SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (FOR Soraya Ulrich & Hamid Dabashi)

SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (FOR Soraya Ulrich & Hamid Dabashi)
by Darius Kadivar
03-Oct-2008
 

A Great Scene from the Classic movie SEVEN DAYS IN MAY challenges Washington's neo con mentality already back in the 1960's at the Hight of the Cold War. This is something Iranian Cinema Will NEVER ACHIEVE at this rate in terms of social and political self criticism. A John Frankenheimer film Starring Burt Lancaster, Frederic March and Kirk Douglas. Those who distrust America like Mrs. Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, or don't understand Hollywood like Film Critic Mr. Hamid Dabashi should ponder on this scene before speaking nonesense about this great nation and Hollywood as a State Sponsored Propaganda Machine. I wish we had the same freedom of expression in our country Iran where not only films are censored but artists threatened to express themselves.

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Darius Kadivar

IRANdokht Jan Yes I did ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

I wrote about this theme  in my first article for the Iranian.com and even mentioned movie project 300 which was in developement before Zach Snyder took over:

Persia ? Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood By Darius Kadivar
August 28, 2000

My view on the film 300 was never published in the Iranian.com because the website was very busy promoting the petition by Siamak Baniameri which seemed more exciting for the readers.

The Persian Empire Strikes Back ! By Darius KADIVAR (payvand)

Warm Regards,

D


IRANdokht

With all due respect...

by IRANdokht on

Even the "free speech" in Hollywood is only meant to bring in the money! I don't think you should really count on Hollywood as much when it comes to the real politics of the world, or freedom of speech for that matter.

The best movie ideas are often turned away by the Hollywood studios unless they can prove to be of money-making kind, and most politically unbiased ideas have to resort to indy productions. 

I know you're very impressed by the hollywood glitter and glory, I also do enjoy your blogs about the old movies and TV programs, but I think you should consider reality every now and then: Hollywood does not have the answer to everything and it does not represent the "true" anything but business! Hollywood has also produced the movie "300", are you going to blog about that some day and validate the false history that it made up?

IRANdokht


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Darius: You made my day!

by Anonymous Admirer (not verified) on

Thanks a million Darius jaan. That was brilliant. You possess such a pure and uncorrupted mind and heart that wins over every arguemt.

God bless you Mr Kadivar.

Yours truly

AA


Darius Kadivar

Anonymous Admirer Thank you ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Truly humbled by YOUR COOL SUPPORT my Friend ;0)

So this one is exclusively for you and hope you enjoy the laugh ;0)


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Mr Kadivar you are the Coolest of the Cool

by Anonymous Admirer (not verified) on

I just love your style of debate. It reminds me of some of the best tims of our lives when back in the 1970's we didn't have any of such nonsense we have today. Thise were the good old days There were no: Islamic fundamentalism, no neo-conservatism, no Al-qeada, no regime apologists, no Soraya Ulrich, no Hamid Babashi, no Hooman Majd, no Abbas Edalt, no CASMII, no NIAC no ....

Now we have all these poisonous cooktails PLUS the rifrafs who support them.

Keep up the COOL work Darius you are the King COOL
:-)


Darius Kadivar

Soraya and Hamid We'll meet again ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Dear Mrs. Soraya Ulrich,

Thanks you for your usual extensively documented diatribe. But as you know the expression: "An image is often worth a thousand words ..." So just imagine a Film !

If you allow me Madame, I will answer to your post visually through another great movie on that rich Hollywood era I greatly admire : Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

 

Also this one dubbed in German for the Germanophile in you Mrs. Ulrich: ;0)

 

Dr. Strangelove - "Mein Führer! I can walk!"

Precious Bodily Fluids

Major Kong Rides the Bomb

We'll Meet Again Someday ...

VIVE LE CINEMA !


cyclicforward

You hit it on the head Kadivar

by cyclicforward on

There is always hope for America and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel for this great nation no matter how bad things become. Let Soraya be bitter and curse and rant it. She does not matter.


manesh

Big miss Kadivar

by manesh on

How can you use this to refer to Soraya? MAkes me wonder just what you gleamed from her posts.  

