Fragments of war

By mrswoolybill
First of a couple of reworked images from the Imperial War Museum, London. In 2015 we visited the then-new Great War exhibition in the basement. I uploaded some shots in b&w, this is the first appearance in colour.
There is a screen, made up of jagged, abstract cut-out shapes. A film is projected against it. It starts with an idyllic pastoral scene, blue sky, grassy meadow, birds singing.
Soldiers approach from the left, at first marching quite slowly, then they charge into the scene. Shots ring out, the men fall and gradually disappear into the meadow. The birdsong resumes.
A couple of minutes later it starts again. And again, and again, with a hideous sense of inevitability.
Thanks for looking,

Tags: Animation Specialist and abstract Imperial war museum Great war IWM London

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clevercloggs Plus
17 251 15 Netherlands
3 Mar 2021 7:57AM
my guess is that the repetition is a message of the unavoidable.
your description does give a sense of how the film is to be perceived again and again and again.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2466 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 8:20AM
Thanks Robert!
bluesandtwos 12 531 1 England
3 Mar 2021 8:29AM
A very moving exhibition.

I went with a friend of mine, a big lad of well over 6 feet, after watching it a couple of times he went pale, his knees buckled and I had to support him on the way to the cafe there for a restorative drink. It was, I think, as said above, the repeated inevitability that had suddenly got to him.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2466 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 8:35AM
Thanks Dave, I'm glad to find someone else who has seen this. Generally, we found the exhibition very unsatisfactory. It's designed to keep people moving through without lingering over items. Scarcely any translations of foreign language posters and cartoons, very little explanation generally for exhibits. But this bit was effective.
viscostatic 15 50 11 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 8:39AM
'The war to end all wars.' No such thing.

cats_123 Plus
17 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
3 Mar 2021 9:04AM
Quite disturbing scenario.
3 Mar 2021 9:27AM
strong graphics and a short but dramatic description
and i don't remember if I posted this video before:

3 Mar 2021 9:51AM
The photo reminds me of Russian propaganda posters during the war. Well taken
cooky Plus
17 6 6 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 10:19AM
Another instance in which an image replaces a thousand words. Well processed and a great title for this.

Have a good day.

3 Mar 2021 10:25AM
Has something of a Vorticist/Futurist feel about it, with the flat planes and forward momentum.
jacomes Plus
6 30 43 Portugal
3 Mar 2021 11:06AM
Needs looking at carefully to see the soldiers, and your graphic description is an essentila part of the image.
Loe's video link is moving, too rarely in Britain is the "other side's"view heard or seen.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2466 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 11:34AM
'They were ordinary men like me...'
Thanks for adding the link, Leo. I don't think you have posted it before but I know quite a bit about Stefan Westmann. He was a medical student, who served as an ordinary soldier in the Great War. The video is part of a long interview that he gave to the BBC as part of their Great War series in the 1960s. (All the interviews for the series are I think still available long-term on the BBC iplayer).
He ended up as a surgeon, working in London and also Scotland, and published at least one book on surgery in English. I have slightly mixed feelings - in another part of the interview he describes the killing of suspected partisans in France, and seems rather scathing about their claims to be innocent bystanders.
Thanks everyone. Ian and Alan - well the Vorticists and Soviet propaganda both had their roots in the WW1 so I guess the similarity is appropriate.
dales Plus
5 13 Australia
3 Mar 2021 11:53AM
Sends a very strong message of the dark times that were Moira
TrevBatWCC Plus
13 13 19 England
3 Mar 2021 11:59AM
A fine capture, Moira, looks quite abstract until you study it 👍
Trev 😀
mac Plus
20 13 Scotland
3 Mar 2021 12:33PM
This was supposed to the war to end all wars, but it seemed to lead to more conflicts. Good montage, Moira, which you can select parts to view and puzzle over.
saltireblue Plus
11 12.4k 78 Norway
3 Mar 2021 12:54PM
I can relate to the unstoppable relentlessness being seen on loop causing feelings of discomfort and stronger. The stuff of nightmares...

As a child I had nightmares after seeing the brooms scene in Disney's Fantasia. It wasn't necessarily brooms I saw, but whatever was depicted was unstoppable and I was helpless to do anything to stop it.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2466 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 1:07PM
Thanks folks. And thanks to Ian for the UA.
Malc, recurrent nightmares dig deep into our psyche...
Fefe Plus
10 61 37 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2021 5:34PM
Striking image Moira.
gpimages Plus
11 69 2 England
4 Mar 2021 8:32AM
A startlingly different image Moira.
Graham Wink
Interesting and thought-provoking image... Thanks for posting and your description Moira, I can imagine the horror and feeling of inevitability.
6 Mar 2021 4:13AM
Such a chilling image ...when humans turn into
Robot like killing machines or knowingly turn into cannon fodder . Indeed the stuff of nightmares.
Best regards

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