Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Movie Night

Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I am troubled by the trailer for War Horse.  I  know it's more a boy-and-his-horse movie than it is a war movie and therefore a "triumph of the human spirit" kind of a film, but it looks like grim scenes of the trenches are juxtaposed against moments of staggering beauty and a sort of magical realism/mythic undertone. (The ads describe it as an epic adventure.)
There's something about this trailer I find troublesome.
War should not be beautiful.  That's part of the package that's been sold to young men (and now women) for years, part of what Stephen Crane scathingly portrayed in The Red Badge of Courage. Journalist/screenwriter/combat veteran  William Broyles, Jr. wrote an essay for Esquire's November 1984 issue called "Why Men Love War" that covers the subject pretty well. But I once did an enormous reading project involving hundreds of memoirs written by Vietnam vets (and if you haven't read Michael Herr's Dispatches, do so) and almost every single one described combat as being ... like in the movies. It's disingenuous to pretend there's not a connection.
What do you think?

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