LOTR director Peter Jackson restores WWI footage for new documentary, "They Shall Not Grow Old."*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Matt W., Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Matt W.

    Matt W. Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Northern Virginia
    Thought this community would be interested in Peter Jackson's new documentary, that includes restored WWI footage. I'm not thrilled about the colorization, but the film restoration is amazing. Unfortunately, it appears that it'll only be screened in the UK. Hope it receives a US release.

    Official trailer -

    Promotional video - more detailed
    Peter Jackson's new First World War film
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  2. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    I surely hope this plays in the U.S.
    Maybe it'll get a run during a PBS pledge drive.
    Dave B and Ignatius like this.
  3. Netflix or Amazon will probably purchase it.
  4. Guy from Ohio

    Guy from Ohio Forum Resident

    It's the foley that I cannot stand, it fictionalizes a historical document.

    Assuming, of course, the scenes were not staged for the camera in the first place.
    But they should be able to get the dialog
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  5. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    I would love to see that. So many never grew old.
  6. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    Wow! That's so cool! I am sure it will get some kind of release in the U.S.
    longdist01 likes this.
  7. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    I am very excited to see this. The colorization doesn’t bother me. I trust Jackson to make decisions on color, speed, etc. to bring about what he seems important and accurate. I have seen plenty of black and white footage of the Great War that I doubt I will be bothered by his inclusion of historical footage.
    agentalbert and Chris DeVoe like this.
  8. seed_drill

    seed_drill Senior Member

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I watched a First World War in Color thing a while back. That trailer looks a lot more natural.
  9. longdist01

    longdist01 Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL USA
    Really nice looking, even with the color enhancements! Hope it will air or be screened in States!

    Thanks for posting, sharing that link. Didn't hear about Wingnut, Peter Jackson participating in this earlier.
    beccabear67 likes this.
  10. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    "The Big Kill?"
  11. carrick doone

    carrick doone Whhhuuuutttt????

    Vancouver, Canada
    I saw a colorisation and documentary done by a French company about four years ago or more - possibly the same one seed_drill did. The documentary itself was very good and told the pathetic story of this war. I have watched a couple of other documentaries on this war and the colorisation in the French one brought the story of this war much closer to me. It simply made it more lifelike and personal. Unlike stories about World War II I prefer not to see any more about WWI but I may make an exception for this one. The colorisation IS better than the one I saw. In the end the telling of the stories will cause the film to succeed or fail. The colorisation just gets us in the door I think.

    Considering Jackson is from New Zealand I'm hoping and expecting a broader focus than just an American centric view. That may hurt him financially in the USA but he will recoup it in the European countries (and Canada).
  12. I know this might sound maudlin, but when it comes to The First World War I have a soft spot, as my great-grandfather served in the 9th Scottish Division, 26th Highland Brigade, 8th Bn. The Black Watch, as an infantryman from 1915-1918.

    I was 18 when he passed away at the age of 97. From about the time I was 8 I began asking him questions about what he did in the war. He had never really spoken about the war, and people were amazed that he opened up to me. I remember so many of the stories, etched into my brain, about Germans he had killed, the friends he had, life in the trenches and the life he had before and after the war.

    So, seeing something like this almost brings a tear to my eye. People have such short perspective nowadays. These men lived and breathed like the rest of us, yet the black & white nature of the old photos and films make them look a bit artificial to the modern eye. Even at one hundred years ago, you remember that you knew some of them, you touched some of them, they made it real. It is these newer generations who needs a reminder of how close history is to us. History is the corners that you just turned seconds ago.

    I don't know, I'm pretty of stoned right now, but seeing the trailer for this new film was a sobering experience.

    None of this film is about the American Experience in WWI. It's going to hurt in the USA, not in the UK, as this movie revolves around British, New Zealand, Australian, and maybe Canadian and South African troops in The Great War.

    Here's a supplemental with Peter Jackson explaining his part in the film, as well as extra footage, and how the Imperial War Museum, in London, was involved.

    Kyhl, LarsO, daveidmarx and 17 others like this.
  13. carrick doone

    carrick doone Whhhuuuutttt????