Great movie though.  I love movies about the American idea and this seems to be a good one.  I should watch it. Thanks.

P.S. regarding stage management: why is the General sitting closer to the fire than the President?  


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Some Facts

by Soraya Sepahpour (not verified) on

I must thank Mr. Kadivar for putting my name alongside someone as accomplished as Hamid Dabashi. This is yet another indication that he is ill-informed on all events, including the topic at hand. Watching movies is enjoyable, but I do recommend that he read some of the citations I have included.

In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, President Woodrow Wilson’s Committee on Public Information (CPI) enlisted the aid of America’s film industry to make training films and features supporting the cause. Heavily propagandistic, most of these films were for domestic consumption only. But the CPI also controlled all the battle footage used in newsreels shown overseas, and its chairman, George Creel, believed that the movies had a role in “carrying the gospel of Americanism to every corner of the globe.” The CPI was terminated after the war, but the stage had been set for a major shift, as Washington rewarded the movie studios by pressuring war-weakened European governments to open their markets to American films. This pact grew stronger during World War II, when, as historian Thomas Doherty writes, “the liaison between Hollywood and Washington was a distinctly American and democratic arrangement, a mesh of public policy and private initiative, state need and business enterprise.” Hollywood’s contribution was to provide propaganda. After the war, Washington reciprocated by using subsidies, special provisions in the Marshall Plan, and general clout to pry open resistant European film markets. (Martha Bayles, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2005)
In his book ‘Soft Power’, Joseph Nye speaks of the influence of Hollywood. He cites the poet Carl Sandburg who in 1961 said: “What, Hollywood’s more important than Harvard? The answer is not as clean as Harvard, but nevertheless, further reaching.”
The American commercial film industry, Hollywood, has often borrowed its story ideas from the U.S. foreign policy agenda, at times reinforcing U.S. policies while at times undermining them and offering alternative interpretations to them and to news media portrayals. One of the film industry's blockbuster film loans in the last two decades has been modern international terrorism. Research on Hollywood portrayals of international terrorism has been almost non-existent although the movie industry has produced well over one hundred films on modern terrorism since the emergence of the phenomenon in international relations in 1968. Hollywood rarely touched the topic of terrorism in the late 1960s and 1970s when the phenomenon was not high on the U.S. foreign policy agenda, in news headlines nor in the American public consciousness. In the 1980s, in the footsteps of the Reagan administration, the commercial film industry found international terrorism a threat to the U.S. and brought terrorist villains to the big screen, making terrorism a blockbuster film product in the 1990s.
Several researches have shown for example that typically Hollywood has concentrated on portraying the Indians as savages, the Latins as greasers, Italians as mobsters, Arabs as fanatic terrorists, and the hero as the while male. Several researchers (Parneti ’92, Crowdus ’94, and Gregg ’98) argue that the traditional image of the White hero killing the foreign villain supports the US foreign policy. This goes unnoticed by the movie audiences especially in the US where the audiences are poorly informed about international affairs (Hess 1996, Rosenbaum 1993).
Hollywood films on terrorism reflect the US Department of State’s pattern of global terrorism and disproportionately focus on conflict, which follows the classical Hollywood cinema screenwriting structure but not necessarily the events of international relations. The pattern of global terrorism disproportionately focuses on conflict, which follows the classical Hollywood cinema screenwriting structure but not necessarily the events of international relations. It dates back to the hostage crisis in Iran and 1980. (Helena Vanhala - Hollywood portrayal of modern international terrorism in blockbuster action-adventure films: From the Iran hostage crisis to September 11, 2001 Dissertations And Theses 2005). University of Oregon; 2005. From there, Iran has been made a villain in every sense.
Starting with movies such as “not without my daughter” – a simple custody battle filmed in Israel and the US to demonize Iranians, ( A Finnish 90-minute documentary “Without my daughter” was made a few years later by Alexis Kouros (Dream Catcher Productions) to tell the side of the father, but not heard of here) to the constant misinformation of the news media, until finally Hollywood declared ‘war’ on Iran by reproducing the 1962 movie – and releasing the ‘300’. It is noteworthy that the 1962 comic based “the Spartans” made while the US considered Iran an ally, reflected Xerxes as a handsome, muscular white male with his Jewish wife versus the pierced, asexual creature portrayed in the current production which was started in 2002 – coinciding with the timing of Mr. Bush labeling Iran an ‘axis of evil’.
As for Iranian cinema “NEVER ACHIEVING” anything, there is much that the world thinks Iran will not achieve, and they have tried to stop it. Witness in the past, during World War II, when the Allies found Iran to be a critical strategic zone for supplying Russians with military hardware and Iran’s proclamation of neutrality, the Allies demanded the deportation of German citizens from Iran. Due to negative responses from Reza Shah, Iran was invaded by the British (in the South West) and the Russians (from the North) on August 25, 1941. With American troops entering in October of the same year, Iran, as 'The Bridge of Victory', suffered the woes of occupation by three Western powers. Reza Shah was sent to exile by the British and was replaced by his son in September 1941. Both the physical existence of Western powers and the cultural domination by Allies, made imperialism ever-present in the media. For propaganda purposes more cinema theatres were opened to show dubbed newsreels and expository documentaries. Hollywood productions dominated the screens and left no space for any local cultural activities. Dubbing was one of the few means of participation for Iranians in the film industry during this era. Source: Ali Issari: Cinema in Iran, 1900-1979 (1988).
Due to the Shah’s Napoleon complex, he paid for the location and the cost of Hollywood’s expense so that movies would be filmed in Iran – third rate movies. So at least today, the production is Iranian. Who knows, with the likes of you here and Iran not subject to cultural imperialism, anything is possible.


