- - Thursday, September 1, 2011

Balkan Muslim says murders spurred by film

A Balkan Muslim who killed two U.S. Air Force servicemen in March told a German judge Wednesday that he was motivated by the movie “Redacted,” which was made as a political statement in 2007 by Hollywood director Brian De Palma, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and several high-profile movie industry producers.

Arid Uka told the judge he murdered the two Americans after he watched the movie’s graphic depiction of U.S. soldiers raping a girl in Iraq, according to a BBC report.

“I thought what I saw in that video, these people would do in Afghanistan,” Mr. Uka told the court in Frankfurt. “What I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did.”

“I honestly had not heard about it,” said one “Redacted” producer, Jason Kliot. “I’m terribly sorry to hear that, but I don’t understand how my movie would impel anyone to commit murder.

“The real culprit here is the tragedy of war; it is not Brian De Palma’s brilliant film,” he said. “I don’t see how people would be made to commit acts of violence [after watching ‘Redacted’], any more than they would for watching Fox News.”

The movie - which also depicted U.S. soldiers as racist killers - was released as the U.S. stepped up its successful offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq, Saddam Hussein supporters and Iran-sponsored Shiite groups in 2006 and 2007.

The movie was widely praised in the movie industry and by left-of-center cultural groups. The movie and Mr. De Palma won awards at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, and it received a “Youth Jury Award” from the 2008 Amnesty International Film festival.

The movie made little money in the U.S. and European markets. According to IMDb.com, a website that tracks Hollywood movies and people, “Redacted” made $5 million.

When the movie was released, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who was the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, complained to the Motion Picture Association of America.

He said, “[The movie] portrays American service personnel in Iraq as uncontrollable misfits and criminals [and] ignores the many acts of heroism performed by our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors in Iraq.”

Public opinion also was mixed, with some critics calling the movie a “terrorist recruiting film.”

The movie’s plot was drawn from a 2006 episode in which five U.S. soldiers raped a girl and killed her and three family members. All involved were sentenced to up to 110 years.

“War movies … show the nature of war,” said Mr. Kliot, the film’s only producer to respond to emails and calls from the Daily Caller. “There is nothing more incendiary about telling the truth of what is happening in war.

“Do Americans kill people in wars? Yes [but] this is pro-American film, this is a pro-troops film [because it shows the consequences] when soldiers are put in an impossible position,” Mr. Kliot said.

Paul Dano to portray young Karl Rove in film

Before he was deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove was a college Republican. “There Will Be Blood” star Paul Dano will re-enact this part of Mr. Rove’s university days in the upcoming movie “College Republicans,” according to TheWrap.com.

Producer Maya Browne said the movie “is about when Karl Rove and Lee Atwater first met, which is when Karl Rove ran for president of the College Republicans, and that’s when they sort of discovered dirty tricks. It’s interesting to see them take that journey together.”

Scheduled to begin shooting this fall with director Richard Linklater (“Slackers”), “College Republicans” is slated for a 2012 release.

Both politicos went on to high-profile careers. Mr. Atwater became chairman of the Republican National Committee and the campaign manager for President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Rove evolved into George W. Bush’s right-hand man. He even called Mr. Rove the “architect” behind his 2004 election victory over Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

“Wall Street 2” actor Shia LaBeouf reportedly expressed an interest in taking on the role of the headstrong Mr. Rove, and Ms. Browne declined to comment on whether the Southern California native would appear in “College Republicans” in another role.

A New Yorker, Mr. Dano often plays outcasts and troubled individuals. The 27-year-old painted an eerie portrait of a disturbed young pastor in the 2007 drama “There Will Be Blood.” In 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine,” Mr. Dano played a moody teen who takes a vow of silence to prepare to get into the U.S. Air Force Academy. In 2004, the actor portrayed a secretly frisky uber-nerd in “The Girl Next Door.”

For Baldwin, personal life may trump political life

Why run for mayor of New York City when you can explore the world with your 27-year-old yoga instructor girlfriend?

That seems to be the mentality of “30 Rock” actor Alec Baldwin, who addressed rumors about a mayoral run during a Tuesday “Late Show” appearance. Though Mr. Baldwin said this year that he was “very, very interested” in seeking political office, the New Yorker told David Letterman that being mayor might work better in theory rather than practice.

“It’s the old adage you’d hear from people who are interested in politics. I would like to be the mayor; I don’t know if I want to run for mayor,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Running for mayor and being the mayor are two completely different things, and my life is changing: I’m going to do the show for another year, and beyond that, I’ve got a woman in my life, my girlfriend who is very important to me.”

When egged on to provide more details about his significant other, Mr. Baldwin posed a rhetorical question about choosing world travel with a loved one over being the calm in the storm when natural disasters hit.

“Would I rather be handcuffed to the emergency command center in Maspeth during a hurricane, holding down the fort and making sure all the plows are working, or would I rather spend some of that ‘30 Rock’ money traveling the world with my girlfriend?” Mr. Baldwin said.

Compiled by Laura Donovan, Neil Munro 2011 the Daily Caller.

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