Sylvester Stallone: A Film About The Armenian Genocide
Posted 19 December 2006 - 04:03 PM
By Michael Booth
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:12/16/2006 12:27:21 PM MST
...So what is the Stallone Surprise, the project he's always wanted to write or
For years Stallone's wanted to create an epic, and the book that intrigues
him is Franz Werfel's "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh," detailing the Turkish
genocide of its Armenian community in 1915. (After futile attempts to turn
the novel into a movie, filmmakers finally succeeded in 1982, but it was a
French ships eventually rescued some Armenians, and Stallone has his
favorite scene memorized: "The French ships come, and they've dropped the
ladders and everybody has climbed up the side. The ships sail. The hero, the
one who set up the rescue, has fallen asleep, exhausted, behind a rock on
the slope above. The camera pulls back, and the ships and the sea are on one
side, and there's one lonely figure at the top of the mountain, and the
Turks are coming up the mountain by the thousands on the far side."
A pretty great shot.
The movie would be "an epic about the complete destruction of a
civilization," Stallone said. Then he laughed at the ambition. "Talk about a
political hot potato. The Turks have been killing that subject for 85
After Antonio Banderas turned down the turkish offer to play a role of Ataturk, I can now imagine how mad Stallone will make the turks.
Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:19 PM
Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:20 PM
Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:37 PM
Yeap. Good number of Italians look Armenian.
Posted 19 December 2006 - 07:12 PM
Posted 19 December 2006 - 07:16 PM
I've always claimed him as an honorary Armenian, but it's for real...!
The Turks LOVE him too, they rerun Rambo evey couple of minutes.
WAY TO GO SLY!
Edited by Zartonk, 19 December 2006 - 08:15 PM.
Posted 19 December 2006 - 07:54 PM
Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:48 PM
'Dead Man Walking' argues against capital punishment
By Richard von Busack
SISTER HELEN PREJEAN (Susan Sarandon), a New Orleans nun who has been working among the poor since she took holy orders, decides to answer some letters requesting pen pals for prison inmates. She meets Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn), a convicted killer at Angola State Prison in Louisiana, sentenced to die by lethal injection. Tim Robbins' new film, Dead Man Walking, based on Prejean's memoir, is the story of the friendship before the midnight execution, and if it sound like exactly the sort of film you'd like to avoid, it isn't.
Robbins' movie is unsentimental, in many respects. The waxy-faced narcissist Poncelet, with his Aryan Brotherhood sympathies and one other matter unveiled during the film, is eminently killable. Yet Robbins makes you realize, with a minimum of manipulation, why Poncelet shouldn't be given the hot shot.
To underscore the dilemma, Robbins also acquaints us with the people whose lives were ruined by the crime Poncelet is accused of committing. R. Lee Ermey--typecast as a military type ever since he played a Marine drill instructor (which he was in real life) in Full Metal Jacket--is the father of a murdered girl, thirsting for Poncelet's blood. Raymond J. Barry, father of her murdered boyfriend, is more numb with grief, shunned and facing divorce. Both embody the emotional reasons why people want murderers dead; both subtly prove the good old liberal notion that justice is best left to neutral parties.
Sarandon's performance as Prejean is smooth and unflashy, without serious rage; it builds to an emotional climax at the execution that's an indescribably tricky bit of action--one glimpse of the actress underneath the nun's persona and the scene would be revoltingly sentimental. Sarandon's nun makes you marvel once again at the sort of people who can find the faith to expose themselves to trouble. (Prejean, in interviews, likes to disabuse us of this notion, as Sarandon's line has it here; it's not faith, she says, it's work.)
Sarandon's character balances Sean Penn's Poncelet, who doesn't deserve as dignified a term as evil. Can Penn constrict his pupils at will, like a parrot? Whatever Penn's qualities are off camera--repellent little grind that he is--there's no question that he subsumes himself into his role, evaporating his own personality into someone else's. His Poncelet is the least romantic transgressor you're apt to see in years, begging the question not just of why we sponsor killings, but also of what is to be done with such people as Poncelet represents?
