Roland Thigpen (jenius@unspacy.org)
14 Sep 2000 22:39:08 -0000


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

First of all, I could care less about anyone trying to get an Oscar. Anyone that makes films is trying to do that. It'd be like blaming a soldier for killing someone before they killed him in a battle.

As for Schindler being an asshole...well, seems a good portion of the Jewish community would debate that. Like anyone else, he had his faults. His reasons for freeing the Jews can't be figured out now, only the results. It's like debating whether or not Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclomation for good reasons or not. All we have to judge from are the results. Did he save the lives of hundreds of Jews? YES. And frankly, I know several Jews that would find your blasting of the man insulting. Including one I used to work for (God rest his soul). As for Schindler's foibles, they are included in the film, if you merely look for them.

Additionally, from what I understand and have read, not all of the showerheads you mention released poison gas. It was part of the psychological torture of the Jewish prisoners. Many were killed by the gas, but not all. That way, the prisoners were tortured by knowing they could die at any time, but never knowing when.

As for the Jewish people placing the stones on his grave...DAMNATION!!!!! IT WAS A WAY TO SHOW THAT THE MAN AND HIS ACTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN!!!!! Hell and damnation, you people are starting to sound like those A-holes that try to claim the Holocaust never happened! That scene was put in there to remind everyone that so long as we remember, the chance of such things happening again are lessened. Maybe you want to forget it, but I don't.

Maybe you'd look at the movie differently if you didn't already have a bias against Spielberg, which is what your message leads me to believe.

>> > Next, you'll be telling me you had problems with Nuremburg.
>
>Haven't seen that movie.
>

It is a TNT tv movie/miniseries (I think, that is where I first saw it) based on the Nuremburg trials, staring Alec Baldwin as the lead lawyer trying the Nazi leaders. I forget the lawyer's name at the moment). I thought it was well done, especially when they showed the Concentration Camp footage and everyone's reaction to it. I thought most of the acting in it was first rate...well, except for maybe Michael Ironsides, but he acted as he normally does.

>> > 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.
>

Whatever...actually, for me, the love story was a secondary thing. It gave a basis for showing people the various events you said were a side story and for showing the differences in the classes at the time. I thought it did a good job of it, and as I said, the imagery produced not only visually, but with words was some of the best I've heard. As for throwing the necklace overboard, it's completely understandable. Rose has finally been able to tell something she has had bottled up inside her for so long, and has finally laid her past to rest. Throwing the necklace away merely completes the action that her retelling started.

It seems that some people can't appreciate good work.

>> > 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

Whatever again...I felt like I had to take an hour long shower afterwards and then rip the top five layers of my skin off of myself after that movie. It was almost like I had been raped, I think, in many ways. I felt violated by it. All during the movie I felt the intense need to vomit all over the screen. Sorry, but I don't think it was all that good. Several people have commented (on other lists I participate in) that it was one of the best ads against the use of drugs, alcohol and crime that they had ever seen, and in some ways I agree, but still...The only other movie I have ever seen that made me feel the way I did after I finished watching that film was Natural Born Killers.

Roland

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