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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Night Witches

This is the damnedest story I've read in quite a while. I thought I knew WWII, but I didn't know about the all-female Russian aviator squadrons which pitted primitive, flimsy bi-planes against vastly superior German fighters. Hollywood simply must make a movie about the Night Witches.
I just saw this, too! Agreed! Kathryn Bigelow?
Well, I'm kind of ticked off at her. If you want a female director, you know who would be good? Gillian Anderson. Seriously. She did an episode of the X-Files that was very well-directed. Also, Patti Jenkins ("Monster") is worth considering. Maybe Sofia Coppola...?
Several issues come to mind.

1) The article defames bombers made of canvas and plywood. In fact some of the best planes of the war, for example the RAF's Hurricanes and Mosquitoes, were made that way. To my mind the Mosquito was the best plane of the war.

2) The Soviets took the war seriously. The Nazis didn't. It took them years to do simple things like rationing toilet paper. And of course, they weren't so eager to recruit women for fighting. There was the SS Women's Corp, but the closest they generally got to fighting was guarding concentration camps. Clearly a waste of resources on the part of the Nazis. Nazis aren't very practical.

3) There are lots of obscure stories in war that are interesting and often ignored. Nestor Makhno and the panic at Peregonovka. Lt Cmdr Spicer with Mimi and Toutou on lake Tanganiyka. Madame Lynch and her activities around the War of the Triple Alliance. So on.
Joseph, I was going to say Amy Heckerling, who would give it a good dose of camp, which I like. I'm not really a Bigelow fan, mostly because I don't watch war movies.

But I love your idea of Sofia Coppola. Marie Antoinette had two tiny flaws but was otherwise stellar, I thought.

Seriously, we should have a social media "pitch" to get one of these, guess the idea needs a script first! Surely you have connections?

Stephen, several issues do indeed come to mind. Best wishes in attending to them!

Back when I worked for an ad agency, we often put together promotional material for projects that never got the green light. So naturally, my first instinct is to come up with a tag line for the poster.

How's this:

"Chicks kill Nazis. True story."

I defy you to be briefer.
"History's unsung Nazi-bombing heroines."

4 words thanks to a hyphen but boring compared to your Chicks vs Nazis promo!

"Inglorious Bitcheskies." 2 words! Ha. Nailed it.

Also have the perfect director: Katja von Garnier. German. And she killed with "Iron-jawed Angels."

HBO needs to make this project like they did Iron-Jawed Angels.

Zee, I LOVE "Inglorius Bitchkies." But I think some of my more feminist readers would never forgive that!
Well, it's a direct spoof of an existing title, so women would get that. A bit different from, say, a music industry which uses the word to demean women. Bitchskies plays off "witches," too.

I misspelled the misspelling of Inglourious, tho!

I've been reading up on the woman, Jennifer Friedes, who wrote Iron Jawed Women. It took years to write, sell and produce. I wonder if she'd take on a project like this and, if so, would the time frame be shorter?

On the other hand, that was her first project, and I live right next door to a Russian, so I would have research help....

Oh, and here is what HBO did to Jennifer's original story: added a non-existent love story thread, and updated the conversational style.
You know, without the tight word count "chicks" works just as well in fake Russian.

Tagline: If you liked Inglourious Basterds, you'll love how these Bomber Chickskies killed them some Natsies.

I must stop before I start musing on casting...damn it, I just remembered Burn Notice is ending, so Gabrielle Anwar might be available...
Joseph, this may be why the renewed interest in the Night Witches: an obit of one of them who died last week at age 91.
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