Annie Hall

Not rated yet!
Director
Woody Allen
Runtime
1 h 33 min
Release Date
19 April 1977
Genres
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Overview
In the city of New York, comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.
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Murray N. Rothbard (a.k.a. Mr. First Nighter)4
The Mises Institute



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Arts and Movies - Vol. 10.8, August 1977

    Annie Hall, dir. by Woody Allen. With Allen and Diane Keaton.
    This is Woody Allen’s best film to date. I went to this movie on my guard because of my fellow critics’ “assurances” that Annie Hall, at long last, transcended “mere humor” to acute social significance. But don’t you believe it; Annie Hall is a constant stream of hilarious, scintillating wit. The movie is totally ethnic; it sparkles with “in” ethnic references and local references to New York. As a matter of fact, the best way to approach Annie Hall is to be a Jewish intellectual from the West Side of Manhattan. But Outlanders seem to enjoy the film, too, although one sometimes wonders how. New Yorkers will particularly enjoy Woody’s blistering rending of Los Angeles life and culture…

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  • ’S Wonderful, ’S Marvelous - Vol. 12.3, May–June 1979

    Manhattan, dir. by and with Woody Allen
    It is fittingly symbolic that I should be reviewing this superb film in the tenth anniversary issue of the Lib. Forum. My favorite movie critic, Andrew Sarris, says flatly that Manhattan is the greatest movie of the 1970’s, and I agree. But more than that, as we shall see below: for, though no critic has noted it, Woody Allen is an embattled and devoted champion of the Old Culture, and I myself and the Lib. Forum have been weighing in on behalf of the Old Culture since the founding of the magazine.
    First, and foremost, let me lay one myth to rest: the film is magnificently, marvelously funny. My fellow critics, most of whom scorn comedy anyway, have hastened to write, in their praise of Manhattan

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  • Arts and Movies - Vol. 17.7–8, July–August 1983
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Zelig, dir. by and with Woody Allen.
    In recent years, Woody has been a highly erratic filmmaker. After reaching a glorious peak with the hilarious and perceptive Annie Hall and especially Manhattan, Woody trended downward. Sunrise Memories I like more than most critics, but it was still far below Annie Hall and Manhattan. The last Allen opus, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, an hommage to Ingmar Bergman’s only worthwhile movie, the charming and early Smiles of a Summer Night, was simply atrocious. Not only was it not funny, it had no redeeming features, and was a torture to sit through. Its brief span seemed like many hours, if not weeks.
    Zelig has been hailed by almost all critics as his masterpiece, and they have waxed rhapsodic over its technical brilliance in integrating Allen into a host of old documentary film clips of the 1920s. Well, the hell with technical. From the point of view of the movie consumer…

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  • Arts and Movies - Vol. 13.5–6, September–December 1980
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    To the thousands of letters and telegrams that have been pouring in asking for me (Wanna bet?), I reply that I have not disappeared; it’s just that the movie situation has been getting increasingly intolerable. Since I do not, like my confreres, enjoy freebies to the preview room, I have been facing accelerating opportunity costs for going to the films. Movie prices have been skyrocketing ($5 for a single feature at the neighborhoods is not outlandish), and — typical of inflationary situations — the quality of theatre service has been plummeting: fewer ushers, popcorn strewn over the floors and seats, etc. To top it all, the quality of new movies has been getting worse and worse, so that, taken all in all, it now becomes far more attractive to say to hell with it and watch an old Cary Grant movie on the tube. Lousy movies mean far less work for Mr. First Nighter.
    Private Benjamin, directed by Howard Zieff. With Goldie Hawn. This movie illustrates the miasma that faces movie-goers today. It’s not an outrageously bad movie…

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E. Michael Jones1
Fidelity Magazine



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

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  • A Goy Guide To World History Fixed Sync Full Version | "Annie Hall" @ 2:04:08
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PJ Media Staff10
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The 10 Best Films of the 1970s
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King (1975) Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)A roaring, timeless Kipling adventure directed by John Huston and starring the incomparable duo of Sean Connery and Michael Caine, the film is simultaneously a swashbuckling imperialist adventure and a cautionary tale about venturing into dimly understood lands to take advantage of easy pickings there. The scene in which the two old soldiers laugh their way out of doom -- their voices cause an avalanche that seals an unpassable chasm -- is a mini-tutorial on the payoff from looking at the bright side. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/6/13/the-10-best-films-of-the-1970s/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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  • I think he lost me after 'Manhattan Murder Mystery'
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll As Kathy Shaidle writes, "Watching Annie Hall and Manhattan (and, yes, Interiors) as a teenager gave me a much needed glimpse into a viable alternative existence to life in my working class factory town:"And seeing Allen’s character as a child, saying of his classmates, “Even then, I knew they were all idiots” was one of the most liberating moments of my life. I heard an audible “click” in my brain. Maybe everything was going to be OK, as long as I stayed alive long enough to get the hell out of there.Naturally, I realize now that I would have been happier, sooner, if only my Hollywood-inspired ideal of adulthood had been the movies of, who? Shit, I dunno… Hal Needham?. (At least then I’d have learned how to drive.) But Allen’s films were the booster rockets that got me off the launch pad.Then came the inevitable disillusionment. Allen’s bizarroworld affair thingie with his stepdaughter shattered my friends and I, who had also grown up hanging on his every word and film. This is true: they gathered at my apartment a few hours after the news broke that afternoon and we had a group freak-out that lasted well after the sun set. (I distinctly remember that a couple of us didn’t even sit down during this lengthy cathartic get together; we just stomped around angrily. Luckily, I lived on the ground floor.)No group freak-out for me after reading the news of Woody and Soon-Yi, but there was certainly a huge sense of devastation. With Bogie, John Wayne and Cary Grant all long since gone, Woody was in a sense, the last Hollywood actor whom we believed -- or wanted to believe -- his onscreen persona matched what he was like off-screen. But then, welcome to the 1990s, in which Woody, OJ, and Bill Clinton were a trio of men leading charmed lives in front of the cameras, and hiding brutish personas offscreen.Kathy links to a profile of Woody in Slate by Juliet Lapidos titled, "I've Seen Every Woody Allen Movie -- Here's what I've learned." Lapidos writes, "One might detect in my behavior a trace of the repetition compulsion that animates Allen."Think of it as the Woodman's version of Nietzsche's eternal recurrence; after all, so many of Woody's movies were the original Shows About Nothing, something a perceptive Joan Didion profile of Woody from 1979 foreshadows. Written at arguably the apex of Allen's popularity-- post Manhattan but pre-Stardust Memories, doesn't this sound like a warm-up for the writer's guide for Seinfeld? When Natalie Gittelson of The New York Times Magazine recently asked Woody Allen how his own analysis was going after twenty-two years, he answered this way: "It's very slow…but an hour a day, talking about your emotions, hopes, angers, disappointments, with someone who's trained to evaluate this material—over a period of years, you're bound to get more in touch with feelings than someone who makes no effort."Well, yes and (apparently) no. Over a period of twenty-two years "you're bound" only to get older, barring nasty surprises. This notion of oneself as a kind of continuing career — something to work at, work on, "make an effort" for and subject to an hour a day of emotional Nautilus training, all in the interests not of attaining grace but of improving one's "relationships" — is fairly recent in the world, at least in the world not inhabited entirely by adolescents. In fact the paradigm for the action in these recent Woody Allen movies is high school. The characters in Manhattan and Annie Hall and Interiors are, with one exception, presented as adults, as sentient men and women in the most productive years of their lives, but their concerns and conversations are those of clever children, "class brains," acting out a yearbook fantasy of adult life. (The one exception is "Tracy," the Mariel Hemingway part in Manhattan, another kind of adolescent fantasy. Tracy actually is a high-school senior, at the Dalton School, and has perfect skin, perfect wisdom, perfect sex, and no visible family.Tracy's mother and father are covered in a single line: they are said to be in London, finding Tracy an apartment. When Tracy wants to go to JFK she calls a limo. Tracy put me in mind of an American-International Pictures executive who once advised me, by way of pointing out the absence of adult characters in AIP beach movies, that nobody ever paid $3 to see a parent.)These faux adults of Woody Allen's have dinner at Elaine's, and argue art versus ethics. They share sodas, and wonder "what love is." They have "interesting" occupations, none of which intrudes in any serious way on their dating. Many characters in these pictures "write," usually on tape recorders. In Manhattan, Woody Allen quits his job as a television writer and is later seen dictating an "idea" for a short story, an idea which, I am afraid, is also the "idea" for the picture itself: "People in Manhattan are constantly creating these real unnecessary neurotic problems for themselves that keep them from dealing with more terrifying unsolvable problems about the universe."And speaking of nihilism, in in a way, we probably should have seen Woody's affair with Soon-Yi coming in at least one sense -- 1989's Crimes and Misdemeanors posits a morally nihilistic universe in which Martin Landau's character can kill his former mistress with impunity, when she demands he leave his wife* for her. Or as Lapidos writes:Allen divides the cast along moral lines: There are those who believe there is a moral framework to the universe (with or without God), those who reject notions of value and responsibility, and those who haven't yet decided which side to take. The central character, Judah (Martin Landau), is in the third camp, but when his former mistress Dolores (Anjelica Huston) threatens to reveal their past to his wife, he ventures into the second. Not willing to accept the repercussions on his marriage, he has Dolores murdered, and manages to live without guilt. Occasionally heavy-handed—you can tell who's who because (I'm not kidding) the moral characters wear glasses—the film's refutation of the concept that murder will out is nevertheless affecting. I'm certain that any non-psychopath will feel positively disturbed when Judah embraces his wife in the last scene.Here is a character just like so many others Allen created—rich, successful, Jewish, brainy—who, unlike so many others, finds contentment through nihilism. For the nameless woman at the museum in Play It Again, Sam, the logical response to "the predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity" is suicide, and we're asked to laugh. For Judah it's murder, and we're asked to despair.In Woody's worldview, a dead or at the least blind God (hence the ham-handed metaphor of the fading eyesight of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Sam Waterston's rabbi character) is too exhausted to deliver retribution. If murder is morally permissible, what's to prevent you from schtupping the adopted daughter of your sorta-kinda wife?Incidentally, Lapidos describes Woody's turn at parodying Humphrey Bogart, 1972's Play It Again, Sam as "little seen." Is she kidding? It was certainly on the late show and eventually cable channels in the 1970s and '80s numerous times when I went through the inevitable Woody fascination, perhaps because it was one of Woody's more charming and solid early films (perhaps because it was based on Woody's play, he brought in an outside director, Herbert Ross, to lens the movie version) it was also one of the first laser discs I bought around 1986 or '87, in-between seemingly singlehandedly keeping the Criterion Collection afloat.* Played by Claire Bloom, shortly before marrying Philip Roth, whom Woody would later savage in Deconstructing Harry. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2011/4/1/i-think-he-lost-me-after-manhattan-murder-mystery/ ]]>
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  • Deconstructing Manhattan
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll [jwplayer config="pjmedia_eddriscoll" mediaid="70369" width="590" height="360"]Movies have long had flashy and impressive opening title sequences. In the 1950s, graphic designer Saul Bass lashed up motion graphics and modernist stylings to movie credits for such classic Alfred Hitchcock films as Northwest by Northwest and Psycho and revolutionized the industry. Following his lead, Maurice Binder made the opening titles of the James Bond movies into their own miniature productions, filled with silhouetted scantily-clad girls moving in hypnotic slow motion across the giant Panavision screen. And Star Wars’ opening crawl, inspired by the Flash Gordon serials of a generation earlier, but  created using then-bleeding-edge Industrial Light & Magic technology, combined with John Williams’ stirring music and ending with a giant Star Destroyer spacecraft swooping in from atop the screen blew audiences out of their seats, and raised the bar for a generation of movie makers and completely upended late-‘70s-era Hollywood.But is it possible for an opening title sequence to be so powerful, it completely distorts the meaning of the film that follows? The opening sequence of Woody Allen’s Manhattan certainly qualifies, mixing Woody’s very funny opening narration, (“Chapter One, he adored New York”), George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Gordon Willis’ knockout black and white cinematography, and, of course, the carefully selected and rhythmically edited underlying images of New York itself. It’s absolutely stirring stuff, which must have been doubly so seen on the big screen, and I suspect that sequence alone left a lot of 1979-era moviegoers thinking Manhattan would be like the sequel to 1977’s warm, ingratiating Annie Hall.Beyond the title sequence, in a way, the rest of Allen’s Manhattan is as much of a triumph of production design and background music as such stylized high-‘80s movies as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, or Tim Burton’s Batman movies. With the exception of Jack Nicholson as the Joker, who’s clearly having lots of fun receiving an six million dollar paycheck (ultimately at least $60 mil once ticket grosses were counted) for rehashing his deranged but beloved Jack Torrance character from The Shining, these films are stuffed with dark, unsympathetic characters, behaving immorally, but surrounded by brilliant music and production design.Similarly, Manhattan is no Annie Hall. Manhattan’s characters are much crueler than Alvy Singer and the eponymous Annie. Michael Murphy’s sidekick character in Manhattan is cheating on his wife with Diane Keaton’s coarse f-bomb-dropping wannabe critic. There’s a cameo appearance from Michael O'Donoghue, at the height of his lecherous “Mr. Mike” phase on the first iteration of Saturday Night Live. And of course, Woody’s 42-year old character is dating a 17-year old student played by Mariel Hemingway, foreshadowing Woody’s own fall from grace a decade later with Soon Yi; and then goes on to betray his best friend by cheating on the teenager with the best friend’s cheatee/mistress. His character has a young son being raised by his passive-aggressive and vindictive divorced wife (played by Meryl Streep in an early role) and her lesbian partner. For a film in which Woody’s character says he’s writing a novel “about decaying values,” the characters in his film seem to display them in Weimer-sized abundance.Perhaps the best example occurs near the climax of the film, when Woody’s character, dictating ideas for his novel into a tape recorder, asks “what makes life worth living?” var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'What Makes Life Worth Living?', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Notice who’s missing? Merely his son. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/1/11/deconstructing-manhattan/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • GE: We Bring Bad Karma to Life
