IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND MONEY:
on the dread allegorical Zone Wars
in the twilit and allegorical film art
of Angelina Jolie
by Gary W. Wright
Like most other film artists of the dread allegorical Zone War era, the film art of Angelina Jolie was overshadowed and influenced by the helicopter crash that killed actor/director/writer Victor “Vic” Morrow and illegally hired and employed child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le around 2:20 am in the early morning hours of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the twilit, allegorical, Kathleen Kennedy associate produced, Frank Marshall produced and Landis and Steven Spielberg executive produced Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller docufeature film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983). However, unlike most other film artists but like Sofia Carmina (SCC) Coppola and Jason Reitman, Jolie was born into a film family and started off her film art career as an actor, thus allowing her to draw on a wealth of experience in the creation of films before creating her own film art. In addition, Jolie was linked forever to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via her small role as the ominously surnamed Tosh Warner opposite her father Jon Voigt’s Alex Kovac in the allegorical and Voigt co-written Hal Ashby docufeature film LOOKIN’ TO GET OUT (1982), released on October 8, 1982.
Thus, Jolie was also the living embodiment of the fateful and fatal year of 1982, making her inclusion in any film a signal that the film was addressing the TZ disaster in some way. All of which made Jolie a complex, experienced, knowing and twilit figure, indeed, which helped her when she donned the writer/director/co-producer hats and leapt furiously into the Zone Wars with an implicit roast of James Cameron in the twilit, allegorical, and slightly computer generated image [CGI] enhanced indie docufeature film IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY (2011), released on December 22, 2011.
“Are you my enemy?
Am I your enemy?”
Curiously, this moving and unflinching look at the callously violent and rapacious war in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early to mid-Nineties began almost ironically and incongruously with a shot of a city, perhaps Sarajevo, nestled peacefully in a valley at what appeared to be sunrise in 1992. Then the camera point of view (POV) suddenly began pulling back from the left eye of a woman in a painting, slowly revealing that the painting was a self portrait that was being finished by a beautiful and vaguely Kathryn Bigelow resembling and implicitly linked young brunette woman who turned out to be named Ajla Ekmecic-whose fondness for painting reminded us that Bigelow started off as a painter, and who was played by Zana Marjanovic. Soon the painting was put aside as the young Muslim woman and her sister Lejla-played by Vanessa Glodjo-joked around in their apartment as Ekmecic got ready to go out on a date. Significantly, this scene evoked the sight and sound of Sarah Connor and her girlfriend Ginger-played by Linda Hamilton and the fittingly surnamed Bess Motta, respectively-joking around as they both got ready for dates in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly George Lucas and David Lynch roasting Cameron indie docufeature Zonebuster THE TERMINATOR (1984).
Thus, it was no surprise that after leaving the apartment, Ekmecic wound up at a Sarajevo club with a live and boisterous band where she met and then danced with the Cameron resembling and implicitly linked Serbian police Captain Danijel Vukojevich-played by Goran Kostic-in a scene that evoked the sight and sound of Jack Dawson and Rose Bukater-played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, respectively-dancing below decks to the music of an Irish fiddler in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cameron docufeature Zonebuster TITANIC (1997) to affirm the implicit link of Capt. Vukojevich to Cameron. Indeed, the surname of Vukojevich affirmed his implicit link to Cameron, for it evoked Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Detective Hal Vukovich-played by Lance Henriksen-one of the doomed LAPD personnel gunned down in their divisional headquarters by the time travelling, remorselessly slaughtering and implicitly Lucas linked future CSM-101 T-800 cyborg Terminator-played by Arnold Schwarzenegger-in THE TERMINATOR. An all too timely reminder of that unexpected attack, for an equally unexpected CGI enhanced bomb blast soon took out the club as Ajla and Danijel danced happily in each other’s arms, a sudden bomb blast that evoked the CGI enhanced bomb blast that kicked off the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Lynch addressing Bigelow indie docufeature film THE HURT LOCKER  to affirm the film’s implicit interest in Bigelow and that signalled that the civil war that tore apart Bosnia-Herzegovina had unfortunately begun and would even make art a battleground. An uncivil art linked war whose battles in the ruins of Sarajevo evoked the battles against pitiless blockbuster machines in the ruins of the future Earth seen in dreaming memories of the future in THE TERMINATOR and the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lucas toasting and Lynch roasting Cameron indie docufeature Zonebuster TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), reaffirming the film’s implicit interest in Cameron.
