We had a previous thread announcing the film's UK release last October, but I thought we should start one to discuss the film now that it has been released both across the UK via BBC, as well as in select US theaters. Here is the link to the previous thread: http://www.worldmili...rings-director/
SPOILER ALERT! I will not mention much of the film content as many may not have seen it yet, but in the interests of discussion details of the film may be discussed below.
This is an interesting film. As far as I know it has been released (as of 12/18/2018) as a 3D experience (I expect that the BBC broadcast was not 3D) in all US theaters showing it. That effect combined with the colorized and edited footage of the period makes an effective set, with the voice overs from WWI veterans recounting their memories being the primary 'story'. Unlike most documentaries, it does not rely on a narrator per se, as the voices of the veterans are acting as de facto narrator. I believe there is another chance to view the film in theaters on December 27th, 2018 (check to see if you have a theater nearby that is showing it on that date).The film uses footage taken during WWI, from the collections of the Imperial War Museum. The film is thus focused on the experiences of veterans who served in the British Expeditionary Force in France, during WWI.
On a positive note, the turnout among ticket holders was excellent. I have heard that from many (and witnessed it first hand), with a line longer than I have personally seen at a theater in over 15 years. Seating seemed to be over 80% filled. Only a couple rows of seats in the very front of the screen appeared unfilled. Hopefully the film will spur more interest in a war too long ignored. It seemed that the viewers coming in to be seated ranged from their 20s to 70s. The interest in the film seems to have been high, and the reaction of late arrivals seemed to be one of surprise that so many were seated even before the film started.
Our screening was preceded by some WWI themed trivia projected on the screen, as well as a short discussing the need for a WWI Memorial in Washington DC. Viewers were told that if they wished to stay, there would be a special 30-minute 'making of' film that would follow after 'They Shall Not Grow Old' had ended. It seemed that maybe a couple of dozen people left once the main film was over, but the majority of the audience appeared to stay, and it was worth seeing the 30-minute program. It detailed how the project came to be, as well as various techniques used to restore the film footage used, the audio, and of course the colorization of black and white footage. I do not know if the next screening will have the short, but those interested may wish to stay and view it. It helps to explain some of the choices of the director, and how he felt some things could not fit into the film.