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War Movie Leadership Watchalong - February

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  • War Movie Leadership Watchalong - February



    Our War Movie Leadership Watchalong for February is "Master and Commander". Here are the questions to be considered and discussed:

    1. How would you describe Aubrey's leadership style?

    2. Is Aubrey motivated more by pride or duty?

    3. Contrast the philosophies of Aubrey and Maturin? Who is right?


    Visit my bog at: http://warmoviebuff.blogspot.com/201...t-of-2012.html

  • #2
    I will post my answers to the discussion questions on Monday, March 4. That gives us all the weekend to watch the film.

    The movie is one of the best on command and the dynamic between the captain and the doctor is fascinating.

    Join in.

    Comment


    • #3
      I might be able to participate in this one as I have it.
      "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
      John Adams, 1770

      Comment


      • #4
        1. How would you describe Aubrey's leadership style?

        Aubrey is a crew’s captain. He empathizes with his men and understands them. He recognizes their superstitions like the whole “Jonah” thing. He also believes in discipline and punishes one of the men who disrespected an officer. It was obvious he understood what motivated the sailor, but rules are rules. He refuses to reduce the grog ration to prevent future incidents because he understands how important that treat is for the men. He is idolized by the men partly because he is successful (which means more prize money for them) and he is considered to be lucky. He clearly does not ask them to do anything he would not do himself.
        Aubrey also maintains a good relationship with his officers. He drinks with them in a good fellowship way and listens to them, although his decisions are final. The way he deals with Hollom is instructive. He tries to be sensitive, but is firm. Although he sees the crew’s viewpoint, he tries to buck up Hollom and help him reach his potential. He trusts his subordinates and gives them opportunities to lead.

        2. Is Aubrey motivated more by pride or duty?
        I have to say it’s mainly pride, he even admits he has gone beyond his orders. At one point he says after the enemy had gotten behind him a second time that he would not let it happen again. Lucky for him his leadership style has created a surplus of good will that he taps into. Great commander soften show this motivation, including his idol Nelson. I have to add that along with hubris, he also has great faith in his abilities.

        3. Contrast the philosophies of Aubrey and Maturin? Who is right?

        Although Aubrey treats his men fairly and is not the type of martinet that was common in the Royal Navy back then, he certainly fits the British model of a captain being all-powerful on his ship. Once he makes up his mind, he can be stubborn. He also believes the end justifies the means. For example, he cheats to win the final battle. He knows you don’t get in trouble if you win. Aubrey is the prototype man of war, Maturin is the man of science.
        Maturin, being a doctor and a liberal intellectual, is more concerned with the well-being of the crew than with the success of the ship. He is a democrat on a ship which is a dictatorship. He understands this, but still can’t help but voice his “radical” opinions. He barely conceals his distaste for the traditions of the Navy. He strongly believes that scientific discovery trumps a single ship victory.
        Both men are flexible in their philosophies which allows them to be friends. Maturin abandons his quest for “the white whale” in order to save his friends life. Maturin, obviously a pacifist, joins in the boarding and even kills a Frenchman. It is a fascinating relationship.
        I personally think Maturin is right. Not only is the defeating of a single French privateer unlikely to have any significance in the war, but for a 28 gun ship to challenge a 44 is reckless. If Aubrey had failed (and he should have - he had to cheat to win), it would not only have been disastrous to his crew, but also to his career. Was Magellan (who travelled around the world, but lost the majority of his men) more important than Darwin (who stopped in the Galapagos Islands)?

        Comment


        • #5
          Aubrey or Maturin -who is "right"? Aubrey, as is plain by the reminders to Maturin that he is Captain and his word is the final decision on matters. Ships doctors were not in the chain of command, and Maturin clearly has little understanding of what it takes to command and successfully utilize a British man'o'war. Maturin is a civilian character created as a deliberate counterbalance to the character of Aubrey.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            In the books Maturin is by no means a pacifist. He is a well known duelist and is better at one on one combat than Aubrey.

            He is also an intelligence agent and a Catalan revolutionary.
            "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

            Homer


            BoRG

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post

              Our War Movie Leadership Watchalong for February is "Master and Commander". Here are the questions to be considered and discussed:

              1. How would you describe Aubrey's leadership style?

              2. Is Aubrey motivated more by pride or duty?

              3. Contrast the philosophies of Aubrey and Maturin? Who is right?
              Nice initiative

              1. Leadership: Jack Aubrey IMO is the epitome of a true naval leader. Good with the men and good with the officers; a gifted and resourceful fighting sailor and he has luck! I would like to follow him anywhere and set him as my example.

              2. Pride or duty is one of the central themes of the movie around which the story is build up. Captain Aubrey's thirst for adventure and victory is immense, but IMO he never leaves duty out of sight.

              3. Contrast of philosophies: Again I'm of two minds, are not the books' themes fascinating?
              As the commander of a ship I side with Captain Aubrey. How I normally do these things is: all can have a say and provide input but then as commander I take the decision and expect all to loyally execute it and that includes my friends.
              On a wider perspective I can see and even sympathize with Maturin's philosophy, but being on a man-of-war he should know his place and when to shut up.
              I appreciated the film's elegant ending with Jack settling the dispute: 'the bird is flightless so its not going anywhere'
              BoRG

              You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

              Comment


              • #8
                Isn't that the one where an American warship suddenly became French ?
                Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by the ace View Post
                  Isn't that the one where an American warship suddenly became French ?
                  That is right.
                  The ship Jack Aubrey is chasing around South America is American in the novel and French in the movie.
                  IMO this was done in order not to upset the audience in the US by making the movie's villain American.
                  BoRG

                  You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Captain General View Post
                    In the books Maturin is by no means a pacifist. He is a well known duelist and is better at one on one combat than Aubrey.

                    He is also an intelligence agent and a Catalan revolutionary.
                    Shame they left that out of the movie.
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Shame they left that out of the movie.
                      OTOH his details come out sharper through the contrast with Jack Aubrey.
                      BoRG

                      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        Shame they left that out of the movie.
                        In the books Aubrey is portrayed as somewhat of a buffoon in anything that doesn't entail fighting ships and sailing.
                        "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

                        Homer


                        BoRG

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Major Sennef View Post
                          OTOH his details come out sharper through the contrast with Jack Aubrey.
                          Not when those details were left out to begin with. I've read the books - the film doesn't do Maturin justice.

                          And wasn't the sequel to this film due out years ago?
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There has been talk of a sequel, but the film did not do good enough business to make it likely. At this point it seems extremely doubtful that a sequel will occur. Meanwhile we will get to see Transformers 4.

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