An uncivil war that nice guy Danijel had no taste for, as it made the Muslim Ajla and Serbian Christian Danijel enemies and forced the reluctant and conflicted soldier to lead his soldiers in the killing of Muslim men and the rounding up, imprisoning and raping of Muslim women to prove that he was a true Serbian Christian patriot and satisfy his critical, demanding, unyielding and implicitly Stanley Kubrick linked father General Nebojsa Vukojevich-played by Rade Serbedzija-an implicit link to Kubrick affirmed by the fact that Danijel’s strained relations with his father evoked the equally strained relations of the angry, frustrated and doomed French Colonel Dax-played by Kirk Douglas-with his commanding officers, the implicitly Walt Disney linked Gen. George Broulard and the implicitly Richard Fleischer linked Gen. Paul Mireau-played by Adolphe Menjou and George Macready, respectively-in the eerily and presciently twilit and allegorical Kubrick docufeature film PATHS OF GLORY (1957). An implicit link that reminded us that Cameron was inspired as a teen to become a film artist after experiencing the allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Kubrick indie docufeature artbuster 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), a film alluded to in IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY, along with the twilit, allegorical and implicitly New Hollywood roasting Kubrick indie docufeature artbuster FULL METAL JACKET (1987). Indeed, the fact that Serbedzija played the mysterious and possibly Kubrick linked costume store owner Milich in the final twilit and allegorical Kubrick indie docufeature artbuster EYES WIDE SHUT (1999) openly affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Kubrick on one level.
And so, four months after the outbreak of the bitter and brutal conflict, Serbian soldiers in red and white buses that evoked those in Toronto rounded up Ekmecic and other Muslim women in her apartment building and neighbourhood and, after shooting most of their husbands, sons, brothers, fathers and male cousins, took the women to their HQ where they were forced to work as cooks and cleaners and submit to humiliating and degrading rapes. All except Ekmecic, for luckily for her Capt. Vukojevich was amongst the soldiers, and he saved her from assault by banning the other men from beating and raping her. In time, he even gave her a room of her own where she could live and paint in peace away from soldiers implicitly linked to the equally vengeful and vicious film artists of the dread allegorical Zone Wars. Indeed, the fact that one of Capt. Vukojevich’s fellow soldiers was surnamed Darko-played by Nikola Djuricko-affirmed the implicit link of Vukojevich’s soldiers to Zone War film artists, for the surname evoked the twilit, allegorical, slightly CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lucas addressing Richard Kelly indie docufeature film DONNIE DARKO (2001), even if Darko resembled and was perhaps implicitly linked to Jean Reno.
Alas, despite his luv for her, Danijel also raped Ajla on at least one angry occasion, a brutal rape that evoked the equally brutal and rapacious murder of Iris-played by Brigitte Bako-in the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, Lucas, Lynch and Francis Coppola roasting, and Cameron co-written/co-produced Bigelow indie docufeature artbuster STRANGE DAYS . Even worse, mistakenly convinced that she had something to do with a bombing in a church that killed most of his men but left him alive, Capt. Vukojevich angrily and despondently shot Ekmecic dead, in the end. Thus, given that the implicitly Cameron linked Danijel protected and tenderly luved the implicitly Bigelow linked Ajla but also raped and ultimately murdered her, Jolie implied that, despite Cameron’s fondness for Bigelow that implicitly led him to marry her at one stage in his journey and act as executive producer of her breakout film, the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Lucas toasting and Lynch roasting indie docufeature artbuster POINT BREAK (1991), he had demeaned and ultimately killed her as a female film artist with the nightmarish and twisted STRANGE DAYS. Jolie also implied that, perhaps due to an obsession with beating 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Cameron had actually not just failed to protect or save the small indie film art of Bigelow in particular or small and medium sized indie film art in general-including that of Reitman, given that one of the enemy combatants-played by A.I. Smithee-that Capt. Vukojevich hunted down and killed in a vicious street battle near the end of the film resembled and was implicitly linked to him-but had personally killed the vital humanity of small and medium sized indie film art in general and possibly that of Bigelow in particular with the increasing size, budgets and CGI of his films, particularly AVATAR, as studios decreased the number of more human and intimate small and medium sized films they created and increased the size, budgets, CGI and inhumanity of their films to compete with Cameron and to make equally beastly blockbuster profits.
