Wednesday, June 06, 2007

World War II presented Star Wars style - The circle is now complete

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the beginning of the Battle of Normandy. Over 3000 allied soldiers died during the start of the invasion.

World War II is now the war of a previous century. The veterans of the war are aging and passing away in greater numbers. Images from the war are preserved on black and white film, a media that looks older than ever compared to video and digital images. Film itself is fading away with time, replaced by the memory card and hard drive.

Here is some video about D-Day.



Last week was the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars. The images of World War II shaped the story and images of George Lucas's science fiction space opera. From the Nazi-inspired Galactic Empire (right down to the word Stormtrooper) to the space dogfights over the Death Star that mimic the air battles over Britain and the Pacific, Star Wars harvests the images of a real war and remixes them with special effects into a cinematic thrill-ride.

Leon Hughes has edited a series of videos called World Wars. John Williams's score from Star Wars plays as backdrop to images of the real battles of the Second World War.

According to what I have read and seen, John William's score for Star Wars was more theatrical and powerful than Lucas had dare to hope for. Play any track from any of the Star Wars soundtracks and scenes from the movies start flickering on a cinema screen inside your mind.

With World Wars, the music of Star Wars superimposes the science fiction movie images over their all-too-real inspiration. The choosing of film clips and music is often clever, sometimes inspiring, and sometimes chilling.

Here is part one of three.



World Wars reminds me that the struggle of World War II still captivates filmmakers and artists today, and will continue do so for generations to come.

You can view part two here.

You can view part three here.

1 comment:

by the author said...

When I was at Pearl Harbour they played an introductory video about the political situation leading up to the attack. I suppose I had somehow managed to bypass that historical footage in High School, so I was simply astounded that so much actual documentation of the Pearl Harbour destruction exists.

Last night I watched From Here to Eternity on TCM which included still more film from the incident, and I'm just happy that this visual information is available to inspire and awe young people.

While it is, of course, devastating, something about being able to witness, albeit decades later, such an historic event just sends shivers down my spine.