Episode #29: The Monuments Men (Season 2, Episode 9)
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Ah, Hollywood. Nothing goes further than a big celebrity-studded movie to grab your pop-culture attention and to inspire countless articles and think-pieces about a particular topic. A really solid blockbuster can raise a niche book to bestseller status or inspire hopeful imitators. And it can lead to a renewed interest in a certain time period or subject matter. In the case of the 2014 film, The Monuments Men, all of this was certainly true. With superstar George Clooney directing and acting alongside Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and American treasure Bill Murray, among others, The Monuments Men was almost a guaranteed hit when it was released in February 2014. But if your knowledge of the incredible individuals known as The Monuments Men stems only from this movie--well, then, I’m sorry. And I say that with no disrespect to Mr. Clooney and his team, but honestly? This cinematic take is a well-meaning but saccharine mess. The real story of the men--and women--who risked their own lives to save thousands of works of art is far more fascinating, dangerous, and important, even today.
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Additional music credits:
"The Things We Save" by Podington Bear is licensed under BY-NC 3.0 - Based on a work at http://soundofpicture.com; "Walk to Nowhere" by Daniel Birch is licensed under BY 4.0; "Phoenix" by Circus Marcus is licensed under BY-NC 3.0; "Battalion" by krackatoa is licensed under BY-NC-SA 3.0 US; "Big Street Gang (ID 517)" by Lobo Loco is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0; "The Solencia Library" by Art of Escapism is licensed under BY 4.0; "winter smoke" by The Owl is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0; "Otis Walks into the Woods" by Mary Lattimore is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0
Want more art-historical goodness? Check out the links below for our sources and further reading:
We are hugely indebted to Robert Edsel's The Monuments Men for images and information.
U.S. Army website: The Art of War and the War of Art
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