Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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All Darc

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Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostSun Nov 12, 2017 4:18 pm

This forum it's about old films, but I found a channel that despite not be for old movies (despite took a few ones) it's very interesting, since it compare movies to the real history behind :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCggHoX ... iPmOxezeWA

Would be reasonable to say something like : "Do not allow movies teach history for your kids" ?

:lol:
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Jim Roots

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 6:39 am

Try watching Argo if you're a Canadian and know the true story. You'll throw a brick through your TV screen, or walk out of the theatre and burn it down.

And I can't begin to enumerate the American films that insist "the Klondike Gold Rush" took place in Alaska (it was a different Gold Rush that took place in Nome), or that the Yukon Territory is in Alaska, or that Dawson City is an American city, or that handguns were permitted in Dawson City during the Gold Rush, or that...

As for American films about World War One, the truth is to be found in a snide saying common to every soldier in the other Allied armies: "The Yanks did 5 percent of the fighting and claimed 95 percent of the credit."

Jim
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boblipton

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 7:07 am

Does anyone go to the movies looking for truth? Jim, I'm sorry the Canadian film industry is too small to tell the true story of the First World War, which as all real historians know, was actually won by the "Rainbow Division" of the RCAF consisting of Sergeant "Pa" Quackenbush from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, twin wheat farmers from Alberta, a toffee-nose from Ottawa, a Quebecois and a Micmac, but us Yanks have to have our own national legends.

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Donald Binks

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 9:25 am

There was an odd assortment of Aussies in that war - I'm surprised that neither of you bothered to mention a couple of them? I suppose if you did, you would have to had mention the New Zealanders, South Africans, Kenyans, Rhodesians, Indians, Ceylonese, Malays, Singaporians - dare I say the English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish........ and, as for the Second World War - we all know that John Wayne won that - single-handed!

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Jim Roots

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 10:25 am

Guys: Gallipoli (1981), about the Aussie army disaster, made a star out of Mel Gibson (Mad Max preceded it but was something of a cult film). Passchendaele (2008) was Paul Gross's attempt to make an epic out of Canada's role. Both films, having been made not in the USA, attempted to tell an accurate story about true battles.

We've had plenty of historical films and TV series in Canada (hey Stephen, remember The Whiteoaks of Jalna?) most of which presented the facts pretty much accurately, allowing for fictional characters being inserted. It has been very rare that we distorted history the way American films routinely do.

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 10:36 am

What about if Adolf Hitler had a holiday in his name ?
An absurd, of course. But Christopher Columbus have one in USA, despite be was in reality as evil or more than Hitler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQWSwUbnofw


About World War II, it was won by The Inglorious Bastards, leaded by Tarantino. :lol:
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boblipton

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 11:16 am

Don’t you know that Hitler died on a Jewish holiday?

Bob
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Donald Binks

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 2:36 pm

boblipton wrote:Don’t you know that Hitler died on a Jewish holiday?
Bob


Oh? Did they make up a holiday to celebrate the fact that the %$#@! was dead?
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All Darc

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 3:00 pm

Never heard about.
Anyway Columbus holiday it's in his homage, but he was a monster, a psychopath.

boblipton wrote:Don’t you know that Hitler died on a Jewish holiday?

Bob
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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 1:05 pm

Jim Roots wrote:Guys: Gallipoli (1981), about the Aussie army disaster, made a star out of Mel Gibson (Mad Max preceded it but was something of a cult film). Passchendaele (2008) was Paul Gross's attempt to make an epic out of Canada's role. Both films, having been made not in the USA, attempted to tell an accurate story about true battles.


Gallipoli has some historical inaccuracies.

Les Carlyon agrees that the film unfairly portrays the English during the battle and Carlyon lays the blame squarely at the feet of Antill and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade commander Brigadier General Frederic Hughes—"The scale of the tragedy of the Nek was mostly the work of two Australian incompetents, Hughes and Antill.

Also, there were actually four charges "over the top", not three as portrayed in the film. In the last, some soldiers just climbed out and then hit the deck, as they knew that they would be mowed down quickly.
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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 4:01 pm

Jim Roots wrote:We've had plenty of historical films and TV series in Canada (hey Stephen, remember The Whiteoaks of Jalna?) most of which presented the facts pretty much accurately, allowing for fictional characters being inserted. It has been very rare that we distorted history the way American films routinely do.

I remember catching a bit of a TV miniseries about Jalna, I think that story has been told a couple of times, but it didn't stick with me.

I remember a very good two-parter that CBC-TV did on Louis Riel in the late '70s, with lots of cameos by Canadian ex-pats like William Shatner, Christopher Plummer and Leslie Nielsen. I've read a couple of books on Riel, and it seemed to hew to the basic facts, with some necessary show-biz embellishment. If anything, I recall it avoided the temptation to play up the fact he had seizures and visions, which could really have been played to the extreme.
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 4:03 pm

Also enjoyed some memorial Remembrance Day ANZAC biscuits this past weekend. Thank you for your delicious sacrifice, ANZAC biscuits.
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Harold Aherne

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Re: Unmasking true history in films (not old ones)

PostThu Nov 16, 2017 6:19 pm

The biggest problem with trying to relate historical facts in movies is that accurate history often makes for dull or hopelessly long drama. A case in point is the many "biopics" of composers and other show business figures that were so prominent in the 1940s and 50s: the day-to-day workings of writing songs or touring in vaudeville often aren't that interesting, so dramatic conflict had to be inserted. The censorable elements of some people's private lives had to be smoothed over (most ludicrously in Words and Music, where poor Larry Hart dies in front of a store specialising in elevated shoes). And most people portrayed in these films had relatives, associates or ex-spouses who were still living and not always willing to give permission to be depicted. Thus they had to be eliminated, or made into composites, or in the case of The Jolson Story, given new names (Ruby Keeler became "Julie Benson").

With all these barriers to accuracy, we can easily ask why producers and screenwriters even bothered. I supposed the compensating factors of prestige and box-office performance (colourful musicals with all-star casts, war films or costume dramas that win Oscars, etc.) were, and are, considered more important than historical faithfulness. So to that end, I wouldn't tell someone to watch movies to learn about historical facts in the way one would read a history book.

But that doesn't mean that films cannot teach history. It's an oblique kind of teaching, and you have to work hard at it, but it works in its own way. You lean about social customs, the kind of slang that was in use, an approximation of daily life (when the film is set in contemporary times), what subjects were valued based on the kinds of films that were given large budgets, et al. That can provide as valuable an education in its own right as half a dozen history courses.

-HA

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