11.29.2010

The Century of the Self - Happiness Machines

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I featured an excellent three part documentary series by Adam Curtis this past summer called The Power of Nightmares (part 1, part 2 and part 3).  The film is subtitled, The Rise of the Politics of Fear, and it shows the parallels between the rise of the Neo-Conservative movement in the United States and the rise of radical Islam using the major "thinkers" from both camps.  Mr. Curtis has a very unique documentary style that relies almost entirely on archive footage mixed in with the usual talking head type interviews (although some of these are archive footage as well). 
Adam mentioned the book Propaganda (free PDF link) by Edward Bernays on the No Agenda show from 11.21.10 and I have been racking my brain to remember the name of the documentary I watched a few years back that was all about Mr. Bernays and the birth of the Public Relations profession.  Well, it turns out it was another Adam Curtis documentary from 2002 called The Century of the Self.  This four part documentary is jaw dropping.  Part 1, Happiness Machines, is more or less a professional biography of Edward Bernays and how he used his uncle's ideas of the subconscious mind to better market consumer goods to all of us "slaves".  His uncle's name...Sigmund Freud.
Shameless Plug: The World of Cinema Podcast: Everything is Propaganda! (contains a look at Edward Bernays towards the beginning of the episode)
Here is part 1:



Here is a downloadable version from Archive.org
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11.22.2010

The History of the "Oil Cabal" (part 6)

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In part six of this documentary, Power to the Producers, we get to re-live the days of cheap, inexpensive oil.  The dominance of the automobile (and by extension roads and highways) and the gradual move to the suburbs from major cities begins as the United States of America becomes a "Hydrocarbon Society".


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11.18.2010

NA 253 Film

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Lord of War is billed as a thriller on the Wikipedia page, but the trailer (see below) makes it play more as a weird kind of screwball comedy.  I've watched the film twice and both times I had the same eerie feeling.  It is sometimes hard to watch as the main character played by Nicolas Cage is a very odd version of the classic Hollywood anti-hero. 






As mentioned on No Agenda 253, the guy that Nicolas Cage portrays in the film is officially called "Yuri Orlov", but is known to be based on Victor A. Bout.  He does, in fact, have his own website that defends himself as just an honest businessman.

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11.15.2010

Super High Me

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I know, I know.  My timing is off on picking this documentary as the Monday Movie.  It was an obvious pick in the lead up to the Proposition 19 vote in California, but, since it didn't pass I assume the drug policy for that state is roughly the same as it is in this film.  Its basic premise is that of Super Size Me, but instead of eating McDonald's for 30 days, Doug Benson takes a 30 day break from smoking pot and then smokes pot constantly for 30 days.

The interesting part of the film is that the Mr. Benson measures certain physical and mental benchmarks during the sober and stoned months, to pretty interesting results.  He lives and smokes legally in California, so as someone who doesn't live there and has never visited I got a nice little peek into the subculture of dispensaries and what its like to legally buy and use weed.  Plus, Mr. Benson continues performing thru the 60 day experiment/documentary so there is an interesting "behind the scenes" look in the stand-up comedy world mixed in throughout the film.





Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

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11.08.2010

Inside Job

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I've been reluctant to do a movie of the week that is in theaters in an effort to keep the playing field even for anyone who reads this blog, especially if you live outside of Gitmo Nation and the film hasn't been released there yet.  Another reason is that most films playing in theaters tend to be Hollywood propaganda.
For example:


I love the part about "in America we give our lives to our jobs".  I don't know about you, but I'd rather give my life to about 18 other things before "my job".  To quote George Carlin, "They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it".
But, I digress.  The film to find in a theater (most likely an art house theater) near you is Inside Job.  It's a look at how the 2008 worldwide financial crisis was, well, an Inside Job.  It's rare that a film that I would consider a total No Agenda Film is in a theater, so support the film and any theater that is showing it. 
Trailer:


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11.06.2010

NA 249 Film

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As mentioned on the show, this is the film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic novel.  Unfortunately, the film was directed by Francois Truffaut (on of my favorites) who spoke almost no English when directing this film...and it shows. 





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11.01.2010

The Parallax View

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Death of a President (last weeks film) got me thinking about this gem from 1974.  I re-watched it and not only does it age tremendously well, The Parallax View is a perfect No Agenda film.  Just give the trailer your attention for 2 minutes and 48 seconds and you will be hooked.  Especially when you see the way the Government court system is represented.  It would be hilarious if it weren't so realistic and terrifying.
I promise, next week will be a film with no assassinations in it...maybe.



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