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About Arglebargle

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  1. Arglebargle

    Saving Private Ryan

    I felt betrayed by Spielberg when I first saw this, because it was the first movie where it was cemented for me that he wasn't my fun uncle Spielberg any more, the guywho made great adventure movies like Jaws or Raiders for me, and all the other American kids. Spielberg had favorites, and this movie was made for his favorite nephews, not for all of his nephews. This movie was made as a metaphor about the Holocaust, and it was made for a certain bigoted portion of the the American Jewish population, while trying to entertaining in a cheap bloodthirsty way, the rest of us. The metaphor the movie is aiming for, and expected to be understood by the Jewish members of the population, is that Ryan is a surviving Jew, and saving the surviving Jews is really important, and dying to do so is really worthwhile. I doubt that anyone who believed in equality for everyone, that everyone is a human being, and that everyone's life is worthwhile, and worth saving, would agree with this. The movie is horribly focused on educating the audience towards this Truth. The Beach invasion sequence is designed to raise one's blood lust towards the faceless German soldiers, so we can cheer when they are machinegunned in their trenches at the end. When the topic of war crimes is brought up, we are repeatedly given sequences where our boys are killed, while the question of whether mercy should be shown to Germans is repeatedly answered with the answer "No". The "Steamboat Willie" soldier is spared, but only to return later to kill the nice Tom Hanks. Upham hesitates on the stairs while the Jewish soldier is being slowly stabbed (with his own souvenir Hitler Youth knife), metaphorically representing the late entry of the U.S. into World War II, which arguably caused Jews to die. Amy is very perceptive noting the structure of the film, the Germans slaughtering Americans, and then the satisfying payback as the Americans slaughter Germans. It's repeated over and over, and it's for entertainment purposes, and bigoted refusal to see the enemy as human adds to the entertainment factor. "Steamboat Willie" is a pretty ugly dude, in a Hollwood sense, and he's the biggest villain of the piece. We only see the eyes of the Sniper, before God helps the American sniper kill him. The message of the film is that God was on the side of the Americans, even if the film proffers an insincere cynicism about the value of what they are doing as soldiers, and the reason that God is on their side is because .... they are saving the surviving member of a large family (Ryan/The Jews of Europe). Upham is bad because he is cowardly and lets a literal Jewish character die due to his cowardice. The question the film asks, is the horror of war worth the effort? And the answer the film unironically presents is, yes, if it saves Jews. That Spielberg tries to be subtle about this (in his clumsy Spielberg way) is why the film is confusing to many. It's a lot simpler a movie. Germans Bad, Ryan Good, Dying to Save Ryan good. Blah. I'm not Jewish, and don't think that, even if I were, I would think dying to save me would be worth someone else's life. Only a bigot would think this way, and I'm sad that my Uncle Spielberg turned out to be one.