They Shall Not Grow Old – a must watch

Grow Old

The different creative ways of honouring the bravery, courage and the lives that were given for ours has been in abundance of late, the reason being the centenary of Armistice day which has been on the agenda. One hundred years have passed since the arms fell silent but that doesn’t mean we have forgotten or will forget. CommunityAd informed readers of Danny Boyle’s Pages of the Sea in print and online, and now we turn to another film director doing incredible work to pay homage to the fallen soldiers.

Peter Jackson, who is mostly known for his retelling of Tolkien’s trilogies, The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit has utilised his knowledge and guile of special effects to turn hours of wartime footage from the Imperial War Museum into a documentary that looks so realistic it could have been filmed on your iPhone. The majority of the footage that Jackson would have been handed was filmed on handheld cranked cameras that would film 13-15 frames per second, meaning a single second is made up of 13-15 moving images. Modern audiences are used to seeing films at 24 frames per second or higher, Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy was filmed at 60 frames per second for example. So the original footage need slowing down so it didn’t appear jarring or Charlie Chaplin-esque, so Jackson and his team of the some  7,000 computers and 15,000 people created artificial frames to the footage making it easy on the aesthetic eye of the modern day viewer.

It goes without saying that this footage would have also been shaky, blurred, unclear as well as black and white, but brilliantly this like never before has been rectified to give a cinematic retelling that takes viewers through the training, then onto the front-line, and deep in the trenches. The stunning imagery is accompanied by archive recordings of the soldiers who did survive, recorded in the sixties, they retell vividly and surprisingly cheerily their memories of ‘The war to end all wars’.

For Jackson this project was also a personal one, his grandfather William Jackson fought in the war and the movie man was bought up on tales of his grandfather’s service. This cinematic feat, was broadcast on Armistice Day on BBC Two and is available for seven days on the BBC iplayer. CommunityAd fully recommend making time for it.




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