Monday, May 6, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (USA: Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)



Zero Dark Thirty (USA: Kathryn Bigelow, 2012: 157 mins)

Alpert, Robert. "Kathryn Bigelow' Zero Dark Thirty: A Case Study on Mythmaking and Making History." Jump Cut #57 (Fall 2016)

Bigelow, Kathryn. "Addresses Zero Dark Thirty Criticism." The Los Angeles Times (January 15, 2013)

Brody, Reed. "'These Are Crimes': New Calls to Prosecute Bush Admin as Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture." Democracy Now (December 10, 2014)

Chaudhuri, Shohini. "Documenting The Dark Side: Torture and The “War On Terror” in Zero Dark Thirty, Taxi To The Dark Side, and Standard Operating Procedure." Screening the Past (October 2013)

Chen, Adrian. "Newly Declassified Memo Shows CIA Shaped Zero Dark Thirty's Narrative." Gawker (May 5, 2013)

Child, Ben. "CIA requested Zero Dark Thirty rewrites, memo reveals." The Guardian (May 7, 2013)

"Diminished Lives." Cineaste (Summer 2015)

"Dirty Wars Archive Dialogic Cinephilia (November 13, 2013: Ongoing)

Flynn, Michael and Fabiola F. Salek. "Screening Torture: Introduction." Screening Torture: Media Representations of State Terror and Political Domination. ed. Michael Flynn and Fabiola F. Salek. NY: Columbia University Press, 2012: 1-18. [Professor has a copy]

Freedman, Samuel G. "‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ Through a Theological Lens." The New York Times (February 23, 2013)

Giroux, Henry. "America's Addiction to Violence." Counterpunch (December 25, 2015)

Glennon, Michael J. "National Security and Double Government." Harvard National Security Journal 5.1 (2014)

Greenwald, Glenn and Peter Maass. "Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, The Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals." The Intercept (December 19, 2014)

Gross, Larry. "Some Ways Into Zero Dark Thirty." Film Comment (December 18, 2012)

Hafetz, Jonathan and Stephen Vladek. "Throwing Away the Key: Has the Supreme Court turned its back on Guantánamo?" Amicus #13 (March 14, 2015)

Hersh, Seymour M. "The Killing of Osama bin Laden." London Review of Books 37.10 (May 2015)

---. "Seymour Hersh Details Explosive Story on Bin Laden Killing & Responds to White House, Media Backlash." Democracy Now (May 12, 2015) ["Four years after U.S. forces assassinated Osama bin Laden, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has published an explosive piece claiming much of what the Obama administration said about the attack was wrong. Hersh claims at the time of the U.S. raid bin Laden had been held as a prisoner by Pakistani intelligence since 2006. Top Pakistani military leaders knew about the operation and provided key assistance. Contrary to U.S. claims that it located bin Laden by tracking his courier, a former Pakistani intelligence officer identified bin Laden’s whereabouts in return for the bulk of a $25 million U.S. bounty. Questions are also raised about whether bin Laden was actually buried at sea, as the U.S. claimed. Hersh says instead the Navy SEALs threw parts of bin Laden’s body into the Hindu Kush mountains from their helicopter. The White House claims the piece is 'riddled with inaccuracies.' Hersh joins us to lay out his findings and respond to criticism from government officials and media colleagues."]

Hudson, David. "The CIA Goes to the Oscars: How far from the paranoid 70′s have ARGO and ZERO DARK THIRTY taken us?" Keyframe (February 24, 2013)

---. "Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty: 'This is movie journalism that snaps and stings, that purifies a decade’s clamor and clutter into narrative clarity, with a salutary kick.'" Keyframe (November 25, 2012)

---. "Zero Dark Thirty and the CIA." Keyframe (May 8, 2013)

Jardin, Xeni. "Zero Dark Thirty not good enough to justify torture fantasies." Boing Boing (December 12, 2012)

Jensen, Lindsay. “'It’s Biology': Zero Dark Thirty and the Politics of the Body." cléo 1.1 (April 1, 2013) 

"Jessica Chastain Discusses Her Acting Process In Recent One-Hour Conversation." The Film Stage (March 24, 2015)

"Judicial Watch Obtains DOD and CIA Records Detailing Meetings with bin Laden Raid Filmmakers." Judicial Watch (May 22, 2012)

"Judicial Watch Obtains Stack of ‘Overlooked’ CIA Records Detailing Meetings with bin Laden Filmmakers." Judicial Watch (August 28, 2012)

