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Derek Black

IWM & Peter Jackson Restore Film Footage - They Shall Not Grow Old

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14276265
11 minutes ago, Gunga Din said:

 

Not with the current archive, which is my point. My error for not being clear. 

 

GD

 

What "current" archive is it to which you refer? The extant IWM audio archive, in part created with the help of the BBC as a precursor to making The Great War series, is the archive that was utilised by Jackson for his effort.

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johnboy

I thought it was very good, was so engrosed I did not have time to note any faults

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simond9x
40 minutes ago, 14276265 said:

What "current" archive is it to which you refer? The extant IWM audio archive, in part created with the help of the BBC as a precursor to making The Great War series, is the archive that was utilised by Jackson for his effort.

 

I think the issue is that some of the interviews are copyright of the BBC even if the IWM holds them in its collection. I wrote asking why Stuart Hastie's interview wasn't available to listen to online. The IWM replied saying they can't make it available it in their 'current archive' because it's a BBC recording (presumably it can be listened to if one attends in person)

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David Filsell

Is the material even covered by copyright? If it is, then is it not owned by the speaker or his nominees? Ido not remember ever asking to sign anything for BBC or commercial radio or television for interviews. If it is copyright  has the programme maker paid up?

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simond9x

This is a quote from the email reply I got from Lisa at the IWM in 2016..... "The files on Stuart Hastie and Henry Williamson cannot be made available online as they are both BBC copyright."

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Gunga Din
2 hours ago, 14276265 said:

What "current" archive is it to which you refer? The extant IWM audio archive, in part created with the help of the BBC as a precursor to making The Great War series, is the archive that was utilised by Jackson for his effort.

 

Not with the archive currently selected. Put another way, the material selected gives one view that is not generally representative of the whole archive.... If that makes sense. Within the archives are more negative views which were not given air time.  

 

Edit. Also there are more negative views that were not included from those whose views were partially expressed. 

To to be clear; the film had an agenda and the Interviews were edited to select the parts that fitted the agenda. 

 

GD

Edited by Gunga Din

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Neil Mackenzie
2 hours ago, johnboy said:

I thought it was very good, was so engrosed I did not have time to note any faults| 

 

Noting faults and commenting on them is what we do here Johnboy - come on, get your act together!

 

Neil

:)

 

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14276265

 

40 minutes ago, Gunga Din said:

 

Not with the archive currently selected. Put another way, the material selected gives one view that is not generally representative of the whole archive.... If that makes sense. Within the archives are more negative views which were not given air time.  

 

Edit. Also there are more negative views that were not included from those whose views were partially expressed. 

To to be clear; the film had an agenda and the Interviews were edited to select the parts that fitted the agenda. 

 

GD

 

The archive is the archive. A selection from it of film and quotes were shown. So what?

 

If you want to hear the negative views, the 26 episodes of The Great War provide them in abundance. The series can still be picked up on DVD. Alternatively for a visual experience, freeze frame some of the briefly shown coloured images of brains and intestines hanging out, which Jackson provided in his work (the original grainy, black and white, low contrast images just don't show the detail). Not exactly glorifying images of war.

 

 

 

265

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Gunga Din
14 minutes ago, 14276265 said:

 

 

The archive is the archive. A selection from it of film and quotes were shown. So what?

 

If you want to hear the negative views, the 26 episodes of The Great War provide them in abundance. The series can still be picked up on DVD. Alternatively for a visual experience, freeze frame some of the briefly shown coloured images of brains and intestines hanging out, which Jackson provided in his work (the original grainy, black and white, low contrast images just don't show the detail). Not exactly glorifying images of war.

 

 

 

265

 

I am sure you are correct but the thread is about Peter Jackson's film, not about the 26 episode feature documentary The Great War. They Shall Not Grow Old (sic) in my view selects views that are generally very positive about the experience of the Great War, in contrast to the views expressed in the wider archive and as you point out in contrast to the 26 episodes of The Great War. I would conclude that Jackson's production is, like his last Great War production 'Gallipoli', subject to an agenda. Both are cinema marvels, but one might debate their historical accuracy or how representative or selective they are of broader interpretations of the Great War.

 

It it is only my view. Others may differ in their interpretations of his selection of the available material. 

 

GD

Edited by Gunga Din

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David Filsell

Not sure about an 'agenda' and yes confusions in places  in relating commentary to place and time but nevertheless a much hyped yet fascinating exercise

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simond9x
2 hours ago, Gunga Din said:

I would conclude that Jackson's production is, like his last Great War production 'Gallipoli', subject to an agenda. Both are cinema marvels, but one might debate their historical accuracy or how representative or selective they are of broader interpretations of the Great War.

 

 

I think that's rather harsh. Did you watch 'the making of....' on BBC 4 tonight? He seems to be a guy, obsessed with WW1, with a fair amount of knowledge of WW1, with ancestors who fought (and one died) in WW1, who has taken the available footage and audio and, on a budget for a film of less than an hour, has produced a 90 minute film about the personal experiences of the civilian soldiers in the war. Historical accuracy? well he only used contemporary personal accounts and official footage to create a broad-brush account of their experiences. Broader interpretation? he says in tonight's 'making of...' that he didn't want to make a 'documentary' with talking heads. For me, he's taken genuine footage, genuine recollections, and breathed life into it (with the intention of engaging 15 year olds, as was stated tonight). For what it's worth, he also left the IWM about 100 hours (I think) of digitally enhanced footage. I really don't think there's 'an agenda'.

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14276265
2 hours ago, Gunga Din said:

 

I am sure you are correct but the thread is about Peter Jackson's film, not about the 26 episode feature documentary The Great War.

 

I do apologise for going off track, I had simply raised the subject of the series The Great War as it addressed your comment from post no.120, viz: "I recollect It would have been better as a 26 part series similar to the World at War (1973-1976) covering some of the less palatable aspects and giving a more balanced view".

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Medaler
3 hours ago, Gunga Din said:

 

Not with the archive currently selected. Put another way, the material selected gives one view that is not generally representative of the whole archive.... If that makes sense. Within the archives are more negative views which were not given air time.  

 

Edit. Also there are more negative views that were not included from those whose views were partially expressed. 

To to be clear; the film had an agenda and the Interviews were edited to select the parts that fitted the agenda. 

 

GD

 

I think you may have watched a different version of the film to me. The positive views expressed at the beginning were there in an attempt to demonstrate why men flocked to the Colours in the early days of the war, and were therefore in context with the images that were shown with them. Granted, not everyone "flocked", but the film's subject was only concerned with those who did. It didn't set out to be a film about civilians. As for the absence of negative views, did you not hear those being expressed at the opposite end of the film?

 

Yes, there are problems with the film, but I suspect that they are largely due to do with the amount of time that was available for the project and the budget that was set for it. The bringing of the images to life is what has made it worthwhile for many of us. If you want in depth analysis you can't really expect to get that in the running time of a film as you have already pointed out.

 

 

 

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Gunga Din
9 minutes ago, Medaler said:

 

If you want in depth analysis you can't really expect to get that in the running time of a film as you have already pointed out.

 

We seem to at least agree that trying to compress the Great War into one TV programme is a difficult task. I thought he did an amazing job with the material, but the voice-overs seemed overwhelmingly positive about their war experiences. This I felt was rather unusual and may simply have been chosen to match the many scenes of men in the rear areas looking generally content with their lot.  

 

There is for example lots of harrowing film of shell-shock victims in the archives, a theme that is heavily associated with the Great War. It might have illustrated some of the harsh realities that impacted tens of thousands of men who 'survived' in body but not in mind and spirit.  None was included which slightly surprised me.  It is only my perspective and not really important. 

 

GD

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Steven Broomfield
9 hours ago, Gunga Din said:

 

 Jackson's production is, like his last Great War production 'Gallipoli', 

 

GD

 

Just for clarity, are you referring to the movie of that name? If so, it was directed by Peter Weir. If the reference is to something else, I apologise.

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Gunga Din
5 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

Just for clarity, are you referring to the movie of that name? If so, it was directed by Peter Weir. If the reference is to something else, I apologise.

 

No, this production was his exhibition that focused on NZ's contributon at Gallipoli which used film (modern actors) re-enacting imagined scenes at Gallipoli that were spliced into physical exhibitions; a particularly clever and artistically creative use of cinema; one review described it as a 'sensory overload'. I don't believe it toured outside of New Zealand. It forms part of an enlarged project covering the Great War. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive I believe. 

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12031372

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/04/sir-peter-jackson-dishes-on-new-gallipoli-trench-exhibit.html

 

Edit. If one is looking for his opinions when the exhibition opened in 2015 he described the war as " a hopeless war.... a war for no reason... a stupid war..."

 

Separately Peter Jackson digitally remastered Ashmead Bartlett's and Ernest Brooks' original film of Gallipoli called Heroes of Gallipoli. Not 100% sure if this is the digitally remastered version. It would seem to be the genesis for his most recent project. This was done in 2009 and predates his film work for the Gallipoli exhibition of 2015. 

 

 . 

