…)You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Normandy Speech: Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/9/22/the-truth-about-the-greatest-generation/ previous Page 1 of 5 next   ]]>
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  • 10 War Movies Guaranteed to Make You Cry
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Gunga Din Theatrical Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); "It is well that war is so terrible," General Robert E. Lee lamented, "otherwise we would grow too fond of it." On the other side of the Civil War, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman stated more simply that "war is hell." They knew fighting for a cause always meant good soldiers suffer; some make the ultimate sacrifice; and often innocents get tragically caught in the crossfire. War always comes at a terrible cost.Here are ten war films to watch this Memorial Day that will make you weep.#10. Gunga DinA 1939 adventure film "inspired" by the Rudyard Kipling poem follows the exploits of three British army lieutenants -- Cutter (Cary Grant), MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) --  on the Indian frontier.  The movie is all dash and panache, except for the erstwhile native water carrier, Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe), whose only dream is to be a real soldier. In the end, it's the regimental "beastie," shot, bayonetted, but carrying on, who saves the day before he falls. Sob along at the end of the film when the colonel declares over the funeral pyre, "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/5/26/10-war-movies-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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  • 'Schindler's List is the Worst Jewish Film of All Time'?
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle That's not my headline; it was in the subject line of the email sent to me by Tablet magazine's PR contact -- and minus the question mark, to boot.  Liel Leibovitz writes at the Jewish-themed magazine that "Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is both a moral and an aesthetic disaster, an embodiment of much that is wrong with American-Jewish life" -- and seems 'surprised' (likely not) that such fighting words have stirred up plenty of controversy:Last week, Tablet Magazine published our list of the 100 greatest Jewish films of all time. At the very bottom was Schindler’s List. In a brief blurb, I called it an “astoundingly stupid” movie, which, in turn, inspired some of our readers to call me a “piece of shit” and a “neo-Nazi”—all for casting an aspersion on what, if they are to be believed, is everyone’s favorite Holocaust movie.Which makes perfect sense: More than just a regrettable film, Schindler’s List neatly reflects the Manichean mindset of many American Jews, for whom mythology trumps memory and nothing lies beyond good and evil. Those who howled at me weren’t expressing a mere aesthetic judgment; they were defending a worldview.To understand this worldview, we need only look at Schindler’s List. The film’s two main characters are Liam Neeson’s Oskar Schindler and Ralph Fiennes’ Nazi officer, Amon Goeth. The first is a philandering and greedy German who sees a little girl in a red coat and has a nearly instantaneous epiphany, realizing that life is precious and that Jews should be saved. The other is a monster; it’s no coincidence that the American Film Institute ranked Goeth at number 15 in its list of the 100 greatest villains of all time, just one spot below the slimy creature who terrorized Sigourney Weaver in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Goeth, too, is an otherworldly sort. He is not, like the real-life murderer on whom he is based, merely a hateful, opportunistic, and cruel young man who relished the chance to play god. He is impenetrable, predatory, inhuman. We have little reason to fear him more than we fear, say, the Nazis in Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark or the shark from Jaws; all are terrifying, but all are the sort of baddies we’ll only ever see on-screen, not the kind of ordinary and crooked and all-too-human scum living quietly next door and waiting for a stab at power.There's no doubt Spielberg's sense of World War II history can be off-putting once you get beyond his powerful sense of composition, fluid camera motion, and John Williams' score. As Mark Steyn noted 15 years ago, there's plenty of nihilism and moral equivalence at work in Saving Private Ryan, the next WWII-themed movie Spielberg directed after Schindler:Purporting to be a recreation of the US landings on Omaha Beach, Private Ryan is actually an elite commando raid by Hollywood and the Hamptons to seize the past. After the spectacular D-Day prologue, the film settles down, Tom Hanks and his men are dispatched to rescue Matt Damon (the elusive Private Ryan) and Spielberg finds himself in need of the odd line of dialogue. Endeavouring to justify their mission to his unit, Hanks’s sergeant muses that, in years to come when they look back on the war, they’ll figure that `maybe saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we managed to pull out of this whole godawful mess’. Once upon a time, defeating Hitler and his Axis hordes bent on world domination would have been considered `one decent thing’. Even soppy liberals figured that keeping a few million more Jews from going to the gas chambers was `one decent thing’. When fashions in victim groups changed, ending the Nazi persecution of pink-triangled gays was still `one decent thing’. But, for Spielberg, the one decent thing is getting one GI joe back to his picturesque farmhouse in Iowa.And Ryan would be far from the only -- or the worst -- example of a nihilistic WWII film from a Hollywood that during that period definitely took Leibovitz's advice and moved far beyond good and evil. But is Schindler a “moral and aesthetic disaster,” as Leibovitz claims above? That seems more like an attempt to deliberately gin-up controversy for its own sake. As always, please discuss in the comments below.(Oh, and for what it's worth, here's my choice for the very worst Holocaust-related movie from Hollywood. So far.) class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/12/14/schindlers-list-is-the-worst-jewish-film-of-all-time/ ]]>
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  • DVD: Super 8
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture This is kind of a strange film.  It's good—well written and directed, appealingly acted. It's just...  odd. Basically, sci-fi bigwig J. J. Abrams (Lost, Cloverfield, Fringe) has made an old Steven Spielberg film. Spielberg produced and helped develop the story. It's even set in 1979, for no reason I can think of except that that was the heart of Spielberg's glory days when he was making great films like E.T., Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark instead of "great" films like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.So in Super 8 we're in a small town and there's a bunch of outsider kids with bikes who make movies and deal with childhood tragedies and then some strange stuff happens but we concentrate on the human story instead of plunging right into the sci-fi and everyone ends up with their heads tilted back gazing up at the night sky, all very much ala Spielberg. Only, because Abrams is Abrams and not Spielberg, it's all a little darker than it should be and the touching resolution feels a little more tragic than uplifting and the childlike wonder stumbles over an understanding of evil that Spielberg simply has never developed.So...  I liked this film. I loved the kids. Elle Fanning was wonderful. The human story was really involving. The sci-fi stuff was fine. But when it was over, I was sort of left thinking, "Why did that happen?" By which I mean: why did J. J. Abrams make a Steven Spielberg film instead of a J. J. Abrams one? Strange. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2011/12/20/dvd-super-8/ ]]>
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  • THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll In many respects, it's Rashomon all over again. As Dennis Prager wrote, in an extraordinary early article on the film written this past fall (do yourself a favor and read the whole thing), your background and baggage determine how you'll view the movie:When watching "The Passion," Jews and Christians are watching two entirely different films.For two hours, Christians watch their Savior tortured and killed. For the same two hours, Jews watch Jews arrange the killing and torture of the Christians' Savior.And I'll go one better--for the conservative, no matter what his faith his, one admires that such an intensely religious film could be made today. For someone on the left, one fears just that, a point Prager makes as well:Jews also need to understand another aspect of "The Passion" controversy. Just as Jews are responding to centuries of Christian anti-Semitism (virtually all of it in Europe), many Christians are responding to decades of Christian-bashing -- films and art mocking Christian symbols, a war on virtually any public Christian expression (from the death of the Christmas party to the moral identification of fundamentalist Christians with fundamentalist Muslims). Moreover, many Jewish groups and media people now attacking "The Passion" have a history of irresponsibly labeling conservative Christians anti-Semitic.Or as Michael Medved wrote:In this context, many Jewish observers worry because The Passion of The Christ is such a powerful piece of cinematic storytelling: if Christian fervor led in the past to persecution of Jews, isn't the movie inherently dangerous because of the likelihood that it will inspire that sort of emotional reaction?The many Jews who react in this fearful manner to the prospect of deepening Christian commitment in the United States have allowed the past to blind them to the present--and the future. In today's America, the notably philo-Semitic tone of born-again Christianity makes it more common for Christians to support and defend their Jewish neighbors than to persecute them. American Christians emphasize the Jewish roots of Jesus more strongly than ever before--a trend very much echoed in Mel Gibson's movie. Contrary to the fears and expectations of some Jewish leaders, an agnostic, left-leaning college professor at an Ivy League university is much more likely than a Southern Baptist preacher to harbor anti-Jewish attitudes.I agree with Medved, but I think he's simplifying things to a certain degree. Obviously, I don't expect mobs from a Frankenstein movie to roam the night burning crosses and lynching Jews. But I do question what Gibson was thinking when he and his co-writer Benedict Fitzgerald were writing the screenplay.The film goes to great lengths to make Pontius Pilate a three-dimensional character. We see him away from the angry crowds, racked with, if not guilt, then at least concern of what his actions should be. His wife Claudia, is, if anything, an even more sympathetic figure, as she both softens his concerns, and brings a linen cloth to Mary and Mary Magdalen to wipe the blood of Jesus after His scourging.Why couldn't such scenes have been written for the Jewish priests of the film? Why are they portrayed as two-dimensional characters who all but twirl their Snidely Whiplash moustaches in anticipation of Christ's murder?Prager wrote:Jews need to understand is that most American Christians watching this film do not see "the Jews" as the villains in the passion story historically, let alone today. First, most American Christians -- Catholic and Protestant -- believe that a sinning humanity killed Jesus, not "the Jews." Second, they know that Christ's entire purpose was to come to this world and to be killed for humanity's sins. To the Christian, God made it happen, not the Jews or the Romans (the Book of Acts says precisely that). I agree with that entirely. If Gibson does as well, why couldn't he do something to soften the men doing God's will?Regarding the violence, it is a very violent film. I'm not sure how much of that reflects what Gibson felt audiences have come to expect of movies of all genres (ranging from slasher films, to cop films such as Mel's own Lethal Weapon movies, all the way to war films such as Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down), and how much he equates, as Andrew Sullivan wrote, Jesus' torture with the intensity of His beliefs and the importance of His mission. Sullivan:Would our sins have been expiated if Jesus had only been flogged twenty rather than forty times? (The Gospels do not tell us how brutal this process was. For some reason, the evangelists reduced the episode to a couple of sentences. Gibson makes the flogging the centerpiece of the whole film.) If Jesus had been roped to the cross and died of asphyxiation, rather than being nailed there, would we still not be saved? If the nails had been placed in his wrists rather than his palms, would we not have been redeemed? Of course some of these details are there in the Gospels; but Gibson's loving obsession with them, his creepy love of watching extreme violence, is nowhere found in the Gospels.Let's take a few clear examples. The Gospels do not tell us that the jailers of the High Priests beat Jesus to a pulp before he was even delivered to the Romans, or that he was thrown in chains over a prison wall, almost garrotting him. That's Gibson's sadistic embellishment - so that Jesus already has one eye shut from bruises before he is even tried. The Gospels do not say that the flogging of Jesus was so extreme and out of control that a centurion had to stop it because it had gone beyond any of the usual bounds of Roman punishment. That again is Gibson's invention. In the crucifixion scene, the Gospels do not say that in hoisting the cross, it fell down by accident so that Jesus was pinned headfirst between the cross and the earth, his crown of thorns thrust even deeper into his skull. Again, that's Gibson's interpolation. It's as if Gibson's saying that being crucified isn't bad enough - you've got be crushed face down by timber first if you are going to save all mankind.All that being said, perhaps I've been numbed by the ultraviolence of today's films, or if I had expected far worse from most critics' reviews. The violence is very, very intense and brutal, as is the bloodletting. But it's certainly watchable, given the story that surrounds it.On a much more minor note (pardon the pun), I'd also question the soundtrack. We're never going back to the era of overwrought 1950s Miklos Rozsa-style scores for biblical films, but the synthesized soundtrack to The Passion sounded virtually interchangeable with Peter Gabriel's score to The Last Temptation of Christ.All that said, The Passion is obviously an intense experience. Given Prager's opinion that Jews and Gentiles will see two entirely different movies, it's probably not surprising that I found myself uplifted at the end much more than I expected to be. I found its subtle final scene surprisingly powerful, especially in contrast to the blood and gore throughout the film that preceded it. I do think that this is a film that everyone should see, and I'm very glad I did.But obviously, your mileage may vary.(For my previous posts on the film, click here, and here. For my wife's very different take on the movie, click here.) class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2004/2/28/the-passion-of-the-christ/ ]]>
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  • Seizing the High Ground
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day, "Rangers Lead to Way at Pointe du Hoc," Austin Bay writes, noting that Pointe du Hoc on Normandy's northern coast was D-Day's 'high ground:'"Their heroic action exacted a stiff price. By June 8, two-thirds of the original assault force was killed or wounded.However, you wouldn't know too much about Pointe du Hoc if your historical sources were Cornelius Ryan's bestselling "The Longest Day" and the blockbuster movie of the same name directed by Daryl Zanuck.In his well-documented biography of Ranger commander Earl Rudder — "Rudder: From Leader to Legend" — historian Thomas M. Hatfield excoriated Ryan for repeatedly sacrificing "facts for dramatic effect."Scaling sea cliffs under fire is incomparably dramatic. However, the German guns were not in the casemates. "Sacrifice for nothing" became Ryan's ironic storyline.It is historically inaccurate, to the point of falsehood.In Hatfield's view, Ryan was not a professional historian but a man grinding out a book to meet a publication deadline. Ryan admitted he relied on one Ranger veteran for his entire D-Day account, a sergeant who manned an observation point over a mile from the most critical combat on Pointe du Hoc. Professional military historians seek multiple sources, to include after-action group interviews.Earl Rudder, who later became president of Texas A&M University, was a superb special operations commander, but a man not given to grandiose language.Ryan's interview of Rudder didn't produce the sizzle Ryan sought. Ryan asked Rudder where and when he arrived in Normandy. Rudder: "Omaha Beach, H-Hour." Ryan asked if Rudder had lost friends in the battle. Rudder: "Yes, many." Was Rudder wounded? "Yes, twice." Ryan appealed for a dramatic moment. Did any single incident stand out in Rudder's mind? "No."One moment? The battle for and on and over Pointe du Hoc was two-and-a-half days of endless suffering, death, violence and chaotic hell, yet Rudder and his Rangers had succeeded in achieving their critical mission.Hatfield noted that a man with solid Hollywood connections helped correct the record. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan held a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc. With Rudder's widow and 2nd Ranger vets at his side, Reagan said: "Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion, to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. ... These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the men who helped free a continent."Read the whole thing. Regarding the rangers at Pointe du Hoc, in his latest G-File, Jonah Goldberg writes:A few years ago, NR did a French riverboat cruise that included a day trip to Normandy. It was really an amazing experience and if you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it. Anyway at one point I wandered down by myself to the observation area at the top of Pointe du Hoc. If you didn't know, Pointe du Hoc is the highest spot between Utah and Omaha beaches and the Germans had artillery batteries there that could hit both beaches. When you're up there even a military know-nothing like me can immediately see its tactical significance. Army Rangers attacked and seized Pointe du Hoc in one of the most legendary tales of heroism in World War II. They had to scale these 100-foot cliffs while under fire. You can read all the details elsewhere. Anyway I walked down and looked down the cliff side on my right and my left, and then muttered a bit too loudly "How the [expletive deleted] did they do that?"About five minutes go by and one my fellow NR speakers, Bing West, wanders up. Now you should know something about Bing. The technical term for Bing is badass Marine. He led over a 100 combat patrols in Vietnam and — in his sixties — embedded with Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He studied war at RAND and Princeton and was a high-ranking official in Reagan's Defense Department. Suffice it to say, he has a significantly better grasp of military tactics than I do. Anyway, he didn't see me. But I watched him as he looked down both sides of the cliff, studying the path of the Rangers assault. And then, he muttered, a bit too loudly, "How the [expletive deleted] did they do that?"Flawed though its historical accuracy may be, as a piece of blockbuster Hollywood moviemaking, Darryl Zanuck's film version of the The Longest Day holds up pretty well -- I watched the Blu-Ray version a few months ago, and enjoyed it immensely. Made almost a half century before Saving Private Ryan, it was Hollywood's first big budget memorial to D-Day. Released in 1962, it was fortunately made before a sea change occurred amongst American liberals that caused them to despise the military -- or as Hollywood screenwriter and PJTV alumnus Lionel Chetwynd was famously asked by a studio executive when he proposed a D-Day-style picture, "Who's the real enemy?"Many years later, when Chetwynd was a successful Hollywood writer specializing in historical dramas, he told the Dieppe story during a Malibu dinner party — as a sort of tribute to the men who died there so people could sit around debating politics at Malibu dinner parties. One of the guests was a network head who asked Chetwynd to come in and pitch the story.“So I went in,” Chetwynd told me, “and someone there said, ‘So these bloodthirsty generals sent these men to a certain death?’“And I said, ‘Well, they weren’t bloodthirsty; they wept. But how else were we to know how Hitler could be toppled from Europe?’ And she said, ‘Well, who’s the enemy?’ I said, ‘Hitler. The Nazis.’ And she said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. I mean, who’s the real enemy?’”“It was the first time I realized,” Chetwynd continued, “that for many people evil such as Nazism can only be understood as a cipher for evil within ourselves. They’ve become so persuaded of the essential ugliness of our society and its military, that to tell a war story is to tell the story of evil people.”The "Greatest Generation" phrase was invented by Tom Brokaw to put a Band-Aid over the wounds caused by his fellow leftists' shameful treatment of the military starting in the Vietnam War. But for these men, the term was truly applicable.Especially when compared to today's generation. Or as Noah Rothman writes at Mediaite today:Even the president’s allies in the media have taken to shaming these apolitical soldiers for correcting the record and embarrassing the White House in the process. “Did Sergeant Bergdahl desert the Army or did the Army desert him?” asked an inquisitive post published in Think Progress. You can guess the answer.But the final act in this disgraceful production commenced on Friday when a number of world leaders gathered on the beaches of France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the end of World War II. There, the blood of tens of thousands of young Allied men was remembered in interpretive dance.Reminiscent of Olympic opening ceremonies, hundreds of performers descended on the beach where they gesticulated and gyrated in fashions supposedly evocative of the struggles endured by those soldiers who slogged across the battlefields of Europe. Playing the role of Meredith Vieira was NBC’s Todd, who helpfully explained to the audience that this or the other spasmodic display was actually representative of the 1943 invasion of Sicily or the French resistance movement. Who’d have guessed?The headline on Rothman's post is "D-Day Interpretive Dance Caps Off Month of Disrespect for Vets," which sounds like something out of the Onion, but as British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge famously noted, there's no way for any satirist to improve upon real life for its pure absurdity. And he said that a half century before MSNBC, the Obama administration, and its media defenders.And interpretive dancing on the beaches of Normandy.Update: In his commemoration to D-Day's 70th anniversary, Mark Steyn writes, "I was listening to President Obama explain yesterday from Brussels that the deserter he brought home from the Taliban this week was just a ‘kid’. In fact, he's 28 years old. I remember walking through the Canadian graves at Bény-sur-Mer a few years ago. Over two thousand headstones, but only a handful of ages inscribed upon them: 22 years old, 21, 20... But they weren't ‘kids’, they were men." class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/6/6/seizing-the-high-ground/ ]]>
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  • A Hollywood Dream Crushed at Normandy
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle A view from inside a gun bunker at Longues, NormandyNormandy.The word brings to mind many things, but for many of us it means but one thing: D-Day. Hollywood has taken the event and made it a continuing part of our collective lives.We have jumped into Normandy with the Band of Brothers, and shared the confusion, terror, loss, humor, and more that went with that jump. We've shared the day, and it's aftermath, through Tom Hanks' character in Saving Private Ryan. In addition to those blockbusters, you also have Ike: Countdown to D-Day, D-Day, the Sixth of June, D-Day The Total Story, and a host of lesser films.Yet, only one movie has focused on the day and captured the public's imagination: The Longest Day. This 1962 movie has moved from the big screen to being a staple of classic movie and history channels. In it, one sees the different pieces of the operation -- from both sides. It's treatment of the Germans is far more even-handed than one might expect, though it is clear who are the good guys and who is not. The cast is impressive, with Henry Fonda, Richard Burton, Robert Ryan, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Red Buttons, and many more. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/10/18/a-hollywood-dream-crushed-at-normandy/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
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  • The Depredations of Roger Ebert
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    PJ Media Armond White of the New York Press, detractors have noted, seems to think he is the only real film critic in America. They may well be right, but probably so is he, and the Press’ house contrarian deserves thanks from all self-respecting cinephiles for doing the one thing most (perhaps all) other American film critics either refuse to do or are incapable of doing. Whether one disagrees with White or not, and almost everybody does at one point or another, there is no question that, whatever he writes, he is always thinking about cinema. What it is. What is can do. What it means. This is not much in the tradition of American film criticism, which has mostly been the domain of frustrated literary or theater critics, and sometimes simply the cub reporter nobody knows what to do with. It is far more in line with the extraordinary legacy of French film criticism, especially the avatars of the nouvelle vague like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, who later became groundbreaking filmmakers in their own right.The great insight of the French film critics was that all cinema says something about cinema, even the usually dismissed movies like Hitchcock’s thrillers and Hollywood B-movies. But they did not hold simply that a B-movie could be great while an A-movie could be bad, but that all movies have something to say about cinema, and sometimes the B-movie can say something far more important and profound than an A-movie. White, it seems to me, writes according to this dictum, while most of his colleagues, if they ever encountered it, would probably have no idea what it means.Foremost among these is unquestionably Chicago Sun-Times columnist, longtime television star, and all around face, voice, and personification of American film criticism, Roger Ebert. The bulbous, disconcertingly cherubic Ebert is unquestionably the most famous and probably the most successful movie reviewer in American history. Recently stricken with cancer and horribly deformed by a botched operation, and embraced, as a result, by America’s high priestess of the banal, Oprah Winfrey, Ebert and his legacy are now on the verge of being all but canonized.It has been left to Armond White, unsurprisingly, to tell the truth about that legacy. “I do think it is fair to say,” /Film quotes him as saying, “that Roger Ebert destroyed film criticism.”Because of the wide and far reach of television, he became an example of what a film critic does for too many people. And what he did simply was not criticism. It was simply blather. And it was a kind of purposefully dishonest enthusiasm for product, not real criticism at all. ... I think he does not have the training. ... Ebert just simply happened to have the job. And he’s had the job for a long time. He does not have the foundation. He simply got the job. ... Often he wasn’t practicing criticism at all. Often he would point out gaffes or mistakes in continuity. That’s not criticism. That’s really a pea-brained kind of fan gibberish.White is, as usual, both undiplomatic and entirely correct. Indeed, his final point is eminently born out by Ebert’s scathing review of the silly but quite enjoyable Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, a film which the critical establishment, for unknown reasons, decided was a threat to human civilization. “Hello!” Ebert informs us in his standard eighth-grade prose, “you can't outrun an explosion,” as if this mattered at all in an action movie. Considering that Ebert claims (with his depressing predictability) that Citizen Kane is his favorite movie, one could just as easily point out that no one is actually in the room to hear Kane’s last words that set the whole film in motion. If someone says “Rosebud” in an empty room, does it still make a sound? Revenge of the Fallen is, of course, nothing like the equal of Citizen Kane, but the point is worth making, if only for the sake of illustrating the pedantic irrelevancy of Ebert’s observation. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/the-depredations-of-roger-ebert/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • Spielberg’s War: Saving Private Ryan & the Jewish Experience

    [1]4,297 words

    Saving Private Ryan is widely acknowledged to be one of the best war films ever made. Released in 1998, the film quickly became both a critical and commercial success, and was soon nominated for 11 Oscars – ultimately going on to win five (including both Best Picture and Best Director). Spielberg was praised for challenging both audience desensitization and the idea of World War II as some sort of “glamorous” or “romantic”[1] [2] affair, and said he “wanted to achieve reality”[2] [3] in his portrayal of the conflict. In particular, the first half-an-hour of the film has received especial praise for its brutally intense portrayal of modern warfare – and was reckoned to be so realistic that many PTSD-prone veterans were advised not to go see it.

    Furthermore, in a society increasingly marked by its effeminacy and the specter of the ‘nu-male’, the film offers a refreshing glimpse of the rugged masculinity we associate with the ‘greatest generation’ – e.g. ‘when men were men’ (Spielberg claimed the character of Captain Miller was based on his own veteran father).[3] [4] This makes the film one of the few examples of positive male role models in modern cinema, and it is no doubt for this reason that (despite Spielberg’s liberal leanings) the film remains a conservative favorite.

    However, regardless of the film’s technical proficiency and superficially conservative themes, we need to examine it a lot more critically – especially given Spielberg’s reputation as a curator of the public consciousness and the status of his films as ‘educational experiences’ – through which we can relive the worst episodes of our own history. Even many normie critics are puzzled by some of the film’s apparent contradictions – why is a film that ostensibly portrays the horrors of modern warfare bookended by nearly ten minutes of overt patriotism? Isn’t this a weird way to bookend a film that’s meant to portray war in an unheroic light?

    This is where it becomes useful to be a race realist. Those of us ‘in the know’ realize that we cannot ignore the glaring issue of Spielberg’s ethnic heritage. To be cursed with the gift of understanding is a heavy burden, but it also gives us an inimitable advantage over the normie film critic: we have an appreciation of the millennia of collective experience that undoubtedly feed into and inform Spielberg’s artistic expression – without which any analysis of his work is fundamentally incomplete.

    Now that we have the necessary analytical tools to deconstruct this film, let’s start digging into it a bit more critically. Though the film ostensibly strips away the aura of ‘heroics’ surrounding war, there are many other ways in which it subtly glorifies it. Yes, the film portrays modern warfare very realistically at times (“muh Omaha beach scene”). But as with all cinematic language, the issue is not just what the film shows, but what the film doesn’t show: i.e. the issue of ‘framing.’ The important thing is not that the suffering and brutality of war is shown, the important thing is where it is shown in the film, and what is shown before and after it.

    It’s a given of cinematic language that a narrative doesn’t start off where you want to end – there is some sort of journey involved in reaching the moral message you want your audience to imbibe. War films are no exception. They take you on an emotional journey. Think about their typical structure. Most (think of All Quiet on the Western Front) start off from a high point of idealism, then gradually move to a low point of cynicism and personal tragedy as the film progresses. Our heroes, persuaded of the rightness of their cause and captivated by visions of personal glory, rush to enlist, only to come face-to-face with the grim reality of war. The film sets up expectations of glory and heroism, only to subvert them over the course of the film.

    If Saving Private Ryan were genuinely an anti-war film, it would have followed a similar structure: it would have started by following the lives of our characters as war broke out, as they enlisted and went through basic training, as they reassured both themselves and their families of the rightness of their cause, only to see them mercilessly gunned down at the film’s climax, with the survivors questioning what it was all for.[4] [5]

    This is why most anti-war films do not start with their biggest set-piece battle – they finish with it. Saving Private Ryan essentially does the opposite. By having the most gruesome and realistic depictions of war at the beginning, Spielberg neatly turns the classic anti-war formula on its head. In most anti-war films, war is set up as good, only to be revealed as bad. In Saving Private Ryan the opposite happens: war is set up as bad, only for us to be gradually persuaded that it is good. If the film had just been trying to show us the innate cruelty of war, it would have remained on the beach and dwelt upon the suffering of the wounded and dying – it would never have left the beach, because there would have been no more story to tell.[5] [6]

    Instead, the Omaha Beach scene (which, if placed at the end of the film, would have caused us to be permanently repulsed at the brutality of mechanized warfare) simply serves to set up a film where war itself is ‘redeemed’. Spielberg has thus left himself more than enough time to challenge our initial perceptions in the film’s remaining two-and-a-half hours.[6] [7]

    But surely, I hear you say, the opening scene is just there to set the tone for the rest of the film? After all, a cool war movie has got to start with a cool battle scene – isn’t that standard cinematic practice? Well, yes. But what’s more telling is that the rest of the film doesn’t really follow the tone that’s been set. As I said, if the film wanted to emphasis the true horror of war, it would simply have remained on the beach. Instead, the camera quickly moves away and accompanies our heroes on a more traditional action-adventure narrative. And since our view of the war comes through the eyes of our characters, it’s only natural that their experience of war is our experience of it. We see nothing beyond what they see, and have nothing else to base our conclusions on. Thus, when the film moves away from the beach, the carnage there quickly slips from our minds.

    The drastic way in which the film departs from the tone it has set reveals the true purpose of the Omaha beach scene – to provide a sort of moral ‘momentum’ for the rest of the film. Again, Spielberg is very selective in what he shows and what he leaves out of the frame – he keeps the camera on the carnage of the battlefield as long as is needed to invest us in the narrative, and no longer. Despite the opening scene’s ostensible realism, the film’s cloyingly sentimental prologue has already been not-so-subtly trying to transfigure the fallen American soldiers as heroic warriors fighting for a righteous cause (remember that we must wade through five minutes of schmaltzy patriotism before we are even introduced to Tom Hanks’ character – yet another way in which Spielberg frames the opening scene), so we are naturally outraged when they are senselessly slaughtered on the beach. The point of the Omaha Beach scene is not just to get us to sympathize with their plight, it is to get us to subconsciously identify with their cause. Thus, when an American soldier falls, we feel the cathartic urge to take up the cause for which they died and continue the charge up the beach.

    The flipside of this subconscious connection with the plight and cause of the American soldier is a corresponding hatred for the faceless enemy who mercilessly guns him down. This leads us on to the second issue of framing: the dehumanization of the Germans. It is here that Spielberg’s sublimated racial animosities start to become evident. While the American soldiers are portrayed as courageous, heroic and self-sacrificial, the same is rarely true of their German counterparts.

    Consider also the way in which soldiers on both sides die. While American soldiers die in terrible pain while pathetically calling for their mothers or desperately trying to pass on notes to their loved one (i.e. in ways designed to elicit sympathy from us), German soldiers (perhaps sensing the moral qualms of the audience) invariable die obligingly and conveniently quickly. An anti-war film would emphasise the common humanity of soldiers under all flags, and the fact that they were ‘all in it together’ (think of the ‘Christmas Truce’ of 1914). Our hostility would thus be directed up the chain of command, against the ‘top brass’ that send men from both sides to their deaths.

    But Spielberg allows us no such easy target. The single-minded steadfastness of our protagonists (who seem utterly convinced as to the morality of their cause) leaves us just one outlet for our pent-up rage: the hapless soldiers on the other side of the frontline. The film’s internal logic remorselessly drives us to the conclusion that the German must be destroyed for our negative emotion to be released – we need them to die.

    Thus, the Germans become not people, but targets, to be gunned down like so many cardboard cutouts in a shooting gallery. The film basically becomes Skinner’s ‘operant conditioning’ in cinematic form: like Pavlov’s dog, we are trained (through the promise of emotional release) to metaphorically ‘shoot’ the German without even making the decision to do so – it becomes an unthinking reflex. The scene with Private Jackson in the bell tower thus assumes a more sinister meaning. When Jackson fixes a German in his crosshairs, we are not merely passive onlookers (Spielberg specifically noted that he “didn’t want … the audience to be spectators”[7] [8]) – we are emotionally present, and we will him to shoot. When he pulls the trigger, we are pulling it in our minds along with him.

    At this point, many people might be objecting – “so what if the film doesn’t include a German perspective, surely the story is told from an American point of view? Not every German soldier needs a ridiculously long backstory and an exaggerated death scene – it’s a movie!” I get it. After all, we have few moral qualms about seeing gunned down en masse in more traditional action flicks like Where Eagles Dare.

    However, the issue is, again, not merely the onscreen act of a German soldier being killed, but the way the act is framed. In Saving Private Ryan, by the time we see German soldiers being killed, Spielberg has been careful to build up such a sense of emotional impetus that we need a form of catharsis. Thus, when a German soldier is killed, it is not simply an act within the film, it is an act internal to our own subconsciousness as well – it has an effect in the real world.

    In Where Eagles Dare, the henchmen are simply ‘there’. We harbor no particular animosity towards them – they are merely hapless goons who must be gunned down for the hero to reach his goal. They are merely plot points in action. Crudely put, their deaths mean nothing to us, because there is no negative emotion to release. Consequently, they can have no external emotional effect on us.

    There is much more I could say on the dehumanization in the film, but would take it would take too long to express through the medium of the written word[8] [9], so for now I’ll restrict myself to focusing on just one of the film’s more disturbing subplots: that of Steamboat Willie and Upham. Unlike some of the other subtler methods we’ve talked about, this one is surface-level enough to disturb many of the film’s viewers.

    When we first meet Steamboat Willie, he is reduced to literally playing the fool as he disowns his leader and his country in an attempt to appease his captors. Spielberg is sure to bring the camera right in and revel in the pathetic pleading and humiliation of the German. But again, he is careful to frame the scene so as to elicit the reaction he wants. Steamboat Willie begging for his life, a sight that might otherwise have attracted our sympathy (after all, he was just following orders) is overshadowed by the still-fading screams of the group’s medic, Wade, who has just spent several minutes begging to be euthanized as he dies in agony. This sequence is thus a microcosm of the film’s emotional framing in general. The humiliation of the German is preceded by the suffering of the American, so the former is simply seen as justly-deserved ‘payback’ for the latter.

    Quite apart from this ritual dehumanization, though, is what the saga of Steamboat Willie represents: Captain Miller’s failure. Though “act of humanity”[9] [10] in freeing Steamboat Willie (against his better judgement) is ostensibly meant to convey the strength of his moral fiber even in the moral wilderness of war, this reading of the scene is confounded by the results that such an act reaps. When he gives into his humanity and frees the hapless soldier, we would reasonably expect that an act of goodwill will reap good consequences somewhere further down the line – perhaps Steamboat Willie will corner Miller at some future point, but decide to spare him. After all, isn’t this the basic lesson of moral reciprocity we have been taught since birth – ‘do unto others as you would have them do to you’?

    However, this is not what happens. Far from repaying Captain Miller’s compassion, Steamboat Willie is ultimately the one to strike him down. Thus, Miller’s act is transformed from one of kindness to one of naivety – and Steamboat Willie becomes a metaphor for the innate villainy of the German – who is apparently destined by his very nature to repay this act of mercy by stabbing his captor in the back as soon as he turns away. The German is thus stripped of one of the essential elements of humanity: moral reciprocity.

    This is where the character of Upham comes in. Though his subplot is ostensibly your typical redemption arc (he begins the film as timid and inexperienced, and after his cowardice causes him to fail his comrades, must summon up the courage to do the right thing), the specifics of his actions have disturbing implications for the moral message we take from the film. He does indeed have to learn to do what the right thing, but what Spielberg considers to be the right thing is rather distasteful to our gentile sensibilities. But again, it may be instructive to compare his story to what might it might have been in a normal war film. If Upham’s story arc really was about finding redemption through courage, it would have gone something like this:

    As in the film, Upham starts off as a timid and inexperienced character with little stomach for war. Thus, his nerve fails him when he is needed most, and he is forced to deal with the guilt of letting down his comrades. However, he redeems himself by saving his comrades during some retreat from advancing German forces, and gives his life to delay the advance long enough for his friends to get away.

    This is just an example – but it would far better convey the message that most people attribute to Upham’s subplot. Instead, his story arc consists of learning to quash his moral objections to committing war crimes. Many gentile critics have found the scene where he puts down Steamboat Willie similarly disturbing (‘morally dubious’ is a common understatement in reviews of the film), but they cannot deny the logic that has led the story to this point.

    Again, an act that might otherwise repulse us has already been framed – the agonizing death of Private Mellish[10] [11] that comes right before this scene has already stoked our desire for vengeance. Steamboat Willie was, of course, surrendering – the battle is essentially over by this point in the film, and his death accomplished next-to-nothing. Unlike the villains in Spielberg’s indictments of slavery and the Holocaust, he had committed no unforgivable act. But we find that we do not care. We demand that Upham pull the trigger. Like the intentions behind the real-life Kaufman and Morgenthau Plans, the German cannot be trusted even in defeat – and his existence is ultimately too dangerous to be allowed to continue.[11] [12]

    Mellish thus becomes the counterpart to Captain Miller – he ‘succeeds’ where Miller ‘failed’ – and at the same time redeems himself for persuading Miller to spare Steamboat Willie in the first place. In many ways, he is the most important character in the film, because it is through him (rather than the film’s comparatively superficial protagonist) that Spielberg speaks most clearly.

    Finally, we come to the central objective of the film – the eponymous Private Ryan himself. What does this character represent? Here a study of the rest of Spielberg’s oeuvre may prove beneficial. It is notable that, while Spielberg’s other two wartime films (Empire of the Sun and Schindler’s List) both depict the alleged atrocities committed against non-white peoples by Western nations (internment of the Japanese and the Holocaust, respectively), this seems not to be the subject matter of Saving Private Ryan – which appears to tell a smaller and more personal story. Or does it?

    It seems odd that the same film that has been at pains to tell us that the sacrifice of 22 men to save one general was an unacceptable loss also tells us that the deaths of dozens of soldiers are worth it to save one lowly Private. The only way to justify this rate of exchange mathematically is to assume that Ryan’s life is simply worth more. But what World War II objective of negligible strategic value could Spielberg wish us think was worth sacrificing so many men over, if only so they could assuage their own guilt? The parallels with Spielberg’s own co-ethnics are too tempting to ignore. Ryan thus becomes an analogy for the Jewish people themselves, and the mission to save him simply a microcosm of the cause that makes the entire war moral in the first place – the task of ‘saving’ the Jewish race and destroying their historic enemy.[12] [13] By reaffirming our faith in the rightness of the mission, the filmmaker is reaffirming our faith in the rightness of the war.[13] [14]

    The film thus essentially becomes a Jewish religious narrative.[14] [15] What other message can we take away than that the apparent purpose of gentile lives is to be sacrificed en masse to save the Chosen People? Yet this was the real impetus behind World War II. We did not have to go to war against our European brothers – we could have made peace with Hitler in 1939 (who himself tried to do so several times before and after the outbreak of war).[15] [16] In truth, it was not Hitler that was set on war, but Churchill.

    Seen in this light, one of the more personal moments in the film – Miller’s injunction to Ryan at the film’s ending to “earn this” – becomes an interesting look into the Jewish psyche: it reveals the complex relationship they have with their experience of World War II. Unlike many of the world’s other ethnic groups, the Jewish people have existed as a diaspora for the last few millennia. Thus, one of the overriding drives in the Jewish mentality is the need to maintain their cohesion in a hostile culture – and one of the best ways of doing this is through shared experience. In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, around 70% of U.S. Jews said commemorating the events of World War II was an essential criterion of Jewishness (above even Jewish ancestry).[16] [17] This is why their relationship with the Holocaust is so complex – because, in a perverse sort of way, they need it.

    The Holocaust also has a soteriological dimension – it has become a bizarre sort of post-Christian narrative, in which the Holocaust is the sacrifice (etymologically, the ‘burnt offering’) the Jewish people make to become worthy to rule over the goyim.[17] [18]

    Miller’s injunction to Ryan thus assumes a dual meaning – Spielberg is both reminding his co-ethnics of the one of the foundations of their identity and exhorting them to become worthy of all the suffering they endured at the hands of the German – to claim their rightful inheritance as the Chosen Race. It also makes a mockery of Spielberg’s claim to ‘commemorate’ the death of all those U.S. servicemen in any meaningful sense – in his worldview, their sacrifice was only meaningful in that it was made on behalf of the Jewish race.

    But why then, if this film is about the Jewish experience, is it told from a gentile perspective, and not from a Jewish one? This method of storytelling is nothing new for Spielberg. It is no coincidence that both of his definitive depictions of the Holocaust and slavery (Schindler’s List and Amistad) are told not from the perspective of their victims, but of high-status gentiles intimately connected with their perpetration.[18] [19]

    But these conscientious whites are the very people that Spielberg wants to recruit – he realizes that only the European has the power to effect change in today’s world. Spielberg is realistic about the political process – he recognizes that, for all the moral efficacy of the tale of the underdog, they cannot ultimately effect change on a world-historical scale – they need a patron first.

    This is also why Spielberg, in many ways, does not complete his story – we do not ultimately know if Ryan lived a good life, if Miller’s sacrifice was worth it. Through this final withholding of catharsis, the morally-sensitive white is forced to seek resolution for themselves, in the real world. Spielberg wishes us to be the authors of change.[19] [20]

    And how does Spielberg wish us to seek catharsis? By atoning for the sins of our ancestors. Spielberg’s films should thus be taken not only as commentaries on the Jewish experience, but also as ‘instruction manuals’ on how their gentile ‘allies’ are to act. It is by watching these films that the virtue-signaling white knows what feasance is required of them to meet their racial obligations and relieve their burden of hereditary guilt. Spielberg thus hopes to recruit us into furthering our own dispossession.[20] [21]

    I hope this analysis has been useful in exposing some of the more insidious anti-white themes present in today’s popular culture. Like so many normies out there, it would be so easy to just sit back and unthinkingly digest all the prolefeed society throws our way. Sometimes, like Cypher in the Matrix, we wish we could go back to that life. But we are called to a higher mission, a higher purpose – the task of reawakening our people. And this time, no amount of propaganda will divide us.

    Notes

    [1] [22] Paul Vercammen, “Spielberg aims to tell truth about war in ‘Saving Private Ryan’,” CNN, July 23, 1998, http://edition.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9807/23/private.ryan/ [23]

    [2] [24] Jeff Gordinier, “Saving Private Ryan: Message in a Battle,” Entertainment Weekly, July 24, 1998, http://ew.com/movies/1998/07/24/saving-private-ryan-message-battle/ [25];

    [3] [26] Ibid.

    [4] [27] Naturally, pacifism (as well as being logically and morally incoherent) is not a message I endorse, but a film with an openly pacifistic message would be least be honest and transparent as to its intentions (and could be logically met and refuted). Spielberg, regrettably (but perhaps inevitably), is not.

    [5] [28]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEKSCwA38L0 [29]

    [6] [30] We must remember that the Omaha Beach scene, intense as it is, takes up only 20 minutes of screen time – and yet it is the only thing most people mention when talking about the film.

    [7] [31] Roger Ebert, “Private Spielberg,” RogerEbert.com, July 19, 1998, https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/private-spielberg [32]

    [8] [33] If anyone is interested in a deeper analysis of these themes, check out Rob Ager’s analysis of the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4FeyONCtfc [34]

    [9] [35] Paul Bullock, “Saving Captain Miller: Spielberg, Private Ryan and the Morality of War,” Medium, May 14, 2017, https://medium.com/from-director-steven-spielberg/saving-captain-miller-spielberg-private-ryan-and-the-morality-of-war-55588de70663 [36]

    [10] [37] Contrary to popular belief, the soldier that Upham puts down is not the same one that who kills Mellish, but it is perhaps not a coincidence that Spielberg chose to cast such similar-looking stony-faced and middle-aged men with shaved heads in both roles, rather than the youths with full heads of hair and familiar cuts who assuredly constituted the bulk of the Waffen SS by 1944 (still a subject of some controversy among re-enactors and history buffs) – a blank face is much easier to project our own fears onto.

    [11] [38] It is also important to note where Saving Private Ryan comes in Spielberg’s filmography – unlike his previous two films, which served as indictments of Western atrocities, Spielberg here takes things a step further by justifying the killing of Germans. This marks a crucial shift in his thematic substance.

    [12] [39] Though obviously Matt Damon is a model exemplar of the Aryan race, and is not very Jewish-looking (I tried to do some digging on any suspect ancestry, but to no avail), I suspect this is simply a clever ploy by Spielberg to dress up an otherwise unappealing imperative in a familiar aesthetic – hence the Nordic-looking Damon.

    [13] [40] Spielberg is of course far too intelligent to believe that World War II was about securing our ‘freedoms’, and other such moralistic cant.

    [14] [41] The way in which Private Jackson strikes down soldiers from above, like some Valkyrie from Germanic legend, while calling on the divine for help give his actions an explicitly religious quality.

    [15] [42] Richard Tedor, Hitler’s Revolution (Chicago, 2013), 131-136.

    [16] [43]http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/chapter-3-jewish-identity/ [44]

    [17] [45]http://faithandheritage.com/2016/06/the-blasphemy-of-judeo-christianity-and-the-heresy-of-the-holocaust/ [46]

    [18] [47] Biguenet, op. cit.

    [19] [48] Bullock, op. cit.

    [20] [49] This is also the reason Spielberg frames his film with such patriotic imagery – though, as a Jew, he obviously feels uncomfortable in a homogeneous society with a strong sense of national identity, it is his hope that he can weaponize a ‘toothless’ patriotism against its more muscular variants. In the same way, the film’s positive portrayal of masculinity is simply a way of weaponizing the instincts of the traditionally-minded against themselves.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The War Movie

    [1]4,780 words

    While Western expansion in the United States really started when English settlers travelled overland from Massachusetts to Connecticut in 1635, a true film of the Western genre is only set west of the 100th meridian in the years between the Confederate surrender at Appomattox and the coronation of Edward VII. While warfare has existed since time immemorial, a true War Movie is only set between 1933 and 1945, during the time of Hitler and the Second World War.

    What makes War Movies different from other movies about war is that they tend to have a sense of moral certainty. This moral certainty is misplaced, but I’ll get to that later. Other movies about war don’t have moral certainty – like Sergeant York (1941), War Horse (2011), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Hurt Locker (2008), and Platoon (1986). Also, these movies are more often about man versus “The System” than anything else. Other movies about war, such as The Rough Riders (1997), venture close to being a Western. Movies about the Napoleonic Wars drift into “romances for the ladies” territory. Along the lines of the conflicts of the early 1800s, War and Peace (1956) is more a story about a spiritual struggle of one man in the context of Napoleon’s conquest of Moscow than anything else.

    The War Movies that I think are outstanding include The Longest Day (1962), The Victors [2] (1960), Das Boot (1981), Downfall (2004), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Dunkirk [3] (2017), and Waterloo Bridge (1940). The last movie is an extended flashback to the First World War, but it starts in the Second World War. What I feel make these movies the best of the genre is that the morality is kept in the background of the story, and we see how people behave valorously under pressure, or at least we see what we hope people do under pressure. The Thin Red Line (1998) is a forgotten masterpiece. After serving in the military in various leadership positions, I discovered just how much I sympathized with the Battalion Commander [4] (played by Nick Nolte) in his struggle with an ineffective subordinate upon a second viewing. I didn’t like Nolte’s character on my first viewing.

    There are four types of War Movies:

    • The brave English and their brave German foe: These films have a sense of nostalgia about them. They often take place during the Battle of the Atlantic, such as The Cruel Sea [5] (1953) and In Which We Serve (1942), as well as Sink the Bismarck! (1960). Movies about the Battle of Britain also fit into this category. These films are like a modernized, fictionalized jousting tournament among the armored, mounted knights of old. The Second World War’s Bolshevik rape gangs are hidden, and the smoldering piles of corpses among the bomb-ruined cities of Central Europe, far from the front lines, are never shown. The tragedy of it all, however, isn’t masked, as in the scene in The Cruel Sea where the captain orders a depth charge attack [5] on a U-Boat submerged under shipwrecked men in the water. The moral dilemma is still there. For example, Sink the Bismarck!’s Fleet Commander, Günther Lutjens (Karel Štěpánek), is played with too much hubris (moral dilemma), but he still has a great pre-battle speech to the crew of his crippled ship (brave German foe):

    Meanwhile, let me remind you that our guns have not been damaged. This is still the most powerful ship afloat. I have in my hand a message, addressed to the entire crew. “All Germany is at your side. Your gallantry is an inspiration to our people. You will forever occupy a place of honor in the history of the Third Reich.” This message is signed by the Führer.

    These movies are looking backwards; they are Horatio Nelson’s men of iron behaving valiantly in a twentieth-century setting. But these valiant men are serving a doomed empire that bumbled into war.

    • The Pacific War: Initially, these movies were cheap propaganda films. Bataan (1943) is a better-made film along those lines. Later, War Movies in the Pacific fleshed out the Japanese characters a great deal more. The best of them is Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).
    • The European Theater of Operations: These are usually morality plays with Hitler, the Nazis, and the Germans as a stand-in for the devil. These films can be terribly one-sided. Bomber pilots are brave, but nobody really gives a damn about the Germans who are being bombed. In this view, such civilians are beneath contempt. The Nazis are also depicted as cartoon villains. In War Movies, National Socialist ideals are never seriously studied. All the “cool kids [6]” hate the Nazis, such as in Casablanca (1942). In Enemy at the Gates (2001), the screenwriters awkwardly wedge the “Germans as evil” element into the story of the Battle of Stalingrad so badly that it appears as an afterthought in what would otherwise be a stellar film.
    • The Holocaust Flick: There are many Holocaust movies. Of these, I have only watched one, and we’ll get to that later. The morality of these films is spread on the audience with a trowel.

    Spielberg’s War Movies

    The most important maker of War Movies today is Steven Spielberg. While there are a great many War Movies that are in some way better than Spielberg’s, his are the most important because the moralizing is so efficiently packaged. Additionally, the Jewish metapolitical agenda is so artfully done that one doesn’t see the brainwashing while it is going on. Spielberg’s War Movies include the following:

    1941 (1979)
    Empire of the Sun (1987)
    Schindler’s List (1993)
    Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    Then there are the action-adventure films featuring Nazis, Arabs, and the Vichy French as cartoonish, anti-Semitic villains who exist solely to be chopped up, melted by supernatural forces, shot, or dispatched by some other spectacular form of death. They are:

    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

    On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, Empire of the Sun rates somewhere around a 4, and there is nothing more to say about it. The next most important of Spielberg’s War Movies is 1941. There is a bit of the Jewish view of the war here. It is an irreverent comedy along the lines of Animal House (1978). Both movies star John Belushi. In this movie, the Japanese threat is downplayed. Resisters of racial integration are mocked, and the Zoot Suit Riots [7] are portrayed in a comedic light rather than the foreshadowing of the disastrous 1965 Immigration Act that they were. This is comedy that supports Jewish aims, both during the war and after. Jews don’t care about any enemy of America other than enemies of the Jews. During the Second World War, Germany and Italy were not a threat to the United States in the same way Japan was, but they were a threat to Global Jewry. Jews also support racial integration and non-white immigration while ignoring or downplaying the costs (i.e., the Zoot Suit Riots).

    [8]

    New York Times cartoon from November 1, 2018: The organized Jewish community only cares about Jewish Enemies, not American enemies. American troops “enroll [sic] to fight in the Middle East” rather than defend the Mexican border from an illegal immigrant caravan.

    Schindler’s List: Scary Tales for Naughty Jewish Children

    Schindler’s List is the definitive War Movie of the Holocaust genre. And it’s the only Holocaust movie I’ve watched. The plot is as follows:

    1. Jews are moved to the Krakow ghetto. The main characters are introduced.
    2. Oscar Schindler (Liam Neeson) gets Jews in the ghetto to invest in his operation. This is a subtle dig against Gentiles. Schindler must get investment capital from Jews to get an idle factory running instead of Polish or German investors.
    3. The SS moves in, builds a concentration camp for essential workers, and then liquidates the ghetto at Krakow.
    4. Schindler’s factory becomes a haven for the Jews.
    5. The movie’s climax occurs when a train carrying Jewish women and children is accidentally sent to Auschwitz, and Schindler saves them.
    6. The Soviets arrive and free the Jews. Schindler is declared “righteous among the nations.”

    Schindler’s List is interesting in that one sees how Jewish cultural holidays such as Passover and Purim developed. These holidays are not about a message from a particular god or some other spiritual matter; instead, they commemorate Jewish-Gentile conflicts. The religious aspect of the Holocaust is evident even in the opening scene. Spielberg shows a modern-day Jewish ritual in color, and then there is a jump cut to Jews being put into the Krakow ghetto in black-and-white. Schindler’s List is thus the Book of Esther and the flight from Egypt in Exodus, repackaged in 1940s Eastern Europe. It is a work of religious mythology, not history.

    There are some unpleasant details that must be discussed here, namely the religious aspects of Schindler’s List and the Holocaust, rather than the historical truths of the matter. Technology has changed since 1993, when Schindler’s List was released, and now one can watch actual mass killings[1] [9] filmed by ISIS, Chechens, or others from the comfort of one’s couch using a smartphone. In light of that new, horrible reality, when I watched Schindler’s List I couldn’t help but see it as a semi-pornographic scary story meant to scare naughty Jewish children.

    The scene depicting the night of the ghetto’s liquidation conveys the biggest sense of this. In it, after the buildings have been cleared of those who leave cooperatively, German soldiers with stethoscopes listen through the walls of the buildings to locate hidden Jews. There is even a Jew shown hiding under a bed, like a cartoon character. There are Jews in fake wardrobes and hidden chambers – but they are all killed while classical German piano music plays in the background. The “”swallowed diamond” story [10] and the “kid hidden in the latrine” story are both presented in other parts of the movie. Eat your veggies, kids, or the goyim will shoot you!

    There is another ugly detail that needs to be discussed. The ISIS snuff films demonstrate the key problem in mass killings: disposing of the bodies. ISIS carries out their mass executions after herding their marks into an already-dug mass grave, or else they shoot their victims on a riverbank and dump the bodies into the water.

    In Schindler’s List, body removal is avoided altogether. The logistics of removing lots of bodies from apartments – taking them down the stairs, into the street, and finally carrying them to a mass grave – is not shown, except for one scene, where we see the decomposed corpses being piled and burned in an open funeral pyre. The implausibility of muddy half-skeletons burning in such a way makes this reviewer think that the purpose of the scene is to explain why there isn’t a mass grave of Jews who were killed in Krakow in 1943 to be found (although this isn’t to imply Jews in Krakow in 1943 weren’t treated unjustly in many circumstances at the time).

    And finally, Schindler’s List isn’t an examination of why the Holocaust happened. Indeed, none of the mainstream “lessons of the Holocaust” films ever really impart any wisdom regarding this. An example is how the screenwriters wrote the speech [11] that Hauptsturmführer Amon Göth’s (Ralph Fiennes) delivers to his men just before they liquidate Krakow’s Jews:

    Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now, the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history, and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great, so-called, told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. They came with nothing. And they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening, those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history.

    If Jews had made such great achievements in business, science, art, and so on, why shoot them? Schindler’s List is fundamentally a blank on that count. As with all War Movies, the moralizing narrative begins with the Nazis already in power and the Jews and their other adversaries on the run. There is no discussion of the Jewish-led Communist revolutions that took place across Europe after the First World War, nor the Bolshevik attack on Poland between 1919 and 1921. There is nothing about the mistreatment of Germans in Eastern Europe after the war, the German hyperinflation that was created in part by Jews in the Weimar Republic’s Treasury Department, or any other factor that made the Nazis a viable option for German voters. There is also no discussion of the tremendous tensions between Poles and Jews. When Poland was part of the Russian Empire, it was given over by the Czars to a Jewish mercantile class who exploited[2] [12] the population.

    [13]

    Spielberg’s imagery is highly anti-goyim. Above, we see what could be a German, Polish, or even Iowan farm boy in a uniform looking dully at a Jew. Suddenly, he pulls out a pistol and shoots him. Below are two blond goyim, one probably Polish and one German, screaming madly with hate.

    Saving Private Ryan

    Spielberg’s most important War Movie, however, is Saving Private Ryan. When the movie first came out, it was highly praised by critics and viewers alike. It is considered to be realistic, gritty, and patriotic. Much of the feel of the film is influenced by the work of the 1990s pop-historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, who was then at the height of his career and fame. Throughout that decade, Ambrose published a number of bestselling books, including D-Day, Band of Brothers, and Citizen Soldiers.[3] [14] These books portrayed the Americans as something like plastic demigods who were fighting for a righteous cause. Ambrose was the film’s historical advisor.

    Due to Saving Private Ryan’s supposed realism, this writer heard stories of Second World War veterans (many of whom were still living in 1998) walking out of the theater, weeping or something like that, during the vicious opening scene depicting Omaha Beach. I even recall the story of a convicted vandal who had desecrated a veteran’s monument somewhere in Middle America who was forced to watch this movie as part of his sentence.

    Since so many people have already remarked upon this film, some of what I write will be a repackaging of other’s ideas intermixed with my own. Some of these ideas came from the old Alternative Right Website that Colin Liddell and Andy Nowicki edited before it was bonfired by Richard Spencer in 2013, although I can’t remember precisely which articles, and they don’t seem to be online anymore.

    The plot is as follows:

    1. Muh Omaha Beach Scene.
    2. The Chief of Staff of the Army orders that Ryan should be taken off the front after he discovers that Ryan’s brothers have all been killed in action.
    3. Captain Miller assembles his squad to save Private Ryan.
    4. Captain Miller’s squad attacks a machine-gun nest. The Americans take a German as a POW, but release him. This event sets up other plot elements.
    5. Captain Miller’s squad finds Private Ryan. Ryan refuses to be taken off the front line, setting up the final battle.
    6. During the final battle, most of the members of the squad are killed; Captain Miller is killed by the POW he had ordered released.
    7. The main force of the American Army arrives from Normandy Beach in the nick of time, and Private Ryan is finally saved.
    [15]

    Prisoners killed in the Muh Omaha Beach scene: Saving Private Ryan conveys the same metapolitical – “kill a Nazi” – concept as in The Blues Brothers, except with better cinematography and special effects.

    [16]

    Tech 5 Upham kills the prisoner he saved earlier in the film at the machine-gun nest.

    There is a great deal of military fakery in this film. For example, orders to “save” Private Ryan of the 101st Airborne Division wouldn’t be carried out in the way it is shown here. The orders would have gone from the Chief of Staff, through the chain of command, and down to Private Ryan’s direct commanding officer. This wouldn’t have been a major technical challenge, since Airborne divisions jump along with their artillery, clerks, quartermasters, lawyers, radiomen, doctors, and headquarters staff, and these units are expected to send and receive important messages from Headquarters – but ignoring this fact allows the story and its message to be expressed better.

    Saving Private Ryan is a glorification of war, not its opposite, as one supposes. For further reading on that regard, I suggest this Counter-Currents article [17]. Some of that article’s ideas are remarkably similar to YouTube reviews of the film, here [18] and here [19]. They go a bit further than the article in that they point out something which one really doesn’t see upon a first viewing – namely, that Saving Private Ryan encourages war crimes. This refers to scenes depicting the beating or torturing of unarmed prisoners of war, as well as shooting enemy soldiers after they have already clearly surrendered.[4] [20]

    The movie also demonizes and dehumanizes the German soldiers through several filmmaking tricks. Germans get shot down like targets at a shooting range, and are not shown to feel or express pain. Their deaths are shown at a distance, or through smoke and haze. The Germans run like rats in a trench, surrender quickly, and cower in fear. When seen up close, they are depicted as hard-faced, older men. In this regard, this film is propaganda – skilled propaganda, but just as crude as any poster showing a gorilla wearing a Pickelhaube [21].

    Captain Miller’s Squad

    Part of what makes the War Movie unique in relation to other movies about war is a consequence of the training, doctrine, and technology of the time they are depicting. In the case of films set during the Second World War, this change in training and technology meant that a squad could operate independently, equipped with a radio and various types of weapons. As a result, the infantry squad has come to be the perfect element to focus on for a good story. The wide range of equipment and skills that were present in a typical Second World War-era squad allow for a variety of combinations in teamwork, tools, and skills to be shown. A squad is also small enough that the audience can remember who the different characters are, yet big enough to include a wide range of personalities.

    In a movie set during the Civil War, all the soldiers in an infantry squad of that time would have been carrying the exact same weaponry and all had the same role in battle: stand, shoot, reload, shoot . . . and so on. Therefore the action in those types of movies usually centers on the characters in the Regimental Field and Staff Company, i.e. the Colonel, the Sergeant Major, the Adjutant, and so on. Likewise, in a medieval European setting, a war story is typically centered on a knight and his squire, pages, and so forth – not on the ranks of longbow-men.

    Thus, in Saving Private Ryan, we have a squad – but it’s really more of what is nowadays called a  Special Forces A-Team. An A-Team is commanded by a Captain, and his soldiers are higher-ranking noncommissioned officers (NCOs). An infantry squad is commanded by a Staff Sergeant or a Sergeant. The Saving Private Ryan squad’s NCO-in-Charge is a Sergeant First Class; a person more senior would otherwise be in an infantry squad, but is the right rank for an A-Team. There is also a translator and a medic, which are skilled positions in an A-Team, but not in a regular infantry squad. Combining the attributes of an A-Team with a regular Second World War-era infantry squad allows the storyteller a broader latitude to get the message out.

    The Saving Private Ryan squad in detail, from a critical perspective, is as follows:

    Captain Miller (Tom Hanks): Being named “Miller” is important, as it could be of WASP or German origin, or some combination of the two. He is also a Pennsylvanian, a place where WASPs and Germans are highly intermixed. This is also the part of the United States which is the most ideologically moderate. Captain Miller thus represents Middle America.

    Sergeant First Class Horvath (Tom Sizemore): He serves as the NCO to provide realism. His death ups the emotional intensity

    Private Jackson (Barry Pepper): Jackson is a Bible-verse quoting Appalachian. He is not ideological and believes in the mission. His death also ups the emotional intensity.

    Private Caparzo (Vin Diesel): He represents unnecessary sentimentality, and his death ups the intensity.

    Tech 4 Wade (Giovanni Ribisi): As a medic, his presence allows the viewers to see the horribly wounded on Omaha Beach. Although he is unarmed due to his role, Wade strangely takes a forward role in the attack on the machine-gun nest. His agonizing death anesthetizes the audience to the fact that, afterwards, the squad tortures a prisoner of war and denies him water, even though he is doing hard work, and nearly kill him in cold blood.

    Private Reiben (Edward Burns): He is from Brooklyn, New York, and is possibly Jewish. He believes in the mission and is very eager to kill the German POW.

    Tech 5 Upham (Jeremy Davies): Upham wears the patch of the 29th Infantry Division – a unit that, both then and now, is part of the Virginia National Guard. However, the Upham name in America originates among the Yankee Puritans of New England. One of Wisconsin’s early political leaders was Don Alonzo Upham, born in Vermont. While Tec 5 Upham is not an infantryman, he was on Omaha Beach, as evinced by his captured German helmet. He is upper class, skilled, and knows several languages.

    Private Mellish (Adam Goldberg): He is a Jew and is open about it. His death is a metapolitical message to ethnonationalist Jews, and is in fact the metapolitical point of the movie.

    The Death of Private Mellish

    Saving Private Ryan is unique in that the big battle takes place at the beginning of the film, but there is also something else different about it: the climax of Saving Private Ryan is shifted. One would think the climax would come when Captain Miller’s squad meets Private Ryan and saves him, but instead, the squad meets Ryan during a point in the story where the tension is still rising. As a result, the plot demands one more big battle. In this fight, the two key characters – from a Jewish metapolitical perspective – move to center stage.

    In the lead-up to the final battle, Captain Miller positions Private Mellish and Corporal Henderson (Maximilian Martini) in a house with a machine gun. Tech 5 Upham’s job is to run ammunition to the various defensive positions. As the battle rages and the movie draws toward its climax, Private Mellish ends up alone, out of ammunition, and in a fight to the death [22] with a hard-faced soldier of the Waffen-SS. At first Mellish cries out for Upham, but as the fight becomes more intense, he cries out for help to Private Reiben – the soldier who could be Jewish. Meanwhile, Upham is unable to find the courage to climb the stairs and save Mellish. When the knife fight ends with Mellish dead, Upham and the SS soldier look at each other in the stairwell, shrug, and then each go their own way.

    Since Saving Private Ryan is fiction, Spielberg could have had the scene play out in any number of ways, but he chose the one that has the biggest Jewish ethnonationalist impact. Upham, the upper-class Yankee who knows several different languages and comes from highly skilled white-collar jobs, doesn’t save the Jewish Mellish, although it would have been very easy for him to do so. Additionally, although he is a clumsy guy, Upham has been as brave a soldier as any – landing on Omaha Beach, traveling with the squad, and running ammo under fire. His courage only fails him when he has to save a Jew. Furthermore, when he captures the Germans at the end of the battle, Upham only shoots the one whom he had saved from summary execution, while the other Germans are let go. Upham thus represents America’s political and social elite that are of Yankee extraction. They will shoot an enemy who personally betrayed them, but aren’t interested in “saving Jews.” It thus reflects the fact that the biggest ethnic conflict in North America is that of Yankees versus Jews.

    A Green Light for Cruelty in Iraq?

    Saving Private Ryan came out within the span of the average single enlistment of an American soldier who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, specifically from the time of the film’s release until 9/11 and the ensuing wars. Thus, young men who were in the service during the invasion of Iraq had surely all seen the film and attempted to imbibe the “lessons” from it. One officer in the military at the time remarked to this writer that the ethical issues surrounding Captain Miller’s attack on the machine-gun nest were often discussed; however, they were only discussed in part. The question was if Miller gave the correct order to attack the nest in the first place. Is it one’s duty in war to accomplish one’s narrow mission, or to do additional things to try to help the end the war more quickly? The treatment of the prisoner at the machine-gun nest, or the more generalized shooting of unarmed Germans throughout the film, was not discussed, however.

    [23]

    From competent to cruel? Did Saving Private Ryan contribute to a culture of cruelty in America’s armed forces prior to the Iraq War?

    It might be possible that the scandals and cruelty practiced by the US military in the opening months of the Iraq War were partially the result of the messages soldiers received from Saving Private Ryan. Consider this: Between 1991 and 1998, the United States deployed troops to a great many places. In those places, American troops behaved well within the bounds of traditional Christian chivalry. The Kosovo War occurred after Saving Private Ryan’s release, but it mostly played out through an air campaign and international diplomacy – not direct action by ground forces. On the other hand, the Iraq War took place after events that paralleled the opening of the Second World War: There was a “sneak attack” like Pearl Harbor, and Saddam Hussein (at least how he was depicted in the media) was a great stand-in for Hitler.

    Americans in Iraq were far crueler towards the Iraqis than they were towards the Haitians or Bosnians. I personally knew men who served in Haiti – all of them had dealt with rioting Haitians at some point, but handled the situations calmly. In Iraq, the atmosphere was much tenser, and there were several critical months between March and August 2003 when Iraq could have been as calm a deployment as Bosnia, had the Americans bothered to keep the electricity running in Baghdad during that time. Instead, the Jewish-centered, hate-filled narrative of Saving Private Ryan, as well as those of hundreds of other War Movies, allowed the Iraqis that American soldiers encountered – who were often civilians with no particular ideology who posed no threat to them – to stand in for the “Nazis.” As a result, the lives of many Iraqis and Americans came to an untimely end because of the mythology the Americans had imbibed from the War Movie genre. Ultimately, War Movies are highly entertaining, but be mindful of the message you might subconsciously receive from them.

    Notes

    [1] [24] It is well known that mass killers are not always ashamed of their killings; often, quite the reverse. ISIS’ killings are legendary, but Czech partisans and their Bolshevik allies also filmed mass killings of Germans at the end of the Second World War. In this film [25], we see the mass murder of Germans in Prague. After they are shot, a truck drives over their legs. This leads me to think, why didn’t the Nazis make films of Jews being gassed in the showers at Auschwitz? If ISIS and Edvard Beneš’ government filmed their mass murders, why didn’t the Nazis do so also?

    [2] [26] In his book Jewish Supremacism, David Duke writes: “Jewish historian Edward Bristow writes about the world prostitution network and clearly shows the prominent Jewish role. It is not hard to conceive of the reaction of many Eastern Europeans to the Jewish enslavement and degradation of tens and thousands of Christian girls. Bristow reveals that the center of the Jewish trade in Gentile women from Poland and surrounding regions was a small town called Oswiecim, which the Germans called Auschwitz. That simple revelation can bring much understanding of the recurrent Jewish and Gentile Conflict” (pp. 190-191).

    [3] [27] Of the three, Citizen Soldiers is the best.

    [4] [28] Ambrose mentions that the shooting of POWs really did occur, although he mentions repeatedly that the Americans liked the Germans more than any other people who they met during the war.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Bad War—in Black & White
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    2,244 words [1]

    The Victors
    Directed by Carl Foreman
    Starring George Hamilton, George Peppard, Eli Wallach, et al.
    1963

    In American culture today, there is a sticky-sweet worship of veterans that is about as enjoyable to experience as stepping barefoot on the dried-up syrup from a spilled soda pop on the concrete surface of a rundown public pool. The worst of this veteran worship involves the veneration of veterans of World War II.

    In the late 1990s, there was a flurry of World War II veteran-worship led by figures such as the late historian Stephen Ambrose (1936–2002). Ambrose’s work portrayed the American WWII soldier as a sort of plastic demigod. The popular histories of the conflict by Ambrose influenced the 1998 movie Saving Private Ryan and the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

    This veteran worship probably helped the neoconservatives push America into the strategic disasters in the Middle East after 9/11. For example, President George W. Bush poorly channeled Ambrose during one of his badly delivered speeches with the following quote from Citizen Soldiers (1997):

    At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn’t want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful.[1] [2]

    With the above drivel in mind, when one sees a movie coming out of Hollywood that doesn’t show the American soldier in European Theater of Operations during World War II as a plastic demigod that, “didn’t want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed” one must sit up and take notice. Such a film is the 1963 movie The Victors. This movie is a dark film which was out of step with the progressive, optimistic America of the time. Its director, producer, and screenwriter was Carl Foreman (1914–1984), a Jewish former member of the Communist Party.

    As we know now, the winds of the historical narrative blew towards sanctifying World War II, so this movie probably could only come about in 1963. During the time of the late 1950s and early 1960s World War II was not yet holy. The public still knew what was what. Writes historian Brian McAllister Linn, “World War II was close enough that most young men were well aware of the risks of combat: a correspondent termed [the draftees of the time] ‘skeptical, critical, immune to propaganda – no matter how worthy; with few illusions of the grandeur of military service; fighting under pressure and killing only under extreme provocation.’”[2] [3]

    Carl Foreman was a Jew who refused to “give up” names of Hollywood Communist subversives to the anti-Communist House Un-American Activities Committee, so there is a hostile, semi-honest at best, and subtle Jewish angle to The Victors that first must be deconstructed. That is to say, while the movie shines a critical light on sanctifying World War II, its opening montage has the simple, ultimately uncomprehending view of the origins of conflict. It is Winston Churchill’s view, with World War II seen as an unstoppable extension of World War I and caused by a fast-talking working-class veteran of a Bavarian Reserve Infantry Unit temporarily blinded by a gas attack.[3] [4]

    The first scene of the opening montage is the famous machine-gunning of the French Infantry in the 1930 movie All Quiet on the Western Front. The opening montage then moves on to scenes of bombers, especially Stuka dive bombers, explosions, and Hitler giving a speech without subtitles – the effect of which makes the non-German speaking audiences the film is aimed at think Hitler is a raving madman. There is even an abstract clown-like Hitler figure doing some sort of curb stomp – misplaced imagery in an otherwise serious film.

    [5]

    Portraying Hitler as a sort of clown in the opening montage is misplaced imagery in an otherwise outstanding critique of a war that turned Europe into ruins from Coventry to Moscow.

    There is no asking the question in The Victors as to why the Germans (and Hungarians, Italians, Romanians, Finns, Croatians, etc.) would ally with Hitler and heed his message. There is no question asked in The Victors as to why these nations would fight the Allies so hard for so long. We now know that there was a solid geopolitical foundation to the strategic behavior of the Third Reich. After 1989, NATO went on to either absorb the heartland (Poland and East Germany) or support and/or fight for the frontiers (Croatia 1990, Albania 1999, western Ukraine 2014) of Hitler’s former empire.

    There are other factors to the origins of World War II that Winston Churchill seems to have missed. The first is that the instability in Europe following the Treaty of Versailles was the direct result of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The second is that by the 1930s, Jews had moved into positions of real power in both the Anglo-American world and the Soviet Union. While continental Europe had some defense against this subversion, in no part of the political or social culture of the United States was (or is?) there a defense against Jewish influence. These Jews would use all of their influence[4] [6] to maneuver the nations that became the Allies into conflict with Germany with no consideration of the costs of the conflict to any nation.[5] [7]

    The Victors adds other bits of Jewish activism with two vignettes containing cheap, multiculturalist propaganda. One involves a scene at the bar where two black soldiers are beaten by a gang of white, undisciplined GI toughs. The whites flee when the MPs arrive to rescue the blacks. After the melee, the Italian barmaid (Malya Nappi) askes one of the soldiers (George Hamilton), “Why they fight? You all same people…Americani… why you fight?” In another scene, American Private Baker (Vincent Edwards) shows an Italian woman (Rosanna Schiaffino) that a Sikh soldier can gently hold her baby, although the Italian woman is suspicious of the non-European colonial soldiers.

    In both cases this cheap propaganda clouds the truth. White and Black Americans are different people. Although they have some parallel historical experiences, the two races effectively live in different worlds and create different societies. Additionally, black American soldiers performed horribly in combat in Italy. During World War II, in all theaters of operation, safe in the rear areas many black units were, to put it frankly, more trouble than they were worth. Also, the troops from the non-white colonies were quite vicious to the Italians. The valor of the Moroccans in the Free French Army fighting the Germans is exaggerated, but the cruelty of the Moroccans towards unarmed Italian civilians is not. The Moroccans were exceptionally skilled thieves, rapists and murderers. Indeed, this scene in The Victors is probably a metapolitical smokescreen to hide the truth of the matter shown by the award-winning Italian movie La ciociara (1960). In La ciociara, starring actress Sofia Loren (who spent much of the war as a girl in Naples) is said to have “played her mother.”

    Moving on from the nonsense above is the theme of the film as it can be interpreted following the end of the Cold War. That World War II in Europe was a terrible disaster for European Civilization. The war made its participants brutal – when it did not outright destroy them.

    After the opening montage, the movie settles in to its routine. After showing an aerial bombardment in England, the audience sees a 1940s-style newsreel. These newsreels are a method to help move the story along and give the audience a sense of time and place. In the first newsreel, the main characters are introduced. They are in a squad of Americans from various places who’ve just been in battle in Italy. They’ve taken two German prisoners. The newsreel’s announcer says the POWs are “Two not so masterful examples of the master race.” The announcer then goes on to insist there is a “contrast” between the Germans – shown exhausted and smoking cigarettes and the Americans – who are also shown exhausted and smoking cigarettes. Here The Victors clearly shows that World War II was a disastrous European Civil War, a conflict between brothers.

    The fictional squad is shown first in Italy and then, through the newsreels, the squad is shown in Normandy. Eventually one soldier winds up in the ruins of Berlin. The squad in The Victors doesn’t wear any unit insignia, but only four divisions were in both Italy and in Northwestern Europe. One of them, the 3rd Infantry invaded Southern France, not Normandy. The 45th Infantry Division was a unit from the Oklahoma National Guard. The other two units, the 1st and the 9th Infantry Divisions were in Italy and Normandy and made up of men from across the United States, so it is likely our protagonists came from those outfits.

    Aside from bombardments, the first newsreel, and a fight at a pillbox, most of the story isn’t about warfare, it is about the routines of the military. These routines are shown in self-contained vignettes. Usually, a soldier, from the same squad identified in the first newsreel becomes sexually involved with one of the local women. This casual, contractual sexual behavior is romanticized, but barely. The Victors shows that warfare makes rape and prostitution far more common. It’s quite an anti-war warning, showing just how desperate the war made the women of Italy, France, and Germany. These scenes of desperate sexual congress also offers insight into why the European Empires went bankrupt and collapsed so quickly after WWII.

    Staff Sergeant Craig (Eli Wallach) portrays the tough, conscientious sergeant that leads the squad. His fate is to be blinded and his face disfigured. Peter Fonda plays a replacement troop who must watch the veterans shoot a dog that he adopted as the squad moves out by truck. In both stories the vignette ends with a close-up of an actor’s face as the cruelty of the conflict sinks in.

    There is an execution by firing squad of a soldier in a snowy forest that is hauntingly done. Staff Sergeant Craig and his squad are ordered to be witnesses of the execution. The soundtrack during the scene is Christmas music. While today one can interpret this as a Jewish inspired “War on Christmas” metapolitical attack, audiences in the early 1960s would easily remember that the worst fighting for the Americans in Europe took place in the Ardennes Forest in the Christmas season of 1944. There would be many Americans in the 1960s still around with an all-too-fresh memory of a Christmas telegram from the War Department informing of the death of a loved one.

    The final vignette takes place in Berlin. Staff Sergeant Trower (George Hamilton), jealous and enraged by the rape of his girlfriend by the Russians, gets into a knife fight with a drunken Russian. The two representatives of the eastern and western branches of European Christendom kill each other in the fight and fall together in the ruins of a great European city. The scene is profound. In 1963, audiences would have recognized the critique on Cold War tensions surrounding Berlin, but today the Cold War is over. This scene shows that World War II was not sacred. Its soldiers were not holy warrior-monks bringing good to all. Indeed the evil that swept across Europe because of the war still lives on – setting the progress of European civilization, from North America to Siberia, back centuries.

    Notes

    [1] [8]https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PPP-2001-book1/html/PPP-2001-book1-doc-pg84.htm [9]

    [2] [10] Brian McAllister Linn, Elvis’s Army: Cold War GIs and the Atomic Battlefield (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016), p. 57.

    [3] [11] The lack of understanding and arrogant conceit is evident in the following passage by Churchill that deserves to be fully quoted, “When at length [Hitler] was released from hospital, what scenes met his newly unscaled eyes: Fearful are the convulsions of defeat. Around him in the atmosphere of despair and frenzy glared the lineaments of Red Revolution. Armoured cars dashed through the streets of Munich scattering leaflets or bullets. His own comrades, with defiant red arm bands on their uniform, were shouting slogans of fury against all that he cared for on earth. As in a dream everything suddenly became clear. German had been stabbed in the back and clawed down by the Jews, the profiteers and intriguers behind the Front, by the accursed Bolsheviks in their international conspiracy of Jewish intellectuals. Shining before him he saw his duty, to save Germany from these plagues, to avenge her wrongs, and lead the master race to its long-decreed destiny.” From Winston S. Churchill and The Editors of Life, The Second World War Special Edition for Young Readers (New York: Golden Press), 1960, p. 19.

    Nowhere does Winston S. Churchill mention the Communist Jew in Hungary Béla Kun, the Communist Jew Leon Trotsky, or even his 1920 article, “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People.” https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Zionism_versus_Bolshevism [12] Churchill doesn’t even mention the sharp political dilemma of Germans living under Czech, Polish, and other rule following the breakup of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

    [4] [13]http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2017/07/14/review-how-the-jews-defeated-hitler-exploding-the-myth-of-passivity-in-the-face-of-nazism-part-one-of-two/ [14]

    [5] [15] Regarding France, historian Alfred Cobban writes: “The real puzzle of 1939 is how the weak government of Daladier, with a country behind it torn by bitter feuds, a right-wing – represented in the highest places – that sympathized with Hitler and Mussolini, widespread pacifist views on both left and right, and a massive Communist Party committed as a result of the Hitler-Stalin pact, to a policy of alliance with the Nazis, came to follow Great Britain into war with Germany, as after the Nazis invaded Poland it did on 3 September 1939. Alfred A. Cobban, History of Modern France, Volume 2: 1799–1945 (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 297.

     

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Mark Steyn6
Fox News



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Saving Private Ryan
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    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Mark is at the Oncenter in Syracuse, New York with the great Dennis Miller tonight, so, in lieu of his Saturday movie column and with tomorrow's Academy Awards looming, we thought we'd take a look back at some Steyn Oscar columns of the past. Here, from
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    Duolingo’s creator Luis von Ahn learns the word for "learning" in Chinese and shares his incredible vision for enabling millions of people all over the world to learn languages for free. Read extended show notes for this episode here: https://www.chineasy.com/talk/lessons/087-learning/ Explore various topics, special guests, and expansive list of useful Chinese phrases on Talk Chineasy website! goo.gl/VJ8plT Want to practice the pronunciation of words taught in this episode? Have fun learning with activity sheets, recap video, coloring book, and more. Become a Golden Chineasian to enjoy exclusive premium content! goo.gl/vjbtL9
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Christian Toto2
Hollywood In Toto



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  • Decorated Soldier Picks the Best, and Worst, War Movies
    american-sniper

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    “I can’t watch very many war movies anymore.”

    My sister in-law,

    The post Decorated Soldier Picks the Best, and Worst, War Movies appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

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    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    gingerbread man review robert duvall

    When Robert Altman died on November 20, 2006, I was a few hours away from teaching a class on his life and works.

    A number of students called me that

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Soiled Sinema8
Soiled Reviews



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Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



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  • 3 Ways Movies are Retelling the Gospel
    Movies Among English majors, there’s a popular theory which states there are no original stories. Every new book, every new movie released in theaters, is actually just a retelling of another, primary story. It sounds ridiculous, but this idea can take on whole new dimensions when partnered with a Christian worldview. Scripture tells us that all of creation testifies to God’s glory (Romans 1:20). Isn’t it possible our entertainment can do the same?    Pastor Gavin Ortlund certainly believes so. In his latest post for The Gospel Coalition, Ortlund outlines how films naturally seek out the gospel, specifically through three prominent themes.   Good vs. Evil How many times have we seen a film where a handful of brave souls take a stand against evil? Consider The Lord of the Rings, where the fellowship is pitted against the forces of Mordor, or the recent Star Wars, which features a light side and dark side. These aren’t just two equal sides fighting over opposing values or viewpoints. The distinction between good and evil is quite clear. Ortlund writes, googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); “But the point is, movies are never just about different parties striving for survival and power. There is always a moral dimension to the drama, and therefore a heightened sense of significance. We don’t just want one side to win: we sense one side ought to win. We know it’s right that Simba dethrones Scar, and not simply his good fortune; and we feel resolution and satisfaction when Gene Hackman is sitting alone in that bar at the end of Runaway Jury…” “Or another way to put it: if blind evolution is how we got here, then movies are telling us a story that’s fundamentally deceptive about the nature of reality. On the other hand, if there is a Trinity that spawned the world out of love, and a real moral battle between those loyal to him and those fighting against him, then the sense of moral transcendence that films convey is a little clue about the point of everything.”   Happy Endings There are certain things viewers expect from a Disney movie. A strong, independent princess for one. Perhaps a touch of magic, maybe a few musical numbers, but above all, we want to see a happy ending. I don’t think anyone has ever sat down to an animated Disney movie and assumed the bad guy was going to win. So why do we naturally gravitate toward happy endings? According to Ortlund, “…for the Christian, harmony → tension → resolution is the basic paradigm of reality. We call it creation → fall → redemption. If Christianity is true, in other words, the reason the endings of movies make us feel the way they do is because it’s going to happen one day.”   Suffering and Sacrifice One of the most heart-wrenching moments in The Chronicles of Narnia is when Aslan surrenders himself to save Edmund. It’s a horrible, beautiful moment when power of love is on full display. This reenactment of Christ’s sacrifice can be seen in films like Saving Private Ryan, The Mission, or even movies for children like The Land Before Time. For Ortlund, the twin themes of sacrifice and suffering are clear evidence which point to God’s true, original story. “The motif of sacrifice almost always accompanies that of suffering. How many times have we seen one of the good guys give up their life, or think they’re giving up their life, or give up something else important, in order to save the day? The choice of sacrificial love is the key trigger in so many plots, from The Adjustment Bureauto Beauty and the Beastto Stranger than Fiction, and on and on we could go. Someone gives up their life, sacrificing themselves for someone else, only to find their life return to them.” What about you? Do you believe the character of Christ can be seen in your favorite movie? googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); *Published 1/6/2016 ]]>
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VJ Morton2
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • ♫ On the first day of The Exclusionary Offensive Holiday ♫
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    KristKindlIslam

    ♫ On the first day of The Exclusionary Offensive Holiday ♫

    When Christians talk about a “War on Christmas,” THIS kind of crap is what we mean …

    CHICAGO (AP) — A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says.
    Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film “The Nativity Story” might offend non-Christians.
    New Line Cinema, which said it was dropped, had planned to play a loop of the new film on televisions at the event.

    Now, let’s be crystal-clear what we’re talking about. We’re NOT talking about a permanent monument. We’re NOT even really talking about an act by the government itself. No. We’re talking about the government telling a private group the terms under which it has access to public space. (Maybe the German festival organizers should rename themselves the Ku Klux Klan — then they’ll get the ACLU to be solicitous of them.)

    Also, we’re NOT talking about legislation favoring one religion. We’re NOT even talking about prayers at a secular event like Memorial Day or a high-school graduation. No. We’re talking about a specifically religious holiday with a specifically religious meaning.

    And, finally, what is supposedly offensive is NOT someone yelling verses from Leviticus at the Gay Pride Parade or staging the Oberammergau Passion Play or playing the security tape from the bar where Borat and Mel Gibson tied on a few. We’re talking about showing a movie that is about *exactly* the event the festival is supposed to about (i.e., “Christkindl,” which I think is German for “Christ-child”¹).

    What this IS is a clear case. It is not a close call. Sure, the state hasn’t actually forbidden anything. Merely made its opinion known to the organizers. The term for this is “chill,” one that free-speech liberals understand quite well when the subject is, let’s say, libel law or restrictions on political speech or reporting.

    And for what end? … to de-religionize a private party’s actions with respect to a religious holiday. Like a St. Patrick’s Day with no reference to St. Patrick, or a Thanksgiving with no reference to the Pilgrims (although neither of those examples are actually THAT much beyond what has already gone on). It’s just knee-jerk burbling for anyone to say there is no war against Christmas, no attempt to cleanse Christianity from the public sphere, however successful. The degree of success this war is having or whether it’s a good or bad thing … those things we CAN debate meaningfully. But that there is a broad-based assault is not a serious topic any more.

    Here’s the question I immediately asked myself when I saw this story on the newswires.

    An executive vice president with New Line Cinema, Christina Kounelias … said she finds it hard to believe that non-Christians who attended something called Christkindlmarket would be surprised or offended by the presence of posters, brochures and other advertisements of the movie.
    “One would assume that if (people) were to go to Christkindlmarket, they’d know it is about Christmas,” she said.

    One would assume that. And in a sane world, one could. If you’re of such delicate sensibilities as to be offended by THE NATIVITY STORY, a real city official or jurist would laugh in your face, ask “what the colorful are you doing at an event called ‘Christ-Child Festival’,” and tell you to “get a frickin’ life.”

    But no. In these interesting times where even the dumbest and most paranoid and self-righteous have the right to become “ACLU clients,” such a response who invite municipal ruin. Government officials nationwide, based on how the courts have set up the incentive structures, are now well-trained to think doubleplusgood-thought: Christianity = “controversial”; other religions = “celebrate our diversity.”
    —————————————–
    UPDATE 1: Dom actually has the best analogy, better than the Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day ones I could come up with last night.

    That’s like holding a D-Day commemoration on June 6 and banning a poster for the movie “Saving Private Ryan” because it might offend pacifists.

    —————————————–
    UPDATE 2: Jeff in the comment field noted a fight over the divisive symbol of cemetery crosses in “Baghdad by the Bay” (Hey … them’s his words. He live there.)

    I note from the San Francisco Chronicle he linked to, the following lead.

    Scores of emotionally charged citizens praised and denounced Lafayette’s controversial display of stark white crosses during a City Council meeting Monday that filled every seat in the chamber and lasted more than 2 1/2 hours.

    As I say … “Christianity=controversial” … stated as a fact in a news story lead. Still, ya gotta love the fact that here’s one example of liberals finding crosses an acceptable thing to show in public space.
    —————————————–
    UPDATE 3: Here’s something from the same festival, taken by Amy Welborn when she was there in 2003.

    What jackanapery. Apparently, that’s NOT going to offend anyone. It’s just a celebration of our diversity, etc. As someone in Dom’s comment field said: I wonder why during cities’ observances of Ramadan, there are no ‘equal time” crosses and menorahs.
    ————————————————
    ¹ I think, but I’m not sure. I was too busy in grad-school studying Hegel’s “Zeitgeist” and Heidegger’s “Seinsvergessenheit” to get to the really difficult German translation issues like “Christkindl.”

