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Flashman
01-07-2009, 08:42 AM
Despite my Pommie status, I find myself wondering why we don't see more films showing Australia and New Zealand's contribution in WW2, or even Vietnam?

I suppose it was Baz Luhrmanns 'Australia' with it's depiction of the Jap attack on Darwin that made me wonder.

As an 'Outrageous Fortune' fan I demand to see Wolf West go manno a manno with 'Tojo'!

:army:

Schuultz
01-13-2009, 06:38 PM
Well, I'm sure if you look at local TV productions, you might find something somewhere in there - I wouldn't rely on it being of very high quality, though.

For Movie producers to create movies about a certain battle/faction, there has to be enough public interest to make it commercially viable. Sadly, the story of many 'minor' nations just doesn't spark as much interest as the story of American, British or Russian povs on the Allied side, or German or Japanese povs on the Axis side...

(outside of the respective countries, that is)

Flashman
01-14-2009, 04:45 AM
I know, I know. The Aussies did as much against the Japanese as the Americans did. But what do they get? A sequel to Band of Brothers called The Pacific (still in production I assume), where as far as I know the only portrayal of Australians will be a (presumably painful reminder to the Australians) that American soldiers were 'gettin it' with Australian women while on leave......(!)

I tell thee no lie, that's what I've heard about the show. Sigh. Sorry Aussies.

There was supposed to be a film in production about Australian SAS in Vietnam starring Vince Colosimo but that seems to have disapeared.

As for the Soviets during WW2, I would have thought that they were as minority as Australia. What have we got from Hollywood on the Soviets - one film? Enemy At The Gates? Stalingrad is from the German pov (I've always wanted to see it but the only copy I ever found was dubbed and I can't abide dubbing).

Rising Sun*
01-14-2009, 04:58 AM
For Movie producers to create movies about a certain battle/faction, there has to be enough public interest to make it commercially viable. Sadly, the story of many 'minor' nations just doesn't spark as much interest as the story of American, British or Russian povs on the Allied side, or German or Japanese povs on the Axis side...

(outside of the respective countries, that is)

That's about it.

Although we've had a few locally made war films and TV series over the years about our involvement in various wars (some of which were very good and some of which were embarrassingly bad), the costs of production and distribution for a small potential audience, confined pretty much to Australia and with no prospect of major theatre releases or much DVD interest overseas, are generally too high to make it worthwhile doing.

Rising Sun*
01-14-2009, 05:58 AM
I know, I know. The Aussies did as much against the Japanese as the Americans did.

Overall, we didn't do anything near what the Americans did, which is hardly surprising given the relative populations and resources of Australia and America. We couldn't even manufacture our own motor vehicles when the war started, never mind subs and bombers.

In the SWPA 1942-44 we did about as much and at times more on the ground than the Americans did, not that MacArthur would ever acknowledge it. From 1944 the balance shifted hugely to the Americans in the SWPA, particularly as far as taking territory and advancing towards Japan was concerned, as they advanced towards Hollandia and on to the Philippines.

We had no ground or any other significant involvement in the other Pacific areas which made at least as great a contribution on land and sea as the SWPA did to Japan's defeat.


But what do they get? A sequel to Band of Brothers called The Pacific (still in production I assume),

There is no requirement that cinema has to be fair or to reflect reality and, usually even when 'based on a true story', it spectacularly doesn't.

Hollywood is a business devoted to making obscene amounts of money from fantasy and, in the case of movies based on war, either arrant nonsense or plausible fantasy dressed up as fact. It doesn't owe any nation, including America, any duty to reflect any truth about their wars and, consistent with its general approach to truth, usually doesn't reflect any truth in such war movies as it does make. Witness Pearl Harbor, which has to be one of the silliest war films ever made. I'd rather Hollywood left Australia's war involvement alone than have it rendered in wide screen bullshit for the rest of the world to laugh at.


where as far as I know the only portrayal of Australians will be a (presumably painful reminder to the Australians) that American soldiers were 'gettin it' with Australian women while on leave......(!)