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll "General Electric to investors: Obamacare is hurting our medical business," Patrick Howley writes at the Daily Caller:General Electric is telling its investors that Obamacare is to blame for recent losses in the company’s health care division, The Daily Caller has learned.“Hospitals and clinics appear to be delaying purchases and responses to the ACA [Affordable Care Act],” stated GE senior vice president and CFO Jeffrey S. Bornstein in the company’s first-quarter earnings call.General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, an outside economic adviser to President Obama, confirmed at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that the health sector is experiencing uncertainty.Asked at the meeting about Obamacare’s impact on the company’s earnings, Immelt responded, “I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty in health care and we’ll just have to see that over time.”But what's causing the uncertainty? Not knowing from day to day what the "law" will be it comes to Obamacare -- because the "law" is whatever Barry says it is that day. But who went all in from 2009 until it divested itself of its television division last year to promote Obamacare? Why...GE, which co-owned NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC, the latter of which went out of its way -- and is still going out of its way -- to smear any opponent of Obamcare as racist. Including this classic disaster from 2009:On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns." Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "...there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president....we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "...then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.Last year, GE, employing the voice and face of actor Hugo Weaving, reprising his role as Agent Smith from the 1999 film The Matrix, was comparing its healthcare division in advertisements to the all-seeing electronic agents who guard the otherwise inescapable cybernetic Matrix, which has entombed mankind. As I wrote at the time, "No, That’s Not Creepy At All" for GE to build a TV commercial around this theme:$(document).ready(function() { $('.audio-video-player').mediaelementplayer();});I know Agent Smith is a beloved baddie, much like Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies; as James Lileks once quipped, Smith, as portrayed by Weaving, is akin to the characters portrayed by Tony Roberts in Woody Allen’s earlier, funnier movies such as Annie Hall and Play it Again, Sam — the only non-neurotic in the film; the only character having any fun. But given how deeply GE is plugged into the Obama Gleichschaltung, that’s quite an…interesting choice for GE’s healthcare spokesman.Beginning around 2007, strange messages started emerging from GE and the television networks it owned at the time. First GE, which makes it’s money selling, among other things, light bulbs, told us that we all needed to turn ours off, for the good of the planet. The following year, the large conglomerate got deeply into bed with first candidate and then President Obama; NBC and (particularly) MSNBC are essentially a de facto propaganda wing of the administration, to the point where the White House has emailed in “corrections,” which were read on the air by the latter network.At the beginning of the Obama administration, GE CEO Jeff Immelt was appointed to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, presumably helping to see the administration’s now annual “Recovery Summer” debacle, leading near monthly “unexpected” bad economic news.Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller noted above that when asked at the shareholder meeting "about Obamacare’s impact on the company’s earnings, Immelt responded, 'I think there’s still a lot of uncertainty in health care and we’ll just have to see that over time.'" class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/4/24/ge-we-bring-bad-karma-to-life/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Come Back Klinton Spilsbury, All is Forgiven!
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Depp at Lone Ranger premiere. To be fair, being able to feign this level of enthusiasm when offering up a cinematic turkey is itself pretty darn good acting.(Photo by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)The Johny Depp Lone Ranger movie, at least based on early box office results, is shaping up to be quite the bomb. (Matt Drudge dubbed it "Kemobombe" earlier this week.) First, there's the running time; like all too many Hollywood action movies today, the Lone Ranger is an inversion of the Catskills joke Woody Allen tells at the start of Annie Hall: The food here is terrible -- and such large portions, too. The Atlantic describes "A Punishingly Overlong Lone Ranger," clocking in at 149 painful minutes:As cinematic sins go, excessive length is hardly an original one. The delusion that bigger will always be better—that each additional plot twist will somehow signify ingenuity rather than desperation—is by now a fundamental operating principle in Hollywood. Blockbuster directors demand movies large enough to house their egos; the studios are in a state of near-constant panic (and theater owners even more so); genuine storytelling is migrating to television; a lengthy series of explosions translates seamlessly in Beijing or Rio de Janeiro; and on and on.But to quote Jerry Seinfeld, something's gotta give. I'm sure if I set my mind to it, I could name a recent big-budget film that would have benefited from greater length. But a list of the big-budget films that would have been substantially improved by a zealous trim is... well, awfully similar to a list of big-budget films, period. I can't say whether I might enjoy a Transformers movie that was under two hours long—but one reason that I can't say is because the ones that Michael Bay has offered up to us have clocked in at 144, 149, and 154 minutes respectively. And it's not just the summer blockbusters: Les Miserables was a polished, well-crafted film that labored under the misconception that viewers wanted to pass the 19th century in real time. And don't get me started on Peter Jackson's first installment of The Hobbit or, like the movie itself, I might never stop. The only 140-minute-plus movie of the past two years that I can recall fully earning its running time was Zero Dark Thirty.The liberal sci-fi-themed io9 Website's review of the Lone Ranger doesn't make the film sound like an enjoyable nine hours in the movie theater:What makes the Lone Ranger finally embrace the need for his mask, and hence the whole "secret identity" thing? In a nutshell, he realizes his fellow white men are corrupt, and complicit in the mass murder of Tonto's fellow Native Americans. If he takes the mask off, then he too will wind up becoming complicit. Yes, that's right — in this film, the Lone Ranger's mask is made of White Guilt.And in fact, the only function the Native Americans in this film have, other than Tonto, is to die horribly so that the Lone Ranger will have a catalyst to make him Man Up.But it's more than that. We tend to think of superhero movies as power fantasies, in which the use of America's status as a superpower is reflected by the hero struggling to use his or her power responsibly. But Lone Ranger seems to be making the case that the real seductive fantasy of these stories is absolution from blame — the Lone Ranger gets the Native American seal of approval from Tonto, as long as he's wearing the mask. He gets surcease from America's original sin.That's the secret of superheroes, according to this film: Peter Parker is a Tool of the Man, but Spider-Man is a free agent. Bruce Wayne is a capitalist running dog, but Batman fights for the little guy.And that's why you deserve to suffer. Because a lot of innocent people had to die to make your costume fantasy possible, you bastards.Yeah, that's the message I want to take away from a summer escapist comic book movie.More -- sadly not Clayton Moore, alas -- right after the page break. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/7/4/lone-ranger/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Staring into the Abyss, Awaiting the Photographers and Press Agent
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll Of fallen idols and the culture of celebrity, Kathy Shaidle writes that "This topic has been the abiding preoccupation of my life." And the definitive intersection between the two themes is in the form of Woody Allen and his worshipful fans.Allen has had multiple apogees in his career. The true peak of his career was the period in the late 1970s between the Oscar-winning Annie Hall and its quasi-sequel, the commercially highly successful Manhattan. His next film, Stardust Memories, effectively destroyed his reputation in America for many years, which had only begun to be salvaged in the late ‘80s with such winning films as Hannah and Her Sisters, Radio Days, and the aforementioned Crimes and Misdemeanors.In the Federalist this week, Stella Morabito explores the Nietzschean "God Complex: Why Hollywood Thinks Sex Crimes Are No Big Deal." Along the way, she describes, in chilling detail, how standing at another apex in his career, Woody Allen decided to leap into the abyss, and tossing his family in as well, in the process:Today’s elitism and cult of celebrity are a deadly combination, a dangerously slippery Nietzschean slope. When massaged by adulation of the masses, the anointed are freer to adopt a proprietary attitude towards the lives of others. If you try to place checks on their power or insist on your own individual freedom, you become suspect and a threat. This is likely why the elites of our time push so hard for political correctness: to control what you may say, what you may do, and what you may think. Ultimately, this leads to dictating the personal relationships of everyone around them, adopting an attitude not unlike a high school queen bee.Dictating Relationships Is What Little Gods DoWhen Woody Allen decided that it was okay to indulge in a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn, he revealed far more than his contempt for traditional sexual taboos. He was making the