The obsession continues. Yet another Hollywood leftist is coming out with an anti-Iraq war movie. This time, it's "Sixteen Candles" star John Cusack who is begging us to take his political views seriously with his new film, "War, Inc," styled as a "dark, political satire," which seems basically to mean ham-fisted film à clef set around the fictional country of Turaqistan.
Making her debut in liberal wrist-slitting films is Hillary Duff, one of the many teen princesses manufactured by the Disney empire, who seems to be trying to earn some sort of credibility by screeching about politics.
"We're trying to raise awareness with it. It is funny and it is bizarre and a little disturbing," the former Lizzie McGuire told Reuters. "But really at the end of the day it's looking at what (our country is) doing, and it's not right."
Inspired by anger about the war and questions about the political power held by global corporations, "War, Inc" is set in Turaqistan, a fictional nation occupied by a private U.S. company called Tamerlane and run by a former American vice president.
Cusack helped write the screenplay and also stars with Sir Ben Kingsley, Marisa Tomei and Hilary Duff in the film, which premiered this week at New York's Tribeca Film Festival alongside several more serious documentaries on Iraq and other conflicts.
"I think the movie should be kind of offensive," Cusack told Reuters about the film, which will be released in New York and Los Angeles theaters on May 23. "I'm shocked at how much good reaction we're getting."
"Sometimes with a serious, somber movie, even though they're great and well intentioned, it just doesn't allow you to be outraged because you just get depressed," he said. "This allows you to actually feel like, 'Let's do something subversive."'
In the movie, Cusack plays a hit man hired by Tamerlane to assassinate a Middle Eastern oil minister who plans to lay an oil pipeline through Turaqistan, thwarting the company's plan for sole proprietorship of the country.
"(The movie) was just a reaction to the war and all the insanity behind using the 9/11 attacks to make an imperial land grab in the Middle East," he said. "We really wanted to channel our outrage a little bit into something creative."
Making preachy left-wing movies is about the furthest you can get from "doing something subversive" in Hollywood.
Incidentally, this is actually Cusack's second anti-war movie. I can see your obvious surprise. His first, Grace Is Gone, was a drama. If you have some time to kill, here's the Wikipedia page for it.