Nothing painful about it. Most Australian women of the time, like most American and British women of the time, wouldn't root before marriage.

I've read a fair bit about the Australian home front in WWII, including many personal reminiscences, as well as asking family members and others who experienced the war about it. Many Australian women wouldn't go out with Yanks. Many would, but most of them wouldn't root the Yanks. Many Yanks were scrupulous in their behaviour with the Aussie women they took out and didn't even try to root them. Most Australians looked down on women who'd root any Yank, but perhaps not on those who formed a strong relationship with a specific Yank, at least as long as they weren't cheating on an Aussie serviceman. While there is a popular notion that the Yanks descended on Australia and rooted themselves stupid with Aussie sheilas in return for an endless supply of nylon stockings etc, the reality is that most Yanks and most Aussie woman observed the mores of the time and 'decent' girls generally did't root Yanks and 'decent' Yanks generally didn't try to root them. There were plenty of Aussie slags and prostitutes to meet some of the remaining demand, along with a proportion of women who relaxed their standards during the war and had liaisons they would not have contemplated before or after the war.

There were certainly tensions caused by rivalries and resentment in competition between Aussie and American men for women, but the fact is that most Australians were bloody glad to have the Yanks here to defend us and many Australians, including my grandparents who lived near a major American base and had a daughter in her late teens - early twenties during the war, happily invited Amercan servicemen into their homes for meals and company. The Yanks appreciated it and were courteous and pleasant company, and often became de facto members of the family. It might lack the cinematic appeal of fights between Aussie and Yank soldiers over Aussie women, but it was as much or more the reality than such conflicts.

Schuultz
01-14-2009, 07:52 AM
As for the Soviets during WW2, I would have thought that they were as minority as Australia. What have we got from Hollywood on the Soviets - one film? Enemy At The Gates? Stalingrad is from the German pov (I've always wanted to see it but the only copy I ever found was dubbed and I can't abide dubbing).

As far as I know, there's actually quite a few relatively high-budget Russian productions about the "Great Patriotic War".

Sadly, those rarely make it out of Eastern Europe, for a couple of reasons:
- The voice dubbing would seem rather... obscure
- The production companies simply don't see a real audience, Americans are too happy with their view of the war, and seeing that Russian soldiers suffered just as much - if not more - than Americans doesn't really seem something the mainstream movie-goer wants to know if they can instead watch the incredible sacrifice the Western Allies had to give.
- Some of them might appear too Pro-Russia for the current sentiment one gets from the Media, and you wouldn't want to undermine that now, would you;)?

Those are just a couple of things off the top of my head...

Rising Sun*
01-14-2009, 08:06 AM
As far as I know, there's actually quite a few relatively high-budget Russian productions about the "Great Patriotic War".

Sadly, those rarely make it out of Eastern Europe, for a couple of reasons:
- The voice dubbing would seem rather... obscure
- The production companies simply don't see a real audience, Americans are too happy with their view of the war, and seeing that Russian soldiers suffered just as much - if not more - than Americans doesn't really seem something the mainstream movie-goer wants to know if they can instead watch the incredible sacrifice the Western Allies had to give.
- Some of them might appear too Pro-Russia for the current sentiment one gets from the Media, and you wouldn't want to undermine that now, would you;)?

Those are just a couple of things off the top of my head...

I've seen a few brilliant Soviet / Russian films about WWII, I think all with Russian audio and English subtitles.

The stories, themes, acting and cinematography were stunning, and even with distracting subtitles ran rings around anything Hollywood could even begin to think about producing.

Alas, I can't recall the titles as I saw these films maybe twenty plus years ago, but one I recall (and would love to see again) as having huge impact involved a Russian boy cast adrift by and caught up in the war, with some stunning camera work following him or others in battle scenes and moving through swamps and scenes of devastation. The cinematography alone was something Hollywood hasn't approached in a major film, except perhaps in the beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan.

Schuultz
01-14-2009, 08:16 AM
I've seen a few brilliant Soviet / Russian films about WWII, I think all with Russian audio and English subtitles.


I definitely don't doubt that there's some great Russian movies - I rather tried to explain why we don't get them over here...

