Thoughts on Schindler's List Part Trois

Friday, June 4, 2010 12:52 PM By Simon

-Tis over, gentle folk. Tis over...

-Okay, as much as it was excruciatingly depressing--I had to retreat to my iPod when Lisiek got sniped--I will admit the brilliance of its direction. I've never been one for Steven Spielberg, because lately, he only churns out adventure blockbusters, but now, okay, I see the big deal.

-Conversion to Liam Neeson complete.

-Let's all just take one minute to actively despise Ralph Fiennes. By proxy.

-So, y'know the penultimate scene, where all the Schindler Jews are sleeping outside the factory, after the war is over and Schindler must flee (the scene of that, by the way, is some excellent shit), with only Stern awake. It starts with a dolly high angle of them all, and at first, you think it's of a deserted war camp, with bodies littering the ground, then you think, oh shit, that's the factory, someone killed em all! Then you see Stern, just sitting cross legged on the ground while everyone visibly sleeps. Anyway, a single Soviet soldier, one dude on a horse (I will forgive the possible language barrier that logically might've gone with this), rides up to the factory, the hoof beats combined with Stern's calls wakes everyone up. Stern stands up to greet the soldier, who announces, like a motherfucker, "You are all liberated!" At that moment, Ben Kingsley has the best look on his face, this "Oh, gee." deadpan thing. After warning them all to avoid the East, who really hate them, and the West, come to think of it, he points them North, to a nearby town where they might get food. Like, how helpful.

-Where was Danka Dresner in the very last scene? They including Little Boy With Huge Alien Head, who, yeah, was in the better part of the movie, and they had Girl Who Schindler Kissed On His Birthday, who had one scene, but where was Danka? Did I miss her?

-That last scene was kind of great. Also, fourth wall breaking. But great anyway. Seeing LBWHAH walking with his older counterpart was lovely, says me.

-Okay, I'm done. Off to crawl in a corner and wish Inglorious Basterds was real. For a number of reasons.

-Read this article for some triumphant Nazi killin'.


Unknown said...

The last scene makes me want to kill myself but for all the wrong reasons. I thought the movie was brilliant UNTIL that moment when Spielberg releases his inner crybaby monster.
Why does he always insist on elevating everything to such levels of corny manipulation?
Can't he just acknowledge the fact that evil is real and not everything ends with cute little survivors?

Fiennes is beyond brilliant though!

June 4, 2010 at 5:53 PM
SugaryCynic said...

welcome to the cult of Liam Neeson. We also have Taken and Rob Roy :D the scene that kills me (well most of them, but since we're talking about the ending) is when Schindler breaks down, flipping out about how he could have saved so many more people. Also between Goeth and Voldemort I fear Ralph Fiennes is typecast for the rest of his life forever

June 4, 2010 at 6:36 PM
Simon said...

Jose: At that point in the movie, I needed some semblance of happiness or I was gonna go postal on the next vaguely German kid. I was that freaked out.

Sugary: That scene is so deliciously Oscar bait-y, and yet, I can't help but love it. By the way, we also have te upcoming A-team, so, y'know, jackpot.

June 4, 2010 at 7:17 PM
Luke said...

Whoa - three posts! Simon, you have been deeply affected by this movie, huh? Tis a great movie for many reasons. I sort of forget how great Neeson was in it too. (Though I have to disagree with SugaryCynic about Taken - I just did not understand the appeal when I got around to seeing it. Far too much hype for a very so-so movie.)

June 5, 2010 at 5:02 AM
Simon said...

Luke: School makes me watch it thirty minutes at a time...torturous, considering how much a-killin' goes on.

I haven't seen taken, but I see what you mean about the hype. It's like they were expecting The Big Speech from the trailer to make record books or something.

June 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM
"Yojimbo_5" said...

Maybe I shouldn't have started with the last one first, but this is some fine analysis of the Spielberg gold standard: a lot of excellent people doing excellent work. I think this is Spielberg's best film because he resists hitting the nail on the head so often. The only times are the "I could have done more" scene and "Respect must be paid" scene (which is notable because it was done at all-it is a filmed documentary event, an idea so beyond Spielberg's usual M.O. as to be tear-inducing on its own—a "Great Day in Harlem" moment celebrating life and the continuation of it). His approach to the violence is the old Don Siegel approach-fast and brutal and over and empty. The juxtaposition of these two extremes slams a psyche between despair and exhaltation in the beating heart (I once saw "Schindler's" with female acquaintances who would, to a woman, violently jerk at every one of those dispassionate, squirting pistol-blasts—I felt it my duty to get them very drunk that night. It was a miracle to get them giggling again).

I've never seen Liam Neeson so good. In fact, he hasn't been so chortlingly fine since, certainly not before. He has those moments of warmth when you just wanna give the poor schlub a hug, but This was his defining moment as an actor-his Atticus Finch. Hoping the Spielberg bio of Lincoln with him happens.

June 5, 2010 at 12:06 PM