Americathon (1979)

| |

This is one of those posts that requires no editorializing on my part at all.  Here is the Wikipedia description:

In the (then-near future) year 1998, the USA has run out of oil, and many Americans are living in their now-stationary cars and using other non-gas-powered means of transportation such as jogging, riding bicycles and rollerskating.
The federal government, housed in "The Western White House" (a sub-leased condominium in Marina del Rey, California), is near national bankruptcy and in danger of being foreclosed and repossessed by a cartel of Native Americans in control of Nike (which has been renamed "National Indian Knitting Enterprise").
In desperation, President Chet Roosevelt hires a young television consultant to help produce a national raffle. Instead, they decide that the only way enough money can be raised to save America is to run a telethon, and hire a TV celebrity to host it.

I find the film to be awesomely terrible in that fun and hilarious kind of way.  Consider it a somewhat mindless antidote to the barrage of documentaries I usually post about how fucked all of us slaves really are.



The Light Bulb Conspiracy (2010)

| |

On Sunday's No Agenda episode, John and Adam were discussing the manufactured obsolescence of light bulbs.  I had a different film in mind for this weeks NA Films Monday Movie, but I'm going to save that one for next week.  Instead, a film I watched a few years back addressed this specific topic of light bulbs that are built NOT to last.  It's called The Light Bulb Conspiracy, but doesn't only focus on light bulbs.  It uses the light bulb as a spring board to look at manufactured obsolescence in general.

Description from OneBigTorrent.org:

Planned Obsolescence is the deliberate shortening of product life spans to guarantee consumer demand. As a magazine for advertisers succinctly puts it: “The article that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business “ - and a tragedy for the modern growth society which relies on an ever-accelerating cycle of production, consumption and throwing away.

THE LIGHT BULB CONSPIRACY combines investigative research and rare archive footage to trace the untold story of Planned Obsolescence, from its beginnings in the 1920s with a secret cartel, set up expressly to limit the life span of light bulbs, to present-day stories involving cutting edge electronics (such as the iPod) and the growing spirit of resistance amongst ordinary consumers.

This film travels to France, Germany, Spain and the US to find witnesses of a business practice which has become the basis of the modern economy, and brings back disquieting pictures from Africa where discarded electronics are piling up in huge cemeteries for electronic waste.

Economists and environmentalists believe that the growth society as we know it is unsustainable in the long run and that Planned Obsolescence needs to become a thing of the past, as it is impossible to combine the limitless consumption of resources with a finite planet. But what are the alternatives? The film offers thought-provoking analysis by thinkers working on ways of saving both the economy and the environment, and presents hands-on stories showing entrepreneurs putting new business models into practice

Full Film (52:50):


The New Rulers of the World (2001)

| |

This weeks NA Films Monday Movie is from 2001, which doesn't seem that long ago to me but...well I'm just showing my age now.  A lot can happen in 12 years.  The New Rulers of the World is a short documentary (53 minutes) that covers the turn of the century version of Globalization that we are still feeling the effects of today.  I also picked this one because John and Adam have recently brought up the idea that the NSA spying and the intelligence wars that are going on worldwide may just be and extension of economic warfare and corporate espionage. If corporations run the worlds governments, then this makes nothing but sense to me.  It also gives this whole Globalization issue a new angle.

Description from Bullfrog Films website:

"In order to examine the true effects of globalization, John Pilger turns the spotlight on Indonesia, a country described by the World Bank as a model pupil until its globalized economy collapsed in 1998. The film examines the use of sweatshop factories by famous brand names, and asks some penetrating questions. Who are the real beneficiaries of the globalized economy? Who really rules the world now? Is it governments or a handful of huge companies? The Ford Motor Company alone is bigger than the economy of South Africa. Enormously rich men, like Bill Gates, have a wealth greater than all of Africa.

Pilger goes behind the hype of the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater -- two thirds of the world's children live in poverty -- and the gulf is widening like never before.

The film looks at the new rulers of the world -- the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them -- the IMF and the World Bank. Under IMF rules, millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. The reality behind much of modern shopping and the famous brands is a sweatshop economy, which is being duplicated in country after country.
The film travels to Indonesia and Washington, asking challenging questions seldom raised in the mainstream media and exposing the scandal of globalization, including revealing interviews with top officials of the World Bank and the IMF. "


The One Percent (2006)

| |

To go along with last weeks NA Films Monday Movie post of The American Dream, this week we take a look at the financial elites' version of the American Dream.  First things first though, the date on this film is 2006.  A full five years before Occupy Wall Street popularized "the 1%" phrase.  This documentary was made by the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, so in a way it's made by the people the film is also about.

Description from IMDb:
In this hard-hitting but humorous documentary, director Jamie Johnson takes the exploration of wealth that he began in Born Rich one step further. The One Percent, refers to the tiny percentage of Americans who control nearly half the wealth of the U.S. Johnson's thesis is that this wealth in the hands of so few people is a danger to our very way of life. Johnson captures his story through personal interviews with Robert Reich, Adnan Khashoggi, Bill Gates Sr., and Steve Forbes, during which both Johnson's and his subjects' knowledge and humor shine. And he's not afraid to butt heads with Milton Friedman, the economist who coined the term "the trickledown effect." 

He also shows how the other half lives, using real-world examples of the wealth gap: he takes a tour of a dilapidated housing project in Chicago, rides around with an enlightened taxi driver, and sees the human toll of the unfair economics of the Florida sugar industry. Johnson's film is at its most powerful when it reveals how the super-rich work to preserve their own monetary dominance. As a member of the "Johnson & Johnson" family, he gets rare access to an exclusive wealth conference at which the ├╝ber rich learn strategies for preserving their fortunes, and learns the personal management styles of some of the countries wealthiest employers. No great society has survived such a massive wealth gap; who knows if ours will? 

Full film (1:16:28)


NA 558 Film

| |

Adam played the trailer for the documentary Femme on the show.  I'm not sure this film is being watched by anyone since the trailer has 9,115 view so far.


The American Dream (2011)

| |

Something a little bit lighter this week for the NA Films Monday Movie.  This is an animated film about being scammed by the selling of the "American Dream".  Adam and John use the "just getting by" meme on nearly every episode of No Agenda, so I felt this one fit right in.

Description from the filmmakers:
The American Dream is a 30 minute animated film that shows you how you've been scammed by the most basic elements of the government system.

All of us Americans strive for the American Dream, and this film shows you why your dream is getting farther and farther away. Do you know how your money is created? Or how banking works? Why did housing prices skyrocket and then plunge? Do you really know what the Federal Reserve System is and how it affects you every single day?

The American Dream takes an entertaining but hard hitting look at how the problems we have today are nothing new, and why leaders throughout our history have warned us and fought against the current type of financial system we have in America today.

You will be challenged to investigate some very entrenched and powerful institutions in this nation, and hopefully encouraged to help get our nation back on track.

Full film (29:56):