Few kissing.
A man starts taking his cloths off to take a shower, the scene fades before we see anything.
A man briefly holds a photo of his wife in a bikini.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Frankly speaking, I don’t like watching American so-called anti war (especially Vietnam War and Iraq war) films after 9 / 11. First of all, this reflection has not produced any practical effect at all. After the Korean War, reflect, and then the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, boxing champion Ali became a national hero because of his refusal to perform military service, which once gave the impression that the American people were so peace loving. But what happened after 9 / 11? They quickly launched the war in Iraq. More importantly, the moral foothold of such films is generally not high. No matter how ingenious they are and how profound they think, in the final analysis, they reflect on the problem of “why Americans kill in other countries”. Once it comes to “why do others kill Americans”, one or two will tear off the deep camouflage and start competing to play the main melody. Oliver Stone and his world trade center are living examples. In contrast, we don’t have a similar aversion when we watch Hollywood films with World War II themes that reflect justice. The golden age, which shows the return of veterans to society, has become a real classic because it integrates a rare sense of social criticism.

Before the war, Al was a senior employee of a bank with luxury apartments and a happy family. But at the end of the war, he was just a common army sergeant. On the contrary, Fred, a blue collar clerk who worked in a department store before the war, eventually became an outstanding Air Force captain – the contrast between the two is not only intuitively reflected in their official ranks, but also become a metaphor for their respective arms. However, the mediocre performance in the war did not affect the career of Al, an old man in his 40s after the war. Although his original position had long been replaced by others, he was waiting for the position of head of risk loan department with higher income; But the young captain Fred’s was not so lucky. After returning to the department store, he had to accept to continue to be an ordinary employee because the skilled technology of flying fighter was completely useless. He even had to be led by his original apprentice. Through the strong comparison of the identity and situation changes of the two protagonists before and after the war, the film highlights such a social reality: the war once gave individuals with different social classes a new opportunity to locate and show their own value. But once it was over, the original hierarchical order dominated their destiny again. What an injustice for people like Fred.

However, in a Hollywood film, any satire and whipping of social reality can only be a regulator. The film will eventually return to the theme of how the great American people overcome the trauma of war and face a better life again. Therefore, although Fred at the bottom of society does face various difficulties. Although I don’t like working in department stores anymore, I have no skills and run into walls everywhere in the process of job hunting; Although his wife, who hopes to earn a high salary in the nightclub, stays at home, her meager salary of $35 a week can’t support the daily expenses of the husband and wife (al’s annual salary after promotion is 12000). Although he fell in love with Al’s daughter Patty as a married man… At the end of the film, Fred finally defeated himself. He decided to stay in his hometown as an ordinary airport demolition worker, and personally demolishing the type of aircraft he had flown also symbolized that he had completely got rid of the haze of war in his heart.

At the same time, Al, who is in good luck in all aspects, has not returned to his old life. The cruel but precious war experience gave him the opportunity to re-examine his work. As he concluded at a dinner held by the company: war should not weigh risks too much like banking work (which also explains why he is only a sergeant), but should release more trust. Therefore, the company’s unsecured risk loans to veterans are not “taking risks with depositors’ money, but betting on the future of the country!” It’s very sensational and main melody. It must have aroused strong resonance in the audience. But I don’t know how much American people who are currently in the shadow of the subprime mortgage crisis can agree when they revisit this plot.

The third protagonist Homer is a mechanic serving on a naval ship. He never participated in a real battle, but lost his arms in a fire caused by an enemy air raid. This kind of slightly black humor character background design is very clever. On the one hand, it brings more dramatic plots to the film – because the secret of his son has never been known to his family and neighbors, when Homer shut himself in the garage to practice shooting, his father was very puzzled: hasn’t his son played enough on the front line – on the other hand, the dual pressure of both arms disability and lack of combat experience, Let Homer face greater challenges in the process of reintegration into society and family. And then make the audience pay more attention and sympathy to this role. Of course, the theme film needs a happy ending, and Homer is no exception. But even so, a scene in which he took his girlfriend to the bedroom to show her (more importantly, to the audience) his disabled arms was very touching. The touching reason is that everyone knows that it is a real disabled veteran. In contrast, it is difficult for modern films of the same type to have the same appeal. Because they usually use computer special effects with stars to create similar disability effects. But the problem is that the audience knows the star and knows that he can’t really lose his hands or feet!

