director Fatih Akin’s most recent films, the frenetic, punkish "Head-On" (no, you don't rub it directly on your forehead) and the more
meditative and consoling "The Edge of Heaven," have at least two things in
common: characters go to Turkey,
and they don’t come back — usually for unfortunate reasons.
As you might
recall, in his discussion
a few days back of "War, Inc." John Cusack mentioned as an example of a
straight-talking journalist CBS
newsperson Lara Logan. Indeed, she might have
served as somewhat of a model of that film’s heroine, the crusading reporter played
by Marisa Tomei who gets involved romantically with the corporate hitman played
Most discussions of “War, Inc.” have concentrated on John
Cusack’s outspoken politics and have ignored or dismissed the contribution of
the director, Josh Seftel. Which is a shame because the Tufts grad and longtime
Somerville resident not only gave the film a big budget look on a shoestring
but also brought in some genuine war zone experience, and I’m not just talking
about his documentary “Taking on the Kennedys.
Once you get John started on this Iraq thing he sure has a lot to say. Here's the rest of our conversation, which is kind of an education on recent US foreign policy that you probably haven't heard much about if you stick to the mainstream media and are bugged by the poltical referecnces in "Iron Man" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan."
In between political ads and
appearances on MSNBC firing back at Bill O’Reilly, John
Cusack has been working hard lately to promote his new film, “War,Inc.” And for good reason. Not only is it another film about the Iraq (or
"Turaquistan") War, which so far have all gotten beaten up both critically at the
box office, but it’s also a satire, the genre that, as George S.
And so the debate about the future of film criticism, which,
admittedly, only film critics seem to be interested in, goes on.
Here’s my own recent illustrative anecdote. A couple of
weeks ago the local publicists for Disney invited me to an early screening of
their big summer animation movie, “WALL-e.” Then they, well, disinvited me.
Leave it to
eagle-eyed critic Debbie Schlussel to
spot the hand of Al Qaeda in Andre Dubus III’s Oprah-touted “The Garden of Last Days,” which
“sympathizes” with one of the 9/11 terrorists.
Around the time of the moon landing when people were wondering
what Neil Armstrong would say when he first set foot on the surface some
comedian whose name I can’t remember joked that he could make himself a pile of
money if he just shouted “Coca-Cola!” Those were the days. Now such Philip K.
Dickian crass commercialization of space flight is the norm and what’s left of the
final frontier is only on the Sci-Fi channel or in Star Trek sequels.