The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

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The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-03 05:22pm

So, I saw this movie yesterday.

I wasn't expecting all that much, besides an excellent performance from Gary Oldman (although in my opinion, "starring Gary Oldman" is arguably the only recommendation a film ever needs). Churchill is not one of my favourite historical figures, and this film shared a director with Atonement, a film which I did not particularly like.

I was, however, quite pleasantly surprised. The first half of the film seemed a little weak to me- a bit too silly, a little cliché at times. Perhaps inevitably given the subject matter, the film has a pro-war subtext, and probably whitewashes Churchill a bit (though definitely portraying him as flawed).

However, the second half of the film is very solid film making, doing a fine job of building the tension as the defences in Europe and the confidence of the British government crumble, and using comedy and tragedy in concert very effectively. By the end of the subway scene, I was honestly in tears. Gary Oldman is, of course, magnificent as always- his voice seemed a little off from the recordings I've heard of Churchill, but other than that he slipped as seamlessly into the part as he always does. But I was also impressed by the performances of Lily James as Churchill's secretary, and of Ronald Pickup as Neville Chamberlain.*

My only real criticism, performance-wise, is of Ben Mendelsohn as King George the VI. And I recognize that I'm not really being fair here. There was nothing wrong with his performance- its just that I will always measure any portrayal of George the VI against that of Colin Firth in The King's Speech.

I also think that Churchill's message of defiance in the face of rising tyranny and fascism is one that people need to hear again right now, in this age of cynicism and defeatism, where the spectre of fascism is once again stirring and gaining strength.

Bottom line- Go see this movie. Its arguably the best new film I've seen in theatres in at least two and a half years. It would also, I think, make a wonderful double-feature with Dunkirk, though despite my respect for Nolan as a director, I preferred The Darkest Hour overall. This probably ought to be a Best Picture contender, and I will be rather disappointed if it does not win Gary Oldman his (long overdue) Best Actor Oscar. I also would not object to Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress nominations.

*While the film depicts Chamberlain overall in a fairly unflattering light until the end, it is at least a slightly more nuanced portrayal than the usual simplistic "appeasement" narrative, and his comment after Spoiler
discovering that he has cancer (to the effect that "Its strange to think that I will never see my country at peace again.")
was heartbreaking. I think, on the whole, the film strikes an unusual but fairly effective balance of portraying war as necessary, even heroic, without making it glamorous or failing to show the cost- even though we see very little of the front.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-01-03 05:29pm

I've been looking forward to this film for some time now but hadn't realised it was actually out yet. Will definitely try and see it this weekend.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-01-03 05:35pm

"We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills, and we shall fight in the dales. We shall defend our island. We shall never surrender."

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-03 05:47pm

As one would expect from a Churchill film, this movie is just overflowing with wonderful quotes.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-03 08:43pm

Did they get in "history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it?" :P
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-01-04 12:50am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-03 08:43pm
Did they get in "history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it?" :P
Well to be fair, drunk man had a point there, too.

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-04 01:58am

Oh, absolutely.

I consider it one of the best Churchill quotes, because it encapsulates his wit, his fairly well-fulfilled literary ambitions, his role in history... and a significant part of why history smiles on him.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by houser2112 » 2018-01-04 08:02am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-03 05:47pm
As one would expect from a Churchill film, this movie is just overflowing with wonderful quotes.
Are there any of his exchanges with Lady Astor in the movie?

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-01-04 12:21pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-04 01:58am
Oh, absolutely.

I consider it one of the best Churchill quotes, because it encapsulates his wit, his fairly well-fulfilled literary ambitions, his role in history... and a significant part of why history smiles on him.
Well put, Moon's Own Harsh Mistress.
houser2112 wrote:
2018-01-04 08:02am
Are there any of his exchanges with Lady Astor in the movie?
Dunno, but I'd hit it like the right hand of an angry god.

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-04 01:24pm

houser2112 wrote:
2018-01-04 08:02am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-03 05:47pm
As one would expect from a Churchill film, this movie is just overflowing with wonderful quotes.
Are there any of his exchanges with Lady Astor in the movie?
Sadly, no.

The scope of the film is fairly narrow, which might be for the best, since it gives the film focus. It starts with Chamberlain's resignation, and basically all takes place in May of 1940, during the German invasion of France.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-01-07 08:40am

I think I'll wait for it to come to Netflix.

It's Oscar season, and it's yet another movie about the Holocaust/ World War 2. So it sounds like it's dripping with Oscar Bait.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Gandalf » 2018-01-07 10:25am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-03 05:47pm
As one would expect from a Churchill film, this movie is just overflowing with wonderful quotes.
Did any of these make the cut?

Here's a sample for those who aren't too into the link.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-07 04:31pm

Churchill being a racist cunt is, unfortunately, something that the film glosses over.

As I said, its focused on certain events in a specific period, rather than attempting to be a comprehensive look at Churchill's life, but I do wish that the film had at least acknowledged that Churchill was a racist (it does acknowledge that he's an asshole, but not specifically that he's a racist asshole, at least so far as I recall).

I mean, I appreciate a good "Nazis are the bad guys, those who fight Nazis are the good guys" message, especially nowadays, but... I also don't think we need to, or ought to, pretend that history is prettier or simpler than it is.

But I'm not surprised. People don't like to acknowledge that their heroes were guilty of something that today is widely seen as unforgiveable. Like Lincoln having only a clearly antagonistic/pro-slavery character using the N-word (and even then, only once that I can recall). When in fact Lincoln and others in his administration would likely have used it.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-01-08 11:16am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-07 04:31pm
Churchill being a racist cunt is, unfortunately, something that the film glosses over.

As I said, its focused on certain events in a specific period, rather than attempting to be a comprehensive look at Churchill's life, but I do wish that the film had at least acknowledged that Churchill was a racist (it does acknowledge that he's an asshole, but not specifically that he's a racist asshole, at least so far as I recall).

I mean, I appreciate a good "Nazis are the bad guys, those who fight Nazis are the good guys" message, especially nowadays, but... I also don't think we need to, or ought to, pretend that history is prettier or simpler than it is.

But I'm not surprised. People don't like to acknowledge that their heroes were guilty of something that today is widely seen as unforgiveable. Like Lincoln having only a clearly antagonistic/pro-slavery character using the N-word (and even then, only once that I can recall). When in fact Lincoln and others in his administration would likely have used it.
While it's sad that certain amount of whitewashing of historical "heroes" happens, it seems also somewhat unavoidble as some people don't seem to get that "progressive for their time" means "progressive for their time" not "progressive by modern standards".

Churchill was in his late 60s during WWII, I don't recall anything saying that Churchill was abnormally racist for someone with his social status who was raised in the late 19th century. Racist by modern standards for sure but then so would be 90% (at least) of UK population of time period. Not mention that at the time USA was racially segregated.

Historical people should be judged by the standards of their era and how they helped progress those standards, not by the years progress that came after.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-08 04:39pm

I generally agree (going back to my Abe Lincoln example, Honest Abe would undoubtably be considered horribly racist by modern standards, but nonetheless helped move us forward on racial issues, and is also a personal hero of mine). But I can also understand why many people feel that some things are unforgiveable, regardless of the culture or era.

I think that Sir Isaac Newton's famous quote applies as much to social and political progress as to scientific progress:

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Alferd Packer » 2018-01-11 09:39am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-03 05:22pm
(although in my opinion, "starring Gary Oldman" is arguably the only recommendation a film ever needs).
Well, then have I got a film for you!

And yes, that is a real thing that Gary Oldman did. :lol:
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-11 11:11am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-08 04:39pm
I generally agree (going back to my Abe Lincoln example, Honest Abe would undoubtably be considered horribly racist by modern standards, but nonetheless helped move us forward on racial issues, and is also a personal hero of mine). But I can also understand why many people feel that some things are unforgiveable, regardless of the culture or era.
The thing is, I don't want to encourage or cater to this mindset.

If Bob wants to hate everyone born prior to 1930 for being "disgustingly" sexist, racist, classist, et cetera, I can't stop him.

But he doesn't have the right to demand that all art and popular entertainment be designed to wave the sexism, classism, and et cetera of historical figures in front of our faces to the point where it drowns out everything else about them.

I can admire Winston Churchill for being one of the first politicians in a Western democracy to recognize Naziism as an existential threat to democracy, at a time when many on the right AND the left were either ignoring Hitler or in a state of fanboy denialism about him. Or for his wit, resourcefulness, and determination under pressure. Or for the "SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL" speech he gave to Parliament after the Amritsar Massacre, denouncing Dyer's massacre of nonviolent Indian protestors.

Incidentally, he gave that speech during the same period when he went on record advocating the use of poison gas in frontier wars against native populations the same way it had been used against European armies in the recently concluded world war. It's hard to understand how the same man could both advocate use of chemical weapons and denounce massacres of protestors EXCEPT by understanding the context of the times and the genuine, nuanced mindsets of the people involved.

Which is exactly why we should NOT be dismissive of historical figures for their deplorable but common-at-the-time opinions, nor should we demand that all our media and historians be dismissive on our behalf. That is an increasingly common habit in our society, and I think it's a dangerous one, because it promotes ignorance.
Spoiler
Churchill:

"But there are certain broad lines by which, I think, an officer in such cases should be guided.

First of all, I think he may ask himself, Is the crowd attacking anything or anybody? Surely that is the first question. Are they trying to force their way forward to the attack of some building, or some cordon of troops or police, or are they attempting to attack some band of persons or some individual who has excited their hostility? Is the crowd attacking? That is the first question which would naturally arise.

The second question is this: Is the crowd armed? That is surely another great simple fundamental question. By armed I mean armed with lethal weapons. Men who take up arms against the State must expect at any moment to be fired upon. Men who take up arms unlawfully cannot expect that the troops will wait until they are quite ready to begin the conflict... Armed men are in a category absolutely different from unarmed men. An unarmed crowd stands in a totally different position from an armed crowd. At Amritsar the crowd was neither armed nor attacking.

[Interruption by pro-massacre MPs]

I carefully said that when I used the word "armed" I meant armed with lethal weapons, or with firearms. This is no dispute between us on that point. "I was confronted," says General Dyer, "by a revolutionary army." What is the chief characteristic of an army? Surely it is that it is armed. This crowd was unarmed. These are simple tests which it is not too much to expect officers in these difficult situations to apply.

But there is another test which is not quite so simple, but which nevertheless has often served as a good guide. I mean the doctrine that no more force should be used than is necessary to secure compliance with the law.

There is also a forth consideration by which an officer should be guided. He should confine himself to a limited and definite objective, that is to say to preventing a crowd doing something which they ought not to do, or to compelling them to do something which they ought to do. All these are good guides for officers placed in the difficult and painful situation in which General Dyer stood.

My right hon. Friend (Sir E. Carson) will say it is easy enough to talk like this, and to lay down these principles here is safe and comfortable England, in the calm atmosphere of the House of Commons or in your armchairs in Downing Street or Whitehall, but it is quite a different business on the spot, in a great emergency, confronted with a howling mob, with a great city or a whole province quivering all around with excitement. I quite agree. Still these are good guides and sound, simple tests, and I believe it is not too much to ask of our officers to observe and consider them. After all, they are accustomed to accomplish more difficult tasks than that...

I say I do not think it is too much to ask a British officer in this painful, agonising position, to pause and consider these broad, simple guides- I do not even call them rules - before he decides upon his course of conduct. Under circumstances, in my opinion, infinitely more trying, they have shown themselves capable of arriving at right decisions.

If we offer these broad guides to our officers in these anxious and dangerous times, if there are guides of a positive character, there is surely one guide which we can offer them of a negative character. There is surely one general prohibition which we can make. I mean a prohibition against what is called "frightfulness." What I mean by frightfulness is the inflicting of great slaughter or massacre upon a particular crowd of people, with the intention of terrorising not merely the rest of the crowd, but the whole district or the whole country...

