Friday, February 5, 2010
Hollywood And Media Scramble to Prepare Pro-War (But Box Office Loser) 'Hurt Locker' Win at Academy Awards
Pro-war media like the New York Times and Fox News are heaping praise on the film 'Hurt Locker' for giving Hollywood "a chance to get back in the good graces of the American people, who always want to see our fighting men portrayed positively."
You call those good graces? I call them the willful illusions of righteousness of any aggressor nation not too different from the celebrations of military strength and murderous wars which are encouraged in any proto-fascist nation. But call them good graces thats fine...
Anyway, even though 'Hurt Locker' has only grossed $12.6 million, there is a big push to move it ahead of the somewhat anti-war box office smash hit 'Avatar' which is the biggest grossing film of all time with more then $600 million in gross sales.
I have seen neither film, and my interest in this article is not to say which film is more artful or better. I wish to only expose my suspicion that there might be an agenda here to put a pro-war film 'on top.' I must state that I do not know what the intentions of the makers of this film were, but what I choose to criticize here is how the film can be, and is being used as pro-war propaganda by Fox, The New York TImes, and even ex-Bush administration officials.
In the Fox article, you can see the reviewer proclaiming the 'pro-war' film to have 'the edge' right from the title: "Why Quietly Pro-War 'Hurt Locker' Has the Oscar Edge." It goes on to talk about how the Iraq war is "changing in perceptions" and how Hollywood was "on the wrong side of the public", that is until now. Who is the reviewer in this case? James Pinkerton, who was part of the White House staff under both Reagan and George H.W. Bush. So you have a guy from the White House reviewing movies now and telling you the 'pro-war' film is better. What a surprise.
According to Pinkerton, who clearly idolizes the fictional soldiers of the film, they are nothing less then "heroes. Competent, yes, but courageous beyond any regular comprehension. So by that reckoning, “Locker” would rate as pro-war, because the warriors are presented as better versions of ourselves. Any one of us would want the men of “Locker” by our side in a fight. And it is all men; women play only the tiniest of roles in the film. “Locker” has the same dynamic as a male sports team -- and male sports are popular, too, even with women."
I don't know but there is something distasteful about an ex-White House staffer celebrating fictional soldiers as "better versions of ourselves" to me.
One reviewer attempts to say that a 'Hurt Locker' victory would be a "defiant celebration of artistry over commerce."
It might also represent the very interests of commerce at work behind the scenes to make sure a pro-war propaganda film gets pushed into the limelight.
Here is a bit of the excellent dialog from the 'artful' Hurt Locker.
First Soldier: "Want em to know if they are gonna leave a bomb on the side of the road for us, we are just gonna blow up their road."
Second Soldier: "Sounds Good."
First Soldier: "I'm cravin a burger is that strange?"
No it's not strange if your intention is to celebrate a world image of Americans as occupying thugs who miss their burgers.
The New York TImes included that clip in their puff piece blog on the movie where Melena Ryzik goes paint ball shooting with actor Anthony Mackie "to learn some of those [combat] moves and stances." Mackie also says during the video:
"We had these Blackwater guys that were working with us in the Middle East and they taught us like tactical maneuvers and stuff--how to just basically position yourself and move with a gun...We were shooting in Palestinian refugee camps. We were shooting in some pretty hard places. It wasn't like we were without enemies. There were people there looking at us, 'cuz we were three guys in American military suits runnin' around with guns. It was nothing easy about it. It was always a compromising situation."
An article in the Nation discusses the connection between Blackwater and the Hurt Locker.
Why not just nominate Erik Prince from Blackwater for Best Actor? Maybe dead Iraqis for best supporting role?