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Tag: Schindler's List (1-3 of 3)

The violence of '12 Years a Slave': Why 'Schindler's List' got a pass

Moments after 12 Years a Slave was prematurely anointed as a lock for Best Picture in September, whispers began that Steve McQueen’s harrowing true tale of a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) trafficked into pre-Civil War Southern slavery was too raw, too unflinching, and too grisly to go the distance. Some Academy voters confided that the early reviews — which highlighted the film’s searing violence and haunting imagery — had scared them off, and even though they recognized that 12 Years was an important film about an important and long-neglected subject, actually watching it wasn’t their idea of a good time for a Friday night. Since opening in October, 12 Years has grossed $49 million and heads into Oscar weekend a co-favorite, along with Gravity, to win Best Picture, but doubts remain whether enough voters actually saw it — and appreciated it — to push it over the top.

Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List was greeted similarly by the critics upon its release in 1993. That World War II epic about the Nazi profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved hundreds of Polish Jews from the gas chambers by putting them on his factory payroll, was praised to the heavens for bringing audiences face to face with the evils of the Holocaust. EW critic Owen Gleiberman’s review of that film begins by noting its “visions of profound shock and terror … the recurring image of people getting shot in the head,” and closes with “Spielberg has done something that can’t quite be said of any other film about the Holocaust. He has allowed us — for the first time — to see it.”

But rather than repel or alienate viewers, the naked brutality of the Holocaust in Spielberg’s film compelled people to see it in theaters. For some, it became almost a moral obligation to witness Schindler’s List, to confront pure evil — Ralph Fiennes’ sadistic Nazi, Amon Goeth — and share in a worldwide cathartic chorus of “Never again!” That required-viewing duty even became a joke on Seinfeld. Schindler’s List went on to gross $96.1 million ($186.9 million in 2013 dollars) and breezed to seven Oscars, including Best Picture.

12 Years a Slave and Schindler’s List are, of course, different films, and Spielberg and McQueen are different filmmakers, but the audiences’ conflicting reactions to the movies’ dedication to authenticity — no matter how ugly — raises interesting questions. READ FULL STORY

Schindler's List -- the actual document -- is being auctioned on eBay

Seriously. Seriously.

According to the New York Post, California collectors Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin are selling this priceless historical document on behalf of its current owner, who purchased it for an undisclosed price in 2011. The 14-page list is one of only four copies still in existence; two of the others are located in Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, while the third resides in Washington, D.C.’s Holocaust Museum.

Zimet and Gazin told the¬†Post that they’re hoping to fetch as much as $5 million for the list. “We decided to sell the list on eBay because it has over 100 million worldwide members, and this is a global story,” Gazin explained. “There are billionaires using the site, wealthy celebrities. We like the platform.”

Bidding began last night at a measly $3 million; so far, there have been no takers, perhaps because the auction page warns that there will be “no returns or exchanges” on this lot. Bummer!

READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: Do you cry at all the wrong movies?

After seeing Safe Haven this weekend and not shedding a tear, I realized I don’t cry at Nicholas Sparks movies — even though they pull out all the stops: war, cancer, the beauty of nature, Alzheimer’s … sometimes all in the same film. Although this fills me with pride, it also makes me think about when I do cry at movies, and it turns out, the issue might be with me. So here goes my confession: I cry at all the wrong movies. READ FULL STORY

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