World Premiere #1: Hands Across Iraq (2008)

Hands Across Iraq
(Tom Sutpen; 2008)

On March 17, 2003, President George W. Bush interrupted the primetime programming lineups of all major television networks and a handful of Cable outlets, to deliver an ultimatum to the ruler of Iraq.

"All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end," he stated, with an ominous diminution of his usually well-rehearsed Texas twang. "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing." Within 72 hours, major combat operations in a campaign whose objective -- the liberation of an otherwise sovereign nation from the once-useful tyranny of its President -- has met with no resistance from anyone in a position to stop it, commenced.

Today it endures . . . as do us all.

We here at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger . . . , will now mark the fifth anniversary of Pres. Bush's determined resolve to end decades of deceit and cruelty, through the vehicle of a piece entitled Hands Across Iraq.

It is our hope that you will find it to your liking.


Vanwall said...

Damn! That's a fucking A masterpiece of the short form. Great job, Tom!

Tom Sutpen said...

Thank you, Rob. That is . . . you've no idea, believe me. Immense thanks, amigo.

Jessica R. said...

It lands like a punch to the gut, one we've earned through supporting this or not saying anything to stop this. May god have mercy on us all.

shahn said...

Bravo, Tom!

mike said...

Nice work sir. It's difficult to do something political that doesn't just beat you over the head with one viewpoint and i think you manage it here.

incidentally - 'hands' - Monty Python right? But from what? Or is it from a Gilliam?

Mike in Nihon

Laurent Delpit said...

It is a wonderful film you produced, Tom, it goes without comment actually, and though we do, comment, i do...
guys who "fight" this war will never get over it, their lives are broken, i'm afraid, as well as the Iraki's
Bush, Blair and all his "fellows" should be ashamed until the end of their lives

well, bravo for this HANDS OVER IRAQ


p.s. i am proud of people who do things like you did

SomeNYGuy said...

Lovely video. Admirable sentiment. Excruciating song (intentionally?)

Tom Sutpen said...

Jessica, shahn, Mike, Laurent, and Somenyguy:

If I thanked you all individually it would get awfully redundant, even if I did so in the terms your words worrant. Suffice it to say, I'm glad y'all like it.

A word about the music: 'You Need Hands' was originally a 1958 hit single for the British entertainer Max Bygraves (I think Eydie Gormet had some chart success with it in this country). In this piece, however, I used Malcolm McLaren's recording for Julien Temple's The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

It does sound like one of those things Neil Innes would occasionally write for Monty Python, however.

I wouldn't say I employed it for its annoyance factor (in fact, in many ways I think it's a lovely recording); I just thought it went well with the images; musically, thematically, what have you.

I'm currently working on another one of these things. I should probably have my head examined.

SomeNYGuy said...

"I should probably have my head examined."

Please don't. If I may pull a Dr. Frist and diagnose you over the internet, I'd say you're doing just fine.

Frank said...

Great video. This is a wild divergence, but the song provoked a shock of recognition.

I used to have "movie parties" way back in the day, where I'd drag out my old silent 8mm Castle Films and play my own soundtrack. I always used to use this song during the climax of "The Beast With Five Fingers." (!)

Hadn't heard it in many years -- thanks!

Mr DeBakey said...

I was thinking about
and intending to comment
a few posts ago [The idealistic one-legged sailer]

The topic
"The Great War on Bad Guys who won't Give us the Oil"

I didn't put the post together.
But, you probably can guess what I was going to type.

H. P. L. said...

Great work, Tom!


swac said...

It does sound like one of those things Neil Innes would occasionally write for Monty Python, however.

I think Innes parodies this very song in The Rutles with You Need Feet, which accompanies a parody of Yoko Ono's art film Bottoms.

Tom Sutpen said...

I thought for the longest time it was Innes' work as well, perhaps an old Bonzo Dog Band recording I was otherwise unfamiliar with; but I was surprised to learn a few years back that 'You Need Feet' was in fact a parody of Bygraves' hit that Bernard Bresslaw recorded, also in '58 (if you listen closely, the arrangement is very much in the classic faux-Nelson Riddle style of that period; right down to the Celeste).

But again . . . it's still consistent with something Innes would write.

Believe it or don't, but this exchange has given me an idea for a series that you would think we'd have started a long time ago (considering our overlapping preoccupations and all).

mike said...

Ah Malcolm McClaren! of course - i had forgotten that. You should keep making these shorts - again nice work.

ThomasJeromeNewton said...

whilst he himself was ousted by eventuality. all in all, the president of chile at the time spoke against it. Which Tony blair commended.

"it'd be easier if I were a dictator""