Here we get flying saucers…which can only be piloted by women.
And Mexican beer.
Ostensibly in Acapulco.
And a guy in a fez with wraparound shades.
These films are kinda cute.
And positively boring.
Here we get flying saucers…which can only be piloted by women.
And Mexican beer.
Ostensibly in Acapulco.
And a guy in a fez with wraparound shades.
These films are kinda cute.
And positively boring.
It’s been a long fucking time.
Because life is hard.
And I’ve been watching the same three Pink Panther movies over and over.
Just to get by.
But recently, God has brought me love.
Can you believe it?
Well, hardly neither can I.
So I should start by saying that I saw Sicario: Day of the Soldado IN A MOVIE THEATER!
What a concept.
It’s been at least a couple of years since I ventured into the thrall of urban sprawl to freeze my tits off in a cinemaplex.
But God bless the Alamo Draft House.
It’s the little things that matter.
The Clint Eastwood “Don’t Do Crack” PSA.
The Mexican teen beat (?) videos.
All kinds of kooky pre-film festivities which whet the intellectual appetite and let you know that you are in a place which at least marginally cares.
Here is a troubling masterpiece.
Because as history unfolds, old modes of expression fall out of style.
They become crude.
And yet, this is a funny fucking film.
We encounter almost the same phenomenon with the priceless, all-world The Party of 1968.
If you like Peter Sellers as an Indian (“Do you speak Hindustani?”), then you are racist.
This is what we are told.
So, then, we are not allowed to laugh at Peter Sellers anymore.
However, notice the double-standard at work in the Pink Panther films.
No one ever says, “Clouseau is such a racist depiction of the French!”
It is because “the white man” has had the rug pulled from underneath him.
The French have everything…
The Louvre, great bread, Dijon, Bordeaux…[a nice meal coming together there, that!]
So therefore, the French should be dispossessed of their wealth in all its many manifestations.
And, sadly, that’s socialism.
Make everybody the same.
Take by force.
Doesn’t sound very civilized to me…
Rather, sounds fairly barbarian.
A shortcut on hard work.
But I’m really aiming to get under your thumb (er, skin) as regards “race”.
I put it in skeptical quotations because modern genetics has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the concept of “race” is ridiculous.
As Geoffrey Carr of The Economist puts it, “One group of 55 chimps in West Africa shows more genetic diversity than the whole of humanity.”
I usually don’t trust The Economist farther than I can throw it.
Because there are no bylines.
And it is a clearly globalist rag.
But Mr. Carr has a point.
To put words in his mouth…if there are no races, then there must be no racism.
I’m sure some other word will suffice.
I’ll get back to you once I wade through Euclid’s Elements.
But I hope my point is clear.
If races don’t exist (a notion the globalists are pushing very hard…for ulterior motives), then racism is an absurd concept.
But still, SOMETHING exists.
Perhaps it’s just a “rose” by another name.
Which brings us to this film.
Three Amigos. It’s racist, right?
I mean, the Mexicans in this film aren’t doctors and lawyers.
They don’t speak flawless English with no hint of accent.
And though they run a small gamut, there are indeed stereotypes at work.
But is it mean-spirited?
I would argue it is not.
Or else, the Pink Panther films should all be banned out of deference to the French.
Which is no less absurd than saying John Landis’ masterpiece under review is “racist”.
But let me bring a different slant (no pun intended) to this dialogue.
In my area, south Texas, a mixing of “races” is apparent.
There are white people. And a few black people. But mostly there are brown people.
And then there are gradations.
So-and-so is darker than what’s-his-name. And so on and so forth.
And we know that this darkness in skin pigmentation (for Mexican-Americans) comes largely from the Native Americans who populated what is today the U.S. and Mexico.
Before the Europeans arrived.
But here’s my personal two bits.
This film, Three Amigos, was cherished by me and all my school chums when we were growing up.
People with last names like Lopez, De Los Santos, etc.
We were all friends.
And though we may have fallen out of touch with one another, we all seemed to find enjoyment in Three Amigos.
Indeed, my Hispanic (Latino) friends apparently found the characterizations of Mexicans the funniest.
And, dare I say it, because (as the adage goes), “It’s–so–true!!!”
Whether any characterization of Mexicans in this film is or isn’t true…that’s immaterial.
I am not the ultimate judge.
But things have changed.
And it’s not just the Trump effect.
Over the years, people have become more and more “polite”.
That’s a good thing, right?
Well, I’m not so sure…
Because it’s not a genuine politeness.
It’s a politesse which is enforced topdown.
It’s not really a choice.
And, to make dead clear, it is our old nemesis: social engineering.
It is in this sense that social engineering is truly defined.
Any other definition (the activities of a pickpocket, a conman, a hacker) is insufficient and misleading.
Social engineering is, by-and-large, practiced at the highest levels of government, at policy institutions, and in commerce by Ivy League jerks (both male and female) who wish to mold society into a shape pleasing unto them.
And like those pernicious Fabians of old, they have no qualms about smashing the world to bits if such means lead to their desired end.
The Fabians, of course, never rush anything. Unless they panic. At which time they reveal themselves. To be the losers they are.
Yes, I am no fan of the Fabian socialists.
Because their whole programme is predicated on deception and secrecy.
And, as such, it should be thoroughly suspect whenever encountered.
But this is a comedy, right?
Yes! Amen!! Something we can agree on!!!
This grand apologia is to introduce one of my favorite films.
It is not “politically correct”, but then NOTHING was in 1986.
And with “correctness” we have lost our sense of humor.
We are too easily offended.
We need “safe spaces”.
Ok, ok…I promise I’m not about to get all Bill O’Reilly here.
Because I have railed AGAINST Fox News for many years.
And, dare I say it, the real heroes in the USA were those who took CHANCES…BIG FUCKING CHANCES…to preserve liberty.
Trump came to the party late.
And I came to Trump even later.
But the real heroes are people like Alex Jones.
Indeed, there is no one like him.
But with the “Joneses” came others like Steve Pieczenik.
And so the tables have turned against the globalists.
Thank God for BREXIT!
Thank God for Trump!
And may God bless Marine Le Pen!
Because the neoliberal nightmare in which we are now mired (including the neoconservative, never-ending wars) has set the globalist agenda back decades.
The European Union is falling apart.
And rightly so.
Because it was a bad idea in the first place.
France must get rid of the atrocious Loi Gayssot.
And other European countries must follow suit.
We must be allowed to TALK!
The Internet will not allow tyranny.
Every government which seeks to control will find itself obsolete.
And so call it whatever you want.
If you’re “free market”, then the Internet is the genius of capitalism.
If you’re fond of sharing (so am I), then the Internet is the redistributive genius of socialism.
And, finally, we have the monstrosity of China.
Clearly no longer a communist state.
Yet neither a capitalist free market.
The mutant which is China…that juggernaut has been smashing the world in terms of productivity.
But there is a limit.
Now the people want FREEDOM.
[or so we are told]
At any rate, the blowback of globalism will ensure that the Chinese people crave the OPPORTUNITY (at least) to behave like Westerners.
THAT much is human nature.
And so I am not against natural globalization.
In that respect, the Fabians are right.
If “gradualism” is taken to mean “let nature take its course”.
But I am and will forever remain AGAINST synthetic globalism.
Globalization vs. globalism.
Suffice to say, I am very much against FORCED globalization.
And perhaps Erdoğan is a manifestation of reaction.
“Reactionary”, as the socialists always say. The worst insult a leftie can level!
As such, I have nothing against Erdoğan, but he can’t hold on to power IN SPITE OF the people.
Same with Trump.
Trump barely squeaked out a victory.
Because the globalist machine is so strong in America.
But rural pride was stronger.
And the Electoral College defeated Hillary Clinton.
But Trump will have to produce.
He knows this.
The clock is ticking on his four years.
And he has had adversaries on all sides.
So it remains to be seen…whether he will make good on his campaign promises.
I am standing behind him.
I am supporting him.
But I am ready to call “bullshit” when the moment is ripe.
Hopefully that moment will never come.
Hopefully he will be a wonderful President.
Which brings us back to “race”.
It’s not meant to be “a symbol”, it’s meant to be a wall.
And we in America have long known that the story of 9/11 is seriously flawed…like Swiss cheese…it is not plausible.
I often shoot my mouth off (my defining characteristic), but I have done my research on 9/11.
It may be the most complex event ever.
But it certainly was not the work of 19 blokes with boxcutters.
And everywhere…we saw the stand-down.
Two parts to Roberta Wohlstetter’s pet theory.
9/11 was no more Islamic than Mickey Mouse.
And so many signs proved this case.
If it had been an attack actually emanating from outside the United States (as opposed to an inside, CIA job), then our southern border would have been secured toot sweet.
But such was not the case.
And those of us near the southern border had all the information we needed to put the final nail in the coffin.
That 9/11 was a self-inflicted attack.
[with help from Israeli Mossad and others]
It was a team effort of the globalists.
However, to paraphrase Guy Debord, “deceit deceived itself”.
9/11 was the day when the Ivy League lost.
Once and for all.
Never again will Yale be the same.
Never again will Harvard be guiltless (if they ever were [and they weren’t]).
Brave people spoke out.
Webster Tarpley (of Princeton).
Steve Pieczenik (of Cornell and Harvard).
But now our Ivy League President (Penn) has a chance to reverse the sustained-lie–the 8-year-nightmare of Barack Obama’s unreality.
The Democratic Party squandered its chance to see the neocons swing from the gallows.
It would have been the end of the Republican Party.
But the Democrats chose more deception.
You can’t kill a dead man (bin Laden).
The fraudulent War “on” Terror waged on…with many innocent patriots deceived unto death.
And now race…racism…is but one problem plaguing us.
So, my friends, I urge you to see Three Amigos.
Let yourself laugh.
And “think about it” (as Jerry Lee Lewis was wont to say).
But don’t think too hard.
Because hell too is part of the divine comedy.
When I went to Spain.
I was amazed to find.
Not everyone speaks Spanish.
In Catalunya, with Barcelona, they speak Catalan.
In the Basque Country, with Bilbao, they speak the fascinating Euskara (or Basque language).
And in Galicia, where clothing giant Inditex (Zara) is located, they speak Galego (or Galician).
[Even Google Translate recognizes Galician now.]
And that’s all in Spain!
But how was I to know this?
Being a boy from Texas.
Well, I did my research…
Let me tell you: it’s not easy finding a Basque language guide here.
Even in a diverse city such as Austin!
But now I am in San Antonio.
And here we have another Mexican film.
But it’s not in Spanish.
Yes, Mexico is linguistically rich too.
This film is in Tarahumara.
That’s a language.
Spoken by about 85,000 people.
AND…it’s one of 63 “national languages” of Mexico!!
Other sources count 69 languages in the country (including Spanish).
Tarahumara is one of four languages in Mexico which fall under the Taracahita branch of Uto-Aztecan languages.
And when you watch this wonderful film (currently available on Netflix in the U.S.), you will see the distinctive, beautiful faces of the child actors who carry on this “Aztec” heritage.
But don’t be confused.
The Uto-Aztecan languages stretch as far north as Idaho (Uto, as in Ute language, as in Utah).
And as far south as El Salvador.
But suffice it to say.
Even Mexicans might be hard-pressed to understand the dialogue of Cochochi.
Thank God for subtitles!
Our film is directed by Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán.
And they do a fantastic job.
The film is sparse.
The child actors evoke the magic of Víctor Erice’s masterpiece El espíritu de la colmena.
And while Cochochi seems to emanate from another planet (kind of like that “Martian” language Basque…[or, for that matter, Welsh]), there are faint glimmers of cinematic quotation here and there.
Perhaps a sudden splash of color…some sunflowers…in an otherwise bleak, earth-tone color palette…à la Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry.
Or even the delicacy of time passing…perhaps what Deleuze meant by the “time-image” all those years ago…but what I instinctively associate with Ingmar Bergman–that eerie silence which characterizes nature in its most remote regions.
The Rarámuri people depicted in this film (our Tarahumara speakers) live (in this case) in the state of Chihuahua.
[The Rarámuri people are also found in the states of Durango and Sonora]
Our actors have the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains as their backdrop.
Places like Copper Canyon.
But this is no Bogart film.
Each and every movement and bit of dialogue which our directors elicit from their players is an act of loving capture.
Priceless moments which convey a multitude of new thoughts to those unfamiliar with the Rarámuri people.
Our main actors play themselves in the movie.
Yes, in much the way you would expect Robert Flaherty to make a film.
But keep in mind that the French title of Blue is the Warmest Color is La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2.
As in Adèle Exarchopoulos.
As in, the actress (Exarchopoulos) was playing a character which bore her name: Adèle.
[at least her first name]
But the stars of our film are two young actors who don’t even have Spanish Wikipedia pages.
Luis Antonio Lerma Torres plays Tony (short for Antonio).
His full name is utilized for that of his character.
Tony is great in this film.
But the real star is Evaristo Corpus Lerma Torres.
Evaristo gives a performance which is unforgettable.
Quiet. Understated. Real.
But don’t be fooled…
These two film brothers (real life as well?) need each other.
Their personalities play off one another.
To call this a road film would be slightly inaccurate.
There aren’t really roads here.
At least with paving.
And while there are a couple of rusty pickup trucks which transport members of various communities around…creeping along the dirt roads (gratis, of course)…the real drama involves a horse.
Indeed, there are horses about.
But this one horse is very important.
Because Tony and Evaristo have “borrowed” it…from their grandfather.
This is really a transcendent story of mercy and love…of patience…and of the brilliance of nature.