Thus, it was fitting that Ajla was a little known indie painter, linking her to small indie film art like that of Bigelow, albeit one also linked to the film art of Cameron, as the sight and sound of her painting portraits, including portraits of Danijel and Nebojsa, evoked the sight and sound of Dawson drawing a portrait of a young and naked Rose in TITANIC. An implicit link of small and low budget indie art to small and low budget indie film art reaffirmed when the film ended with the camera slowly zooming in on the last and most creative, colourful and fittingly blue eyed self portrait that Ajla painted of herself, a final self portrait and affirmation of her vital humanity that evoked the one she was seen putting the finishing touches on at the beginning of the film, a final deathless portrait that existed in an eternal world of art midway between life and death like the eternal soul, bringing the film full indie art circle before the screen slowly faded to black.
And so this fine first feature film made clear that Jolie had indeed learned much from her life in film art and had emerged, like SCC and Reitman, as a shrewd, knowing, creative and confident film artist with the ability to successfully don the writer/director hats. IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY also revealed that her style of film art was neither as feminine as SCC, nor as unusually masculine as Bigelow, but as balanced between the male and female spirit, mind, heart, body and gaze as the film was balanced between the stories of Ajla and Danijel. And so Jolie continued her competition with Cameron when she donned the director/co-producer hats, teamed up again with John Hutman-production designer of IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY-leapt once more into resolute Zone War battle with her curiously named Jolie Pas Production company, embraced the same epic and CGI enhanced size favoured by Cameron, and exchanged all female civilian prisoners of war for all male military prisoners of war in the again unflinching, embattled and moving twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced indie docufeature artbuster UNBROKEN (2014), a film released on November 17, 2014 which was inspired by the twilit and allegorical Laura Hillenbrand book Unbroken (2010).
“We beat them
by making it to the end of the war alive.
…That is our revenge.”
Significantly, and ironically, however, the film gave no hint of its embattled nature in its opening moments, with the sun silently rising on a beautiful blue sky morning with light and scattered clouds, evoking the equally and ironically peaceful, dawning and silent shot of presumably Sarajevo that opened IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY. A beautiful and silent dawning that was quickly swept away by the sound and sight of dozens of B-24 Liberator bombers of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) flying across the beautiful blue sky on a determined daylight bombing raid on a Japanese target in the Pacific War in April of 1943. A bombing raid that focussed on the story of real life 1936 Berlin Olympics track star and USAAF Bombardier Louis “Louie” Zamperini-played by CJ Valleroy as a wild child, and as Jack O’Connell as an adult, respectively-and how soon after the opening bombing raid he survived an oceanic crash in May of ’43 during a search and rescue mission and then imprisonment in the Japanese Omori Detention Camp and the Naoetsu Prison Camp, despite the brutal treatment he received from its commanding officer, first Corporal, and then Sergeant, Mutsuhiro “the Bird” Watanabe-played by Miyavi.
