Sunday Territorian 4 Apr 2010
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www.sundayterritorian.com.au Sunday Territorian, Sunday, April 4, 2010 55 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 4 -A P R -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 5 5 C O L O R : C M Y K War with humanity TV mini-series tracks Marines WAR VETERANS: Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks teamed up for another campaign for television this time in the WWII mini-series The Pacific ROBOWEN TOM Hanks and Steven Spielberg have gone to war together before: on the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan and on 2001s World War II miniseries Band of Brothers. After Brothers, mail poured in from soldiers who recognised in the mini-series their own experiences in Europe and also from veterans of Pacific battles who wished that backdrop had also been included. Now it is, in The Pacific (premiering on the Seven Network this month), a 10-part mini-series that tracks three US Marines through the conflict in a part of the world filled with vivid colours that contrast with the desaturated look found in Band of Brothers. What moved us to tell these stories based on these veterans was to see what happens to the human soul throughout his particular engagement, Spielberg said at a press conference earlier this year. These islands were stepping stones to the mainland of Japan. We werent trained by the drill instructors stateside except what they could glean from recent history. We were trained by the enemy how to fight the enemy. They trained us how to fight like them. I dont want to compare one (theatre of) war to the other in terms of savagery, Spielberg continued, but theres a level when nature and humanity conspire against the individual. To see what happens to those individuals throughout the entire course of events, leading up to the dropping of the two atomic bombs, is something that was very, very hard for the actors and for the writers and for all of us to put on the screen. But we felt we had to try. The Pacific was six years in the making, with 10 months devoted to filming in Australia. Unlike Band of Brothers, which was based on Stephen Ambroses book of the same name, The Pacific was inspired by several books about or written by the three Marines who would become the characters at the heart of the mini-series: journalist Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), symbol-of-the-war-effort John Basilone (Jon Seda) and sensitive but desperate-to-fight Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello). For Hanks, The Pacific represents an opportunity to examine aspects of the human condition of fate and serendipity alongside the great genius behind long-term planning and masterminding. What is much more key is how to take the stories of these young men ... and put them in a story in which we can recognise ourselves somehow, he said.