Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hollywood Makes Nazi Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl Efforts Look like Child's Play


To be sure, the multi-billion dollar Hollywood movie machine makes Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl efforts look like child's play in comparison. The Department of Defense, the CIA, and just about every branch of the military has an entertainment industry liaison.

Let's face it. Most people form their beliefs about, not only, war - because, after all, most of us have not experienced the horrors of battle first hand - from Hollywood's heroic visions, but, in addition, America's beliefs about the invincibility and elevated moral status of the United States, itself. Therefore, Hollywood became, and continues to be the Pentagon's greatest recruiting tool, ensuring that the drama played out between American "war heroes" and the fill-in-the-blank "villains" on a larger than life screen always painted a pro-war, pro-militarist picture. Children, of course, were and are their biggest target.

Where's the proof? Well, there are tens of thousands of documents: letters/correspondence between the Pentagon and movie producers, internal memos written by the military.

"Perhaps the worst thing about the collaboration between Hollywood and the military is not the censorship, but the self censorship. When you know that you are going to need Hollywood's assistance (film footage), and you know they will be looking at your script, you write it to make them happy right from the beginning." - Dave Robb, Investigative Journalist
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In the late 1920s, the military created an office, the Entertainment Liaison, to act as a bridge between Hollywood and the armed forces. So, it's clear that from the earliest days of motion pictures, the American armed forces understood the importance of encouraging the production of films about war and combat. In the making of Wings (1927) - the first large collaboration between Hollywood and the military - the armed forces went way beyond the role of technological adviser to getting involved in the logistics of production.

WWII cemented that bond, with 26,000 film industry members lending a hand to war efforts, ensuring that the aura of American invincibility permeate the globe. Only one film, "Let There Be Light", portrayed the reality of war, and it was banned in America for 30 years.  After the war, the Pentagon formally established its “film approval” process, its stated aim, to boost “recruitment and retention programs”. In 1948, they set up a special movie liaison office, as part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

Of course, the Vietnam War chiseled away at that cemented bond, with films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket.  It wasn't until 1986, with the blockbuster, Top Gun, (paved the way for Desert Storm) that Hollywood and the military would reestablish the shadowy relationship, setting even new standards for government-subsidized propaganda, that would allow Pentagon officials to line edit scripts.

Desert Storm, in 1991, learned from Vietnam's mistakes and sheltered the American public from the atrocities of war. No more bodies, no more suffering...no more blood-and-guts consequences of combat. War was made to resemble a fun video game, preparing us, no doubt, for 21st century drone technology that has revolutionized warfare. Remote-control war, where America sends unmanned drones instead of flesh and blood men, according to Pentagon propaganda - our targets are not so "lucky", unfortunately. Essentially Play-station on steroids, desensitizing more children to violence and the use of violence to resolve conflict.

Army Experience Center: War is fun! Life is Cheap!

"The drones fight terrorism and protect America, and in the process, they keep the frontlines unmanned,"
After 9/11, the entertainment industry executives promised to do everything in their power to help with the "war on terror". In 2001, the CIA appointed its own film industry liaison officer. His role is to give “advice and guidance” to authors, screenwriters, directors and producers and encourage a “better understanding of and appreciation for the Agency”.

The Pentagon not  only withholds assistance but they pressure the MPAA. No war movies are released without the pentagons approval, period.

Officer and a Gentleman screenwriter and associate producer, Douglas Day Stewart refused to remove the dehumanizing rhyming boot camp chant (below) because he knew the cadets were still singing it. So, he was forced to shoot much of his film in the Philippines. 
“Flyin’ low and feelin’ mean, Find a family by the stream. Pick off a pair and hear’em scream, Cause napalm stick to kids...”
The vast monopolization of the entertainment and media corporations - military-corporate complex - over the past three decades have made it almost impossible to .
"The Pentagon is managing to keep a steady stream of pro-military blockbusters in front of young eyes" despite some less-than-stellar performances in real wars overseas." - Nick Turse

Links:

CIA Pitches Scripts to Hollywood

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