Archive for the ‘1981’ Category

Chariots Of Fire – **

Posted: May 30, 2018 in 1981, Drama, Sportsdrama, UK, XX

This wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be!

Two British athletes want to win a race at the Paris Olympics from 1920. One is a devote Christian Scotsman and the other is a Jewish Englishman. The former wants to win to honor God, who gave him the gift to run fast. The latter wants to win to show that being Jewish isn’t all that bad. There’s one major obstacle for the Christian runner: the qualifications are organized on a Sunday! It’s 1920, the guy is devote, he decides to pick ‘God over King’ (the Prince of Wales begs him to run) and refuses to participate.

The synopsis is known. The outcome as well. So, it’s not like the movie has any suspense. I visit St Andrews and mention this story, this movie and its iconic opening scene on the beach every single time. But, watching the movie felt like a forced task. However, once you accept the fact that this is a British historical sports drama made in 1981 about a period of time that is almost a century ago, it’s not that bad. The acting is theatrical. The running is ridiculous. The music by Vangelis is classic vintage synth-strumental. But somehow, in the end, it’s not all that bad.

In a time when muslims are frowned upon for choosing Allah over the laws of the country they live in, it’s a good reminder that Christians also chose God over loyalty to their nation.

Gallipoli – ***

Posted: February 18, 2014 in 1981, Australia, Historical, War, XXX

This remarkable movie features a young Mel Gibson as a runner in the Australian army. This WWI drama is unique in that it’s only a war movie in the last twenty minutes or so and that the first 90 minutes are an introduction to the very last scene. It never bores and excels with its cinematography, great period setting and silly humour. Mel Gibson is excellent even though he has more of a supporting role. The main focus lies with a young runner who prefers to go to war than train to become the nation’s best sprinter. After winning a competition, he is considered too young to join. But with persistence and the help of an – ironically – anti-war athlete (Gibson), he does manage to join up and leave for North Africa, where he later meets his runner buddy again.

This movie came to my intention after visiting the war memorial in Canberra where you get bombarded by tales of the Anzac spirit. The battle at Gallipoli (a place in Turkey, which sided with the Germans) has left a strange heroic impression on Australians. Strange because the battle was a massacre and thousands died. It’s a weird symbol of bravery and pride. But the movie makes you understand all the fuss a bit more. THe story only focuses on he battle at the final end and builds up to it in a poetic and enjoyable way. It’s patriotic for sure and a tad racist at one point (upon arrival in Egypt), but it feels real.