I often do not know what to make of Caitlin Johnstone’s articles but, in this case, she is spot on about Perfect Pitch 3 being a terrible film. We left after the first 20 minutes. I kept thinking, it has to get better. It can’t be this bad.
It was. PP3 was a terrible film. Poorly written, poorly edited, poorly directed and badly acted…and we left after 20 minutes, so I can’t imagine how bad it was by the end.
Without knowing anything about the involvement of the Army in the production of the film, I could not understand why the film was set in that military context but it rang a false note from the very beginning. It made no sense. Now that I know how the military was involved in this production, I am reminded that Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Secretary of Treasury, is listed as the executive producers on some 44 films made between 2014 and 2017. (Yes, he is making money as an executive producer while Secretary of the Treasury.) Steve Bannon is listed as producer or executive producer on 18 films between 1991 and 2016.
The difference between Mnuchin’s films and Bannon’s is that Mnuchin’s movies are legitimate theatrical releases, including quite a few blockbuster hits while 12 of Bannon’s 14 films are outright right-wing propaganda films.
It was quite legal for Steve Bannon to produce and release his right wing propaganda films because he wasn’t doing so under the auspices of the government but rather as a private individual. It is quite another thing to inject propaganda into theatrical films that is designed to disseminate covert messages to young people about military service.
It was actually against U.S. law for the federal government to produce or disseminate propaganda domestically to the citizens of the United States until 2013, when the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 nullified the provision in the U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 that banned government propaganda in the United States.
So, it now appears to be commonplace to produce films that present the U.S. military in a positive light, and it is now perfectly legal for branches of the American government to participate in the making of those films.
I note without comment that one of the first things the Nazis did when they came to power was to take over control of all publishing activities within the Third Reich, but they also “nationalized” the German film industry and put it to work pushing Nazi propaganda under the guise of theatrical entertainment.
I think it is quite all right for film producers to produce films extolling the American military; if that’s their kettle of fish, let them cook them up and send them out to theaters. I think is quite different, and quite sinister, to inject military propaganda into a film that is frankly aimed at a young adult market.
We need an effective military, and I won’t stand behind anyone else when it comes to thanking service members for their service, but I think that Caitlin is quite right to point out the sinister implications of injecting military propaganda into popular films, especially when they are aimed at a younger audience.(Okay, maybe PP3 doesn’t qualify as a popular film but you still get the point.)
But here’s my question, Caitlin: why did you sit through this turkey? It was a truly terrible film from the very first scene. If so, why?