War Requiem

24 Jun 2008 15:34 - 24 Jun 2008 15:35 #1109384637 by webmistress
Replied by webmistress on topic Re:War Requiem
Hello Heather

And welcome from me, too. :kiss: I do hope you'll have a splendid time here and please feel free to post here if you feel like it and find the time to do so. As to your plans to go to that event. GREAT!!! :woohoo:

I think I got a couple of questions, really not all of them being interesting, so you choose if you'd like to pose them. :cheer:

1) As tigger wrote, it is a sort of silent movie (how weird there's always music on, but especially the actors had to do the Charlie Chaplin thing). Why haven't more original spoken citations from Wilfried Owen have been used? The only spoken part I can remember is the intro with Sir Laurence Olivier. Then to add this I'm deliberately using the comparison with Charles Chaplin - did they realize that Nat had a striking resemblance with him with that make-up and such? Was this done deliberately or was it mere co-incidence?

2) Then I'm (for very personal reasons) interested in the ambiguous and seemingly contradictory use of documentary footage and "fictional" scenes (which are highly stylized and "imaginary"). I know that some footage was actually shot by DJ's father, but was he aware that his highly stylized way of doing such an arty collage must have raised a sort of negative judgement of some crits? Ya' know either you're fictionalizing or your documenting, you're not doing both at the same time arguments...

3) One last, I promise ;0) WR was shot in 1988. As far as I can remember this was a year before the cold war ended, the huge gap between East and West was about to be closed a year later by greats like Gorbatchev, bur no-one knew that. We were all very much like, ohhh 'em Russians one day are going to start that bomb (ref. Sting's great song of that time that reflected this angst in "Russians"). Now when WR came out in 1989 the Berlin Wall was torn down and some of us might be old enough to remember what a joyful, hopeful year it was. I can remember that everyone was sort of: war is never going to happen to the western countries again, we're a united world and such. The movie itself wasn't actually a huge success, not even with most of the crits. Was it the wrong message at the wrong time, was a sort of carelessness in our part of the world that made the crits underestimate the significance of Owen's eternal message that I felt Jarman's picked up by choosing his own means of a painter and film-maker to display the warning: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity. All a Poet can do today is warn...."? What's the producer's take on the commercial and in parts critical "failure" - which frankly to me it wasn't because I myself judge things for myself.

4) Huups got one more. I read somewhere that Nat became seriously ill during the shooting of that movie. Did they face serious problems? Was the a sort of fall-back plan for such catastrophes? I think I know that Jarman had quite distinct ideas about his actors and actresses and I think he'd never change any role / actor. Just curious.

Yikes. That's all what I can think of right now. Got so little time, gotta run off to my next appointment. Thanks for your offer & enjoy that day and Q&A!



"I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. And something else. [...] I forgot it."
~ Armand Gamache

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." A simplified version of Occam's razor.
Last edit: 24 Jun 2008 15:35 by webmistress.

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24 Jun 2008 19:47 #1109384644 by inspector
Replied by inspector on topic Re:War Requiem
I have just seen „War Requiem“. I think it is a very impressive movie. Maybe the words of Owen and the music of Britten speak for themselves, but nevertheless any kind of showing the cruelty of war deserves recognition.
:) :) :)

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25 Jun 2008 13:44 #1109384651 by Medodrome
Replied by Medodrome on topic Re:War Requiem
Hi Heather,

Of course, a warm welcome from me too!
I am Erika, and live in Holland.
I am married, and have 3 children.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it here!
We all are "Nataholics" here. Be sure you'll feel at home with us!

hugs, Erika

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25 Jun 2008 19:27 #1109384661 by isolde
Replied by isolde on topic Re:War Requiem
I've just watched the movie. It may be because I'm a fan of Britten and therefore am biased, but my impression was that the movie heavily depended on the power of the music. Of course the lengthy footage from the actual wars (including Khmer Rouge atrocities and Viet Nam) is powerful, but the fictional parts are often cliche and redundant.
In Abram/Isaac scene, for example, do we really need to see the white-faced, fat men with cigars laughing? The biblical reference is already in the poem and in the music. The director even puts the lamb there, just in case we still don't get it!
On the other hand, the scenes with "Move him into the sun" and Lacrimosa are beautifully done. The peculiar beauty and haunting quality of Peter Pears' voice mesh perfectly with the anguish Nat/Owen character shows.
So, I'd venture to say it's an ambitious movie in concept, but not a ground-breaking one. It's still worth seeing for the music and, of course, for Nat's acting.

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26 Jun 2008 16:26 #1109384670 by tigger
Replied by tigger on topic Re:War Requiem
Hi Isolde,

I agree with you that the sacrifice scene is the weakest, but I still think that film as a whole is beautiful despite that mistake.

But remember, too, this film is 20 years old. Since then, all sorts of war and anti-war films have been made. It's hard not to compare it with later pieces by other directors, and 'think back' to 1988.


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27 Jun 2008 09:12 #1109384676 by taupinite
Replied by taupinite on topic Re:War Requiem
Hi all - thanks for the lovely welcome! :kiss:

Just to let you know that last night's screening of War Requiem with Don Boyd was very special indeed, and completely and utterly overwhelming, giving total credit to the sheer powerfulness of the movie. I managed to record the Q&A session after the screening, so if anybody would like to hear it, jsut drop me an email and I'll send you the file. Also, I plan to make a transcript of the Q&A sometime over this weekend, so once that is done, I'll also post it here for anybody who's interested to have a little read through.

So, I'll write more later when I have the time... but I just wanted to let you know now that it really was a truly great night, if rather thought-provoking and ditressing at times. Such is the power of Jarman's direction, I feel.


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