Curiously, by the time Louie and the blonde pilot of his bomber, Lieutenant Russell “Phil” Phillips-played by Domhnall Gleeson-the sole survivors of the crash of their plane, were found floating on the Pacific in their yellow rubber dinghy by a Japanese warship, the two resembled King Arthur and his loyal squire Patsy-played by Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical, madcap and implicitly New Hollywood roasting Gilliam and Terry Jones indie docufeature film MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1974), implicitly linking Zamperini to Gilliam in UNBROKEN. Indeed, to support this implication, we remembered that one of the personnel flying with Phillips and Zamperini on their bomber on the first raid, perhaps the engineer, was named Lambert-played by Marcus Vanco-a surname that often popped up in the allegorical indie docufeature telefilm series MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS (1967-1790), a series on which Gilliam worked primarily as animator. This evocation of MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS also reminded us of a famous sketch involving Royal Navy sailors floating as aimlessly in a life boat waiting for rescue that appeared in that series as Phillips and Zamperini floated in their dinghy waiting for rescue, reaffirming an implicit interest in Chapman and Gilliam in UNBROKEN.
Significantly, this implicit link of Gilliam to Zamperini continued at the Omori Detention Camp when Commandant Watanabe, who had taken a strong dislike for Zamperini and his refusal to aid Japanese propaganda efforts, ordered all of the POWs in the camp to punch Louie in the face, a cruel punishment that evoked a bizarre “punch the poor” scene in the visit with the kindly, avuncular and implicitly David Lynch linked Robin Hood-played by John Cleese-in the twilit, allegorical, madcap and implicitly New Hollywood roasting Gilliam indie animaction film TIME BANDITS (1981). Curiously, an implicit interest in MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS also continued at the Omori Detention Camp, for soon after the mass punchup the sight and sound of another POW called Blackie-played by Ross Anderson-playing a kind and helpful fairy godmother complete with magic wand who came to the aid of poor discouraged Cinderalla aka “Cinders”, played by an equally discouraged POW, Fitzgerald-played by Garrett Hedlund-in a play reminded us of the equally helpful female fairy-usually played by Eric Idle-who came to the aid of those in need with a ping of “her” magic wand in the telefilm series and in the allegorical Ian MacNaughton indie docufeature film AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (1971).
Thus, the implication was that Zamperini and his embattled life symbolized Gilliam and all of the battles he fought to create his brilliant and madcap indie animaction film art, particularly after the failure of the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Cameron roasting indie animaction film THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1988). Indeed, the fact that UNBROKEN was co-written by Richard LaGravenese, the screenwriter of the twilit, allegorical, madcap and implicitly Spielberg and George Lucas roasting indie animaction film THE FISHER KING (1991) reaffirmed the implicit Gilliam addressing intent of the film. And so the sight and sound of Zamperini surviving all of his triumphs and disasters, in the end, implied the hope of Jolie that Gilliam would also survive all of his disasters and triumph over his detractors in the end, as well-as long as those detractors did not come at him out of nowhere armed with a grape, that is.
In fact, given that the film’s intercutting of Zamperini’s embattled travails in World War II with nostalgic memories of his pre-war and 1936 Olympics youth evoked the similar embattled and wandering present intercut with bitter memories of the past structure of the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Gilliam roasting Sean Penn indie docufeature film INTO THE WILD (2006), Jolie also implied that she was not just coming to the defense of Gilliam but replying to INTO THE WILD and perhaps even roasting Penn in the implicit form of the Zamperini abusing Bird in UNBROKEN. Indeed, the fact that the implicitly Gilliam linked Christopher “Chris” McCandless-played as an adult by the O’Connell resembling Emile Hirsch-the anti-establishment young wanderer of INTO THE WILD, adopted the Louie Zamperini evoking alias of Alexander Supertramp after cutting ties with family and society and heading out on his own epic travels around the continental United States affirmed the implicit interest in responding to INTO THE WILD in UNBROKEN. The fact that Supertramp did his best to live off the land during his travels like Phillips and Zamperini did their best to live off the Pacific Ocean in their floating dinghy after the crash reaffirmed that Jolie implicitly responded to INTO THE WILD on one level in UNBROKEN. The sight and sound of Louie and Phil slowly wasting away of starvation and thirst as they floated in their life raft waiting for rescue after the crash in the Pacific Ocean and then Louie and his fellow POWs also wasting away in the Omori and Naoetsu camps due to lack of food and drink and to brutal working conditions and beatings also affirmed Jolie’ implicit interest in roasting Penn in UNBROKEN, for these privations reminded us that McCandless also wasted away and died of starvation and lack of fluids as a result of mistakenly eating a plant that slowly paralyzed him while camping in the wilds of Alaska at the end of INTO THE WILD.