narcissistic point that he was above it all, kind of like the attitude of the Judah character in Allen’s anti-Dostoyevsky movie Crimes and Misdemeanors. (Judah had a hit man kill his girlfriend before she could tell his wife about their affair. Judah felt some guilt, but then worked through it, and went on to continue enjoying his elitist professional life in Manhattan.)According to the feature written by Maureen Orth in Vanity Fair after the scandal broke in 1992, Mia Farrow “made the discovery of Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi when she found a stack of Polaroids taken by him of her daughter, her legs spread in full frontal nudity . . . each managed to contain both her daughter’s face and vagina.”How could Woody Allen take such liberties with a stepdaughter while enjoying international fame and adulation? Playwright Leonard Gershe, though a friend of Mia Farrow’s, was able to explain this seemingly Nietzschean phenomenon flawlessly:Woody Allen is a chilling figure of power, a potentate of reel life who doesn’t seem to have to play by the rules. “This man is so exalted in the business—no one has the position he has. . . . I  think when you get up into that stratosphere you no longer have to pay attention to the law of gravity. Regular morals, conscience, ethics—that’s for slobs like you and me.” The effect, says Gershe, “spills over into real life. He’s treated like a little god, and little gods don’t have to do what everybody else does.”As the old cliché goes, “Pride Goeth Before the Fall.” But for many show business figures, their pride is compounded and reinforced by equally faulty media judgment. As I may have mentioned before, I’ll never forget, back when I was living in small town South Jersey, and read the Sunday New York Times each week to check in with the center of gravity of Capital-C Culture, the issue they devoted in February of 1991, between its cover and the actual story, to effectively craft an infomercial for both Woody Allen and Eric Lax, his hagiographer, who had a new, glowing biography of Woody due out later that year. Woody had just scored a big critical, and by those days rare commercial hit with his ode to Nietzsche, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and was about to head off to Hollywood to shoot one of the rare films he didn’t also direct, Scenes From a Mall, with his fellow ‘80s-era superstar Bette Midler. They would be directed by Paul Mazursky, and the screenplay was written by a fellow you may have heard of, called Roger L. Simon.In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz flashes back to that period, and in retrospect, how shamelessly the media whitewashed Woody’s existence:His conduct was unspeakable—and when Walter Isaacson, then editor of Time, asked Allen about it, he replied, famously, “The heart wants what it wants.” He was 56 years old.Really, what he was saying was this: I can because I can. Allen was an idol, perhaps the idol, of an entire class of his fellow New Yorkers, his fellow Jews, and his fellow skeptical liberals. There was almost nothing his admirers didn’t admire about him. They loved him because he was funny, because he wanted to produce serious art in the style of the great European filmmakers, and because he played jazz at a club every Monday night. They loved him for writing New Yorker stories, and they loved his relationship with Mia Farrow.The year before the photos came out, Allen’s slavish biographer, Eric Lax, published a fulsome article in the New York Times Magazine about the wonders of Allen and Farrow’s coupledom, then 11 years in duration. It was “not a conventional union,” he said, pointing out that they lived in separate apartments across Central Park from one another. But, Lax wrote, in a rather striking passage, “Few married couples seem more married. They are constantly in touch with each other, and not many fathers spend as much time with their children as Allen does. He is there before they wake up in the morning, he sees them during the day and he helps put them to bed at night.”Yes, Allen was even admired as a father. Later, when people accused him of pseudo-incest in his dalliances with Mia’s daughter Soon-Yi, his defenders would say he had barely known the girl, hadn’t spent any time with her, had had nothing to do with her. But that was not the impression Lax’s article, and other mythologizing portraits of prescandal Allen, gave off. No, the sense of this and other portraits-without-blemish was that Allen was practically perfect, a fully rounded human being with wit and gravitas, a moral sense, and deeply bourgeois values.In retrospect, Allen’s response to the scandal was pitch perfect. He put his head down. He married Soon-Yi. He just kept working. He made movie after movie. What he had done was not exactly forgotten, but his unflagging industry eventually paid off with a reputational renaissance over the past decade. He was again becoming an idol—as was indicated by his decision to accept (though not in person) the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in January. Big mistake, for that is what triggered the Farrow family’s wrath and has sunk his reputation yet again.Given what we now know about Woody, elsewhere in the Federalist, David Harsanyi asks, "Can We Separate The Art And The Artist? In Woody Allen’s Case, It’s The Same Thing:"His characters often argue for moral order, but they never quite seem convinced that it’s needed.  His alter egos may be saddened or bemoan the fact that life is without purpose, but they act accordingly. This topic is most notably in “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” in which a character decides to  murder an irritating mistress and move on with consequence or remorse. Woody Allen will never confess his sins by making his own "Unforgiven."The least plausible aspect of his movies, though, is the casual way in which human beings move through their lives cheating, remarrying, and cheating again, with no emotional fallout. You don’t need to look further than “Hannah and her Sisters.” After characters contemplate some of most egregious acts of disloyalty against their own family, all ends without any residual problems that might pop up when folks dive into infidelity and divorce. When relationships do form in his films, they are unloving and unreal. The type of self-centeredness and vacuous concerns that dominate these relationships, ones that could only exist in an insulated world foreign to most decent adults. And his history of sexualization of children — jokingly, of course — has been with him an entire career. That doesn’t make him a pedophile any more than it does Nabokov.  But considering the autobiographical nature of his work, it doesn’t dissuade you of the notion either.Should we judge an artist’s work only by the quality of his art? Generally, yes. I don’t care much about how novelists or filmmakers or musicians live their lives. That doesn’t mean their lives don’t alter our perceptions. Pete Seeger was an apologist for Stalin. It matters. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a massive talent, overdosed on heroin as his three young children played a few blocks away. That changes how we think about him.  Our perception doesn’t alter the quality of art, of course. But it certainly can alter our perception of it. Especially when the ugliness of the real world starts to feel a lot like the art.Speaking of which, in the Week, (found via the Brothers Judd), Damon Linker explores "Woody Allen, Nihilist:"As Allen explained in a more recent interview in Commonweal magazine, it was the desire to explore this sense of existential meaninglessness that inspired him to make Crimes and Misdemeanors: "Some people distort [the meaninglessness of the world] with religious things. Some people distort it with sports, with money, with love, with art... but nothing makes it meaningful.... [E]veryone goes to his grave in a meaningless way.... [O]ne can commit a crime, do unspeakable things, and get away with it, and some of them are plagued with all sorts of guilt for the rest of their lives and others aren't. There is no justice..."There is no justice. From Plato's sociopathic sophists to Friedrich Nietzsche's ambition to "sail right over our morality," this has been the conviction and the insight of the nihilist. These are Woody Allen's philosophical compatriots.I should note, once again, that this doesn't mean he's a sexual predator. Nothing in the outlook of a nihilist necessarily implies that he will engage in immoral actions.All that nihilism implies is the absence of a compelling reason not to do so."Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it," Bertolt Brecht was quoted as saying. God help us all if we get the world that Woody Allen desires.Related: Fred Siegel's City Journal review of the 2012 book, American Nietzsche: a History of an Icon and His Ideas.And at Vanity Fair, a blue on blue deconstruction of the Woodman: "10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation." class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/2/7/staring-into-the-abyss/ ]]>
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  • No, That's Not Creepy At All
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll $(document).ready(function() { $('.audio-video-player').mediaelementplayer();});GE takes the notion of human capital seriously.Having bet the ranch on electing President Obama (twice) and supporting ObamaCare, not the least of which through its ownership until recently of NBC and MSNBC, General Electric is now running ads promoting its healthcare software starring Hugo Weaving as the sinister Agent Smith from The Matrix.I know Agent Smith is a beloved baddie, much like Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies; as James Lileks once quipped, Smith, as portrayed by Weaving, is akin to the characters portrayed by Tony Roberts in Woody Allen's earlier, funnier movies such as Annie Hall and Play it Again, Sam -- the only non-neurotic in the film; the only character having any fun. But given how deeply GE is plugged into the Obama Gleichschaltung, that's quite an...interesting choice for GE's healthcare spokesman.Beginning around 2007, strange messages started emerging from GE and the television networks it owned at the time. First GE, which makes it's money selling, among other things, light bulbs, told us that we all needed to turn ours off, for the good of the planet. The following year, the large conglomerate got deeply into bed with first candidate and then President Obama; NBC and (particularly) MSNBC are essentially a de facto propaganda wing of the administration, to the point where the White House has emailed in "corrections," which were read on the air by the latter network.At the beginning of the Obama administration, GE CEO Jeff Immelt was appointed to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, presumably helping to see the administration's now annual "Recovery Summer" debacle, leading near monthly "unexpected" bad economic news. Regarding Obama and Immelt, in January of 2011, Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner wrote:Since his party’s November shellacking, President Obama has worked hard to show America that he is not anti-business, notably by picking General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and Chicago banker Bill Daley for prominent posts in his administration. But their selection does not mean Obama is “pro-business,” at least as the term is commonly understood. The president is no champion of open markets and free competition. His idea of being friendly to business means more government subsidies and corporate-government cooperation, both of which are mother’s milk to Immelt and Daley.Obama joined Immelt on Friday at a GE plant in Schenectady, N.Y., to announce his appointment as chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Like Obama’s pick of Daley as White House chief of staff, the selection of Immelt sparked applause from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, in the eyes of the media, defused the Republican charge that Obama is anti-business.But the anti-business charge against Obama was always off target. “Anti-free market” was — and is still — more accurate.Immelt and Daley don’t represent a new side of Barack Obama — they represent the unhealthy collusion of Big Business and Big Government that has always been the essence of Obamanomics.Around that time, the Clarion Advisory blog asked, "Remember the outrage over Haliburton & Cheney? So where’s the outrage over GE and the Obama Administration?”I remember for much of the Bush Administration, hearing how evil it was for all the ties that Cheney had with Haliburton and how it was wrong for a company to have so much access in the White House so where did that outrage go when it comes to how cozy GE is with Obama?  