Animals are smart.
And miracles can be in the wise words of grandfathers…
This may be the hardest film I’ve ever had to review.
And that’s the beauty of cinema.
Movies can challenge the way we think.
They can show us a perspective we’ve never seen.
This particular masterpiece (and I mean it) comes from my neighbors to the south.
Director Rigoberto Perezcano strikes all the right chords here.
In these days of division, we must humble ourselves before God.
That is my direction to myself.
I must humble myself.
Because there are struggles I cannot realistically imagine.
Could you cross a desert?
Me…I don’t think so.
Humble before God.
It must be the Sonoran Desert.
All the way from Oaxaca.
The acting is perfect.
In the bus station.
But things get real in the desert.
The Tijuana moods of Mingus.
Loneliness of Alicia Laguna.
Desperation of Sonia Couoh.
And every day the trabajo of Harold Torres.
But mostly misery.
This could have been a very bad film, but director Perezcano knows exactly when Debussy must enter and exit.
Perhaps he saw Atonement.
But it doesn’t matter.
Because Northless (its title on Netflix) is twice as good as Joe Wright’s 2007 effort.
But don’t underestimate the presence of Luis Cárdenas.
It is really hard to sum up this film.
Perhaps: if you think you have it bad, walk a mile in Harold Torres’ shoes.
I’m simply at a loss for words.
Never before has a La-Z-Boy made me cry.
And so I salute my neighbors to the south.
May we all prosper with love in each interaction.
May God’s grace and mercy be upon us.
I could have sworn the titles said Hududların Kanunu, but there’s never any mistakes on Wikipedia, right?
So we are going with Hudutların Kanunu.
The Law of the Border.
And it is such an honor to review another Turkish film.
I must say, this one really “spoke” to me.
Not only does Yılmaz Güney play the lead role of Hidir, but this same actor also wrote the screenplay.
As I watched Yılmaz Güney’s wonderful portrayal of the smuggler Hidir, I was reminded of Antonin Artaud’s acting in La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc.
Güney’s penetrating eyes and stoic face are very similar to Artaud’s physical features.
But not only that.
It occurs to me that Güney bears a striking resemblance to a more contemporary figure: Vladimir Putin.
This is all the more interesting when one considers that Güney was born Yılmaz Pütün.
Güney was a Zaza Kurd who apparently got in trouble often with the Turkish government.
He died an early death at age 47 (in 1984).
Whether Hudutların Kanunu is propaganda is beside the point.
It certainly has traits of propaganda films, but it’s such a damn good movie that it doesn’t really matter.
Yes, there is a social justice angle to Güney’s story, but much credit should go to the wonderful directing job of Ömer Lütfi Akad.
Though Güney himself was a director as well, he did not direct this film.
Güney, by the way, had a fascinating life (including an escape from prison in 1981 and a subsequent Palme d’Or at Cannes for the film Yol).
[Sounds a bit like Timothy Leary’s prison-break and rendezvous in Switzerland with Ash Ra Tempel.]
If my numbers are correct, Güney acted in 14 films released in 1966 (!) [including this one] and also directed one as well.
Only one copy of Hudutların Kanunu survived Ahmet Kenan Evren’s 1980 coup in Turkey.
I would describe this wonderful film as being like a 1960s Turkish version of Sicario.
Though The Law of the Border is not a big-budget movie (a military officer comically says “let’s surround them” when he only has three soldiers [himself included]), the film is overall convincing. It conveys a very powerful story.
As stated earlier, the principal activity at issue is smuggling.
What could be more timely to this day and age?
In the US it is drugs (from Mexico), and in Turkey it is perhaps other things (coming in and out of Syria).
And if the main character looks like Putin?!?
Well, it certainly confuses the meaning, but it still makes it like a Salvador Dalí dream.
It’s like a perfect storm of symbolism.
Furthermore, besides being a film set on a border, a main issue is education in Turkey.
This is, once again, a very timely issue.
As you might have heard last year, there were many protests by high school students in Turkey about the trend of religious schools replacing secular (or science) schools.
Incidentally, our director Ömer Lütfi Akad went to the oldest high school in Turkey: Galatasaray Lisesi in Istanbul. The school was started in 1481.
But let me tell you something important…
This film is very entertaining!!!
Whizz! Bing! Pow!
It reminds me a bit of Howard Hawks’ Scarface from 1932.
Also at issue in this film is the concept of change.
Can a person change their beliefs?
Can I change my beliefs?
I am 39.
Yılmaz Güney was 29 at the time of this film.
Can we change our beliefs?
And should we?
For Güney’s character Hidir, changing his beliefs is a Herculean effort.
