The Butler
The American Conservative Staff
(”The Butler” is briefly mentioned in this.)
On Martin Luther King Day, 2015, how stand race relations in America? “Selma,” a film focused on the police clubbing of civil rights marchers led by Dr. King at Selma bridge in March of 1965, is being denounced by Democrats as a cinematic slander against the president who passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the movie, King is portrayed as decisive and heroic, LBJ as devious and dilatory. And no member of the “Selma” cast has been nominated for an Academy Award. All 20 of the actors and actresses nominated are white. Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, says Rev. Al Sharpton, the higher up you go the whiter it gets. Even before the “Selma” dustup, the hacking of Sony Pictures had unearthed emails between studio chief Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin yukking it up over President Obama’s reputed preference for films like “Django Unchained,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The Butler.” “Racism in Hollywood!” ran the headlines. Pascal went to Rev. Sharpton to seek absolution, which could prove expensive. Following a 90-minute meeting, Al tweeted that he had had a “very pointed and blunt exchange” with Pascal, that her emails reveal a “cultural blindness,” that Hollywood has to change, and that Pascal has “committed to this.” These cultural-social spats—LBJ loyalists vs. the “Selma” folks, Sharpton vs. Hollywood—are tiffs within the liberal encampment, and matters of amusement in Middle America. More serious have been the months-long protests against police, following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island, some of which have featured chants like, “What do we want? Dead Cops!” The protests climaxed with the execution in Bedford-Stuyvesant of two NYPD cops by a career criminal taking revenge for Garner and Brown. Race relations today seem in some ways more poisonous than in 1965, when there were vast deposits of goodwill and LBJ pushed through the Voting Rights Act easily, 77-19 in the Senate and 328-74 in the House. Only two Republican Senators voted against the VRA. But not a week after LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act, the Watts section of Los Angeles exploded in one of the worst race riots in U.S. history. After seven days of pillage and arson, there were 34 dead, 1,000 injured, 3,000 arrested, and a thousand buildings damaged or destroyed. The era of marching for civil rights was over and the era of Black Power, with Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, and The Black Panthers eclipsing King, had begun. In July 1967, there were riots in Newark and Detroit that rivaled Watts in destruction. After Dr. King’s murder in Memphis in April of 1968, riots broke out in 100 more cities, including Washington, D.C. By Oct. 1, the nominee of the Democratic Party, civil rights champion Hubert Humphrey, stood at 28 percent in the Gallup poll, only 7 points ahead of Gov. George Wallace. Though Nixon won narrowly, the Great Society endured. And in the half-century since, trillions have been spent on food stamps, housing subsidies, Head Start, student loans, Pell Grants, welfare, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits, and other programs. How did it all work out? Undeniably, the civil right laws succeeded. Discrimination in hotels and restaurants is nonexistent. African-Americans voted in 2012 in higher percentages than white Americans. There are more black public officials in Mississippi than in any other state. In sports, entertainment, journalism, government, medicine, business, politics, and the arts, blacks may be found everywhere. Yet the pathology of the old urban ghetto has not disappeared. In some ways, it has gotten much worse. Crime in the black community is still seven times what it is in the white community. Test scores of black students remain far below those of Asian and white students. While 40 percent of all infants are born to single moms, the illegitimacy rate in black America is over 70 percent. Whether it is dropout rates, drug use rates, delinquency rates or incarceration rates, the rates for blacks far exceed those of white and Asian-Americans, and of immigrants and Hispanics. White households have a median family income below that of Asians, but far above that of black Americans. White households have on average $143,000 in wealth in stocks, bonds, home equity and other assets, 13 times that of the average black household. At Howard University in 1965, LBJ declared, “We seek … not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and equality as a result.” “Equality as a result”? Measured by the average incomes and wealth of Asians and whites and Hispanics and blacks, we have failed. And income inequality is back again, as issue No. 1. After 50 years of affirmative action and the greatest wealth transfers in human history, “equality as a fact” has not been achieved and will not be, absent a greater seizure of power by the U.S. government and larger and virtually endless transfers of wealth. The reports of Karl Marx’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of  The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Copyright 2014 Creators.com. ]]>
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The Unz Review Staff
(”The Butler” is briefly mentioned in this.)
This is one of those weeks where the inside pages of the newspapers (for those of you who remember newspapers) grab one’s attention better than the big headlines. The story that the comment threads are talking about: the four young blacks in Chicago who kidnapped and tortured a retarded young white guy. The blacks are in custody; their mugshots have been broadcast to the media. You don’t have to look very long at those pictures to know where we are here: on the left-hand side of the Bell Curve. Intelligence-wise, in fact, we’re on the left-hand side of the black Bell Curve—IQs in the high seventies or low eighties. It’s worth making the effort of imagination to see how the world seems to people like that. So how does it seem? Well, it looks the way the images and the Narrative promoted in our Main Strea m Media and the schools portray it. These blacks, aged 18, 18, 18, and 24, grew up on a steady diet of school textbooks, TV shows, and movies keeping alive the resentments about slavery and Jim Crow. Their teachers told them more about the underground railroad than about Thomas Edison; more about Harriet Tubman than about George Washington; more about Frederick Douglass than about Mark Twain. If they were given any poetry it was Maya Angelou, not Longfellow. Movie producers gave them The Butler, Twelve Years a Slave, The Birth of a Nation. All that picking at historical scabs left these dimwitted youngsters with the feeling that whatever happens to whites, they have it coming. Mix that in with the different behavioral profiles of blacks—low impulse control, high levels of psychopathology, the pack mentality—and you get events like this one. Indeed, you get much worse: anyone remember the Knoxville Horror? Do whites do cruel things to blacks? Yes, they do. One exceptionally cruel thing, the Charleston church murders of 2015, is still generating small news storie s on page sixteen. The differences are in numbers and style. Numbers: Single-offender interracial crimes of violence break five black on nonblack to one the other way. Five out of six are black on nonblack. That at any rate was the case up to 2008—when the Department of Justice mysteriously stopped producing the relevant tables. Style: And that’s single-offender style. I can’t find numbers for gang attacks, but my impression from news stories is that this is very much a black thing. If interracial single-offender violence breaks five to one, I bet gang attacks are at least twice as disproportionate. Race differences in behavior account for much of this, of course. But those differences are amplified by the strange modern fashion, among nonblack educators and media creators, to nurture and inflame black hatred of whites — to keep black resentment alive. There is a corresponding effort to keep white people hating their own ancestors, their own country, and themselves — keeping white ethnomasochism alive. So there’s nothing very surprising here. The main interest of this story in fact is that it goes against the cherished liberal Narrative of heartless whites being cruel to soulful blacks. Reporting on it therefore faced a headwind of fudging and equivocation from the Main Stream Media. It’s been almost painful to watch the reluctance with which respectable outlets dribbled forth the racial facts of the Chicago case. Without that Facebook video of the torturing, they probably wouldn’t have done so at all. The MSM air was thick with excuses and equivocation. The gem here was a 600-word piece in Thursday’s