Combat Obscura


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About

Just out of high school, at the age of 18, Miles Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Combat Camera — his unit's official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps’ recruiting purposes and historical initiatives. But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see. COMBAT OBSCURA is a groundbreaking look at daily life in a war zone as told by the Marines themselves. More than a mere compilation of violence, the edit ingeniously repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.

Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman, born on the 14th of July, 1918, in Uppsala, died on the 30th of July, 2007, on Fårö, was a Swedish film and theatre director, writer, theatre manager, dramatist and author. Ingmar Bergman wrote or directed more than 60 films and 170 theatrical productions, and authored over a hundred books and articles. Among his best-known works are the films THE SEVENTH SEAL, WILD STRAWBERRIES, and PERSONA, as well as his autobiography THE MAGIC LANTERN.

Throughout Bergman’s many works, one finds variations on a central theme: dysfunctional families, blood-sucking failed artists and an absent Almighty all become manifestations of our collective inability to communicate with each other.

Shakespeare, Molière, Ibsen, and Strindberg were all enormously important influences on Bergman, not only in his theatrical work, but indeed the entirety of his artistic career.

Bergman’s films are set almost exclusively in Sweden, and starting with 1961’s THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, they were filmed primarily on the small island of Fårö, northeast of Gotland. The international reception of Bergman’s films reflects a not inconsiderable fascination with a Scandinavian exoticism: inscrutable language, primeval nature and flaxen-haired women. The depiction of nudity and a “natural” sexuality in Bergman’s films contributed to their success.

Looking over Bergman’s career, another hallmark of both his work for stage and film is the recurrent company of loyal collaborators. Some notable examples from this ensemble include the cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the actors Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, and Bibi Andersson, and the costume designer Mago.

The relationship between the life and works of the artist (despite the tendency of biographical analyses to fall victim to the cult of genius) is in the case of Ingmar Bergman as inextricably tangled as it is compelling. In countless interviews and artistic representations, and especially in THE MAGIC LANTERN, Bergman repeatedly referred to his childhood and its importance for his artistic vision. A number of his relatives were also creative colleagues.

Miles Lagoze

Miles Lagoze is a NY based filmmaker interested in upending traditional war narratives and representations in American cinema. Obsessed with the film Full Metal Jacket while growing up, he enlisted as a Combat Camera in the Marines when he was 18 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. After getting out of the military he began working on Combat Obscura while attending film school at Columbia University.

Screenings

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Press

  • “The beauty of the film is its realness. All the footage is taken directly from his camera. Lagoze went on to compile all the events he felt were representative of his experience. He shows the gun fights, the cursing, the shouting, the laughter, the fear and the hostility of the men in the war. Nothing is withheld.”Jessica Duffield, VOX MAGAZINE
  • “War is not fought but lived, and this is as close to first-person as one can get without being there. COMBAT OBSCURA sinks deeper into darkness as it progresses, as the utter pointlessness and futility of America’s presence in Afghanistan overwhelms the troops. While we are initially invited to empathize with the Marines, their jokey comradery gives way to vicious menace. There is no apparent mission, just a loop of injuries and reprisals against an amorphous outside threat. The final two scenes are a despairing diptych. In the first, the men realize they’ve killed an unarmed shopkeeper and plot to cover it up. In the second, one of them is seriously wounded in a firefight and they scramble to get him airlifted to aid. There is no point to any of it, just horror. That is all there is to this war, and no uplifting words will ameliorate it.””Daniel Schindel, THE FILM STAGE
  • “This Marine-made war documentary is so raw the corps doesn’t want you to see it. One of most genuine looks at what the Forever War was like for those who waged it.”James Clark, TASK AND PURPOSE

Contact

For press inquiries, please contact:
Sydney Tanigawa
212-219-4029 ext. 41
Sydney@Oscilloscope.net
For booking inquiries, please contact:
Andrew Carlin
Oscilloscope Laboratories
630-445-1215
andrew@oscilloscope.net
For all other inquiries, please contact:
combatobscura@oscilloscope.net