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  • Top 10 of 1998
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The Federalist Staff10
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Dunkirk’ Should Be Considered Christopher Nolan’s Greatest Film
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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  • Will Hollywood Give 'Hacksaw Ridge' The Awards Its Audience Is Clamoring For?
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Mel Gibson should have been the king of Hollywood, but he did two things that ruined him. First, he made “The Passion of the Christ,” the most successful R-rated and independent movie in America. It revealed the deep chasm dividing Americans after 9/11. For all the political hysteria that surrounded its release, the deafening silence of America’s movie artists meant more. They were not going to try to reach the audience Gibson had brought to their attention: neither to include it in America’s public culture nor even to acquire some of its considerable money. Secondly, Gibson made several awful comments when stopped for drunk driving. This put an end to the most startling director in America ten years ago. Despite all this, Gibson’s 2016 film “Hacksaw Ridge” has resurfaced the greatness inside his soul. It’s been nominated for six Oscars, and Gibson’s first nomination for Best Director in 20 years. The Oscars at their best are about one simple thing: Beautifying what is worth beautifying in American movies. This year, that’s Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge.” Would America’s award institutions actually reward a patriotic movie that shows Christianity in American society as a source of hope and unity, rather than fear and division? The Academy should, because it is our first serious movie confrontation with what World War II meant for America. It is also popular, and already at 97 in the IMDb list of top 250 movies. Users there have given it an 8.5 rating. It is also number 14 on the search popularity list. All this helped drive the film to three Golden Globe nominations, which failed to secure a win. Will the Oscars follow suit, or come through? Whether this movie will be rewarded with the honors and the stamp of approval of America’s institutions of prestige, the awards really will depend on the place of an informed patriotism in the self-understanding of these institutions and their voters. An Exploration of the American Heart “Hacksaw Ridge” is the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist whose deeds in service to his country were so shocking and so free of the sordid that is the element of war that they seem to us a miracle. We owe Andrew Garfield some gratitude for portraying with utmost clarity a change in the conception of heroism in America: a sense of personal honor proved by martial prowess is replaced gradually by a sacrificial concern for the good of one’s fellow soldiers, fellow Americans. The accent moves from taking lives to saving lives. The movie is long, but does not feel long. It is ugly, but does not seem so. It is full of suffering, but holds out the hope that suffering may be redeemed. It portrays the America that went to war after Pearl Harbor without much glamour, but with a lot of affection, for the tragedies as much as for the romances. The first half of the movie is not merely a fine period piece, it is an insistent investigation of the way of life that made it possible for a remarkable man, a typically American hero, to appear. I will give one example of the American mind reflected in this story. The military authorities quite reasonably ask Doss, a volunteer, why he should be allowed to serve in the military if he is not willing to take up arms in defense of his fellow soldiers. Doss answers that he knows boys who committed suicide in shame for having been considered useless to defending America after Pearl Harbor (4F status). He implies that a country that exercises such influence over the minds of men owes it to them to allow them to serve. This is a deep truth about American heroism obvious to anyone who reads WWII citations for the Medal of Honor. Gibson lays bare the conflict between Christianity and manly honor that accounts for Southern men’s particular contribution to the American military. America’s self-understanding was at risk in WWII, not merely its security. It was partly heroes like Doss who rescued humanity from the age of horrors that was the first half of the twentieth century. Teaching Americans About Their Heritage It is wise and generous to try to teach Americans about World War II. Gibson has made a good contribution to that effort, if Americans avail themselves of his offering. The institutions that bestow prestige have a part to play in recommending and beautifying this movie to attract an audience and legacy. The press has its own part to play in fostering public conversation. Ultimately, the people decide for themselves, but conservatives should do their best to make the case for the importance of stories like “Hacksaw Ridge.” The second half of the movie is the hell of war. We see the reward of Doss’s unyielding insistence that he serve America. In a world renowned for hype and overselling, where everything is advertised as awesome to even have a chance of being noticed, Gibson awes the audience with a true story that nevertheless understates the facts. Americans are shown WWII movies constantly, but rarely allowed to see why so many people killed and died. The stories are always told from a narrow perspective, to avoid noticing that America was involved in it as a country, not merely on an individual basis. Consider America’s premier movie-maker about manliness: Clint Eastwood tried and failed to teach Americans about the largest war in their history and the crisis that led to America’s rise as the most powerful country in the world. His movies “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” end up cowed by the awful grandeur of the war. War is described as an accident and people as a kind of pawn in a game far beyond their understanding. When Realism Blinds You to Reality The violent realism of our modern war movies blinds us to the need to understand what previous generations did and why. This robs us of insight and therefore any possibility of understanding the people we call the Greatest Generation. Understanding is replaced by good branding. We feel good saying “the greatest generation,” so we keep doing it. One man alone is responsible for this catastrophic fake realism. For empty talk about the hell of war and an accurate, belabored, fascinating show of violence and slaughter, see Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” In that movie, a realistic depiction of the hell of war distracts from the question of why Americans were storming the beaches of Normandy in the first place. It is a breathtaking show of taking what matters most out of war. Remember Lincoln’s phrase, “that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion?” There is none of that there. Instead, one gets a fairy tale that’s a kind of watered-down Christianity, a search for a lost lamb. Everything about that plot is fake, and the movie-maker’s skill is put in the service of selling that fake, one clever, fascinating detail after another. At the end, the audience knows nothing more about WWII than they did at the beginning. Indeed, they know less, because they have been brutalized and sentimentalized while being robbed of insight. Possibly, the audience is persuaded there is no there there—that the war was a mistake, or pointless, or an accident. In “Hacksaw Ridge,” instead of a director’s tricks, we get a true story to liberate us from the fake history. Now, all that remains is to see whether we can make this movie our own, and attract the public’s attention in this age of distractions. ]]>
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  • Two Recent Oddball Movies You Probably Haven't Seen But Should
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Once again we find ourselves in some disagreement with the Academy regarding the best films of 2014. For example, one of the great war movies was released in 2014, and if you haven’t seen it you should. “Fury” (directed by David Ayer, “End of Watch,” “Training Day”) is the story of a tank and a crew who loved it. (If you don’t get this reference, you did not grow up the 60s.) The New Yorker says it’s almost equal to “Saving Private Ryan,” and we tend to agree. Actually, it is one of Hollywood’s better efforts at capturing why soldiers fight and ordinary individuals are often willing to lay down their lives. It isn’t patriotism, it isn’t valor—it’s the bond of wartime comradeship. This isn’t a war movie in the John Ford sense, and it isn’t an anti-war movie (“Platoon,” etc.). It’s a rare attempt at merely telling the story of people at war without allegory to political cause or attempt at moral lecture. This year will mark the seventieth anniversary of World War II’s conclusion. In those decades, our culture has vacillated between viewpoints on our role in the war: Sentimental remembrances of our family members who were “over there,” weighing the balance in the moral delta between waging industrial war and the crimes of the state that started it. Is it ever right to wage war? Does committing ourselves to the field of battle simply make us like our enemies? This film manages to capture these ideas while at the same time maintaining the necessary tropes of a story well told on film, which is altogether rare in Hollywood today. Honesty About War’s Complexity Without Cynicism The cast was well above average. Even Shia LeBeouf turns in a very credible performance as a morally conflicted gunner, who quotes the Bible and talks of Jesus one scene and kills with abandon the next. I’ve never seen a better, grittier performance from Brad Pitt. Pitt enthusiastically portrays one of the great strengths of America’s military—the non-commissioned officer. His character, Sergeant Don Collier, leads a typical, ethically mixed crew of misfits including a “FNG” (military speak for “funny new guy”—or something like that). The film does a remarkable job in showing how in order to survive this total war, one had to embrace the ruthless cynicism that made the veterans so frightening. The presence of the untrained replacement who had been in the army for less than two months highlights the desperate state all of the belligerents found themselves in at the end. Even the vanquishing American army was critically low on manpower. The new guy doubts his courage, does not want to kill the enemy, and desperately wants to hang on to his other life, his old life. The film does a remarkable job in showing how in order to survive this total war, one had to embrace the ruthless cynicism that made the veterans so frightening. What good was left of them? To forego these changes meant certain death. It is interesting in the backdrop of the current brouhaha over torture to measure the crowd reaction to atrocity-committing SS troops the crew encounters. They are not merciful and not exactly with the guidelines of the rules of war. This is another area in which the film succeeds. It eschews the traditional approach, where good guys only do good things and bad guys only do bad things, but it avoids moral equivalence by providing enough context to the scenes. These are men at their lowest, pushed to their extremes and exhausted physically and emotionally. The film creates empathy for the men in these situations, and the results are complex scenes that are both shocking and revolting but also understandable. The truth this, these things all happened, and pretending they either did not or were not as bad as we think does us no favors. In its honesty and clarity, “Fury” forces viewers to contemplate the inhumane behavior of everyone involved. Realism Not Just in Emotions, But in Hardware War movie purists like me appreciate the historic accuracy. One of the stars of the film is the world’s last functional Tiger tank. It was captured in the desert by the British in 1943. The actor portraying the commander of the Tiger is actually the film’s technical advisor, a 22-year British army veteran. The film’s sequence of a group of American M4’s (called Shermans by the British and most everyone else) taking on the Tiger, using swarm tactics to overpower the German monster, are based on actual WWII doctrine. One of the stars of the film is the world’s last functional Tiger tank. The film overall pays a great deal of attention to details. Bringing the actual machines to the screen instead of the traditional mock-ups or disappointingly common CGI additions adds a layer of reality to a film that puts viewers in the scene. There are lots of war movies, but very few tank movies. Humphrey Bogart’s “Sahara” (1943) and “The Beast” (1988) are the only other standouts that come to mind. Warning, this is a visceral film. Although we would not describe it as gratuitous, its graphic depiction of the violence of a twentieth-century battlefield leaves little to the imagination. Another way this movie succeeds, and possibly the most welcome deviation from recent war movies, is the cinematography. Rejecting the commonly used “shaky cam” and filtered ground shots that have become the norm in action sequences, “Fury” takes a step back and shows you the whole scene. Viewers are still very much inside the action, but the camera doesn’t ignore the larger picture, which is vital for showing the scale and presence of the scene. It also removes narrative confusion from an action sequence, where something important might happen but gets glanced over in favor of the camera making things “realistic” with unstoppable vibrations. Overall, “Fury” is possibly one of the best war movies we’ve seen, and one of the few to bluntly show the war and the people who fought in it. Take a Look at Locke “Locke” is another 2014 film the Academy snubbed this year. It is also a film you would never choose to see based on a thumbnail description, yet we believe it is one of the most powerful movies we’ve seen in quite a long time. One actor, one car, for one hour and 25 minutes. You won’t want to miss a single one of them. One actor, one car, for one hour and 25 minutes. You won’t want to miss a single one of them. Directed by Steven Knight (“Eastern Promises,” “Dirty Pretty Things,”), the plot moves forward solely through a series of cell phone conversations Tom Hardy’s character, Ivan Locke, has as he speeds through the night on Britain’s equivalent of an interstate highway. Locke is facing a sudden, existential crisis. Think of the darkest thought of doom you might face, then cast yourself in a movie as you face it. That’s “Locke.” It is difficult to describe this movie without giving away part of its charm. The sequence of discovering Locke’s current actions, the past actions that caused them, and what he plans to do in the future is pretty much the entire movie. The pacing in this film is almost perfect. For being set entirely on driving on a monotonous highway through the night, the context of Locke’s ceaseless phone conversations and his relentless effort to keep things in control give the film an incredible level of tension. For a movie where the only actor on screen never stands up, the uncertainty and suspense keeps you from relaxing. “Locke” almost entirely disposes of Hollywood’s most common storytelling tropes. The effect this has is stunning. The story never gives itself away, and there is an incredible amount of uncertainty and anticipation from each scene. When the phone rings, which it does constantly, you’re thinking, “Well, now what?” Locke cares about it, passionately, so you care about it. That’s one of the film’s greatest achievements. It also has to be said that the nature of Locke’s crisis isn’t very important. Again, without giving up the game, we’ll say that while desperate, in the grand scheme of things the events aren’t that thrilling. But this film makes you care—this man works a real job, in way that most movie goers can relate, which is something modern films often neglect. He has a family, coworkers, and a boss, all voices on a phone, but so much effort goes into painful details of a concrete pour you have to accept that it’s important. Locke cares about it, passionately, so you care about it. That’s one of the film’s greatest achievements, If you’re still not convinced, be aware that crowd-sourced Rotten Tomatoes gives “Locke” a 91 percent rating. This is also an opportunity to witness the emergence of a new British film legend of the Hopkins-Cain level. ]]>
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  • The Best Way To Enjoy 'Rogue One': With A Beer Milkshake
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The Best Way To Enjoy ‘Rogue One’: With A Beer Milkshake December 16, 2016 By Brad Jackson I love going to the movies. Having two kids now, I don’t get to the theater as much as I used to, but for the big films, the ones I really excited about, I make a point to carve out time and go. This year I’m insanely excited to see the new Star Wars movie, “Rogue One.” I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember. I still have most of my original Star Wars action figures from the 1980s, have an office full of Star Wars Legos and collectibles, and own all the new books and comics. I’ve written before about how exciting Star Wars has become lately, with the “Star Wars: Rebels” cartoon series on Disney (and “The Clone Wars” before it), but “Rogue One” has the chance to be something special. The first of the major movies to not be part of the Skywalker family saga, “Rogue One” tells the story of the Rebel soldiers in the trenches. The part war, part heist movie unveils how the Rebels stole the secret plans for the Death Star. It evokes a little “Dirty Dozen,” some “Where Eagles Dare, and even some “Saving Private Ryan.” “Rogue One” takes place in the days just before the original Star Wars movie (now known as “Episode IV: A New Hope”), and has a diverse cast led by Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, played by Felicity Jones and Diego Luna respectively, and including scene stealers Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe and Alan Tudyk as K-2SO. Along the way we get a taste of what Star Wars must have been like for everyone not named Han, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando. After all, the main characters from the original movie trilogy were but a small part of a much wider rebellion. Those rebels were mostly soldiers, pilots, and support staff, not the glamorous lightsaber-wielding heroes we saw documented on screen before. This movie shines when it focuses on those in the trenches moments of battle. Of course it couldn’t be a Star Wars movie without Darth Vader, so he makes an appearance as well, including a Sith-tastic demonstration in the movie’s final scene demonstrating why he’s the best Star Wars villain. I won’t spoil too much, because you really should see it for yourself, but I highly recommend it. “Rogue One” has gritty ground fighting, amazing aerial combat, and a driving plot that makes for a great time at the movies. It is however, not a movie you should take your little kids to see. My five-year-old son, who is a devoted Star Wars fan just like his daddy, will not be seeing “Rogue One” anytime soon. Now what’s the best way to enjoy this intense Star Wars film? With beer, of course! Thankfully, some movie theaters today have moved beyond overbuttered popcorn and gigantic sodas, instead serving burgers, salads, pizza, and more. They also have beer, wine, maybe even cocktails. The trend owes its popularity to a real treasure here in Austin: the Alamo Drafthouse. This theater chain is known for great food that is often themed with the major movie release of the moment, a fantastic selection of beers, and unique only at Alamo events like Master Pancake Theater (think live action Mystery Science Theater 3000). For “Rogue One,” Alamo didn’t disappoint. They have a great menu inspired by the tropical planet of Scarif that includes island sliders, shrimp avocado toast, and tropical cocktails. The sliders were the perfect food for “Rogue One.” While it would be absolutely acceptable to down a beer or two at a midnight show, I took a different approach and embraced one of my favorite things: the beer milkshake! Beer is a great breakfast drink, always awesome for an afternoon with your buddies, and perfect for a hearty dinner, but don’t forget its ability to contribute to dessert! When I first went to Alamo Drafthouse back in college, something that immediately caught my eye was their Guinness Milkshake. Yep. It combines that hearty dark beer, a beer you can chew, as they say, and the rich flavors of ice cream all blended together, topped with whipped cream, and delivered to your seat. It’s perfect, absolutely perfect, and my favorite accompaniment to any movie. For “Rogue One,” it’s the ultimate melding of the Dark Side (Guinness) and the Light Side (vanilla ice cream). They mix it all up to produce a cold, creamy, boozy dessert that reminds you that beer isn’t just a breakfast drink, it’s for dessert too! So if you have an Alamo Drafthouse in your area, head on over to see “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and be sure to order yourself a milkshake with the added Force of beer. May the Force be with you… and cheers! Brad Jackson is a writer and radio personality whose work has appeared at ABC, CBS, Fox News, and multiple radio programs. He was the longtime host and producer of Coffee & Markets, an award-winning podcast and radio show with more than 1,500 episodes. Brad covers all things edible and cultural for The Federalist. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @bradwjackson. Photo Brad Jackson / The Federalist Alamo Drafthouse beer milkshake Guinness Rogue One Star Wars Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
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  • It's Not The Envelope—The Oscars Keep Choosing The Wrong Film
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    When the Best Picture award was given to “La La Land,” it was not a surprise. Hollywood loves musicals, and is always seeking to present musicals with awards. While not a fan of musicals outside of “The Blues Brothers,” this makes sense: musicals are difficult to make. They combine elements of music, acting, singing, and dancing all in one production. Alas, the euphoria for the producers of “La La Land” was short-lived. As it turned out, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope. Minutes later, we found out the Best Picture winner was Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age film, “Moonlight.” This time the envelope was correct. Unfortunately, the choice of “Moonlight” for Best Picture was not. Instead, it appears to have fallen victim to the “message movie” trap of choosing the best movie of the year. When Did Best Picture Choices Go Wrong? Voting-based awards will invariably lead to debate—because for the most part, it is a subjective issue. When “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” won in 1975, it was not difficult to make a compelling case for “Jaws” or “Dog Day Afternoon.” That’s not to say “Cuckoo’s Nest” didn’t deserve the award—but that other choices would have been just as worthy. However, since 1980, Best Picture winners usually fall into specific categories. First, there are the “socially aware” movies: Academy voters focus on the social aspect of a film and choose to award it over something more deserving. The Academy also, at times, has a penchant for choosing films that elicit the response, “What the hell were they thinking?” In that vein, it would be hard for anybody to make a case for “Ordinary People” winning in 1980 over “Raging Bull.” The former is a terrific film with stand-out performances from Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton, and Mary Tyler-Moore. It touched on themes such as suicide, the loss of a child, feelings of inadequacy in the face of siblings, and more. “Raging Bull,” on the other hand, is a masterpiece and arguably Martin Scorsese’s best film. Some have argued that the Academy simply was not ready for the impact of “Raging Bull.” But it was recognized by voters. Robert De Niro won Best Actor for his portrayal of boxer Jake LaMotta. “Raging Bull” stood out in every aspect of filmmaking—from the acting to direction, cinematography to script and story. The Oscars Often Go To Bewildering Choices That blunder aside, no Best Picture winner encapsulates the combo of head scratcher and blockbuster favoritism better than “Titanic.” The film was a box office juggernaut, knocking “ET” from the perch of the highest grossing film of all time. It made Leonardo DiCaprio a household name for young teenage girls everywhere. Despite being a special effects stand out, “Titanic” was plagued with a hokey script, a well-worn storyline, and mediocre acting. That didn’t matter. The movie was nominated for 13 Oscars and won 10, including Best Picture. Meanwhile, “L.A. Confidential” is a film that wraps up every element of the “Best Picture” category into its two-hour running time—story, directing, acting, script, and production value. It remains one of Oscar’s biggest snubs. Other odd choices include “Shakespeare In Love” over “Saving Private Ryan,” arguably one of the best war movies ever made. Another is “The English Patient” over “Fargo.” Have you ever watched “The English Patient” more than once? “Fargo,” meanwhile, demands multiple viewings. “Moneyball” was so much better than “The Artist.” And all I remember from “Chariots of Fire” are guys running in slow motion to Vangelis’s synthesized score. The movie that should have won, “Raiders of The Lost Ark,” is close to cinematic perfection. Films Often Win For Their Message, Not Their Merit Despite all these bewildering moments the Academy has provided over the last 36 years, it’s nothing compared to the head-shaking moments they’ve bestowed upon audiences. Nary a chance exists when voters, examining Best Picture nominees, choose films that convey an “important message” to audiences. Channeling a message via film is not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s bad when films wins because of their message, and not because they’re superior. The following all fall into that category: “Dances With Wolves.” Used as a means of highlighting the plight of Native Americans. The film does not hold up well and is filled with cartoonish stereotypical characters, none of which are memorable. What should have won: “Goodfellas.” Scorsese unfairly snubbed again. “American Beauty.” Highlights suburban white families and the issues they deal with on a daily basis. It’s loaded with clichéd characters doing clichéd things along with a clichéd script. What should have won: “The Insider.” Michael Mann’s film, which explores the intersection between corporate America and journalism, is a tour de force. Al Pacino and Russell Crowe both delivered Oscar-worthy performances. “Million Dollar Baby.” It “created a dialogue” about issues such as women in sports and assisted suicide. What should have won: “Sideways.” Alexander Payne’s road trip comedy/drama served up equal parts of laughter and heartache. Pinot Noir was never more popular as a result. “Crash.” Forget about undeserving. This overrated muck shouldn’t have sniffed a nomination, let alone take home the big prize. It’s the kind of film about racism that is safe for people to say they liked because it blends clichés and narratives about racism people aren’t afraid to discuss. Complete with unrealistic, wooden characters, a lousy script and giant plot holes, it’s one of the worst choices the Academy has ever made. What should have won: “Brokeback Mountain,” ‘Capote,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” or “Munich.” Any of them were more deserving. ‘Moonlight’ Is Very Good, But Not Oscar-Worthy “Moonlight” fits the criteria of the “message” movie. It’s a beautiful film with standout performances from some of the cast. It’s a moving film that allows the viewer to connect with the main character through three stages of his life. The story of Chiron, shown in three separate stages of life, is illustrated in believable detail. He grows from an innocent, young black boy into a hardened drug dealer in 12 to 14 years. The fact that Chiron is gay makes his story that much more compelling. That said, the film suffers from familiar tropes: the drug addicted mother, poor casting (Trevante Rhodes is just not believable as the adult Chiron), and it doesn’t quite have the courage to explore the issue of sexuality with the two gay characters. Critics were united in their praise, and therein lies the problem. Because of the subject matter—and the fact that the entire cast and director are black—it would seem some critics are hesitant to point out the film’s flaws, for fear of being criticized themselves. Movie critic Owen Gleiberman talks in great honesty about the politicization of film criticism in a podcast with Bret Easton Ellis (Go to minute 70), using “Moonlight” as the springboard for the conversation. They both agree that identity politics is what keeps people from being negative about the movie. The Film With The Greatest Artistic Value Should Win It’s a shame this happened because the film is worth seeing. I would recommend “Moonlight” to anybody, but it is not a better film than either “Hell or High Water” or “Arrival.” Both of these films explored familiar territories but in a way that elevated them from run of the mill dramas to Oscar-worthy art, aided by standout performances by cast members in both films. The fact that “Moonlight” creates some societal discourse about race and sexuality does not mean it is the best movie of 2016. Hopefully, at some point, the Academy will put aside the tendency to judge Best Picture based on societal trends, and instead just choose the best movie of the year. ]]>
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  • Realistic Patriotism Makes ‘12 Strong’ A War Movie Worth Watching
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ‘12 Strong’ is a welcome change from the ‘We’re all to blame’ war movies that leftists in Hollywood crank out.
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  • Paul Rudd Gives A Wildly Disappointing Performance In ‘The Catcher Was A Spy’
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Not since Roger Moore’s turn as James Bond has an actor sleepwalked through a film like Rudd has here.
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    (Review Source)
  • Peter Jackson’s World War I Documentary Is A Civilizational Triumph
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    'They Shall Not Grow Old' immortalizes and humanizes the ordinary British infantrymen who fought on the Western Front, and were then forgotten.
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  • 2016’s Most Neglected Movies About Men You Still Need To See
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Americans disagree whether it’s possible, necessary, or acceptable to focus on men. These movies explore these questions with insightful reflections on American society.
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    (Review Source)