Washington Post: If the attackers had been white and the victim had been black, the incident would have, of course, conjured America’s ugly history of white mobs committing violence against black people. There is no parallel history of the reverse happening on anything remotely approaching the same scale. [Link (to a piece about lynching in the 19th and early 20th centuries) in original] Pro-Trump narratives converge in one awful attack streamed on Facebook, by Callum Borchers, January 7, 2017 As Steve Sailer commented on Borchers’s bizarre argument: Obviously, if you stop and think, hundreds of thousands if not millions of white individuals have suffered violence at the hands of mobs of multiple blacks over the last 50+ years, but that’s not a Thing in our national discourse. That’s just noise. Regrettable and forgettable. How many memorials to crime victims are there in this country? (I believe there is one in Orange County, CA and one in Long Island, NY.) Why do you even know such things? Are you racist? I’d like to see the actual statistics on gang attacks — in recent times, not in 1850-something. If the Washington Post were a real newspaper, instead of a preening mirror for insulated Goodwhite elites, it would have dug them up for us. I can recall some incidents of white gang violence against blacks — the Howard Beach vigilante attack back in the 1980s, for example [Michael Griffith dies fleeing a white mob in Howard Beach in 1986,NY Daily News Flashback, December 20, 2016]. But it really doesn’t seem to be much of a thing in this century, certainly nothing like as much a thing as black gang attacks on lone whites. Probably that’s just confirmation bias on my part, though. The truth of the matter could easily be shown by the numbers. So what are the numbers for gang attacks, black on nonblack versus nonblack on black? Didn’t MSM journalists used to research and publish this kind of thing so that the American public was well-informed? Hello, MSM journalists? Hello? Hello? … ORDER IT NOWJohn Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjectsfor all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He’s had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived atJohnDerbyshire.com. ]]>
(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
(”The Butler” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Scene from the new BIRTH OF A NATION---a bloodthirsty mob. Credit: VDare.com Anti-white snuff films are now practically their own genre. The newest movie following in the footsteps of Machete and Django Unchained is Birth of a Nation, a loving tribute to the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion which led to the death of more than fifty white men, women and children. Not surprisingly, it received a rapturous reception at the Sundance Film Festival. Less than 24 hours after its roaring arrival at the Sundance Film Festival, “The Birth of a Nation” has made history with the biggest deal in the festival’s history. Fox Searchlight has acquired world-wide rights to the Nat Turner biopic for $17.5 million — a whopping amount that reflects the movie’s critical and commercial prospects and the crowded field of bidders hitting festivals now. It was clear from the movie’s premiere that it would go for big money. The audience gave the movie an extended standing ovation through the closing credits, and Nate Parker, who directed, produced, wrote and stars in the film, left the auditorium as Sundance’s favorite son. [Fox Searchlight Acquires ‘The Birth of a Nation’ for $17.5 Million, by Erich Swartzel,Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2016] Here are some highlights from historian Stephen B. Oates’s October 1973American Heritage article, Children Of Darkness, detailing what the rebellion was like: As Turner’s column moved relentlessly toward Jerusalem one Levi Waller, having heard that the blacks had risen, summoned his children from a nearby schoolhouse (some of the other children came running too) and tried to load his guns. But before he could do so, Turner’s advance horsemen swept into his yard, a whirlwind of axes and swords, and chased Waller into some tall weeds. Waller managed to escape, but not before he saw the blacks cut down his wife and children. One small girl also escaped by crawling up a dirt chimney, scarcely daring to breathe as the insurgents decapitated the other children—ten in all—and threw then bodies in a pile. … And so it went throughout that malignant night, as the rebels took farm after farm by surprise. They used no firearms, in order not to arouse the countryside, instead stabbing and decapitating their victims. Although they confiscated horses, weapons, and brandy, they took only what was necessary to continue the struggle, and they committed no rapes. They even spared a few homesteads, one because Turner believed the poor white inhabitants “thought no better of themselves than they did of negroes.” By dawn on Monday there were fifteen insurgents —nine on horses—and they were aimed with a motley assortment of guns, clubs, swords, and axes. Turner himself now carried a light dress sword, but for some mysterious reason (a fatal irresolution? the dread again?) he had killed nobody yet. At Elizabeth Turner’s place, which the slaves stormed at sunrise, the prophet tried once again to kill. They broke into the house, and there, in the middle of the room, too frightened to move or cry out. stood Mrs. Turner and a neighbor named Mrs. Newsome. Nat knew Elizabeth Turner very well, for she was the widow of his second master, Samuel Turner. While Will attacked her with his axe the prophet took Mrs. Newsome’s hand and hit her over the head with his sword. But evidently he could not bring himself to kill her. Finally Will moved him aside and chopped her to death as methodically as though he were cutting wood. With the sun low in the east, Turner sent a group on foot to another farm while he and Will led the horsemen at a gallop to Caty Whitehead’s place. They surrounded the house in a rush, but not before several people fled into the garden. Turner chased after somebody, but it turned out to be a slave girl, as terrified as the whites, and he let her go. All around him, all over the Whitehead farm, there were scenes of unspeakable violence. He saw Will drag Mrs. Whitehead kicking and screaming out of the house and almost sever her head from her body. Running around the house, Turner came upon young Margaret Whitehead [age 18] hiding under a cellar cap between two chimneys. She ran crying for her life, and Turner set out after her—a wild chase against the hot August sun. He overtook the girl in a field and hit her again and again with his sword, but she would not die. In desperation he picked up a fence rail and beat her to death. Finally he had killed someone. Naturally, this film is basically guaranteed to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay next year, killing three birds with one black stone named Nate Parker. So what moved Parker to write his script? In between the standing ovation he received when he took the Eccles theater stage and the other “standing ovation that lasted through the credits, in what was arguably one of the longest standing Os in recent festival memory,” Parker had this to say: “I made this film for one reason, with the hope of creating change agents. That people can watch this film and be affected. That you can watch this film and see that there were systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people and the legacy of that still lives with us,” said Parker. “I just want you, if you are affected and you are so moved, to ask yourself, ‘Are there systems in my life that need attention whether it be racial, gender?’ There are a lot of injustices.” Parker spoke about how he gave up acting for nearly two years to make the film, and the resistance he faced with getting it financed. “It was very difficult, for so many reasons,” he said. “I think any time we’re dealing with our history, specifically with slavery, I find that it has been desperately sanitized. There’s a resistance to dealing with this material.” [Sundance: ‘Birth of a Nation’ Receives Rapturous Standing Ovation at Premiere, By Rebecca Ford, Hollywood Reporter, January 25, 2016] What kind of change do you think he has in mind? Ironically, 100 years ago the real The Birth of a Nationwas released. This movie depicted white southerners banding together to protect their civilization against another program of “change,” radical Reconstruction. That Nate Parker would select the same title used in D.W. Griffith’s immensely influential silent film is obviously intentional, but hardly necessary. Black-run Newark, New Jersey has already canonized Nat Turner with the Nat Turner Park (at its unveiling in 2009, President Obama sent a member of his administration to the ceremony) [Newark opens Nat Turner Park in Central Ward after 30 years, By Cullen Nutt, NJ.com, July 28, 2009]. Men like Turner are the heroes of the new anti-America. And even the arch-leftists of Hollywood are having a hard time adjusting. Currently, the Oscars are under siege by spoiled black actors and directors who know they can count on the Main Stream Media to portray The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as racist. Indeed, the Academy has already caved, pledging “to double its membership of women and minorities by 2020 through an ambitious affirmative action plan that includes stripping some older members of voting privileges.” It will also add three new seats to the governing board exclusively for women and minorities [Oscars’ Film Academy pledges to diversify membership by 2020, CNBC, January 22, 2016]. ORDER IT NOWA Los Angeles Times study in 2012 noted The Academy was 94 percent white and 77 percent male, publishing a follow-up piece in 2013 detailing the horror that The Academy had only dropped to being 93 percent white and 76 percent male. [Diversity efforts slow to change the face of Oscar voters, By John Horn and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, December 21, 2013]. (Of course, many of these whites do not identify as such. But that doesn’t seem to matter to blacks.) And even this majority non-black Academy was eager to celebrate “diversity” at the 2014 Oscars. As the LA Times article stated: John Ridley, an African American screenwriter who wrote the “12 Years a Slave”screenplay, took note of the irony: From all outward appearances, this is a banner year for diversity in Hollywood. His film, directed by the black filmmaker Steve McQueen, received seven Golden Globe nominations, and other black-themed films including “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and director Ryan Coogler‘s “Fruitvale Station” are getting awards-season buzz. 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. Unfortunately,as with mayoral elections, many blacks seem to believe when “they” win something, it is racism if anyone else wins ever again. Considering the rapturous reception given to racism porn from The Butler to The Help, there will be plenty of similar films offered in the years to come. The government even subsidized the film Selma by buying free tickets for schoolchildren. And with each new film, there will be another controversy over alleged racism if it doesn’t win an Oscar. But Parker’s The Birth of a Nation raises the stakes. It’s not just going to promote white guilt but black violence. There can be no doubt it will be celebrated by Black Lives Matter and its allies. One can only hope the movie doesn’t inspire those seeing the movie to duplicate Turner’s actions. Considering how blacks haveresponded to past anti-white incitement from both academia, the MSM, and the American Left, there’s little reason for optimism. Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2 013. ]]>
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
From the New York Times: Alice Walker is author of the 1982 novel The Color Purple, which Spielberg made into a movie. She gets awarded lots of honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards. Isn't
(Review Source)
The American Conservative Staff

“The Commune” is a punishing movie; it’s 111 minutes but feels longer. I don’t blame the actors. Dyrholm and Hansen are especially fine, gifted at expressing every shade of misery. The ...

(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Conformist” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The Italian director was only 77, although he'd been famous since his 1970 film The Conformist. Bertolucci was some kind of Marxist, but The Conformist mostly served as an insanely good looking testimonial to how the Italian Fascists, say what you want about their politics and economics, had style. Among the Italian-American cognoscenti, however, Bertolucci...
(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
Kubrick would have framed this shot more perfectly (but not much more) (photo by Hasim Kilic) The extraordinarily cinematic-looking assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey today in an Ankara art gallery by a young Turkish policeman is the latest in a long series of events I routinely characterize as “Byzantine” because I have no idea what’s really going on, but it makes me sound knowing. From Reuters: Russian ambassador shot dead in Ankara gallery The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire. Tarantino would have made sure the camera was level (photo by Burhan Ozbilici) President Tayyip Erdogan, in a video message to the nation, cast the attack as an attempt to undermine NATO-member Turkey’s relations with Russia – ties long tested by the war in Syria. He said he had agreed in a telephone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to step up cooperation in fighting terrorism. At a special meeting at the Kremlin, President Putin ordered increased security at all Russian missions and said “the bandits” who committed the act would feel retribution. “We must know who directed the killer’s hand.” By the way, AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici bravely kept photographing and caught this picture from the wrong end of the barrel of the gun. The 2001/A Clockwork Orange-style picture at the top of the post is credited by Reuters to Hasim Kilic/Hurriyet. The assassination of an ambassador, not least of a major power such as Russia, marks a dangerous escalation of tension in the region and beyond. Security sources said he was off duty and some witnesses said there was no security scanning machine at the entrance. Travolta would have worn a white suit The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie and stood, alone, behind the ambassador as he began his speech at the art exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters. … A video showed the attacker shouting: “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” and “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) as screams rang out. He paced about and shouted as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air. Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which seeks Assad’s ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year. The gunman was killed by special forces. Three other people were injured. “We regard this as a terrorist act,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively.” GULEN Erdogan, who has faced a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants as well as an attempted coup in July, identified the attacker as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, who had worked for Ankara riot police for two and a half years. CNN Turk TV said police had detained his sister and mother. A senior security official said there were “very strong signs” the gunman belonged to the network of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated the failed coup in July. Erdogan has denounced Gulen as a terrorist, but the cleric, a former ally, denies the accusation. Yeah, but Erdogan probably blames earthquakes on Gulen by this point. So who really knows? I wrote a column about Gulen for Taki’s Magazine three years ago that can be helpful in getting up to speed. Gulen described the killing as a “heinous act of terror” that pointed to a deterioration of security in Turkey resulting from Erdogan’s wide-ranging purge of police as well as the army, judiciary and media following the coup bid. The government says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, created a “parallel network” in the police, military, judiciary and civil service aimed at overthrowing the state. See, Bertolucci got the symmetry right I’m not crazy about deporting Gulen to face Erdogan’s justice, such as it is. It seems there ought to be enough evidence by now to put Gulen on trial here in the U.S. for skimming hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars off all the charter schools his followers run in our country. Also, how about investigating just why a foreign cult is attracted to running over a hundred American charter schools? The FBI was raiding Gulen’s charter schools in 2014, but then you stopped hearing about it. Perhaps the CIA had a talk with the FBI about charter school ripoffs and H-1b immigration fraud being a feature, not a bug? Commenters peterike and Harry Baldwin point out the resemblance to Bertolucci’s ultra-influential 1970 film The Conformist. I finally saw The Conformist a year or two ago and realized the huge impact it had on American 1970s movie directors, especially Italian-Americans like Coppola, Scorsese, and Cimino. My impression is that The Conformist gave Italian-American film-makers a jolt of ethnic pride and encouraged them to upgrade the look of American movies in the 1970s. ]]>
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Da Vinci Code” is briefly mentioned in this.)


Rather like Donald Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, Mel Gibson’s 2004...

(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
Harvard feminist professor Karen L. King made big news by announcing in Rome in 2012 the existence of what she called The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, which proved that Jesus had been married, perhaps to Mary Magdalene. Now, Ariel Sabar has a great article in The Atlantic tracking down the real story behind The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, which has all sorts of iSteveish themes. A common theme around here is that the conventional wisdom ideologies, such as feminism, routinely conjure into existence hoaxes because of the lack of sufficient real evidence for their worldviews, which are popular for emotional rather than scientific reasons. The Great White Albino Defendant Sabar has discovered that Professor King’s revelation is related to the best-selling feminist New Age thriller by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code. Here’s my review of Ron Howard’s movie version. (By the way, Sabar doesn’t mention that the theory of that novel was based on the Priory of Sion hoax by Pierre Plantard. It’s turtles all the way down.) New Ageism and feminism have long gone together, because they are both anti-empirical. Personally, I felt the same way about “The Da Vinci Code” as the main character in Sabar’s article apparently did. My reaction was: “I could do better myself. If this Dan Brown guy got rich off his stupid book, I ought to be able to make millions.” So I started making up a conspiracy thriller about the real reason the U.S. had invaded Iraq. As I recall, the actual purpose of the Iraq War had to do with the United State government needing to find the body of Alexander the Great, which had been preserved in a vat of honey in Babylon, near modern Baghdad. I don’t remember why Bush and Cheney wanted to find the tomb of Alexander, but, trust me, they did. But then I read Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum,” which likely served as an inspiration to Brown. My reaction to Eco’s book was, “Uh-oh, I probably couldn’t do better than this.” So I got discouraged and bored and thus you’ll never get to see the scene in the movie version in which Karl Rove (Wayne Knight) briefs Donald Rumsfeld (Robert Redford) on why we are really invading Iraq. Maybe it had to do with harvesting Alexander’s DNA to genetically engineer American soldiers able to counter the threat posed by the People’s Liberation Army next generation of soldiers cloned from the DNA in the newly discovered tomb of Genghis Khan? ]]>
(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
(”The Da Vinci Code” is briefly mentioned in this.)
From my Taki’s Magazine movie review of the new WWII / horror movie directed by Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge:” Rather like Donald Trump’s campaign for president in 2016, Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ was not popular in Beverly Hills. I overheard the following conversation in a Rodeo Drive screening room while Gibson’s Aramaic-language movie was doing historic business in Chicano neighborhoods: Man: The Passion really doesn’t work as a movie. I mean, if you don’t know who the characters are, you can’t figure out what’s going on. And why is he washing people’s feet? Woman: It’s like Gibson expects you to know the story already. Man: And it’s so historically inaccurate. The men didn’t have long hair back then. Woman: Now, what I really like is The Da Vinci Code . Read the whole thing there. ]]>
(Review Source)
Taki Mag Staff
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Joker is a clever and memorable (although not terribly original or enjoyable) R-rated art-house drama in the tradition of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy masquerading as yet another comic book movie. Bizarre as it would have seemed in 1976, playing Batman’s maniacal archenemy has become for movie stars what portraying Richard III is […]
(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Note: Contains Spoilers One of the great things about Heath Ledger’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is that he does not have an origin story. Or, actually, he tells two contradictory origin stories, neither of them probably true. But the police can’t find a single shred of information on his real identity: who...
