Friday Night Flicks explores the Great War

Jul 02, 2014
Trench warfare is depicted in gritty detail in the original “All Quite on the Western Front.”

Belfast — The summer of 2014 marks the centennial of the beginning of the First World War. Over the century, many great films have been made set during the war and reflecting on the issues raised by one of history’s greatest cataclysms. In commemoration, Belfast Free Library’s free Friday Night Flicks film series will present eight cinematic representations of the war. All films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the library’s Abbott Room and are presented free of charge.

The adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1930, will lead off the series on July 11. Showing the war from the point of few of a group of young German soldiers, it was banned in France for being too pro-German … and banned as anti-German by the Nazis.

“Paths of Glory” will be shown on July 18. When a French army unit mutinies, four soldiers are chosen by lot to be court-martialed. Kirk Douglas stars as the officer who defends them in this early Stanley Kubrick classic.

“Behind the Lines,” originally released in the United Kingdom under the title “Regeneration,” will be shown July 25. This is the story of the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, who both served during the war and met in hospital, where they were among the first soldiers ever treated for “shell shock” — now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The series will run through August, screening “A Very Long Engagement” (2004, France/USA) Aug. 1; “The African Queen” (1951, USA) Aug. 8; “Grand Illusion” (1937, France) Aug. 15; “Gallipoli” (1981, Australia), Aug. 22; and “War Horse” (2011, USA). The library is downtown, at 106 High St.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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