Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Top 100 Tuesday #8 - Schindler's List

Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition)
Schindler's List (1993)

Liam Neeson
Ralph Fiennes

If you've seen this movie, post your thoughts in the comments, and link back to your blog and any review you may have written. If you chose not to watch, you can write about why.

Next Tuesday...Vertigo


  1. Schindler's List became an instant classic, as much because of its focus as the quality of its filmmaking.

    It's beautifully shot in black and white, which takes nothing away from the brutality, but doesn't let the brutality overshadow the humanity. Spielberg knows the human eye is drawn to red, and there's a lot of blood in this movie. The eye might follow it and miss facial expressions and other details. It's not a movie about gore.

    The story is not just of Oskar Schindler's slow redemption over the course of the war, and his growing attempts to keep a small group of Jewish workers alive and relatively safe, working in his factory. It's also of the struggles of some of those workers outside of the factory. Spielberg juxtaposes Schindler's life of luxury and political gamesmanship against the workers' starvation and constant fear.

    Ben Kingsley was brilliant as Itzak Stern, the factory accountant who started the safe haven policy without Schindler knowing about it.

    I liked Liam Neeson's Schindler, who grew in understanding, but remained smarmy in so many ways. I especially liked how Schindler altered that characteristic smarminess ever so slightly to get what he wanted from the Nazis.

  2. I only saw this movie once, in the theater. The experience was so wrenching I can't sit through it again.

    To be honest, I don't recall Kingsley at all, except in a scene at a typewriter keyboard where he looks at Schindler and says, "The list is life."

    Instead, it's the visuals I recall. The kids under the mattress, the child in the outhouse, the girl in the red coat (the only color in the whole movie). Spielberg did an exceptional job.

    I credit the script and Neeson for the rest of the movie's power. If Schindler had been a squeaky-clean hero, the movie would not have been as powerful. His imperfections are, in a way, an indictment of everyone who *doesn't* act when they see evil. You don't have to be superhuman to be humane, or a hero to behave heroically. We can each do what we can.

    As you can see, this movie will stay with me forever!