Tag Archives: Hollywood

Armstrong filmmakers purposely obscured American flag

The filmmakers for the Neil Armstrong biography film, First Man, made a conscious decision to hide or obscure the American flag in certain situations.

This new information has been provided to me by a Washington consultant who, because of his own outrage over their decision to not show the planting of the American flag during the lunar landing, had been given the opportunity to see selected clips from the movie as well as ask questions to the production team.

First Man movie flightsuits, without American flag

According to that meeting, he learned that they had consciously made the decision to either reposition or remove American flags from the blue flight suits that the astronauts wore from day to day so that it would not be visible. The image on the right, from the movie, illustrates this, as the American flag was almost always sewn into the upper left shoulder of these suits.

The filmmakers also purposely repositioned the flag or filmed angles for many scenes that acted to obscure the flag on the astronauts’ white pressure suits.

The reasons the filmmakers gave for doing this was to enhance their foreign ticket sales.

To this I say, baloney. They might have had this financial excuse, but I think this holds little or no weight. By willingly admitting that they hid the flag in this petty way they have confirmed their political agenda, their desire to convince the world that this mission was not an American achievement but a “human achievement.” Both the film’s Canadian star as well as its director have made it clear they have a globalist vision of the Apollo program, and wanted to spread the credit of its achievement to all humanity. Consciously hiding the flag in this small-minded manner demonstrates their political motives.

Moreover, even though the director, Damien Chazelle, might have wanted to focus on “Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours,” removing or obscuring icons of the United States serves no purpose other than to remove the United States from this decidedly American moment. Showing the flag on the flightsuits and pressure suits does not make this a jingoistic pro-American propaganda film. Nor does it do anything to prevent Chazelle from telling Neil Armstrong’s personal story. In fact, if anything, hiding the flag detracts from that goal, as Armstrong was very much doing this for his country (as numerous people who knew him have said), and to de-emphasize that reality is to rewrite history in a very dishonest way.

The pettiness of this entire action further outrages me. There is no doubt that sales would not have suffered in foreign countries, in the slightest, had the American flag been left where it belonged on these suits, and had been shown appropriately in other scenes. It accomplishes nothing positive for the film. What it does do is tell us what these Hollywood “artists” think of America.

So that there is no misunderstanding, I must add that neither my source nor I have as yet seen the entire film. It is still possible that these criticisms are unfair, and that the filmmakers might have shown the American flag appropriately in other scenes, and might even have shown it prominently.

Nonetheless, what we now know is that these filmmakers did made a conscious effort to rewrite history so that the United States no longer appeared as prominent in these events as it should have. Once again, it appears to me that these Hollywood filmmakers did this to express their disdain, almost hatred, of the United States and all that it stands for.

For this fact alone I think Americans should reconsider spending any of their hard-earned money on seeing this propaganda piece.

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Director of Neil Armstrong movie responds to flag critics

The director of the movie about Neil Armstrong, First Man, has issued a statement about criticism the movie is getting for not showing a scene of Armstrong and Aldrin planting the American flag on the Moon.

Below is Damien Chazelle’s statement in its entirety:

In “First Man” I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon — particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.

I wanted the primary focus in that scene to be on Neil’s solitary moments on the moon — his point of view as he first exited the LEM, his time spent at Little West Crater, the memories that may have crossed his mind during his lunar EVA. This was a feat beyond imagination; it was truly a giant leap for mankind. This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history. My hope is that by digging under the surface and humanizing the icon, we can better understand just how difficult, audacious and heroic this moment really was. [emphasis mine]

That he did show the American flag on the Moon is encouraging to me, and makes me think that the criticisms about this issue being leveled at the film, including mine, are possibly unfair.

At the same time, I have witnessed too often the desire of Hollywood to denigrate the United States, so I remain suspicious. Getting eyes on the film to get another perspective would I think be very helpful. I might myself have to view it to give my own perspective.

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Hollywood’s worst summer box office in 25 years

Link here. The numbers and details are truly horrifying:

Even before this catastrophic Labor Day weekend is factored in (more on this below), the domestic 2017 box office is in hideous shape. This year is –6.3% behind 2016 and continues to fall behind 2015, 2013, and 2012.

If you figure in inflation, those numbers are even worse. For example, in 2012 the average ticket cost $7.96. Today it is almost a full dollar more at $8.89. Yeah, things are that bad and will look even worse on Tuesday.

With no apparent faith in their own product, this is the first Labor Day in 25 years where a new title has not been released on more than 1,000 screens. Over this weekend last year, the box office hauled in nearly $130 million. This year will do about a third of that. Summer attendance is at a 25-year low. The summer box office is down a whopping –16% compared to 2016.

The author provides some cogent analysis, all of which suggests things are going to get far worse for Hollywood in the coming years. The essence of the problem comes back to the same intellectual bubble that the elitists in Washington remain trapped in: A refusal to cater to the interests of their customers.

Unfortunately, this is the times in which we live. The dominate intellectual culture today is intellectually dishonest. The public has been making choices it disagrees with, and it continues to show an utter unwillingness to honestly assess those choices and figure out why. Instead, that culture, almost entirely leftwing and liberal in make-up, has decided that such dissent can only be the work of evil racists, an absurd conclusion that only serves to alienate that bankrupt intellectual culture more from the general public that is rejecting it.

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Martin Brest – Hot Tomorrows

An evening pause: Hat tip again to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime. As Phil wrote to me, this scene is “the sensational finale from Martin Brest’s NYU student film, Hot Tomorrows. Brest, who went on to direct Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run and Scent of a Woman, broke all the rules in scrounging every resource he could find to make this 73-minute tragi-comic riff on the subject of death.”

Makes for a perfect Halloween evening pause.

An aside: Long ago, when I was in the movie business, I worked with many of the people who helped Brest make this film, and can say without doubt that he scored the best crew one could imagine finding for a student production.

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Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters – You Don’t Have to Know the Language

An evening pause: From The Road to Rio (1947), with a little help from Bob Hope.

Hat tip again to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime, which I have found to be a great reference for finding the best films from movie history.

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Five myths about hacking you probably believe, thanks to the movies.

Five myths about hacking you probably believe, thanks to the movies.

The article is focused on hacking, but it really illustrates the general difference between reality and the movies in almost all things. You simply have to ask the same questions about almost every other Hollywood generalization to find out how far from reality those generalizations are.

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Cleopatra enters Rome

An evening pause: As today is the Ides of March, I am always reminded of Julius Caesar. With that thought in mind, here is a clip from the 1953 movie, Cleopatra, staring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and Richard Burton. The movie overall isn’t very good, though the first half with Rex Harrison playing Julius Caesar is worth watching, partly because of Harrison and partly because it is very clearly inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra.

That first half also includes the scene below, when Cleopatra enters Rome, bringing with her her son by Caesar. A more classic example of late Hollywood spectacle would be hard to find. It is silly, absurd, impossible, and yet totally engrossing. And it was done with no computer effects. When Hollywood PR used to say a movie had a “cast of thousands,” they really meant it.

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