thirty movies hath november – Three Kings (1999)

Three Kings takes place in a far away place a long time ago: Iraq and 1991.  the (first) Gulf war has just ended officially but there is still much chaos on the ground.  as American soldiers disarm some surrendering Iraqi soldiers, the American soldiers find a document. 

a war movie that is a heist movie that is a comedy movie. 
a sharp critique of Bush I war, its victims, and those who became victims after the war.

great dialogue.  check

"Archie Gates: Sit down. What do you see here?
 Chief Elgin: Bunkers, sir.
 Archie Gates: What's in them?
 Troy Barlow: Stuff they stole from Kuwait.
 Archie Gates: Bullshit. I'm talking about millions in Kuwaiti bullion.
 Conrad Vig: You mean them little cubes you put in hot water to make soup?
 Archie Gates: No, not the little cubes you put in hot water to make soup.


we have all wondered how cows manage during wartime

what a gunshot does.  NOTE:  this kind of scene is commonplace now in CSI shows and others. but this was the first

a great, funny movie.  'tis sad to consider that at the time it was made, the Gulf war was a fast receding memory

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thirty movies hath november – La grande illusion (1937)

English title: Grand Illusion

part two of a doubleheader. part one was yesterday, and today is Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion: a war movie with no battle scenes, where friendships go across enemy sides, where the futility of war (any war) is noted, and the coming social changes in all of Europe are presaged.

La grande illusion poster 5La grande illusion poster 4La grande illusion poster 3La grande illusion poster 2La grande illusion poster 1

is going to sound awfully familiar if you've been following this series-of-movies-I-like, but whatevs. 'tis all true

For many years, the original nitrate film negative was thought to have been lost in an Allied air raid in 1942 that destroyed a leading laboratory outside Paris.  Prints of the film were rediscovered in 1958 and restored and re-released during the early 1960s. Then, it was revealed that the original negative had been shipped back to Berlin by Dr. Frank Hensel to be stored in the Reichsfilmarchiv vaults. In the Allied occupation of Berlin in 1945, the Reichsfilmarchiv by chance was in the Russian zone and consequently shipped along with many other films back to be the basis of the Soviet Gosfilmofond film archive in Moscow. The negative was returned to France in the 1960s, but sat unidentified in storage in Toulouse Cinémathèque for over 30 years, as no one suspected it had survived. It was rediscovered in the early 1990s as the Cinémathèque's nitrate collection was slowly being transferred to the French Film Archives at Bois d'Arcy. It was restored and released as the inaugural DVD of the Criterion Collection

from the always helpful wiki , full of details, linkage, synopsa, and I hope you already knew, *spoilers*. so be careful

I can talk about the movie, but rather do so after y'all watch it. I am unable to discuss a plot without giving the movie away; the secret of being a good writer-about-films.  but I will mention some movies you may have watched that are very influenced by  La Grande Illusion:

– The Great Escape
– Casablanca
– Stalag Seven


this first one is Renoir himself introducing the Criterion Collection DVD.

Renoir is adorable, self-effacing, and I want to hug him.  he also reminds me of someone…

in this scene, POWs of several nationalities come together during a talent show in a German camp


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