Q

oh PALLLEASE...

by Q on

Kadivar, you sound like a teenager who has just been told about the "real world".

Are you kidding? This half-ass "affirmation" of the "American System" is the very function of hollywood. Relegate real change, and possibility of true revolution to the realm of "fiction" which ends up justifying the current "reality".

Actually, there really was a plot after world War I, when some conspirators approached major General Smedley Butler to help overthrow the US Government but he refused when he realized they were even more corrupt than the business-owned US government.

There are American heroes who reject war and imperialism but value democracy. You can read about them in history, no need to watch fiction.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot


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Bad comparison! Its like

by reviewer (not verified) on

Bad comparison!
Its like saying North American historically would never see soemthing like Hafez and Sa'adi, because they are backward in literature !.
Even In full state of freedom(which seems to be Ideal), Iran would never ever obliged to assimilate this form of expression of Ideas. because expression of ideas occures only to its cultural context.
And If you believe that in Cold war era, movies were not politically and idelogically made, you should have a better look at them.
PS: You should say instead of :" Those who don't distrust America like Mrs. Soraya Sepahpour..." its 'Dont trust'


Asghar_Massombagi

Good film

by Asghar_Massombagi on

This is very good film, came out around the same time as Kubrick's Strange Love, Sidney Lumet's Fail Safe (remade into a TV movie by George Clooney a few years ago) and Frankenheimer's own The Manchurian Candidate. Frankenheimer however was a Kennedy liberal, ditto Lumet and Kubrick. They were swimming against the current.  The times were also special as the studio system was breaking down, ditto the Black List. This film could not have been made in the Fifties. The Red Scare was too strong and even then it took a committed liberal like Kirk Douglas to bring the film to the screen.  Hollywood like the United States itself has never been monolithic. The old studio moguls were very conservative and big business advocates and also the Hayes code enforced a strict social regime in the movies (along with the sexual code).  Blacks had to be always servants, the Chinese house boys, etc.  But a lot of great films came out of Hollywood and great artists were able to work albeit with much struggle and churned out good work. That system was of course shot to pieces in the Sixties.  The reality was and is a lot more complex than you have portrayed in your all too brief intro.  By the way, I'm curious, where did Dabashi labelled Hollywood "state sponsored propaganda machine?"  Sounds too simplistic and he is a lot more subtle and sophisticated than you sound him to be.  Your link directed me to his website.  Is there an article or a specific book you are hinting at?  Did I miss it in the page?


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Great Post Mr. Kadivar!

by AnonymousIrooni (not verified) on

I think you meant to say "Those who distrust" instead of "Those who don't distrust".