Tag Archives: Salt

The CIA and Hollywood episode 15 Salt

Rounding off this second season we take a look at SALT, the 2010 action thriller starring Angelina Jolie as a CIA officer accused of being a Russian sleeper agent. We chart the development of the film, from its origins as an attempt to recreate the Bourne franchise, through Amy Pascal and Jolie’s conversations about making a female-led spy thriller. SALT is one of the less well known CIA-assisted productions, but along with technical advice from former CIA officer Melissa Boyle Mahle the producers also consulted with the CIA themselves in a video conference. The producers also employed Kurt Wimmer, one of the screenwriters from The Recruit. There is also a very weird story involving one of the extras in the opening sequence in North Korea.
We analyse the mystery of Evelyn Salt’s underwear and then the conversation hones in on Russia, who in 2010 were not on the news agenda, and how this movie predicted the rise of the ‘new Cold War’ that is commonplace in most current spy films and TV shows. The whole notion of a sleeper agent Russian spy ring was risible at the time but before long this exact story hit the news in a big way. We touch on the transhuman disguise that Jolie employs in the film and how this relates both to Argo and to Mission: Impossible, two other CIA-assisted movies. We round off looking back on season 2 of The CIA and Hollywood and suggest a possibility for doing season 3 in a different way.

Download The CIA and Hollywood ep 15

Show notes:

SALT (movie)

The Ultimate Action Hero – Salt (Making Of #1)

Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt (Making Of #2)

SALT production notes

Thomas J. Ridge and Melissa Boyle Mahle on Salt

The SALT talks

Pearse with SALT poster

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The CIA and Hollywood Season 2 Link Chart

The-CIA-and-Hollywood-linkchart-2

 

From SpyCulture:

We will begin releasing season 2 of The CIA and Hollywood this weekend, and to give you a taste of what’s to come we have produced a linkchart combining data and connections from both season 1 and the forthcoming season 2.  New additions include The Rock, Angelina Jolie and former Sony executive Amy Pascal, along with self-confessed (though officially denied) CIA agent Chuck Barris.  Much of this season’s material links up with the people and organisations we discussed in season one, including the two production companies Participant Media and Relativity Media.

As with the previous linkchart, embedded in the pdf are links to various resources – interviews, documents, making of featurettes and other sources of information for those who want to know more about the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood, and of course where Pearse and I get the information we use.  The 8 films we examine in this second season are: The Quiet American (1958), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), Men who Stare at Goats (2009), American Ultra (2015), Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and Salt (2010).

The linkchart is available as a high-resolution PNG file or as an even higher-resolution PDF, which has the source links embedded within it.

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