Michael Wong x4241 (Michael.Wong@nsc.com)
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 14:43:48 -0700 (PDT)


Dear List:

> Roland Thigpen wrote:
>
> > Amd what was wrong with Schindler's List? That was a DAMN fine movie.
> > Great imagery, excellent visual style, great acting, etc. If its ending
> > doesn't bring you to tears, then you have some mental problems. I thought
> > it protrayed what went on during the Holocaust very well.
>
> It was fine until the ending. Nobody needed Schindler stumbling about like
> he was deranged crying about his ring ("Two more Jews") and his car,
> especially considering that he never actually did all that. That was
> Spielberg bring the sledgehammer of sap down on the audience. He always
> does that. If it weren't for that scene I'd say it was almost perfect.

There are more problems with the film than the ending. First, his intentions
of making the film was a blatant attempt to blackmail the academy to give him
the Oscar he so coveted, it was such a carefully calculated attempt that I
despised it. Good thing his followup attempt with Saving Private Ryan (which
I think is a slightly better film) failed in it's bid, as it's another attempt
to duplicate what he did with Schindler's List. Next, if he trully wanted to
make a holocaust movie, why go with an obvious asshole like Schindler? This
is another WW2 film cliche since the protagonist must be a non-jew to identify
with the majority of the viewing public. There are also the numerous historic
inaccuracies, Schindler is a known womanizer and a shrewd businessman, his
freeing of the jews has probably more to do with needing a shield to hide
behind as Germany was losing the war by than & he saw that he must do something
to cover his ass as a war criminal profiteering from slavework. The deathcamp
showerheads were equipped only to release poison gas, the artificial construct
of lining up the prisoners to it with swelling music hinting impending doom
while have water shoot out was a VERY cheap way to thrill audiences who don't
know any better.

No, the ending didn't bring me to tears, it pissed me off instead! The speech
mentioned above and also later when the survivors who worked for Schindler
gathered at his gravesite each placing a stone in front of the headstone are
further examples of Speilberg sledgehammer style that turned me off.

Some survivors actually didn't find Schindler to be such a saint as Speilberg
portrayed in his fictionalized telling of the story. That's the same case
with Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane. Better historical movies are
Glory and The Insider (well, I know that's a stretch!), made by directors with
more integrity and attention to historical accuracy.

> > Next, you'll be telling me you had problems with Nuremburg.

Haven't seen that movie.

> > As for Titanic, I thought it was well done, and fairly accurate to most
> > recounts of the ship's loss. Yes, it was a love story, but I thought they
> > did a good job of joining that with the actual history. And it started out
> > well...every word of how the old woman (forget the name at the moment)
> > brought forth images that you not only heard, but could feel with every
> > other one of your senses. You don't often find that in most modern movies.
>
> The girls liked the love story. The guys couldn't wait for Leonardo to die
> and for the ship to sink. The love story itself was weak but it was executed
> well, I think. Having two fictional characters on the Titanic was needless,
> to me, though. Plenty of drama in that event with what actually happened
> without having to make stuff up.

Of course girls liked the love story! The guy (who is obviously wrong for her)
died after and she was free to live the life she had always wanted to. Things
I hate about Titanic includes:-

(1) Half an hour of running up and the bowels of a sinking ship.
(2) Rose getting jealous of a sketch Jack made of a prostitute, but was
        pacified when Jack told her she was a "one-legged-prostitute". Hello?!
(3) "You jump, I jump" becomes "You freeze in the ocean, while I lay on the
        wooden board and survive" when shit hits the fan.
(4) Completely fictional love story gets the main attention while numerous
        interesting factual events got ignored. Like the rich man who chose
        to sit and wait for his death in the ship, the old couple who decided
        to die together in the bed of their cabin, the string quartet who
        played on when the ship is sinking to calm the crowds... etc.
(5) Some very bad CG, imposing Kate Winslet's face on a girl running in the
        ship.
(6) Throwing the priceless necklace into the ocean after all these years. What
        the?!?
(7) "I'm the King of the World!"
(8) No talent Leonardo Di Caprio being made into a star.
(9) The piece of iceberg that sunk the ship looked like a cheap piece of
        styrofoam/plastic.
(10) Rose and Jack making out caused the ship to hit the iceberg and sink.

> > If you want something to blame humanity for liking, try Pulp Fiction.
>
> Pulp Fiction was a great movie. Now, it also made Tarantino think that he
> was God and that he couldn't screw up, but I'll live with that. The
> performances were great, the story was really good, and the cinematography
> was excellent, good enough to influence a host of movies that came afterwards.

Agreed, not only were the performances outstanding, the unusual narrative
structure, the outstanding sound track, unpredictable plot, numerous quotable
lines, and memorable characters all made this a trully remarkable movie.

> Alfred.

Michael

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