Fear sold in the name of terrorism: Landis

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Panaji, Nov 30 (UNI) Stating that terrorism is being legitimised when the fight against it is described as ''war on terror'', legendary American director John Landis said ''fear is being sold in the name of terrorism the world over.'' ''Terrorists are just criminals and gangsters. When we proclaim 'war on terror', it only means terrorism is being legitimised and institutionalised,'' he told mediapersons here.

John Landis was at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), where his five films are being screened at the retrospective section.

The terrorists, who were just criminals and gangsters, only wanted to create some hype, he said, adding that these forces did not deserve such prominence.

He opined that the media was also guilty in this regard.

Noting that he landed at a time of chaos in Mumbai, Mr Landis said whenever a tragedy or terrorist activity took place, people would exploit it for their personal gains.

''All politicians take advantage of the situation without even arriving at any conclusions,'' he said and alleged that ''US President George W Bush had taken advantage of the 'war on terror' by attacking Iraq.

On filmmaking and responsibility of the directors, Mr Landis said filmmakers had a responsibility for whatever they produce but they should not be dictated of what they had to do in their works.

''The directors should have the power of what they deal with but cannot be dictated by others,'' the director said.

Noting that all films were political, he said ''whether positive or negative, all films will have political traits.'' Further, he said filmmaking was a craft, which, in the hands of some filmmakers is lifted to the level of art. More important is the execution of the films.

Any one can have ideas, but the final product was most important, he said. He also noted that it was now difficult to experiment in films as the corporate or the international conglomerates now controlled filmmaking.

Though there was a technology boom in the film industry, there were no excuses for the directors and the basic story telling craft could not be changed. ''The director is always needed,'' he added.

On his favourite filmmakers, he named Satyajit Ray as among five great directors.

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