For the next 42 days we're going to be counting down to the release of SEAL Team 666. why 42? Because it's the answer to the universal question.
Today we have Mark Steensland. I first met Mark at NECON, if I remember right. He's a film director and had just directed and produced a short film called Peekers, based on the short story by Kealan Patrick Burke. We've since broken bread and had drink together and he's a good friend in the industry whom I enjoy watching as he gains more and more accolades.
The following three questions were asked to everyone. These are Mark's responses.
1. What’s your favorite military movie, book or television show?
"Full Metal Jacket" is by far my favorite military movie.
2. Why is it your favorite? Here’s where you can ramble a bit.
Kubrick is my favorite director and as much as I love "Paths of Glory," I think he really made the best war movie with "FMJ." All of his films are so repeatable, meaning that you can find new meanings and nuances on every subsequent viewing. I just re-watched it a few months ago and was stunned all over again. And while I could ramble on about how expertly he uses all the craft elements of filmmaking (editing, cinematography, music, etc.), I think this film especially gets at the absolute black heart of what war means for us as humans.
3. What themes are overused? And is it overused, or just truthful
My dad was a decorated World War Two Veteran (Purple Heart for stepping on a land mine that only took his toes and a Silver Star for bravery for refusing to evacuate until he had directed his platoon to successfully help take control of a German town just before the Battle of the Bulge). The thing is: he never wanted to talk about it. He died when I was young, but I heard from other relatives that as proud as he was, he never escaped the real personal cost of all the lives I'm sure he took. I don't like when films try to make it look like bravery only comes with a reward. The fact is, this kind of experience leaves a mark on your soul. I can't think of but a handful of stories that really communicate that well. "Full Metal Jacket" is at the top, as far as I'm concerned.
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Check out Mark Steensland's new book, Behind the Bookcase. Here's the book trailer that goes with it:
Thanks Mark and thanks to your father for his incredible service!
Don't forget to Pre-order SEAL Team 666 from your favorite store: