Saturday, September 01, 2007

When Agit Meets Art In The Blades Of The Prop



Am taking a bit of a pasting on various discussion boards, apparently - Look, I am neither slagging nor supporting the film itself with this post. It's the whirlitzer and the way that it works that I'm on about here. I have, however, added a sentence to make it clear that I am supportive of Mr. DePalma's sentiment re: the power of image.

Not-So-Secret-Double-Probation Update: Here's a pretty solid review, just out, of the movie from Ray Bennett.


By the time it plays at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 10th the media and the bloggodome will likely be in a frenzy over Brian DePalma's new docudrama 'Redacted'.

Especially given some of the stuff that is already starting to whirlitzer its way through the wires:

Director Brian De Palma presented his new film "Redacted," a harrowing depiction of the horrors of the Iraq War, at the Venice Film Festival on Friday.

The director of "Carrie," "Scarface" and "Casualties of War" began the project after reading about a March 2006 incident in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, when a group of U.S. troops in the 101st Airborne Division raped a 14-year-old girl before setting her body alight and shooting dead her parents and 5-year-old sister.

Other events retold in the film include the fatal shooting of a pregnant Iraqi woman at a military checkpoint as her brother drives her to hospital.

The film ends with a montage of real-life photographs of Iraqi war victims, including maimed and dead women and children; the final picture is an image of the real-life 14-year-old rape victim.

Now, given the dearth of trustworthy reviews so far, it is difficult to form an opinion about the film itself at the moment.

But I did find these quotes, in the always slightly deeper Editor and Publisher, from Mr. DePalma quite interesting:

"Pictures are what will stop the war."


"All the images we...have of our war are completely constructed -- whitewashed, redacted," said De Palma in Venice, according to press reports. "One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to get their congressmen to vote against the war."

Which is a very difficult sentiment to argue with, based on the evidence so far.

Of course, one thing I left out of the header to this post was the word 'Commerce', mostly because I coudn't come up with a decent alliterative synonym.

Which brings us to something else of interest here - the timing of the rollout. Specifically, by goosing the whirlitzer just before Labour Day, it appears that the backers of the film are going one better on Andy Card's now classic war machine adage that:

''From a marketing point of view,'' said Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff who is coordinating the effort, ''you don't introduce new products in August.''

Clearly, for better or worse (and hopefully not worst), this is going to be a fall season full of blockbusters - and I'm not just talking about the cinematic variety here.


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