Thursday, October 18, 2018

They Will Not Grow Old

Director Peter Jackson has created a documentary using original WWI film footage. It has been edit using new technology to colorize it and voices and sounds have been added. It premiered in England and is scheduled to be aired on the BBC. It seems likely that it will be available worldwide at some point.

It brings the war to life. Here's the trailer.

UPDATE 19 October 2018 00:34 [Borepatch]: ASM826 brings something important to us here.  The Great War was the first where there was motion pictures to bring the horrors of the Western Front to our living rooms.  Jackson does a service here by taking the jerky black and white film from the time and putting it in a more contemporary colorized format that will make this more "contemporary".

I don't say that as a condemnation, either.  These men lived, and breathed, and had dreams for their future even though they lived a century ago.  This is near to bringing them back from the grave, that Undiscovered Country from which none return.

Similarly, this incredible  analysis by a deaf lipreader of these scenes from the Somme brings them to life.  She tells us what the men were saying at the time that was caught on film.  I found the one of the men fixing bayonets very moving when she said that the officer told them "Fix them".  Remember, the Tommys suffered 20,000 dead and another 60,000 wounded in the very first day of that battle.  The 1st Newfoundland Regiment was not able to pass through the trenches to get to their jump-off point, because the trenches were choked with the wounded.  They had to go over the top hundreds of yards back from the actual front, and suffered 90% casualties within minutes of the "Fix them" command.  Newfoundland likely never recovered from the loss of so many of her sons.

It's quite something to have someone bring their words to life after this past century, and to recall that they lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved.  Now they lie in Flanders fields.


Borepatch said...

Damn. Typical Peter Jackson - show a brief (really brief) taste to whet the appetite.

And a first impression is that I posted that music here on Sunday Classical, but will need to look it up.

Tim Wolter said...

Peter Jackson is such a hit and miss kind of creative talent. For the Lord of the Rings he gets much well deserved credit. His early career stuff was dreck and The Hobbit a bloated mess. But this looks to be something very special indeed.

Drama on a scale no writer could make up. And it is all real.


Jerry The Geek said...

"We're Here because we're here .... etc."

Oh, that sounds SO familiar. I've had that said to me in 1969 Vietnam.

(Might have said it to myself, under my breath, in the "scary moments". Sometimes, you just need to say something, and this works as well as anything.)

LSP said...

Moved by that.

I'd argue that we're a culture in shell shock (still) from WWI and II.

Perhaps that sounds pretentious, but I'm sticking to it.

Borepatch said...

LSP, it's arguable that the West put a gun to its head and pulled the trigger in 1914.

Of course, you can make the same case that Lincoln put a gun to America's head and pulled the trigger in 1861.