Oscars Project: Movie #9

(Explanation of The Oscars Project found here. And need I say it? This post contains SPOILERS.)

From 1993: Schindler's List

I'm guessing that most of my dear blogreaders have seen this movie, but feel free to contradict me in the comments. I think the movie can be summed up in just a few lines of dialogue (courtesty Wikiquote):

"The list. . . is life."
--gentle but creative accountant Itzhak Stern, played by Ben Kingsley (whose performance was snubbed by the Academy for Best Supporting Actor), as he finishes typing the list of the interned Polish Jews who will be saved under the pretenses of being transported to work in Schindler's relocated enamelware factory.

"'Hath not a Jew eyes?'"
--Amon Goethe, the depraved SS officer (played frighteningly well by Oscar nominee Ralph Finnes), quoting Shakespeare's Shylock mockingly as he molests and pummels his timid Jewish housekeeper (Embeth Davidtz).

"I will not be mistaken for your wife by the doorman or maitre d' any more."
--Emilie Schindler (Caroline Goodall). . . calling her estranged husband on his obvious catting about and offering the terms of her permanent return. (As the notes at the end indicated, it didn't last. . . but she outlived him.)

I didn't do enough! . . . This pin [his party member pin]. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this. I could have gotten one more person. . . and I didn't! And I. . . I didn't!"
--Oskar Schindler
(Best Actor nominee Liam Neeson)
, bidding his factory workers farewell upon their liberation and his urgent need to escape to avoid prosecution for war crimes. . . his lament that he didn't do more represents the fullness of that belief which had been growing in him all throughout the movie--revealed bit by bit in how he treated his workers decently, how he asked for hoses (even bringing some from his factory) to spray water on the Jewish captives herded like cattle into sweltering train cars, how he kissed the young woman and little girl who brought him a birthday cake on behalf of his workers. . . how he relented to Stern's plea to build the list, to save as many as he could, ultimately using up his entire fortune. What Peske and West describe as beginning "to embrace the part of himself that values people over profits." (page 47)

The filming (with titles and in black and white--except for the red coat of a little girl whom Schindler first notices wandering alone among the chaos, and then ultimately sees heaped as a corpse headed to incineration--gave it the feel of a documentary).

The dialogue (see above)

The acting (excellent cast who gave 110%).

There's a reason people were upset, moved, blown away.

Why it won Best Picture and Best Director and received several other nominations.

You know me--I watched many scenes through my fingers. I cried a little, often. But I kept watching, all three-plus hours of it. Absolutely compelling.

Speaking of the length, why on earth do we have to flip over DVDs for long films, like an LP? Is that no longer necessary nowadays? Was the size limit of a DVD side really that small at the time it was manufactured, or was it just a gimmick?

Next up: Titanic

I am sort of dreading watching it. Is there a drinking game associated with it I should know about?


Dave E. said…
I unequivocally deny any rumors that I made out during Schindler's List.

Not much else to really say other than I second your opinion. I can't see how anyone with a sense of empathy would not be moved watching it.
Cullen said…
Everyone in this movie was so good. Such an amazing, moving, powerful movie. Like a punch to the gut.

When DVDs were first made, they didn't have dual-layer discs like now. If a film, or film with special features, exceeded the size of one side of a DVD, they had to put it on the other side. Now, they have the dual-layer discs which basically put two layers on one side. You don't have to flip any longer, but you might get a slight pause when the player moves to the second layer.

Watching Titanic was like being on the Titanic.
Kate P said…
Dave--Hee. I vaguely remember that discussion from Sheila's blog. My makeout movie was "Best in Show." Movies are just as bad an idea for anniversaries as they are for first dates.

Cullen--you know, that is the biggest thing that drives me crazy about DVDs compared to VHS: that darn PAUSE. ALL the TIME. Just kills the flow.
And I might need somebody to throw me a life preserver this week.

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