Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

The Nutters Club NZ's photo.

5 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. Will says:

    Anyone interested in a film review? At Andrei’s recommendation I watched ‘White Tiger,’ easily accessed on Youtube. Judging by the comments underneath, no-one understood it.

    The story is set on the Russian Front in WWII, but its timeless theme makes it highly relevant today. Superficially, the plot borrows from Moby Dick, the white whale becomes a Tiger Tank with an obsessive pursuing it. Actually this device works better than Melville’s; modern sensibilities struggle to accept a dumb, hunted animal as a malevolent, destructive entity. The enemy tank always appears on the Russians’ rear, wreaking havoc, then disappearing without a trace. A burned tank driver makes an impossible recovery, but has no memory of his past, only a mystical empathy with T34’s. They name him Niadyonov (found), give him a super T34; he is a weapon, forged and tempered in fire.

    The film ends with Russian victory of course, but Naidyonov remains alert at his post, his T34 armed and ready, while his comrades get drunk. “It is victory after all.” But he knows the ‘White Tiger is only damaged, it always comes back. He and his commander smoke cigarettes. “German?… French.” Tiny shrug. What’s the difference? Great close-ups of the mens’ faces. Then it cuts to a firelit interior that looks like something from Dante. Hitler chats to Satan (I think), Nietzshean utterances about war as a natural state, and the European project.

    There is a tradition in English literature, from Mallory through to Tolkien – danger lies in the East, salvation in the West. This Russian mirror image really makes you question what a united Europe means for the world. Conrad was the first to ask this in “Heart of Darkness,” so for me, “White Tiger” is Russia’s “Apocalypse Now,” it even has the same surreal, detached feel to it. And its every bit as good, the best film I’ve seen in a long time.

    I shall present it next time it’s my turn to host our local foreign film club night. Ha,They will sleep right through it, but what the hell?

  2. Andrei says:

    I had a feeling you’ld like that one Will

  3. Andrei says:

    One thing about the name the Tank Driver is is given Will

    Naydyonov Ivan Ivanovich ie Found, Ivan, Son of Ivan implying Found, a Russian, Son of Russia

  4. Will says:

    That makes more sense. Of course I had to rely on the translation which is never as good. I figured he was like a special weapon ‘found’ on the battlefield.

  5. Paul Scott says:

    There is some stuff about NATO increasing defence forces in parts of Europe. This is because Putin and Russia are bad. Putin looks nice, but is bad, whereas Hillary looks bad but is nice. Not.
    I don’t get it. Europe is being colonised and encourages its own demise, via EU and UN..
    So why would Russia be interested, in creating trouble there.
    The power blocks I can see are Russia, China and USA.
    I notice this reply sheet. marks bad spelling. It wants defence as defense, and colonise as colonize. ie. write northern American

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