BY ANDREW MOODY
During the second Gulf War, celebrity filmmaker Brian De Palma (a millionaire many times over) made a snuff film called Redacted, designed to sabotage the allied war effort. I call it a snuff film because it includes stolen military photographs of dead Iraqi citizens at the close. Suspiciously rated 15 in the UK, not only does the film unsuccessfully attempt to blame our military sins on the creation of ISIS (untrue) it also plagiarises from De Palma’s epic eighties Vietnam movie, Casualties of War about the true story of the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl by American troops. A careful film, no such tact or reality lies behind the rape and murder central to Redacted. At the time of its release, De Palma was accused of High Treason, but Bush had too much to concern himself with than to legally ban it.
De Palma has often been compared to Hitchcock, he’s closer in reality to Giallo legend Dario Argento who has openly admitted he makes films about murdering women so he doesn’t have to do it. The gloved hands of the killers in his movies are always his own.
Since his first hit Carrie, cast alongside Star Wars in 1976, he has been famed for his ingenious horror imagery, most especially the nightmare-like menstruation of the teenage Carrie White in the high school showers.
Pauline Kael adored De Palma back in the auteur led seventies, but he never quite reached the giddy heights of Coppola, Scorsese or Spielberg. Thinking back on his back catalogue, it now seems unsurprising that a film as upsetting and deadening as Redacted would be the result of thirty years of fake murder. This time round it is obvious he just wanted to do it for real.
Anybody with a military record should instinctively be outraged at the film, especially the brave men and women who recently sent the Nazi-inspired ISIS to their graves. As much as many liberals can’t admit that 9/11 was a declaration of war, it was necessary for America and her allies to declare war on any country involved or who had any foreknowledge. Few Hollywood filmmakers have served in the military. Oliver Stone is a rare exception (he was a ground trooper in Vietnam) but proved with his recent movie about the traitorous Edward Snowden he never knew why.
War is as serious as it gets, and all REDACTED does is thumb its nose at the unbearable losses on both sides, helping nobody. That kind of Hollywood film-making is over now. I used to be a fan of De Palma, but his venal nature has been exposed. Ensure you do not watch this film, and think carefully on why the BBFC thought it was suitable for 15 year olds.
Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter @VoguishFiction