Monday, September 17, 2007

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In other news, Americans still don't like spinach

Over at Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog, Gregory Kirschling is puzzled that Iraq is not a real ratings-winner in film and television:

You know one thing that bums me out? A lot of friends Iíve talked to lately refuse to go see movies about Iraq! Whatís the matter with people? For the past many weeks Iíve been talking up Paul Haggisís new film, In the Valley of Elah, and as soon as I mention that it actually has something powerful to say about the war, a lot of folksí eyes turn glassy. Nobody cares!

Are we that detached? I donít wanna go on for too long about this, because itíll probably make me sound like a shrill crazy person, but I do kinda feel that if you refuse to go see a well-reviewed movie like Elah or the flabbergasting war doc No End in Sight simply because both of them are about Iraq, then you are ó hate to say, but it might be true ó a bad American.

Look, I liked No End In Sight, but are culture mavens like Kirschling really that clueless about why most people go to the movies? There's not a whole lot of escapism in films about Iraq.

[People go to movies for other reasons as well!!--ed. Yes, but getting angry is usually not one of those reasons. And anyone who sees a well-crafted movie on Iraq will feel that way. Why would anyone who supports the war pay ten bucks for the privilege of having their core assumptions challenged? Why would anyone who opposes the war pay ten bucks for the privilege of having their core assumption -- that the war is a mess -- confirmed?]

The only way I could see an Iraq war movie doing well would be if it was, like M*A*S*H, a very black comedy.

posted by Dan on 09.17.07 at 11:12 PM


Ironically, I'm writing such a film right now, inspired by the _New Republic's _/a/r/t/i/c/l/e/s/ fiction from Scott Thomas Beauchamp; its working title is _Shock and Awe_ (because _Iraq and a Hard Place_ is too corny).

posted by: VentrueCapital on 09.17.07 at 11:12 PM [permalink]

Also, it's not that good a movie. In the Valley of Elah gets 68% at Rotten Tomatoes, which isn't terrible, but not exactly "well-reviewed". I saw the trailer and wasn't impressed; looked likely to be over-the-top, which it seems to have been. Pass.

posted by: Mike on 09.17.07 at 11:12 PM [permalink]

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