And so UNBROKEN was another fine, confident, knowing, moving, memorable and unflinching film that again displayed the balanced sexual gaze seen in IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY despite the fact that no woman played a central role in the mostly all male film. And so its reassuring success implicitly encouraged Jolie and Jolie Pas Productions to team up again with Universal Pictures, Hutman and Patricia Rommel and Gabriel Yared-editor of, and composer for, IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY, respectively-but turn away from the epic and CGI enhanced scale of UNBROKEN to embrace a smaller, more intimate and CGI free but still unflinching melodrama on a hotel on picturesque Mgarr-ix-Xini Bay on Gozo Island in Malta when she donned the co-producer/writer/director hats and again embraced her distinct sexually balanced gaze to create the ironically and bitterly daylit allegorical indie docufeature film BY THE SEA (2015), released on November 5, 2015.
Curiously, the steamy film opened with a shot looking down a scenic road on a hill in a beautiful, peaceful and daylit landscape, evoking the beautiful and peaceful calm before the storm mornings that began IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY and UNBROKEN to reaffirm that we were indeed back in a Jolie film. Then a custom silver 1967 Citreon DS Chapon convertible driven by a once passionate but now luvless and listless American couple who turned out to be the beautiful and bewitching but depressed and despondent Vanessa Bertrand and her struggling and deep drinkin’ writer husband Roland Bertrand-played by Jolie and her then husband Brad Pitt, respectively-drove up the hill and then along winding and equally scenic roads to that hotel on picturesque Mgarr-ix-Xini Bay on Gozo Island in Malta as the sad and wistful sound of the allegorical and Serge Gainsbourg written Jane Birkin tune “Jane B.” (1969) played and the opening titles flickered on the screen. Here we soon discovered that the cool and unhappy relationship of Roland and Vanessa was due to Vanessa’s inability to successfully conceive two children with Roland, implying that Jolie was not happy that IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY and UNBROKEN were not smash hits.
We also soon discovered that Vanessa was jealous of the ability of the Sarah Polley resembling and implicitly linked young French newlywed Lea-played by Melanie Laurent-to make luv to and conceive with her young husband Francois-played by Melvil Poupaud-when they showed up in the hotel room next door, luv sessions that Vanessa and Roland furtively watched through a hole in the wall that separated their two rooms and that evoked their own once passionate luvmaking, sessions that were in complete contrast to the cold and brutal rapes that Muslim women had to endure and watch in IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY. Indeed, the film’s allusions to the twilit and allegorical Bigelow indie docufeature artbuster THE WEIGHT OF WATER (2000) affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Polley on one level, reminding us that Polley played the troubled young wife and successful murderess Maren Hontredt in that film. A fitting implicit interest in Polley, as she played the sweet and feisty girl feminist Sally Salt in THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. Thus, Jolie implied that the jealousy Vanessa felt over Lea’s ability to conceive symbolized her own envy over the success of Polley and her film art.
And so BY THE SEA was another fine, moving and unflinching film from Jolie that was as sexually balanced between the stories of Roland and Vanessa as IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY was balanced between the stories of Ajla and Danijel. And so, alas, BY THE SEA failed to be a smash hit like IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY and UNBROKEN. However, despite this failure, BY THE SEA and the rest of the film art of Jolie implicitly impressed DC and Warner Brothers, for they implicitly decided that Jolie was worthy of a super satirical roast in the implicit form of the unflinching Amazon Princess Diana aka Diana Prince aka “Wonder Woman”-inspired by the equally unflinching and indomitable character created for DC by Dapper Doctor William M. Marston in the despairing depths of World War II, and played by Gal Gadot-and had her team up with the implicitly Gardevil linked and troubled Gotham City billionaire Bruce Wayne aka “Batman”-inspired by a character implicitly linked to H.P. Lovecraft that was created by Brilliant Bill Finger and Bucolic Bob Kane for DC, and played by Ben Affleck-and the implicitly Reitman linked and intrepid Metropolis newspaper reporter Kal-El aka Clark Kent aka “Superman”-inspired by a character implicitly linked to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that was created by Genial Jerry Siegel and Joltin’ Joe Shuster for DC, and played by Henry Cavill-to ironically save the world from the madcap machinations of the implicitly Gilliam linked Alexander “Lex” Luthor-played by Jesse Eisenberg-and his blockbuster CGI enhanced beast Doomsday in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Zack Snyder super satirical animaction film BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016), a film released on March 12, 2016.