It’s the same thing, actually even worse.  GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt was just named to chair new White House Economic Group after already having had a position in the White House when he served on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.  Funny it was evil for Cheney to have ties to Haliburton and not actually have a position at Haliburton but it’s O.K. to actually have a company chairman to chair a group in the White House and the MSM response is crickets chirping and a lot of nodding of heads?GE has gained much with this administration.  The banning of incandescent lightbulbs?  GE has got you covered with their CFLs.  Wind turbines?  GE has got you covered.  High speed rail?  GE wants that action too.  Electronic health records?  Oh yeah, GE’s Health Division is all over that.  Clean coal technology?  Check.  GE has got that too.  Smart grid?  Another check.  GE is ass deep into that!It also seems that now whenever Obama needs to highlight something economic, there’s GE always ready with some kind of news.  Just in time for China’s visit, GE announces a turbine deal, a Chinese railway deal, and a airplane deal with China.  That’s just this week.  Remember that trip to India in November?  Well looky here.  Another deal and guess who with?  GE of course!  India and GE sign power equipment deal.  The article even states that it was timed to coincide with Obama’s arrival.  How’s that for coordination?More recently, when the Obama administration decided to punish those who support the Second Amendment (concurrent with, as we're seeing now, the administration's deep antipathy towards the First Amendment), GE was happy to lend a hand. In April of this year, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, “GE Capital Cuts Off Lending to Gun Shops:”This month, Glenn Duncan, owner of Duncan’s Outdoor Store in Bay City, Mich., said he received a letter from GE Capital Retail Bank in which the lender said it had made “the difficult decision” to stop providing financing services to his store. Other gun dealers have received similar notices.GE is at least the second big financial firm to retreat from the gun business following the school shootings, which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six adults in December.Days after the killings, private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP said it would try to sell the gun company it owns—Freedom Group Inc.— which makes brands including Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin and H&R.The moves highlight how companies, closely attuned to the concerns of investors and employees, have reacted to public horror caused by the attacks, even as complicated political considerations doomed new gun-control legislation in the Congress.GE is based in Fairfield, Conn., and many of the GE’s employees live around Newtown, and several have children in the Sandy Hook elementary school, where the shootings took place. Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza, is an executive at GE Capital. GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt held a town hall meeting with affected employees after the shooting, and the board has been updated on efforts to help staff, a person familiar with the matter said.“Industry changes, new legislation and tragic events” led GE Capital to reexamine its policies on financing firearms, spokesman Russell Wilkerson said.I think Agent Smith would approve of all of GE's actions during the past six years or so; no wonder he was chosen to be a spokesman for what is arguably America's most corporatist conglomerate. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/6/1/no-thats-not-creepy-at-all-2/ ]]>
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  • Midnight in Paris: The Woodman Stumbles
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle It's been a long time since I read as many reviews of a movie as I did of Woody Allen's latest offering, Midnight in Paris.  As a native New Yorker who, decades ago, used to rush off to movie houses in Manhattan to see Allen's earliest pictures as soon as they were released, and who has seen all but one or two of his dozens of films – some of them dozens of times – I was intrigued by the widespread and largely enthusiastic critical attention lavished on his latest effort and by the apparently healthy box-office figures, which represented a stunning departure from the widespread indifference to Allen's work in recent years.  Could all the praise possibly be deserved?This is not to say that I'm one of those who feel Allen hasn't made a good movie in decades.  I  think Manhattan Murder Mystery is loads of fun.  I find Hollywood Ending hilarious.  I have great affection for Everyone Says I Love You.  Sweet and Lowdown is, indeed, sweet.  Match Point is elegant.  Vicky Christina Barcelona is engaging.  And I'm actually crazy about Whatever Works.But Midnight in Paris, which I finally caught up with on a plane the other day, stunned me with its sheer badness.  It opens with a series of shots of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and other familiar Paris-postcard sights, which feels terribly tired and clichéd and more than a bit too reminiscent of the considerably more inspired montages of New York City at the beginnings of Manhattan and Everyone Says I Love You.  (Needless to say, there are no glimpses of the violence-ridden no-go zones in the banlieues – no car burnings, no rioters screaming “Allahu akbar!”)The plot?  Briefly put, it's about a hack Hollywood screenwriter named Gil who's visiting Paris with his fiancée, and who's taken with the idea of trading the City of Angels for the City of Light, and giving up scriptwriting for novel-writing.  Through some sort of mysterious alchemy, he finds himself transported on a series of nights, at exactly the stroke of twelve, to 1920s Paris, where he consorts with Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Picasso, Cocteau, and Salvador Dali, among others.In every Woody Allen movie, whatever its merits, there's always a bit of dialogue – a line here, a line there – that makes you wince or cringe.  Invariably the subject is high culture.  And invariably the problem is that the characters are talking about it in way that rings so totally false as to be embarrassing.  Think, for example, of the Thanksgiving dinner-table dialogue about “Ibsen's A Doll's House” (as opposed, apparently, to Neil Simon's A Doll's House) at the beginning of Hannah and Her Sisters.  Well, Midnight in Paris has more of that sort of thing in it than any Woody Allen movie yet.   Only this time around, instead of people talking about Hemingway, you have Hemingway talking Hemingway.  And what does he have to say?  He keeps pontificating about “grace under pressure.”  Meanwhile Fitzgerald keeps calling people “old sport,” just like Gatsby.  The cringe factor is through the roof.  Allen doesn't seem to be going for broad parody or caricature here – he genuinely appears to be out to capture the magic of the 1920s expatriate scene in Paris.  But it all comes off like a cartoon.   There have been countless biographies of some of these people, which might have given Allen some clues as to how to capture these characters in a few deft strokes – but Allen has obviously not consulted them. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/11/8/midnight-in-paris-the-woodman-stumbles/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • 10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle I knew things were bad when, a few years ago, I actually found myself missing the Seventies.Many, many American movies made during the Seventies share one overarching theme:America is falling apart!Tim Dirks' must-read, 6-part overview of the films of this era begins with this highly-concentrated, perfectly observed paragraph:Motion picture art seemed to flourish at the same time that the defeat in the Vietnam War, the Kent State Massacre, the Watergate scandal, President Nixon's fall, the Munich Olympics shoot-out, increasing drug use, and a growing energy crisis showed tremendous disillusion, a questioning politicized spirit among the public and a lack of faith in institutions -- a comment upon the lunacy of war and the dark side of the American Dream.Our own Ed Driscoll has done yeoman's work chronicling that decade's "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" leftwing auteur boom: the death of the studio system, and the rise of hot young directors – Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Scorsese -- whose visions still inform American film, and the culture at large.(See also A Decade Under the Influence and Sexplosion: From Andy Warhol to A Clockwork Orange.)Most recently, Kyle Smith proffered his "10 Best Films of the 1970s."My list is different than Smith's because the "best" films of that era (and I agree with many of his selections) don't necessarily capture the mood of the times as well as lesser movies.What follows is a guide for millennials who are forever hearing about "the Seventies," are living with that decade's toxic cultural fallout, and who wonder what life during this tumultuous time (although, aren't they all…?) was really like.That's why I've neglected to mention anachronistic or overly escapist fare: all the bloated feel-good musicals; anything by Disney, Mel Brooks or Cubby Broccoli; all but one of Woody Allen's "early funny ones"; sweeping pseudo-period Oscar bait like Barry Lyndon, The Way We Were, New York, New York, The Sting and Funny Lady; and timeless blockbusters like Star Wars, Halloween and Rocky.(Incidentally: most movies about the Vietnam War were made in the 1980s.)However, I have included movies about the Seventies that were made later, if they accurately evoke the time period. Note: There are a LOT of these.Ideally, curious readers should get hold of the ten movies I've chosen as exemplars of my ten different themes, then temporarily get rid of their computers and phones (because it's 1972, and "Ma Bell" still hasn't shown up to activate your line). Next put on some thick polyester clothing, and eat nothing but Cheesies and Orange Crush for the duration. (The Seventies were VERY orange.)Close all your curtains to help mimic the sinister, suffocating atmosphere we marinated in.And press "play." class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/6/27/10-movies-millennials-must-see-to-understand-the-1970s/ previous Page 1 of 11 next   ]]>
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John Nolte1
Daily Wire / Breitbart



