Field of Lost Shoes

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ELCID1995, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. ELCID1995

    ELCID1995 Member

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    Watched the movie today and was greatly moved by the courage of those Virginia boys. Especially enjoyed the modern parade scenes at VMI.
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Can I ask where you were able to find the movie? Living in Massachusetts, it didn't make it to any theaters around here that I know of, but I would like to see it. Is it on Netflix?
     
  3. ELCID1995

    ELCID1995 Member

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    Go to youtube and type in the title and one of the options will be the full length film.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Just watched it on Amazon. Not bad-won't win any film awards, but lots of good shots of modern day VMI and the New Market Parade.
    For those interested- 257 Cadets were engaged in the Battle (of 280 Cadets at VMI at the time- 23 remained in Lexington on Sick Call or post guard). The Cadets marched about 90 miles in 3 days to reach New Market, and in their assault that captured a gun as well as a number of prisoners from the 34th Massachusetts Regiment, the Corps suffered a 26% casualty rate -10 killed and 57 wounded.

    http://www.vmi.edu/archives.aspx?id=3911

    Each year the Corps holds the New Market parade to commemorate the battle and reads off the names of the 10 Cadets killed. 6 of those Cadets are buried at the base of the statue "Virginia Mourning her Dead" which was sculpted by the subsequently word renowned Moses Ezekiel who fought in the battle as a Cadet (interestingly- Moses Ezekiel was the first Jewish Cadet at VMI and is buried at Arlington Cemetery where his headstone reads "Sergeant of Company C, Battalion of Cadets, Virginia Military Institute".) The names of those cadets killed : Cadets Atwell, Cabell, Crocket, Hartsfield,Haynes, Jefferson,Jones, McDowell, Stanard and Wheelwright. Interesting tidbit- the Cadet in the movie who was the son of the former Virginia Governor Henry Wise, became a Republican congressman from Virginia after the War until the Republicans were swept from power in the South at the end of Reconstruction when the Republicans were seen as "Carpetbaggers". He then moved to New York to practice law.
     
  5. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    It's up on Netflix now
     
  6. USNAco2019hopeful

    USNAco2019hopeful Member

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    The full movie is on Youtube as well.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Damn. And I bought a digital copy on VUDU a few weeks ago!
     
  8. Justin Facts

    Justin Facts Banned

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  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't disagree with you. But if you're a Civil War buff you have to see it anyway!
     
  10. Justin Facts

    Justin Facts Banned

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    kinnem - Absolutely. There are certain subjects I will go and see every movie made ... except if it is an adapted musical with white gloves, leotards and twirling rifles. ;-) My last girlfriend used to love musicals so I've sat through a few and tried to give it an open mind.

    In the case of Field of Lost Shoes, I kept asking myself "Why did they make this movie?" Well, besides being a "valentine" for VMI, I believe it was Thomas Farrell's way of giving a gift to history and Virginians. He's under a lot of public fire from environmentalist and historical organizations for running power lines across historic sites so now he will be able to point to a film he "wrote" and bankrolled and make a case that he cares deeply about history while he continues to scar up the landscape with huge, ugly steel lattice structures. It's actually difficult to see a film anymore without power lines in the background, so they must have been creative about filming angles.

    For me, being a film buff, I followed this effort closely. Some of the early screenings and reviews were tightly controlled and gave it a rating over 8 points on IMDb. Not believable in my opinion. Then, as it hit public viewing, it sunk closer to 5 points. Personally, it was refreshing to see that Hollywood may be one of the last artistic venues not influenced by politics ... even though Hollywood is influenced by politics. ;-)
     
  11. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    as a "film buff" which part of Hollywood do you find not influenced by politics? That seems like a pretty remarkable statement to describe what is arguably the most heavily politicized segment of the country. And should you ever visit the New Market Battlefield you will discover that it is relatively unchanged and what has been changed is easily corrected by digital manipulation. As far as why Tom Farrell bankrolled this? I suspect because he is a well known Civil War buff who has the resources to do what he is interested in and because it is an interesting story. I take it you don't like Dominion Power, but seems to me that you are letting your politics cloud your review.

    In particular which part did you find "not believable"? In my opinion it was a rather "wooden portrayal" but from everything I can read- most of the story is a pretty accurate portrayal of the actual people involved. For those who are interested you can read a lot of information about the Battle and the people involved in the VMI archives : http://www.vmi.edu/Archives/Civil_War/New_Market/Battle_of_New_Market_Home/
     
  12. AJC

    AJC Member

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    In the movie business everyone is a director until they prove otherwise.
     
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  13. Justin Facts

    Justin Facts Banned

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    Sure, I'd be happy to provide answers to your questions, but first -- Why did you put quotes around my claim of being a film buff? Was that a snipe? Do you feel it was an ambiguous term? Opinions on creative work tend to be widely diverse, so as long as people are willing to respectfully defend their opinion I believe that everyone is on equal footing. I can list my credentials in the film and television industry but does it matter? What credentials would I need for you to feel comfortable to remove your quotes from film buff?

    Film buff was a better choice IMHO than film critic. There are no professional credentials required for film critic but people tend to expect some kind of paid employment in a magazine, newspaper or other outlet but anyone can call themselves a film critic.

    I would be more than happy to answer your questions posed to me on politics and film and what I did not feel were believable segments of "Field of Lost Shoes" if I can understand the context of your sincerity. I just don't want to account for an If-Then scenario. So, again bruno -- Why did you put quotes around my claim of being a film buff?
     