Curiously, not long after the release of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, Penn also implicitly replied to UNBROKEN by implicitly linking Jolie, a dedicated Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to the equally dedicated but traumatized Medecins du Monde Doctor Wren Petersen-played by Charlize Theron-to implicitly remind Jolie how difficult it was to save a world that usually resisted saving in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free indie docufeature film THE LAST FACE (2016), released on May 20, 2016. Significantly, the following year, DC and Warner Brothers kicked off 2017 by again implicitly linking Jolie to the Amazon Princess Diana aka Diana Prince in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Leigh Bardugo super satirical animaction novel Wonder Woman: warbringer (2017), a novel released on January 1, 2017.
“Coup Attempt. Civil War Erupts.
Bombings Increase. Talks Break Down.
Twenty Believed Dead. Hundreds Believed Dead.
[And] a fistfight had broken out
in the middle of the UN General Assembly.”
Indeed, the fact that the novel began on the legendary and secretive Amazon isle of Themyscira, an isle that evoked Gozo Island in BY THE SEA, and that one of the Amazons forced to leave the island after trying to smuggle an human luver onto Themyscira was named Nessa in an open evocation of Vanessa in BY THE SEA affirmed the implicit Jolie addressing intent of the novel. The fact that soon after arriving on beautiful Themyscira an explosion shattered the peace and harmony of the legendary isle also affirmed the implicit Jolie addressing intent of Wonder Woman: warbringer, reminding us that IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY began with an explosion in a Sarajevo nightclub. Thus, the fact that the explosion led to Princess Diana rescuing the implicitly Diablo Cody linked Alia Keralis and then successfully cleansed her of her war and violence bringing Dark Side, in the end, implied the hope of Bardugo that Jolie would bring harmony back to Cody, audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre with her film art. An implicit allegorical intent reaffirmed later that year when DC and Warners left behind the sadolescence of Princess Diana in the present and travelled back in time to implicitly roast and toast Jolie again in the implicit form of the time travelling Amazon Princess Diana aka Diana Prince aka “Wonder Woman”-played again by Gadot as an adult, Lilly Aspell as an eight year old and Emily Carey as a twelve year old, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Patty Jenkins super satirical animaction film WONDER WOMAN (2017), released on May 15, 2017.
“You keep doubting yourself, Diana…
You are stronger than you believe.
You have greater powers than you know.”
Fittingly, like Wonder Woman: warbringer, the film began on the picturesque and hidden from humankind island of Themyscira, the legendary and beautiful island that again evoked the equally picturesque Gozo Island of BY THE SEA, immediately affirming the film’s implicit interest in Jolie. The sight and sound of the Pitt evoking American WWI pilot and spy Captain Steve Trevor-played by Chris Pine-soon crashing his stolen and battered German bi-plane in a bay off Themyscira reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Jolie, evoking the sight and sound of the USAAF B-24 Liberator bomber crashing in the Pacific to begin the nightmare for Zamperini in UNBROKEN. Thus, the sight and sound of a doughty and determined Diana taking the legendary Godkiller sword created by Zeus, the Shield of Invincible Innocence, the Brass Bracelets of Perky Power, the Truth compelling Lasso of Hestia, and the indispensable Headband That Kept The Hair Out Of The Eyes [Particularly When Battling Evildoers] ironically first worn by the mighty and implicitly Polley linked General Antiope-the irony increased by the fact that she was played by Robin Wright, an ex-wife of Penn-and leaving the luv and watchful support of her protective mother, the tall, commanding, fearless and implicitly Bigelow linked Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons-played by Connie Nielsen-and the rest of the warrior Amazons on Themyscira and sailing off with Trevor to Europe to end World War One-a Great War that evoked the wars in IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY and UNBROKEN-by finding and defeating Ares, the god of war aka the implicitly Smilin’ Stan Lee linked Smilin’ Sir Patrick Morgan-played by David Thewlis-his implicitly Jolly Jack Kirby linked partner-in-Evil General Erich Lundendorff-played by Danny Huston-and their implicitly Friendly Flo Steinberg linked mad scientist colleague Doktor Isabel Maru aka “Doktor Poison”-played by Elena Anaya-implied the hope of Jenkins that WONDER WOMAN would singlehandedly defeat the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and that Jolie would put aside her doubts and despair and strike back with a great film.
