Saturday, March 03, 2007

Inspired by Actual Events

The international production Joyeux Noel tells the inspiring story of the famed 'Christmas Truce' of 1914. The movie uses three fictional storys to depect events from all sides, each presented in the language of the participents. In English we have the story of two Scottish brothers, and their parish priest who accompanys them to the front as a medic. The French story concerns the son of a career military officer, whose pregnant wife is traped behind enemy lines. The German storyline depicts a famous tenour, bound by a sense of deuty to serve the German people, despite the pledings of his Danish wife for them to leave the country. Kind of weak in the first half hour to fourty minutes, the film becomes truely inspirng from the moment the German tenor starts to sing along to the Scottish priests bagpipe music. Rated R for about 15 seconds of film that barley registers as nudity. Ian Richardson appears briefly in his second to last film role.

Forest Whitaker won a well deserved Oscar for playing crazed yet charismatic Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, a motion picture based on the novel of the same name by Giles Foden. The story is historical fiction inserting a young Scottish doctor 'hungry for adventure' ( James McAvoy), into the inner cirlce of Scottophile Amin. Both actors are extrodanarly good in this film, which also features a nice role for Gillan Anderson of all people. The Last King of Scotland introduced me to a horrifiying story I'd never heard before, and further cemented my desire never to go to central Africa.

Also recently finished The Presidents, an eight part History Channel documentary narrated by Edward Herrman, that gives an average of 7-9 minutes air time to each of our countrys chief executives (love that Chester A. Arthur). Also included on set is an hour and a half long doc All The Presidetns Wives.


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