For Homer’s Harold Russell, the Oscar judges thought he might not win the award, so they set up a special honor award. But I didn’t expect Russell to win the best supporting actor in the end. So he became the only actor in Oscar history who won two performance awards for one role.

Compared with the distinctive male protagonists, the female characters in this film are slightly single line and typed. The contrast between Fred’s wife’s philistine debauchery and Al’s daughter Peggy’s kind and virtuous character is too clear, so that a lover eventually becomes a family member without any severe test. Surprisingly, Peggy is not the most perfect woman in the film. The girl next door to Homer, who is determined to pursue the disability of both arms, seems to be even greater. However, for such characters and stories (similar to Juno’s teenage children), there is no need to sneer at them as pure sensationalism, let alone use the topic to criticize the disadvantages of the times. Perhaps it is a correct attitude to interpret it in combination with specific story backgrounds (such as the sound security system in the United States and the middle-class families of the parties).

William Wheeler’s films with Toland always provide a classic bridge of deep focus + scene scheduling. In a scene in the bar of this film, the close-up view of the big depth of field is Homer performing to his uncle and Al with the hook piano he just learned. At this time, Al was distracted by Fred in the telephone room in the vision, and turned his head from time to time. The dramatic effect is very good! However, once it is analyzed in connection with Bazin’s theory, there is confusion. Because if deep focus scheduling can really liberate the audience from “a passive position” and “freely choose their own interpretation of things and events”. So can this scene also be changed to put the camera in the telephone room and take Fred as the foreground and the three people next to the piano as the foreground? Because the premise of the so-called “free choice” seems to be that events in different depths of field have the same or similar attention value. But it can’t be. As the audience had learned in the previous plot, Fred promised al to call the latter’s daughter and said he would no longer communicate with her. At this time, taking the telephone room as the prospect must be an unnecessary repetition and commit the great taboo of narration. Therefore, Homer’s piano performance must become the only choice for the future. But in this way, the so-called free choice of the audience does not exist. They must “passively” accept the director’s seat setting and scene scheduling.

Another example is Homer’s wedding at the end. In the middle of the right side of the picture, the priest is proving the marriage of the two newlyweds. The priest’s marriage proposal obviously touched the mood of the best man Fred in the future. He turned to look at al’s daughter, and the other party in the foreground was looking back affectionately at this time… The problem with this scene is that Homer and his neighbor’s girlfriend have been explained for taking an oath and wearing a wedding ring. The focus of the audience is no longer how the newlyweds love each other, but whether the other two former lovers can get back together. In other words, at this time, the audience does not want to actively “freely select” the “events and explain the events” with different depth of field in the lens. But the director is forcing them to be “passive” “Accept it. Besides, the scene is not satisfactory: Fred in the foreground turns around and actually leaves the back of his head to the audience. They can’t see Fred’s facial expression like al’s daughter in the foreground. This is essentially different from the previous example. In the bar scene, at least Homer and uncle in the foreground are playing the piano to the audience. Let’s see To their expression of joy. Al in the middle shot also conveys the change of mood by turning his head back and forth. Therefore, can we dare to say that the director actually misused the depth of field and scene scheduling in a paragraph that should have been expressed by montage (close-up of their expressions) + voiceover (priest’s marriage proposal)?

BTW: Why are some of the great French directors and theorists’ statements clearly applicable only to certain types of films, but they are often elevated and magnified to the height of guiding the overall situation? For example, Bresson’s theory of actor unconscious performance has indeed been perfectly interpreted in his prison escape, the diary of the country priest and the pickpocket. However, when faced with the grumpy juggler played by Anthony Quinn in the road, or even the ecstatic and drunken Arnold in his own barkzal’s donkey, it is obviously powerless. Similarly, if Bazin’s deep focus + scene scheduling is to reveal the essence of the film, aren’t the German Expressionism that appeared before him, the Hollywood police bandits, gangsters and other types of films that followed him counted as films?

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