Mahler, Jonathan. "What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death?" The New York Times (October 18, 2015)

Maass, Peter. "Oscars Make History, So Hollywood's War Stories Need to Be True." The Intercept (February 13, 2015)

McGovern, Ray. "Excusing Torture, Again." Common Dreams (January 9, 2013)

Miller, Greg, Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima. "CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says." Washington Post (March 31, 2014)

Rahbar, Jean. "U.S. ambivalence about torture: an analysis of post-9/11 films." Jump Cut #56 (Winter 2014/2015)

"Really Torn Up About It: Zero Dark Thirty, Torture and Terrorist Realism." Bad Penny (February 9, 2013)

Rombes, Nicholas. "Zero Dark Thirty and the New History." Film Comment (January 29, 2013)

Rubenstein, Richard L. The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future. NY: Harper Colophon, 1978. [excerpts from pages 15-33]

Secrets, Politics and Torture (PBS Documentary: May 19, 2015) ["From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk (United States of Secrets, Losing Iraq, Bush’s War, The Torture Question) comes the dramatic story of the fight over the CIA’s controversial interrogation methods, widely criticized as torture. Based on recently declassified documents and interviews with key political leaders and CIA insiders, the film investigates what the CIA did — and whether it worked."]

Shaviro, Steven. "A Brief Remark on Zero Dark Thirty." The Pinocchio Theory (January 18, 2013)

Simms-Bruno, Holly. "Money for Nothing: Whiteness, Terrorism, Surveillance and Profit." Uprooting Criminology (December 5, 2013)

Standard Operating Procedure (USA: Errol Morris, 2008)

Taibbi, Matt. "'Zero Dark Thirty' Is bin Laden's Last Victory." Rolling Stone (Reposted on Reader Supported News: January 17, 2012)

Taxi To The Dark Side (USA: Alex Gibney, 2007)

"Torture: Peace and Conflict Studies." Dialogic Cinephilia (ongoing archive)

Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy. "The Monitor Mentality, or A Means to an End Becomes an End in Itself: Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty." Notebook (December 19, 2012)

Wellman, Jacob. "Are We Fighting Monsters We Created." Dialogic Cinephilia (November 5, 2014

Zizek, Slavoj. "Zero Dark Thirty: Hollywood's gift to American power." The Guardian (January 25, 2013)


Phillip Wohlstetter on Zero Dark Thirty: "How does a film think? Recall the famous experiment of Lev Kuleshov. Start with the shot of an actor’s face. Vary the shots adjacent to it: a coffin, a plate of soup, a seductive woman lying on a divan. The actor’s expression will be read, alternately, as sadness, hunger, or lust. For the audience, juxtaposition creates meaning. A film is an arrangement of moments, shorter or longer, but every narrative moment is brought into relief by a significant before-moment and a significant after-moment that frames it. Let’s look at the first torture sequence in Zero Dark Thirty to see how this meaning-effect works. Significant before-moment: the powerful opening sequence, dark screen, the terrified voice of a woman trapped in the World Trade Center on 9/11, realizing there’s no help coming, she’s going to die. Central narrative moment: a detainee is water-boarded in the next scene, forced to crawl in a dog collar, hung up naked by the arms, etc. After-moment: the face of Maya, wincing as she watches the torture. I’m cheating on this last. Obviously it’s a reaction shot within a scene, but in terms of meaning, it provides a bookend to the torture moment just as surely as the 9/11 sequence bookends it from the other side. To see the truth of this, imagine an opening with the before and after moments removed. We would be watching a brutal torture scene with no comment whatsoever—that is to say, we’d be in a neo-realist film that lets us observe and come to our own conclusions, that avoids (ideally) telling us what to feel. Instead, the torture moment is framed as a reaction to 9/11, an over-reaction maybe but understandable in context and perhaps in the end—we have to entertain this possibility—excusable. Now let’s look at the work of Maya’s reaction shot (remembering that it’s precisely the reaction shot, a way to locate the audience member in the movie by offering him/her a surrogate who reacts to events the way we would given the chance—it’s precisely this key device of classic Hollywood Film that Neo-Realism rejected because it lulled us so easily into unthinking). Maya winces. We would too, humanists and democrats that we are. But she stays in the room, gritting her teeth, going against her nature. Sometimes, the film whispers, you have to make hard choices, to take hard measures—a celluloid lesson in ‘dirty hands’ moral philosophy."


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