5 Mar 2015

Bayghazi or Fifty

Movies are a wonderful medium to convey ideas. Through spectacular visuals, evocative music and sound, a well written and intelligent movie can do more than entertain us. We can be moved, and inspired. We can love, hate, laugh and cry. Sometimes all from the same film. A great film can be more than fun, it can enrich us.

Important films tackle important events or issues, social, political, cultural or historical. They can shine lights on dark places, or educate us through empathy and informed dialogue. This is what  films can do. However we all know that some films are simply tell an entertaining story, and that is very important too.

Today I am not going to be disccussing either of these sorts of movie. 

American Sniper was a popular film. No let me rephrase that. American Sniper was a successful movie. I have not seen it, but by all accounts it was well crafted and had great performances from Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. However while many liked the film and saw it as a man who had blind faith in a cause at the expense of his family, it has also been equally criticised for being a fairy tale account of the Iraqi war and the man the film depicts. Some of my friends who have seen said the film said that it made them angry about it being a propaganda piece and a justification for the Iraqi invasion. 

Personally I can’t really comment as I have not seen it.

On 11 September 2012, a large group of militants attacked the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, and a second US compound nearby. Four men were killed including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The events of those events still resonate through American politics today. 

When studios or big producers see a formula then they quickly capitalise on it.The financial success of American Sniper is instrumental in events like Benghazi being made into a movie. If American Sniper was, at best, a high dramatized version of real events, then what can we expect to see with the upcoming two (yes two) films about Benghazi. Obviously people have decided to make movies about the tragic events of that day, and who will be creating a film about this unfortunate event? Well the Hollywood Reporter writes that there are two people who have purchased the rights so far, and they are.....
  1. Michael Bay
  2. Dana Brunetti
You are probably still reeling from the prospect of Bumble Bee and Optimis Prime battling with Libyan Militants to wonder who Dana Brunetti is? If you just clicked on the link you have just learnt that Mr Brunetti is one of the people that brought you  Captain Phillips  and Fifty Shades of Grey. 


Michael Bay has experience with depictions of historical events. He previous created his highly successful 'version' of the attack on Pearl harbour, and I see no reason why he won't treat the events at Benghazi in September 2012, with the same respect. Although now that he is more successful and influential, I can definitely envision that the Libyan Militants are actually members of the foot clan who are ruled over by Shredder aka Megatron.

Of course if you feel that you want a depiction of Bayghazi (working title) with less Giant Robots ( I know the concept of less giant robots seems insane, but consider Transformers 3), then perhaps we can consider the alternative?
It is Optimus Prime with a sword riding a dragon! How can this not be cool? Oh wait they Bay'd it. 

The more human story of a young female intern, Bella Swan, no Anna Steele, no Um Betty Iron, being taken hostage by a cool charismatic vampire, no um Businessman Um no I mean Militant leader. After he takes her hostage he shows her his dangerous world of sadomasochistic ideologies. But Bella DAMMIT, I mean Betty cracks through that cold exterior and releases love and exposes his humanity to the world. And then I guess he kills the ambassador? I understand that the fan fiction I mean screen play is under way now. 

Fifty Twilights of Benghazi makes more sense to me as a story. I mean you have a stalkerish misogynistic male character monitoring and trying to control the female characters every movement and there will be cables ties!

So the first story is going to be brought to you by a man whose concept of inventive narrative is a petrol bomb, and has the overt agenda of destroying the childhood of an entire generation. The second man brought you the creative retelling of a Captain Blighesque character into a sympathetic and empathetic hero, and in a innovative sweep provided audiences with a movie that was simultaneously creepy and disturbing while at the same time ludicrously cheesy and boring. To be fair that take some talent.

So yay boom crash yawn.  I suspect that one or both of these films will be released just in time for the 2016 US presidential election. Given Hilary Clinton's position as Secretary of State at the time of the attack in Bangahzi, these films will be an interesting foil to her campaign. Although it could backfire and make her look like a genius. Who knows?  

I am probably making a big call but I suspect that despite the events behind these films neither of them will convey any important evocative messages, or even be entertaining.  

But do not dispair, do not frown. Help is on the way. 

and here it is! and this!

Ok I am off to Europe this weekend with my wonderful and darling wife.  We intend to eat drink and be awesome. Thus I will be away for a while so please watch films, watch great films. And if you can't watch great films, watch dumb movies that are so bad they are awesome with your friends.  

And to all those who read this, I hope that every day you watch something, or read something that makes you be or feel awesome.