(Review Source)
Nick J. Fuentes
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Joker / Nicko MODE compilation Join the reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/AFwithNJF/
(Review Source)
The Unz Review Staff
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Went to see Captain America: Civil War yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse. I don’t watch many movies, and I’m not into comic books, but the Marvel films series is one I watch partly for cultural literacy (years ago I got tired of references to The Dark Knight, so I watched them just to get caught up). Also, Alamo Drafthouse really knows how to make a profit on films and distinguish themselves from Netflix in terms of what they offer. Tentpole films are still something you want to go to the movie theater for, but most of the time someone like me is not profitable for the establishment, because I avoid purchasing $4.00 size giant coke’s at the concessions. As far as the movie, it is hard from where I stand to side with anyone except Captain America, even though if you think about it there are many merits to the position of Tony Stark. I’d probably have been more persuaded by Stark’s consequentialism if it had been motivated by cold calculations, as opposed to an emotionally fraught interaction with someone negatively impacted by the Avengers. One of the things that kind of annoys me about the Avenger’s films is how much hand to hand combat there is, and lack of acknowledgement at how fragile the human body can be. Recently I got into a bike crash. I’m fine, but I had a lot of bruising which is just healing. I can understand that Captain America can take the hits, but without the suit Tony Stark is a man just like us, while Black Widow at 5’3 putting the smackdown on so many people is kind of ridiculous. But then again, it’s just a movie, and one which had Ant-Man in it, so I’m not taking it too seriously. Struck by the importance of ancient Near East in The Shape of Ancient Thought. The Axial Age in the middle of the first millennium B.C. resulted in an efflorescence of ideas which persist down to the modern age. The distribution of these of ideas were geographically distributed across the length of the Old World oikoumene, from Greece to China. The Shape of Ancient Thought is focused on two particular loci, Greece and India. But there is a repeated reference to the primacy of motifs and patterns which seem to have their ultimate roots in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The underlying idea here seems to be that Indian and Greece civilization did not emerge de novo, but rather hoisted itself up on the shoulders of the Bronze Age (the fact that both Indian and Greek writing styles derive from Aramaic roots illustrate this). I tried to read some more of A New History of Western Philosophy. The author of this book, just like the author of The Shape of Ancient Thought, is on the prolix side. But A New History of Western Philosophy has more boring content in my opinion. What Makes Texas Texas. Speaking of Texas, Uber and Lyft Are Leaving Austin After Losing Background Check Vote. Uber and Lyft are trying to muscle out and marginal city government, but is regulating ride-sharing really going to be the issue on which defenders of government prerogative are going to stand? Was this the “progressive” thing to do? Apparently some people were frightened by the lack of background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers, and the possibility of sexual assault. Perhaps anyone who uses a public restroom should also get fingerprinted. There’s the principle that corporations shouldn’t dictate to the polity, but in the case of taxi services and local governments, there’s been decades of cozy collusion. If you leave a comment which tries to hijack a thread into on of your pet issues, I won’t publish it. I have long had contempt for the television show Game of Thrones. My contempt was couched in the language of sophistication. Television shows are not as rich in texture and narrative depth as books. In hindsight this seems to have been mostly snobbery. I don’t watch the show as I don’t have HBO, and and I’m not invested in the serial in any deep way, but I am now paying attention to what’s going on since HBO has gone further than George R. R. Martin. And to be honest I am in the camp which believes there is a modest probability that HBO is the only way many of us will get satisfaction in relation to finale of the series. Also, it is interesting to see clips of flashbacks, as such a young Ned Stark confronts Ser Arthur Dayne. And of course it confirms and foreshadows the final working out of R + L = J. I remember back before the show having discussions on message boards around ~2000, and it as pretty clear to everyone that R + L = J is the most parsimonious model. Not necessarily the right one, but it was always the one you were going to have to bet on. If Martin and the HBO show go in separate directions it would almost be cool. It isn’t as if fantasy and science fiction series haven’t done a bait-and-switch before; Brandon Sanderson did so in Mistborn and that’s how the Dune series ended (the books co-written by Kevin Anderson and Brian Herbert). This complied version of ADMIXTOOLS runs straight-out-of-the-box on Ubuntu. It would be nice if those you would speculate on genetics constantly in the comments actually bother to know something about genetics. That way it would be easier to understand what you’re trying to say, instead of having to always decrypt your inchoate ramblings. For the purposes of this blog John Gillespie’s Population Genetics would probably suffice. If you are a little more ambitious there are used copies of Nielsen and Slatkin’s An Introduction to Population Genetics to be had for $40. That’s a lot better than $90 used copies of Principles of Population Genetics, and, it is focused on population genomics. Margot Honecker, unrepentant widow of East Germany’s last leader, dies at 89. She seems to have been quite unpleasant. But her fixation on shaping and determining the thought of the youth is very familiar. I went to a coffee shop today to work for a while which was basically like being in Portland. Speaking of the Pacific Northwest, ASHG 2016 is in Vancouver. I plan on going. I had no idea what the lead singer of Radiohead looked like. He looks like a character out of British Movie. ]]>
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
A couple of weeks before the release of Iron Man in May 2008, the American public started to realize that casting Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, a Howard Hughes-like inventor turned superhero, was a great idea. After all, why does Hollywood bother existing if not to make a big American movie about a big American comic book character starring an actor fated to be either a big American star or our most spectacular flameout? Iron Man wound up the most entertaining of all the superhero blockbusters, at least for my tastes. The Iron Man comic, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and two other Marvel staffers, first appeared in 1963, which is as far back as I can remember. (Perhaps that explains why I’ve enjoyed the two Iron Man movies so much.) Iron Man 2 displays the usual signs of sequelitis, but at its (frequent) best, it’s an autumnal screwball comedy that challenges a host of fine actors—such as Mickey Rourke as a villainous old Soviet physicist—to try to counter Downey’s verbal velocity. Comic book adaptations tend to appeal to American guys of a certain age. While Avatar, the state of the art blockbuster, earned 68 percent of its revenue abroad, movies about traditional superheroes such as Iron Man and The Dark Knight still tend to reap a majority of their box office domestically. Not surprisingly, the new Iron Man 2’s $133 million opening weekend audience was 60 percent male and 60 percent over age 25. Tony Stark is a throwback, too. He’s a billionaire grease monkey who gets his hands dirty building machines (such as his flying armored suit) rather than structuring derivatives. Moreover, he’s a hedonistic reactionary—much like Downey, who