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Saturday
Sep012007

De Palma's "Redacted" Gets Standing Ovation At Venice

10_art.jpgBrian de Palma's new movie Redacted has just slayed 'em at the Venice Film Festival with the Director getting a standing ovation for his portrayal of American soldiers on the rampage in Iraq.

The movie is about a group of bored soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in Samarra. They go on to amuse themselves by raping a 14 year old Iraqi girl and then killing the entire family.

De Palma has one of the group making a vlog - a video blog - of life at the checkpoint. And he has this guy film the rape and murders.

Some of the images are so shocking that some in the audience were reduced to tears.

De Palma has been here before. He addressed the folly and tragedy of the Vietnam War with his "Casualties of War" (1989). This time he's using real footage found on internet blogs, YouTube and soldiers' home-made war videos, with a cast of unknowns and shot on HDV cameras. (I think we're going to see a lot more mainstream movies shot on High Definition Video - David Lynch says he won't go back to celluloid as it's too slow and expensive.)

"In Vietnam, when we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing, we saw the soldiers wounded and brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war," De Palma said.

"It's all out there on the Internet, you can find it if you look for it, but it's not in the major media. The media is now really part of the corporate establishment," he said.

(Yes, well we know all about that after posting vidoes of the Yazidi/Kurdish girl stoned to death in Iraq before mainstream media ran it. In fact I was barred from YouTube for two weeks after posting those clips - they're all over YouTube now.)

Redacted means to suppress by censorship as for political reasons. De Palma reckons mainstream American Media is censoring war reportage just like in the Vietnam days.

"When I went out to find the pictures, I said (to the media) give me the pictures you can't publish". But even then some of the images were too hot to handle and had to be edited or redacted.

"Everything that is in the movie is based on something I found that actually happened. But once I had put it in the script I would get a note from a lawyer saying you can't use that because it's real and we may get sued," De Palma said.

"So I was forced to fictionalize things that were actually real."

The movie comes out later this year.

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