It’s Veterans Day, which began life as Armistice Day way back in 1918. Remember the war to end all wars? In the United Kingdom, it’s called Remembrance Day and it’s celebrated by everyone wearing red poppies in honor of the fallen. Dr. A and I recall seeing poppies in the US when we were tadpoles but the practice seems to have died out in the US and A. It’s a pity.
According to the Daily Mirror, the parish council of nearby Watlington requested filming be suspended for the weekend, but it went ahead.
Council chairman Ian Hill said: “Whoever is responsible is insensitive. A letter has been sent to express our feelings of how inappropriate it was for Sherman tanks to be rolling across the countryside while explosions were being let off. Local people are very angry.”
Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones called it “inappropriate” and “outrageous”.
Fury, directed by David Ayer, has attracted considerable attention ever since it began shooting in and around the village of Shirburn last month. Producers put leaflets through locals’ doors warning of the likelihood of explosions and gunfire in the vicinity, anda stuntman was accidentally stabbed on set with a bayonet.
Extras, some of whom were ex-forces members, were apparently upset at having to film before dawn on Sunday. One was quoted by the mirror as saying: “[Director David Ayer] just charged on ruthlessly filming a movie about American heroism … and ignoring British sensitivities towards Remembrance.
“This was grotesquely disrespectful and offensive. I can’t believe I wore an SS uniform on Remembrance Sunday.”
The film’s producers later released a statement saying they “deeply regret any misunderstandings caused”. The statement goes on to say a night shoot was scheduled for the Saturday, and finished at 2am. “The film honours the personal sacrifices of the men that died in World War II, and as writer/director David Ayer explains: ‘I have only the deepest esteem for the British military, its storied History and the sacrifices of those who have fallen.'”
These folks violated an important rule of location shooting: do not piss off the locals, especially on solemn national holidays shared by Brits and Yanks alike. This misstep is odd considering the fact that Brad Pitt is legendary for his PR savvy and ability to charm the hell out of the locals wherever he pitches his cinematic tent. His good works in New Orleans have even charmed your curmudgeonly correspondent.
Time may be money in the world of flilm making, but it’s a bad idea to be setting off fake explosive while claiming to honor “the sacrifices of the fallen.” It’s bad for business as well as bad forFury‘s juju, mojo, or whatever short superstitious word you prefer to use. It could lead to the locals singing this wee Richard Thompson ditty: