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You may be interested to know that one of my students just submitted a large chunk of this paper after substituting a synonym for every third word. He will be getting an F. Flattering, yes, but you could also be angry that someone has been able to take your work so easily.
Name required. Mail will not be published required. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military. Anyway… The first major paper in the class is a scene analysis. I choose the movie, Saving Private Ryan ; hopefully you are able to figure which scene via my essay… The world as we experience it through our own senses is limited in its scope to the singular perspective.
Cinematography During the scene, the chaotic movements and skillful positioning of the camera give the audience a feeling of actually being on the landing craft and a part of the strike force. Editing The scene is a combination of fifty separate straight cuts expertly spliced into just over four minutes of film.
Generals may still talk like their Civil War counterparts, but soldiers in the field have ceased to cloak their duty in such sentiments. The Germans depicted are just as bewildered, terrified, and anxious to return to their families as the Americans. Of course, there is no shortage of cruelty and brutality. Nazis move through battle-scarred streets indifferently finishing off wounded Americans, but, early in the film, we have witnessed callous GIs mowing down surrendering Germans with a laugh.
And the transformation of a cowardly American interpreter who coldly butchers a captured German he earlier has argued to spare is one of the most troubling moments in the film. Spielberg never suggests that we are any better than our enemy or, to put it more generously, that they are any worse than we are. On the contrary, he seems to be at pains to show the equality of men under any flag when the shooting begins.
So this is not a patriotic film; if anything, it argues that patriotism is beside the point in modern warfare. Even the mission itself has no heroic or patriotic aim; there is no hill to be taken, no redoubt to be stormed. Its goal, according to Captain Miller, is public relations. Why then does the film begin and end with Spielberg's flag-waving and a tearful old grandfather mourning at the graves of fallen comrades? Are they merely hedges against the insidious argument of the film that even our last "good" war was as meaningless in its brutality and empty in its heroism as the conflict in Vietnam?
Though Saving Private Ryan amply documents the extraordinary courage of men under fire and suggests the tide of grief their families endured, it never addresses the point of their heroism. How can it honor the horrendous sacrifices our parents and grandparents made when the film seems to demonstrate that neither glory, morality, patriotism, nor any clear meaning attended the slaughter of millions? Spielberg, aware of this contradiction, told a gathering of entertainment writers in Los Angeles that the movie is really about how two opposing things can both be true.
The mission can't be justified on moral or patriotic grounds, and yet the toughest soldier in the squad, Sergeant Horvath, says saving Private Ryan might be the one decent thing they "were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess. This is not the only contradiction in the director's historical works.
If one considers Spielberg's efforts in the s to turn from the hugely successful entertainments that made his reputation to cinematic examinations of the most profound moral issues of the modern age, apparently inexplicable decisions on the part of the filmmaker seem to contradict the very arguments of those films, too.
Saving Private Ryan, A Scene Analysis
How can one explain Spielberg's choice, in his film on the Holocaust, to make its hero a German profiteer and, in his film on slavery, to make its hero a white leader of a slave economy? Of course, a Jewish clerk in Schindler's List prods his German employer to outwit the Final Solution and an enslaved African in Amistad goads a white former president of the United States to outmaneuver the very legal system dedicated, as it was, to the preservation of slavery that his oath of office had sworn him to uphold and defend.
But the director leaves no doubt as to which character is the central focus of the narrative conflict: Since monstrous systems of exploitation constrain both Jew and African from independent action, only the beneficiaries of those inhumane systems are capable of change and, thus, able to serve as the protagonists of these dramas.
Though we may assume these two films are about suffering—and presented with the vivid depiction of cruelty a camera can offer, an audience may find it difficult to look beyond such graphic images of misery to another, subtler subject— Schindler's List and Amistad are, in fact, about guilt and responsibility.
They are not, as many imagine, noble memorials to the millions of victims of the Holocaust and slavery; rather, they are agonized meditations on all of those somehow implicated in those vast human tragedies. A similar, though much more complex, contradiction beats at the very heart of Saving Private Ryan and accounts for the dissonance noted by virtually every critic between the body of the film and its opening and closing.
How can the sentimental tableau of a weeping old man, his wife, his son, his daughter-in-law, and his grandchildren possibly serve as a fit conclusion to so savage and unsentimental a film?
Saving Private Ryan Analysis Essay Example For Students - words | Artscolumbia
Spielberg himself offered a clue when, continuing his conversation with those entertainment writers in Los Angeles, he described his father's own war stories: "I was supposed to wave the flag and be patriotic and say that without his efforts I wouldn't have the freedoms I had or even the freedom to have the bicycle I was riding.
Private Ryan, a dazed kid surrounded by the bodies of men who were absurdly ordered to their deaths to save him, is given the equally absurd command by the dying hero, Captain Miller, to "earn this" and must now bear the terrible, impossible order until his own death. But don't we all struggle under Ryan's moral burden?
And how can Ryan, or for that matter any of us, ever pay such a debt—and to whom? Spielberg had already once suggested the answer to that profound question.
In the epilogue to Schindler's List , contemporary descendants of the Jews saved by Oskar Schindler process past his grave. Again at the end of Saving Private Ryan , as a grandfather and his son and grandchildren pay homage to those whose deaths we have just witnessed, the living are called not merely to bear witness to the achievement of fallen heroes; the living are, in fact, the achievement itself. Like Private Ryan, we cannot help but ask what we've done to deserve such sacrifice by others and beg their forgiveness for what we have cost them.
And like James Ryan, all we can do to justify that sacrifice is to live our lives as well as we are able. This is not to suggest Spielberg has made a perfect film. There is a difference between virtuosity and genius, between a tour de force and a masterpiece. Saving Private Ryan is flawed, in part because it loses its nerve. Those surviving veterans who actually leapt into the reddened surf of Omaha Beach have attested to the accuracy of the film's depiction of modern war and, particularly, of the Normandy Invasion; for that artistic accomplishment, the director deserves all the accolades heaped upon him.
On the other hand, the flag-waving patriotism it pretends at in its first and last shots is as transparent as the faded flag Spielberg waves across the screen.