has noted, “…you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t.” Jon Favreau’s Iron Man adaptations are nominally set in the present, but spiritually, they take place in 1963-64 at the peak of the Cold War arms race. Favreau smartly moved Stark Industries headquarters from New York, which has been overused in comic book movies, to Southern California, the 1960s capital of aerospace and defense contracting. As Stan Lee might say—with great responsibilities came great accomplishments. “Tony Stark is feeling the stress. His Iron Man suit has made him the new superpower, putting him personally in charge of maintaining world peace. Stark isn’t a sixties person, though.” During the Iron Man era, my father was one of hundreds of Lockheed engineers working long hours in Burbank trying to keep F-104 Starfighters from crashing. The first Mach 2 aircraft, this extraordinary plane could climb to 50,000 feet in a couple of minutes to intercept Soviet intruders. It was mostly one big jet engine with barely even any wings. But the cost of technological innovation was high. Lockheed marketed it as the “missile with a man in it,” but its West German pilots called it “the Widowmaker.” Iron Man 2 takes place back in Queens, where the now wildly popular Tony Stark has revived his late father’s Stark Expo devoted to technological utopianism. The 1964 World’s Fair took place in Queens, the highlight of which was Walt Disney’s four pavilions of audio-animatronic robots, including GE’s Carousel of Progress, “demonstrating how technology keeps making our lives better.” In Iron Man 2, as Cold War weapons designer Howard Stark, Mad Men‘s John Slattery is a dead ringer for Walt Disney trying not to crack. (Incidentally, Favreau grew up overlooking the Unisphere, a remnant of the fair). In their self-absorption, Baby Boomers generally assume that their childhood was an innocent, Disneyesque era, but it could be tremendously stressful for the grown-ups. World War III often seemed imminent. A few years ago, my cousin showed me an old local newspaper that his mother had saved because it featured a cute picture of him as a toddler. The photo was charming, but the rest of the front page—headlines about a dozen different foreign policy crises—was alarming. Perhaps “the Sixties” (which didn’t begin until 11/22/63) weren’t in some sense a collective nervous breakdown after the strain of decades of military readiness, of demands for iron manhood? Indeed, in Iron Man 2, Tony Stark is feeling the stress. His Iron Man suit has made him the new superpower, putting him personally in charge of maintaining world peace. Stark isn’t a sixties person, though; at the beginning of Iron Man 2, six months of do-gooding has taken a toll on our raffish hero. He grows bored engineering a wind farm. He donates his Abstract Expressionist art collection to the unfashionable Boy Scouts of America, and replaces his tasteful Barnett Newman minimalist painting with a red and blue poster of himself in the style of that egregious Obama ad. Iron Man 2 might be the first American movie that dares satirize the bizarre Obamamania of 2008. Perhaps director Jon Favreau doesn’t like sharing his name with the President’s infamous chief speechwriter, the other Jon Favreau? googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1456852648633-0');}); if(display_ads_server){document.write('<script src="http://a.intgr.net/tags/16_19.js"></script>');}; SIGN UPDaily updates with TM’s latest // delete this script tag and use a "div.mce_inline_error{ XXX !important}" selector // or fill this in and it will be inlined when errors are generated var mc_custom_error_style = ''; var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: ERROR_BGCOLOR none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font-weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: ERROR_COLOR;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://takimag.us1.list-manage1.com/subscribe/post-json?u=0ba7696a8a378946b7e688500&id=f7706afea2&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields[1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = '<div id="'+err_id+'" style="'+err_style+'"> '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } ]]>
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Get Low, a dramedy starring venerable elders Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Cissy Spacek, is promisingly based on a prime slab of Old, Weird Americana: the true 1938 story of an elderly hillbilly (played by Duvall) who hired an undertaker (Murray) to throw him a huge funeral before he died. The Southern period setting is reminiscent of two of the most imaginative films of the last decade: the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Tim Burton’s Big Fish. Not surprisingly, Get Low has garnered 100 percent positive ratings among Top Critics on RottenTomatoes.com. Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter Alice said of her spotlight-loving father, “He wants to be the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral, and the baby at every christening.” In this same spirit, the illiterate Tennessee codger Felix Bushaloo Breazeale decided to enjoy hearing his own eulogy. Breazeale’s whim captured the fancy of the nation. Soon, he had a publicity agent and newspapers were treating the faux funeral like the biggest news in Tennessee since the Scopes Monkey Trial. About ten thousand people from 14 states swarmed the festivities. A two-mile long traffic jam left Uncle Bush late for his own funeral. The “living corpse” savored every moment of the “doin’s and goin’s on,” chuckling “Folks, I’m tellin’ ya, this business of having your funeral before you die beats sparkin’ in a buggy.” Afterwards, he autographed fans’ programs with his “X.” The 74-year-old backwoodsman then went to New York and appeared on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Radio Show, but reported back that big city “victuals weren’t worth a dern.” He lived on another half decade, entertaining his numerous visitors by having his mule (named “Mule”) perform tricks. The one thing you shouldn’t do in filming this tale is leave out all the Appalachian absurdity to render it tasteful, subdued, bittersweet, quasi-tragic Oscar-bait. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what first time director Aaron Schneider and the various screenwriters attempt. ”Get Low fails like a recent Shyamalan movie at the basic blocking and tackling of putting the camera in the right place, cutting shots at the right moment, and swelling the right chords.” The 79-year-old Duvall is being talked up for a second Oscar, based, apparently, on the Commutative Property of Film Appreciation. See, last year Jeff Bridges got his first Oscar in Crazy Heart, another ornery coot movie in which Duvall played the best friend. So, this must be Duvall’s turn, right? He might indeed win for Get Low, because Duvall here delivers Acting for the Sake of Acting in the tradition of Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. If you read beyond the critics’ blurbs, though, you’ll notice the strain of talking themselves into liking Get Low. Reviewing movies—making the basic Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down call—isn’t a terribly difficult trade … because making good movies is. Compare the execution of the last two Christopher Nolan movies, Inception and The Dark Knight, to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender and The Happening. You may not understand what’s going on in Nolan’s movies, but you’re obviously in more capable hands. Therefore, when reviewers uniformly overrate a film, it’s typically due to either politics—as with the mediocre lesbian sitcom The Kids Are All Right, which critics praised as if it were the second coming of It’s a Wonderful Life to heroically stand up to the Mormon Media Juggernaut—or respect and nostalgia. Get Low fails like a recent Shyamalan movie at the basic blocking and tackling of putting the camera in the right place, cutting shots at the right moment, and swelling the right chords. Those aren’t weakness that we reviewers can explain in 800 words, though. The