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June 1994


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Stephen Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 09:05:00 EST
text/plain (59 lines)
                      E L E C T R O N I C   M E S S A G E
                                        Date:     13-Jun-1994 08:29am EST
                                        From:     Stephen Hart
                                        Level:    Post-secondary/University
                                        Tel No:   904-644-4839
TO:  Remote Addressee                     ( _jnet%screen-l@ua1vm )
Subject: re: Schindler and biopic problems
I've been following the discussion on the red coat, and though I don't
agree with the negative criticism of its use, I can't help but wonder if it
wasn't there if merely to say "Hey, we've got the technology to do this:
Look!"  At the theatre where i say it, the film got a greenish like tint
whenever there was a colorized scene.  This probably could not have been
helped, but it signaled to me that the scene was colorized somewhere, and I
needed to look for it.
The red coat and Schindler's POV: I think that the red coat being seen
outside of Schindler's POV was more for the audience benefit than to say
that Schindler saw this particular little girl.  He sees her at least in
the ghetto, and we see later that she did not survive the liquidation.  All
and all, I believe her presence and death meant to evolke the tragedy of
the holocaust--not even children are spared or shown mercy--and pity rather
than to take away from the whole picture.
The shower scene was to create a moment of tension or even horror.  Earlier
in the film, the same women talk about the rumor of these showers, and now
they find themselves in the thing that they feared or felt would not happen
to them.  In former discussion, someone expressed that this scene bordered
on erotic and was for a cheap thrill (so to speak).  That is certainly
As to Schindler arguing for these particular women:  Someone pointed out
that Schindler had promised these women that they would be safe in Czech.,
which is probably right, since it's been a while since I've seen the film.
I got the impression that Schindler, at that point, still regarded them as
property ("Those are MY Jews!"), such as he would argue if his suitcase was
shipped to the
wrong destination.
This leads to a problem with bio-pics.  Not only were the women shipped to
a death camp, but the men and children also, though the picture does not
point this out, to my recollection.  But how to show this without bogging
down the story with details and making the picture already longer?  How
many other details in SL were left out, condensed or construed for the sake
of drama, time and/or
other problems/complications?  Spike Lee had to leave out individuals in
Malcolm X's life to avoid legal problems:  For example, in the film,
Malcolm was converted to Islam by a prisoner named Bains (who, incidently,
had a different namein the screenplay) when in reality, he was converted by
his family members.  Not to mention the complexity of Malcolm's life, Lee
had to make many choices to
keep his already long film (his words) from becoming too long, and to keep
the script focused.
I could say more, but I need to earn my salary.  Thanks for your ear (?)
Stephen Hart, Florida
State Univ.