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Countdown: The 165 Greatest American Movies Ever Made (66-90)
    Hud (1963) You don’t look out for yourself, the only helping hand you’ll ever get is when they lower the box. Another one of those roles Paul Newman could have easily won the Best Actor Oscar for. Here he plays one of the most despicable, amoral characters ever; a full-throated villain in the charismatic package of the perfect physical specimen that was the 38-year-old. Presented in stark, Oscar-winning widescreen black and white (gorgeously filmed by the legendary James Wong Howe), Hud is an unsparing morality tale that makes the audience just as complicit as the young man played by Brandon DeWilde. We too are at first charmed and fascinated by Hud; by his composure, his cool, his cynicism, the mistaken impression he is merely being his own man. Slowly, though, the facade is peeled away until the private hell we leave Hud to feels like justice. Oscars went to a never-sexier Patricia Neal, as the housekeeper torn apart by her attraction to Hud’s virility and potential, and the the fact that she has seen enough of life to know that his rotted core can only mean a life so miserable the sex will eventually not be worth it.  Melvyn Douglas
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Millennial Woes1
Scandza Forum



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

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  • My Entire DVD Collection [multi-parter] | Love and Death | 1:08:37 | 👎
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
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Counter Currents Staff2
Counter Currents Publishing



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

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  • Of Costner, Corpses, & Conception:Mother’s Day Meditations on The Untouchables & The Big Chill
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    [1]

    Isabel Samaras, "Behold"

    2,864 words

    Okay, I missed Mother’s Day, but hey, every day’s a holiday for the unemployed! So, in the holiday spirit, I offer some Second Thoughts on a couple of films recently discussed here.

    Malone’s Death

    Readers of my review [2] of The Untouchables as an intiatic work will recall that I was somewhat puzzled by the reasons for Malone’s death. I speculated that he had sacrificed himself, rather like Odin, to further Ness’s initiatory journey.

    I was recently re-reading an essay by “Abraxas” (Ercole Quadrelli) collected by Baron Evola in the first volume of his Introduction to Magic, viz. “Three Ways.”

    You must generate— first by imagining and then by realizing it—a superior principle confronting everything you usually are (e.g., an instinctive life, thoughts, feelings). This principle must be able to control, contemplate, and measure what you are, in a clear knowledge, moment by moment. There will be two of you: yourself standing before “the other.” Then you will know the meaning of “inner dialogues,” the inward commanding and obeying, the inward asking for and obtaining of advice, as in the case of many Christian and Muslim mystics, and similarly reflected in many Hindu texts that were compiled in dialogue form; the characters depicted in them are not real persons, but are seen by a skilled disciple as two parts of his own soul.

    All in all, the work consists of a “reversal”: you have to turn the “other” into “me” and the “me” into the “other.”

    Then, in contrast to the mystical, or Christian, path, where the Other remains Other, and the Self remains in the feminine position of need and desire,

    In the magical, dry, or solar way, you will create a duality in your being not in an unconscious and passive manner (as the mystic does), but consciously and willingly; you will shift directly on the higher part and identify yourself with that superior and subsistent principle, whereas the mystic tends to identify with his lower part, in a relationship of need and of abandonment.

    Slowly but gradually, you will strengthen this “other” (which is yourself) and create for it a supremacy, until it knows how to dominate all the powers of the natural part and master them totally.

    Then,

    the entire being, ready and compliant, reaffirms itself, digests and lets itself be digested, leaving nothing behind. (1)

    In short, as the New Agers like to say, if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

    If Malone is a projection of Ness, embodying what Ness knows about being a man, but manifested as an external being able to function as a teacher and then dismissed (like Tyler Durden in Fight Club), this would not only be consistent with the shape-shifting and other shamanic attributes of Malone, but also explain most of the oddities I called attention to. How do they just happen to meet on a bridge at Ness’s point of greatest need? If, as Malone himself says, the whole police force is corrupt, why does Ness trust Malone himself?

    And above all, why does Malone, an Irish cop, speak in a quasi-Scottish brogue? Because Ness, the ur-Norwegian Midwesterner, has probably never heard a real Irishman; Ness has just arrived in Chicago; talkies were only recently invented; even Cagney’s The Public Enemy won’t be released until after he leaves in 1931.

    She’s Having My Baby

    Speaking of Kevin Costner playing dead, I also failed to point out that Costner made his big screen debut playing a corpse. This was in The Big Chill, where the opening credits play over a body being dressed for viewing. According to the commentary track by the writer-director, Lawrence Kasdan,(2), Costner was to portray Alex, the erstwhile leader of the gang back at the U of M whose suicide brings them back together for the funeral. These flashbacks were the first scenes shot — the whole film was made in chronological order for effect — but Kasdan decided to scrap them and only deal with present time. As a sop, Costner was given the unaccredited role of Alex’s corpse.

    Kasdan’ commentary goes on to state that audiences were supposed to be fooled, thinking that a woman was dressing a man for a formal event, perhaps Glenn Close and Kevin Kline, as just seen in the previous sequence, and then the last shot was a “reveal” of the sutured wrist of the corpse. Perhaps I had seen a review beforehand, but I don’t recall ever being fooled that way, always taking it to be Alex’s corpse. On Kasdan’s interpretation, though, we have another layer: not only is (real) Costner playing a (fake) corpse, but the (fake) corpse is playing a (fake) Costner.

    Readers will also recall that I previously discussed, briefly, The Big Chill in “The Gilmore Girls Occupy Wall St.” but only in the context of what might be called Liberal Psycho-Geography, their strange preference for living in small towns, even rural communities, once they have been cleansed of those dirty White Others who actually created the towns and communities.

    In the case of the sad sacks gathered at Alex’s funeral, they were only happy living together back in Ann Arbor, under the charismatic leadership of Alex, some kind of sophomore Tim Leary or Mark Rudd (these would have been the deleted Costner scenes). Now, his suicide has brought them back together in a similar locus, the conveniently large house of the most adult couple among them, now living in conveniently rural but Yuppie-friendly South Carolina.(3)

    The gang is clearly some kind of Männerbund, now bereft of their spiritual leader. But it’s an unusual one, multi-sexual and multi-ethnic,(4) and above all, a fake and a failure.(5)

    Nick: Wise up, folks. We’re all alone out there and tomorrow we’re going out there again.

    Rather than the more obviously Männerbund-ish features, I’d like to focus on something at first glance entirely different: Sarah has the bright idea to solve Meg’s worries about never finding a man to have a child with, by loaning her husband, Harold.

    In my previous essay, I passed this off as an ostentatious, Bloomsbury-like nose-thumbing of “bourgeois morality.” Oddly enough, Hans Blüher, the theorist of the Männerbund, provides a more interesting perspective.

    Through Wulf Grimsson, whose work we drew on for our Untouchables review, I’ve obtained one of the few English translations of one of Blüher’s public lectures, in which he lays out his theory of sexuality, the family and the Männerbund.

    In “Family and Male Fraternity,” he discusses at one point the role of creativity in responding to the demands of new situations. Traditions, to be vital, must respond to new conditions, and in the process, what once were sins may become moral, as they facilitate the creation of a new tradition. (One thinks perhaps of Carl Schmitt’s doctrine of the Exception.) In considering the modern problems besetting the tradition of monogamy, Blüher spurns the advocates of “free love” as not having thought out and found a creative solution to the practical problems, such as jealousy. Here he writes:

    Jealousy is the will to have an exclusive right on the sexual partner and illustrates all over again the myth of the human being cut in two and deprived of his other half. Because after all there can only be one other half! Jealousy is really the destructive element within a polygamous marriage. Jealousy can never be eliminated by affectionate persuasions, by calming appeasements or any kind of rational arrangement, but only by a great creative act of the Eros itself. Let me give a comparison from German philosophy. Arthur Schopenhauer speaks at several points in his work of so-called “conversions.” A criminal, who is just going to the scaffold and who until recently has had no remorse for his crime, is suddenly enlightened. . . .

    A man is not purified through a gradual diminution of sin — to believe this would just be muddled ignorance and rationalism — but through a sudden change of his whole nature. The bigger his sin was, the more he is purified. The same thing can happen with jealousy.

    Jealousy is the real sin against the creative Eros. In the case of exceptional women, there are rare moments where this usually destructive passion can turn around, can place itself into the service of the former rival and can increase the love of two women for the man whom they both love. On such a basis the will of the man is creating the sacrament of polygamy. Without this sacrament, which the Greeks called (mysterion), all polygamous relationships are doomed to end in the most distressful disaster. Something permanent can only come about where a sacrament (a mystery in the Greek sense) stands between people, where devotion, sacrifice and service are involved. Polygamy needs a state of grace and cannot be “made.”

    Are Meg and Sarah such exceptional women? (Note Blüher’s use of the Schmittian term.) Sarah, despite her marriage, children, and homemaking, and her general “earth mother” portrayal,(6) and Meg, despite her distinctly non-hip obsession with finding a man to have a child with (which would be mocked as ’60s stupidity on Mad Men today), are both played by decidedly “mannish” actresses. Glenn Close won her very first Oscar this year, for a role in which she portrays a woman living as a man, while Mary Kay Place eventually “came out” as a lesbian.

    When she first arrives, Meg wears neither the ’80s shoulder-padded woman’s “power suit” nor the later Hilary-style “pants suit” but what looks like a boy’s suit, complete with white shirt, striped tie, and attache case — in the contemporaneous Official Preppy Handbook, women were advised to check out the boy’s department at Brooks Brothers for appropriate attire.

