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A Bit of History

This may not matter to everyone who reads me, which is why most of it is a link. I may come back later and post behind a cut the text of the article, because it does mean something to me. I'm an amateur historian, in the truest sense of the word. I study history because I love it, and I indulge myself in primarily reading those aspects to which I feel the greatest attraction.

And a bit of history now becomes even more history rather than living.

That link should open a new window or tab, depending on your browser.

I read the book, and I've now read a few other things about this episode in history. In this instance, I read the book after seeing the movie, so I can agree that there is a great deal of dramatic license in the cinematic production. It's hard for me to determine which I think is the more powerful, book or cinema, because both of them present the story well. Still, I hear, and understand, what someone who survived the actual event says about the cinema.

There's always that issue, when converting/creating something real or imagined, first into words on paper, then into images on film, which parts to include. Which parts to keep, because they make a great story, which parts to leave behind because they don't contribute to art.

And now, one more connection to the reality passes beyond the pale. One more step closer to the written word, the moving image, being the only representation of reality.

And so it goes.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
Interesting link, thanks!
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hollywood (and the BBC too, I'm sure) take any book, remake it into their "vision" and for various reasons we get to view the results.

When Tropical Storm Allison made landfall the second time over Houston, it flooded us under in the Texas Medical Center, and it destroyed my hospital and the hospital next door. The hospital next door was in more dire straits, because THEIR back up generators were low. They ended up having to evacuate every single patient from their hospital.

Hollywood made a TV movie about it, focusing on some nurse who supposedly worked in the ER over there. I laughed through the whole thing! She saved the entire blood bank by wading into the basement and just hauling out blood for all of the patients. Suuuuure, and I guess she just hung the stuff on deserving patients as she went. I know they were going for drama, but what they made was a comedy, and I love to watch it. It's sorta like Titanic, without the love story, and much funnier. Although don't get me started about hypothermia and all that wading around they did in Titanic, either...

My dad used to tell the most hilarious stories about his adventures in WWII. He had horrible photos of Ordruf, the first concentration camp that the US stumbled across, and he drank a beer with his best friend, who died an hour later. However, he never told and retold the awful stuff...it was the funny and outrageous things that he chose to dwell on.

It's really an end of an era, with each WWII vet that passes away. My dad always said that Stalag 17 was the most accurate depiction by a movie of WWII.
Aug. 7th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm an ancient historian, but believe me I have moments when I stare at the movies and wonder, "should I consider this fantasy or history".

I got with the former more often than not. Else I could never have gotten through Gladiator in one piece. I didn't even bother with 300.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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