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By Andrew Kelly

Cinema and the nice battle concentrates on one a part of the artwork of the warfare: the cinema. Used as instrument for propaganda in the course of the battle itself, through the mid Nineteen Twenties cinema had started to mirror the rejection of clash widespread in the entire arts. Andrew Kelly explores the improvement of anti-war cinema in, Britain, the USA, Germany and France from the ground-breaking Lay Down your hands, made through Bertha Von Suttner in 1914 and Lewis Milestone's sour All Quiet at the Western entrance via to Stanley Kubrick's terrific Paths of Glory.

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Extra resources for Cinema and the Great War (Cinema and Society)

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46 They were also important for the future of world cinema. The American film industry had come of age by 1918. There were also significant cultural and geographic shifts in film production as the war years witnessed the demise of European film making and the growth of the American cinema as an artistic and entertainment force worldwide. Anita Loos said that ‘World War One was the reason for Hollywood’: At the time war broke out, movies had gained a very substantial place in Europe. They were being made in France, and in Italy they were particularly good, and there was no need for Hollywood.

Stallings and most of his comrades could never finally admit the possibility that the whole thing had been unnecessary, meaningless, disastrous. This would have made the loss of life and limb unbearable as well as tragic. 27 And Raymond Durgnat and Scott Simmon have said: Although The Big Parade…was often assumed to be ‘antiwar,’ Vidor’s comments at the time of release suggest a related, but different, view: war’s horrors are the precondition of war’s heroism. 28 Despite this re-evaluation, there is much in The Big Parade that classifies it as an anti-war picture.

He is apprehensive, nervous, wide-eyed. He sees men fall dead and injured around him. When they are trapped in a shellhole the war becomes hell and the death of Slim and Bull shows Jim that it means the murder of his friends. This turns him briefly from benign indifference to a manic fighting machine as he rushes towards the German positions: ‘They got him! ’ This is not done for patriotism and glory, however. A sub-title reads: ‘Parades when we left and when we get back! ’ Jim soon avenges Slim’s death but is wounded and lies in a shellhole with the German soldier he has shot.

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