In conjuction with my recent flurry of watching videos in der Bibliothek, I watched Das Boot this afternoon. Nope, it's not a film about a boot (shoe), it's a film about a Boot (German for boat), more specifically a U-Boot, a submarine.
This shall be a short entry, short as in Joan's standards of short, because she is damn tired today and her brain is dead and she wants to watch football later too. The voting for the blogfest thingie is closing like soon, so maybe you can cast your last minute votes for it here:
This film was touted as the best war film of the 1980s, so I decided to use that to occupy my time. I always thought our library was stocked with the latest DVDs and interesting titles, I was rather disappointed to see that Das Boot came in a video. A video as in a video tape. Damn old school sia... But at least it's still watchable, only a little bit grainy but that can be overlooked.
The story is about a group of naval officers on board this submarine U-96 and their life in the sea, with lots of battle scenes fighting British destroyers and also trying to control damage and how they tried their best to survive. It's the very standard kind of war film where you know what is the outcome after watching too many of them and after having studied so much about them in class, especially for someone like me who've watched like one whole semester of war films last semester for the module total war.
I bring up the module total war because I thought that Das Boot reminded me very much of this other film I watched in total war, The Dam Busters. Okay, the Dam Busters is about the air force while Das Boot is about the navy, but essentially the theme behind it is still the same, war takes away the lives of the elites. Not of the everyday common volk who don't have the brains to differentiate between flying and sailing, but the elites who gone through vigourous education and training. Das Boot didn't show it very clearly because the men were already jaded from war, but the Damn Busters showed it very clearly in the last scene where there was a tour of the men's dorms and many plagues and trophies were on display with the names of schools like Cambridge and Oxford plastered over. The men who died were like the top in their batches in prestigous universities.
I was glancing through IMDb's message boards and there's this person who said that Das Boot reminded him of Stalingrad. I think I'll watch that this weekend, but not in der Bibliothek. Ich habe das DVD. Ich kann das in mein Hause sehen. I think I'm made watching this many depressing war films. In another message board someone was saying that Das Boot is one of the most depressing films of all time, then the thread went off tangent with people talking about the saddest films they've watched. Depressing and sad is two different matter. Das Boot is depressing but not sad. The Dam Busters is also depressing but not sad. Many war films are depressing but not sad. Sad is like Titanic, tear inducing, but that's all. War films documenting real life events are depressing because you know these are real people who died, you feel for the war.
I think after watching Stalingrad this weekend I shall not watch anymore war films. Next on my list possibly Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run). Seems pretty depressing too, but at least not that a heavy topic. And it's only 80min long, unlike all those war films, all like at least two and a half hours long. *shudders*
Das Boot, I gave it 9/10 on IMDb's voting, I docked the one point because I compared it to Der Untergang and because I thought that the film was a tad bit too long and draggy. And maybe because video is just uncomparable to DVDs.