Indeed, the sight and sound of Diana using her Godkiller sword to kill Ludendorff and then discovering that she was the true personified Godkiller and using her deadly power to terminate Ares, in the end, implicitly affirmed the dual of Jenkins that Jolie would put aside her implicit doubts in and despair over her film art prowess and return to the Temple Theatre with another fine film that would win over audiences and that WONDER WOMAN would singlehandedly defeat the MCU. A dual implication affirmed by the fact that WONDER WOMAN resembled the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Alan Taylor super satirical animaction film THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013) and the equally twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Joe Johnston super satirical animaction film CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2017).
Thus, it was ironic that later that same year, Disney, Marvel and haiku luvin’ Taika Waititi implicitly hoped that Jolie would end her implicit feud with Cameron and work with him to advance the cause of CGI enhanced indie docufeature film art, for after initially battling the implicitly Cameron linked Thor, god of thunder-inspired by a character implicitly linked to J.R.R. Tolkien that was created by Kirby, Lee and Laconic Larry Lieber for Marvel Comics, and played by Chris Hemsworth-the bitter, despondent, disaffected, deep drinkin’, short sword favouring and implicitly Jolie linked Valkyrie aka “Scrapper 142”-inspired by a character created by Jokin’ John Buscema and Rascally Roy Thomas for Marvel Comics, and played by Tessa Thompson-teamed up with Thor, the implicitly Lucas linked Doctor Bruce Banner aka “the Incredible Hulk”-inspired by a character implicitly linked to Pablo Picasso that was created by Kirby and Lee for Marvel Comics, and played by Mark Ruffalo-and the implicitly Spielberg linked Loki, god of mischief-inspired by a character implicitly linked to Harvey Kurtzman that was created by Kirby, Lee and Lieber for Marvel Comics, and played by Tom Hiddleston-to triumph over the deadly and implicitly Bigelow linked Hela, goddess of death-inspired by a character created by Kirby and Lee for Marvel Comics, and played by Kate Blanchett-the scourge of immortal the scourge of immortal and implicitly Hollywood linked Asgard at the end of the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction film THOR: RAGNORAK (2017), released on October 10, 2017.
Indeed, a flashback late in the film that saw Val mourn the loss of a fellow Valkyrie whose blonde hair implicitly linked her to Hollywood in her first battle with Hela affirmed the implicit link of Val to Jolie. For the flashback reminded us that Jolie’s first cinematic salvo IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY was soon crushed in the theatres by Bigelow’s all conquering and twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Landis roasting and Polley toasting indie docufeature artbuster ZERO DARK THIRTY (2012), released on December 10, 2012. Later that same year, DC and Warners also returned the implicitly Jolie Amazon Princess Diana aka Diana Prince aka “Wonder Woman”-played again by Gadot-and her implicitly Bigelow linked mother Queen Hippolyta-played again by Nielsen-to the Temple Theatre to team up again with the implicitly Gardevil linked and haunted billionaire Bruce Wayne aka “Batman”-played again by Affleck-the revived from the dead and implicitly Reitman linked Kal-El aka Clark Kent aka “Superman”-played again by Cavill-the implicitly Jay Baruchel linked Barry Allen aka “the Flash”-played by Ezra Miller-and the implicitly Luc Besson linked Arthur Curry aka “Aquaman”-played by Jason Momoa-as the Justice League to prevent the CGI enhanced and implicitly Kelly linked extraterrestrial Evildoer Steppenwolf-played by Ciaran Hinds-from destroying the world with the help of an unholy trinity of Mother Boxes and hordes of pesky insect men in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Snyder super satirical animaction film JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017), released on October 26, 2017.
