LUC Briefing 011: War

“This is the problem with civilians wanting to go to war. Once you’ve been there, once you’ve seen it, you never want to go again unless you absolutely fucking have to. It’s like France.”

-General Miller
In The Loop

The next LUC Briefing will be on the subject of: Art

i. Just War

An LUC favourite, this old soviet anti-war film – cut to Just War from the album Dark Night Of The Soul. Brilliantly renders the pointlessness of nuclear conflict in three minutes and 45 stylish seconds.

ii. How Docklands Became Vietnam For Full Metal Jacket

From the venerable Barry Norman on Film ‘87:

“It’s a derelict old gasworks in Beckton, not Vietman exactly but the next best thing for a movie director who doesn’t like to fly”

iii. The Main Casualty of The Thin Red Line Was Adrien Brody

Enjoy a bunch of actors chuckling about how Brody thought he was the lead in Terence Malick’s Pacific war epic, right up until the premiere of the film – that he was mostly cut out of.

iv. The Messy Death Of Hungry Joe

In 1970, a world before CGI, just how do you convincingly show a man being bisected by a low flying aircraft?

“The popular scene of Hungry Joe being cut in two by the airplane and falling into the water was done in two steps. (1) A plane runs into a breakaway dummy that was rigged to spray blood. After a cutaway, the second shot shows an actor or stuntman in front of the sky, holding a mirror in front of him angled to reflect more sky to match what is in back of him, making the top part of his body disappear. He then falls backward into the water making the trick become visible to the camera.”

v. All the people using The Battle Of Algiers as a training aid are probably missing the point

From an article on the Carnegie Council website:

“The Battle of Algiers was based on the memoirs of Saadi Yacef, one of the leaders of the FLN, who also starred in the film as a character modeled off his real-life role in the opposition movement. The film was banned in France for five years after its release.

Yet others hailed The Battle of Algiers, not only as a work of art, but as a model for both insurgency and counterinsurgency tactics, including the use of torture. The film has been used to train members of the Black Panthers and Argentine intelligence units. It has been speculated that Palestinian terror groups and al Qaeda may also use Pontecorvo’s film as a guide.

In 2003, The Battle of Algiers was screened at the Pentagon in order to offer some insight into the challenges surrounding the U.S. occupation of Iraq.”


vi. Did Bill Clinton pull a ‘Wag The Dog’?

From an article via CNN:

“In the movie, the president’s handlers invent a war to distract public attention from his sexual transgressions. In real life, was the Clinton administration doing something similar?

Cynical in the extreme, that was a question that some residents of the New York region could not avoid asking themselves Thursday. And it seemed to reflect not only the bizarre parallels between fiction and fact, but also the profound distrust that some Americans have begun to harbor toward a president who acknowledged misleading the public.”


vii. The Fallen Of World War 2

Sobering and stunning use of data and animation to illustrate the horror of the mind melting horror of the second world war.

viii. Rik Mayall’s SAS try to prevent World War 3

In the marvellously unsubtle Whoops Apocalypse, the world is heading towards nuclear combat due to an escalating conflict over a disputed British territory in central America (wonder where they got that idea?).

For reasons that are too confusing to go into, the SAS must rescue a british princess from Madam Tussauds – cue lots of mindless violence and swearing. Key Quote:

“No you can’t bring the fucking tiger, Donald. It’s more trouble than it’s worth”