Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Thin Red Line (1998)

Film: The Thin Red Line (214/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

First, I'd like to say that I'm back (for now) from a much needed blogging and movie-watching hiatus. I was really starting to feel burnt out and watching the films on this list was becoming a burden, something I had to do that wasn't bringing me much enjoyment. I really wanted to finish what I started, but I didn't want to end on a note of resentment. So I took a little break!

Now, on to this movie. We actually watched this back on Memorial Day, wanting to observe the holiday beyond getting an extra day off and going to barbecues. I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I'd seen a fair amount of war movies and I had seen a few (not enough) Terrence Malick films; I wondered how his take on the subject would be. But I might have guessed how it would be. Yes, it's war, and yes, there's killing. But there are beautiful shots of their surroundings: wind blowing over grassy hills, light shining through tree branches, birds sitting peacefully in the greenery. A reminder of how beautiful this planet is without us fighting like a bunch of angry little insects. I also loved the narration, reminiscent of Malick's film The Tree of Life. Getting into these characters' psyches really cemented the fact that these are people, not just faceless soldiers. Like westerns, war movies were a genre that I'd somewhat dismissed before taking on this challenge. Too gory, too much the same. But I was really moved by this film, and more brokenhearted than ever at the combative nature of man.

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