Not surprisingly, Disney, Marvel and Anthony and Joseph Russo soon reaffirmed their implicit hope that Jolie would end her implicit feud with Cameron by having the implicitly Jolie linked Valkyrie-played again by Thompson-return from limbo and team up again with the implicitly Cameron linked Thor-played again by Hemsworth-to help the rest of the dissemblin’ superheroes and superheroines save the MCU and kick off the Bob Iger era (IE) of Disney by defeating the implicitly Michael Eisner linked mad Titan, Thanos-inspired by a character created by Jaunty Jim Starlin for Marvel Comics, and played by Josh Brolin-at the end of the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction film AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019), released on April 22, 2019. The following year it was also back to the superdupalooza when Jenkins donned the co-writer/director/co-producer hats and teamed up again with Aspell, Gadot, Nielsen, Pine, Wright and WONDER WOMAN production designer Aline Bonetto, director of photography (DOP) Matthew Jensen and producers Stephen Jones and Charles Roven to implicitly roast and toast Jolie again in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction film WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020), released on December 25, 2020.
“I am not a con man!
I am a television personality.
And a respected businessman with a plan.
With…with…with a great plan!”
Curiously, the film saw the time travellin’ Amazon Princess Diana aka Diana Prince aka “Wonder Woman”-played again by Aspell in a prologue flashback and mostly by Gadot, respectively-team up again in 1984 two years into the dread allegorical Zone Wars with a wished for and reincarnated Capt. Steve Trevor-played again by Pine-and, with the help of the famous invisible plane, curiously triumph over the equally wishful and implicitly Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels linked con man Maxwell “Max” Lord and geology/gemology/lithology expert Doctor Barbara Minerva aka “Cheetah”-played by Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig, respectively-perhaps as a way to implicitly exorcise the corrosive, divisive, nutty and tragicomic spirit of Trump from the American consciousness after a hoped for defeat in the November 2020 election. Indeed, the sight and sound of Lord taking the U.S. presidency from the President Ronald Reagan evoking and implicitly linked POTUS-played by Stuart Milligan-towards the end of the film affirmed the implicit link of Lord to Trump. Curiously, in the sight and sound of Lord renouncing the wishful power granted to him by the legendary Dreamstone, a deceptively helpful stone created by Dechalafrea Ero, the god of lies and duke of deception, in order to bring health and harmony back to Earth and to save his son Alistair-played by Lucian Perez-in the end, Jenkins also allowed Trump to redeem himself in a way that he never did in reality.
In addition, Jenkins implicitly roasted Walt Disney in the form of power lusting Egyptian Emir Said Bin Abydos-played by Amr Waked. Indeed, the film’s allusions to the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and Lucas executive produced Spielberg indie docufeature films RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981), INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984) and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989) affirmed the implicit interest in Disney, reminding us that the Mouse House now oversaw the Indiana Jones films after Lucas sold Lucasfilm Ltd. and his special f/x firm, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), to Disney in 2012. Indeed, the resemblance of Alistair to Ke Huy Quan, who played Short Round in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, affirmed the film’s links to the Indiana Jones films. Last but not least, Jenkins also implicitly roasted Clint Eastwood in the form of a leader-played by James C. Burke-of a gang that robbed a jewelry store in hopes of finding the Dreamstone at the beginning of the film. At any rate, WONDER WOMAN 1984 was more implicit support for Jolie, and hopefully inspire her it would to send another moving, unflinching and memorable allegorical dispatch to audiences from deep inside twilit and haunted Hollywood…in the land of blood and money.
Bardugo, Leigh. Wonder Woman: warbringer. New York:
Enninful, Edward. “This Woman’s Work”. VOGUE UK
(March 2021) pp. 186-199.