Director John Millius is nothing less than a legend.
Milius played a critical role in ’70s cinema, and beyond. He wrote Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian and helped sculpt two Dirty Harry films. The auteur’s 1984 action film Red Dawn quickly achieved cult film status, influencing a generation of rebels in the process.
His creative ties to fellow legends George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola fleshed out the 2013 documentary Milius.
The director suffered a stroke in 2010 and currently battles aphasia, which makes communicating difficult. He nonetheless agreed to a RebellerMedia.com interview this week, a wide-ranging exchange that deserves to be absorbed in full.
One section of the Q&A is particularly noteworthy.
Milius’ approach to art, and his ability to connect with Red State America, is sorely missed. The site asked hims about modern Tinsel Town and what “Hollywood just doesn’t get right now.”
“Hollywood disdains Fly Over Country and the people who live there. Which is really stupid on the studios’ part because there’s a huge amount of money to be made there. We need more films like American Sniper, Lone Survivor, Hell or High Water and Wind River that all prove that Oklahoma City, Dallas, Nashville, Omaha, and Kansas City will show up at the theaters for good films that aren’t trying to be hip or cynical.”
The writer/director also weighed in on how Hollywood gets history wrong, both on purpose and to the detriment of the country.
“Most Hollywood films about history reflect the times the film was made in, not the real history. I hate revisionist history because it’s always politically correct and politically motivated.”
The 2013 documentary Milius featured more of the director’s thoughts on Hollywood. Reflecting on Red Dawn, he attacked his liberal critics: "That was the point where they said, 'He's gone too far. Now we've got to shut him down.'" Discussing the reaction to the movie from film critics, Milius derided, "[Then-New York Times writer] Pauline Kael told us he was a fascist. He's genuinely a right-wing character.' I am not a fascist. I am a total man of the people. They are the fascists."
In the documentary, Sylvester Stallone spoke of a liberal bias and how it impacted Milius: "There is definitely a preference, a political preference in Hollywood. And I think if you are a little outspoken like John, it can backfire on you."
[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]