What’s your kind of perfect weekend?
Mine: sleeping all day long, watching TONS of movies (from useless to heart-stopping) and sipping on a cup or two of tongue-burning green tea. Don’t judge, I’m that kind of hippo.
This weekend’s kind of different. As cliché as it may sound, movies I’ve watched this last 2 days made me wander a little bit.
I’ve decided to watch Oscar-nominated or winner movies this weekend, with mission to find messages or reasons why those small amount of handpicked-judges could announced these movies to be written behind Oscar-listed movies. Although public has mocked them for their super-subjective opinion towards the winner them, or even praise their sometimes-out-of-prediction judgment, at the end these judges opinions surely drove a significant increase on these shortlisted-movies ratings. Sometimes, a hardly-even-heard movie finally found their audience after placing the so-called Oscar-Nominee Movies above their title. What a power!
So, what messages I found in movies I watched this past 2 days?
1. Letter from Iwo Jima
Before I explained further, you have to know that I have this crazy obsession toward WW2. From the stories, the flight, the romances, photographs, and nonstop drama from every party involved in this deadly war, I just love love LOVE. So when my hands randomly picked this movie, subjectively I would pay more attention. The story revolves around the ups-and-downs of how Japanese armies protected Mount Suribachi, which is the last resort before US Army would finally touch their homeland. This movie is the counterpart of Flags of Our Father, which I haven’t watched, since, oh God, don’t we have enough heroic movies about USA?
Anyhow, I LOVE how this movie is not about a big-powerful hero, but how desperation towards defeat made strong-willed army lose their confidence and option like suicide is not even taboo. I admire how Eastwood could make a General, who look strong and powerful, lose hope. I’m obsessed with the fact that character like Saigo, only a worthless pion who from the beginning in this movie always wanted to surrender, at the end be the one who witnessed all of his captains given up and eventually killed themselves.
I got overly-obsessed with Japan after this movie and blown away with their never-surrender attitude. Or as I may say, I even believe that Japan won’t give up even when USA had finally touched Tokyo, if Hiroshima-Nagasaki didn’t happen. As you know, nuclear is the most disastrous war-weapon to date, so whoever uses this weapon surely would win any war. And USA to use it to a small country, not to mention an Asian, is a brave act to state that Japan is a compatible opponent. Surely within days, Japan surrendered, in defense to avoid the so-called “total extinction of human civilization”. I quoted how they called this movement as “enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable”.
(4 Academy Awards Nominations, including best pictures. Won for Best Sound-Editing)
(Watch for the 1st time)
2. Der Untergang (The Downfall)
Don’t be sick with me, talking about German this German that, oh hell with what people says. Who don’t get curious with the mastermind of World War 2, the one who could conquer Europe? This movie picked the tip of German domination, concentrating in Hitler’s bunker and people trapped on it. I was mesmerized with Hitler’s character that changed from Almighty-Oh-You-Shall-Follow-Everything-I-Said, to this hopeless guy, whose hands are shaking in the day he decided to commit a suicide along with his wife. And oh God, I don’t even believe how people under Nazi-emblem worshipped Hitler to the point that their love of Hitler could make their own hands inject deathly-substance to their OWN children. I can’t even bare seeing 5-12 years old children live just puff like air within minutes in the hand of their mother. You can also see the power Hitler gave to Hitler Youth (series of youngster who had been brainwashed and obsessed with Hitler) can leave their parents behind just to protect Berlin, believing that they had chances to win, although dozens of Soviet tanks already bombarded Berlin to pieces. To leave your parents behind, only to serve a guy who don’t even know your name, or even know you have ever existed in this world? That’s madness.
What I love in this movie is how, despite all cruelty and craziness he made, you can feel a glimpse of sympathy. Sympathy, to a guy who murdered without causes 6 million people with no-humanity whatsoever.
And yes, to the final drop of his blood, Hitler never says he was given up. “Surrender is forbidden” is true to the end, although I think suicide is the lowest level of surrender. Surrender to proof that whatever you’re doing is right, or surrender to even try to make up the messes you’ve created.
(Nominated for Academy Award on Best Foreign Language Film)
(Watch for 2nd time)
3. Schindler’s List
This is hands down, the best movie I’ve ever lay my eyes on. From the polished script, black-and-white scenes, outstanding casts, brilliant directors, these all just summon up to the best movie human ever made in my opinion. This movie is both haunting yet inspiring for all human kind who believes in humanity. The story took place in Cracow, when German invasion is inevitable. We could see how Jews living their live in 6 years of German occupation throughout European land. I don’t want to share the details on how barbarous Nazi demolished not only their business, their families, their home, but the most important part, Nazi successfully crushed their pride as a human. Nazi could make them believe that they are just rats, who deserve the humiliation and the starvation they got. Nazi could shut their mouth to ask for help, yanked their freedom to choose who to believe, and limited their dreams to just stay breathing for one more day. Crazy.
But this movie is all about what human can do in time of war arose. “War could make human to be the worst or the best version of themselves”. I love that Schindler is not “angelic” hero, who every steps and decision he took are biblically right. I don’t know, maybe behind all of money he sacrificed to save one Jewish soul, he had this business plan organized neatly for himself. I love how Schindler is embarrassed with his own kindness, like he don’t even believe people think THAT is a miraculous behavior he just did. I was blown away with Goeth flawless acting, I think the best act Ralph ever did in his career, and how cruelty could spark from his eyes. Most memorable scene? When a little red-coat girl walked slowly through Jew massacre (the only thing Spielberg made on color, while everything else in black-and-white) and catches Schindler eyes far up from hills. She was trying to hide in that scene, picking a small spot below abandon bed to hide. I cried when Schindler saw that girl, along with her red coat, was pilled along with other corpses.
People need to watch this movie, at least once in his life. To realize that, whoever saves one life saves the world entire. That with great power comes great responsibility. That cruelty, whatever reasons you have behind it, is nonsense. No man could draw another life, only those whose hands are clean and innocent deserves to draw bullets to another.
Oh, watch also video extract when Spielberg received the best director Academy Awards trophy. Tears just rolled down my face.
(12 Nominations of Academy Awards, Winning 7 of it including best picture)
(Watch for, I don’t know, 7 times?)
Okay, that’s quite a depressing weekend I had. At least I learn something, am I right?