Celluloid conflict

A scene from Emile de Antonio’s Vietnam documentary “In the Year of the Pig,” on

A scene from Emile de Antonio’s Vietnam documentary “In the Year of the Pig,” one of the featured films in the “War Is…” series.

War. What is it good for? Compelling cinema, for one.

The films in Film @ International House’s “War Is…” film series show just how compelling war movies can be, with feature films and short subjects that explore the valor of those who fight and the absurdity of what they’re fighting for, the fog of history and the memories of those who lived through it.

Three films in the series will be accompanied by talks from figures with intimate knowledge of their subjects and their makers. On Jan. 17, Jerome Rudes, co-author of “Samuel Fuller: A Third Face,” introduces Fuller’s “Steel Helmet,” a savage depiction of the Korean War shot in 10 days just months after the war’s start. Gerald O’Grady, longtime collaborator with documentarian James Blue, discusses Blue’s “The Olive Trees of Justice,” his only feature film, on Jan. 18. And on Jan. 19, former State Department analyst Craig Eisendrath discusses Emile de Antonio’s acclaimed Vietnam documentary “In the Year of the Pig.”

—S.S.

 “WAR IS…”: Thursday, Jan. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 19 and Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 26 at International House, 3701 Chestnut St.; see day-by-day listings for titles and show times. Admission $6, students/seniors/International House members $5. Info: www.ihousephilly.org.

Originally published on January 16, 2003