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<title>Beauty and 'The Thin Red Line'</title></titleStmt>

<publicationStmt><distributor>BASE and Oxford Text Archive</distributor>


<availability><p>The British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading, under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Centre for English Language Teacher Education, Warwick) and Paul Thompson

(Department of Applied Linguistics, Reading), with funding from BALEAP,

EURALEX, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. The

original recordings are held at the Universities of Warwick and Reading, and

at the Oxford Text Archive and may be consulted by bona fide researchers

upon written application to any of the holding bodies.

The BASE corpus is freely available to researchers who agree to the

following conditions:</p>

<p>1. The recordings and transcriptions should not be modified in any


<p>2. The recordings and transcriptions should be used for research purposes

only; they should not be reproduced in teaching materials</p>

<p>3. The recordings and transcriptions should not be reproduced in full for

a wider audience/readership, although researchers are free to quote short

passages of text (up to 200 running words from any given speech event)</p>

<p>4. The corpus developers should be informed of all presentations or

publications arising from analysis of the corpus</p><p>

Researchers should acknowledge their use of the corpus using the following

form of words:

The recordings and transcriptions used in this study come from the British

Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus, which was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Warwick) and Paul Thompson (Reading). Corpus development was assisted by

funding from the Universities of Warwick and Reading, BALEAP, EURALEX, the

British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. </p></availability>




<recording dur="00:55:21" n="8939">


<respStmt><name>BASE team</name>



<langUsage><language id="en">English</language>



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<personGrp role="speakers" size="17"><p>number of speakers: 17</p></personGrp>





<item n="speechevent">Seminar</item>

<item n="acaddept">Film and Television Studies</item>

<item n="acaddiv">ah</item>

<item n="partlevel">UG</item>

<item n="module">unknown</item>





<u who="nm5019"> okay has everyone got a sheet okay if you haven't where are those sheets </u><u who="sf5020"> on the table </u><u who="nm5019"> they're back on there are they and everyone's got a revision </u><u who="sm5023"> can't find it </u><u who="sf5021"> no i haven't </u><u who="sf5024"> no <gap reason="inaudible due to overlap" extent="1 sec"/></u><u who="sf5022"> no i haven't </u><u who="sf5025"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/></u><u who="nm5019"> okay so Thin Red Line # in relation to beauty now think as far as the exam goes # well you can use The Thin Red Line in the exam for a number of <trunc>quest</trunc> i'm telling you right right put it on film i'm telling you that you can use it for a number of of of questions # but and i've put some of the the issues down on # on the # on the handout but also # i i sort of gave you The Thin Red Line really in relation to the whole to the whole aesthetics course 'cause i think you can you can work it # into all of the sorts of issues that we covered and even the ones last term about # # darkness and

postmodernism # in relation to film and T-V i think # <trunc>i</trunc> <trunc>i</trunc> it can work there or it can work in relation to the sorts of things we'll look at this term # the first thing that i've i've put down the thing i want to talk about now is beauty # beauty in relation to The Thin Red Line would somebody like to start off by by commenting really on what you think the relationship between ideas of beauty i suppose those aesthetic ideas and The Thin Red Line what that relationship might be <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> </u><u who="sf5026"> # well it's quite strongly # linked to nature sort of the the beauty in The Thin Red Line seems to be all surrounding the ideas of nature and the natural and like the the whole of like the first half an hour when they're # is it an island they're on an island </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5026"> or they're separate from the army then it's like you see shots of the sea and the trees # just growing without # interference from man and sort of sunlight and that it's the and you also hear #

Witt talking about kind of how perfect the island is like that so i think the beauty in the thin in The Thin Red Line is sort of mainly linked to ideas of nature </u><u who="nm5019"> mm-hmm ideas and images of the natural </u><u who="sf5026"> yeah </u><u who="nm5019"> any other thoughts </u><u who="sf5027"> i think it's it's kind of linked to # transcendence in a way # because the darkness and light in it is # it is that kind of dialectical enlightenment so they're both kind of interspersed so and the the shots of kind of a lot where the camera is just looking up through the trees and you have that light # the moments where Jim Caviezel's character Witt every person that he touches in the film # <trunc>experience</trunc> # he kind of changes their life in some way # i think he's kind of very kind of linked to transcendence and that's shot 'cause nature is quite # frightening in a way you know the the vines round the trees it's all very kind of dark so it it's

not like you can kind of extract a single meaning from the text 'cause they are so kind of tightly interwoven </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> # with with the voiceovers as well but i think beauty is # is <trunc>figura</trunc> figured more in transcendence because in the violent scenes as well # they're not really shown to be beautiful you know it's always kind of juxtaposed with something more natural more # what's the word kind of communicative like you have the the village at the beginning # it's kind of set up a sort of utopian ideal that sets up those ideas of of community of family of communication of something that is beyond the self something that you have # which is # illustrated in the character of Witt that having that vision to see something beyond the self # which i think is why it starts off in the village you know there's no kind of sense of time you know she i think she says something

about the child going to sleep </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> it depends something on the trees it's like that # the old kind of tribal communities that were that were very kind of extracted from modernity and it shows that to be something that's wonderful something that is is beautiful </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5026"> and it's quite interesting as well because at at the beginning the army's kind of shown fairly negatively because you you hear the woman say # he's he asks her if she's scared of him </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah yeah </u><u who="sf5026"> and # she says yes i am because you're with the army and # </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah </u><u who="sf5026"> then you see the boat coming round and they # and they run and you think but they're in the army why are they running # and then # like you say on the sheet you don't know how they get back on the boat but you see a shot of the boat in the sea and with the mountains in the background and it's turning out

this big black smoke which kind of seems as though it's like ruining the the perfect nature it's like </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5026"> man's intruding on the perfect world and the U-S army's intruding </u><u who="nm5019"> mm mm </u><u who="sf5027"> i think it kind of asks questions of what is nature not just in kind of natural world or environment but what is nature in general what is the nature of humanity what is the nature of man what is a man </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> what kind of constitutes man or makes up man # it doesn't actually give you any answers which is what's so amazing about it i think it does kind of </u><u who="sf5026"> but it raises questions for you to think about </u><u who="sf5027"> it raises questions i think it is a dialectic 'cause it just covers everything it's all so interwoven and that's i think where its power comes from </u><u who="nm5019"> let's go back to something you were saying about the the village we see in the beginning to

what extent is that maintained as an ideal or as a as a as a as a as a place of wonder throughout the film </u><u who="sf5026"> well you can't <trunc>sor</trunc> he each constantly talks about having seen this different world but # sort of they go back later and # he doesn't really know how to react to it then he goes back and he's just seeing all these people dying and i think it's </u><u who="sf5027"> well </u><u who="sf5026"> it's very different then </u><u who="sf5027"> it's quite ambiguous </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah </u><u who="sf5027"> it's what we were saying with you the other day it's a point of view shot is really it sets itself up as being a point of view that his because at the beginning when he's having the conversation with Sean Penn he's talking about this world as being in his imagination so he he changes throughout the film as well he isn't just this person who is representative of something it's his education as well as the people who come into contact with

him so when he goes back and he sees the skulls and he sees the sores on the child's back and he can't quite kind of correlate it 'cause it's no longer <trunc>ima</trunc> an imagination # because the war's been <trunc>affect</trunc> has affected him the death's affected him but then he has the conversation with the the child's mother again and she says # oh they've always fought you know they look like they're playing but they're fighting you know so it's i think it's still quite it's quite ambiguous </u><u who="nm5019"> mm-hmm </u><u who="sf5027"> though even though she says that and it <trunc>hi</trunc> is primarily his point of view # of kind of like a distorted vision the illusion's kind of broken down so don't quite know what its relation is to the big picture </u><u who="nm5019"> mm what were you going to say <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> </u><u who="sm5028"> i was just going to say that # however it appears to me that the <trunc>v</trunc> the

depiction of the village is kind of the the this whole notion of beauty being disturbed is kind of how the film criticizes # war rather than you know doing a <trunc>spie</trunc> Spielberg and kind of you know saying war is bad it it it shows war is having an effect on the the purity of the village # it disturbs the you know what was once serene is now you know it is it's all gone </u><gap reason="break in recording" extent="uncertain"/> <u who="sm5028"> and i mean i wasn't so sure that # Witt had changed i thought that it was just the village had changed and he he's kind of making an observation about it i mean it it is filmed in # this kind of documentary <trunc>s</trunc> style like i mean i think a lot of it could come out of a nature movie </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah </u><u who="sm5028"> but it's it's through these kind of you know personal voiceovers and stuff where we get the # you know it kind of colour colours it in you know specific ways and it especially through Witt we get the you know what he really thinks </u><u who="nm5019">

yeah i wonder i've got a real problem with that i've got a real problem with the village as a as a kind of site of purity and wonder # </u><u who="sm5029"> yeah i thought the point was that when he goes back to the village the point was that it's always been that way </u><u who="nm5019"> all right </u><u who="sm5029"> but he does he now sees that he is now able to see it for what it is you know and the the skulls have always been on the shelf you know </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5029"> # and the men have always fought and you know the kids have always got sick and that's the point of it </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5029"> and i know and i actually did # i was sort of uncomfortable with the start i thought this is a bit trite you know just swimming in the water and it's all very nice and you know so it and then you know the purity of the noble savage being corrupted by the modern world you know i was sort of i was thinking okay here we go but then when he did go back to the village thought that was a

key point because i thought it's sort of like <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> said that we would go and see a you know there they look like they're playing but they're fighting or whatever that bit is you know that's a key line i think </u><u who="nm5019"> yes but she says that right at the beginning i mean it's not later he he says at the beginning he says to her kids round here never fight do they and she says yes sometimes they do you know </u><u who="sm5029"> mm <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="nm5019"> that's right at the beginning </u><u who="sf5027"> oh is it </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah when he's talking to them at so that's already a a warning i think that his what he can see <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> swimming </u><u who="sf5027"> # </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5029"> it's all right </u><u who="sf5027"> moving from imagination to a kind of realist perspective because i think that's why it kind of ties into the conversation with # Sean Penn's

character you know where he's he's saying oh i have my imagination he's like and this is the only world you have they're kind of both polar opposites but he's set up as a kind of dreamer </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> and i think his experience # enables him to kind of group and kind of to a certain extent # gel his his imaginations his aspirations for a better world with # a kind of neo-realist framework as opposed to within a kind of fantasy framework which is set up at the beginning </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> # this i think it is tied to his point of views # # for the two opposing scenes </u><u who="sf5026"> but that's quite interesting as well the conversations between # Witt and Sean Penn's character because # they they have then 'cause Sean Penn says well you're not going to ever do any good you're just going to die in this war and you're not going to make any difference you're not going to change anything for anyone but when it actually comes to it when Witt does die

then he has he's saved by by distracting kind of all the soldiers away from the river he's basically saved the rest of his company's lives so he <trunc>ac</trunc> <trunc>ha</trunc> does actually do something but like <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> was saying it's because he changes all the way through the film and he starts off being a bit of a dreamer and then he possibly kind of realizes that he has to pull together </u><u who="nm5019"> but we don't get that moment of realization </u><u who="sf5026"> no </u><u who="nm5019"> it seems to me <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="sf5027"> i think you do in the voiceover at the end though </u><u who="nm5019"> really </u><u who="sf5027"> 'cause he says # it is his voiceover he says who are you that i lived with walked with the brother the friend darkness and light strife and love were they the workings of one mind features of the same face </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> so he seems to have like the this is what's strange 'cause he's dead but his voiceover's still speaking he's kind of transcended <trunc>li</trunc> literally life itself and he's

still asking that question but he's able to kind of see both sides </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> # which i think is what the film is you know good side of nature the bad side of of human nature and like natural world as well </u><u who="nm5019"> so sorry how is that final question different from what he's asking at the beginning </u><u who="sf5027"> because i think it's i think at the beginning it's rooted in his imagination a bit </u><u who="nm5019"> oh right </u><u who="sf5027"> i think at the end he's able to kind of take in both and his perspectives change somewhat and you're aware that his perspectives change and his death has resonance anyway # 'cause i suppose with like a normal or a kind of # Hollywood flick type picture he would be alive he would he would not die in it at all </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> which i think is quite interesting 'cause he's died for a purpose in a way it's quite a religious thing i suppose </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> that's why i kind

of see it as like # the education of the sergeant </u><u who="nm5019"> <trunc>c</trunc> but but that's so interesting because he doesn't <trunc>ch</trunc> i don't he doesn't change you see </u><u who="sf5027"> Sean Penn </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sf5027"> i think he does </u><u who="sf5026"> i think that he changes enormously </u><u who="nm5019"> i don't think Witt's death makes any difference to him at all </u><u who="sf5026"> you don't think his death has any <gap reason="inaudible due to overlap" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="nm5019"> i don't Witt's death has any <trunc>dif</trunc> makes any difference to his to what Sean Penn's philosophy or isolation 'cause he reiterates immediately afterwards he says you know you're in a box a moving box it's it's all a lie it's got to be the <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> in here </u><u who="sf5027"> mm </u><u who="nm5019"> so why <trunc>w</trunc> what changes you tell me what changes </u><u who="sf5027"> i think i think he does change </u><u who="nm5019">

why do you think that </u><u who="sf5026"> # i'm not going to be able to articulate this though </u><u who="nm5019"> okay you don't you don't have to answer now but let's hear from somebody else <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> </u><u who="sf5030"> what </u><u who="sf5027"> what </u><u who="sf5030"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="nm5019"> well your opinions comments and observations on what we've been discussing </u><u who="sf5030"> # i think i'm not sure whether i do think Sean Penn's character changes and i think if he doesn't it's quite effective in balancing the whole message of the film </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> 'cause i think it some bits of it are a bit kind of crappy psychology a bit kind of look at nature and isn't it beautiful which </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> is very limited and especially about war it it it it can't get you very far # and i think that kind of him saying it's all about property and not getting too carried away with your

idea of human nature because he's like it's not human nature it's you've been put into this it's someone else's battle it's all about property </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> keeps the film kind of saves it from being wishy-washy and </u><u who="nm5019"> right kind of mysticism and </u><u who="sf5030"> yeah </u><u who="nm5019"> and yeah i yeah does anyone else feel like that about about it i mean you really as far as only talk about that kind of danger really <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> of the film i mean it does have those moments where you think oh <trunc>s</trunc> you know stop this is so # you said wishy-washy and thinking about pop psychology </u><u who="sf5030"> it is kind of like it it's like <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> kind of # </u><u who="nm5019"> right </u><u who="sf5030"> the plague that kind of nature and <trunc>i</trunc> is it all beautiful and it's like yeah but that that can't get really get you anywhere </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> at the end of the day </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> do you think it's kind of asking if there's a place for that kind of mysticism

in the modern world is there a place for somebody like Witt in the modern world </u><u who="nm5019"> i don't think it's if you say that i don't think it's one thing # </u><u who="sf5027"> or the kind of difficulty of accommodating that kind of philosophy </u><u who="nm5019"> i think </u><u who="sf5027"> i think you can accommodate it if you don't <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> something that that's that's basic </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> and i mean like a beginning you know that kind of philosophy works in his own mind within that environment but when it's put into kind of the imaginations of war and everything is is <trunc>re</trunc> actually replaceable really </u><u who="nm5019"> well i think it it retains this oddness actually # that i think some of Witt's questions seem quite odd now whereas they wouldn't have seemed very odd at all # even thirty years ago forty years ago # the idea of the family of man for example # just yesterday my parents brought me <trunc>m</trunc>

bringing me books from my childhood years and there's this old book from the fifties the early fifties an encyclopedia <trunc>t</trunc> for children and <trunc>d</trunc> you know for sort of eight to ten year olds so yeah it's all about the family of the human race yeah it's one big family it's like it's written as if Witt wrote it yes just that it's yes kind of <trunc>mis</trunc> you know it's idea of the family <trunc>ma</trunc> man is all different races brought together there's always the mother the father yes i think George Clooney's bit yeah that's kind of the way the world was thought of and actually not that long ago so i think Witt just seems strange his idea of a unity of a coherence of a of universality that runs through objects and # # through nature and through people and the the kind of sense of seeing beyond appearances into just kind of essential bonds between things i think that seems very rather strange and kind of arty now whereas before it would be just if you like what was taught in

schools and things # so now actually i don't even think it's <gap reason="inaudible due to equipment difficulties" extent="2 secs"/> it might've been might be asking that but i don't think there is a place for it all right what do other people think <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> </u><u who="sf5031"> don't really know </u><u who="nm5019"> what do you think of the # the Ben Chaplin character # he's had the one he we see his wife and yes he's talking about his wife a lot we see him at the beginning yes quite early on in the movie we actually you see him he's talking saying he got drafted because he wanted to be with his wife he wasn't actually high up in the in the # engineering corps whatever and then later on we discover that his his wife has left him i mean how do you think that that sort of big thing that happens with his wife's asking for a divorce doesn't she it's a kind of a big kind of shock moment i think in the film what did you think of

that 'cause it's quite a risk </u><u who="sf5031"> # # i think my problem was i have only seen the film once </u><u who="nm5019"> u-huh </u><u who="sf5031"> and it was quite difficult for me to understand some parts of it </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5031"> 'cause i wasn't there on Friday </u><u who="nm5019"> oh okay </u><u who="sf5031"> it seemed for most of the film it seemed like a loss of illusions all the way through it but i think i need to watch it again to kind of </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5031"> i don't know it's quite difficult to get to grip with it </u> <u who="sf5030"> there's that bit isn't there with his voiceover saying </u><u who="sf5031"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> you can't destroy our love and i at that at that bit i just kind of thought oh shut up of course it can you know <trunc>sho</trunc> you shouldn't believe all you'll go home to her </u><u who="sf5031"> yeah </u><u who="sf5030"> of course it can and then it did kind of i was kind of pleased not in you know a sick way but like in a kind of yeah glad it hasn't kind of had him going back and everything being the same 'cause that's the point isn't it

it does change people </u> <u who="su5032"> mm </u><u who="sf5031"> mm </u><u who="sm5028"> do you think it was at odds with the <trunc>k</trunc> # kind of Witt's philosophy about # his kind of romanticism it # i think it was trying to say that basically when i think # Ben Chaplin's character's kind of the more # traditional role of # oh i've got my girlfriend back at home and and that's what i'll focus all my attentions on i think he's trying to say well those sort of things aren't are are just sort of passing fads whereas you know # you've got you know your love affair with nature is is forever and stuff i mean # <trunc>y</trunc> you write down on the sheet it it's a collection of romantic ideas of # it's a lot of kind of # issues from romantic poetry </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5028"> sort of <trunc>sur</trunc> surfaced in the film and that's one of them </u><u who="sm5033"> # i think it sort of it almost seems right that # his his wife should leave him

'cause those those sequences that punctuate the film # of of him and his wife seem sort of strangely out of place # and it seems appropriate that # those sort of <trunc>ou</trunc> out of place moments are are # are lost by his wife leaving him </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah </u><u who="sm5033"> and he returns to that sort of idea of the family of man and i think that that <trunc>no</trunc> that notion of families and # universality is something that the film sort of values a lot i mean there </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5033"> there are innumerable characters that sort of feel compelled to help their fellow man by telling them you know telling people they're not going to die when they when they are and # Sean Penn going to help the soldier who is wounded </u><u who="nm5019"> yes why does he do that do you think </u><u who="sm5033"> well </u><u who="nm5019"> given <gap reason="inaudible due to overlap" extent="1 sec"/> </u> <u who="sm5033"> we're invited to belive that it's to keep him quiet </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sm5028"> but i don't think it is i

think it's sort of the <trunc>ge</trunc> # the and compassionate gesture and # like the U-R-S coach's character refusing refusing orders to to help his you know fellow man and Witt at the end does exactly the same thing # you know that that sort of more # <trunc>e</trunc> explicitly sated stated at the end with George Clooney's sort of mother father kids but which is # </u><u who="sf5030"> it really reminds me in bits to of the # has no wife about like we're doing Holocaust literature in films narrative </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> about the like the two separate universes that you can't really bridge that gap once you have that experience of like say a concentration camp normal life # <trunc>y</trunc> you're completely separated from normal life and it kind <trunc>o</trunc> like all through it i was just thinking these men how could you go back and go back into normal life how could you you would need to tell someone you would need you couldn't go back into that romantic situation it

kind of gives a kind of ironic twist almost to this idea of kind of think everyone being part of the same thing because it's like that war is fracturing that completely </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> by just separating people into their own madness kind of people shaking and never being able to go back into that whole big family of man really because # </u><u who="sm5033"> but <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> at the same time the sort of family of man is is reinforced because they they are all the same like towards the end where they the camera sort of weaves its way through the all the # soldiers on the boat they're all the same they all look the same and # even when they're they're trying to take the bridge # the # all the enemy soldiers they they look the same from a distance you can't really tell who's who at at at some points </u><u who="sf5030"> although the voiceover by choosing voiceover instead of conversation kind of there is no point

in all being the same is if mentally you are all completely separated from each other and like </u><u who="sm5033"> # </u><u who="sf5030"> when that guy's going on about family and he's just looking at him and saying you're dead basically and it's like the don't know it just seems like kind of it's kind of saying don't believe this kind of nice family of man thing there's a kind of little twist in it which kind of so you don't buy into it </u><u who="nm5019"> which is <trunc>i</trunc> precisely what they <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> it's a it's a i mean it's a hard bit listening to Sean Penn the voiceover when Clooney is speaking precisely 'cause of the star thing you know it's 'cause it's Clooney's moment yes and he's talking rubbish he isn't talking rubbish but he's he's saying thing about the family the mother and father at the same time that Welsh is saying don't believe whatever you see and hear yes you're in a moving box and there there are

moments of the movie which seem to be directly relevant to the audience and it's it's saying it's commenting on the movie yes we're in a moving <trunc>bo</trunc> everything you see and hear is lies yes so we get this kind of there's an issue about seeing in the movie clearly you see a lot of people seeing things and you there's a lot of attention given to eyes and looking yeah in the movie even animals are looking you know so like the little possum on the tree and the sort of tree lizard looking the owl that's staring seems to be there's an issue about you know what is consciousness what is seeing # and certainly i think you're right that that # that moment the sergeant is speaking i think that bit that confirms what you were saying about the uncertainty of the movie in relation to some of its articulations there it seems to be saying don't trust what you see and hear you know there's a possibility it's # <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> and on on the other hand i mean i there there's

this this issue of # Witt who seems to unify the separate identities yeah so on one hand war fractures though we all have our own different particular experiences yeah so but then there's a moment where Witt returns from the village # and he meets someone alone on the hill yes he returns from the village and he gets back and he's kind of shaking everyone's hand on the way back yes like some kind of you know i strange don't know why he seems to know everybody then you see him looking around the camp and he sees some people playing cards or just talking characters we don't know and then we get instead of cutting back like in a point of view shot we see Ben Chaplin alone in the fields yes it's just after we find out he's been dumped by his wife and i think we see something else before we return back to the shot of Witt and he cries we see a tear coming out of his eye yeah so he seems to unify these different

fragments # in his gaze in if you like that point of view structure so we do get these opposing forces in the film you know on the one hand there's a a sense which you've got of pulling together of the family of man who who are you my brother you know my soul that that unifies all <trunc>l</trunc> looks out through my eyes and unifies all opposed to # Sean Penn really his philosophy of isolation i don't think it's reconciled in the film because what's the final image yes it's a very <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> quite isolated object yes you know the coconut growing in in the sea and you know the final three images seem to be about those kind of balance you know this sort of the journey down through the you know the people on the boat going through the kind of rainforest area then we see two # parrots are they parrots or lorikeets i'm not sure but they're beautiful beautiful birds they're obviously a pair are mates yes and then we see the final image

of a <trunc>f</trunc> completely isolated this very strong horizontal length just this isolated coconut what do you make of the what do you make of that final image it seems so utterly beautiful # don't know but it's what did you make of it </u><u who="sm5028"> well # it's beautiful but at the same time i i saw it as it's sad in that it it reminded me of like a grave </u><u who="nm5019"> right </u><u who="sm5028"> and the way that Witt was buried and the sort of long # gun it it kind of the same sort of <trunc>sh</trunc> visual shape </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sm5028"> and and it's i'm i'm not sure what i make of it but it kind of <trunc>ju</trunc> it wants to sort of it again it's sort of harking back to a lot of the other things talking about it's kind of implicitly <trunc>ref</trunc> referring without you know he's drawing the audience to make their own conclusion </u><u who="sf5030"> mm it's definitely quite a positive image though like well <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/></u> <u who="sm5028"> well that's the thing i i didn't see it as positive 'cause i thought it looked like a

like a tombstone like like a natural tombstone like maybe nature is it's nature's tombstone or something you know and it's it's all it's all bad it's all going to <trunc>eng</trunc> </u><u who="sf5030"> but it's growing though it's like something out something's coming out of i read it as kind of i probably just didn't get it properly but i read it </u><u who="sm5028"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> as kind of quite twee kind of life goes on kind of rebirth </u><u who="sm5028"> no i mean i can i can see that completely but # # i i think it was probably just trying to make the audience kind of make up what what they thought of it it's like the old adage you know it's half full or half empty </u><u who="sf5030"> mm </u><u who="sm5028"> i suppose we </u><u who="sf5027"> i think it is really sad i mean # i think it's 'cause # it's such a small object compared to such a huge space and i think # i mean the film i think the way that it ends it ends on that stillness and it is a kind of it is a very still film and considering the size of it the

script is probably not that big really # and i think it's like # it it's quite a nostalgic film i think that's where its sadness comes from it kind of i mean <trunc>i</trunc> whilst Witt is a dreamer and he's a romantic and he's everything else at the same time he's still extremely privileged throughout the film by by the camera and by the amount of lines # the emphasis on the lines he has to speak as well # and i think it laments a loss of that a loss of that that level of humanity perhaps perhaps that ability to to see beyond the self i think for me like the ending's # is perfect because it's just still if it had <trunc>lan</trunc> if it'd ended on just the boat sequence which it could have done it wouldn't have had that same impact just to have the solitary object which is <trunc>go</trunc> growing again which 'cause i kind of see like you know life goes on but where is it placed within the space it's just placed on its own with just the sound and the

sea it's really sad and moving the only thing that i don't understand so i'm just going to ask you this is i can never quite get straight in my head why he actually commits suicide which is is kind of what he does i i can't grasp that it's </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> i don't think it's articulated clearly </u><u who="nm5019"> mm-hmm does anyone else want to offer a suggestion </u><u who="sf5027"> </u><u who="sm5028"> i mean is it suicide i mean is it <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="sf5027"> # points the gun at them 'cause you just see his gun go up he knows that he's surrounded he looks round at them all and they walk towards him and he he can't understand what they're saying </u><u who="sm5028"> well i i saw it as </u><u who="sf5027"> then he just puts his gun up why doesn't he drop his gun if he believes in humanity so much why doesn't he drop his gun </u><u who="sm5028"> i i thought that he might be killed and i thought that his his soldier friends were

going to they kind of found him and they were killing all the the the the the soldiers then and he got caught in the crossfire that's what i mean </u><u who="sf5027"> no they was he was still on his own there was just all </u><u who="sm5028"> mm but it's kind of so abstracted that you don't really know what's happening here 'cause you on the soundtrack you hear kind of like a like a helicopter or something and it it <trunc>s</trunc> sounded like some sort of military activity and i i i mean 'cause like how how how do they bury him you know what i mean if he does would they just leave him on his own and then if that's the thing i mean # it's one of those ellipses you you you it's # # like a hole that's not been filled yet you sort of <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/></u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5028"> # i mean i you're right i mean it could be that he commits suicide but it's left so open that you you're not really sure </u><u who="sf5026">

i think he does commit suicide </u><u who="sf5027"> 'cause you see the gun go up you know </u><u who="sf5026"> but i think it i think it's because # he has seen how him and the other soldiers have treated their prisoners that he just doesn't want to be faced with that that's what that's what i took out that he seemed when 'cause when they've got the prisoners # somebody says something about vultures or birds of prey and there's a bird circling in the sky and that's like that's used about three times i think and # it's like war is this big bird of prey that's preying on all these people and when Bell's wife goes to the army barracks for some reason # you see her looking up and she sees these birds of prey in the sky and it's like they've taken her husband away from her and then you get the same just after Witt's after Witt's died it cuts to the birds of prey again and it's like they've taken

Witt the war's taken Witt away from the world it's very don't know if that makes sense </u><u who="nm5019"> # <trunc>c</trunc> </u><u who="sf5026"> no </u><u who="nm5019"> you you yeah you quite right that motif is the bird circling high and it's repeated on <trunc>tho</trunc> on those on those occasions again i don't think <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> was right at the beginning it's difficult to <trunc>p</trunc> to pin it down to one thing # anything related to the meaning sure it's just the one thing # but it's pretty clear that Witt chooses his death i don't think that's quite as ambiguous as <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> suggests </u><u who="sf5026"> maybe it's also to do with # he because he believes in God and # he says he's seen this this other world maybe he just thinks that # dying will sort of take him to heaven <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/></u><u who="nm5019"> did he say he believes in God

it's </u><u who="sf5026"> i don't i don't know that's what i interpret </u><u who="sf5030"> if you are <gap reason="inaudible due to overlap" extent="1 sec"/> a bit more pessimistically in that he's well he's well he needs to be like a hero and he the loss of dignity to be a prisoner of war would be unbearable to him and so he has to die and i think there's some i don't i think i that's it's quite the film is kind of a bit negative about Witt like when Sean Penn stands over his grave and says where's your spark now 'cause at the end of the day that kind of romantic hero figure won't survive like a person who's out for himself and is really hard will survive </u><u who="sm5029"> i think one of the most important things about that sequence for me was when # they first go down the river with # Fife and the other little guy # the <trunc>japane</trunc>

i mean i think a very important choice of the Japanese some sort of appear out of <trunc>n</trunc> out of the trees you know you sort of think <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> what's that and then you know one guy and then there's dozens and dozens that <trunc>s</trunc> that blend out you know it's because you know they aren't they aren't they are part of nature as well you know it's emphasized by the fact they've got their camouflage sort of </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sm5029"> leafy hats and sort of stuff like that then it happens again when they sort of catch him in that # clearing and even though it's obvious even though you know i don't speak Japanese that # the guy wants him to surrender and you know doesn't want to kill him and there's a note on the sheet which confirms that # you know could be sort of like he's realized that # he he sort of can see the bigger picture now and there isn't this sort of you know maybe he isn't this sort of moral mystical conflict between nature and man at least sort of but i do

think there is the for me anyway there is the synthesis of like # the Japanese soldiers and the surroundings that # synthesis between nature and man and he does seem to be and he you know he looks around he looks at them for such a long time # you know while he's being shouted at i think you know that his i i think # <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> like a really # concrete moment of realization for him but i do think there is an element to that it's like he is realizing something # but then what he actually does and i agree like with # some of the people over there that # he does commit suicide why he does that i don't know # maybe it's because once he's realized that there is this # it's all just the same big myth it sort of doesn't make much difference whether he lives or dies you know if he if if things he's held up to be # you know beautiful the village # it's these values are not these values are <trunc>in</trunc> undermine you know reappropriated # you

know the distinctions that he once had are now gone you know it's like you do <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> there are no concrete values for him to # believe in or sort of educate others about which is what the relationship between him and Welsh is about i think </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> think it's # because directly following his death it's really unclear whether he's dying or he's having a kind of you know they say your life rolls before you because after that it's a montage of him swimming in the water in the beginning then a shot of the trees above and the light # and then i think it's something else as well </u><u who="sf5030"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="sf5027"> so it's either i don't know whether it's a kind of symbolic death within the kind of framework of the text well that's his do you know what i mean it's quite ambiguous as to whether that's his kind of last memories </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> his his his soul's leaving his body

type of spiritual thing </u><u who="nm5019"> i think the film has already cautioned us against such a <trunc>s</trunc> direct association with what we're seeing # for example close to the beginning it it's apparently had a flashback to his childhood when he's on the the field and see him with his father he's still looking at the this this wind is blowing bits of hay and that yes whilst <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> more or less direct here for a flashback but given the rest of the film is the the the connections between memory and image aren't that strong for example # the Bell character # when he's <trunc>wh</trunc> when we see his wife we see her there are moments where he can't have remembered <trunc>tha</trunc> those moments 'cause we see her without him yes so it isn't always a direct correlation between the characters' mind screen and what we can see # i think that's the the case with Witt's death which i cannot understand i don't i can't work it out either i know i can link

it to the beginning where he says i wonder what it would right at the beginning he says i wonder what it would be like to to know this is my last breath and how i would okay so and of course that's three hours later he's in that situation where he's about has the choice of whether to draw his last breath or not # so i suppose one can read it quite as being in relation to that to that moment of speculation at the beginning which is so characteristic of the film that kind of philosophical question about the <trunc>en</trunc> the last point of one's life it's also a very ordinary question that most people would ask themselves at some point in their lives </u><u who="sm5029"> mm </u><u who="nm5019"> it's ordinary language philosophy what would it be like to be at the last moment of your life the last instance it's something that everybody will experience right in this room # but also will be survived that's the Cavell point

again about being survived by a film and the film articulates that wonderfully yes the Witt dies we have the <trunc>sh</trunc> the shot of the sun coming through the tree then immediately he's alive right swimming around under water yeah that's the film's ability to survive you nature's ability to survive you is part of the promise it seems to me and also the melancholy of the film mm that's part but it's not one i don't think it's one it's one thing mm </u><u who="sf5030"> there's an a different thing proving himself as a man as well which is the hero thing </u><u who="nm5019"> right </u><u who="sf5030"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> to it <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> 'cause he says to Sean Penn i'm twice the man you are and i'll prove it or whatever and then we've got more a couple of them when they dock when Woody Harrelson character says i want my wife to know i i was a man </u><u who="nm5019"> die like a man </u><u who="sf5030"> it's like a man dying </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> that proves you're a and the lawyer going home

like he's like you can't stay here because you're too soft you're not manly enough for this </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5030"> that death in war proves well that ultimate proof of being a man you know in a kind of military way </u><u who="sf5027"> i think it's like locked to a kind of a military manhood type of thing that he's obviously very aware of those kind of constructions of masculinity it turns on its head because they're the ones who are shown to be very bad or they die # the people that have true humanity that's almost like what being a man is in a kind of generic sense # as opposed to like being very kind of rooted in masculinity which is what a lot of war films are about </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sf5027"> 'cause he gets i mean Woody Harrelson i mean the whole thing why he's upset is is </u><u who="sf5030"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="sf5027"> he's more upset that he's like blowing his penis off than that he

won't be able to like you know that's like for him that's like his masculinity what what how to <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> you know don't tell her what's # </u><u who="nm5019"> why to tell her </u><u who="sf5030"> but then it's <trunc>n</trunc> </u><u who="sf5027"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> the man will <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="sf5030"> yeah </u><u who="sf5027"> which </u><u who="sf5030"> yeah but it's also like kind of tell her i died in combat not that i # <trunc>b</trunc> </u><u who="sf5027"> yeah </u><u who="sf5030"> <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> blew myself up </u><u who="nm5019"> well </u><u who="sf5030"> instead of # </u><u who="nm5019"> yeah what would you what would you prefer then what would you prefer as your last message to your loved one i mean you blew your butt off probably not # # you'd have to i mean in a way i think it's an remarkable acknowledgement of his yeah it's partly that macho thing yeah die die like a man but it's much more than that 'cause we see him dying you know

like a child not like a man he's getting dizzy and he's cold and he's looking for comfort he's he's dying like a little child # and i think it's much more <trunc>artic</trunc> it's much more again like most of the film it's it's slightly there is more than one viewpoint # </u><u who="sf5030"> what i mean is like most interesting is that Witt for all of his spirituality is kind of still buying into the same thing it's still going out with a bang </u><u who="sf5026"> but the hero thing's kind of problematic anyway because none of them want the awards like they various people at various stages say oh i'm going to recommend you for an award and every single one of them says no i don't want it they that's not fair like really don't everyone's done the same amount as i have i'm nothing special and i think that that kind of puts # <trunc>com</trunc> you kind of compare that with with the people 'cause they are heroic in that they go and do things to to save their friends but they don't want the acknowledgement at home or i don't know it's it's really

strange and then and that and i think that's when Sean Penn says it's all about property and # i mean i don't know what to make of that but </u><u who="sf5030"> and you're also kind of told that you know medals don't mean anything anyway oh he says to the lawyer oh you know have them all kind of thing just go away kind of # you know it's a bit corrupt it's a bit it's not a true reflection of who were the heroes it's like probably just something they can't live with </u><u who="sf5026"> which means that that means it's problematic when they go home and then the all the people who kind of like you were saying everybody who's died is seen to be a hero even though they're incompetent or or just careless or whatever and and those people who who were the heroes don't have anything to show for it it's <trunc>ver</trunc> it is really strange 'cause in # in kind of your average

Hollywood film you'd come out at the end and whoever had saved all the lives would be receiving some the best medal possible and at the White House but some special award their name on a plaque or something but this is different they don't want </u><u who="sm5029"> one thing the film does really well is # take up all the sort of conventions and the stereotypes of the war movie and so on doesn't just subvert it's almost it fulfils them and subverts them at the same time for the like war <trunc>mo</trunc> i mean you know almost every war <trunc>mo</trunc> movie i can think of # you have the sort of more sort of dreamy idealistic guy # who's not who's not up for the fight and then he turns out to be a real hero and then you've got a like real sort of tough talking hard-arsed guy who sort of # who then start ends up crying like a baby </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5029"> and then you then you have a real mix of that you do you do have characters a bit like that and then you have

but then you have Sean Penn who's very bitter and tough and twisted but he's still genuinely courageous and cares about the men and # i think that you have you know you have all all the characters the whole the whole gamut the one with the sweetheart back at home # the sort of cynical # colonel who doesn't know what real combat is and you know <trunc>th</trunc> throws his men into </u><u who="nm5019"> mm </u><u who="sm5029"> terrible situations the sort of embittered this sort of incompetentish # captain who then and then his deputy is the sort of real the working class leader of the team you have you have all of these characters and but they're what i really like about it is they're not sort of you know just flipped upside down they are in some cases they they are like that and you know they're given real depth and # each one of them is believable but you can you could really just in terms of describing them reduce them down to the same sort of character types

as you'd see in Platoon or something </u><u who="nm5019"> mm-hmm </u><u who="sm5029"> and i think it's really # odd that it's not i think # the <trunc>rel</trunc> interrelationship with the Vietnam films is really # interesting and like problematic because i mean the choice of setting i mean you know you've got # the Sands of Iwo Jima and films like that </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sm5029"> most World War Two films are not set in that sort of jungle terrain like which is and it looks so much like a a Vietnam film much of the time you know </u><u who="nm5019"> yes </u><u who="sm5029"> partially 'cause of the <trunc>m</trunc> technology # you know # of filming the action and stuff like that <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/> </u><u who="nm5019"> but it's a jungle isn't it yes </u><u who="sm5029"> yes but it's <trunc>ma</trunc> basically the jungle and you know weakness and going mad and # and terror which you know we're allowed to you know i mean even with films about the Second <trunc>wo</trunc> World War being made in the fifties they weren't allowed to show real sort of terror or going to

pieces you know it wasn't just wasn't wasn't done and # they can see i think it's a reappraisal of the sort of Second World War with a massive influence of you know Vietnam and the American sort of experience </u><u who="nm5019"> okay i'm going to have to draw to a close # thank you that's Jima comparison was right i mean the obvious other comparison's Saving Private Ryan i mean if you're thinking about war on # the Pacific war and the if you like the colonial wars wars fought for property yes that issue as contrasted against the sort of

myth of the wars fought against fascism yes the different sorts of # <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/>legacy associated with two <gap reason="inaudible" extent="1 sec"/>kinds of war that contrast is important okay now remember # revision sessions on Friday okay if you want them to take if you want them to take place at all people have to volunteer to do presentations okay if you want clarification on it you can see me # # either this afternoon or or # or later this week okay well # thanks a lot then