BLOODY RE­AL­ISM

Brad Pitt is back killing Nazis on the big screen in new re­lease Fury, a gritty and grisly look at war through the eyes of a US tank crew

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY | MOVIES - MICHAEL THURSTON

Brad Pitt’s war movie Fury of­fers a no­holds-barred view of war­fare which some may find hard to stom­ach – but its di­rec­tor jus­ti­fies the gore as straight­for­ward re­al­ism.

A stunt­man was in­jured by a bay­o­net dur­ing the mak­ing of the film, which in­cludes mul­ti­ple close-up scenes of slaugh­ter.

“War is vi­o­lent, it’s all in­cred­i­bly re­al­is­tic,” di­rec­tor David Ayer says, adding that a lot of the movie’s scenes are based on mil­i­tary after-ac­tion re­ports.

“The sad truth is that the US mil­i­tary in World War II in Europe ex­e­cuted a lot of pris­on­ers. It was kind of en­demic.”

The movie fol­lows a five­strong Sher­man tank crew, led by Pitt as bat­tle-har­dened Army Sergeant War­daddy, push­ing be­hind en­emy lines in the dy­ing days of the war in Ger­many in 1945.

Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ter Pitt last led a cin­e­matic Nazi-killing team in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 In­glo­ri­ous Bas­terds and, like that film, Fury in­cludes its fair share of gory SS of­fi­cer deaths.

The blood­let­ting starts from the open­ing scene, when Pitt’s character stabs a Ger­man through the eye.

“The movie is about the moral toxicity of war and how that vi­o­lence im­pacts what’s ef­fec­tively this fam­ily, this ad hoc fam­ily of men try­ing to sur­vive,” Ayer says.

The di­rec­tor, whose writ­ing cred­its in­clude 2001’s Os­car­win­ning Train­ing Day, says his­tory tends to ig­nore the sav­agery and ran­dom­ness of war­fare in the nar­ra­tive of vic­to­ri­ous Al­lies de­feat­ing ruth­less Nazis.

“Be­cause World War II was such a bat­tle of good ver­sus evil and be­cause the out­come of lib­er­at­ing Europe from slav­ery is such a pos­i­tive out­come ... we re­verseengi­neered the fight­ing it­self into some sort of idea (that it) was cleaner or black and white,” he says.

The cast, which in­cludes Michael Pena, Lo­gan Ler­man and Jon Berthal, were put through a mil­i­tary-style boot camp run by US Navy Seals be­fore start­ing the shoot to get them in the right frame of mind.

And while on set, Ayer made Pitt and other ac­tors have fist fights in be­tween takes to build team spirit.

“It bonded us,” LeBeouf says. “You can only get so much out in a con­ver­sa­tion.’’

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