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They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

SamT

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Title: They Shall Not Grow Old

Genre: Documentary, History, War

Director: Peter Jackson

Release: 2018-10-16

Runtime: 64

Plot: A documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war.

 

SamT

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There are soldiers still alive from Word War One?! (UPDATE: Never mind! Peter Jackson says as the soldiers themselves saw it, now I get it what he means. I thought they saw the documentary!)
 

Adam Lenhardt

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There are soldiers still alive from Word War One?! (UPDATE: Never mind!)
The title is taken from the first line of the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon's most famous poem, "For the Fallen", honoring the casualties of the British Expeditionary Force, which had suffered heavy losses on the Western Front during the opening months of the war:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.



They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
 

Jake Lipson

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Is the first post in this thread accurate? Peter Jackson actually made a movie that's only 64 minutes long?
 

Mike Frezon

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Just to see that footage restored in that way would be worth the price of admission (or purchase).

It's the kind of thing...I don't think I even have a problem with the colorization and addition of sfx. I have a hard time admitting that...but this looks like a love letter to the men who served.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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AFAIK, they didn't actually add any special effects, other than the stereoscopic effect inherent in 3D postconversion.

It does sound like they were more aggressive than a straight restoration would have been, though.
 

Richard V

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The title is taken from the first line of the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon's most famous poem, "For the Fallen", honoring the casualties of the British Expeditionary Force, which had suffered heavy losses on the Western Front during the opening months of the war:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.



They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Beautiful poem. The verse They Shall Not Grow Old, is used at the end of the 1995 Remake of Sahara with James Belushi, along with the tag line "Lest We Forget". Really packs a punch.
 

SamT

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Did they actually record audio in those years? That's way too early. When was audio added to commercial movies? wasn't it much later?
 

TravisR

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Did they actually record audio in those years? That's way too early. When was audio added to commercial movies? wasn't it much later?
Yeah, I have no doubt that there's earlier examples or tests of sound in movies but I believe that The Jazz Singer (from 1927) was the first feature length movie to have sync sound.
 

Tino

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Yeah, I have no doubt that there's earlier examples or tests of sound in movies but I believe that The Jazz Singer (from 1927) was the first feature length movie to have sync sound.
I thought so too but.........


The Jazz Singer (1927) was not the first commercially released sound film. Warner Brothers and Vitaphone had earlier been releasing "shorts" in which people sang and told jokes, and released a feature-length film called Don Juan, which contained a musical score, in 1926, the year before Al Jolson sang "Mammy" on film. In fact, Jolson's talking was in large measure an accident: The film-makers simply couldn't shut the irrepressible entertainer up be-fore his musical numbers.
 

KeithDA

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This was shown on BBC Two here in the UK on the evening of Remembrance Sunday just gone. It is a powerful piece of work that stirs many emotions.

Because it is 'narrated' by a string of unconnected voices* that have been cleverly linked up to what is happening on screen, we get a very personal 'hands on' view of the war. The surprise is that the men talk positively about the kindness of others, the camaraderie and 'getting on with a job to do'. Of course, this is perhaps the biased view of the survivors, but the images and stories don't pull any punches either with the sheer waste of human life, seen direct from the trenches rather than a 'grand plan' overview.

On return, the men felt, understandably, quite changed and commented that the world did not appreciate what they had been through. This is cleverly alluded to by the use of the colourised section which only occurs overseas - all the training preparations and joyful return footage is shown in the original black and white. In fact, the last few sections explaining their return to civilian life is shown on a smaller screen that gradually reduces in size, that to me subtly suggests 'back in time'.

A great film, Mr Jackson and at 95 minutes only, you are now forgiven for The Hobbit..

*The BBC recorded the stories of the survivors in the early 1960s, so even though the voices are older than the faces we see on screen, it works extremely well. A good thumping sound mix plus some 'lip-synched' comments makes this a really immersive experience that is well worth seeing.
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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Thanks for that recap/review, Keith! When I FaceTime with my mum and dad this weekend I will ask if they saw this as well (it’s the kind of programming they adore). I am eager to see it myself and your write up only increased that eagerness! So, cheers!
 

Johnny Angell

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AFAIK, they didn't actually add any special effects, other than the stereoscopic effect inherent in 3D postconversion.

It does sound like they were more aggressive than a straight restoration would have been, though.
You mean they’ve done a WWI documentary in 3D?
 
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