I try often to be a good son to my mother, and it’s not my fault she has to constantly bail my ass out of a Turkish Prison. Danny told me those VCRs were legit, and it is NOT my fault that he duped me and I wound up owing the Russian Mob Five large and…anyway, I try to be a good son. Every Saturday my puppy Huckleberry and I drive to my parents place and we spend the day talking, walking, paying video games, and watching movies. Since it’s Memorial Day, and in the Smith House it’s tradition to spend the day watching War Movies, I arranged us to watch in order Patton, The Longest Day, and Catch-22. The last film was not what I expected, and while I was embarrassed to end the day on such a disappointment my mother was in fact inspired by the film and managed to write a small blurb of her impression.
Here it is for your enjoyment. I hope you love it as much as I do and I’m not just saying that because she gave birth to me or convinced Sergei to forgive and forget the Five Large…Ahem. Enjoy.
Patton, The Longest Day, Catch-22. Cinematic War
All over the United States this weekend we celebrate Memorial Day! We stand together in humble appreciation of the bravery and sacrifice made by our soldiers, both men and women who lost their lives on the battlefield protecting our freedom. In honor and remembrance Jammer carefully selected three movies for the family to mark the occasion. Thank you Jammer, for Saturday and for thinking enough of my thoughts to share them here with your own readers. love, mom
Recently I watched a movie marathon of these three in that order. The first two I’ve seen so many times that I confess I only half watched them, occasionally whispering lines under my breath and knowing exactly where the film was going. Catch-22, however was all new for me and I intently took it in. It gripped me with both interest and disturbance. It ended and I struggled to figure why this movie left me feeling more ill at ease than the others. It was after all a truly fantastic depiction of how war is crazy inside and out. Even in its pursuit of liberation war leaves a nightmare on all it touches. That’s the irony of war. To eliminate horrible things, horrible things must be done. However, in conversation with others I realized that for a man this movie would be heavy but with doses of humor to keep it all moving. While for a woman it was a reminder that throughout history women have been viewed as something to own or use, a commodity if you will. There was no redeeming feminine in the movie. Women were either objects or unworthy. Many war movies can leave one with a sense of purpose or hope. That the very act of trying to make the world a better place for all of us gives it worth. That ultimately there is hopefulness in the brotherhood bonds of soldiers at the front of the atrocities. Or in the romantic bonds of man and woman. I once read a beautiful passage about woman being respite for man after the toil and struggle of the world. It gives us faith that there is something beyond the horror. Should a war movie do that? Give hope I mean. I don’t have an answer to that. Each movie is what it is. What we learn from it depends on where we come from and how open we are. I can only speak for myself. Catch-22 is a finely crafted story depicting the true insanity and full depravity of what war is with the added after taste for a woman of wondering – is that all I am at the end of the day.
About the Author:
Suzanne Smith is, apart from the host writer’s mother, an independent writer, thinker, caretaker, artist, and is beloved by a host of dogs that follow her from room to room. When not tending to the needs of her family she is an avid scholar of the Tarot, Art History, and Astrology specifically how the three inform one another. Her hobbies include reading, watching films, taking walks through the woods, and writing her memoirs. She’s married with two children, though she also owns three fur childrens, and spends most of her contemplating reality and wondering why more and more members of society don’t take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures like eating cookies and peanut butter for breakfast.