The horror of the trenches leads many to face death and destruction head on. Colonel Dax (Douglas in a career defining role) is at the sharp end of the deaths, which are seemingly never ending. The problem he sees is that the higher command have no understanding of the horrors or their own absurdity. When a group of soldiers refuse to advance in a suicidal attack, three are chosen to face death, tried for an apparant act of cowardice. Dax, who was a lawyer in the former world is set to stand up for them at any cost.
Anti war and humanist in its reach, Paths of Glory stands tall as a film that honours life and reflects honestly on death. Forget Kubrick, in fact I will forget him here. I should not I know but he has a million words spent on his soul and 500 more are not needed. This film is a testament to a great actor and an even greater truth. The actor is Kirk Douglas, who is about to become 100 years young and god bless that man. This is his finest performance. He has personality, charisma, sweat and tenderness in his powerhouse performance.
To the star like this, a universal theme is needed. In Paths that universal theme is hubris. That is the hubris of those in a position to be ignorant of others. In the UK it is the middle class, liberal elites and conservative capitalists. The neo bourgeois if you like. That feel everyone is inferior to their ways of seeing. Here in the film it is the drivelling generals, that squander souls like ash from a cigar. This film calls them out to face a trial of their incompetence and idiocy. The saddest truth in all this is that many of the two sides, middle class liberal and conservative, wont get that this is aimed at them. They are the hypocrite, moron, soul destroyer and not the champion for those in lesser positions.
The Blu ray has some great things in its core. Hi Def presentation is lovely and the audio is clean compared to the old DVD. Ayoade interview is great and he is such a character but also an informed film maker on this work. Martin commentary is the highlight and so good I listened twice.
- High-definition digital presentation
- New video interview with Kubrick scholar Peter Kramer
- New video interview with filmmaker Richard Ayoade
- New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
- Original theatrical trailer
- English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
- Isolated music & effects track
- PLUS: A booklet featuring the words of Kubrick, and more!