And the moral of the somewhat-propagandistic story is that he’s a hero…JUST FOR TRYING.
He tried to change.
He makes a valiant effort.
A bit like Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.
This is the challenge for the world.
To look ourselves in our mirrors and make an effort.
Not physically (necessarily), but philosophically.
I’m not here to offer you propaganda.
But I am very concerned with the situation the real Vladimir Putin has been put in in Syria.
Why do we fight? [to echo the old series of American propaganda films from WWII]
We fight for the same reason anyone else does.
Or rather, Putin fights because he has drawn a line.
No more American aggression.
Syria is his line.
It’s not a game.
It’s real blood and real tears.
Proxy wars are not like AGMs (annual general meetings).
They are more like air-to-ground missiles (AGMs).
War is not a strictly academic affair.
It’s messy. It’s sad. It’s unnecessary (most of the time).
And the US and Russia have painted themselves into a corner.
That corner is Syria.
Perhaps Hudutların Kanunu is the Sholay of Turkey.
Perhaps it is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Anatolia.
One thing is sure: Yılmaz Güney, “the Ugly King” (Çirkin Kral), was a brilliant man.
This is a hard film to title.
The Devanagari (मातृ भूमि) translates to “homeland”.
And this brings us full-circle to a subject which has preoccupied us off and on for a month or so.
But we shan’t get too far into that excursus.
Nay, ’tis better to attempt a bit of writing regarding the film at hand.
First, we are thankful.
That Roberto Rossellini made a film about India.
Now, why would he go and do something like that?
Well, we must remember that he was only married to Ingrid Bergman from 1950-1957.
In 1957, he married Sonali DasGupta. They were married until Rossellini’s death.
Without getting too lurid or tabloid, let’s just say that Jawaharlal Nehru invited Rossellini to India to help with the country’s film activities. It was then that he met Sonali.
The rest is beyond the scope of this review.
But what is germane is the screenwriter Fereydoon Hoveyda.
Mr. Hoveyda, an Iranian diplomat and author, helped stage this documentary in much the same way that a Robert Flaherty film might be put together.
Think Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) on which F.W. Murnau collaborated with Flaherty. Or even Louisiana Story (1948) which was a Flaherty propaganda film for Standard Oil of New Jersey.
Hoveyda, being the Iranian Ambassador to the U.N., was ostensibly in New York when the Revolution happened in 1979. I’m guessing he stayed in America. Probably a pretty smart choice.
And he was a smart guy.
Indeed, some of the books he wrote seem very timely indeed:
-What do Arabs want? (in French) [Hoveyda assumedly being Persian, not Arab]
-The Hidden Meaning of Mass Communications (2000) [sounds like a particularly interesting application of linguistics and/or semiotics to ends similar to the agenda-setting theory]
-The Broken Crescent: The Threat of Militant Islamic Fundamentalism (2002) [a rather suspicious title released at a potentially opportunist time]
-The Shah and the Ayatollah: Islamic Revolution and Iranian Mythology (2003) [the year the US was steamrolling Iraq…perhaps with salivating neocons looking to quickly expand into Iran]
I wouldn’t be so suspicious, but I noticed where Mr. Hoveyda passed away: Clifton, Virginia.
Fairfax County. Vienna. Herndon. Definitely some DoD in there.
Furthermore, it is home to the CIA (yay!), the NGA, the NRO, and the DNI’s office.
So my guess is that Mr. Hoveyda probably worked for the US intelligence community.
This would probably be a good time to tell you that I am pro-Islam.
I am pro-CIA.
But most of all I’m pro-America.
I hold no other citizenships.
Some of these revelations will be old hat.
All probably confusing for one reason or another.
I’m pro-NSA. I’m pro 25 AF.
I’m even pro-FBI. [pro-DIA, pro-ONI, etc.]
Yes, I’m a 9/11 “truther”.
I want to know the truth.
Do I think Saudi Arabia did it?
It was impossible for any group to pull it off without state logistical support.
So it still points very much to an inside job.
The guilty state being the USA.
But maybe I’m wrong.
I do know one thing.
Mr. Trump has rightly noted that the WTC towers did not fall down by themselves.
Nor did they sustain enough damage to fall at near-freefall speeds.
So there was a team (a gargantuan effort) which wired those buildings to explode.
Who was that team?
What was their allegiance?
There were several big pieces to the attacks which needed substantial protection and handling once inside the U.S.
Ok, that’s about as open-minded as I can get regarding 9/11.
I just had to get that off my chest.
My assessments are fallible.
But I’ve seen an optimism in America in these past few days.