Robbins focuses on the mundane, the smallness of a state prison, its lack of architectural drama, filming on location in Angola and at some of the poorest quarters of New Orleans (and the United States). As director, Tim Robbins made the choice to hire his brother, David Robbins, to write the music, and the other Robbins has put together an outstanding selection of Armenian and Indian compositions, a provocative soundtrack which unfortunately ends with a ballad by Bruce Springsteen at his most obvious. Still, the soundtrack succeeds in purging the film of Dixie cuteness and New Orleans quaintness (though the first time Sarandon uses the Southern accent, you cringe, thinking, here it comes).
Poncelet is a combination of two different inmates that Sister Prejean knew. Most films ostensibly based on true stories are a mixture of the true, the fictional, and the too good to be true, which is true nonetheless. Do the guards really bellow "dead man walking" as the prisoner makes his way to the killing room? Does a prisoner strapped in the bed for lethal injection really have both arms out, and is he truly wheeled to face the witnesses to be seen for a moment as if strapped to a cross? Is there much evidence, as Robbins has a lawyer character assert, that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, in the sense that it is painful (as opposed to being arbitrary, expensive and useless as a deterrent)?
Even if Dead Man Walking wasn't in the kind of shape it's in, it would merit honor for its critique of capital punishment. The prison population just increased to more than 1 million, according to Reuters, and the total number of people held in prisons and jails has almost tripled since 1980. The popular demand for capital punishment is the crowning idiocy in a hill of comforting idiocies that constitute the criminal justice system. Capital punishment has been nothing but a spectator sport ever since it was first devised, and more damage never makes damage better: This is the lesson of Sister Prejean's memoir, and it has been faithfully transcribed into a deeply moving film.
Posted 21 December 2006 - 03:54 AM
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Sylvester Stallone is going to shoot a film about the heroic defense of Musa Dag in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 basing on Franz Werfel's novel ‘40 Days of Musa Dag’. In Stallone’s words, during the World War I Turkey has perpetrates mass extermination of Armenians and the film will tell how Armenians organized defense on Musa Dag and survived with the help of French vessels. Ankara has pursued the policy of the Armenian Genocide denial for 85 years already, Sylvester Stallone said adding he knows that Turkey will pose obstacles to the film shooting, reports the RA Public Television.
The Musa Dag defense has laid in the basis of the universally known Franz Werfel's novel titled ‘40 Days of Musa Dag’. July 30, 1915 the residents of 6 villages situated at the mountain on the Mediterranean shore (Armenian Cilicia) arranged a self-defense transforming the mountain into a fortress. French warships came to rescue. September 13-15, 1915 the defenders went down to the shore where they were received aboard of Jeanne D’Ark cruiser and conveyed to Egypt. About 4 000 people survived. Most of them returned to Armenia in 1946.
I have always thought he looked Armenian too.
I don't think the Turks will like Rambo anymore.
Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:19 AM
Nowadays, practically every Hollywood movie features duduk in their soundtrack. Nothing all too unusual about that.
Posted 27 December 2006 - 01:51 AM
Turkish organizations are going to send protest letters to American movie actor Sylvester Stallone who intends to screen Franz Werfel’s ‘The 40 Days of Musa Dagh’. As Turkish Milliyet reports, Savaş Eğilmez, the chairman of the so-called ‘Association on struggle against Armenian Genocide ackowledgement’ stated that “movies are often used for propagandistic goals and this time the Armenians also are going to use such an opportunity. Austrian writer, a Jew by descent Franz Werfel has written this novel in 1933. It is full of lie since the author wrote it after talking to the Armenians with nationalistic and radical views,” Eğilmez claims. In his words, “it is necessary to take appropriate measures till the start of shoots, since after everything has already began it will be more difficult. “We have already sent appropriate documents about the events of those days to the producers of the film. Our compatriots will assist us to urge the producers not to shoot the film,” he underlined. It’s worth reminding that Sylvester Stallone declared about his intentions to shoot a film about heroic defense of Musa Dagh in 1915 in Ottoman Empire on the bases of ‘The 40 Days of Musa Dagh’ book. Alongside, he stated that Ankara near 85 years carries out a denial policy of the Armenian Genocide, reports the Armenian Public Television.
Posted 27 December 2006 - 09:18 AM
The turks can go and drink from their nearby sea waters with their heart's intent.
Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:05 PM
From Publishers Weekly
This bleak, unsparing debut novel traces one Armenian family's experience during the Armenian genocide of 1915. Yerwant, 53, is a 40-year expatriate living in Venice in the months before WWI. He hopes to reunite with his family on their idyllic farm estate in Turkey—his brother, Sempad (a successful pharmacist); Sempad's wife and children; and the men's little sisters, Azniv and Veron—but WWI ignites, and the ruling Young Turks party closes the border. Yerwant's family in Turkey is rounded up, their fates hastened by a star-crossed love affair between Azniv and a Turkish soldier. The town's men are brutally exterminated, and Yerwant's remaining family suffers concentration camps, forced marches, physical torture and starvation. The kindness of neighboring Turks and Greeks helps them survive as they try to reach Yerwant in Italy. Arslan, a onetime University of Padua professor of Italian literature, depicts the family (based on her own) with broad, epic strokes. The bluntly omniscient narration dampens the characters, but Arslan delivers vivid, powerful testimony of horrific cruelty and immeasurable loss. (Jan. 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A beautiful, wrenching debut novel chronicling the life of a family struggling for survival during the Armenian genocide in Turkey, in 1915.
At the center: Yerwant, who, at thirteen, left his home in the Anatolian hills of Turkey to study at an Armenian boarding school in Venice. Now, in May 1915, after forty years, he is planning a long-awaited reunion with his family at their homestead, Skylark Farm. But while joyful preparations for Yerwant’s arrival are being made in the town of his birth, Italy enters the Great War and closes its borders. At the same time, in Turkey, Yerwant’s family begins a brutal odyssey of forced marches and prison camps, hunger and humiliation at the hands of the Young Turks who are determined to rid their nation of minorities. In the unfolding story we follow Yerwant’s family as it struggles to survive and as four of its children set out on a dangerous and daring course of their own: to reach Yerwant, and safety, in Italy.
Antonia Arslan draws on the story of her own family to tell the story of Skylark Farm. She has transformed the “obscure memories” that are her heritage into a novel as lyrical and poignant as a fable.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:11 AM
I wonder how soon this movie will come about.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:33 PM
Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:26 AM
Turkish organizations protest against film star Sylvester Stallone
EasternStar News Agency
Turkish lobby groups protest against the American film star Sylvester Stallone, who will take part in and produce a film based on Franz Werfel’s ”The 40 days at Musa Dagh”.
The Turkish lobby group ”Association on struggle against Armenian Genocide acknowledgement” with its leader Egilmez emphasizes that:
”Films are often used in propaganda and Armenians use this opportunity for their propaganda. The Austrian-Jewish author Franz Werfel wrote this novel in 1933. It is full of lies, since the author got his information from nationalist and radical Armenians… We have already sent necessary documents about the mentioned days to the producer of the film. Our allies will urge and pursue the producer to not produce this film”.
Despite the threats and accusations against Sylvester Stallone, he has emphasized that his intentions are to direct a film based on the heroic defence of Musa Dagh in 1915. The film is based on the book ”The 40 days at Musa Dagh”.
The producers were surprised by the strong reactions from Turkish interests. They say that the film is based on a well documented true event. Above all it is a pity about the Turkish people, that it isn’t able to elect a modern government that can stop 85 years of denial of genocide.
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