screenplay’s faults, however, are more easily explicable. Duvall’s character is turned into a recluse with a mysterious backstory, which the tortured soul feels the need to confess to the assembled mob, Jerry Springer Show-style. Another anachronistic touch is turning the presiding minister from white to black. I kept expecting the 1938 Tennessee crowd to react like the Western townsfolk eagerly awaiting their new sheriff in Blazing Saddles, but nobody notices. (Veteran character actor Bill Cobbs shows self-respect by playing his silly Magic Negro role with a strong note of contempt.) Murray’s portrayal of a shady Chicago car dealer who has washed up in rural Tennessee as a funeral director starts out strongly. After whining about the unanticipated local death dearth, he hears that Duvall has hitched up his mule and come to town flashing a roll of cash. The salesman exclaims with avaricious expertise, “Ooh, hermit money!” But Murray’s character slowly fades. Murray is that rare phenomenon—a low energy movie star, the anti-Tom Cruise. In Lost in Translation, he flourished as the still, sad center of swirling Japanese wackiness. In Zombieland, he floored audiences in his cameo as a golfing Bill Murray in living dead drag. Yet, pairing the minimalist actor and the minimalist director Jim Jarmusch in 2005’s Broken Flowers inevitably sputtered out. 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(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Dark Knight” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Harry Potter Kids these days have short attention spans. Or so I’ve often been informed. For example, Baroness Greenfield, an Oxford professor of “synaptic pharmacology,” recently warned the House of Lords that social-networking websites “are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilized, characterized by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize, and a shaky sense of identity.” Yet having recently plunked my 20th-century mind down amid an otherwise superbly attentive young audience cheering on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the seventh and penultimate film in the witches and warlocks series, I suspect the opposite is truer. When sufficiently interested, the new generation can display an attention span that boggles the old. (Personally, I could have used a little more sensationalism to keep me focused.) The Harry Potter phenomenon is immense. The first novel by J. K. Rowling, now a billionairess, barely broke 300 pages. The last four of the seven, however, averaged 772 pages each, making the total series 4,195 pages. The eight movies made from the seven books (Deathly Hallows was split into two pictures) will extend across twenty hours.“Harry Potter aficionados will be enthralled with the movie, while casual admirers of the series like me are likely to be bewildered.” When I was at UCLA in the early 1980s, Westwood’s big movie theaters had an easy-to-remember standard evening schedule: 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m., and midnight. Sometimes they ran late, but the typical movie then was under two hours. In contrast, Deathly Hallows, which is slightly shorter than average for a Harry Potter film at 146 minutes, generally shows at, say, 7:00 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. In theory, this isn’t as profitable for the theaters as the old schedule, but Harry Potters make more than enough money for all concerned: In aggregate, the eight movies will pull in well over $7 billion at the global box office. Next Page ]]>
(Review Source)
The American Conservative Staff
(”The Dark Knight Rises” is briefly mentioned in this.)

It’s time for Hollywood to champion better male heroes.

The post The Horny Hero in American Film appeared first on The American Conservative.

(Review Source)
Taki Mag Staff
TAMPA—I dressed up as the Joker on Halloween and absolutely no one was scared. I didn’t get kicked out of public places. I wasn’t suspected of being a serial killer on my way to a murder spree. Nobody mistook me for a revolutionary trying to inflame the disenfranchised populace. In fact, people constantly stopped me […]
(Review Source)
American Renaissance

Batman viewed from the Right.

The post The Dark Right appeared first on American Renaissance.

(Review Source)
The American Conservative Staff
(”The Dark Knight Rises” is briefly mentioned in this.)

The movie pits natural affections for those close to us against abstract conceptions of humanity.

(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Day of the Jackal” is briefly mentioned in this.)
American culture has become so globally dominant that even the lamest U.S. customs, such as our soporific presidential debates, infect countries blessed with superior traditions. For example, as part of the run-up to the May 6th General Election, the Brits are holding their first ever prime ministerial debates, although their party leaders come up through the gauntlet of Parliament’s vastly more substantive and scintillating daily Question Time. That the prime minister has been evolving into the president junior is a recurrent theme of Robert Harris’ 2007 novel The Ghost, which Roman Polanski has made into The Ghost Writer. This competent political thriller for grown-ups, one of the better movies of 2010, has been playing in limited release in the U.S. and opened over the weekend in Britain. The PM’s job was long more human-scale job than the president’s, less insulated from normal life by security and by deference (which in Britain was paid instead to the Queen as head of state). For example, when I attended a conference with ex-PM Margaret Thatcher in 1999, she showed up accompanied only by a secretary and a bodyguard, wearing an old dress that had been mended with needle and thread. Tony Blair and his money-hungry wife Cheri were the first to indulge fully American superstaritis. Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) portrays a self-effacing hack hired to render readable the stultifying memoirs of a Blair-like retired prime minister played by Pierce Brosnan (the former 007). This handsome and rather blank politician, whose decision to help America invade Iraq has left him more popular on this side of the Atlantic, is holed up behind suffocating security at the wintry Martha’s Vineyard estate of a Rupert Murdoch-style media billionaire who has given him a $10 million advance. The previous ghost writer somehow fell off the ferryboat, shortly before the ex-PM’s arch rival within the Labour Party ratted him out to the International Criminal Court for handing four English-born Muslim fanatics in Pakistan over to the CIA for “extraordinary rendition.” A war crimes conviction would strand the politician permanently in exile in America, the only upscale country not to recognize the ICC. “Not surprisingly, Polanski, who lost his mother to Adolf Hitler and his wife to Charles Manson, can’t seem to get too horrified by the idea of a British PM taking strong action against Islamist crazies.” Polanski’s involvement raises obvious ironies. The director of 1974’s Chinatown was himself on the lam from the law for a third of a century after drugging and anally raping a 13-year-old girl in Jack Nicholson’s house. (The rapist is currently under house arrest in a Swiss chalet.) Because Polanski would have been arrested if he filmed in America, a dreary German resort island stands in unpersuasively for Martha’s Vineyard. Not surprisingly, Polanski, who lost his mother to Adolf Hitler and his wife to Charles Manson, can’t seem to get too horrified by the idea of a British PM taking strong action against Islamist crazies. He lets Brosnan’s character have the final word on how to make airliners secure from terrorists. Yet, all that’s beside the point because, despite the auteur theory, The Ghost Writer isn’t really the director’s movie. It’s the author’s. The plot and dialogue are lifted as faithfully from Robert Harris’ novel as John Huston’s movie of The Maltese Falcon was straight out of Dashiell Hammett’s book. (Legend holds that Huston’s secretary simply typed up the novel in screenplay format for the first draft.) Polanski