The Spectacle Blog

Hollywood Goes to War, Year 5

By on 1.31.06 | 3:27PM

Alternative history writing project continues at Academy Award bunker where the war in year five is regarded as useful but over budget and wrongly cast.

Of the five films for best, have paid to see one, Munich, and aim to see one more on DVD, Good Night, and Good Luck; am uncompelled by the alternate lifestyle persons in Brokeback Mountain and Capote, and am unattracted to traffic incidents in L.A. in Crash.  Hollywood says you make only the movies you can't get out of: my version is you go only to the movies you can't get out of.

Did hurry to pay to see Syriana, because it is based on a book by a confessional, compelling, ironic CIA officer, Baer.

Devote myself mostly to Spielberg's alternate history of the Mossad in Munich and Clooney's alternate history of the CIA in Syriana.

Importantly, it is necessary to accept that there are no facts in Spielberg's or Clooney's movies, not even the weather. This is not a negative. What you can find is a sentimental belief that Team America and Team Israel are aggressive and articulate, if predictable; and Team Jihad is a video game setpiece with scenery that flips between cluttered colonial slums and vertigo-creating wastelands of heat. Langley looks like a sick ventilation system office building with bad food and no decent cafes within twenty miles.  Israel's brainstorming sessions get stuck on coffee or tea?

Most revealing to me are the versions of the jihadists that Hollywood finds award nomination-worthy. Bluntly, Hollywood's voters do not find the muj to be smart guys. In fact, the representations here are unworldly and greedy; or unwashed and naive; or truly bad at simple tasks such as money-laundering, house-wiring, horse-racing, asset swaps, public relations.

My experience of the jihad crowd, and of the new league opened in Tehran that is a more traditional empire builder with the Disappearing Imam scenario added for Scheherazade fans, is that the enemy is most intelligent, worldly, quick, sober, and well read; also that the jihad directors are several moves on the chessboard ahead of our politicians.

But then, the truth of the battle would be scary like a cat scan and doesn't have a neat third act to tidy up the questions and get out at 111 minutes.

Maybe next year, when oil is projected at $101/bl in a panic and the traffic in L.A. is just traffic without much fuel.

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