Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Brilliant" films

Nile Gardiner of the Telegraph nominates "The Top 10 Conservative Movies of the Last Decade." I've seen almost all of them and enjoyed them enough to seriously consider watching the two I haven't. Quite apart from politics, there is a lot of good entertainment here. Gardiner describes his choices as "all brilliant movies that conservatives can be inspired by, and which are guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another" but not "a list of films made only by conservative filmmakers, who are, it has to be said, few in number." The first three:
1. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)
Peter Weir’s unashamedly old-fashioned and visually stunning adaptation of Patrick O’Brian’s novel is one of the greatest odes to leadership ever committed to celluloid. Australian director Weir has made many terrific films, including Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, The Year of Living Dangerously, and Witness, but Master and Commander was the pinnacle of his career so far. Nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, it should be essential viewing for any commander-in-chief. Russell Crowe delivers a powerhouse performance as Jack Aubrey, Captain of HMS Surprise, a British warship that hunts and ultimately captures a far larger French adversary during the Napoleonic Wars. Set in 1805, it is an epic tale of heroism and love for country in the face of incredible odds, and a glowing tribute to the grit and determination that forged the British Empire.
2. Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001)
Sir Ridley Scott’s searing depiction of the ill-fated US raid on Mogadishu in 1993, which left 19 American servicemen dead, was released just months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the launch of the War on Terror. Based on the book by Mark Bowden, it won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and Sound, and Scott was nominated for Best Director. Many critics enthusiastically dubbed Black Hawk Down an anti-war film, and it is in some respects a cautionary tale about the perils of nation-building. But I regard it above all as an extraordinarily powerful and deeply patriotic tribute to the heroism and bravery of the US military, faced with overwhelming odds in a hostile city dominated by brutal Somali warlords. It is essentially a story of incredible sacrifice and camaraderie in the heat of battle, and ranks alongside Zulu, Saving Private Ryan and A Bridge Too Far as one of the greatest war films of all time.
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001, 2002, 2003)
All three parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy were great pieces of cinema – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and finally The Return of the King, which won Best Picture at the 2004 Academy Awards. J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of Lord of the Rings, was a devout Catholic and conservative, and a close friend of C.S. Lewis at Oxford. His vision of a mighty battle between good and evil in the realms of Middle Earth was brilliantly transferred to the screen by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, perfectly fitting a post 9/11 world where the forces of freedom found themselves pitted against a barbaric enemy.
.... [the rest]
The Top 10 Conservative Movies of the Last Decade – Telegraph Blogs