It’s not unlike the optimism which Rossellini captures in India: Matri Bhumi.
Buzzards always circling.
And you’ve let me write about film.
And haven’t begrudged my politics.
So this is for my friends. From many countries.
And every day I sit and try to think of the right thing to do.
Some things I know.
But there are many things I don’t know.
Many truths which are likely a combination of half-truths I never considered gluing together.
I wish all of you a happy day or night.
This is probably the worst review I ever wrote.
Because I’m better at insulting things.
I’m better at guessing.
But maybe I haven’t connected the dots?
It’s not my job.
But it’s been on my conscience since 9/11.
Who can we trust?
Why are there so many internally-incriminating anomalies?
And so many indications of a cover-up?
I welcome the Saudi lawsuits if only for the opportunity to learn who the REAL culprits were.
The Saudis were middlemen (if that).
They were central casting.
Until the remote flight plans took over.
God, what a daft war…
Based on nothing…and stirring up a continued mix of real and fake.
Impossible to discern anymore.
Maybe Trump has the guts to get some truth.
Obama squandered eight years without even a hint of curiosity.
When you are watching a film or a TV show in which the main character is FBI or CIA, you are watching propaganda.
But some propaganda reaches a height of artfulness which cannot be denied.
Such propaganda, then, in some respects becomes its opposite.
Sicario is one such brilliant enigma.
The main visual motif of this film is Emily Blunt sweating.
That may sound like a rather unglamorous device, but it too has crossed over into its opposite.
Emily Blunt gives a performance which approaches perfection.
But she is not alone.
Benicio del Toro is icy. Frosty, as they say. Timeless.
What is the template for Sicario?
You might be surprised, but it reveals itself quite early on to be none other than The Silence of the Lambs.
You must see Sicario to understand this parallel.
Nothing in the previews intimates this definite relationship.
But what else do we get?
Torture is good.
This is where Josh Brolin comes in.
His previous turn as the title character in W. is essential to the code of Sicario.
I must credit director Denis Villeneuve.
For propaganda, this gets in some pretty stellar body shots at the expense of the CIA.
But it is all for show.
The message is that terrorism works.
It only depends which side of the battle you’re on.
Brolin’s character is a “DoD advisor”. [More on that in the film.]
Get the straggler to come back to the hive.
We’ve heard that trope for a long while.
Regardless, Brolin is the quintessential consequentialist.
The end justifies the means.
Emily Blunt is the conscience. And as that she is magnificent.
But propaganda needs a hero (or heroine) to knock down.
Perhaps you remember the disheartening ending of 1984?
It is quite correct that whenever America declares a “war on” something, the smartest thing is to consider failure a foregone conclusion.
Here we have that old chestnut the “War on Drugs”.
There have been several other lackluster “War on(s)”.
The main offender is the War “on” Terror.
But director Villeneuve gives away the secret a little bit (as the best propaganda does).
From Medellín to Mena, Arkansas.
Maybe Phoenix is no accident either.
Remember Ken Williams?
Sicario shows the FBI getting royally fucked.
In game theory, we might call them (full-on “meta-“) good cop.
The whipping boys…the ostensible sack of shit which acts as a catch-all flypaper of blame…are our bad cops: CIA.
It is, however, significant that Brolin operates under the aegis of “DoD advisor” insofar as the US military then becomes the butt (ass end) of flipped propaganda.
To wit, much of this film is code…not for the drug war, but for the geopolitical ransacking of the past 15 years.
It is a comment.
Not particularly clever.
But perhaps accurate.
That methods have bled over (no pun) from the hinterlands to the “homeland”.
My final caveat is this:
Sicario is an absolute masterpiece.
It would be, perhaps, best to list this as a Slovak film.
We always talk about Prague.
But not enough about Bratislava.
Yet all of this would make little difference were this film not notable.
And it is quite notable.
The direction by Jaromil Jireš is admirable.
He plays with time. A very unusual montage of flashbacks.
Haunted. Haunting. Hunted by communism.
This, then, would be a subversive film.
To show the corruption within Czechoslovakia.
To show the nightmare of reeducation.
The term is never named as such, but that’s what it is.
Punitive military service.
The soldiers with no weapons.
Because their country doesn’t trust them with such.
In the mines.
On the ground.
Hup hup hup.
Power trip of professional army in service to socialism.
Trotsky is forbidden.
And so is humor.
Don’t make your jokes too pointed.
There’s no squirming out of the fact that you stand in opposition to the ethos of your government.
It may not be a momentous occasion to realize that literature is being made.
For it skips under your nose as mere nonsensical rubbish.
Poppycock. Hogwash. Eyewash.
