Posts Tagged ‘MPAA’

How and why the Pentagon established their control of movie scripts

Published March 8th 2017

I recently acquired some decades-old Pentagon directives and instructions. These documents formed the basis for DOD policy in their engagement with the entertainment industry, establishing a range of conflicting criteria for the military’s liaisons with film and TV producers. This provided them with a range of bases for altering scripts and censoring scenes, at a time when the MPAA and the Production Code were ceasing to be effective at keeping the movie industry in line with their propaganda objectives.

‘Well Dressed Negroes’ and ‘Dignified Natives’ – How Luigi Luraschi Rewrote Movies for the CIA

Published February 22nd 2017

In 1953, in the early weeks of the Eisenhower administration, the CIA conducted an operation to alter the content of Hollywood films to help promote positive images of America to foreign audiences. A series of letters addressed to a CIA officer named ‘Owen’ were written by an executive at Paramount – now known to be Luigi Luraschi – outlining the changes to movies that he made and attempted to make on their behalf.

ClandesTime 100 – Sex, Violence and Censorship

Published February 12th 2017

Why do we censor films? Intuitively we all know the answer to this question – because there are some things we don’t want to see on the screen. In this episode we examine film censorship, focusing primarily on the treatment of cinematic violence by the MPAA and BBFC. Using Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence as a foundation I discuss how societies are attempts to rationalise violence and determine what are legitimate and illegitimate uses of force. We then look at how censorship does not do much to limit the scale or type of violence shown on screen, but instead prevents the depiction of the consequences of violence, the suffering and pain, before talking about how this kind of censorship influences our views of real-world violence, especially that committed by the state.

What Connects Jack Valenti, E Howard Hunt and The Godfather?

Published January 31st 2017

On the face of it former CIA officer, Watergate burglar and confessed JFK assassin E Howard Hunt shouldn’t have had much to do with former MPAA president Jack Valenti. They both served in WW2 (Hunt in the OSS, Valenti in the Army Air Forces) and both died in 2007. They may both have been present at the John Kennedy assassination. Then there is that special screening of The Godfather.

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