Have We Forgotten That We Need To Protect Ourselves?

The Daily Beast posted a story today about the controversy surrounding the movieAmerican Sniper.” We have all heard at least some of the tweets attacking the movie, and I would like to ask a few questions.

Can anyone explain to me the difference between what a sniper does and a drone attack? Has it occurred to the critics of snipers that they are assigned jobs and targets by their military (and civilian in the case of the President) superiors and are simply following instructions given to them? Is a sniper killing a terrorists as evil as a terrorist blowing up innocent civilians? Is it worth it to kill terrorists with the idea of preventing them from coming to America?

The last paragraph of the article at the Daily Beast was a real picture of what the movie is about:

“For me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier,” said Cooper. “The guy that I got to know, through all the source material that I read and watched, and home videos—hours and hours—I never saw anything like that. But I can’t control how people are gonna use this movie as a tool, or what they pick and choose whatever they want. But it would be short-changing, I think. If it’s not this movie, I hope to god another movie will come out where it will shed light on the fact of what servicemen and women have to go through, and that we need to pay attention to our vets. It doesn’t go any farther than that. It’s not a political discussion about war, even…It’s a discussion about the reality. And the reality is that people are coming home, and we have to take care of them.”

Thank you, Clint Eastwood, for making this movie.

Whatever The Reason For It’s Being Disqualified, It’s A Great Song

A song from the move “Alone But Not Alone” was nominated for an Oscar for song of the year. Shortly afterward, the nomination was withdrawn, citing emails the songwriter sent to friends asking them to listen to the song. There is a question as to the real reason the song was disqualified. You can find some of the discussion of the issues at The Hollywood Reporter, but I am not going to say a lot about this because I really don’t understand the rules and regulations of Oscar nominations.

However, the song is beautiful, and YouTube posted the video. Enjoy:

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Sued Over Argo

Argo” won the Academy Award for Best Picture this year. The film tells the story of six Americans smuggled out of Iran after the Iranian revolution. The movie is not entirely accurate–it’s a movie–but the basic story follows the history of the events (for some details on what is true and what is not, see rightwinggranny.com).

The Associated Press is reporting today that Iran is planning to sue Hollywood, claiming that the movie portrays the country of Iran in an unrealistic way.

The article reports:

The decision on the lawsuit came after a group of Iranian cultural officials and movie critics screened the film in a closed audience in a Tehran theater late Monday.

The gathering, titled “The Hoax of Hollywood,” discussed various legal aspects of filing a lawsuit, media reports said, without providing details. It remains unclear what specific charges Iran could raise and what court Tehran could turn to if the action goes ahead.

Those at the meeting dismissed “Argo” as a “violation of international cultural norms.” A statement issued after the gathering said that “awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity.”

The statement did not clarify how the movie was allegedly unrealistic, but officials have accused “Argo” of depicting Iranians as “too violent.”

I have no way of knowing if the violence depicted in “Argo” is exactly what happened. I do know that there were some areas in the movie that represent the ‘poetic license’ of the filmmakers. I also know that the people who were in Iran during the 1979 revolution and the news photographs from that time indicate that the violence shown was typical of what went on.

The thing to keep in mind here is the effort on the part of the Iranian government to stop any art or speech that portrays them in a negative light. Freedom of speech in Iran died in the revolution of 1979. The violence that was depicted in “Argo” was part of that picture.


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The Death Of A Very Gifted Musician

The Wrap is reporting today that Marvin Hamlisch has died at the age of 68. The obituary at the wrap cites “The Way We Were” as his signature song, but he was a very prolific composer. I remember him for reviving the ragtime music of Scott Joplin for the movie “The Sting.”

The article reports:

Hamlisch’s deft touch can be felt in the scores for such diverse films as “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Ice Castles,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Bananas,” “Save the Tiger,” “The Informant!” and his latest effort, “Behind the Candelabra,” an upcoming HBO film about the life of Liberace.

On Broadway, Hamlisch had a smash hit with 1975’s long-running “A Chorus Line,” which received the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. Other works such as “The Goodbye Girl” and “Sweet Smell of Success,” garnered some critical praise, but were never fully embraced by audiences. But he remained busy in the theater scene, and a statement  from his publicist said Hamlisch was supposed to fly to Nashville, Tenn. this week to see a production of his musical, “The Nutty Professor.”

Something of a musical prodigy, Hamlisch was the youngest student to be admitted by the prestigious Julliard School of Music.

Thank you, Mr. Hamlisch, for many hours of listening enjoyment.

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