Posts Tagged ‘Sony Pictures’

Profile: Richard Klein

Published August 5th 2016

Richard Klein is one of the most important people in the entertainment industry that you have never heard of – a former State Department employee who now works for McLarty Associates – an elite Washington DC law firm – as their liaison to Hollywood. Klein has worked with most of the major studios on some of the biggest film series, from Transformers to James Bond to Fast & Furious, alongside government agencies on both sides of the Atlantic including the CIA. Put another way, why does Star Trek: Beyond need an ‘international political advisor’?

The CIA and Hollywood 15 – SALT

Published August 1st 2016

Rounding off this second season we take a look at SALT, the 2010 action thriller starring Angelina Jolie as a CIA officer accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. SALT is one of the less well known CIA-assisted productions, but along with technical advice from former CIA officer Melissa Boyle Mahle the producers also consulted with the CIA themselves in a video conference. There is also a very weird story involving one of the extras in the opening sequence in North Korea. We analyse the mystery of Evelyn Salt’s underwear and then the conversation hones in on Russia, who in 2010 were not on the news agenda, and how this movie predicted the rise of the ‘new Cold War’ that is commonplace in most current spy films and TV shows.

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?

The DOD’s Full Spectrum Dominance of the Entertainment Industry

Published November 25th 2015

The traditional model of the DOD’s ELOs says that they simply wait for requests from the entertainment industry for production assistance and then review the script and decide whether or not to help. The process is reactive in nature – the DOD are supposed to wait for the entertainment industry to come to them. The reality is that the DOD are pro-actively seeking to influence movies at the very earliest stages of production, behaving more like a corporate media conglomerate than a government agency.

CIA Inspector General’s Report on Engagement with the Entertainment Industry

Published November 3rd 2015

In the wake of the scandal over the CIA giving classified information to the makers of Zero Dark Thirty the Agency’s Office of the Inspector General carried out an audit into their involvement in the entertainment industry. The report heavily criticises the CIA’s entertainment liaison office for terrible record keeping and a very casual culture. What emerges from this report is that the ELO care more about being secretive concerning their own activities than they care about protecting the secrets of other departments within the CIA.

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