Wag the Dog (1997)

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In the coverage of the "Libya Situation", Adam and John have been discussing about the possibilities of the coverage being fake in a Wag the Dog (1997) style.  I'm not sure how this one has never been picked for a NA Film Monday Movie, but, that has now been rectified.   

Synopsis from The Book of Knowledge (aka Wikipedia):

"Wag the Dog is about how a Washington spin doctor who, merely days before a presidential election, distracts the electorate from a sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood film producer to construct a fake war with Albania. The scheme enlists the aid of a country music singer, who creates several theme songs for the war; a "fad king"; and a costume designer, who helps create a fictional special forces unit to fight the wars supposed battles."


Available only on DVD:

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Tetris: From Russia with Love (2004)

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I've been trolling through the free documentaries over at Top Documentary Films and while they have several No Agenda themed docs that deal with all sorts of conspiracy/cover-ups, this week I went with an oddball pick that intrigued me with its subject matter.  A 60 minute documentary all about the origins of TetrisTetris: From Russia with Love was made for the BBC back in 2004 and is surprisingly entertaining.  I was never a huge player of the game, but the description of the documentary combined with a general sense of amazement that anyone thought to make a film about the game piqued my curiosity enough to give it watch.  If you were an avid player, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of the film.

Description from BBC:
"This is the story behind the fiendishly addictive game, a tale of high stakes, intimidation and legal feuds set against the backdrop of Cold War tensions between East and West.  The documentary takes us back to the origins of the game in Russia as systems at the Moscow Computing School were being developed and pushed as to what they could do and one programme starts experimenting with falling shapes based on a famous jigsaw puzzle."

Tetris: From Russia with Love (58:54) [Not available on DVD]

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Hollywood and the War Machine

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I had planned a different Monday Movie this week, but a confluence of events led me to a very interesting Al Jazeera program that is free to watch online.  I am a film geek and an avid No Agenda fan (Exhibit #1 - this site).  So the story of American director Katheryn Bigelow's next film, tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden, getting some "research" help from the CIA was of great interest to me.

Hollywood and the US Military have a long history together.  Archive.org is filled with amazing films from the World War II era that demonstrate this.  Hollywood directors like Frank Capra famously went to work for the United States Office of War Information (this agency was followed up after the war with the United States Information Agency) specifically to make propaganda films for all us slaves.  Here is a great quote from President Dwight Eisenhower about this practice, “audiences would be more receptive to the American message if they were kept from identifying it as propaganda. Avowedly propagandistic materials from the United States might convince few, but the same viewpoints presented by the seemingly independent voices would be more persuasive."

Which is why, even back in the 1940's, successful Hollywood directors were recruited to tell convincing and compelling stories that don't look like overt propaganda in order to be more successful in program us slaves.  This collusion has never stopped (here's a piece about Steven Spielberg's role in all this) and every once in a while pops back up in the media like it has with this Bin Laden film.  

Here is a show called Empire from Al Jezeera called Hollywood and the War Machine:

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The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom - The Lonely Robot (2007)

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Adam Curtis is a documentary filmmaker and artist working in England.  If you have been checking this site for longer than 6 months, then you'll know what a huge fan I am of his work.  The Power of Nightmares (Part I, II, and III) and The Century of the Self (Part I, II, III and IV) were both previous NA Films Monday Movies.

A Quick Recap:
The Power of Nightmares looked at a parallel between the rise of Islamism in the Arab world and Neoconservatism in the United States in that both needed to inflate a myth of a dangerous enemy in order to draw people to support them.
The Century of the Self looked at how Freud's discoveries concerning the unconscious led to Edward Bernays' development of public relations, the use of desire over need and self-actualisation as a means of achieving economic growth and the political control of the population.

In honor of his latest work, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (which claims that computers have failed to liberate us and instead have "distorted and simplified our view of the world around us") today we'll start taking a look at his insightful film from 2007, The Trap.  This film explores the concept and definition of freedom.

In part II, The Lonely Robot, Mr. Curtis recaps many of the ideas of part I, but develops the theme that drugs such as Prozac and lists of psychological symptoms which might indicate anxiety or depression were being used to normalise behaviour and make humans behave more predictably, like machines.

This is not presented as a conspiracy theory, but as a logical (although unpredicted) outcome of market-driven self-diagnosis by checklist based on symptoms, but not actual causes, discussed in the previous programme.

People with standard mood fluctuations diagnosed themselves as abnormal. They then presented themselves at psychiatrist's offices, fulfilled the diagnostic criteria without offering personal histories, and were medicated. The alleged result was that vast numbers of Western people have had their behaviour and mentation modified by SSRI drugs without any strict medical necessity. (Description from "the Book of Knowledge" aka Wikipedia).

Part II: The Lonely Robot (58:57)

Download for free at Archive.org.

Or buy the All-Region DVD

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Suspect Nation (2006)

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And I'm back after a week off to finish up my Graduate Practicum.  This weeks Monday Movie comes from Gitmo Slave Richie.  He turned me on to a fantastic free documentary site called Top Documentary Films.  Today's selection is called Suspect Nation.  Here is the description from Channel 4:

"Britain has undergone a huge change in the last few years. Since 9/11, the state has developed a very different view of its’ citizens. New surveillance technologies are penetrating every aspect of our lives and we don’t even know it. Across the country, millions of cameras are watching us. The police will soon be able to record every journey we make and soon the state will want all of our fingerprints and iris scans."

Here is the whole documentary for free:

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