“What Zero Dark Thirty needs is more viewers to get their heads out of their asses and appreciate the movie as a major fucking work of art,” HE’s Jesse Crall wrote a little while ago. “The [moral] ambiguity of the American CIA agents involved only makes ZD30 more interesting.” But not to the Stalinists. They want movies in the vein of those 1930s films about tractors tilling the soil on Soviet wheat farms. Forward, socialism! Death to degenerate art movies that convey moral ambiguity!
“Yeah, I want a movie where the CIA agents are paragons of decency, heroically saving the pristine ideals of American exceptionalism through their honest overseas campaign,” Crall continues. “Let’s insert some more Captain America vibes into Biggy-Boal’s flick. That’s the ticket.
“Would The Bridge on the River Kwai get shit on because Alec Guinness‘s Col. Nicholson became proud of his completion of the bridge even if it benefitted the enemy? Fuck that. His conflicting thoughts” — initial pride and then “what have I done?” at the finale — “mark one of the coolest character dilemmas in film history. Jessica Chastain‘s reaction to torture and her response to the ‘victim’ of it will also stand out for decades to come.”