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ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra

While it is now considered a Cold War classic Ice Station Zebra was a flop when it was first released. This week, I review Ice Station Zebra and analyse the development of the film, how it differs quite radically from the book, and why the DOD rejected an early version of the script, leading to a total rewrite. From the National Reconnaissance Office to the addition of suspicious Russians, this is a case study in how state-sponsored Cold War cinema truly operated.

Latest Posts
Don't Shoot the Looters - Military Script Notes on Deep Impact

Don’t Shoot the Looters – Military Script Notes on Deep Impact

Deep Impact is one of a pair of twin films released in 1998 that were based around a giant meteor colliding with earth. The film and its twin, the more successful Armageddon, were both supported by NASA and the Department of Defense. Inevitably, this meant script changes to fit in ...
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ClandesTime 177 - Ice Station Zebra

ClandesTime 177 – Ice Station Zebra

While it is now considered a Cold War classic Ice Station Zebra was a flop when it was first released. This week, I review Ice Station Zebra and analyse the development of the film, how it differs quite radically from the book, and why the DOD rejected an early version ...
Read more
Armando Iannucci

Subscriber Podcast #29 – Media Breakdown: Armando Iannucci at Chatham House

On this month's subscriber-only podcast I break down a 2016 interview with British political satirist Armando Iannucci by Chatham House, a.k.a. the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Topics include the EU referendum, the election of Donald Trump, the re-emergence of both Left and Right wing populism, how to combat fake ...
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Official Skripal Story Changes Yet Again, This Time with Added Ducks

Official Skripal Story Changes Yet Again, This Time with Added Ducks

According to the New York Times, the official story we’ve been told about the Skripals isn’t true, and wasn’t true when the UK government told it to us ...
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The Pentagon Worked on Every Major Military Movie for Over a Decade After WW2

The Pentagon Worked on Every Major Military Movie for Over a Decade After WW2

The post-WW2 period was the zenith for military and war movies - over 200 were made in the 1950s, and the same in the 1960s.  According to an entry in the DOD's Hollywood database they provided support to every major military movie for over a decade, putting an entire genre ...
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Veteran of Sadr City Ambush Exposes The Long Road Home as Shameful Propaganda

Veteran of Sadr City Ambush Exposes The Long Road Home as Shameful Propaganda

One of the veterans of the ambush in Sadr City in April 2004 has revealed that National Geographic's film The Long Road Home is a shameful piece of propaganda that butchers history and ignored offers of help from the squad who were actually in the firefight in order to present ...
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Pentagon Contracts Show US Army Subsidized Production Of National Geographic’s ‘Long Road Home’

Pentagon Contracts Show US Army Subsidized Production Of National Geographic’s ‘Long Road Home’

Production assistance agreements released by the Defense Department show the United States military used taxpayer money to subsidize part of the production of the National Geographic series, “The Long Road Home,” and a companion documentary ...
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Keanu Reeves Trains With Former SEAL/CIA Contractor for John Wick III

Keanu Reeves Trains With Former SEAL/CIA Contractor for John Wick III

In what appears to be little more than a promo for the third John Wick film, a recently-released video shows star Keanu Reeves being trained by former Navy SEAL and CIA contractor Shawn Ryan.  A veteran of the war on terror, the video shows Ryan teaching Keanu how to walk ...
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How the Hell is Project Blue Book so Boring?

How the Hell is Project Blue Book so Boring?

UFOs.  Probable extraterrestrials.  Investigation and revelation.  Nazi scientists.  A military cover-up.  With all these elements in place the History Channel's Project Blue Book should be an exciting, unpredictable replacement for The X-Files.  Instead it is a dull-as-dishwater procedural that lacks tension, drama and political relevance.  ...
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ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

ClandesTime 176 – What Vice Doesn’t Tell You about Dick Cheney

Vice has won awards along with praise from audiences and critics alike, but how well does it inform its audience about Dick Cheney? This week I take a look at the important material that Vice overlooked, or didn’t know about. From his rewriting of a key investigation into CIA black ...
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Little Mizz Innocent Launch

‘Film contains Russian Mob content and it was confirmed okay’ – FBI emails on Little Mizz Innocent

Little Mizz Innocent has been languishing in development hell for several years as the 'female Jason Bourne movie' has struggled to get into production. It tells the story of a UN interpreter 'caught in a power struggle between the FBI and a criminal dynasty'. FBI emails released under FOIA reveal ...
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'Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen' - DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

‘Without any assistance from the military, then naturally, anything can happen’ – DOD File on Ice Station Zebra

The production of Ice Station Zebra is a great case study in just how much influence the Pentagon can have over a movie script.  The initial script - by multi-Oscar winning writer Paddy Chayefsky - was rejected by the DOD for being too politically critical and culturally subversive.  In the ...
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