paths of glory

I’ve taken to watching old movies (Stanley Kubrick’s early work) and (an) old TV show (The Adventures Of Superman) and I’ve stumbled upon Paths Of Glory.

I think we’re all more familiar with Kubrick’s bigger works, but Paths Of Glory is, I think, where we first saw how brilliant he could be. I mean, Fear And Desire had hints, but it was amateurish, early stuff, done on the cheap. The Killing and Killer’s Kiss were… okay. Kind of generic noir, to be honest, other than maybe the fight in the mannequins. Heist movie was not his forte; there wasn’t enough philosophy behind it. He disavowed Fear And Desire, but it was my favourite of the pre-Paths Of Glory films.

An exploration of human psychology, even done with clumsy hands, is always interesting. Some of the best movies come from B movies; for sheer entertainment or from sheer gall; the audacity of a movie about aliens or swamp creatures or men with brains on the outside of their heads to really take a swipe at the human condition.

But Paths Of Glory might be one of the best commentaries on war ever depicted in a movie; revolutionary for its time. It’s nothing short of brilliant, and not just because they’ve managed to capture the fact that Kirk and Michael Douglas are the same person.

If you get a chance, watch it; for its time, the scene where they try to take the ant hill is an pulse-pounding depiction of the futility of trench warfare; the disjointed juxtaposition of these trenchmen versus their generals, sipping cognac and throwing parties, is tremendous.

It reminds me of what I always think whenever countries want to go to war and what I would say to any leader who asked.

You first.

Target: 400 words
Written: 277 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: If Chins Could Kill, Confessions Of A B Movie Actor, Bruce Campbell (funny thing, synchronicity, and the overlap of Kubrick and the Evil Dead)
Comics: Chrononauts 1-4
Music: Kick, INXS (one of my all time favourites)

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