    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks for the clip. It makes me very much interested in seeing the film he puts out.
    longdist01 likes this.
  14. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I know documentarians and film restoration experts who are horrified by revisionist stuff like this, but I look on a project like this as something that will help younger people understand the horrors of WWI, "The War to End All Wars." Not many people understand just how grim and awful the first World War was, and how and why 40 million people died during that terrible conflict.

    I'll say this: they got most of the flicker out and most of it looks like it was done at the right speed, which is pretty miraculous for film of that era. I think the intentions are good even though it's not quite accurate, and I can overcome any artistic objections knowing what Jackson is trying to do. Clearly it's a labor of love, because this is not the kind of project that will make a lot of money, and I bet it cost many millions of dollars to produce.
  15. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    It's admiral that someone is doing it never mind a big Hollwood director. Kudos to him!!!
  16. Dear 23

    Dear 23 Senior Member

    Midwest USA
    I hope you are right on both counts. Oh, I need to see this. It looks fantastic.
    longdist01 likes this.
  17. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    St. Louis
    Whst a great post. I don't know much about this war but I found All Quiet on the Western Front and Paths of Glory fascinating and neither film romanticized the horrors of the war. While there is criticism of revisionism etc... I think it will be great for people like me who are pretty ignorant of this less talked about important part of history. I look forward to one day seeing the footage as Peter Jackson presents it.
  18. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Actually, black & white and silence fictionalizes life.
  19. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    St. Louis
    I don't know about fiction but it certainly gives less information, but what is there is a physical reaction to suject...so not fiction. Silence cannot be fiction because it simply is missing. Colorization adds information that wasn't originally filmed so that is perhaps a fiction part, but the goal is to get closer to the subjects filmed more than the preservation of the delivery so there is that too. Which of course means that any color is perhaps at least recreating based on physical evidence.

    I can see both sides.
  20. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Ridgway, CO
    I agree the footage looks phenomenal. It sure makes war look a lot nicer (with soldiers smiling and laughing), and "more fun" than it really is -- I guess they don't have any footage of soldiers who died of mustard gas? About how ghastly and brutal it was to live for months in trenches and bunkers, esp. while being shelled?

    A great read about WW1 (including the dissenters) is Adam Hochschild, The End All Wars: https://smile.amazon.com/End-All-Wa...id=1538835173&sr=8-5&keywords=adam+hochschild
  21. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    I think we will have to see beyond a 60 second trailer what horrors are revealed by the archivists and restorationists. Peter Jackson isn’t known for making Disney films, so I can’t imagine it would be a sterile documentary.
    townsend and EVOLVIST like this.
  22. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    The film isn't even out yet. The trailer is trying to let you know it is coming and show what the colorization looks like. Do you really think this will be a whitewash and not show the horrors of that war? Is that really something to put in a trailer? How many people would be repulsed by a trailer that immediately went into the carnage and horror?
    Please save such criticism (if in fact it is deserved) for once you have actually seen the movie.
  23. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    Does it have a green tint?
    Digital-G, supermd and Kristofa like this.
  24. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    St. Louis
    So let me get this straight, a man's life is only worth showing if it is destroyed? I don't think that people are exactly unaware of the horrible situation that it was. Maybe you get something from only watching suffering, but I think there are some that would like to also see some part of those brave men that made them more than just targets for projectiles and chemicals.

    I am sure as dewey02 and Kristofa said that there will be at least some mention of what happened. Peter Jackson isn't exactly a sugar coater see "The Lovely Bones" based on a girl murdered in Norristown PA (and I found the ending while inspiring, not exactly happy either) or his produced West of Memphis documentary.
  25. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Remember that Jackson build one of the great special effects companies, WETA, for the Lord of the Rings films. So it looks like WETA as taking direction from the current state of the art in colorization.

    I'm in Kansas City, and we have the national World War I Museum here. I really need to visit it, after its renovation a few years ago. When I was a kid, it was all dusty mannequins with Doughboy uniforms, and didn't make much effort at all to convey the true horror of that war.

    Sadly the "war to end all wars" wasn't.

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