All Quiet on the Western Front’s primary purpose is to depict the horrors and realities of war and reactions of soldiers towards it. Remarque recounts WWI from the perspective of the defeated, Germany, just after the war was finished. It makes no attempt to glamorise war, instead describing the life of “a generation destroyed by war. ” Remarque uses this book as a voice of the fallen. All Quiet on the Western Front secretly criticises the German government and military for persuading young men to go to war. For this reason, the book was burned and banned in Germany.
The book also shows how war has physical and psychological effects on men. Band of Brothers is a television series that follows the “Easy Company”. Easy company is part of the United States Army. The series is set in WWII in Europe. WWII is more than 50 years before the series in made. It is important to note, that this film shows heroism of these men. This is mainly because the director wants to engage the audience of America. Americans believe that they are victors and for this series to be appealing this needs to be shown. However the horrors of war are still established as well as the soldiers reactions.
The director of this series changes the soldiers reactions however towards the end. Mateship and heroism in these dark times are shown to greatly contrast All Quiet on the Western Front’s themes. Band of Brothers shows a variety of battle scenes that reveal different reactions of soldiers. In “Day of Days”, the attack against the artillery gun at the end of the episode is made by soldiers who are fresh to the experience of war. The attack, although confusing to the Audience at times, is organised and orders are given and followed with clarity.
Historically this attack is still used by WestPoint as an example of fine military action. The director used some shaky cameras to illustrate the shell fire and the soldiers movements. There are some partially obscured POVs shots helps the audience to sense realism of the event. However mostly the camera shots are midshot and longshot. This gives the audience a relative sense of order to the sequence. The audience is well orientated. Given that this attack is considered to be a American Military Achievement, it is unlikely that the director would use cinematography to reflect chaos of such event.
In contrast to the surprise attack in the episode “Last Patrol” shows different reactions from the soldiers. In this, the soldiers have been engaged in the warfare for some months. Although battle hardened, they are disillusioned with war. The episode emphasises how the soldiers are willing for the war to be over. They are resentful of being asked to cross the river and to take German POWs and know the risks well. When assaulting the building, after Jackson ran into the explosion of his own grenade, there is a change in cinematic techniques. During this sequence a swinging camera coupled with multiple shots is used.
This emphasises the chaos as the view takes the role of one of the soldiers in the room constantly moving the sightline. It also close ups to the soldiers’ faces emphasising their emotion. The sounds are chaotic and loud. This disorientates the viewer. THe director has used these techniques to show how risky the situation is. The director in this episode shows this point of view as he has more freedom. He no longer needs to produce the idea of the “American hero. ” After crossing the river, they go into the basement. Here it is also chaotic.
The soldiers are confused and are not in control as they gather around Eugene who is dying. After his death there is a stop in the gunfire, emphasising the shock. Eugene, the medic has a voice over giving a personal view on the death. “He enrolled young” makes the viewer feel sympathetic for the soldier. In All Quiet on the Western Front, there are many examples of the reactions of soldiers. In battle, soldiers act violently in order to survive. They “have turned into dangerous animals. ” This shows that they use instinct to kill without any real hesitations. They need to do this to survive.
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