The American Conservative Staff4
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Don't Forget the Epic Story ofWorldWarII
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The World War II film Hacksaw Ridge is in contention for multiple Oscars, and I hope it wins a gaggle of them. It is a fine, well-made film, and a rare attempt in mainstream cinema to portray the heroism of a faithful Christian believer. Having said that, I have to lodge an objection. Without the slightest ill intent, the film contributes to a pervasive lack of understanding or appreciation of the U.S. role in that vastly significant conflict, the popular memory of which is utterly dominated by radical and leftist perspectives. For most people under forty, the war is recounted in terms of the country’s allegedly pervasive racism, bigotry, and sexism, in which the only heroes are those resisters who defied that hegemony. It has become Exhibit A in the contemporary retrojection of modern-day culture wars into the transmission of American history. Hacksaw Ridge tells the story of Desmond Doss, a devout Seventh Day Adventist, whose religious views forbade him accepting military service. As a conscientious objector, he served as a medic, and found himself on the extraordinarily bloody battlefields of Okinawa. His feats of courage and self-sacrifice earned him the only Congressional Medal of Honor ever awarded to a conscientious objector. No one would have dared invent such a story, which clamored to be told. But here is the problem. If such a treatment were part of a broad range of accounts of the war, then it would be a wonderful contribution, but it does not form part of any such continuum. While the main narrative of the war has faded into oblivion, major events like Okinawa are recalled only as they can be told from a perspective that appeals to liberal opinion, and even to pacifists. For many years, I taught a class on the Second World War at Penn State University, and I have an excellent sense of the materials that are available in terms of films, textbooks and documentaries. Overwhelmingly, when they approach the American role in the war, they do so by emphasizing marginal perspectives and racial politics, to the near exclusion of virtually every other event or controversy. At that point, you might legitimately ask whether minority contributions don’t deserve proper emphasis, as of course they do. Waco, Texas, for instance, was the home of the magnificent Dorie Miller, an African-American cook on the USS West Virginia, who responded to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by blasting at enemy aircraft with a machine gun. Miller was a superb American hero, as also was (for instance) Daniel Inouye, of the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, who suffered terrible wounds and was later awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor. The legendary Tuskegee Airmen produced a legion of distinguished (black) fliers, but we might particularly cite Roscoe Brown, the first US pilot to shoot down one of the Luftwaffe’s terrifying new jet fighters. All these individuals, and many like them, have been lauded repeatedly in recent books and documentaries on the war, for instance in Ken Burns’s 2007 PBS series The War. They absolutely deserve to be remembered and honored. But they should not be the whole story, and in modern cultural memory, they virtually are. If you look for educational materials or museum presentations about America in World War II, I can guarantee you will find certain themes or events constantly placed front and center. By far the most significant thing to be highlighted in the great majority of films, texts, and exhibitions are the Japanese-American internments. Depending on their approach, other productions will assuredly discuss women’s role on the home front, and “Rosie the Riveter”. Any actual tales of combat will concern the Tuskegee airmen, or the Navajo code-talkers. Our students enter classes believing that the Tuskegee fliers were basically the whole of the Allied air offensive against Germany. A like emphasis dominates feature films of the past couple of decades such as Red Tails (2012, on Tuskegee) and Windtalkers (2002, the code-talkers). Especially when dealing with the Pacific War, such combat-oriented accounts strive very hard to tell their tales with a presumed objectivity, to avoid any suggestion that the Japanese were any more motivated by pathological violence and racial hatred than the Americans. That approach was amply illustrated by Clint Eastwood’s sprawling duo of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006). Western productions virtually never address the mass murders and widespread enslavement undertaken by the Japanese regime. Not surprisingly, the Japanese neo-militarist hard Right loved Eastwood’s Flags and Letters. (Fortunately, you are still allowed to hate Nazis, or we wouldn’t have the magnificent Saving Private Ryan.) The consequences of all this are apparent. For many college-age Americans today, America’s war was largely a venture in hypocrisy, as a nation founded on segregation and illegal internments vaunted its bogus moral superiority. If awareness of Nazi deeds prevents staking a claim of total moral equivalence, then America’s record is viewed with a very jaundiced eye. Even setting aside the moral issues, the degree of popular ignorance of the war is astounding. I have complained that the materials available for teaching military history are narrowly-focused and tendentious, but the opportunities even to take such courses have all but collapsed in recent years. Most major universities today will not hire specifically in military history, and do not replace retirements. Courses that are offered tend to be general social histories of the home front, which can be excellent in themselves, but they offer nothing of the larger context. In terms of actual military enterprises, under-40s might at best know such names as Pearl Harbor, Omaha Beach (exclusively from Saving Private Ryan) and maybe Iwo Jima (from Flags / Letters). Maybe now, after Hacksaw Ridge, they will know something about Okinawa—but only as seen through the eyes of one pacifist. (So what were U.S. forces actually doing in Okinawa? Why did the battle happen? How did it end?) Military buffs apart, younger Americans know nothing about the Battle of the Bulge, which claimed nineteen thousand American lives. They have never heard of Guadalcanal, or Midway, or the Battle of the Coral Sea, or a series of battles that prevented the Pacific becoming a Japanese lake, and the main trade route of its slave empire. They know nothing about the land and sea battles that liberated the Philippines, although that could be politically sensitive, as it would demand coverage of the mass killings of tens of thousands of Filipino civilians by Japanese occupiers. That might even raise questions about the whole moral equivalence thing. Younger Americans know nothing of the battle of Saipan, one of the truly amazing moments in U.S. military history. Within just days of the American involvement in the D-Day campaign in France, other U.S, forces on the other side of the planet launched a near-comparably sized invasion of a crucial Japanese-held island, in what has been described as D-Day in the Pacific. In just a couple of days of air battles related to this campaign, U.S. forces in the Marianas destroyed six hundred Japanese aircraft, an astounding total. Japan never recovered. Quite apart from any specific incident, most Americans have virtually no sense of the course of the war, or American goals, or the political context. Nor will they appreciate the stupendous feats of industrial organization that allowed U.S. forces to operate so successfully on a global scale, and which laid the foundations for all the nation’s post-war triumphs. There was so much more to the story than Rosie the Riveter. Nor do they appreciate the critical role of the war in creating American identity and nationhood, in forging previously disparate immigrant communities into a new national whole. So the Civil War was the American Iliad? Then World War II was our Aeneid, an epic struggle against authentic evil, which at once created the nation and framed its destiny. It should not be commemorated as a study in victimhood and injustice. Philip Jenkins is the author of The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels. He is distinguished professor of history at Baylor University and serves as co-director for the Program on Historical Studies of Religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion. ]]>
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  • To Die On Omaha Beach
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    War At the American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer Yesterday Philippe and I drove from Paris to the D-Day beaches in Normandy, with our sons. My oldest, Matthew, who is 13, watched “Saving Private Ryan” the night before, and loved it. We arrived first in Arromanches, the town on Gold Beach off the coast of which the Allies set up an artificial harbor that was utterly critical to the success of the Normandy invasion. I had no idea. The engineering it took to create this thing is heart-stopping to contemplate. We parked the car and watched the younger boys — Leon, 10, and Lucas, 8 — scamper through the village playing soldier, so innocently. Being children, all they can imagine is the glorious adventure of being soldiers. After lunch and a visit to the Arromanches museum, we drove down the coast towards the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Motoring slowly through these Norman coastal villages, I marveled at how much survived the bombardment, especially among the churches. Of course I can’t be certain how much is the result of restoration, but there appears to be many buildings that were built centuries ago that remain intact. The most striking thing is the quiet and peace of these tiny villages, and their surrounding fields, and the powder-blue waters of the English Channel, swaddling the slaughter beaches like baby blankets. How could a place so gentle and embracing have been the site of so much carnage? We did not realize that the American Cemetery closed so early, so we arrived only in time for a quick visit with the boys. We all but ran from our car to the cemetery itself. Even if you have seen, in “Saving Private Ryan” or in some other film, images of the field of white crosses and stars of David, marking the graves of the nearly 10,000 Americans who died in the Normandy invasion, but whose remains were not repatriated — well, nothing prepares you for it. We had so little time, so I took the boys on a quick walk down a row of graves. We found one of a Louisiana man who died in Normandy: Francis J. McCormick. “Look, fellows, this soldier was from Louisiana,” I said. And no sooner had I gotten that out than Lucas rushed to the marker, and inserted an American flag he had with him into the ground. It was entirely spontaneous; I had given him that flag to help him feel proud of his country and what his countrymen had given to free France. He decided to leave it for Sgt. McCormick. I just had time to photograph it; I’ve obscured his profile above to protect his privacy (again, we feel strongly about not publishing photos of our kids on the Internet). His gesture moved me deeply. Matthew, who is far more reserved in his emotions, walked alone through the graves, a short distance from the rest of us. When I looked at him, his face was a grim mask. He was plainly struggling with deep emotions, and trying not to cry. “What do you think?” I said. “War. It’s not good,” he stammered. “I don’t know what to say. I’m going to have to think about this.” And then he screwed his grimace down even tighter, and turned away so he wouldn’t have to look at me. We left the cemetery only a minute before the gates closed. On the long drive back to Paris through the dark and the rain, the kids sat in the back seats watching movies and playing iPod games, and Philippe and I talked. Earlier, on the drive to Normandy, he told me how important it was that the European Union succeeded, because so much depends on keeping Europe stable. “We have seen so much war,” he said. “This has to endure. Every other choice is worse. We know this from our history.” I told him that the day before, I had been at Museum of the Army, at the Invalides — an impressive museum, to say the least, but one that left me feeling sad — bereft, even. The tools and vestments of warfare on display are beautiful, and even poignant. For example, there’s a coat that soldiers of Napoleon’s army wore on campaign in Russia, during the savage winter of La Grande Armee’s retreat. It was made only of felt — a few layers of felt, against the Russian winter! No wonder the French lost 90 percent of their men! To see that thin coat, and to imagine the man it belonged to, freezing beneath it, was to understand something important about that event. And just around the corner from that exhibit hangs this portrait of Napoleon as Emperor: Just look at him. To think of the suffering and death that man brought to European peoples, and to the people of his own nation, to satisfy that monstrous ego! I stood before this image and thought, “God bless Nelson, and God bless Wellington .” By the time we made it to the end of the World Wars I and II exhibit, I understood why an American friend recently left her tour of the museum feeling stained, and went to a church to pray. It was close to overwhelming to be confronted with all the ways humankind’s creativity has gone into figuring out more efficient ways to slaughter others, and, seeing the elaborate and frankly beautiful uniforms soldiers have worn over the centuries, how much effort went into glorifying war and warriors. Understand: it wasn’t the French Army that wearied me, but the exhibits casting light on man’s inhumanity to man. The only redeeming thing about it was an extraordinary exhibit on Gen. de Gaulle. Anyway, in the car on the way to Normandy, my French friend Philippe said it is so hard to keep one’s mind focused on history, and what European nationalism and militarism has done to its people. “People forget that Europeans have been at war with each other forever,” he said, wearily. I told him that as an American, I have a general aversion to the EU, simply because I hate the thought of the Brussels-based Eurocracy flattening the distinctions among the peoples of Europe. But then again, I said, it’s easy for me to say this; I haven’t had to live with the historical consequences of European nationalist wars. Is it possible to love one’s own culture without hating the culture of others? In theory, it should be; in practice, this seems like an impossibly thin line to walk. At the US cemetery, I saw all that remains of nearly 10,000 American servicemen who suffered the ultimate consequences of European nationalism. Philippe said he had never been to this cemetery, and was so glad to have come. Visibly shaken by the acres of white crosses, my friend told me how grateful he was that these Americans had died to make his country free. He said he wondered if we had it in us today to make that kind of sacrifice for freedom. As we stood there looking out over the field of crosses, I told my sons, “All of those men were once boys like you. They never imagined that they would end up here, so far from home.” As we hurried back to our car to leave before the park closed, I said to Philippe, “I pray that our boys never end up in a place like this.” He nodded in agreement. Neither of us doubt in the slightest that the war was necessary — Hitler had to be repudiated — but still, the agony and the waste of war is agonizing to confront. But necessary. On the long drive back to Paris, I thought about the French mystic and philosopher Simone Weil’s short essay on war and “The Iliad,” which you can read in PDF form here. Weil wrote it in 1940, after her country had been conquered by the Nazis. It is basically an argument for pacifism. After publication, Weil changed her mind about pacifism, and publicly admitted how wrong she had been. The evil of Hitlerism and the deeds of the German military convinced her that force was sometimes necessary to defend the right. Nevertheless, it seems to me that she got it basically right, at least in this passage from the essay, after she announces that “The Iliad” is a poem exploring how force in all its forms dehumanizes. Weil writes: To define force — it is that x that turns anybody subjected to it into a thing. Exercised to the limit, it turns man into a thing in the most literal sense: it makes a corpse out of him. Somebody was here, and in the next minute, there is nobody here at all; this is a spectacle that the Iliad never wearies of showing us: …the horses Rattled the empty chariots through the files of battle, Longing for their noble drivers. But they on the ground Lay, dearer to the vultures than their wives. The hero becomes a thing, dragged behind a chariot in the dust: All around, his black hair Was spread; in the dust his whole head lay, That once-charming head; now Zeus had let his enemies Defile it on his native soil. The bitterness of such a spectacle is offered us absolutely undiluted. No comforting fiction intervenes; no consoling prospect of immortality; and on the hero’s head, no washed-out halo of patriotism descends. His soul, fleeing his limbs, passed to Hades, Mourning its fate, forsaking its youth and vigor. It does not demean in any way the sacrifice of those brave men, nor take away from the justice of their cause (which was our cause), to observe that war is hateful above almost all things. Almost. In any case, there is no glory in it, and I understand, I think, why even the greatest American heroes of World War II did not want to talk about what they had seen and done. How do you return from hell and convey the enormity of what you have witnessed? The idea that any nation would go to war for other than reasons of utmost necessity is disgusting, and must be resisted at every opportunity. Our tragedy is that we always think that our wars are wars of necessity. UPDATE: Oh my. Look at these “ghost photos” from the invasion. Stunning. Eerie. (Thanks to Amy Welborn for sending the link.) ]]>
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  • Dunkirk” Is a Film about SurvivalThe American Conservative
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    “Dunkirk” is an interesting film for our cultural moment. The evacuation of the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force, along with French troops, was a modern brand pulled from the fire, a miracle fully meriting biblical comparisons.

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  • Spielberg’s ‘Post’: Clumsy, Inaccurate, Anti-Trump Twaddle ...
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Spielberg’s ‘Post’: Clumsy, Inaccurate, Anti-Trump Twaddle The movie is badly disguised virtue signaling by Hollywood, that, as usual, warps history for its own purposes.

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Hugh Hewitt2
Salem Radio Network



