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They shall not grow old

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Tuck's Luck View Post
    Haven't been on the site for a while, but logged on this evening especially to flag this one up.

    Absolutely incredible - all the superlatives, can't praise it enough. He brings the First World War to life in a way I couldn't even begin to imagine.

    Watched a few interviews with him since. Basically he was given access to all the footage available by the Imperial War Museum who asked him to 'do something different with it'.

    He then gained access to the BBC's rich archive of oral histories - recordings of real WWI fighting men taped in the 1960s for the BBC's then series about the Great War.

    He then colourised, slowed down film speed, digitally remastered, added a sound track of sorts by using specialist lip readers to discover what those in the old film reels were saying. Then adding in actors' voices. He was so painstaking, he even sourced the regiment and then found the local accent so all the voices were authentic.

    New Zealander Peter Jackson is of English and Welsh ancestry and has always had a fascination with WW1 due to both grandfathers having fought in it, and reminiscences of his own father, talking about his dad.

    What comes through in this film is the courage, the sheer unadulterated courage of these boys and young men. The things they experienced, the sights they saw, the conditions they endured, the terror they were subjected to. And when they came home no-one wanted to talk about it. No one really cared. There were even signs on potential places of employment that said 'no ex servicemen need apply' - that is how much they were valued.

    Finally, I think I now understand where the reputation of the Brits having awful teeth comes from. So many in the film, despite being young, strong, good looking had terrible teeth! Not all of course, but some - teeth missing and in one case, a very good looking young soldier with a good set of teeth, smiles to camera and they are stained black! However, given that in years of service, they had only one uniform, never had a bath, were riddled with lice, stunk to high heaven and ate anything they were given, - I don't think toothpaste and toothbrushes were high on the agenda.

    I can imagine perhaps the American soldiers coming to Europe late in the war ... and seeing the scruffy, dirty, smelly black teeth Brits ... and 100 years later it's an impression that persists.

    For anyone in the UK or elsewhere who can access the BBC player please watch it.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...l-not-grow-old

    Interviews with Peter Jackson and trailers can be found on youtube.

    Peter Jackson is already a 'Sir' but he deserves an Oscar or something for this.

    Great post.

    Having been part of the special Remembrance Sunday, we watched this regardless of preconceptions.

    We felt it was an awesome tribute, and PJ did all the combatants proud. Also done without almost any politics at all. Fantastic production. I will buy this on DVD. I'm sure it will be on sale at the IWM, and it will be a good excuse to travel from Wales to grab a touch of History.
    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
    Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
      Gordon Bennet! If you two wish to post about teeth and their state and who's head they are in, please open another thread.

      .
      Sorry Dibs, it was just an observation. Seeing the state of those lads and hearing them say they got one uniform for the entire war, no change of clothing, no bath, riddled with lice, and obviously no means of cleaning teeth etc, and it just got me thinking that's where it maybe all started with the Yanks coming over etc. etc and it found its way into my post.

      But you're right - I shouldn't have responded to the follow up post and taken the thread off at a tangent.

      My apologies!




      "COOMMAAAAAAANNNNDOOOO!!!!!"
      - Mad Jack Churchill.

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      • #18
        That's OK It's just that the programme was an emotional episode for me, something I haven't had for some time and I felt that the discussion over the dental state of the soldiers was trivialising what I viewed. They did have tooth brushes but they used them to keep their uniform brass clean for inspection and thus spare them the wrath and punishment from the directing staff. Anyway, there were a few with very bad teeth but many also had good teeth.

        Great to hear from you again Jennie
        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
        All human ills he can subdue,
        Or with a bauble or medal
        Can win mans heart for you;
        And many a blessing know to stew
        To make a megloamaniac bright;
        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
        The Pixie is a little shite.

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        • #19
          A fourth Oscar for the Kiwi?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
            That's OK It's just that the programme was an emotional episode for me, something I haven't had for some time and I felt that the discussion over the dental state of the soldiers was trivialising what I viewed. They did have tooth brushes but they used them to keep their uniform brass clean for inspection and thus spare them the wrath and punishment from the directing staff. Anyway, there were a few with very bad teeth but many also had good teeth.

            Great to hear from you again Jennie
            I felt that emotion too - particularly the railway bit when they were talking about the tracks etc. My great grandad George Morris was a foreman plate layer on the GWR (Pembrokeshire), and my mum always used to cry. remembering his funeral in 1936 when he died aged 64 (and she was a small child), as being a grand occasion with full military honours.

            I thought she was wrong, George was 42 years old at the outbreak of war - too old for any kind of service I thought. Discovered later on that he did indeed serve - was a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers - called up because of his railway experience . So it was fascinating seeing that segment about it - and how they had to use petrol engines because the steam was too visible to the Germans and also how unstable the engines were and they would fall off the tracks etc!

            As for the teeth thing - it was more the state of the men in general - the lice, the trench foot, the rats running over them, the impossibility of keeping clean and also seeing the teeth on some of them - it just made me wonder if that is where the American perception of the British first came from - the US troops coming over towards the end of the war - well equipped, good gear, clean uniforms, and seeing this dirty, smelly bunch of battle hardened men? That was all it was - not trivialising in the slightest just letting my mind wander.

            For the first time ever I've got my kids to watch something. Son watched the Service of Remembrance on Sunday morning at his girlfriends and was very moved by it, so I pointed him in the direction of the Peter Jackson film. Just had a conversation with my daughter too and showed her a segment, so she is going to watch it also. That is the genius of this film. It connects in a way that the grainy old b/w silent WWI footage cannot. It brings the whole thing to life - the voices of the real men who fought there as a soundtrack, the dubbing in of sound to the film itself, and of course the colourisation.

            Peter Jackson deserves all the plaudits going!
            "COOMMAAAAAAANNNNDOOOO!!!!!"
            - Mad Jack Churchill.

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            • #21
              We've all grown up with WW1 being black and white...
              now we know it wasn't.


              The long toll of the brave
              Is not lost in darkness
              Over the fruitful earth
              And athwart the seas
              Hath passed the light of noble deeds
              Unquenchable forever.

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