Cinemetal

MINISTRY IN BEST PICTURE WINNER THE HURT LOCKER

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Anyone else relieved that Avatar didn’t win Best Picture last night? Not that the Oscars matter any more than any other award in the scheme of things, but, seriously. I’m over it with the blue cat people.

ANYWAY, the movie that did win, The Hurt Locker, is notable to metalheads primarily because the film implies that its protagonist, SSG William James (Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner), is a metalhead – or, at least, a really big fan of Ministry. When the audience first meets James, he’s blasting “Khyber Pass” by Ministry, and two other Ministry songs, “(Fear) Is Big Business” and “Palestina,” are also used during the course of the movie.

Some may find this offensive – you could argue that metal is, once again, being used as short hand for “something’s seriously wrong with this dude,” as is the case in so many films – but here’s what I think is really interesting about it: some of the biggest criticisms against The Hurt Locker are that it is (allegedly, at least) apolitical; it doesn’t take a stance on the war in Iraq, it just portrays some of the soldiers fighting over there. But Ministry are anything BUT apolitical, and one listen to their music gives away their stance on the issue at hand. Did the filmmakers realize this when they selected that particular band’s music to be in the movie? It’s hard for me to believe it was just an arbitrary decision…

-AR

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