The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow is on the cover of Time Magazine. Of course, she discusses torture and Zero Dark Thirty. What she also does is drop a neat little nugget about Andy Warhol and the beginning of her career.
“I think I had a conversation with Andy Warhol somewhere in all this, and Andy was saying that there’s something way more populist about film than art — that art’s very elitist, so you’re excluding a large audience. “
And that’s one of the reasons she got into movies. Hot damn, right? It’s a shame Warhol never got to see any of her big films, like Point Break or her latest two.
Moving on, Bigelow eventually talked about torture. She says she anticipated some controversy because everything Osama bin Laden and torture is controversial. So art mirrored life, except that art is holding a giant magnifying glass up the life.
What’s even more interesting is screenwriter Mark Boal’s comments on the ambiguity of the torture scenes. He says it was designed to mirror real life as well. He also seems to be throwing everything to the wind and saying stuff that’s going to piss off a lot of people.
“Even simple factual questions are being debated and litigated at the highest levels of government, between, for example, the Senate and the CIA.” He continued: “It’s being debated among historians, among journalists, among politicians, even among those agencies. I’ve spoken to two people in the CIA who worked with the same prisoner, who had two totally different views of what got him to talk and of the value of a particular piece of intelligence in the overall puzzle. ” However, ultimately he stands by how they portrayed the situation: “If the general impression you get from this movie is that torture played a role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, that’s because that’s true. That’s a fact. It doesn’t mean they had to torture people or that torture is necessary or torture is morally right.”
Woah, woah woah now. Some would argue that torture DID NOT give us any information about bin Laden. Of course, Boal has spoken to actual CIA agents who probably have more information than most. And of course, people lie! People lie to propagate their own agendas. So really, we don’t know shit.
“Where there’s clarity in the world, there’s clarity in the film. Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan — that’s clarity. And where there’s ambiguity in the world, there’s ambiguity in the film. If you look at the experts on the subject matter, whether it’s Mark Bowden [author of The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden] or David Ignatius [of the WashingtonPost], they all say that some information came out of the detainee program. Maybe once the Senate report is declassified, we’ll have more information. Maybe advocating a little more transparency in government would be a healthy step.”
The message of the filmmakers now seems to be, after defending the movie and largely skirting the issue of historical accuracy: torture may have lead to actual information about bin Laden but torture isn’t good. [Time via Vulture]