  14. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Gee Justin- per your own post you are a self described "film buff" . Quotation marks are in fact correct- I am quoting you. Is that inaccurate? Are you not comfortable being described by your own term? As far as your credentials- Who gives a darn what your credentials are to offer an opinion on a movie? Are those now needed to offer up an opinion on a movie ? You watch a lot of movies so I suppose that you have pretty much the same credentials as anyone else who watches movies. However, since you've offered up a critique about the "believability" of the movie, (and offered some not very flattering reasons couched in what appears to be politically motivated commentary of your own on why the guy who funded the movie did so, and made the rather remarkable assertion that "Hollywood may be one of the last artistic venues not influenced by politics " -which certainly is a unique observation shared by few inside or outside of Hollywood) - I would think you would not be too surprised that someone asks you to expand your comments. As a self described "film buff" I would think that you would indeed be happy to elaborate on what you liked or didn't like about the movie. Every other "film buff" in the free world likes to talk about the movie they just watched and why they liked it or didn't- so why else would you post if not to do so yourself ? It wasn't a musical so what did you find "unbelievable"?
     
  15. Justin Facts

    Justin Facts Banned

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    As a "film goer", or "somebody that has watched the film" just doesn't have the same context as what I meant by "film buff". I don't want a handle to get in the way of respectful discourse.

    Scenes - I've read your posts over the past few months and you strike me as a man that has a deep respect for war heroes. I've run into many Civil War enthusiasts that have passionate and admirable respect for the leaders, troops and battles surrounding these events. The large elephant in the room when one talks about the South is whether it was about secession, the right to keep slaves, or many other debatable reasons. It is odd that many of the grunts on the Southern side were not slave owners and mostly fought for the more wealthy Southerners to keep slaves. Specific to the film "We should not be fighting to keep people in chains." and other debates were good points, but as the review I posted above said, it struck me as odd that none of the Southern troops held any negative feelings for blacks. Even "Django Unchained", as fictional as it was, tried to have realistic dialogue and situations reflecting the period.

    Politics - What I meant by film buff is that I like to follow a movie in context to its development and creation. Kind of similar to someone that says they want to read the book before they see a film, it expands or creates a more enjoyable experience. To each his/her own. I followed the politics of fracking as well as the controversy over the funding of "Promised Land", but I didn't feel it framed, or interfered with my viewing experience. It gave me a greater context in which to watch the film. I actually enjoyed "Promised Land", as it presented both sides of a controversial, politically driven issue and let the viewers decide. This, is in stark contrast to "Field of Lost Shoes", which I felt tried to spoon feed revisionist history. This is what I found hard to accept and made me cringe. That's how it struck me. That's my opinion and as you say, we all are entitled to our opinions whether we are movie goers or we are film buffs.

    Even though it seems like there were many, there were actually very few political films made. "Primary Colors" was a rare exception but that was more about the process than the ideology. Hollywood is very sensitive to an injection of politics, as they don't tend to do very well on the silver screen and have niche audiences. It is a purely business decision and Hollywood has done a great job of insulating the artists from the suits. Many with a strict political agenda are routed to HBO or another outlet. Viewing audiences are extremely sophisticated and pick up quickly on whether they are being spoon fed a viewpoint. Controversial subjects are best done with offering both points of view and letting the viewer decide, much like news.

    Dominion - (or really large energy companies in general) I have parsed both sides of what is happening in this arena. The national politics are favorable right now for a land grab under eminent domain. This extends to not only power line transmission, but liquid natural gas (LNG). They can tap into the shale deposits, but they need the highway. The energy companies do not have to demonstrate need, so any expansion of infrastructure can be passed onto the ratepayer (i.e. you and I). Its a great deal for the energy companies -- expand your infrastructure at no risk to investment and if it is determined there is no need, well, you have the expanded infrastructure at no cost to you. Zero risk -- except for the ratepayer. Several larger projects that cross state lines have failed -- MAPP, PATH, TRAIL (to a large degree). Power companies have lost their taste for fighting grass roots efforts.

    Does all this background play into my viewing and appreciation of the context surrounding the development and making of Field of Lost Shoes? Absolutely. Does it negatively impact my ability to honestly evaluate the film on its entertainment value? I like to think not, but I will take your observations about my post under consideration. Maybe you are right on this point.

    Years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a screening of "Sideways" before its release. My girlfriend knew somebody that got us tickets. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and even laughed out loud on occasion. I did notice, however, that my girlfriend was not laughing, shifting in her chair and obviously not enjoying the movie as I was. When we were driving home, she chastised me for even laughing at such a "horrible" film. This reaction puzzled me so I asked her about why she was so upset. Her father had cheated on her mother and the marriage broke up when she was young. It was hard as the kids were shifted around and lived with the very woman that he cheated on his wife with, who became her step-mother. I had known about a little of this, but I was surprised that (or didn't give much thought to) she framed a movie with her experiences and thought they should never make a movie with that type of a theme. I offered that it allowed debate on the issue and one of the main characters even got his in the end due to his cheating ways, but this seemed to inflame her more that I did not hold the same opinion about the movie. That is a long way of my saying that I can appreciate the fact that we all bring a lot of experience and context to watching a film -- that's what makes it such an enjoyable experience, even when you want your money back.

    I paid to watch Field of Lost Shoes, so I may be able to consider myself an investor and helped to bankroll it as well. Yeah, far stretch. ;-)

    Hope this helps. Please let me know if I answered or evaded your questions. I hope I touched on everything. Great thread!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

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