Monday, May 26, 2014
Having served in the Armed Forces Reserves, I've always considered myself incredibly lucky that I didn't have to fight in a war. Back in those days we were drafted. And it's all the more reason to give thanks to our current military personnel. Not only are they there putting themselves in harm's way in awful hellholes, but they volunteered.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in the Veterans Retreat Weekend put on by the WGA. Returning vets worked in small groups with professional writers who served as mentors. It was amazing how talented these people were. And the stories they had to tell -- wow.
Maybe a cool thing to do today is watch some war movies. And they don't have to be horrifically gruesome (although SAVING PRIVATE RYAN should be on the top of your must-see list). CASABLANCA is a war movie of sorts. And there are comedies like MASH. APOCALYPSE NOW really captures the absurdity of war (and has some amazing performances), and if you've never seen Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY you will be blown away.
Others worth seeing are FULL METAL JACKET, SGT. YORK, PATTON, THE HURT LOCKER, THE DIRTY DOZEN, THREE KINGS, DEER HUNTER, and a film with one of my favorite titles ever -- DUCK, YOU SUCKER.
All terrific, and I'm sure you have your own, but my all-time never-to-be-topped favorite war movie is BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. It's David Lean's three-hour masterpiece starring Alec Guinness and William Holden. It's not just one of the greatest war films ever made, it's one of the greatest movies PERIOD ever made. And it's in Cinemascope!
Hope you have a wonderful day. I plan to too. But I'll be thinking of those flags.