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October 1998, Week 2


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Erik Engman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 00:50:57 EDT
text/plain (49 lines)
I have to completely agree on this one. The truth about what happened with
Schindler is different from what happened in the film. But the same could be
said for "Ghandi" "The Elephant Man" "JFK" etc. Richard Walter in his book
"The Whole Picture" argues that movies are about feeling and not about what
really happened. In this, Speilberg excels. He knows how to pull the strings.
I don't exactly agree with this, but I don't write realistic stories, anyway.
Did I like Schindler's List? I had a lot of problems with it. More String
In a message dated 10/6/98 11:06:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
>  I formed an instant dislike of _Schindler's List_, and quickly learned that
>  this was a movie towards which others felt protective.  For these people,
>  it seemed to be doing something else than entertaining, and (despite its
>  claims) something else than informing.
>  This got me wondering about the effect that Joshua describes so well here:
>  the added value of feeling morally elevated by approving of a particular
>  piece of motion picture entertainment.  Whether or not this was Spielberg's
>  goal, it is nonetheless the case that _Schindler's List_ achieved the
>  somewhat bizarre effect of making people feel good about themselves,
>  provided of course that they watched it in the appropriate manner.
>  (_Seinfeld_ aptly satirises this in the "you were making out in Schindler's
>  List??" episode.)
>  But I think it's important to remember that in making claims on behalf of
>  popular cinema about historical veracity, moral effects, educational and
>  other kinds of value, Spielberg is not worth singling out.  He is only
>  continuing in the promotional tradition begun by Griffith in his defense of
>  _Birth of a Nation_, the function of which is partly to make all movie
>  goers feel glorified as members of a humanitarian community, rather than
>  just avid (and highly suggestible) consumers of cinematic entertainment.
>  Kate Bowles
>  Communication & Cultural Studies
>  Faculty of Arts
>  University of Wollongong, Australia
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