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A film with no spoken dialogue, just follows the music and lyrics of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem, which include WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen's poems reflecting the war's horrors. It shows the story of an Englishman soldier (Wilfred Owen) and a nurse (his bride) during World War I. It also includes actual footage of contemporary wars (WWII, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) Written by
Michel Rudoy <email@example.com>
Maybe it would have helped to have listened to the music first and more often. At times I would try to follow the poem/lyrics and just get lost.
Other times I would watch Tilda Swinton, and then go back and time her. Six whopping minutes of watching her run through her emotions. Sorry this was a breaking point for me... It reminded me that she does a sleep in a museum exhibit sometimes, and sort of made me dislike all actors.
Snowballs and pianos and soldiers, that was quite a scene, but it's small humanity gone wrong within the framework of war is lost in the bombast of the soundtrack for me.
I did find the use of the gruesome footage towards the finale had an interesting effect. Other footage was used throughout but typically cannons and shots from the trenches paled in comparison to some of those shots towards the end, that many viewers might have a difficult time with. I know I did, on two levels.
First it made me move from disliking actors to disliking humanity. War is failure but never more blatantly so than seeing the anguish and destruction of a single man, no matter what his uniform indicates. But again these images, like so many other lingering scenes, went on long enough to alter their affect from powerful to overpowering. Instead of feeling the loss of the individual, I felt like I was being thrust into a viewing of Faces of the Dead (or whatever that cult film is called which I have no desire to see).
The opera itself was torture enough for me. With time and exposure, I could perhaps appreciate it more, or become a fan of it. Not so with the carnage of war.
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