was originally going to make a big budget version of Harris’ historical novel Pompeii, but switched to the English author’s more topical (and cheaper) next book. Harris writes intelligent, well-researched thrillers, such as Fatherland and Enigma, in the mode of Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal), an earlier BBC reporter turned first-rate middlebrow novelist. While Forsyth is a Conservative Euroskeptic, Harris is a New Labourite whose English nationalism looks with alarm more west than east. A friend and advocate of Blair turned bitter enemy, Harris seems less enthused by the International Criminal Court than he is incensed by Blair selling out British national interests to the White House. Although he’d likely strenuously deny it, there’s a streak in Harris of the late Enoch Powell, the brilliant classicist and reactionary Tory patriot who relentlessly deplored the U.K.’s foreign policy being reduced to that of a satellite of the U.S. Polanski becoming a satellite of Harris is a little incongruous considering the filmmaker’s greater artistic renown. Yet, middlebrow novels, with their reliance upon plot and dialogue rather than descriptive prose style, have always served as more trustworthy sources for movies than literary works. The main problem with Polanski’s straightforward adaptation is that, like most stories about writers, The Ghost Writer works better as a novel than a movie. The film is good, the book is better. Unfortunately, writers are visually boring. Harris’ book is full of fascinating information about the craft of ghostwriting and why the memoirs of politicians, despite being furnished with the best writers money can buy, usually turn out so dire. But all that has to be rushed past in the movie. (The one advantage of film over text for this story is that with a book, you can tell which one is the ultimate plot twist just by how many pages are left.) Blair’s autobiography, by the way, is due in September. His publisher insists he employed no ghost, which may explain its unpromising title—Tony Blair: The Journey. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1456852648633-0');}); if(display_ads_server){document.write('<script src="http://a.intgr.net/tags/16_19.js"></script>');}; SIGN UPDaily updates with TM’s latest // delete this script tag and use a "div.mce_inline_error{ XXX !important}" selector // or fill this in and it will be inlined when errors are generated var mc_custom_error_style = ''; var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: ERROR_BGCOLOR none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font-weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: ERROR_COLOR;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://takimag.us1.list-manage1.com/subscribe/post-json?u=0ba7696a8a378946b7e688500&id=f7706afea2&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields[1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = '<div id="'+err_id+'" style="'+err_style+'"> '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } ]]>
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”The Day of the Jackal” is briefly mentioned in this.)
Why has The American, in which superstar George Clooney plays an international hitman hiding out from Swedish assassins in Italy, been released in early September, the Idiocracy season of the Hollywood calendar? Directed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, it has received mostly positive reviews from American critics. They hasten to point out that The American is not an action thriller as its trailer promises. Instead, it’s a very European art film, full of abstraction, and if you find it boring, then you are a mouth-breathing American who doesn’t deserve to enjoy it. Audiences have been less enthusiastic. Ten minutes into Clooney’s plodding, morose, obtuse performance as a depressed contract killer, coughs started ricocheting around the auditorium. After twelve minutes, my son politely asked, “Dad, is it okay if I go sneak into Machete now?” When the credits rolled, half the audience sprinted out, snorting in disgust, while the other half sat rooted, sure that there had to be a post-credits stinger scene in which something cool, or at least interesting, would finally happen. The final word on the quality of The American can be inferred from how Clooney, normally a master promoter, has dodged softball questions about it. He’s ashamed of it. (Or ought to be.) ”The American could have been entitled Brood, Mope, Frown: ‘I’m George Clooney and I’m feeling sorry for myself.’ Sorry, George, you’re never going to be the new Humphrey Bogart.” The American is based on the 2005 novel by Martin Booth, A Very Private Gentleman. The book is a Nabokov knockoff, a memoir by a cultured, self-impressed exile coyly keeping a secret from the reader. Behind his cover story that he’s come to a charming Italian mountain town to paint its rare butterflies, he crafts expensive weapons for high-priced hitmen. Hybridizing lit fic with Stephen Hunter-style gun connoisseur genre fiction sounds intriguing, but Booth’s talent doesn’t match his ambitions. A Very Private Gentleman turns out to be the male version of the move-to-Italy travel porn of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. The screenplay adaptation by Rowan Joffe, however, junks the maximalist Nabokov (except for Clooney’s pointless butterfly tattoo). It seemingly takes more guidance from Alain Robbe-Grillet, a postwar French novelist and aesthetic ideologue best known today for the glacial screenplay of 1961’s Last Year at Marienbad. Robbe-Grillet’s theory of the repetitious nouveau roman posited that plot, characters, and ideas were outdated. To my mind, less isn’t more, less is a bore. Contemporary movies such as Inception, Inglourious Basterds, and The Departed tend to be high bandwidth compared to 1960s European flicks. Yet that debate is academic in the case of The American, because Clooney and Co. didn’t notice that there’s a distinction between stupefying and stupid. The American is a lowbrow art film. Half consists of clichés. There’s the hitman with a heart who wants out but must do one last job. He falls in love with the hooker with a heart of gold. And how about the sexy assassinatrix straight out of a Roger Moore-era James Bond film who is a client … or a rival? The other half of the movie is new, but knuckleheaded. The American is full of screwing: there are about eight scenes, lasting perhaps 20 minutes, of Clooney screwing together the parts of a gun he bought mail order. But why would anybody hire an expensive fugitive on the run who doesn’t even have a garage to putter around in to spend a month building a gun? (Personally, I’ve never bought Clooney as a technical wizard. He looks like what his dad was: a local TV anchorman in the tradition of Ted Knight, Kent Brockman, and Ron Burgundy.) And the hitvixen’s request that George custom-build her a supergun with “the capacity of a submachine gun but the range of a rifle” was anticipated by the Pentagon back in 1957. The Springfield Armory has since manufactured 1.5 million M14s. Indeed, Clooney later tells his client he’s built her an … M14. If she also needs a getaway car, maybe George should build her a Fiat in his apartment? The script’s handful of realistic details are largely mistakes that anybody with access to Wikipedia could have fixed in ten minutes. The Day of the Jackal it’s not. For instance, Clooney proudly announces that his sniper rifle shoots bullets at 365 miles per hour. What is it? A paintball gun? The M14’s muzzle velocity of 850 meters per second is five times faster. And when is muzzle velocity denoted in miles per hour? With equal plausibility, George could have enumerated the speed as “a million furlongs per fortnight.” Instead of a Ferrari, Clooney drives a gas-sipping Fiat compact that he never washes. But he mostly sits around Italy looking glum. The American could have been entitled Brood, Mope, Frown: “I’m George Clooney and I’m feeling sorry for myself.” Sorry, George, you’re never going to be the new Humphrey Bogart. 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(Review Source)