Monday, December 26, 2011

Spielberg Shows Again The Insanity: War Horse the Movie (and A Play with Puppets) note to self--Respect for Those with No Choice

Enjoyed War Horse on its Christmas opening day. Although i must admit, in my wizanning age, i want the good ending to hurry along. I don't mind in sports having a touch-and-go game, i prefer it (probably because it is a game and does not really matter)--
but in hearing a tale of love and separations and loyalty, of war and insanity and pain and suffering, of honor and justice and balance,
i Really want the balance to return quickly. What a wimp i have become.
Steven Spielberg has become the master of showing the inanity and weird madness of War. Senseless: "RULES" of War! Humans as lemmings or a tide; so many bodies sacrificed, moistening the sand that a wave may yet make it to the goal...
There were many scenes of beauty: the young Joey and his mother interacting on the lush hillside; the aching scenes of those on the edges of war's evil, a young girl and her grandfather in Holland; the unhurried camera catching the light, pain, suffering and love in the eyes of people and horses throughout the film.
There were scenes of poignancy,
ultimately the understanding of the son and the father of the grotesqueness of war; rather than a pride in one's accomplishments. [Aquitting oneself well in hell is still to witness the unspeakable.] i was struck by the portrayal, a layer without words,
 whereby the father may no longer suffer being an embarrassment, a failure in the eyes of the son
 who now understands that the normal sensitivity of a good human is mortally wounded by surviving war's evil.
 However, the original War Horse was a child's book, and many scenes in the movie are a bit hyperbolic, allowing the movie to remain at the fantasy level of a young reader. Good!
One other "lesson" that i think is
it is a great responsibility to make the Choices for those with no choice, or whose choice has been taken away.  i.e., When men decide to put horses into a war, they either basely assume that horses are property with little meaning, or they make the grave decision to accept responsibility for the lives and deaths of sentient creatures, consequenses of such a decision.
 From last year:
Startlingly real puppets of horses, (Video HERE)  made by two men from South Africa, may be the hook that entices one into (adapted for stage by Nick Stafford) the story, WAR HORSE by children's writer Michael Morpurgo. More about the play here.
The story:
Wiki say: "In Devon at the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert Narracott's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Joey serves in the British and German Armies, befriends Topthorn (another army horse) and gets caught up in enemy fire; death, disease and fate take him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in No Man's Land. But Albert cannot forget Joey, and, still not old enough to enlist in the army, he embarks on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home to Devon..."

CBS Sunday Morning Show had a spot about the stunning "puppets" of horses used in the play. You MUST watch some video (below) of this.
Also, the bit speaks to the staggering loss of life in WWI and American Civil War --of horses, who "had no choice".. excerpt: " World War I was the turning point, when tanks became the war horses of the 20th century. And even though the tank on stage is made of aluminum and plastic, and the horse is a puppet, we comprehend what a terrible turning point it was...
"Tanks, I mean, they simply rolled over people, and they rolled through wire, and they obliterated
horses," said author Michael Morpurgo. "And it was that clash, then, of flesh and metal, of the machine and humankind, really, and we saw it with our own eyes, really, that this is the horrible future."

 ..."Their plight was total innocence. They were simply being used, exploited, for cavalry and for pulling ambulances, for pulling guns, they were simply being used and sacrificed."The numbers are staggering: Ten million soldiers died in WWI, and it's believed about the same number of horses.
The story of "War Horse" is actually two stories - one about horses, the other about the extraordinary puppets that seem like living, breathing, feeling creatures on the stage. They were created by South Africans Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones..."
Morpurgo's novel, "War Horse," is the National Theatre of Great Britain's most successful production ever, and opens this week at New York's Lincoln Center.

“He possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence; courage without ferocity; and all the virtues of man without his vices”  Lord Byron

More horses HERE and HERE

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