These obvervations are mainly of a general character, but their relevance to the case under discussion can be well understood, and they lead
me to the specific circumstances of the fusillade at the Jallianwllah Bagh. Let me marshall the facts. The crowd was unarmaed, except with bludgeons. It was not attacking anybody or anything. It was holding a seditious meeting. When fire had been opened upon it to disperse it, it tried to run away. Pinned up in a narrow place considerably smaller than Traflagar Square, with hardly any exits, and packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies, the people ran madly this way and the other. When the fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, the the fire was then directed down on the ground. This was continued for 8 to 10 minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion.

If the road had not been so narrow, the machine guns and the armoured cars would have joined in. Finally, when the ammunition had reached the point that only enough remained to allow for the safe return of the troops, and after 379 persons, which is about the number gathered together in this Chamber to-day, had been killed, and when most certainly 1,200 or more had been wounded, the troops, at whom not even a stone had been thrown, swung round and marched away...

I do not think it is in the interests of the British Empire or of the British Army for us to take a load of that sort for all time on our backs. We have to make it absolutely clear, some way or another, that this is not the British way of doing business...

I shall be told that it "saved India." I do not believe it for a moment. The British power in India does not stand on such foundations. It stands on much stronger foundations. I am going to refer to the material foundations of our power very bluntly...

When one contemplates these solid, material facts, there is no need for foolish panic, or talk of its being necessary to produce a situation like that at Jallianwallah Bagh in order to save India. On the contrary, as we contemplate the great physical forces and the power at the disposal of the British Government in their relations with the native population of India, we ought to remember the words of Macaulay - "and then was seen what we believed to be the most frightful of all spectacles, the strength of civilisation without its mercy"...

I do not conceal from the House my sincere personal opinion that General Dyer's conduct deserved not only the loss of employment from which so many officers are suffering at the present time, not only from the measure of censure which the Government have pronounced, but also that it should have been marked by a distinct disciplinary act..."
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-11 03:09pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-11 11:11am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-08 04:39pm
I generally agree (going back to my Abe Lincoln example, Honest Abe would undoubtably be considered horribly racist by modern standards, but nonetheless helped move us forward on racial issues, and is also a personal hero of mine). But I can also understand why many people feel that some things are unforgiveable, regardless of the culture or era.
The thing is, I don't want to encourage or cater to this mindset.

If Bob wants to hate everyone born prior to 1930 for being "disgustingly" sexist, racist, classist, et cetera, I can't stop him.

But he doesn't have the right to demand that all art and popular entertainment be designed to wave the sexism, classism, and et cetera of historical figures in front of our faces to the point where it drowns out everything else about them.

I can admire Winston Churchill for being one of the first politicians in a Western democracy to recognize Naziism as an existential threat to democracy, at a time when many on the right AND the left were either ignoring Hitler or in a state of fanboy denialism about him. Or for his wit, resourcefulness, and determination under pressure. Or for the "SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL" speech he gave to Parliament after the Amritsar Massacre, denouncing Dyer's massacre of nonviolent Indian protestors.

Incidentally, he gave that speech during the same period when he went on record advocating the use of poison gas in frontier wars against native populations the same way it had been used against European armies in the recently concluded world war. It's hard to understand how the same man could both advocate use of chemical weapons and denounce massacres of protestors EXCEPT by understanding the context of the times and the genuine, nuanced mindsets of the people involved.

Which is exactly why we should NOT be dismissive of historical figures for their deplorable but common-at-the-time opinions, nor should we demand that all our media and historians be dismissive on our behalf. That is an increasingly common habit in our society, and I think it's a dangerous one, because it promotes ignorance.
Spoiler
Churchill:

"But there are certain broad lines by which, I think, an officer in such cases should be guided.

First of all, I think he may ask himself, Is the crowd attacking anything or anybody? Surely that is the first question. Are they trying to force their way forward to the attack of some building, or some cordon of troops or police, or are they attempting to attack some band of persons or some individual who has excited their hostility? Is the crowd attacking? That is the first question which would naturally arise.

