Through ground breaking computer restoration technology, filmmaker Peter Jackson's team creates a moving real-to-life depiction of the WWI, as never seen before in restored, vivid colorizing & retiming of the film frames, in order to honor those who fought and more accurately depict this historical moment in world history.Written by
Peter Jackson considers this his most personal film, due to his lifelong fascination with WWI and the resonance he felt through his grandfather who died before his birth due to war injuries. Such was his interest in the subject that when production on the documentary began he already had a large personal collection in storage of WW1 uniforms and weapons to be used for reference. See more »
Several shots of tanks appear in the film, both Mark V (Mark Five) and Mark V* (Mark Five Star). They have been coloured green. In reality, tanks of these types were painted "a neutral brown colour". See the article by the British Tank Museum which states that. "Surrendering to the inevitable, towards the end of 1916 it was ordered that the tanks should be painted in a 'neutral brown colour' all over." The staff at the Museum told me they were surprised that the filmmakers didn't consult them. See more »
I needed some time for this to sink in before commenting on it. This was equal parts funny, exciting, moving, harrowing, horrifying, upsetting.
Firstly, it's not a glossy documentary. There are some harrowing scenes in this that will, and should, upset you.
The first 25 minutes are of original black and white, speeded up footage with the original voices of troops telling their story over the top of it.
Then something amazing happens. The screen widens, the footage smoothes out, the colours shines through and in an instant your and seeing everything in so much more detail.
That said this was the first time I've seen footage from The Great War that didn't feel disconnected. It feels real. Seeing the colour on their cheeks and eyes, the dirt, the mud, the blood brings the old footage to life. Occasionally the colourisation takes on a slightly animated feel but never enough to draw you out of the engrossing scenes laid out before you.
Then the frame rate adjustment is amazing. Having computers generate the missing frames to adjust the variable 15-18fps to the regular 24fps is a visual butter knife that smoothes out the jerky footage.
Having the soldiers talk sounds like a mistake but it's done in such a subtle and sensitive way it never feels false. They've been lip synced perfectly and apparently even with the right accent for the infantry units depicted.
This was powerful viewing. Computers and technology being used for something so important, to allow 100+ year old footage to look so modern and yet not feel sanitised is amazing.
This should become compulsory viewing for every one, all schools too.
With footage thats this accessible there's no reason history should be forgotten.
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