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Lies, damn lies, and a Hollywood movie

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by KingOfAquitaine, 27 Feb 2006.

  1. KingOfAquitaine

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 312

    Its just the way they are trying to find absolution for their past sins by making sure no-one remembers them, far easier than living with a guilt complex or even accepting your not perfect. Maybe we should. Empire, what empire, all those African looking fellows went to the Caribbean on holiday. Someone obviously left the oven on in Dresden, those silly germans and their flamable cities. etc

    Anyway

    After watching a bit of another US movie rewriting history (The Patriot) I am I guess getting a bit irritated by it.

    Slavery? Well the heroes of the revolution had no slaves (apparently) because they paid them, a novel idea really considering how long slavery lasted in America. And how rich many became from that. They didn't fight the British 'cos they wanted more Native American land and the British wouldn't let them expand, its because we committed Nazi war atrocities, (church thing), BEFORE the Nazi’s did them. Go us really. It wasn't that equal numbers supported the British but we simply lost, it was a glorious uprising (Anything Russia can do, we can do better, and first **** YOU COMMI'S etc) And when a movie shows what 'being America' really means historically (Amestad) it doesn't go down too well.

    Like "The Last Samurai", yeah so Cruise slaughtered the women and the children of native Americans, but he feels real bad about it, so that’s ok then. And he was only following orders after all, orders (possibly) given in a British accent. AND in the process he truly becomes The Last Samurai, thus saving one culture as he so brutally annihilated another. Genocidal karma if you ask me. All is forgiven.

    U571 - Ok a bit of fluff, but an important bit. Instead of saying "hey, oops, yeah we kinda only got involved in WW2 'cos of a) Japan, and b) a concerted effort on the part of the British propaganda ministry, our bad really" we get "aha we were acting behind the scenes all along, we were joking when we broke you with loan repayments in exchange for 20+ww1 destroyers".
    Lets all make a film where captured german computing devices have 'IBM' stampedon the back shall we??

    Don't even get me started on Pearl Harbour. If we ignore that the guns weren’t manned as not to scare the tourist, that one line "if we had more pilots like you, 'Jerry' wouldn't stand a chance" had me throwing things at the TV! GRRRRR arg.

    Drives me mad.

    Though I can't wait for "Rising Sun: A stirring tale of the scientists developing the atomic bomb, only to see their peaceful invention taken over by the military. Can the Americans scientists stop the Evil British Commander(tm) before he tricks President Truman into using it?"

    /rant
     
  2. peter_hutson

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,387

    Location: Aberdeen

    I agree completely.I accept that these films should be nothing more that entertainment, the problem lies in the fact that for a significant majority of people, this is the only form of histoical teaching they get. They really are nothing more than a highly sophisticated form of propoganda, for internal and external consumption. To be fair though, there is nothing new about that. The only thing thats different is the Americans do such a dam slick job of it.

    You also forgot "Braveheart" of your list. This film makes me want to hurl my tv out of the window. Luckily it's a 28" sony and I can't lift it!
     
  3. Locrian

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 25 Feb 2004

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    Location: Leatherhead

    Ok historically wrong but braveheart is a cracking film! :) Also to tell the truth, i dont think anybody really cares what happened anything more than 100 years ago so the impact is more subtle in that example.
     
    Last edited: 27 Feb 2006
  4. peter_hutson

    Wise Guy

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    I'm afraid that's not true mate, live in Scotland for a bit. I assure you, some people still care what happened over a hundred years ago. I agree that entertainment wise it's a good film. But this whole "good and evil" pish gets right on my ****. It's used to fool people into believing we're the good guys all the time (from an American perspective). And in the case of Braveheart, it completely misses the historical perspective for Englands actions and attempts to judge historical events with contemporary ethics.

    These films would not bother me if it was not for the number of "Holywood trained Historians".
     
  5. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    God yes. I also hate films that Americanise the actions of Brits, but that's just plain old fashioned patriotism :)
     
  6. dirtydog

    PermaBanned

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    Blackhawk Down is another movie which while good in its own right, is a travesty compared to what really happened. I couldn't agree more about The Patriot and Braveheart - they are disgustingly anti-English frankly. I don't think Mel Gibson likes us :rolleyes: U571 is also a travesty and an insult to the British sailors who were actually involved. Oh, Titanic is another movie which insults the English.
     
  7. AJUK

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 14 Nov 2003

    Posts: 10,949

    I always point out to Americans that they didn't win the war of independence because the USA didn't exist at the time. In fact, as they were colonies of the British Empire and therefore British subjects, what actually happened was a civil war. It really annoys them. :p

    As for The Patriot, it is a pretty bad film anyway so I couldn't bring myself to watch it again.
     