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Dr. Larry Arrn Continues On In Aristotle's Ethics
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    HH: It’s that time of the week when the Hillsdale Dialogue unfolds before you. Once a week, I spend a radio hour with either Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, or one of his colleagues, talking about one of the great texts of Western Civilization. For the past few weeks and for the next couple of weeks, we are in Aristotle, primarily the Ethics. WE will also get to the Politics perhaps next week or the week thereafter. Dr. Larry Arnn, welcome, it’s great to talk to you. I want to go quickly back to where we were last week for people who were listening, perhaps on the iPods, and they’re rushing ahead. Last week, you were talking about the fact that you teach this in seminar form to 15 students often at the college of Hillsdale. And I am curious if you videotaped that, would it change the way it unfolded? LA: We’ll we’re going to teach an online course on Aristotle’s Ethics sometime. Probably I will do it, and it will be good, I think. People seem to enjoy our courses. But here’s what I think gets changed. If you get 15 or 20, 20’s a lot, but I think I’ve taught 22 or 23 once, everybody can see everybody. And everybody can contribute, and we learn better that way, because we’re made to talk, remember. And the seminar is the classic way, and you know, Aristotle’s claim is, and also Plato’s claim is the seminar on the right subject is one of the highest possible human experiences, because everybody…like here’s a thing that happened one time. There’s a kid named Wegman, who’s a married man now and works here on Capitol Hill, James Wegman, and I said something once, and he stirred at his seat and grimaced, and then relaxed. And I said I know what you think, and he said what, Dr. Arnn. And I said you think that what I just said was an aberration and an excessive demotion of politics to which you are very attached, and then you thought no, it’s Dr. Arnn. He didn’t make that mistake. And then you relaxed. And he said how did you know that, and I said I know you, James. So the point is, in a seminar, we can all learn together, and things become clearer to everyone, because you know, it would be better if these listeners that you referred to last week, the ones who love the thing, and then some of them who you say do not love the thing that we’re doing here, and you know, it’s a pain in the tuches to both of us, so maybe we should just shut up about it. But if they would come in and talk, that would be better… HH: Yeah. LA: Because then you can answer the points. And so somebody’s going to learn something, and probably everybody is. But if you teach an online course, then you can explain, and we’re pretty good at explaining, because that’s what we do for a living, and then people can send in questions, and they can have discussion boards with each other. And there’s value in that. I don’t think it’s as great a value, but value. HH: But value. I’ve only been in one seminar outside of our conversations, long ago and far away at Harvard with a fellow named Edward Banfield. I don’t know if you ever met him. LA: I knew him well, great man. HH: Did you really? LA: Oh, yeah. HH: I didn’t know that. And he was very generous with two students, Regina Pisa and myself, very generous. And we would meet in his office, and he would do this. And you didn’t really know what you were learning until it was done. And even then, you just glimpsed it. So it is a very high form. So I am hopeful that people have that opportunity to at least observe it. I think it will go well when you do that, if you somehow find a way of retaining the intimacy and the exchange. Now let’s go back to the Ethics. There are, there is in the Roman Catholic world a rite familiar to those who are observant Catholics, the rite of penance. It’s a sacrament. And before you receive the sacrament, you’re supposed to examine your conscience. And it’s a rather elaborate process that you learn when you’re young, and you get better at it, and it culminates sort of an Ignatian spirituality where you really do examine your conscience. And as I read the Ethics again, I thought of that, thinking for the non-Christian, this is about, it’s almost involuntary as you move through the Ethics and his catalogue of virtues, vices, the mean, and that which is on either side of it, to engage in that. And so it’s almost a self, a forcing of a self-examination. Is that common in your seminar? LA: Oh, yeah, of course. You know, everybody wants to be good. And once it’s explained to you that that is the purpose of human life, then of course we’re all…like a big moment in the Ethics is when Aristotle says things that makes one deduce. He never quite says this thing I’m about to say, but you can see that he means it. Most people are in the middle, right? Very few people are very vicious, and very few people are really very virtuous. Well, everybody perks up when they hear that, right, because they want to know where they are. HH: Yeah. LA: Of course, you know. And it’s not, by the way, that teaching is not in any sense at odds with Christianity. HH: No. LA: Because Christianity invites you to do the same thing. And so yeah, that’s what they want to know, see, because it is a way…I said this before, but I’ll say it again. One of the reasons I love the book, among so many reasons I do, is because this idea that the good is not just known but is the faculty, the knowledge of it is the faculty by which we operate as human beings, is tremendously challenging and also liberating, because we can shrug off all this talk that nobody can know what the good is, you just make it up for yourself, and we can get to work figuring out what it is. And that is the work of civilization. That is the work of ethics. And so the book is wonderfully liberating for that, and the students find that liberation and enjoy it immensely. HH: Now the three practical rules of conduct that Aristotle lays out early in the book, I think it’s in Book 3 of the book – avoid the extreme that is farther from the mean, notice what errors you’re committing repeatedly, and try and not do them, and be wary of pleasure. So that third one, yeah, that’s going to be a problem, because basically, every advertisement that comes along on the radio show in between our conversations is an advertisement for a pleasure of a sort, one way or the other. So those hold true over time, and they are far more easily stated than they are practiced. But you are, there’s really, it’s just a matter of fact. It’s just the statement of how it is. LA: Yeah, and let me explain, because let’s use courage, and we’ll explain about the mean and the extremes, and about what constitutes the middle. HH: And he begins with courage. Well begun there. LA: Yeah, and so courage is vivid. Courage is easy to see, right? Like eating strawberry pie or chocolate cake, that’s, you know, a challenge to moderation. But courage is clearer to that in a way, because in courage, on the battlefield, and courage has a lot to do with war. All kinds of danger, but war is the archetype. And think on a battlefield, right? What do you want to do? There are two things you want to do, and one is run away, and the other is roll up in a little ball. HH: Right. LA: And everybody wants to do those things. It’s loud, it’s an incredible cacophony, and it’s very dangerous. And there’s so much chance involved if bullets are whistling all over the place. So you want to do those things. And if you do either of those two things, that’s cowardice. That’s what we call the deficiency of courage. There’s not enough of it there. Now there’s another thing that people do sometimes, and that is sometimes, they just get up and charge, screaming at the enemy, because they can’t stand it anymore. And they often get killed doing that. And once in a while, and especially in bad movies about war, they present that as heroism, and it’s kind of accidental. That’s what Aristotle calls rashness, too much of it, right? And courage is the place in between those two obstacles or temptations. And that’s when you feel the fear, but the fear does not dominate. You must be afraid to have courage, but the fear is not what controls your action, or, in the case of sublimely courageous, the fear is not the thing that dominates your thinking, so you can be wonderfully effective. I mean, I told the story before, but, I think on your show, but Churchill once got in an armored train under artillery and light arms fire, loose, and it got away. And he was out in the open. Several people were killed, and several dozen were wounded, and the fire was persistent and dense. And he walked around upright with people watching him, and they were staggered by the spectacle of it. They couldn’t believe it. And later, he confessed that he was frightened to death. There was no sign of it whatsoever. And also, his calculations were superb. And he did get it free. And so he was not just defying the fear, he was responding to something else. And that means he didn’t go to, not far enough in courage, and he didn’t go too far. He went the right amount. HH: He went to the mean. — – – HH: Dr. Arnn, in the last segment, you say, you noted that many war movies attempt to get this right. And I think the finest war movie is Saving Private Ryan. And in the first 20 minutes of it, without any music, just the landing at Normandy, the chaos and the confusion, and Tom Hanks’ character, Captain John Miller, is obviously both afraid but brave, not rash, but also not cowardly, in having to move through danger head up and alert, and make decisions. In fact, the best line in the whole movie is when he’s blown up and he’s concussed, and a private is yelling at him where’s the rally point, and he says anywhere but here. He kind of summarizes the need to get off, but to get off in a way that saves their lives. It’s hard to actually capture courage the right way. It’s always overdone or underdone. But that is the mien that Aristotle then uses to move to all of the other virtues. LA: Yeah, and there’s one more thing to know about it that makes it really courage, and it’s actually, it’s actually the central point, and we haven’t named it, yet, because the virtues in Aristotle are a mixture always of thinking and desiring. It’s not just what you think, it’s what you want. And courageous actions, and this is a terribly important thing to understand all virtues, is that courageous actions are done for the sake of the beautiful. In other words, they’re not done just to be effective on the battlefield, and they’re not done to avoid shame, although that’s coincident with this thing I’m saying. They’re done because to do them is to commit a good or especially a beautiful act. And it can’t be a beautiful act just to rage and throw your life away, and it can’t be a beautiful act to retreat. In fact, it takes very close calculation in a war situation, and I’m going to say in any kind of situation, to discover what is the beautiful action. And of course, most only high opportunities present. And I want to say what this word beautiful means in Aristotle, because Aristotle says everything aims to the good, and we define that word and identified it with the human faculty. But the highest form of the good, the goods that are chosen for their own sake, those are the beautiful things. And so we long for those things. Like we, these Kardashian girls, I gather, are beautiful. I’ve actually seen photographs of them. I’m not completely cut off from humanity. And as I recall, they’re beautiful, although they didn’t strike me as the most beautiful. But this kind of beauty that I’m talking about is more beautiful than physical appearance, although the physical appearance can be very beautiful. It’s a kind of beauty that when we see it, we long for it. You know, my example on a battlefield is George Washington at Princeton, where he marched through his own fleeing soldiers to actually save, it’s one of three or four times in his life when in the war, when Washington saved the American Union and founded it. And what he did was he walked his horse at the pursuing British at a steady pace without looking left or right, and just his sword sticking out toward the British. And he didn’t have any way to know. There’s a record of this by an agitate named Fitzwilliams who was with him. He didn’t have any way to know whether anybody was turning to come with him. He was walking at the British alone. And they formed to fire. And he was giving the orders to fire. And there was an enormous cascade of musket fire, and he was shrouded in smoke. And Fitzwilliam covered his face with his cap and said I can’t bear to look at it. And then when the smoke cleared, Washington was still on his horse, and it was still striding purposefully toward the British, and the Americans had formed behind him, and they ran from him, the British did. And that’s what made, that’s what preserved the victory at the Battle of Trenton, and kept the United States in the war to get founded for another year. HH: You know, I haven’t heard that before. I’ve never heard that story. LA: Everyone who saw that thought that is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. HH: Sure. LA: And think of the way that Washington was trusted for the rest of his life. They could not hold the Constitutional Convention without him agreeing to go. They could not design the executive except with him in mind to hold it first and set the example. And it was because they had, and remember, Washington was not a great speech maker, and he did not write many of his greatest speeches himself. Madison wrote many of them. But people had seen him do that, and that was an operation of a human being so high and perfect that it was beautiful. HH: You know, I’ve been reading, as I told you before, the account of 1940 and ’41 in Great Britain, and Churchill would go out each night and drive his people crazy, because he would go to the sound of the bombs, and then he would poke around in the bombs, and he would go to the searchlight. And who was his personal detective? Thompson, who was beside himself all the time, and that displaces, as Douglas MacArthur. They called him Dugout Doug, but he often exposed himself to extraordinary risk… LA: Yeah. HH: …as did, I think, probably most great leaders in war. LA: That’s right, and that’s…and it’s not done, and see, when you think about it, maybe they’re showing off. And there’s a great story about Tipper Gore when she was the vice president’s wife. They went down to somewhere where there was a flood, and she walked down the street with a shovel to get a shot of her shoveling some stuff to get, to help clean up, you know, wherever this flood was. And she kept stopping, and the press, you know, finally after she was out of the job, somebody wrote it up, because the press have a kind of code. They don’t write things like this up. But she kept stopping at the wrong door and saying is this the place where I’m supposed to shovel, you know, for the TV cameras? And then when she went into her tent to spend the night, you know, on the scene helping overnight, she zipped up the tent, and then the cameras went off, and then she zipped it down and went and checked into a hotel. HH: Hotel… LA: So that was… HH: That’s not the real thing. LA: That wasn’t beautiful. HH: So now we have why it’s beautiful, and we have courage as the mean between these things. So having established that, Aristotle moves off immediately to temperance. LA: Right. HH: Is that also because it’s easy? LA: Yeah, well, temperance is less an immediate scene of noble and beautiful action than courage. It’s just necessary, and it is a direct preparation for the most beautiful kind of action, because if you just think what temperance means, it just means you want things, and you can’t have them, or you ought not to have them. And how do you manage that? And Aristotle’s account of temperance is that in a way, it is more fundamental and goes further than courage, although courage is terribly important, because with temperance, as with courage, it’s not just a matter of denying yourself. It’s a matter of shaping your wishes. — – – – HH: I confess to being way behind. I have, my plan for attack on the Ethics is completely blown up, Dr. Larry Arnn, because I’m way behind. It was originally going to be two hours. It’s up to four. It could go longer. I suppose this is what you averred to when we began this. You said just leave a lot of time for the Ethics. And so on temperance, let’s go back and reset what we said before the break. Aristotle brings it up as the second virtue to be explored after courage. It’s a little bit more difficult to understand, because it involves wanting. But it also doesn’t involve complete denial of that want. LA: No, because you know, and this is in courage. There’s an excess and a deficiency, so in pleasures, there are excesses in deficiencies. And so all of the pleasures that are famous, eating and you know, whatever, they’re all natural. We like them for a reason. And so we should have them, but having them in the wrong amount would be destructive of us. And you know, obviously if you eat too much, you get fat. And so you have to dispose yourself in the right way toward pleasure. It’s not just getting the right amount. For example, it wouldn’t be virtuous if you put yourself in a cage and hired someone just to put the right amount of every pleasure before you and not let you have any more, because what goes on in the soul is terribly important, and a preparation for something much higher that we’ll get to at the end, and that is you have to not want too much, because what you want, the desires, have to be shaped toward the beautiful. And so if it’s craven to do anything, you must be repelled by it. You must not just not be tempted by it, you must find it repulsive. HH: But you know what, I’m going to jump ahead just to one of the great men we’ll study in Plutarch, Caesar, of enormous appetites of every kind, and of great accomplishments, the greatest probably of any man in the ancient world in terms of simple accomplishments. And what would Aristotle say of that, that he both, he sinned greatly and he accomplished greatly, and that that was just his nature? LA: Well, you know, an easy thing to say to undercut your claims about Caesar would be didn’t his appetites get carried away with him just a little bit? I mean, even in regard to his greatest accomplishments, because he took an army across a river that involved an upsetting of the Roman constitution. And you know, it’s an ambiguous story. Maybe he had to do that. It was a world of very hard choices, and their regime had declined. But Aristotle would certainly say he ought not to be carried away by his appetites. And you know, Aristotle was a man capable of enormous self-denial. There’s a statue, a famous statue of Aristotle. Aristotle used to say, and I don’t want to encourage people not to sleep, because you’ve got to sleep. But he used to say that sleep is an ignoble state, because it’s the smallest difference between a good man and a bad man when you’re asleep. And Aristotle did experiment. He would hold a ball, a metal ball in his hand, and a brass ball was a symbol of the universe for the Greeks. And he would hold it in his hand, in his left hand, and let it droop. And when he fell asleep, it would fall and hit a metal plate and wake him up, which means that the grasp of the universe was keeping Aristotle awake. Well Aristotle, he’s like James Madison about this. He experimented how much he needed to sleep, because he wanted some independent knowledge of that apart from how much we wanted to sleep. HH: Wanted to sleep. Oh, interesting. I’m not sure he was a lot of fun to be around, Dr. Larry Arnn, but… LA: Well, no. Yeah, he was a genius, right? And about him, a lot of these things we have, one of the accounts of the things we have from Aristotle, because many of the texts are not very good, is that these are notes taken by students, or prepared by him. Aristotle was very much a teacher. And that must have been wonderful. I would have loved to have done that. HH: He appreciated amiability and wit, correct, as we go to break? LA: Oh, yeah. HH: He was fond of those things which make a teacher a great teacher. LA: Oh, yeah. Yeah, and he was inspiring, you know. People loved him. And wit is a virtue, and it’s not a major virtue, but it’s a virtue. And Aristotle, remember, you have to get it in your mind, because there are two things that go on in the Ethics. One is they take these particular things apart, and look at them, things you have to do all the time. So in one way, it’s like reading a self-help book, but really good. And I’ll tell you the other one when we come back. — – – HH: Just before the break, Dr. Arnn said there are two things going on here. You take apart these very specific things, some of them small, some of them larger, into smaller parts and examine them very closely, what is the second thing, Dr. Larry Arnn? LA: Well, so the small things in the example is ambition, how much ambition is right, how do you know, gluttony, how much eating is right, how much all kinds of appetites, right? The grand thing is a structure of life is put together that involves the relationship between the moral and the intellectual virtues, the virtues of doing and the virtues of thinking. And in this relationship is found a hierarchy that points to the best way for human beings to live. So what kind of life overall is the best life? And how do the various kinds of life that are worthy, and there are more than one that are worthy, how do they rank? And one gets the tools to think about that by reading this book. And so apart from coaching about daily life situations, there’s also kind of career counseling going on. HH: Interesting. I want to go back to that coaching about life situation in our last segment. Next week, we’ll come back, and I promise the audience, whether we’re done or not, we will be done with the Ethics next week, because we have to get to the Politics eventually. I want to talk about money, and his conversation about liberality and magnanimity, because as a college president, you have to talk about money all the time with people. You have to talk about it with students who have to pay some to come to Hillsdale, you have to talk about it with donors who have to contribute to Hillsdale to build the great institution you have built there, and you have to talk to people about money, and you have to talk to your children about money, and your spouse about money, and your students about their daily lives. Does this still work, what he says about it? LA: Oh, big time, and I’ll give you two examples of, two kinds of examples. I’m going to name two people by name. Generosity is giving away money for a good cause for the right reason, for the sake of the beautiful. That is the say you’ve got some money, and you give some significant part of it to Widow’s Might. And the Bible would be an example, but any gift of normal size is an example, and that’s a very worthy thing to do, according to Aristotle. And you know, it’s a form of self-rule, by the way, to do that, and it’s amazing and wonderful about the United States that it is the only country with huge middle class philanthropy, because we’re all governors. We’re all rules, and we feel like we are, and we give money to things. But then there’s another thing beyond generosity, also very great, and its only difference is really a difference of scale. It’s called magnanimity, which is the Latin words that mean great soul. No, I’m sorry, it’s not called magnanimity. It’s called magnificence. What’s wrong with me? And that comes from the Latin word meaning great means, something like that. And that’s somebody who gives huge gifts. And I’m going to name two great somebodies. The largest two gifts we’ve ever had in Hillsdale College history are from people who wish to remain anonymous. But both of them never wrote that down, and I told them if they wrote it down, I would never use their names. But if they didn’t, I would. They said, and they said, well, we might not leave you the money then, and I said it’s your money, in both cases. But if you leave it to me, I’m going to talk about it unless you specifically forbid me to do it. And their names are Dorothy Moller and Cortlandt Dietler. And they both left us north of $45 million dollars. HH: Wow. LA: And they didn’t tell me how much, before they died, and they didn’t want us to name anything. I’m putting something up about both of them on the campus, although they said I don’t want that. And I said do you really not want that, because that’s a mistake? And they said well, I don’t want it. And I said you have to write that down in a document you give the gift, and then I won’t. But if you don’t, I’m going to take this as a mood. So it’s easy for you to fix it, I said, but you’d better fix it if you really mean it, and they didn’t. So I’m telling everybody about them, and they didn’t want anything. They didn’t want me to thank them in public. They didn’t tell me how much money beforehand. That’s magnificence. That’s awesome, right? And it was a gift they could give for the sake of the beautiful, in both of their cases, and they didn’t, you know, I mean, it’s just awesome what they did. HH: It is, and why do we admire that? LA: Well, because it’s selfless and grand. In other words, all of the virtues, because let me describe to you how Aristotle describes a virtuous soul. A virtuous soul is open to the world, because it has cultivated all of these ability to address the many obstacles to human life that distort it and harm it. It is a soul that can see things as they are, and that can take pleasure in the good things, especially the beautiful things, and in fact is wholly committed to them, and is not affected by the bad things. Such a soul, if you meet such a person, they’re wonderful people to meet, because there’s nothing small about them. And they’re, if you yourself have enough virtue in you to perceive it, you want to be around them, because they make you sit up straighter, and they point out things to you that you should have seen all along and taken pleasure in. And you know, one reason this book is good for me, it’s like the Bible about this, is I work too hard. I have a job that’s demanding and overcomes me sometimes. And I get to the place where I’ll say you know, this is a wonderful things to be doing, but there’s just too much of it. And that’s a real thing, but on the other hand, what is life for? And if you read a book like this, it reminds you of that. It reminds you that there are beautiful things for the sake of which you are to fight. And you know, those two people who left that money to us, and you know, many others who have left large sums and small, I’ve had the pleasure to talk with them about the college and what it does. And in those cases, I could tell that they were evaluating me, and was I a serious man or not. And I try to be a serious man, and I know they thought so. And they gave for the serious things we both love. Not to me, for those things. HH: When we come back next week, we will continue on in Aristotle, the Ethics. Don’t miss the conclusion of our many part series on the Ethics on the next Hillsdale Dialogue. End of interview. ]]>
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  • Nobody can know for months who 'won' the Battle of the Shutdown
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Proposed opening question for the first GOP presidential debate in the fall of 2015: “Was the ‘shutdown showdown‘ of October 2013 good or necessary — either or both — and why?” I don’t have any idea how it will be answered by the 10 or so potentially serious candidates who may be on that stage, but the difficulty of predicting the best answer can be found — where else? — in two movies about war. Politics ain’t beanbag, but it certainly isn’t war, either, as the almost-certain-to-be-Arkansas’-next-senator Tom Cotton will tell you. Rep. Cotton, a combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq and a Harvard undergrad and Harvard lawyer to boot — is running against the hapless Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, and veterans of real combat like Cotton should be kept in mind when pundits start talking about battles and war. But two movies about one war are very instructive on the current inability of serious observers to figure out the longer term implications of the shutdown showdown. “Atonement” was nominated for Best Picture in 2008 at least in part for its horrifyingly realistic depiction of the brutality of the Dunkirk battle and evacuation. A decade earlier, “Saving Private Ryan” had also been nominated for Best Picture, and that was at least in part for its horrifyingly realistic depiction of the invasion of Normandy and the battle on its beaches. Early in the second film, a stunned Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, hears through a concussion the shouted words of a panicked private: “Where’s the rally point? Where’s the rally point?” Miller/Hanks shouts back through his dazed confusion: “Anywhere but here.” Many Republicans are feeling pretty much that way about the shutdown showdown this Monday morning, but they need to remember a couple of things. First, the scenes of battle on the beaches of Dunkirk and of Normandy look and feel a great deal alike, and no doubt really were to anyone who fought in both of them. But the one was a great defeat that became a rallying point, and the later a great win that bogged down for more than a month after its initial foothold was gained. Point is, to the combatants, victories and defeats can feel the same, and this much is true about the often tortured analogies of politics to war. We don’t know how this month’s drama will play out over the next 13 months, or how the reputations of its key actors will rise and fall. Our feelings about it and the mess it is just doesn’t tell us much. Along with the lefty Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein (I interviewed him on my show Friday and the transcript is available at HughHewitt.com) and lefty pollster Nate Silver, I agree that it simply isn’t possible to predict the political consequences of this confrontation. But unlike Klein and Silver, and at least a few very prominent conservative pundits and electeds, I am very happy it has occurred, and very satisfied with Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies who are accused of precipitating it. I may be proven wrong, but I may be proven right. What won’t be debatable is that the stakes of the debate are very high and they are about very important subjects, far more important than whether the EPA is shuttered for three weeks or a fake debt limit of October 17th is passed. The electorate will judge in a year. And they will remember who fought on the ramparts to stop Obamacare and the surrendering of Article I authority to a reckless and petulant president. ]]>
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    (Review Source)

Steve Sailer1
Taki Mag



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Left Coast’s Right Turn
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Remembering 'Heat' With Michael Mann and Friends
    (”Saving Private Ryan” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Vincent Hanna was strung out on coke. If that means anything to you, read on. (And if it doesn't, read on, anyway. I need the clicks.) This was just one of many revelations during a panel discussion following a Wednesday night screening of Heat , a remastered 20th anniversary edition of Michael Mann's crime-thriller masterpiece. The panel included Mann, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. Also, it was moderated by Christopher Nolan. (I fainted just typing that.) At L.A.'s Samuel Goldwy
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    (Review Source)

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