5.28.2012

The Conspirator (2011)

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Something a little lighter this week here at NA Films.  The Conspirator is a film that Robert Redford directed last year and is actually only half good, but it's and easy and kind of fun watch.  The first hour is the best part as it deals with Lincoln's assassination and the political fall out that followed.  It is Redford, so there are some quite preachy moments once the trial starts up, but it beats watching Smash or The Voice.

Description from Wikipedia:

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, eight people are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer Frederick Aiken, a 27-year-old Union war hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal.

Aiken is at first very reluctant to take the case and believes his client is guilty. However, he uncovers evidence casting doubt on the allegations and conducts a spirited defense. He realizes his client is being used as bait and a hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son, John Surratt. As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life.

Trailer:


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5.21.2012

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts

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A new Adam Curtis documentary! This is cause for excitement here at my house and this will come as no surprise to longtime readers/watchers of NA Films.  In fact the third post on this site was for Mr. Curtis' The Power of Nightmares (still in my top 5 documentaries ever made) way back on July 12, 2010.

His new series, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a three part documentary series which "argues that computers have failed to liberate humanity and instead have distorted and simplified our view of the world around us".  In his signature style of deadpan narration and unbelievable archive footage, Mr. Curtis continues to go deeper and deeper into the matrix of modern society and uncover those in power who are trying to pull out strings.

Part II (from BBC website):
A series of films exploring the idea that we have been colonised by the machines we have built. Although we don't realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. 

This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components - cogs - in a system.
But in an age disillusioned with politics, the self-regulating ecosystem has become the model for utopian ideas of human 'self-organizing networks' - dreams of new ways of organising societies without leaders, as in the Facebook and Twitter revolutions, and in global visions of connectivity like the Gaia theory.

This powerful idea emerged out of the hippie communes in America in the 1960s, and from counterculture computer scientists who believed that global webs of computers could liberate the world.  But, at the very moment this was happening, the science of ecology discovered that the theory of the self-regulating ecosystem wasn't true. Instead they found that nature was really dynamic and constantly changing in unpredictable ways. But the dream of the self-organizing network had by now captured our imaginations - because it offered an alternative to the dangerous and discredited ideas of politics.



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5.14.2012

NA 408 Film

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Wag the Dog came up again on the show from Sunday.

Trailer:


Adam also highly recommended the documentary Debtocracy.  Also, what's with the CREEPY European Union ad about torture that runs before this film on YouTube?

Feature Film (1:14:48)


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Knowledge is for Acting Upon - The Manhattan Raid Part 1

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One lesson I've learned while listening to No Agenda was that we practically don't need the corporate media anymore.  The Internet as democratized access to information in a way that is unprecedented in human history.

As an example, today's NA Films Monday Movie is Knowledge is for Acting Upon - The Manhattan Raid Part 1.  Why would I tune into TV or radio news to hear what some pundit with an agenda has to say about a video released by al-Qaeda when I can just watch the video and make up m own mind?  The same holds true for almost any reporting done on the federal government here in Gitmo Nation.  Adam keeps reading legislation and reporting back to the audience in a way that no corporate media does.  I'd put money on the fact that Erin Burnett has not read a single piece of legislation she has reported on, ever.

I also picked this film because it was made by As-sahab.  Adam and John have rightfully poked fun at corporate media coverage of al-Qaeda and how they are "franchising" all over the Middle East.  As-sahab is literally described as "the media production house of al-Qaeda, used to relay the organization's views to the world".  That's right, it's like CNN for "terrorists"!

Knowledge is for Acting Upon - The Manhattan Raid Part 1 (55:18)


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5.13.2012

NA 407 Film

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Adam played a clip from the "classic" film Reefer Madness.  The whole thing is up on YouTube for free.

Reefer Madness (1:01:38):


And Adam played some clips from Argo, a film George Clooney has produced about spys, Hollywood and the games they play, in Iran.

Trailer:


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5.07.2012

Navy Seals (1990)

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As Adam and John were discussing the news coverage of the 1 year anniversary of Osama (Usama) Bin Laden's death by the Seal team, Navy Seals came to mind.  Talk about your Hollywood propaganda!  If you've never seen this one, then check you brain at the door and settle in for some really over the top "Rah! Rah! America!" action and a story that involves terrorists from Syria and Lebanon, Stinger missiles, CIA plots, National Security Council meetings, a compromised Lebanese Journalist, Egyptian sailors, 1990's Charlie Sheen as a Navy Seal, Israeli kidnappings, and a terrorist organization called Al Shudadah...what's not to like!

Trailer:


Full Movie (1:48:44):


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5.06.2012

NA 406 Film

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John recommended The Osterman Weekend.

Trailer:


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