Beginning tonight, one of South Florida’s bold little indie cinemas will recognize Memorial Day weekend with a mini film festival of war-related films. O Cinema will host screenings for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and Kathryn Bigelow’s the Hurt Locker. Each screens one night, beginning this Friday and continuing through the weekend. The capper, however, arrives Monday with the epic battle for Middle Earth: the Peter Jackson’s entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy— the extended editions (that’s over 11 hours).

The weekend starts with Inglourious Basterds. I spent 2010 bitching at the lack of recognition for this film during Oscar® season. There are just too many good scenes and set pieces to single out one, so here’s its trailer:

Stanley Kubrick’s film screens the following day. What to say about Kubrick (my MA thesis subject, by the way)? He is a true master, and the effort he puts into every second of his movies shows. He does not waste a single frame. Though Full Metal Jacket is typical Kubrickian perfection, as a student of Jung, I do have a favorite scene. After Private Joker (Matthew Modine)  explains “Born to Kill” and a peace sign drawn on his helmet as a reference to “The duality man” to a questioning colonel (Bruce Boa: “What is that? Some sort of sick joke?), the colonel gives a pregnant pause and delivers one of the best lines in the movie:

As for the Hurt Locker, It won the Oscar® over Avatar for best picture, but barely anyone saw it. No one should doubt the skills of director Bigelow, and this movie, too, should not be missed as a great example of the modern war film. Early in the film she sets the intense tone with this scene featuring Guy Pearce as part of a bomb disposal team:

Monday will be something for the serious film nerd. There are epic battles galore (of course including the one between and that great creature of the underworld noted in the title of this post and Gandalf [Ian McKellen]). However, the film is filled with many great human moments thanks to the talent of the actors and Jackson’s patience in leading up to the action sequences. One of my favorite interactions comes early in the trilogy when Gandalf visits the hobbit Bilbo (Ian Holm) about the ring of power.

See O Cinema’s schedule of events for individual tickets. All current and former military personnel will be treated to a free beer and a small popcorn during the weekend films.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2012 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)