Edited by Gunga Din
dates 2009

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hazelclark

I don’t know about agendas or anything else, but having watched last nights program about the making of the film, it would seem to me,the guy made a genuine attempt to bring the war to life in a form that might grip the attention of younger generations.

 

Having said that, I agree with much of what Gunga Din said about the focus.  I was a bit surprised by what was left out.  As strange as it may seem to some, I was left wanting more.  Nevertheless, I think Jackson did an amazing job, and who knows, maybe someone will follow in his footsteps and look at a different aspect of the war. He has certainly broken ground with this production.

 

I watched it with a couple of relatives with absolutely zero interest in the war (they were just being polite because I was there) and they thought it was marvellous.  Also,since I broadcast the time of the program on the 11th to various other friends and relations, they are now all talking about the war amongst themselves. 

 

He achieved a lot.

 

Hazel C.

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DavidOwen

Surely there has to be an award of some sort coming the production's way. I recorded it on Sunday night and watched it last night, the 90 minutes flew by and it was in places like it was made yesterday.

Well done PJ and team says I.

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Hyacinth1326

I wanted to be moved by the film as an historical document.  I wanted to see it as a transcendent art work - but apart from one brief voice over during the 'face of battle' sequence (the one in which the speaker relates carrying out a mercy killing) it didn't work for me either.  However I am pleased to see that others regard it as a milestone and I wish it well.

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Captain RHW

I think it's possible to overanalyse the film.  Did it give a rounded view of the conflict informed by the past 100 years of scholarship?  No, of course not, and could not have done otherwise.  Did it reflect each and every personal viewpoint of the soldiers, sailors and airmen?  No, nor could it.  Was the footage exactly as if it had been shot by modern 4k cameras?  No again. 

 

Did it, on the other hand, bring a startling immediacy to even well-known footage, contain some incredibly powerful moments (sunken road, and the artillery shockwave knocking the tiles off a roof being two stand outs for me), and in general provide a moving insight into the men of the war?  Yes. Will it be an indispensable tool in introducing young people to the conflict? Yes

 

For those reasons, in my book the film deserves five stars. 

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keithfazzani

This wasn't a documentary nor a historical presentation of the Great War, but I don't  believe that was what it was meant to be. It was however an accessible view of the reality of trench warfare for many people who know very little about the war. Those for whom previous viewing would have been of grainy and somewhat surreal black and white pictures.

 

The colourisation and the clarity of the images made me for one realise better than ever before that the men were real and just like us. The addition of the soundtrack of men saying what you or I might say or even more importantly hear, was the thing that made it for me.

 

I watched it with my wife, who would usually avoid watching anything on the war. As a horse rider she found several scenes disturbing but stuck with it. We both of course found the scenes of the dead and dismembered men disturbing. But again this brought home the fact in a way that perhaps nothing else could, that these were real people and real animals. 

 

I think that to over analyse this production achieves nothing and adds nothing to something that will help many "newcomers" to better understand what went on. For that if nothing else it deserves praise and perhaps more than that gratitude, that the ghastly realities of war are brought home to even more people. 

Edited by keithfazzani

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Steven Broomfield
8 hours ago, Gunga Din said:

 

No, this production was his exhibition that focused on NZ's contributon at Gallipoli which used film (modern actors) re-enacting imagined scenes at Gallipoli

 

 . 

 

Ah. Thanks - new one to me.

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Steven Broomfield
1 hour ago, hazelclark said:

I don’t know about agendas or anything else, but having watched last nights program about the making of the film, it would seem to me,the guy made a genuine attempt to bring the war to life in a form that might grip the attention of younger generations.

 

 

 

Hazel C.

 

Haze, not having yet watched the main event, I, too, watched last night's programme and found it very interesting. I, too, feel that he made a genuine attempt.

 

Talk of agendas might be, as mentioned, over-analysing things. It might be the director's sincerely-held beliefs, not an attempt topresent a specific 'wrold view' of things.

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Derek Black

I saw it for what it is, a selection of the original footage cleaned up and given a soundtrack of reminisces of ex servicemen to accompany it.

I was never under the impression it was going to be all encompassing and balanced history of the war, just a colourised copy of some film footage.

 

The many remarks on bad dentistry reminded me of a snippet i read about a local ploughman being rejected by the military at the start of the war because of the state of his teeth.

His reply reported at the time was "I'm going to fight the Germans, not eat them."

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Black Maria

I must admit it never occurred to me that Peter Jackson had any kind of agenda . He did mention in the Q&A about those veterans in the film

who said , even given what they went through , they wouldn't have missed the experience and said that of course those men who didn't survive

may well have expressed a different view if they had been able to.

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