The second question is this: Is the crowd armed? That is surely another great simple fundamental question. By armed I mean armed with lethal weapons. Men who take up arms against the State must expect at any moment to be fired upon. Men who take up arms unlawfully cannot expect that the troops will wait until they are quite ready to begin the conflict... Armed men are in a category absolutely different from unarmed men. An unarmed crowd stands in a totally different position from an armed crowd. At Amritsar the crowd was neither armed nor attacking.

[Interruption by pro-massacre MPs]

I carefully said that when I used the word "armed" I meant armed with lethal weapons, or with firearms. This is no dispute between us on that point. "I was confronted," says General Dyer, "by a revolutionary army." What is the chief characteristic of an army? Surely it is that it is armed. This crowd was unarmed. These are simple tests which it is not too much to expect officers in these difficult situations to apply.

But there is another test which is not quite so simple, but which nevertheless has often served as a good guide. I mean the doctrine that no more force should be used than is necessary to secure compliance with the law.

There is also a forth consideration by which an officer should be guided. He should confine himself to a limited and definite objective, that is to say to preventing a crowd doing something which they ought not to do, or to compelling them to do something which they ought to do. All these are good guides for officers placed in the difficult and painful situation in which General Dyer stood.

My right hon. Friend (Sir E. Carson) will say it is easy enough to talk like this, and to lay down these principles here is safe and comfortable England, in the calm atmosphere of the House of Commons or in your armchairs in Downing Street or Whitehall, but it is quite a different business on the spot, in a great emergency, confronted with a howling mob, with a great city or a whole province quivering all around with excitement. I quite agree. Still these are good guides and sound, simple tests, and I believe it is not too much to ask of our officers to observe and consider them. After all, they are accustomed to accomplish more difficult tasks than that...

I say I do not think it is too much to ask a British officer in this painful, agonising position, to pause and consider these broad, simple guides- I do not even call them rules - before he decides upon his course of conduct. Under circumstances, in my opinion, infinitely more trying, they have shown themselves capable of arriving at right decisions.

If we offer these broad guides to our officers in these anxious and dangerous times, if there are guides of a positive character, there is surely one guide which we can offer them of a negative character. There is surely one general prohibition which we can make. I mean a prohibition against what is called "frightfulness." What I mean by frightfulness is the inflicting of great slaughter or massacre upon a particular crowd of people, with the intention of terrorising not merely the rest of the crowd, but the whole district or the whole country...

These obvervations are mainly of a general character, but their relevance to the case under discussion can be well understood, and they lead
me to the specific circumstances of the fusillade at the Jallianwllah Bagh. Let me marshall the facts. The crowd was unarmaed, except with bludgeons. It was not attacking anybody or anything. It was holding a seditious meeting. When fire had been opened upon it to disperse it, it tried to run away. Pinned up in a narrow place considerably smaller than Traflagar Square, with hardly any exits, and packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies, the people ran madly this way and the other. When the fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, the the fire was then directed down on the ground. This was continued for 8 to 10 minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion.

If the road had not been so narrow, the machine guns and the armoured cars would have joined in. Finally, when the ammunition had reached the point that only enough remained to allow for the safe return of the troops, and after 379 persons, which is about the number gathered together in this Chamber to-day, had been killed, and when most certainly 1,200 or more had been wounded, the troops, at whom not even a stone had been thrown, swung round and marched away...

I do not think it is in the interests of the British Empire or of the British Army for us to take a load of that sort for all time on our backs. We have to make it absolutely clear, some way or another, that this is not the British way of doing business...

I shall be told that it "saved India." I do not believe it for a moment. The British power in India does not stand on such foundations. It stands on much stronger foundations. I am going to refer to the material foundations of our power very bluntly...

When one contemplates these solid, material facts, there is no need for foolish panic, or talk of its being necessary to produce a situation like that at Jallianwallah Bagh in order to save India. On the contrary, as we contemplate the great physical forces and the power at the disposal of the British Government in their relations with the native population of India, we ought to remember the words of Macaulay - "and then was seen what we believed to be the most frightful of all spectacles, the strength of civilisation without its mercy"...

