Posts Tagged ‘torture’

Napalm, Ambushes and Russian Roulette: Why the Pentagon Rejected The Deer Hunter

Napalm, Ambushes and Russian Roulette: Why the Pentagon Rejected The Deer Hunter

The epic war drama The Deer Hunter won five Oscars, despite the central conceit and metaphor of the film being inaccurate.  This conceit - that the Viet Cong forced American prisoners of war to play Russian Roulette - is the main reason the film was rejected for DOD support, along ...
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How the Pentagon Rewrote GI Jane

How the Pentagon Rewrote GI Jane

GI Jane is a crude, clumsy attempt to show a 'woman's perspective' on being in the military, that ruined Demi Moore's career as a leading lady.  Little known until now is how the Pentagon negotiated with Ridley Scott to rewrite the script, and even though the film didn't qualify for ...
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Clint Eastwood and the Geneva Conventions

Clint Eastwood and the Geneva Conventions

One issue that comes up repeatedly in the script changes enforced by the Pentagon is war crimes, and other violations of the Geneva Conventions.  As is so often the case I'm left thinking 'if only the DOD applied the same rules to real life wars as they do to the ...
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Unthinkable

How the FBI Spied on and Rewrote the Torture Thriller Unthinkable

The 2010 thriller Unthinkable courted controversy by depicting the torture of a suspected terrorist who claims to have planted nuclear bombs in three US cities. Despite a strong cast including Samuel L Jackson, Carrie-Ann Moss and Stephen Root it was released direct-to-video and lost money. Recently released documents show that ...
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ClandesTime 173 - Public Enemies

ClandesTime 173 – Public Enemies

Public Enemies is a 2009 historical drama/thriller film that tells the story of the Bureau of Investigation’s manhunt for Public Enemy Number One John Dillinger. In this episode I examine the film, the politics of crime and the romanticising of criminals. I explore these themes in light of FBI documents ...
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The 24 Mentality: The CIA, Torture and the 'Ticking Bomb' Scenario

The 24 Mentality: The CIA, Torture and the ‘Ticking Bomb’ Scenario

Just as politicians start to believe their own speeches, intelligence agencies start to believe their own propaganda. Nowhere is this clearer than in the CIA's black stite torture program initiated in the wake of 9/11. Recently declassified documents detailing current CIA director Gina Haspel's role in the torture program show ...
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Kevin Spacey in Swimming with Sharks (1994)

Subscriber Podcast #24 – Swimming with Sharks

On this month's subscriber-only podcast I dissect the 1994 movie Swimming with Sharks, about a young man who goes to work at a Hollywood studio, where his boss (Kevin Spacey) abuses and bullies him relentlessly. I reflect on the film's relevance in the wake of the #MeToo phenomenon, and how ...
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