Friday, May 11, 2007

The Thin Red Line

Can you believe these images are from a war movie? The Thin Red Line, is an unconventional war film about battles between US and Japan on a Pacific island during WWII. Unlike most war movies focusing on only the horrors of war, TTRL adds in much more richness in the humanistic and reflective dimensions. The images of the beauty and serenity of nature are often revealed through subjective gazes of soldiers, recalling metaphoriccal meanings. At other times, the war is seen through the innocent gaze of nature, the curious eyes of living creatures - thus the absurdity of war is manifested with remarkable contrast. The voice-overs from a few soldiers questioning the meaning of life and war are quite powerful.

It came out the same year as Saving Private Ryan. TTRL won the Golden Bear at Berlin Film Fest while SPR won several Oscar awards, that's why SPR is far more well-known than TTRL. After seeing TTRL, SPR looks more like a typical Hollywood thriller to me. The director of TTRL Terrence Malick cares about quality rather than quantity in filmmaking, so he made only five films (including a short film) so far. Badlands and Days of Heaven are both fantastic.

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