Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Pacific

Umlaut's Inner World War 2 / History Geek lost it when he read this report on Slash Film:

Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and from the creators of “Band of Brothers”, The Pacific is a 10-part HBO mini-series which tells the intertwined stories of three Marines, Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda), during America’s battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II.

Produced on a budget of more $150 million, and shot on location in Australia, the series follows (from an early press release) "The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain forests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day.”

THE PACIFIC is based on the books “With the Old Breed,” by Eugene Sledge, which was hailed by historian Paul Fussell as “one of the finest memoirs to emerge from any war,” and “Helmet for My Pillow,” by Robert Leckie (recipient of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Annual Award), as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers. Continuing the World War II oral history work begun by his father Stephen E. Ambrose (author of the book “Band of Brothers”), Hugh Ambrose serves as a consultant on the miniseries.

The fact that With The Old Breed was used as source material is enough to sell me on this production. It's one of the most terrifying, riveting, and well-written books you could possibly read about the horror humans can bring upon other humans... and it has a back story that is just as compelling: The author (Eugene Sledge) kept a journal during his time in combat in The Pacific despite regulations that forbade Marines from doing so; Sledge secretly kept his notes in a copy of the New Testament. Sledge then spent the better part of 40 years turning his notes into a book. Ken Burns quoted from With The Old Breed extensively in his documentary series The War.

Also, according to everything Umlaut has read, the "right" people are involved in this production as well, which gives me hope this series will be done right... By "right people" I mean Spielberg to the Band Of Brothers crew to Stephen Ambrose's son.. By "done right" I mean the story will hopefully pull no punches... It will be violent.. It will be brutal.. It will be terrifying... It will NOT be politically correct. It should be offensive because war is offensive to any civilized, rational person; war is humans at their absolute worst and debased and it should not be taken lightly. War is not a bloodless video game, and hopefully The Pacific will be as eloquent and inspiring (and honest) as Band Of Brothers was in portraying these truths.

Click HERE to see a preview clip of The Pacific from Australian t.v... and for related Umlaut rants revisit:
Those who fail to learn from History are doomed to listen to crap music.