Tropes and memes and drupelets hanging low. Evolving necks. Giraffes.
I am of two Yiddish species:
schlub and schmuck.
Me and Josef Somr. Who lives! Age 82.
A masterful performance. As real as my daily routine.
Shirt coming untucked.
I have kept my hair, but his combover parallels my gut (his too). Sucked in.
Beware of jokes.
You are being watched.
Your letters are being intercepted.
And you will have to answer for your words.
Just what exactly did you mean by, “…” ???
Well, this is Milan Kundera with the story.
And I rebelled all the way.
I drew Baudelaire with lightening bolts. And chartreuse dreams.
Kundera lives! Age 87.
Born in Brno. (!)
But let’s back to this love-hate.
At the same time.
Alternating. A constant election.
I will achieve 17,000-word vocabulary. Just you watch.
I almost hate my town too. I know.
Was I imprisoned?
But I lost music.
The name is significant.
Like lost hearing.
And so the clarinet is indispensable.
I mention Jana Dítětová because she was from Plzeň.
The selfish gene.
Tricked. Objectified. MILF revenge reified.
Markéta is significant.
…Lazarová. Two years previous.
A permanent opium war of mankind.
Opiate of the masses. Asses. Snippets of military abuse.
You’ve never seen…like this.
We can still insult liberalism. And neoliberalism. And neoconservatism.
We can still find Starbucks artless. And Subway.
But Wal-Mart passes over to kitsch. Of which Kundera would understand.
Like Warhol meets Flavin.
All that fluorescence.
Dip the waves.
Coyoacán borough of Mexico City. D.F. Day effay.
Trotsky died the same year Conlon Nancarrow moved to Mexico.
And Nancarrow would make Mexico City his home.
Las Águilas. With his Ampico player pianos.
Ludvík is expelled from his teaching position like Dr. James Tracy.
History is always with us.
We see the corruption of good intentions.
Teachers of Marxism.
How the country had slid.
And Věra Křesadlová eats her cotton candy. Stunning.
We wonder why the movie couldn’t have been about her.
But we needed the schlub/schmuck.
And the attempted suicide with laxatives.
Which is to say, there are far more than six stories in narrative history.
Bollocks Schenkerian analysis.
First, a short list of Hulu failings:
-Pootie Tang (shite)
-Lars and the Real Girl (epically shite)
-The Voices (shite)
-Mystery Team (shite)
-Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (shite squared) [catalog dilemma]
-Anchorman 2 (shite to the second power)
-Beverly Hills Cop II (repetitive shiteness) [catalog dilemma]
-Cannonball Run II (must see first episode to appreciate this shite)
-Teen Wolf Too (now with word shite!)
-The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (quasi-decimal shite)
-The Naked Gun 33 1/3 (LP shite)
-My Best Friend’s Wedding (shite)
-Dear White People (shite)
-Everything Must Go (shite)
-Jerry Maguire (shite)
-The Skeleton Twins (shite)
-Trailer Park Boys (shite)
-Novocaine (sic shite)
-Dark Horse (Judeo-Nepotistic shite)
-Little Paradise (shite)
-Frances Ha (epically shite)
-Stranger Than Fiction (shite)
-8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (shite)
-C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (ambitious shite)
-Trees Lounge (depressing attempt at shite)
-King of California (total shite)
-Dead Hooker in a Trunk (go-back-to-film-school shite)
-Are You Joking? (more Judeo-Nepotistic shite)
-And Now a Word From Our Sponsors (shite)
-Falling Star (Kosher Casino shite)
-Jewtopia (no comment)
-The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish shite)
-Heathers (cruel shite)
-Sleeping Beauty (barely shite)
-Gold (Irish shite)
-The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (quintessential shite)
-Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (lazy shite)
-Mission: Impossible (a colon-full of Scientologist shite)
-Space Milkshake (actually, not too bad…)
[I hate to say it, but the number of films by mediocre directors named Schwarz is really astonishing.]
Now, you might reason: these are just the rantings of an anti-Semitic film snob.
I admit I don’t laugh easily.
It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry.
Mostly I don’t like waste.
Entitled filmmakers are more likely to make shite.
They didn’t earn their stripes.
They have an uncle who works for Sony Pictures.
Actually, the film school rubbish on Hulu is astonishing.
It is completely venal in nature.
I just happen to have had some bad experiences with unfunny Jewish films.
What do I mean, “Jewish films”?
I mean exactly what Brandon Tartikoff was referring to when he first saw the Seinfeld pilot.
In that instance, Tartikoff (himself Jewish) was wrong.
Seinfeld was genius!
Seinfeld is a funny show.
