Has anyone else seen the movie since its DVD release?
The Monuments Men(Hollywood film about Lincoln Kirstein et. al.)
Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:43 PM
I saw it on an airplane. Does that count?
It's a wonderful story that was given a pretty standard Hollywood treatment. It's not a great film, but not terrible either. No doubt it wouldn't pass muster among art professionals and historians, but I would hope that it could pique the interest of someone who hadn't been familiar with the Monuments Men before. During the last half year or so I came across little displays about them at a couple of museums, first at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and then at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Perhaps more visitors were prompted to stop and read them as a result of the movie. It may not have been the doing of the film itself, but having seen some of the pieces central to the plot, I couldn't help but be grateful that they had been rescued, and that sent some tingles up my spine and even made me a little teary.
Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:18 PM
60 Minutes repeated a program on the discovery of another cache of WWII looted art, and mentioned the monuments men as part of the background.
Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:33 PM
I've seen the DVD release. As someone said to me, it has the feel of an older Hollywood WWII film - one almost expects to see Van Johnson pop up. Unfortunately the film is not impactful, imo. And since the facts get skewed for the sake of making 2 hours of entertainment, it's not a place to go for real information. But as Vocanohunter stated, it may pique the interest of people who are unfamiliar with the this part of WWII. And the truth is far more involved and incredible (or horrifying) than the story this film portrays. I may have said this before, but the subject would have been much better served as an HBO series in the vein of Band of Brothers.
Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:01 AM
I also saw it on an airplane and for airplane viewing I thought it just hit the spot. More seriously (I guess), I appreciated what they were trying to do, but the writing was really paint-by-numbers Hollywood WWII flick.
Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:00 AM
Although the movie had many acclaimed stars, it often felt boring because of the poor writing. It wa okay as a DVD rental.
Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:40 AM
Wow. Thanks for the responses, everyone. Yes, airplane viewings count. Keep them coming!
Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:28 AM
I haven't seen the movie but looked at the trailer and it does look like an ironed-out Hollywood film, not without good Hollywood acting and cinematic values. Perhaps Clooney and the others wanted to retroactively cast themselves in a WWII high art film like "The Longest Day," remembered from childhood.
I was surprised to see on the long list of real-life Monument Men the names of Bernard Taper and Douglas Cooper, the Cubist art patron and historian. Cooper's bio includes this, with an interesting wrinkle at the end:
Among Cooper’s more important discoveries was the “Schenker Papers,” which were records from the Paris office of the primary German art shipper containing details of the illegal art transactions between French dealers and German buyers. From these documents Cooper was able to trace most, if not all, of the illegally acquired French art which had been sent to Germany. The papers also revealed the high level of involvement of German museums in the premeditated looting of Jewish collections.
Equally amazing to MFAA investigators was Cooper’s detailed investigation into the Swiss art trade during the war which revealed that many dealers and collectors were implicated in the trade of Nazi looted artworks. Cooper spent the month of February 1945 in Switzerland as a representative of the MFAA and the French Recuperation Commission, interrogating various dealers and collectors who worked with the Nazis, including Theodore Fischer of the Fischer Gallery, who conducted the infamous sale of “degenerate” artworks in 1939.
According to John Richardson, Cooper also ordered the arrest of the Swiss dealer Charles Montag, who had been involved in the liquidation of the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, however, he was mysteriously released by higher authority.
Undeterred, Cooper arrested him again, only to have his authority usurped once more by Winston Churchill, who came to the aid of Montag, his old friend and drawing instructor.
Clooney is now promoting the return of the Pantheon (sorry, wrong address!) marbles.
Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:57 AM
An interview with Anne Olivier Bell, aged 97, the only female member of the team.
The behaviour of other Allied forces disappointed her too.
“Some Americans, still in Germany, stole some of the art. They seemed to think they had a right to take away pictures as compensation for having to fight.” The Soviets had also removed pictures from where they had been stored in Berlin during the war. “Sadly, I found out that quite a few caught fire and were destroyed.”
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