Posts Tagged ‘film violence’

ClandesTime 088 – Roar

Published October 16th 2016

Roar is a truly unique piece of cinema, possibly the most dangerous and brave and crazy film ever made. This week I take a look at this fascinating production which took 11 years to make, cost over $15 million and put most of its cast and crew in the hospital. The result is a magical, terrifying, hilarious story of the power of nature, the dangers inherent in our relationship with it and of good intentions gone badly wrong.

Did the Pentagon use The Battle of Algiers as a training film?

Published August 6th 2016

The Battle of Algiers was a groundbreaking film when it came out in 1966, not just for its depiction of the Algerian War against French occupation but for its quasi-documentary realism and its morally neutral approach, showing both sides committing atrocities. Because of this realism it is a cinematic training manual in guerilla warfare including terrorist tactics and in state repression including torture. Both are portrayed as horrible, but the inevitable results of the war for independence, itself the inevitable result of colonialism. In the decades since its release The Battle of Algiers has been used as a training film by organisations ranging from the Black Panthers to the Department of Defense. One document sheds new light on this special screening at the Pentagon.

The CIA and Hollywood 14 – Zero Dark Thirty

Published July 24th 2016

Robbie Martin is our final guest for this season as we dissect the 2012 docudrama Zero Dark Thirty. We discussed the difficulty in defining what kind of film this is – somewhere between a spy thriller, a documentary and a dry European art house movie. We get into the well-documented CIA support for the film and ask why this is the only major movie about the Abbottabad raid to get ‘Bin Laden’ and why it wasn’t particularly successful. Was the film meant to serve as a substitute for any real evidence of what happened in Abbottabad in 2011? Did the filmmakers even care whether what they were portraying was true or were they blinded by the excitement of the special access they were granted?

BBFC Report: Complaints about violence and torture in Spectre, Kingsman and Minions

Published July 7th 2016

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) recently published its annual report, which details complaints against various movies including Spectre, Kingsman and Minions. As is so often the case, sex and violence were the focus of the complaints, leading the BBFC to explain why they had allowed these scenes into films aimed at young people. The effect of on screen fictional violence in desensitising people towards on screen real violence is an important phenomenon, illustrated well by the public apathy towards war and torture. The significance of Spectre and Kingsman being sponsored by the British state should not be lost on anyone – clearly the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office had no problems with these scenes, or just shrugged their shoulders and let the BBFC sort it out at their end.

The CIA and Hollywood 12 – American Ultra

Published July 3rd 2016

Adam from Themes and Memes is our guest to talk about the 2015 action comedy American Ultra. We start by trying to define this film, which is an intense mixture of cartoonish ultra violence, CIA covert operations, romance, comedy and horror, looking at the dissociating nature of this blend. The intentions of screenwriter Max Landis and the director Nima Nourizadeh are discussed and we ask whether they were reaching out to the CIA or trying to flatter them by making MKULTRA seem cool to stoners and young people. We go on to look at the prominence of female and often maternal characters in modern spy fiction, particular in CIA-assisted productions and ask what difference this makes to how these films and TV shows portray the CIA as a whole.

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