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Zero Dark Thirty - Kathryn Bigelow's Hunt for Bin Laden Pic


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Well you keep contracting the range of valid opinions further and further every time you talk about it.

First it was only people that are professional film reviewers. I could paste up two more new reviews from professional film reviewers criticising the film, but you'd probably declare that they had already made their mind up and ask for a full breakdown of their political beliefs and affiliations.

Now we can exclude, what, media commentators? So people who aren't media commentators but are professional film reviewers. Gosh, it's starting to get tricky already.

I can't wait for your to define the 'average' person. I guess I won't count because I read books and am politically active. Maybe Glasgowchivas doesn't count either for some yet as unnamed reason, I don't know.

All I've been trying to point out is that - I think - you need to be aware of the source material when forming an opinion. You seem to have misconstrued that a bit. You have taken Hannity's programme as a useful source - and are of course welcome to. I'll stop mentioning it now.

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I haven't seen this yet, but the thread is fascinating.

Here's a question for Smitty, because he is the one who seems most affected by this;

Have you ever seen 'triumph of the will'? Where do you land on a film like that?

As an academic of film I get fascinated by any movie that distorts reality for its own purposes, and I believe this is a movie that will likely be studied and debated for years. I'm glad it exists and I have no idea how I'm gonna react to it.

But anyway, I love films that exist as a statement for our times.

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I reacted with a yawn, it's an incredibly boring and tedious movie.

Regarding what statement it is making about torture? It doesn't have one, the closest I can see is 'Torture? Meh', torturers are people too, and, we're more powerful that you so can do what we want.

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Wow, your shortest reply ever?

Could I press you for some kind of response? It almost doesn't matter that you haven't seen it, as you haven't seem ZDT either.

How do you feel knowing a movie like that exists? Should it have never been made? Should it be burned? Is it ok that the BFI screen it and the world studies it?

I'm not looking for any vindication of a position by the way. I don't know how I feel about ZDT until I see it. I'm genuinely just interested in your position

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Wow, your shortest reply ever?

Could I press you for some kind of response? It almost doesn't matter that you haven't seen it, as you haven't seem ZDT either.

How do you feel knowing a movie like that exists? Should it have never been made? Should it be burned? Is it ok that the BFI screen it and the world studies it?

I'm not looking for any vindication of a position by the way. I don't know how I feel about ZDT until I see it. I'm genuinely just interested in your position

I'd have to reacquaint myself with it. But until I do: no films should be burned, and yes of course it is.

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Having just watched it I think you have to be pretty 'politically involved' to really take home the message that torture caught OBL, like normals wouldn't take that message.

The torture scenes are there but maybe 5/10 minutes at the very start of the film. And even then it's a mixed message, as they torture this guy he doesn't give up info and then a terrorist attack happens, they give him cake (and a bit of a threat) and he gives up some info.

The vast majority of the work to find the location in the film is shown to be tradecraft, tracking down leads/probabilities etc.

I don;t have much to add thou about the film as a whole, it was pretty good and super tense towards the end. Probably the best film that could be both Hollywood and yet actual show the boring day to day of CIA life.

7/10

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Wow, your shortest reply ever?

Could I press you for some kind of response? It almost doesn't matter that you haven't seen it, as you haven't seem ZDT either.

How do you feel knowing a movie like that exists? Should it have never been made? Should it be burned? Is it ok that the BFI screen it and the world studies it?

I'm not looking for any vindication of a position by the way. I don't know how I feel about ZDT until I see it. I'm genuinely just interested in your position

I thought you mind find this interesting Kerraig, as a student of film. It's a piece discussing and comparing ZDT with The Battle of Algiers. I came across it randomly on Twitter.

The Movie Zero Dark Thirty Wishes It Was But Isn’t Is…

http://chinamatters....-wishes-it.html

I can't vouch for it as I haven't read it or seen the Algiers film (although I know of it and its themes) but I thought it sounded interesting so there you go.

What this guy said ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

What this guy said was typical, really. He brushes over a tortured man being threatened with torture again as 'a bit of a threat'. Embarrassing. He's an intelligent guy so it's also quite disappointing to read.

What would he say if I went around to his house, smashed all the toes on one foot with a hammer, chucked him a bucket of KFC and then after asking a few questions threatened to smash up all the toes on his other foot?

Would he call it 'a bit of a threat'? Would you?

This discussion is completely inane.

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You have taken Hannity's programme as a useful source - and are of course welcome to.

And i've taken many other sources as useful too. What's your point? Why do you ignore all the other sources? Can I ask you if you think the Senate Intelligence Committee, who criticised the film, are too left wing to have their opinion taken seriously by you? Or are they too right wing, as with Hannity? I can't even begin to work out what your standards are here.

I'll stop mentioning it now.

You'll stop mentioning that you're increasingly narrowing the field of views of this film that you will consider valid and trustworthy on the basis of a series of arbitrary and inscrutable standards that you won't disclose? Or something else?

Presumably, once i've watched the film and reported back, my opinion will be invalid because of well...I don't know, but I'm sure you'll find something.

I mean, I'm not a cable news presenter, or a columnist, or an author, or an ex army investigator, or a member of the Senate, or an author, or a tech writer, or an actor, or a film reviewer (that didn't like the film) or whatever so you'll have to find some other way of safely dismissing my opinion (when it comes) because.....well I don't know, but I rather suspect it's because you really, really want to be entertained by this film without feeling weird about it.

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Here's yet another example:

http://thehill.com/b...ntanamo-lawyers

What Zero Dark Thirty gets wrong about Guantánamo lawyers

The scene shows just how judgmental Bigelow's film is. But whereas on the issue of torture, the film often judges by omission – failing to show, for example, a single member of the intelligence community questioning the value of torture – in this scene the judgment is explicit. CIA operatives are the heroes of the film, and one of them makes an uncontradicted statement about national security.

Who would know more about the subject than him? In the eyes of the audience, then, the statement is probably correct, and Guantánamo lawyers are threats to our national security, Lynne Stewarts in the making.

Zero Dark Thirty accomplishes something extraordinary in this regard, bringing defense attorneys down even further in a movie that, according to director Kathryn Bigelow, “doesn’t judge.” Defense lawyers are no longer just shysters, but traitors – moles who would call their closest al-Qaeda associate if a client were asked to assist in a matter of national security.
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You'll stop mentioning that you're increasingly narrowing the field of views of this film that you will consider valid and trustworthy on the basis of a series of arbitrary and inscrutable standards that you won't disclose?

Why are you trying to open up an argument that I was trying to close down because I saw it was going nowhere?

I'm stopping mentioning it because I've made the point a few times and have clarified it and disclosed my views on it, and you don't seem to accept it or understand it. I'm not going to spend all day repeating it, that becomes rather boring after a while. If you want to continue to not agree with my point or not understand it that's up to you, I will refer you to my previous answers.

And to be frank I'm not hugely intrigued in your views once you've seen the film, because it seems like a foregone conclusion. You have dismissed other people's views on the forum who have seen it, before you have seen it yourself, based on reading the negative commentary. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine what you'll make of it when you see it. Despite saying you haven't judged it, you have. All the quotes you have found are negative, none are balanced commentary or 'positive'. You're going into it with a particular mindset and view.

... but I rather suspect it's because you really, really want to be entertained by this film without feeling weird about it.

Well I can't disagree with that. I would like to enjoy the film if it is any good. If it is crap I rather suspect I won't enjoy it. However, I have seen a number of films where I have disagreed with the themes of the film yet still enjoyed it, because I'm able to separate quality of art from morality and/or reality. For me, it's not difficult, and I don't feel weird about it. I can like a film in one way but not another - that may happen with this film.

EDIT: Forgot to say the other day, I abhore people equating torture with 'enhanced interrogation'. I'm not in the business here of defending Bigelow's every action, I just don't yet buy certain viewpoints of commentators until I've seen the film for myself. For reasons I've been very clear about.

EDIT 2:

Can I ask you if you think the Senate Intelligence Committee, who criticised the film, are too left wing to have their opinion taken seriously by you?

Whoops I forgot to answer this. The Senate Committee is by far the most convincing source I've seen - a good bipartisan source with so real agenda. It's pretty powerful evidence that the film is not wholly accurate to real world events. Having said that, I haven’t been trying to argue this whole time that the film is 100% accurate to real world events. I appreciate that this ‘not 100% accurate’ thing matters a whole lot to you and the people you follow, but… you know the rest.

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What this guy said was typical, really. He brushes over a tortured man being threatened with torture again as 'a bit of a threat'. Embarrassing. He's an intelligent guy so it's also quite disappointing to read.

What would he say if I went around to his house, smashed all the toes on one foot with a hammer, chucked him a bucket of KFC and then after asking a few questions threatened to smash up all the toes on his other foot?

Would he call it 'a bit of a threat'? Would you?

This discussion is completely inane.

Is that like brushing over the whole terrorists/ Jihad/ 911/ Terror Campaign / Al Quaeda thing ?

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Really enjoyed this, I dont think it glorified anything at all, it was a clever enough movie to not try and emotively move you one way or the other, just present things in a factual way and let you decide yourself.

Smitty, I am surprised you are so against this film, I could see some comparisons with Spec Ops the line, with the ending being similarly low key with no big fanfare or triumphalism when the "big bad guy" got his come uppance.

Looking forward to seeing it again on blu ray.

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What this guy said was typical, really. He brushes over a tortured man being threatened with torture again as 'a bit of a threat'. Embarrassing. He's an intelligent guy so it's also quite disappointing to read.

What would he say if I went around to his house, smashed all the toes on one foot with a hammer, chucked him a bucket of KFC and then after asking a few questions threatened to smash up all the toes on his other foot?

Would he call it 'a bit of a threat'? Would you?

This discussion is completely inane.

Nah, I clearly address how the film demonstrates two sides of torture, initially torture was used but didn't provide any usable information. I'm sort of surprised you're quite against the film as you are I don't think it really glorifies torture in the way I sort of expected to after reading Greenwald/Cheney etc

And 'a bit of threat' was more a reflection on the language the guy used in the context of the film rather than a comment on torture, something like "I can have lunch with anyone" rather than him saying "I'm gonna smash your face in, get a hammer and break all your toes".

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Really enjoyed this, I dont think it glorified anything at all, it was a clever enough movie to not try and emotively move you one way or the other, just present things in a factual way and let you decide yourself.

It doesn't provide things in a factual way though - torture did not lead to the information that the film portrays it leading to.

You're arguing that people won't get propagandised from it, when you appear to have been yourself!

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Nah, I clearly address how the film demonstrates two sides of torture, initially torture was used but didn't provide any usable information. I'm sort of surprised you're quite against the film as you are I don't think it really glorifies torture in the way I sort of expected to after reading Greenwald/Cheney etc

And 'a bit of threat' was more a reflection on the language the guy used in the context of the film rather than a comment on torture, something like "I can have lunch with anyone" rather than him saying "I'm gonna smash your face in, get a hammer and break all your toes".

I guess the problem people have with it is this. For all you say that the film shows that the torture - during the torture period - doesn't get results, the fact is still that they torture a guy and then he gives up information. Presumably the threat of further torture is still there, and you know, they've still tortured the guy for info.

Given that the real-world equivalent appears to have been that the guy gave up accurate information to the FBI on initial interrogation before any torture was mooted (and then they tortured him anyway, presumably for kicks) that's quite a twisting of events made for no apparent gain, with the effect of making the torture look more justifiable.

And that making-it-more-justifiable has been seen, in this thread, by people who've only seen this movie and not read too much up on the sujbject as a whole. Given that there's no obligation for people to do so, a movie which places so much promotional and rhetorical emphasis on its 'journalistic' approach and authenticity should perhaps have a higher regard to the actual events, and not appear to be such a heavy promoter of the CIA.

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It doesn't provide things in a factual way though - torture did not lead to the information that the film portrays it leading to.

You're arguing that people won't get propagandised from it, when you appear to have been yourself!

Well I havent read up on it so I dont know. But no, it didnt convince me torture is a good thing, as I am still against it. I just dont think it glamorised it at all, it looked horrific, whether they got information out of it was inconsequential to me.

are you saying people dont give up information when tortured?

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