Roger Spottiswoode's "Under Fire"
April 5, 2012 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Roger Spottiswoode looks back on his 1983 film Under Fire.
posted by Trurl (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The epilogue to that story is we go in to the screening, the film starts, and it’s much too dark to see properly; the projector was just hopeless. A couple minutes went by and it wasn’t getting any better —and there’s 2,000 people in there—so I snuck out, and went up to the projection booth to complain… and Eric is already up there! The head of the fucking studio is arguing with the projectionist! The man showed us how the mirror in the projector was almost gone, and he didn’t want to burn it out, and Eric kept telling him to raise the level into the red zone. Well, he wouldn’t do it, so Eric finally pulls out $100 and waves it in his face. The man shrugs, takes it, turns up the voltage even though it may damage the bulb, and finally the film looks right. I headed for the door, and Eric said, “Where are you going?” I said it looked fine to me, and he said, “He’ll drop it again as soon as the next reel comes up! I’m staying right here, and you’re staying with me!” And we stayed there for the whole movie. And every time there was a reel change, Eric paid him another $100! That was Eric Pleskow. He and Arthur and Mike Medavoy had more understanding and respect for film than any other studio men I knew. (especially with how godawful dark all these new 3d movies are). Very interesting article, thanks for posting.
posted by cyphill at 4:44 PM on April 5, 2012

Great interview! Thanks for posting.
posted by Drexen at 6:09 PM on April 5, 2012

Thanks for posting. A very good movie.
posted by conrad53 at 10:54 PM on April 5, 2012

A decent film, as I recall. It's particularly good to think with in comparison to Oliver Stone's godawful Salvador.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 2:53 AM on April 6, 2012

I remember that film really depressed me as a 17 year old. I'll have to revisit it now that I'm older and wiser. Thanks for the post.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:21 AM on April 6, 2012

I love this movie. I watched it obsessively (along with Salvador), back when all I wanted was to be a photojournalist.
posted by biscotti at 12:26 PM on April 6, 2012

I feel like I should do an askMe about various films that depict (c)overt involvement in coups, nation building, puppet regimes, etc... I'd like to spend a month or so going through all the good ones (if a month is enough time). In addition to Under Fire and Battle of Algiers, I'd particularly like to watch State of Siege, as I've met someone who claims he narrowly missed being posted on that assignment instead of Dan Mitrione.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:43 PM on April 6, 2012

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