Schindler’s List

I recently watched Schindler’s List and it was a very intense experience. You can read the movie reviews elsewhere, so I will just share transcripts (shamelessly stolen from wikiquote) of two dialogs that I really liked:

Goeth: You know, I look at you. I watch you. You’re not a drunk. That’s, that’s real control. Control is power. That’s power.
Schindler: Is that why they fear us?
Goeth: We have the fucking power to kill, that’s why they fear us.
Schindler: They fear us because we have the power to kill arbitrarily. A man commits a crime, he should know better. We have him killed and we feel pretty good about it. Or we kill him ourselves and we feel even better. That’s not power, though, that’s justice. That’s different than power. Power is when we have every justification to kill – and we don’t.
Goeth: You think that’s power.
Schindler: That’s what the emperors had. A man stole something, he’s brought in before the emperor, he throws himself down on the ground, he begs for mercy, he knows he’s going to die. And the emperor pardons him. This worthless man, he lets him go.
Goeth: I think you are drunk.
Schindler: That’s power, Amon. That is power. [gestures toward Goeth as a merciful emperor] Amon, the Good.
Goeth: [He smiles and laughs] I pardon you.

You can watch “control is power” on youtube.

Stern: We’ve received an angry complaint from the Armaments Board. The artillery shells, tank shells, rocket casings, apparently all of them have failed quality-control tests.
Schindler: Well, that’s to be expected – start-up problems. This isn’t pots and pans. This is a precise business. I’ll write them a letter.
Stern: They’re withholding payment.
Schindler: Sure. So would I. So would you. I wouldn’t worry about it. We’ll get it right one of these days.
Stern: There’s a rumor you’ve been going around miscalibrating the machines. They could shut us down, send us back to Auschwitz.
Schindler: I’ll call around, find out where we can buy shells, pass them off as ours.
Stern: I don’t see the difference. Whether they’re made here or somewhere else.
Schindler: You don’t see a difference? I see a difference.
Stern: You’ll lose a lot of money, that’s the difference.
Schindler: Fewer shells will be made. Stern, if this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I’ll be very unhappy.

12 thoughts on “Schindler’s List

  1. Hollywood melodrama, meh. An intelligent non-documentary movie about WWII still needs to be made.

  2. Go make it, then ;)

    But seriously, which movies do you like and consider intelligent?

    By the way, I watched The Pianist yesterday. While it was an intense movie and I enjoyed it, the dialogues in Schindler’s List were just way better.

  3. Schindler’s List is great. One of the very rare movies which touches me on an emotional level, rather than just presenting itself for my intellectual scrutinization.

  4. Kubrick: “Doctor Strangelove”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “Full Metal Jacket”
    Terry Gilliam: “Brazil”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “12 Monkeys”
    David Lynch: “Lost Highway”
    Andrei Tarkovsky: “Stalker”, “Solaris”
    Michael Mann: “Heat”, Michael Slinger: “The Usual Suspects”, Danny Boyle: “Trainspotting”
    Tarantino: “Reservoir Dogs”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Jackie Brown”
    Pedro Almodovar: “La Mala Educacion”, Coppolla: “Apocalypse Now Redux”
    Ridley Scott: “Blade Runner” (Director’s cut), Sofia Coppola: “The Virgin Suicides”
    Lars von Trier: “Idioterne”, Werner Herzog: “Fitzcarraldo”

    The Pianist really sucks. A slew of stereotypical “evil” Germans, with the token “good” German with a noble face thrown in. It’s ridiculous really. If you want to see a serious film about the war, go see “Shoah” by Claude Lanzmann.

  5. “The Pianist” sucks and “Pulp Fiction” is a good movie? How can you even write that in one post? :-P

    For me, Pulp Fiction might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (I haven’t seen many, though). What’s so great about it?

    On a completely unrelated note, today I was asked to go see “Lost Highway” tomorrow. Although I didn’t really feel like going, seeing it in your list made me reconsider :)

  6. The legendary, typical Tarantino dialogues! And.. style, visual style, script, acting, music, memorable and colorful characters. Oh and did I mention the visual style? And the characters and their lines..?

    Just not you kind of movie I guess. I remember being surprised when you burned it in one of your blog posts :-)

  7. Oh, and I don’t think you will like Lost Highway. The story is very unusual and disjointed, and presented in a very.. strange way. It may just seem a collection of bizarre scenes to you (his later movies went too much in this direction). With Lynch it is always as much about atmosphere and his amazing filming, as it is about the story.

    Imo you should see Brazil or one of the Kubrick movies. Kubrick is by far my favorite director.

  8. Ok, so I even went through Pulp Fiction dialogues on wikiquote to make sure I haven’t missed anything… and… nope, I haven’t :-|
    The visual style… ok… it was kind of good, I admit.

    Still I can’t get rid of the feeling that the movie didn’t even try to get some message accross.

    As for Lost Highway… I’ll just decide tomorrow based on my momental mood ^^

  9. Didn’t “even” try to get a message across? So every movie has to have some kind of message? I begin to fear you reaction to Lost Highway… If you see it, please post you opinion :-)

    Tarantino’s style of dialogue is not one which you can quote somewhere and marvel how much substance it has, like the ones you quoted from Schindler’s List. It’s street language, a parody and tribute to 80-ies gangster movies, with a quite witty kind of humor. The exchange about french fries and bic macs is for example pretty much a classic (and I find it quite funny). There is a lot of wit, humor and juggling with conventions in how the situations are played out.

    But I think I can see how all of this may not be one’s cup of tea…

  10. “Pulp Fiction” deserves recognition as a work of art for the nonchronological order alone. Have you even thought about what order the events in the movie take place?

    As for message, you did notice that Vincent ends up dead, whereas Jules doesn’t, right? Of course, there’s some christianized bla-bla around it which makes one want to ignore it, but still, it’s there.

    Of course, anything by Kubrick is better, yeah…

  11. Yes, I noticed the nonchronological order… but it was more frustrating than interesting to me (same as in Kafka’s “Der Process” – which means, by the way, that it wasn’t that original in Pulp Fiction ;)).

    As for the message – I think you did your best trying to find it. :P
    I have to agree that it’s an interesting point (and I admit I didn’t realize it).

    I guess I’m going to watch something by Kubrick, since everyone seems to recommend him (not only here but generally).

  12. You could try Space Odyssey (Kubrick) if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s classic (though kinda weird, I’ve never seen it whole way through). Or if you want to take my advice, go to see Interstate 60, K-Pax or Butterly Effect. I wouldn’t say that those are top class movies, but they are all likeable (me and my sister’s favourites) which even can carry some message. But maybe you should see Interstate 60 only after some time, first I want to ask you some questions in real life ;).

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