..ESCAPING THE NAZIS!!..
Ok there is more to it than that. But yeah. Though December 25th passed and hope y’all had fun..we are still in this season til 6th January. So I thought some more about the connections between those classics often shown in this fortnight.
They need not be ‘about’ Xmas or even set there. But escape is key (just as the holiday is itself for escape/recharge before new year dawns). Specifically, from those prize baddies the NAZIS..with help from the conflicted collaborator, inspiration from a beautiful muse and the thrill of the chase on your side..
- The Sound of Music
It’s a definitive love story, musical, adventure, social commentary, mini biopic. Julie Andrews is adorable! Bit like Sally off Coronation Street crossed with Amanda Davies off CNN. The advance of the Nazis is a true menace, conveyed via the raising of an enemy flag, the forced overnight culture change and the absolute need to get away from such evil.
The love story angle is a bit soap operatic. Seriously. Rick could be Dirty Den. Days of our Lives stuff, even. But at its core? A truly noble sense of heroism and adventure: romance at a cost, defined by sacrifice and missed opportunity in service of a higher cause. And yes, you go to Casablanca, in part to escape Nazis.
- The Great Escape
Enjoy the schoolboy fun of escape from Nazis. Steve McQueen is coolness personified, via that bike chase he choreographed himself. Also, the sense of deliberately winding up the camp administrators as badge of honour. Yes, the ending has some dark turns. But on the whole, an upbeat escape and chase film..evading NAZIS!
- Star Wars (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi).
Keep it simple! The Empire are Nazis in space. Vader even sounds Germanic. Storm-troopers. Grand Moffs. Pure Nazi. Merge that with sci-fi visuals and space age soap opera via western fairy-tale and bingo: the best! Empire Strikes Back is particularly relevant here, due to its use of snow and the sense of rebels under siege, on the run etc.
- INDIANA JONES
Ok, he only fights Nazis in two of his four (soon to be five) films. But they are his best enemy. They have an obsession with discovery and civilisation, whilst trashing both. Indy by contrast seems initially, the force of disorder and disrespect, invading sacred tombs. And yet? It is our eponymous, intrepid, indomitable archaeologist who proves the best hope and last stand against the nasty Nazis as they burn books, steal artefacts and plot a reign of darkness.
There are others, naturally. Nazis = bad but GREAT as the ultimate personification of evil for the heroes to defeat. Transcends politics. Good and survival, morality, democracy, civilisation itself as the prizes worth saving, against the clock. The first ‘shared universe’?
The word ‘Nazi’ has been trivialised over years of pseudo-debate on social media. You MUST take offence if EVER called one, even in haste /jest. NEVER forget: this was the greatest evil on a mass scale of organisation. And that could happen again. However tough times are right now? We remain very lucky relative to those who were faced with the encroaching armies of such demonic darkness.
Belated Merry Christmas (it’s there til January 6th). Watch great movies. Stay safe/warm etc. God Bless us, everyone! x