Sunday, 27 November 2016

Twelve Wars to Christmas


So last year, I decided to run War Movie Week, which turned out to be a huge hit! The idea was basically that each day was broken into different eras, and I would randomly choose a film each day based on an overarching theme (World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Modern Warfare, Future Warfare). Because it was such a hit last time, I naturally thought it could be worth exploring again, and I started experimenting with ideas for new categories to explore, and what better way to take a step further than inviting other bloggers to join in.

Yes, I'm making this a mini blogathon! The idea is straight forward enough: the week is broken up so that each day focuses on a different topic related to an overarching theme. In this case, the theme is war, and each day focuses on a different conflict. For added effect, why not make this into a sort of advent calendar counting down the days until Christmas?

Before I can get into any details, I should probably take the time to note that I can't take full credit for this idea. I mean, yes, it was my idea to put this thing together and set it into motion, but recently I seem to have found myself turning a lot towards Wendell Ottley of Dell on Movies for advice. I'd just like to thank him for assisting me in coming up with the different topics.


No prior registration is required and you are under no obligation to post every day within the timeframe, so if you're only reading this on the 23, you still have time to enter. As long as you submit something on the appropriate day, it counts.

If you would like to join in, this is all you need to do...

  1. For each day that you wish to participate, choose a war film based on the designated era. See below for a full schedule.
  2. Watch your chosen war film and try to write something. It doesn't really matter what you write. You could just review a movie or provide a detailed analysis, or you could just write down some things you found interesting. As long as you have something, it is valid.
  3. Post what you wrote on the appropriate day, and send me a link. I'll include it at the end of my post.

And that's it. Once I've got my post together for each day, I can add in links to other participants. Feel free to comment on each other's posts or exchange recommendations. I'd be happy to hear any recommendations you have for films to look into, though I can't promise I'll be able to watch them for this particular event.


To set things in motion, and to set a tone for what will be coming over the month, I thought it made sense to go back to the beginning, to the first war ever fought by humanity. It is hard to verify exactly what the first war was, mainly because historical records do not go back to the birth of humanity, and it is hard to gain that type of information from fossils. Fortunately, I managed to get a camera crew and a time machine, so we went back and filmed the entire thing. Here is the official, definitive, irrefutable documentation of humanity's first war...

Now, here is the official schedule. It was difficult to come up with a good selection of choices, and I looked at several different versions of how to do this. I even considered doing this over the course of a month (which turned out not to be as feasible as I'd hoped). I talked to both my mom and Wendell about this and we came up with a bunch of different categories that didn't make the final list. Among other things, we talked about films dealing with different aspects of war, different branches of the military, and even a few different aspects of World War II. The final version I think is the cleanest, given the overlap that would have come with the original list, but here are the honorable mentions that didn't make the cut...

  • Spies
  • On the Homefront (war films not about combat, suggested by Wendell)
  • Foreign Warfare
  • Navy SEALs
  • United States Marine Corps
  • Snipers
  • In the Navy
  • Air Force
  • Black Ops
  • Counter Terrorism
  • World War II- Espionage
  • World War II- Pacific Theater
  • World War II- Atlantic Theater
  • World War II- the Resistance
  • Korean War (suggested by Wendell)

There was also a bunch of different time periods that were considered but ultimately abandoned due to a shortage of movies on the topic, mostly because of difficulty in finding appropriate movies on them, or at least movies I knew for sure I could get. These included the Hundred Years War, The English Civil War, the Renaissance (lots of dramas, not a lot of war films), the Seven Years War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Crimean War, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the October Crisis. I also originally had the last two categories as "Advanced Warfare" and "Infinite Warfare" (both names referencing Call of Duty) but I figured it would be too confusing so I merged them into one. 

Still, I think I came up with a good final selection. It wasn't easy to cut everything down and a lot of this was based on practicality, but here is the official list for December 13-24. If you'd like to recommend any good movies for these categories, I am open to suggestion though I can't make any promises.

December 13: Ancient Warfare

December 14: Colonialism

December 15: Napoleonic Era

December 16: American Civil War

December 17: American Indian War

December 18: British Imperialism 

December 19: World War I

December 20: World War II

December 21: Cold War

December 22: Vietnam

December 23: Modern Warfare

December 24: Future Warfare

For reference, I have taken the liberty of putting together some lists of films dealing with some of the above themes. I should make it clear you are under no obligation to stick to these lists. I am merely including them as a possible source of inspiration. I currently have lists for Ancient WarfareAmerican Civil War, British ImperialismWorld War IWorld War II, Cold WarVietnam, Modern Warfare, and Future Warfare.

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