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“The Outpost” director Rod Lurie on filming in Bulgaria, Scott Eastwood




Rod Lurie. West Point grad. Known for movies like “The Contender” and “Nothing But the Truth.” Israeli-American director, screenwriter and former film critic.

Now director of “The Outpost,” the true story of Afghanistan’s bloodiest engagement — a fistful of GIs against a Taliban army.

Lurie: “West Point taught me leadership and principle needed for the films I wanted to make. ‘The Outpost’ is because not being in combat in this heroic battle, whose survivors made our most decorated units, I then felt I had to honor their story.

“Places to film were Bulgaria or Morocco, but Morocco wouldn’t allow us to bring weapons. Soldiers need weapons. Morocco needed to know how many blanks we’d fire. So we went to Bulgaria. Great equipment, crews, props, makeup people. We stayed in a castle in Sofia.

“I was there for months with army guys — including that battle’s Medal of Honor winners — before shooting began. No trailers. Uncomfortable. In the wilderness six days a week. Sundays, we slept. The whole film shot in 30 days. As a military man, I know to be efficient. It’s preparation. Shoot all on one camera. No different styles, takes or cutaways. Do it properly and save time.

“Its stars include Orlando Bloom and Clint Eastwood’s son Scott. We almost got canceled because Scott broke his ankle. Stunningly good, bathed in leadership, Scott carries that air and is hungry to accelerate his acting skills.

“We put all the soldiers through boot camp. In one scene, our stuntman’s running along an outpost. Bullets, explosions everywhere. So not to exhaust our cameraman, I followed while working a drone held in my hands. Light, not bulky, I put a camera on this drone. Specialists walked me through how to do it.

“The movie’s intense. It’s survival. The love of one soldier for another.”

“The Outpost” is out on Friday.

Can we fix ourselves?

Before the Civil War, a female statue was created to sit atop our Capitol. It bore a “liberty cap” of stars memorializing those to be freed. This enraged Jefferson Davis, later president of the Confederacy, until its New York designer Thomas Crawford agreed to substitute an eagle’s head.

As Lincoln was into his failed run for the Senate, that figure of freedom was redone. And today, this country’s blighted sense of respect now wants to tear down the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

All civilization has histories, backgrounds. Many we’ve all outgrown. Ways, habits, customs in our infancy — same as newborn babies. USA had cowboys and Indians, North and South. Everything has a beginning.

Hieroglyphics, now a computer. Covered wagon, now an SUV. Kitty Hawk, now a moon rocket. Seedling, now a tree.

A beginning. Not all great. But a beginning.

Alexis de Tocqueville, over 180 years ago: “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” Let’s hope we can.

Not saying the mayor is dumb

De Blasio is very smart. Negating, denigrating, peeing on him — the man doesn’t care. Not he nor his wife ever earn feed except from the political trough.

Both very smart. Their conversation is what to accomplish next. Forget helping NYC. That’s over for them. They aren’t concerned about us. They care about them. He wriggled from no place to be Hillary’s chief. Then wriggled to become mayor. Tried for president — but forget it. He’s already wriggling his wife into the Brooklyn boro president job.

Never underestimate them. His next lurch is for governor.


July Fourth. Fireworks. Noisy parties. Sloppy outdoor socially distanced picnics. Screaming kids. Sharks offshore. Sharks onshore.

Only in America, kids, only in America.




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