Rising Sun*
01-14-2009, 08:20 AM
I definitely don't doubt that there's some great Russian movies - I rather tried to explain why we don't get them over here...

Sorry if I seemed like I was criticising your post. I agree with it and was just adding to it.

Flashman
01-14-2009, 11:16 AM
I've seen a few brilliant Soviet / Russian films about WWII, I think all with Russian audio and English subtitles.

The stories, themes, acting and cinematography were stunning, and even with distracting subtitles ran rings around anything Hollywood could even begin to think about producing.

Alas, I can't recall the titles as I saw these films maybe twenty plus years ago, but one I recall (and would love to see again) as having huge impact involved a Russian boy cast adrift by and caught up in the war, with some stunning camera work following him or others in battle scenes and moving through swamps and scenes of devastation. The cinematography alone was something Hollywood hasn't approached in a major film, except perhaps in the beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan.

I'm not sure but I think you may mean "Come And See", a film I've yet to see myself, despite it garnering high praise as one of the better WW2 films.

Thanks for the information on Aussie / American relationships during WW2. I must have been hearing some of the more 'axe to grind' views you described earlier about 'comin over here and takin our women', and took it as accurate.
Ahem!

kuuk
01-14-2009, 07:18 PM
One of the Russian movies I remember was titled: "Ballad of a Russian Soldier"
Another one was: "Where the Cranes fly", or words to that effect.

Rising Sun*
01-15-2009, 06:36 AM
I'm not sure but I think you may mean "Come And See", a film I've yet to see myself, despite it garnering high praise as one of the better WW2 films.

Thanks for that.

And thanks to youtube, it's there with all its impact e.g. http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=2VBousb3Iv8&feature=PlayList&p=40B9C5C51BA39017&index=11 but I'll see if I can find a CD that views better.

Schuultz
01-15-2009, 08:16 AM
Thanks for that.

And thanks to youtube, it's there with all its impact e.g. http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=2VBousb3Iv8&feature=PlayList&p=40B9C5C51BA39017&index=11 but I'll see if I can find a CD that views better.

Wow.

That was almost surreal, amazing cinematography. Still there were three things that seemed somewhat weird, though probably were done for a psychological/dramatic effect.

1. The amount of Molotov cocktails thrown seemed somewhat overkill... roughly 10 Molotovs at the beginning, then roughly 50 people emptying their magazines in the church and then another 10-20 Molotovs? I doubt they would use that much of their scarce ammo for this small church...

2. The drunk guy and the weird close up of the guy shaking his head - obviously for a dramatic effect - seemed somewhat out of place. But that might have just been intended.

3. And why the heck is there a female SS officer with the fighting/occupying troops, sitting in a truck and eating lobster?

Other than that, the scene you posted seems amazingly well done - when the people directly looked in the camera, it really felt like they were looking at me...

alephh
01-15-2009, 08:27 AM
I feel that the WWII contributions by the Commonwealth nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc - except UK) are under-publicized.


_

Schuultz
01-15-2009, 08:32 AM
I feel that the WWII contributions by the Commonwealth nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc - except UK) are under-publicized.

True, but the same thing counts for the other Axis factions, aside Germany and Japan.

There's not a lot about Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia or the Axis' co-belligerents Finland, Iraq and Thailand.

Rising Sun*
01-15-2009, 08:48 AM
Wow.

That was almost surreal, amazing cinematography. Still there were three things that seemed somewhat weird, though probably were done for a psychological/dramatic effect.

1. The amount of Molotov cocktails thrown seemed somewhat overkill... roughly 10 Molotovs at the beginning, then roughly 50 people emptying their magazines in the church and then another 10-20 Molotovs? I doubt they would use that much of their scarce ammo for this small church...

2. The drunk guy and the weird close up of the guy shaking his head - obviously for a dramatic effect - seemed somewhat out of place. But that might have just been intended.

3. And why the heck is there a female SS officer with the fighting/occupying troops, sitting in a truck and eating lobster?



