Although Academy Award predictions are now favoring The Revenant to win Best Picture, two films based on real events, The Big Short and Spotlight, received numerous accolades and critical acclaim in 2016’s awards race. While real event based and true story films are common throughout film history, there has been a spate of these films … Continue reading ‘Based on Real Events’: Five Movies That Should Get Made
As Frontline PBS promotes it’s new documentary airing tonight, “Secrets, Politics, and Torture”, it once again links director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal to supporting torture via its depiction in their film, Zero Dark Thirty. Many politicians and journalists say the filmmakers make it clear that information gained during torture led the U.S. to bin … Continue reading Zero Dark Thirty: The (Pointless) Debate Continues
Author’s Note: I wrote this profile in January 2013 as Zero Dark Thirty was opening nationwide, but I realized it never migrated to this blog. So here it is. “If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, … Continue reading Kathryn Bigelow: I Refuse to Stop Making Movies
As the end of the year approaches, there’s an influx of award nomination lists, critics compile their top ten films of the year, and the New York Film Academy releases an infographic showing the inequality for women in the film industry. While it’s certainly important to be aware of the numbers, the statistics are oft quoted, … Continue reading Female Filmmakers: Don’t Let the Statistics Get You Down
After early praise on the film festival circuit, Gravity, otherwise known as George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as Astronauts (!), stormed the box office, breaking October records in its first weekend (grossing $55 million) and staying on top its second week of release, topping Captain Phillips. The tension riddled events which make up the film … Continue reading Awards Season Watch: Sandra Bullock in Space
It has been mentioned elsewhere on this blog that All the President’s Men is one of my favorite films as well as one of my formative film watching experiences. Not only is my love for journalism wrapped up in that film, but my penchant for films based on true stories. Always a popular concept in … Continue reading True Fiction: Fact-based films enter Oscar race
Forbes interviewed Sony exec Amy Pascal, the only Hollywood studio head who is a woman, about the lack of women helmed movies, among other topics. Sony’s Zero Dark Thirty was the only Oscar Best Picture nominee to star a woman and be directed by a woman. It was also financed by Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison. Pascal is … Continue reading What’s Wrong with ‘Female’ Directors? Part Two: Amy Pascal Speaks Out
Manhunt, a documentary based on a book of the same name by Peter Bergen, aired on HBO Wednesday evening, the two-year anniversary of bin Laden’s death. Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, premiered in New York and L.A. on December 19, 2012, and expanded wide on January 11. One is a documentary. One is a work … Continue reading Manhunt vs. Zero Dark Thirty: Finding OBL
As a former journalist, political science major, and current entertainment industry minion, I’ve enjoyed and admired Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s desire to tell topical stories in their films.
The basis for The Hurt Locker were Boal’s experiences as an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2004. Shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011, Boal embarked on researching the raid that led to his death. He compiled his research and interviews into the script for Zero Dark Thirty.
After seeing the film, I read two books about events that took place in the ten year span between the 9/11 attacks and the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. Triple Agent by Joby Warrick, focuses on the 2009 suicide bombing at Camp Chapman near Khost, Afghanistan. The Finish by Mark Bowden, follows many of the decision makers leading up to the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s compound. Both of these confirm the events fictionalized in Zero Dark Thirty and more accounts of the raid have been published since then.
On March 28, the Writers Guild Foundation hosted an Anatomy of a Script event with Boal.
It was clear from his answers he didn’t skimp on the research of the events in Zero Dark Thirty and in general, Boal’s well read and well informed of current events & historical events relating to the War on Terror.
There were some funny moments and he had a couple stories from shooting Zero Dark Thirty which haven’t been recounted elsewhere.