Gettysburg ★★

Self indulgence in a film is not normally something that bothers me. I really love when a filmmaker completely inhabits his creation and takes his camera on long, drawn out bouts of visual exploration. Normally this looks like the films of Malick, Kubrick, and Tarkovsky. The self indulgence of a film like Gettysburg, however, is one void of the camera. This film is so impressed with its own production that it seems to completely forget that it is supposed to be a piece of cinema. I’m sure being on location with that many people was a sight to see. The way it’s captured in the camera, however, seems void of a creator and looks more like cheap journalism, documenting the grand filming of a movie. The fake beards disconnect the viewer from any interaction happening onscreen despite some really great individual performances. I really enjoyed the book this is based on, and I believe it to be a fair representation on paper. The lack of visual interpretation doesn’t help the script in any way, however, and actually makes the story less powerful, and, despite being based on very many real events, pretty fake.