I share those impressions, but I think they're cinematic devices rather than any attempt at a documentary-standard rendition of such an event.

It has that crazy, surreal and seemingly impossible effect of the scenes in Apocalypse Now as the boat moves up the river to the scene with Marlon Brando in the cave, but unlike Apocalypse Now where I and most people I know just wondered what the hell those scenes were all about, in the Come and See film it encapsulates the callousness of Einsatzgruppen type operations.

If we're going to be picky, the scene with the massed German troops firing at the building was pretty silly with ranks behind ranks behind ranks and all firing randomly over and potentially into each other while the machine gunner is firing at an elevated target when there is no sign of people escaping from the bell tower structure, probably because of the grenades thrown in earlier.

Still, cinema like literature isn't there to report events accurately but to refine, compress and present them to tug at our senses and emotions rather than our cold intellects, which the film does very well.

Which leads us to the SS shelia, which both slipped in nicely with the detachment of the senior officers and jarred with the violence outside her little world. Was she really present or not? Was this a dream-type sequence?

All of which adds to the vast scope and depth of the film.

If you go back to an earlier segment there is an improbable scene of displaced Russian villagers apparently hiding and certainly loudly keening for the dead in a forest, which makes no sense if they're really trying to hide from the Germans. But it picks you up in the sweep of the film and, like so many films, makes sense and evokes a strong response if the viewer suspends disbelief for the duration of the film.

Schuultz
01-15-2009, 08:59 AM
So was the scene depicted in the video an Einsatzgruppen planned massacre on the population of the village, or was it a reprisal act/random murder by general armed forces?

I saw some SS guys, some SS guys in Tank uniform, a couple of none SS guys and a weird mammal.

Rising Sun*
01-15-2009, 09:01 AM
I feel that the WWII contributions by the Commonwealth nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc - except UK) are under-publicized.

True, but that's probably a consequence of us being elements of the British Commonwealth at the time and just lumped in with British forces as far as any views of British operations by the British or Americans were concerned.

Perhaps the biggest contribution the dominions made was to pilots and air crew in Britain, where Australian, Canadian and New Zealanders were prominent and where Canada ran the heart of the training scheme which supplied pilots and air crew to Britain.

I doubt that there is an Allied contribution more overlooked then and now on the Allied side, and particularly by the major Western Allies America and Britain, than Brazil's. I suspect that most people nowadays think that Brazil emulated Argentina by maintaining its pro-Axis postion throughout the war when in fact it didn't.

Rising Sun*
01-15-2009, 09:10 AM
I saw some SS guys, some SS guys in Tank uniform, a couple of none SS guys and a weird mammal.

This would be the senior officer's beady eyed and timid little mammal later put under a helmet to shield it from the horror unfolding in front of it?

Perhaps it was a metaphor for Himmler, who was a beady eyed and timid little mammal who was rather squeamish on the few occasions he went anywhere near what his minions were doing at his command?

(With intellectualised bullshit like that, I should grow a goatee and learn to stroke it while appearing to think; slap a French beret on my scone; and become a film critic. ;))

Schuultz
01-15-2009, 09:22 AM
This would be the senior officer's beady eyed and timid little mammal later put under a helmet to shield it from the horror unfolding in front of it?

Perhaps it was a metaphor for Himmler, who was a beady eyed and timid little mammal who was rather squeamish on the few occasions he went anywhere near what his minions were doing at his command?

(With intellectualised bullshit like that, I should grow a goatee and learn to stroke it while appearing to think; slap a French beret on my scone; and become a film critic. ;))

Yeah, you definitely should ;)

But honestly, that metaphor works pretty well :D

Rising Sun*
01-15-2009, 09:29 AM
But honestly, that metaphor works pretty well :D

Lucky it wasn't a pussy cat.

Because the metaphors I could come up with there transcend the Nazi regime and speak to all men. :D

Schuultz
01-15-2009, 09:58 AM
Lucky it wasn't a pussy cat.

Because the metaphors I could come up with there transcend the Nazi regime and speak to all men. :D

Haha, you could say that it was a metaphor for Himmler being a pussy:mrgreen: