Just watched a double feature of 1941 and Empire of the Sun.

It’s quite a dramatic juxtaposition, try it at home if you’ve got five hours to kill.

Both are about World War II, war hysteria, Japanese soldiers and obsession with airplanes, but they couldn’t be more different in tone, in spite of being separated by eight years.

And only six years later, Spielberg would make another movie about war and its affect on civilians again, Schindler’s List, which is even better. Those three would make a terrific triple feature, but perhaps another day.
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2 Responses to “TONIGHT’S FILM REPORT”
  1. craigjclark says:

    That is a funky double feature. Empire always struck me as the Oscar bait Spielberg made because The Color Purple didn’t win Best Picture. I like quite a bit of it, but some parts strike me as trying to be way too IMPORTANT. John Boorman’s Hope and Glory — which came out the same year — is a much more sprightly and enjoyable picture.

    And it probably goes without saying that J.G. Ballard’s original novel has a lot more depth (even though Tom Stoppard’s screenplay does what it can to make sense of a wide-ranging story).

    • Todd says:

      Yeah, Hope and Glory succeeds much better at getting across the “boy experiencing WWII” idea. But then, it’s autobiography, isn’t it?

      I see Empire as being transitional, it’s like Spielberg is trying to make something “important” and “meaningful” but he’s still using the same tools and vocabulary as he did with Indiana Jones. He had to throw all that stuff out, like he did for Schindler and Ryan and Munich, try a whole set of new tools, before he could succeed in breaking through.