I’ve been reading so many novels with war as a theme lately that it has made me think about some of my favorite movies with the same theme. My favortie war movies actually deal with the “home front,” how ordinary civilians deal with war and its aftermath.
Gone With the Wind (1939), is the big classic here, and while much of the movie is a drama of Scarlet O’Hara, there scenes of wounded soldiers, guns, death, devastation enough to show the impact of war.
Wings (1927). A silent movie about World War that won the very first picture of the year Oscar. I love the sense of emotion that comes through the dated acting style, and the way the movie shows loss of innocence of young men who become soldiers.
Mrs. Dalloway(1997). Based on the 1925 novel by Virginia Woolf, this film is excellent at showing the everlasting efects of war on soldiers and nonsoldiers alike. The soldier who cannot come to terms with his war experiences is a theme often repeated. For those that like this, I highly recommend reading Virginia Woolf’s novel Jacob’s Room, one of my favorite novels of all time that also deals with the theme of World War I.
Since You Went Away(1944). A family copes with home life after their father (and the oldest daughter’s fiancee) go off to war. Somewhat leodramatic, but the heart of the movie captures the sense of loss, sacrifice and uncertainty that seems to characterize World War II.
Coming Home(1978). Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in what is probably the most honest look at the effect of Viet Nam on the military that served there, and their loved ones.
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Tagged movies, war
Like gentle flower
Unfurling in the morning,
Slowly waits the sun.
Posted in grow
McCarthy, Cormac.(2006). The Road. New York: Knopf.
2007 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction
Everything in The Road is reduced to the minimum; the language and writing style are stripped along with the lives of the characters. No linguistic decoration or extraneous description, luxury or sense of comfort. No neat tidy chapters or markers to tell us where we are in the book. No names for the characters.
What happens because of this is that we, like the characters, are forced with an immediacy, an identification with the events and the people. This immediacy creates a strong identification with the characters, and of all the apocalyptic and disaster novels and books in recent memory, this one comes closest to revealing the core of the human spirit. The essence of why life is worth living. Cormac McCarthy creates a poetic rhythm that shows how beautiful language can be used for unbeautiful experiences. W.B. Yeats phrase ” a terrible beauty” comes to mind. And yet the book leaves the reader with an oddly positive view of human nature.
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream (or omit and make it ¾ cup mayo)
2 stalks celery, diced small
½ red or green bell pepper, diced small
1 small carrot, diced small
1 cup seedless grapes, cut in half
¼ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon paprika
- Cook Chicken: Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan, coat both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until chicken is cooked through but not dried out (165 degrees), about 20-25 minutes.
- Cool breasts. The chicken can be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated.
- Cut cooled/chilled chicken into ¾ inch dice, or shred.
- Place chicken in a large bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix Well.
- Refrigerate mixed salad for at least 1 hour (up to 24 hours) before serving to allow the flavors to combine.
- Serve on rolls or bread with salad greens and thin cucumber slices.
Posted in eat
Tagged recipes, southern
Lee, Janice, Y.K. (2009). The Piano Teacher: a novel. Viking Adult. ISBN: 9780670020485
A story about Hong Kong during World War II and after, it blends historical fiction, mystery and extreme realism as easily and successfully as it blends time and cultures. The contrasts of privileged society and the too painful realities of war– both experienced by the same characters– makes this a novel that is difficult to put down and painful to read at the same time. Everyone (Chinese, British, American, Japanese) and everything (circumstances, relationships, intentions) is clouded and nothing is truly clear until the very end. A well-crafted story by a writer who, in her first novel, has mastered contemporary narrative structure and who also has conveyed a sense of human nature.
This is done by telling a story in a place that is a collusion of cultures and traditions, in a time when that place is upset by the extreme unrest of wartime. This brilliant combination enhances and strengthens the real nature of the characters.