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Mississippi Burning Review August 24, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Visual Texts, Year 13.

As we start reflecting on Alan Parker’s dramatic and controversial film, here is a link to an interesting review to begin with…

Cinepad Review


Film Reviews August 20, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts.
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Here are some links to helpful websites that focus on writing successful film reviews.

[Well done to those who handed in their SL review so promptly – great stuff!]

Writing a Film Review 1

Writing a Film Review 2

Writing a Film Review 3

Extracts from Night August 7, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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This is the preface of a new edition of Night in which Wiesel writes about some of the reasons for writing the book.

Elie Wiesel August 7, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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Elie Wiesel is a holocaust survivor, and his story makes a haunting companion piece to Schindler’s List.
“Arguably the most powerful and renowned passage in Holocaust literature, his first book, Night, records the inclusive experience of the Jews:

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.

And Wiesel has since dedicated his life to ensuring that none of us forget what happened to the Jews.”
Elie Wiesel Bio

Sleeping Dogs August 7, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Visual Texts, Year 11.
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Based on a story called Smiths Dream written by CK Stead about a man named Smith who lives in New Zealand in the 1970s. The country is under the control of a dictator. Smith tries to escape from his marriage problems on an island in the Coromandel, but gets caught up in the politics of the day.

First acting role for Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) and first film directed by Roger Donaldson who nearly 30 years later directed The Worlds Fastest Indian, and special effects were done by Geoff Murphy who directed Goodbye Pork Pie.

“Smith is a man on the run, running from a broken marriage. Accidentally caught between two powers – a repressive Government and a violent resistance movement – he becomes a man alone … hunted and hostile, driven by the will to survive.”


Mad World! August 6, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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What an appropriate song to go with Goeth…

AMON GOETH August 6, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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The SS officer Amon Goeth commanded the Plaszow labor camp. He had orchestrated the final “liquidation” of the Krakow ghetto as well as the ghettoes in several provincial towns, including nearby Tarnow. Goeth had additional experience at three death camps in eastern Poland, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

“I knew Goeth,” said Anna Duklauer Perl, a Jewish survivor. “One day he hung a friend of mine just because he had once been rich. He was the devil.”

Pankiewicz observed Goeth at work in the Krakow ghetto: “Tall, handsome, heavy set with thin legs, head in proportion, and eyes of blue, he was about forty years old. He was dressed in a black leather coat, held a riding crop in one hand and a short automatic rifle in the other; close to him were two huge dogs.”

“When you saw Goeth, you saw death,” said Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden.

ITZHAK STERN August 6, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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According to Stern’s postwar recollection, he immediately recognized that Schindler was that rare item in Nazi-occupied Poland: The “good” German. When Schindler commented that it must be hard to be a priest during times like these, when life did not have “the value of a pack of cigarettes,” Stern seized the moment to recite the Talmudic verse: “He who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the entire world.” Schindler replied, “Of course, of course.”

Keneally writes, “Itzhak, rightly or wrongly, always believed that it was at that moment that he had dropped the right seed in the furrow.”

The influence of Itzhak Stern is of decisive importance in understanding Schindler’s evolution from war-profiteer to rescuer of Jews. When Stern was buried in 1969, Schindler stood at the graveside, crying like a child.

Stern was the first person to inform Schindler that Jewish slave labour cost less than Polish labour. Schindler, with an eye towards a profit, recognized the advantage of Jewish labour. Thus began his relationship with the Jews. He would be Herr Direktor, they would be his employees. He would always have a kind word for them. In the end, he would save many of them from annihilation.

Interview with Steven Spielberg August 6, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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Hosing down the trains [KP] August 6, 2008

Posted by mataenglish in Schindler, Visual Texts, Year 13.
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A huge group of Jews are packed into cattle trains for transportation to the death camps. A group of Nazi officers, including Goeth, are sitting around outside drinking, eating and laughing as if they are at some kind of sport match when Schindler arrives. In the mid day heat the train carriages become ovens and the Jews are crying and wailing, sticking their hands out of the small windows and calling for mercy. Schindler is clearly uncomfortable and asks Goeth if he can use the fire hoses to hose down the carriages. Goeth and the officers think that this is a big joke. Schindler puts his plan in action and walks along with the man spraying directing the flow of water into the carriages. The expression on the Nazi officers faces is now one of stoic disapproval. Goeth points out the Schindler is being cruel because he is giving them hope.