In a 12.27 N.Y. Times interview with Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, Brooks Barnes writes that Bigelow and ZD30 screenwriter-producer Mark Boal “have succeeded — perhaps a bit too well — in renewing a conversation about America’s use of torture to fight terrorism.”
But Bigelow “was not particularly keen to discuss torture over lunch, she said, partly because she wants her work to speak for itself and partly because she is aware that any public comments could just add fuel to the fire.”
I love and admire Bigelow, but c’mon. The anti-ZD30 rhetoric has obviously been raging over the Christmas holidays, and it’s become clear that the Hollywood Stalinists have probably succeeded in tarring and feathering ZD30 by persuading those who refuse to venture beyond party-chat points that the film is pro-torture (which it’s NOT) and is therefore pushing a politically incorrect narrative. So at this point a little lighter fluid by way of a quote given to Brooks Barnes would hardly fucking matter.
If I were Bigelow I would at least acknowledge that the Stalinists have probably wounded ZD30 badly enough to deny it the Best Picture Oscar, and that I hope they’re happy about that. I would also thank the Stalinists for giving us all an education about the hidden side of their nature.
On top of which if there’s one thing that the Stalinist attack pieces have made clear, it’s that ZD30 isn’t speaking for itself in terms of this topic. As Barnes observes, ZD30‘s torture scenes “are presented with no obvious political tilt, creating a cinematic Rorschach test in which different viewers see what they want to see.”