April192014

“Unending struggle against unfair odds, culminating in a cheap funeral.”

—Siegried Sassoon’s summation of life before the Great War (via portablefrailty)

April112014

The Valiant and the Damned - National Portrait Gallery - follow link for short biographies of each sitter.

(I saw this exhibition yesterday - I vaguely hoped they’d fish Sargent’s “Gassed” out of whichever storage box IWM has it in while they remodel, but they didn’t.)

April72014
(I think this is Capt Gillan, but I haven’t quite sorted out who’s who - but anyway he’s handsome and Scottish and has a typewriter and I’ve already used all the promo shots of the VADs and sisters, so he gets to headline this post).
So, the Crimson Field ep 1 aired last night! Who watched it? What did you think?
Me — beautifully shot, some clunky dialogue and a few cliches, Kitty Trevelyan (Oona Chaplin) is clearly heavily inspired by Vera Brittain—except with the attitude dialled up to 11. Also, Oona Chaplin is a perfect human being. I will keep watching.

(I think this is Capt Gillan, but I haven’t quite sorted out who’s who - but anyway he’s handsome and Scottish and has a typewriter and I’ve already used all the promo shots of the VADs and sisters, so he gets to headline this post).

So, the Crimson Field ep 1 aired last night! Who watched it? What did you think?

Me — beautifully shot, some clunky dialogue and a few cliches, Kitty Trevelyan (Oona Chaplin) is clearly heavily inspired by Vera Brittain—except with the attitude dialled up to 11. Also, Oona Chaplin is a perfect human being. I will keep watching.

April52014

The Silver Tassie – setting the scene in rehearsals

image

national-theatre:

In act one of The Silver Tassie by Sean O’Casey, Harry Heegan returns a hero from the football field having won the game for the Avondales, the local team, but has to catch the last boat back to the trenches with Barney, his teammate, and Teddy, his neighbour. The concept of ‘pals’ brigades was introduced in early 1915, seen as a good way to boost volunteer numbers because a group of friends would be able to remain together at the front. It also meant that some communities lost large numbers of their men when that brigade went over the top.

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April42014

“Sitting in a trench waiting for a rifle-grenade isn’t fighting; war is clambering out of the top trench at 3 o’clock in the morning with a lot of rum-drugged soldiers who don’t know where they’re going - half of them to be blasted with machine-guns at point-blank range - trying to get over the wire which our artillery have failed to destroy.”

—Siegfried Sassoon, in his diary, 4 April 1916.

12PM

“They came […] and told me that my little Tommy had been hit by a stray bullet and died last night. When last I saw him, two nights ago, he had his notebook in his hand, reading my last poem. And I said good night to him, in the moonlit trenches. Had I but known! - the old human-weak cry. Now he comes to me in memories, like an angel, with the light in his yellow hair, and I think of him at Cambridge last August when we lived together […] in rooms where the previous occupant’s name, Paradise, was written above the door.”

—Siegfried Sassoon diary entry on the death of his friend David Cuthbert Thomas, 19 March, 1916.

March262014

“Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
You said, “Through glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old.…” “And when we die
All’s over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers, other lips,” said I,
—“Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!”

“We are Earth’s best, that learnt her lesson here.
Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!” we said;
“We shall go down with unreluctant tread
Rose-crowned into the darkness!”… Proud we were,
And laughed, that had such brave true things to say.
—And then you suddenly cried, and turned away.”

—The Hill - Rupert Brooke

March242014

30 Days Challenge: WWI Films

legbeforewatson:

I don’t know if my followers know this but I’m a history (specifically modern history - covering 16th century to 20th century) student, the same with the lovely complice. We’re an absolute sucker for all things to do with it, including its cinematic offers, the array of historically inaccurate films and those that are bordering on documentaries. Since this year is the century anniversary of the start of WWI, I thought I would set myself a themed 30 Day Challenge. 

I just came back from the cinema to watch The Monuments Men and discussed the lack of films set during WWI in comparison to WWII. complice rightfully commented that a clear baddies vs. goodies divide is needed in the Hollywood formula and that’s difficult to draw in such a complex conflict as the First World War. Nonetheless, I asked her for recommendations of various films she has seen set in the era and while I’ve watched half of her recommendations prior to, there were still plenty to be discovered. 

This basically inspired me to watch one WWI movie each day for the next 30 days - and see if I can further understand the portrayal of the hostilities (and theories of it breaking out) in mass media, particularly the cinema. This is purely a personal challenge and I don’t intend to intellectually dissect each film as I have no background in film critique. 

I’d just like to share with my lovely followers, and perhaps ask if you have any recommendations of films set during WWI that you have watched and liked! :)

I’d suggest:

  • The Wipers Times
  • Aces High
  • Joyeux Noel (which I haven’t watched, but everyone seems to like),
  • War Horse
  • Paths of Glory
  • Passchendaele (recommend isn’t quite the right word, but it is gloriously naff)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (the black and white one)
  • A Very Long Engagement
  • Beneath Hill 60
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Regeneration (US title: “Behind the Lines”)
  • Gallipoli

Bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality, but all offer something interesting imo - hope that’s helpful. :) Also, Paul Fussell’s “The Great War and Modern Memory” is a really, really interesting read re: the way WWI was portrayed culturally.

3PM

Trailer: The Crimson Field - BBC1

(1st episode looks set to air w/o 5 - 11 April, but no firm release date as yet)

March232014
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