To Live and Write in LA

Archive for War

Anthem Film Fest: Countryside vs. City – Two Wars

An attack on Vietnam veterans – I suddenly felt like I was back at UCLA in 1971. Beyond Courage: Surviving Vietnam as a POW brought back questions, controversies, and anger from a war which was the model for the Chinese Communist vision of the peasants in the countryside rising up and overcoming the city. Empire State Divide brought viewers into the world of today and a war by the city on the countryside.

‘Emperor’ – The War After the War

(First published on Hey, screenwriters and filmmakers, here’s a challenge for you. Make a movie about WWII, but with no battles. Make it a mystery, but assume the audience knows how it turns out. Make it a love story, but tell it completely in flashbacks. Make it a film about soldiers, but no gutsy infantryman […]

Until They are Home

(Originally published on “I realized that the remains of hundreds of U.S. Marines were buried under thousands of garbage filled trash bags,” recalls 93-year-old Leon Cooper. At that moment, Cooper, one of the last remaining survivors of the WWII Battle of Tarawa, redirected his life to rectifying this outrageous situation. Steven C. Barber’s new documentary, Until They are Home, […]

Hell and Back Again

(Originally published on I put off viewing Hell and Back Again because I was expecting a heavy-handed anti-war diatribe. What I found, however, was a creative and intimate portrait of one of our nation’s warriors. The documentary takes us along with 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris on two journeys. The first journey places us with Harris’ Marine […]

An Epiphany and Rocky the Flying Squirrel

(Originally published on I received an epiphany as a result of having parts of two SyFy Channel movies inflicted on me this weekend: The current crop of screenwriters is totally clueless about things military. Granted, SyFy movies, especially Battle of Los Angeles (not to be confused with the now-in-theaters Battle: Los Angeles), may be the bottom of the barrel in many […]

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