My American History essay on Hollywood Goes To War is due in in a few weeks, and I need to watch some films. Specifically I’m looking for films that have a serious comment about war, BUT are not about war themselves, so nothing like MAS*H or Saving Private Ryan (I’m going to comment about those later).
Things like Rambo (does this have a message about war hidden in it O_O?) or other action films like that are what I need. Films you wouldn’t see the message in if you weren’t looking particularly closely. Anyone have any suggestions? The only criteria is the film has to have been made in Hollywood.
And don’t say IMDb.com! I’m looking through that already!
Terminator. Robots are evil. Don’t let robots become intelligent or we’ll end up fighting them, in the Matrix, or in the Matrix thinking we’re fighting them in the real world.
But seriously, there is a message in there. That the military can be taken too far.
I think the message in those movies is less “don’t let machines get intelligent” and more of a “don’t become too dependent on machines. it might screw you over. in the ass.”
It’s far, far too late for that.
A film like Rambo is not so much opposed to war itself as it is opposed to the effects combat has on the individual psyche. The US Military trains soldiers to become somewhat desensitized to their surroundings. Their job is to kill people but, under normal psychological conditions, most human beings would be naturally predisposed to be against killing another human being. Thus, the problem arises that once the soldier’s job is done, how does he become a functioning member of society again? Rambo shows how not every soldier, especially those who receive special training, are able to do so. A more recent movie, similar to Rambo, that deals with the same issue is The Hunted, with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro. This movie bored the hell out of me, but its short, and it might fit up your alley. Another recent movie you might want to check out is the Pianist. Not explicitly about war, but doesn’t follow the life of a man and how he deals with what happens in World War II. Of course, there are always the classic anti-war films, like Dr. Strangelove or The Deer Hunter. I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “but not about war itself”, as most movies that say something serious about war are going to be about war itself. But I tried to pick some movies where the main theme wasn’t necessarily war, but movies that use war to pass a message about the human condition. Some other movies you might consider are Born on the Fourth of July, Good Morning Vietnam, or even Hair, if you want to give it a musical bent!
Try Grave of the Fireflies. It’s anime, and it deals with more than just “war is bad, mkhay”, but it does kindasorta send out a message of sorts. Also, it’s a great movie.
Hells yes this is what I’m looking for.
The actual title of the essay is ''Can films about fictional characters or events tell us anything about real wars?" I’m planning to do a bit about genres (I have the feeling black comedy is going to figure highly in this essay), a bit about how a message can be sent out, then probably a lot about what types of message there actually are. The ‘not actually about war itself’ part is because I was going to try and find some films that got across an anti-war message while not, well, being about war. But oh well. The end will probably have a (small) counterpoint being that some movies are just for entertainment and have no lasting message at all. Like Terminator.
TD, I’ve been looking for the excuse to buy GotF for an age now. This subject is my chance to buy as many DVDs as I can. ^^
I wouldn’t use Terminator as an example of that, myself. Terminator 3 yes, but not the original. You really have to take the Terminator in the context of its time: mainly in that it was an expression of the final state of the cold war: the late 70’s and early 80’s fear of technology. It was the dawning of the computer age, where computers were starting to become an everyday part of life, and there was really an underlying fear in America (and even elsewhere in the modern world) that technology would come to rule us all, rather than the other way around. This seems cliched now, but it was a novel idea at the time. Sure, Terminator was primarily a movie designed to entertain, but it certainly contained a strong message for the time, and you have to realize this was the era of the revival of the dystopia. Alien, Road Warrior, Blade Runner, Brazil, Akira…all these movies were released around the same time. Terminator was slightly different though, in that it took place primarily in the present, but showed that the future was nevertheless not too promising. I only urge caution as using that movie as an example, because I think most film professors might question that assertion. Terminator 3, on the other hand, I doubt any film professor would think twice about.
There’s that episode of the Simpsons when Bart and Nelson stage that water balloon war, and they sign a treaty and everything. Plus Bart gives a speech about wars at the end.
A link with information
I’m actually going to try and avoid any movie released after a certain date or that was advertised a certain way, since my professors are primarily history teachers, and I get the impression using too many moderns films as opposed to ‘classics’ would actually lose me marks (the newest film on the reading/watching list is First Blood, of all things).
I think you should write a paragraph about that part in Rambo 2 when he shoots that asian guy with an explosive arrow just because it’s so cool.
Oh, and to address the ever important issue of exploding soldiers with really bad aim.
“People should know when they’re conquered”