Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yes they really did blow up an ex-Israeli Air Force 707 on the movie "Speed"

AMC is broadcasting Speed, a spectacular movie featuring a GM "old look" bus and a Boeing 707.
You only need to see the last 10 minutes when the two heros eject from the bus through the floor hatch and the bus looks as if it runs into and blows up a real 707, not just computer effects. Well I found the story here: 

paint your own bus!
It is to such a site of recycling that Hito Steyerl takes us. With pristine HD steadicam footage, she visits Mojave Air and Space Center, a scrapyard under a piercingly blue California sky where airplanes come to die. A jolly captain with a pearl studded cap and a wheelchair cart becomes the entrepreneurial Virgil, the informant who leads us through their afterlife. He tells us about his business ever since the Chinese started buying scrap. “Every time there’s a dip in the economy, it’s windfall to us,” he says, surrounded by profitable ghosts......
 On the dinky little DVD player close to the wreckage, an inter-title announces “Biography of an Object: 4X-JYI.” 4X-JYI was a Boeing 707-700 blown up for the movie Speed (1994); you can read its number on the tail-fin in the footage. Before that it served in the Israeli Air Force, a young expert tells us in Hebrew. The jolly captain confirms the explosion: holes in the wings and kerosene on a crystal desert day. Imagine the glory. Ka-boom.
The explosion from Speed becomes an implosion as Steyerl goes back to the biography’s beginnings, to the crucial year 1929, the year the stock market crashed, the year with the most airplane crashes in history, the year Tretyakov wrote his essay, one of many crucial documents in the Soviet Cultural Revolution. Deadpan slapstick footage of early aviation crashes links 1929 to Howard Hughes and the film Hell’s Angels, whose story we know from Scorsese’s Aviator. The jolly captain ominously tells us that he also knew Hughes. He looks a little like Hughes, come to think of it, it’s something about the beard. The Israeli expert converts this paranoia into a narrative. Intercut with a TWA promo video from the Fifties or Sixties. 4X-JYI was ordered by Hughes Tool Company in 1956, and served as a part of TWA’s fleet until the 1970s, when it was sold to Israel for military use. The DVD player plays parts of an Israeli reportage on the Re’em Squadron, a refueling unit made up of former commercial airliners. 4X-JYI served in this squadron, the expert tells us. But its cousin, a plane from the same batch of 707s, 4X-JYD is also a movie star. Converted into an electronic command center, it was part of the operation at Entebbe in 1976, in which Israeli and Ugandan military rescued hostages from an airliner taken over by German and Palestinian militants from the PFLP. Three movies were made. The tension builds. On the dinky DVD player, terrorists pull a pin of a hand grenade and bust into the cockpit. They announce their movement’s complicated name (Che Guevara Front, Gaza Brigade, another set of reproductions) and that the airplane is in their hands. Klaus Kinski’s appearance makes it clear: the affect of film (and not just THIS film) has once again taken us over completely. We’re now under control. By and for what and whom remains unclear.

and here:

The Mojave Virtual MuseumPhoto LibraryMojave Airport: Movie and TV Filming
The wide open spaces, great year-round weather and strange resident aircraft have made Mojave a favorite location for the movie and TV production industry over the years.
air-film-speed-01-2.jpg (8200 bytes)One of the most dramatic film projects was the finale for the hit movie Speed, where a retired Boeing 707 was blown up on the taxiway outside the Aerotest hangar. The scene was set at Los Angeles International, where most of it was filmed. If you watch the background just before the plane explodes, you'll notice the sudden appearance of the Mojave mountains! EKAD photo.

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