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Showing posts from February, 2015

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #185: Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory (1957), one of the many great films by the iconic Stanley Kubrick, is somewhat of a lesser-known entry in his filmmography, but in a way it is as violent as Full Metal Jacket (1987). Due to its portrayal of the French military it was not shown in France until 1975, which is unfair since the actions depicted could have been those of any army that fought in World War I. Wars are generally insane, but that particular war holds a special place in the pantheon of madness for employing trench warfare, which effectively turned battlefields into killing fields for all soldiers.
As it is one of the few movies to portray historical events in a boldly accurate way, despite having American actors play French characters, I got to see Paths of Glory in a high school history class during my last year in Chile in 2002. I had a pretty good teacher who held an interesting debate after the end credits to see which officer was most at fault. It is a conversation that could yield a lot of di…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #186: United 93

If there is one thing riskier than making a film about the war on terror, it’s making a movie about the horrible day that started the damn thing in the first place. Paul Greengrass was brave enough to make such a film and thankfully he was skilful enough to make it in a way that would be tasteful, accurate, and nail biting all at once. With United 93 (2006) he placed his focus not on politicians or soldiers, but on ordinary people who fought back against their captors and more than likely helped to avoid an even bigger catastrophe.
Considering its subject matter Greengrass’ film of course did not make a fortune at the box-office and I was also hesitant to see it for a while. Watching any movie that deals with Sept.11 feels a bit like homework assignment: you don’t really want to do it, but you probably should. Everyone who was young enough to have experienced that day knows exactly what happened since the images of the towers collapsing kept playing on CNN all day long. I remember bein…