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Memorial Day Review: “Wings”

WingsDirected by: William A. Wellman
Produced by: Lucien Hubbard, Adolph Zukor, Jesse L. Lasky, B.P. Schulberg, Otto Hermann Kahn
Written by: Julian Johnson
Edited by: E. Lloyd Sheldon, Lucien Hubbard (uncredited)
Cinematography by: Harry Perry
Music by: J.S. Zamecnik
Starring: Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen, Clara Bow, El Brendel, Jobyna Ralston, Gary Cooper
Year: 1927

 

It might be hard to believe for many modern audiences, but there was a time when films had to go without dialogue. Strange, I know! “Silent films,” as we’ve come to all them (as I assume they weren’t called that when they were still the norm), weren’t necessarily all silent – they still had a musical recording or live performance to accompany them, and some, such as this one, even had sound effects synced up with the film, albeit usually more for ambiance than anything. By the time that Wings had been released, the more accurately named “talkies” were already in production, with the first feature length film with synchronized dialogue, The Jazz Singer, was released just months after Wings’ theatrical debut. If you’ve at the very least seen Singin’ in the Rain, you know what kind of impact The Jazz Singer had on filmmaking. Read more…

Review: “Joyeux Noël”

December 21, 2011 2 comments
Directed by: Christian Carion
Produced by: Christophe Rossignon, Benjamin Herrmann
Written by: Christian Carion
Starring: Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Gary Lewis, Alex Ferns
Music by: Philippe Rombi
Year: 2005

I now have another film to add to my list of films that have made me cry

World War II may get the most media adaptations, with many people seemingly to forgetting that World War I actually happened, perhaps because so few of its survivors were actually still alive within the past two decades.

It was a horrific war that ran from the summer of 1914 all the way to the near end of 1918, and, over that three and a half year time span, over 9 million soldiers lost their lives in combat. A combination of new and old, both technologically and strategically, World War I was at the beginning of warfare being redefined for the 20th century and the innovations in warfare it would bring. Poison gas. Flamethrowers. Trenches. Tanks. Machine guns. Airstrikes – how quickly the airplane was made combat-ready!

As one of the first truly global military conflicts in history, it’s a shame, then, that, for some reason or another, the many stories that have yet to be adapted for the screen have still yet gone untold. Read more…

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