Gettysburg -- John Frey
Thursdays, June 1, 8 & 15, 2023 1pm - 4pm
Odd Fellows Hall, SLO
$15 for LLCC Members $30 for Others
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Gettysburg is a 1993 American epic war film about the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War.
William Faulkner's quote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past," is relevant to the dispute over slavery and human rights that brought on our Civil War 160 years ago. The issues that led to deaths of 60,000 American are still alive today. The Battle of Gettysburg happened at the very center of the Civil War on July 1,2 and 3, 1863, and was a major turning point in the war itself. The film Gettysburg not only pictures the great battle scenes but clarifies the motivations of characters on both sides to enlist in the conflict.
The film was adapted from the 1974 historical novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. It features an ensemble cast, including Tom Berenger as James Longstreet, Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain, Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee, Stephen Lang as George Pickett, and Sam Elliott as John Buford. Thousands of Civil War re-enactors from across the country volunteered their time to come to Gettysburg to participate in the massive battle scenes.
At 254 minutes (4 hours and 14 minutes), Gettysburg is one of the longest films released by a major film studio in the United States. It is now considered one of the greatest and most historically accurate American Civil War films ever made. One-third of the film will be shown in each of the three sessions of this course.
The Battle of Gettysburg is considered the turning point of the Civil War. Prior to Gettysburg the Confederates had routed the Union Army in 2 successive battles at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Subsequently Lee marched his army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac as far north as Harrisburg, the capitol of Pennsylvania. At the same time Meade’s Union Army was moving northward to the East of the Confederate Army. The two armies met at Gettysburg and the battle ensued.
John Frey will lead each class discussion that will include the events that led to the battle of Gettysburg. In addition we will discuss the major engagements of each of the three days of the Battle, the withdrawal of the Confederate Army on July 4, and the roles of the major participants including Buford, Chamberlain, Lee, Longstreet and Pickett.
John Frey taught chemistry and engaged in chemical research for 45 years at several universities and is now retired. He serves on the Board of Directors of OperaSLO, the Lifelong Learners of the Central Coast and is a member of the Rotary Club. He teaches courses on classic movies, opera and musical theater for LLCC and OperaSLO. He has had over 7 decades of singing experience with various choral groups and has performed in the choruses of of the SLO Master Chorale and OperaSLO.