Yes, it exists in a Jewish milieu.
Tartikoff thought the show was “too Jewish” to appeal to Americans in general.
He was wrong.
But, sadly, now we have a gaggle of filmmakers who think they are Woody Allen or Mel Brooks.
Status update: those two guys actually have talent!
Which is not to say they didn’t make some clunkers.
Hulu happens to have picked up two of those clunkers: Bananas and Life Stinks.
No one’s perfect.
But please…dear world Jewry,
Please tell your precocious sons and daughters that they aren’t all geniuses.
Who’s funding this shit?
Hulu: who the fuck is in charge over there!?!
Your catalog indicates that you enjoy wasting the monthly fees people pay for your woeful service.
A short list of Hulu successes:
-the Criterion collection
And so…what part of the Hulu catalog presently needs the most work?
Answer: the comedy genre of movies.
Second most problematic lack of imaginative curation?
Answer: the drama genre of movies.
[If you think that Hulu’s selection of movies might be lacking (based on my first two points of emphasis), then you are right: it is!]
Third crappiest category on Hulu?
Answer: the “action & adventure” genre of movies.
Even Hulu’s genres are ass-backwards compared to the pinpoint precision of iTunes.
Korean Drama? Really??? Ok. I guess Hulu is really killing it in Seoul (and Pyongyang).
CEO Mike Hopkins needs to take a long look in the mirror.
Whoever got the Criterion catalog, give that person an infinite raise.
The rest of them? Fire their sorry asses.
Beth Comstock needs to overturn the moneychangers’ tables.
Destroy YOUR business, Ms. Comstock.
Jason Kilar…you know what doesn’t work? Faux-dreams.
A catalog of shite.
Make a call. Do lunch.
“Anywhere, Anytime: Shite”
“For the Love of shite”
“Come Shite with Us”
Lot of people drawing a check at Hulu and turning out a subpar service.
The name Hulu comes from two Mandarin Chinese words…both of which translate roughly to “shite”.
Now, just to be fair…I wouldn’t sign up for Netflix if my life depended on it.
iTunes is a horribly antiquated business model (and offers very little value for consumers).
Amazon Prime Video was petty to disallow MacBooks (as incompatible devices) as late as last year. Not to mention that Jeff Bezos is just a wannabe Rupert Murdoch who bans books like Nobody Died at Sandy Hook. [And yes, Virginia, Murdoch is the great Satan.]
And so, with such a paltry selection of movies on Hulu, I’ve been forced to examine its television offerings. The prospects are not much better.
But I will give credit where credit is due.
Mr. Bean was an excellent pickup.
If you want a tight, seamless work of art (unlike this rambling, frothing review), then check out the episode under consideration.
You know, not even the childlike Rowan Atkinson was above making fun of old people (in this episode) or suggesting that continental Europeans be purposefully killed by British drivers (tourists). Check out his standup comedy album from 1995 for the latter bit.
Which just goes to show…we all lose our heads.
We all exercise poor judgment. We all have poor taste now and then.
You may not believe it, but I have put my own sorry butt on the line to stand up for world Jewry.
I will be the first to admit that my term “Judeo-Nepotistic” is incredibly crass and insensitive.
And still, I would ask that Jews (who are no doubt hard-pressed on all sides) please exercise some judgment of their own. Transparent nepotism is really tasteless. It goes against our better Jeffersonian principles.
So there you have it. Bobby Fischer was a jerk. The Holocaust really happened. Not so sure about the gas chambers. You’re welcome Faurisson. The Earth is not flat. 9/11 was an inside job (and therefore not an Israeli job). Insofar as it was an Israeli job, the U.S. government was at least half-responsible. It was much more likely an Israeli job than a Saudi job. Much more likely a purely self-inflicted inside job (no substantial Israeli involvement) than an Israeli job. And finally, Israel is a criminal country oppressing the Palestinians in a most disgusting manner.
And for good measure, yes Donald Trump is a bigot. And he’s horribly wrong about immigration (both in regards to our Mexican brothers and sisters and our Islamic brothers and sisters). But he’s still the only real choice for President.
Sanders has been right about one thing: Snowden. Snowden’s a hero. But America is not a socialist country. Sanders would actually be a bigger step backwards than Trump.
The other candidates (Clinton and Cruz) are worthless.
So there you go, Hulu…I need some better circuses here!
To keep me out of the political arena!!
I could use some bread as well 🙂
In any case, I’m sorry for my vile ranting.
But film is my religion. Through film, omnism.
Stop defiling my religion, Hulu. Your thoughtlessness is ghastly.
Hire some people who love cinema.
Get your shit together.