  8. Old Turkey

    Gangster

    Joined: 21 Oct 2005

    Posts: 332

    Location: The Queens Croquet-ground

    The points regarding movies like the Patriot and Braveheart are interesting. I've noticed that some of the yanks fancy themselves as Irish and Scottish, as if it were some sort of race, despite the fact that they don't live in any of those Countries, let alone being born there. There seems to be some fantasy going on with these two Countries, especially Ireland, that if a distant ancestor from 150 years ago happened to come over, then you must say whenever the opportunity arises that you are Irish. :confused:

    I am actually very curious what the real Irish think about these yanks calling themselves Irish. I would imagine they have a jolly good laugh.

    Never have I heard a yank proclaim he was English. Though, thats probably because we're naturally exceptionally evil villains, who pass our leisure time torching churches of the innocent, humble yet noble peasant territories we conquer. :D It brings a tear to my eye when I see some Hollywood guff with an evil villain who is English. It makes me proud. :D

    Oh and AJUK, I make the same point also. I was once in the States and some yank said to me, "We won the war". I said, "Which War?" .. he said the War of Independence. I said, "No you didn't. We won it". This perplexed him. Of course, when I refer to "We" I refer to the People and not the National State. The colonies were settled and built by our kin, how can we have "lost"? Many of them considered themselves Englishmen despite the Colonies existing since the 1600's, and the revolution took place in the late 1700's!

    And I also play tit for tat games. Since they only refer to "England" (They even refered to Tony Blair being the PM of "England" in two recent movies, Wedding Crashers and Team America) I refer to all American States as if they were independent Countries. "I'm flying to California. It's such a beautiful Country". "USA" doesn't enter my vocabularly ever. He he.
     
  9. Stiff_Cookie

    Man of Honour

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    All I have to say is that they are entertainment films and in no way shape or form intended or proclaimed to be documentaries.

    Also, very very very very very few people get their historical information from movies. Those that do are dumb so they wouldnt know the difference.

    You either go and see the movie and hope to be entertained with explosions and fighting etc or you go and see the documentary for the historical facts.
     
  10. AJUK

    Man of Honour

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    Indeed, or even read a book! :eek:
     
  11. dirtydog

    PermaBanned

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    Do you really believe that?
     
  12. [DOD]Asprilla

    Capodecina

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    Location: Surrey, by the river

    The burning of the locked church in The Patriot is almost factual, in that it happend, but it wasn't the British who did it; it was the rebels.

    Guessing that went against Gibson's image as a family guy.
     
  13. dirtydog

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    I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that Mel Gibson is a fruitcake...
     
  14. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

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    Yes but then he is far from the only one in cinema :)

    Braveheart isn't a film to be taken seriously either, it is enjoyable hokum. Sure it is stirring and manipulative but I don't think I know anyone who takes it at face value, historically innaccurate and quite biased but entertaining which I thought was the point.
     
  15. nero120

    Soldato

    Joined: 12 Jan 2004

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    Location: Londinium

    I agree about the 'good and evil' thing. It seems that to make a good drama and inspire people, hollywood has to invoke the 'good and evil' thing into each story - i.e. good rebels, evil brits. Makes everything seem so black and white and easy to digest morally. Hmm, kinda reminds me of a recent conflict in real life! Talk about life imitating art!

    In reality, conflict is rarely about good and evil, but about greed and power.
     
  16. KingOfAquitaine

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 312

    Given the amount of people who thought only america fought at D-Day and Helms deep was a real battle it shows how easy it is for films to become knowledge sources.

    Damn Saving Privat Ryan is another. Not that Omaha beach wasn't very difficult, its a) the presence of NO other nationalities, and b) that "that guys overrated" line about Montgomary (sp). Throwaway it maybe, but its just a sly lil dig.

    I have no problem with the good/evil angle as such, its the rewriting of history. I have nothing against films with Americans as heros as such, but to make them heroes to purposely change history in some way, I really can't stand it
     
  17. Yas786

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: All over the world...


    Well most people with half a brain cell would know better than to get their historical info from a movie tbqh. But im sure there are morons out there who do get their info from a movie rather than going to a library and reading up on it etc.
     
  18. dirtydog

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    Ah yes, Saving Private Ryan.. were there any British soldiers in that, I can't remember. For some reason Spielberg decided he had to get a dig in at Field Marshall Montgomery as well which was totally irrelevant to the story and just seemed to be an anti-Britishism :/ For our supposed best buddies in the world they sure **** us off a lot in the movies.
     
  19. dirtydog

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    I think you overestimate people's intelligence :)
     
  20. Cueball

    Wise Guy

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    What?! You mean those movies weren't real?

    I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!!!!! :mad: