Military vs. Tinseltown

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Hollywood has made no shortage of movies about the war in Iraq over the past couple of years. We've seen apolitical films about 9/11 and its aftermath, like United 93 and World Trade Center, as well as more overtly political films about service in the military, like In the Valley of Elah and Redacted. Ever wonder how accurate and authentic these films really are? Enter Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale. He's the Army's liaison to Hollywood* — he helps decide which movies should get Army help, such as access to bases and equipment,... and which shouldn't. And that's where the conflict lies. Fingers fly every which way... Censorship! Spin! Bias! Pentagon correspondent for the LA Times, Julian Barnes, parses it out in an article titled, "The Iraq war movie: Military hopes to shape genre." Breasseale and Barnes join us to give us an inside look at how war movies get made. We'll also talk to film critic Christopher Orr about why most Iraq war movies tank at the box office (ahem, Lions for Lambs).

* I want that job.

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I'd like to see how they handle a redo of: Captain Newman, MD.

Wonder what the politics were behind that classic movie?

Sent by Charles | 2:11 PM | 7-10-2008

Thank you covering this topic.

Sent by Benjamin | 2:18 PM | 7-10-2008

This is the most appallingly biased propaganda I have ever heard on NPR. I expected better from you people.

People are dying in Iraq, the American people are sick of it, and you are concerned with showing that not ALL soldiers have PTSD? You are concerned with portraying Army values?

Just appalling.

Sent by Alice Schmid | 2:36 PM | 7-10-2008

I sat in my vehicle in the gym parking lot not wanting to turn off the radio. I enjoyed the program and was happy to learn that the Army offers advise to movie producers to ensure authenticity and accuracy in military genre films. I found the Colonel knowledgeable, articulate and entertaining, (I enjoyed the lighthearted comments re Army vs Air Force). Is there a way to know when reading a DVD jacket or before seeing a feature film whether the military was consulted and worked with the producers...standard text, a logo or other insignia? Thanks!

Sent by Tania Pendarakis | 5:05 PM | 7-10-2008

Nick Turse wrote about this in his book and at TomDispatch.com months ago
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174908

Sent by lefty | 9:41 PM | 7-10-2008

I listened to sylvia po... and a member to the european parliment discuss immigration issues inside europe. as usual when the talk of illegal immigration is bantered around it is always whites talking about "others" . last time I checked whites in the guise of colonization immigrated to many peoples lands against the express wishes of the "natives". This doesn't even begin to disguss the illegal take over to the resources and lands of those peoples. Why should europe be exempt from the 'unwashed masses'?

Sent by cheryl | 1:31 AM | 7-11-2008

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