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Anglais - myths and heroes: How soldiers are portrayed in American war films?

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Myths and heroes

  This notion talks about Myths and Heroes. We’re going to try to define what a hero is. We can say that a hero is a person who is admired by the others, for his courage, qualifications and his ideas.

  The hero saves or protects persons against danger, threats or injustice. Heroes can be man or woman who have force, physical or mental. It exists different types of heroes, like mythological, cinema personalities and today heroes of everyday life. We can say that soldiers are heroes and that’s why we can link this notion at the theme War on Screen. How soldiers are portrayed in American war films? We are going to see how soldiers are represented in American war films and why they can be considerate like heroes. 

  How are soldiers portrayed in American war films ? First of all I'm going to present war films' main characteristics and the image of American soldiers in the world; in a second time, we will see that in reality the war is hard for soldiers who can go crazy.

  We studied many documents about the war, in particular some posters of famous films that deal with the theme of war. For example we analyze a war film poster, page 96. We can guess it because we can see soldiers. They are holding weapons, and wearing US army outfits. The film is called Tigerland and it was directed by Joel Schumacher in 2000. The scene probably take place in Vietnam because the name of the film which mentions "Tiger". The soldiers are in the shadow (the poster is not very colorful and can represent the war). They are presented as heroes, muscular, with a distant look. Practically all the war movies have a poster like this, the objective is to tempt the audience to go to see this movie. There is a lot of other examples: Black hawk down, The Dirty Dozen...

  The image of the American soldiers in movies is always very positive; them seem very confident, they know what they're doing and are very strong. We analyze war movies, obviously most war film are violent but there are various degrees of violence, some films are more violent than others, most of war film show violent battle scenes. Almost all war film are action-packed but many war films are also made to:

                                       → tell more about a war, or denounce a conflict which is unknown to people.

                                       → offer a new perspective on a major historical event;

                                       → convey a message about a particular war.

    →  The director gives his point of view about war in general. All the movies are criticized to express a preliminary opinion to the audience. A criticism of movie is made from four elements: dialogues, music, movements of cameras, and how play the actors.

  Then we studied the Vietnam war, we were interested in the soldiers having disputed during the Vietnam War through movies. We analyzed the poster of the movie Platoon from Oliver Stone realized in 1986. This conflict were very violent, we see a soldier who sits on the ground hands in the air as if he implored the sky to help him. Colors are very important because the importance of the green means that the hero is crushed by the nature which is foreign to him. War movies teach us many things on the soldiers in particular on their return their "normal" life, we can speak about the film Rambo realized by David Morell. The central figure John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone is a veteran of the Vietnam War and he is mentally very perturbed on returning to US.

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