I do not conceal from the House my sincere personal opinion that General Dyer's conduct deserved not only the loss of employment from which so many officers are suffering at the present time, not only from the measure of censure which the Government have pronounced, but also that it should have been marked by a distinct disciplinary act..."
I largely agree with what you say. And having read Churchill's comments on the proper guidelines for the use of deadly force in response to the Amritsar massacre, I cannot help but think that it would do a great deal of good if American law enforcement were held consistently to that standard.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-11 03:11pm

Alferd Packer wrote:
2018-01-11 09:39am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-01-03 05:22pm
(although in my opinion, "starring Gary Oldman" is arguably the only recommendation a film ever needs).
Well, then have I got a film for you!

And yes, that is a real thing that Gary Oldman did. :lol:
Heh.

Well, I still don't think any film could fail to be improved by having Gary Oldman in it. He's just that good.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-11 05:45pm

So, the film turns out to have ahistorical fragments, like Churchill just riding the subway all of a sudden and chatting to people to check speech?!

To make him more likeable, surely, and present a more populist narrative. And at the same time, it shows the situation in a very crude, simplistic way which had little to do with reality.

All this glossy Hollywood "retelling" of a history that never was - when will it be over, I wonder...
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by ray245 » 2018-01-11 06:19pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-11 05:45pm
So, the film turns out to have ahistorical fragments, like Churchill just riding the subway all of a sudden and chatting to people to check speech?!

To make him more likeable, surely, and present a more populist narrative. And at the same time, it shows the situation in a very crude, simplistic way which had little to do with reality.

All this glossy Hollywood "retelling" of a history that never was - when will it be over, I wonder...
Never? Films aren't exactly the best medium for historical accuracy in any sense. I'm not sure a more historically portrayal of Churchill would be able to avoid being a box-office bomb.

The more time passes, the more mythic "heroes" will become in popular consciousness. Human society's poor cultural memory meant that any hope of a "realistic" narrative is hopeless.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-01-11 10:10pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-01-11 05:45pm
So, the film turns out to have ahistorical fragments, like Churchill just riding the subway all of a sudden and chatting to people to check speech?!

To make him more likeable, surely, and present a more populist narrative. And at the same time, it shows the situation in a very crude, simplistic way which had little to do with reality.

All this glossy Hollywood "retelling" of a history that never was - when will it be over, I wonder...
No historical film, Hollywood or otherwise, will ever be perfectly accurate. Its simply not possible, no matter how honest or sincere the intentions of the film makers. I would hope that most audiences are sophisticated enough to understand that.

I think the more important question is weather they faithfully convey the... tone, for lack of a better word, of a period, the overall shape of the culture and issues at the time, than weather the details are perfectly accurate.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Fuck Civility.

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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-12 01:25am

Well then better no films at all. And it’s whether.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-01-12 08:09am

Stas, do you really want to adopt the stance that "no art" is preferable to "imperfectly representational art?"

Because if so, there has never been a time in the history of the world that produced art you are likely to approve of. By sneering at that, you're basically walking away from humanity, not from bad art.
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Re: The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman plays Churchill).

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-01-12 09:01am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-01-12 08:09am
Stas, do you really want to adopt the stance that "no art" is preferable to "imperfectly representational art?"

Because if so, there has never been a time in the history of the world that produced art you are likely to approve of. By sneering at that, you're basically walking away from humanity, not from bad art.
Truth is preferrable to lies. If only lies can be reproduced in typical film (and there are rare exceptions to that), the mass culture needs a kick in the nuts. The masses do not benefit from mass spread of falsehoods, however soothing, and art which displays a fake history to anchor propaganda in the present actually is propaganda.

If honestly called propaganda and not “based on a true story”, then it would be ok. But few people are willing to admit Western art is 99% propaganda and distortions.

Do I approve of the tomb of Tutankhamun and buildings of Hatshepsut, of the Roman buildings and decor? Yes. Do I think that they need to be recreated? No.

If we want to move on to a better world, we need to recognize that mythologized history does more harm than good.

How is the cult of Churchill and the cult of Founding Fathers, or the cult of whatever king or queen becomes a biopic subject, better than the cult of Kim Jong Un?

Fake is fake. Removal and deconstruction of fakes and myths is necessary to advance beyond them.
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Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
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