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December 31, 2005

Eastwood To Produce New Iwo Jima Movie

That's interesting. But this is one of the most absurdly biased articles I've ever read.

Eastwood says he wants to tell the story from "both sides" and apparently views the battle largely through the prism of tragedy. Well, certainly, all those American deaths were tragic (as were those of the Japanese); but again, it seems that this will largely be an anti-war war movie.

That's not really all that surprising, even from Clint Eastwood. Maybe Eastwood is just saying all this because he wants to shoot on location and needs to appease the island's anti-American governor; and of course it's hard to do a movie about a battle which took the lives of 7000 Marines and not sound a mournful note. You really make a movie about the violent deaths of 7000 Marines the feel-good roller-coaster ride of the summer.

I don't know.

But I do know this is the most absurdly, cartoonishly anti-American article I've read in some time.

Eastwood, the gung-ho star of prime slabs of Americana such as Heartbreak Ridge and Dirty Harry, is known for his right-wing political persuasions.

Wouldn't Eastwood's effort - tentatively titled Lamps Before the Wind - be a replay of the infamous Sands of Iwo Jima, starring another Hollywood tough guy, John Wayne?

Sands, made four years after the soldiers returned home, was as shrill and jingoistic as a piece of Stalinist propaganda, and became a recruiting poster for a generation of Marines, inspiring, among others, Ron Kovic, the paraplegic Vietnam veteran whose story was dramatised in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July.

With its bighearted US grunts pitted against fanatical, Banzai-screaming "Nips" and "Japs", the movie has few fans in Japan, where many old soldiers know that John Wayne never served a day in the forces.

...

Eastwood no doubt hope that the tragic tale of the rise and fall of ordinary American heroes - used then discarded by forces beyond their control - will resonate with contemporary US audiences weary of war in Iraq.

...

The determined [Japanese] general, imbued with the spirit of the quasi-religious Bushido cult, is a standard feature of countless Japanese war movies, as much a cliche as the bug-eyed scarf-wearing Arabs that populate US movies about the Middle East.

Oh? Could you point these movies out to me? US movies avoid the subject matter entirely or else bend over backwards (sometimes too far) to depict even terrorists as having a point.

Japan is the world's second-biggest market for Hollywood movies, one reason why the buck-toothed stereotype of yore has disappeared from movies such as Pearl Harbor, which showed clean-cut Japanese pilots warning American children to flee the bombing. ...

Ishihara's anti-American politics were formed during the war. He remembers being strafed "for fun" by US planes "with pictures of naked women and Mickey Mouse painted on the fuselage".

Etc.

By the way: definitely rent The Great Raid. A very good movie, and you'll be shocked at the un-PC, accurate depiction of Japanese brutality against American POWs and conquered civilian populations (here, the Filipinos).


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posted by Ace at 12:48 PM

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