    She and Richard are the only ones dressed like real grown up men, and both have thought a lot about what a man should be. Like Richard’s late night speech, she provides a surprisingly contemporary meditation on modern manhood:

    Meg: They’re either married or gay. And if they’re not gay, they’ve just broken up with the most wonderful woman in the world, or they’ve just broken up with a bitch who looks exactly like me. They’re in transition from a monogamous relationship, and they need more space. Or they’re tired of space, but they just can’t commit. Or they want to commit, but they’re afraid to get close. They want to get close, you don’t want to get near them.

    Finding no acceptable men, Meg has had to become a man, or a facsimile thereof, just as Costner’s Ness had to learn how to become a man by creating his own double, the wise and honest Malone.

    Meg: It’s a cold world out there. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting a little frosty myself.

    As Capone says, “If you were a man, you’d have done it.” And we know what “doing it” means. As Blüher says, “Where is the important man who would be content with just one woman?”(7)

    Meg accepts Sarah’s offer of Harold only as last resort, having considered and dismissed all the inadequate man-children available that weekend (including a “return engagement” with the Jew, Michael). Her choice, adultery if not quite a ménage à trois, is made to further a higher tradition, motherhood.

    It’s even possible, though it passes as a joke, that Meg’s wisdom was what killed Alex:

    Meg: The last time I spoke with Alex, we had a fight. I yelled at him.
    Nick: That’s probably why he killed himself. . . . What was the argument about?
    Meg: I told him he was wasting his life.

    In The Untouchables, Costner’s Ness conjures up an authentic teacher of manhood and then kills him off when no longer needed for the task of re-establishing the ideal of justice. In The Big Chill, Costner plays a fake guru — or perhaps, a Guru of Fakeness — who is killed off by Meg, in order for her to set up the funeral weekend where she will finally conceive a child. Meg is the authentic Shaman, who can shape-shift across gender lines and break traditional vows — monogamy — in order to pursue a higher calling: motherhood.

    Notes

    1. Julius Evola, Introduction to Magic (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2001), pp. 88-91. The process of “cultivating” the Other as part of the process of initiation is referenced in The Silence of the Lambs, where Buffalo Bill cultivates a rare species of moth: “Somebody grew this guy, fed him honey and nightshade, kept him warm. Somebody loved him.”

    2. Kasdan was one of the most bankable men in Hollywood, and thus able to make this more personal project, due to his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark, which connects him to Sean Connery, who plays Indiana’s father in the later sequel, The Last Crusade, which is based on the figure of Otto Rahn, author of Crusade Against the Grail and Himmler’s pet grailologist; suspected of disloyalty and homosexuality, he wound up a corpse as well, committing a Cathar-style suicide in the frozen Alps, like Alex before the Big Chill starts in.

    3. Kline and Close are adults because, not only are they married homeowners with children, all this is possible because he has set up a company, “ironically” called Running Dog, which seems to be on the ground floor of the running shoe phenomenon. The Big House, subservient locals — even the infamous “Southern Sheriff” is a friend and “some kinda guy” — and no doubt slave labor abroad for products sold to inner city youth strongly suggests some kind of Southern antebellum fantasy. But we know he’s a “good guy” because Procul Harum and Motown are “the only kind of music here.” Kline angrily announces “I’m dug in here” while, unlike the “12 Southerners” who defended agrarian rootedness in I’ll Take My Stand, wearing a “Michigan” sweatshirt. As I mentioned before, this shot is perhaps the iconic Modern Liberal, and I like to imagine his shirt has a Made in Thailand tag.

    4. Jeff Goldblum plays what can only be called “a Real New York Jew” (Annie Hall) and is consequently intensely unlikable, unlike his later roles as gawky but sympathetic and even heroic (The Fly, Jurassic Park, Independence Day), or indeed any Jew’s movie portrayal since about 1945.

    Michael: Everyone does everything just to get laid.
    Karen: Who said that? Freud?
    Michael: No, I did.

    Michael: That’s the great thing about the outdoors, it’s one giant toilet.

    Harold: (preparing to order shoes for everyone) Feet grow as you get older.
    Michael: I wish everything did.

    Despite his smarmy approaches to every woman around, he is the only character to not manage to get laid that weekend.

    5. The complete failure of their lives, most dramatically Alex himself, might lead one to question his bona fides as a guru, but like most Liberals, what they’ve learned is mostly an intense self-regard, which makes it impossible to “check their premises” as Ayn Rand used to say. Jo Beth William’s square, stodgy husband, played by Don Galloway — I remember thinking, hey, it’s that guy from Ironside!– delivers the only words of wisdom in the film — no one every said it was supposed to be easy.

    Richard: [Richard is having a late-night snack while talking to Sam and Nick] There’s some asshole at work you have to kowtow to, and you find yourself doing things you thought you’d never do. But you try and minimize that stuff; be the best person you can be. But you set your priorities. And that’s the way life is. I wonder if your friend Alex knew that. One thing’s for sure, he couldn’t live with it. I know I shouldn’t talk; you guys knew him. But the thing is . . . no one ever said it would be fun. At least . . . no one ever said it to me.

    That’s because he didn’t have the misfortune of falling under Alex’s spell, with Alex’s fake-Zen “ironic” non-sequiturs:

    Nick: I know what Alex would say.
    Harold: What?
    Nick: What’s for dessert?

    His insomnia may be supposed to indicate one of those “sublimated” conditions Frankfurt Schooled Leftists like to postulate to explain why their opponents happily ignore them, but I would suggest it hints at a natural talent for vigils and contacting the Jungian active imagination, source of wisdom. No one pays attention to him, of course. William Hurt’s insufferable character just walks away when first introduced to him, and he is shipped home to Detroit to take care of the kids so that Williams can finally sleep with, and be disappointed with, her old flame. But before he goes he both predicts her disillusionment with Sam and hints at the essential fakeness of this group: “I can’t believe these are the same people you’ve been talking about all these years.”

    6. Close in the film bears a strong resemblance to ’60s female icon Carole King — who wrote the theme to, and appears occasionally in, The Gilmore Girls! Cringingly but all too appropriately, King’s “You make me feel like a natural woman” is the music of Meg and Harold’s coupling, although, also in keeping with the proto-SWPL atmosphere, it’s Aretha Franklin’s version — so much more earthy!

    7. A similar triangle occurs in the WWII German film Opfergang; see Derek Hawthorne’s “Opfergang: Masterpiece of National Socialist Cinema, here [3].

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Dachau Blues: Applying History to Science & Science to History
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]3,124 words

    Nicholas Kollerstrom
    Breaking the Spell
    Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2014

    Dachau blues those poor jews
    Dachau blues those poor jews
    Down in Dachau blues, down in Dachau blues
    Still cryin’ ’bout the burnin’ back in world war two’s
    One mad man six million lose.

    — Captain Beefheart, “Dachau Blues” [1] 

    Blue has always been the colour with which I identify. It’s the sea, the density of a mood, solitude, the colour evoked by Marc Almond’s voice; it’s a French poem and a concentrated head of cornflowers bunching in a white vase. Blue is the color that stretches like a cat in one’s mind.

    — Jeremy Reed[2]

    Blue, blue, electric blue/That’s the colour of my room
    Where I will live/Blue, blue

    Pale blinds drawn all day/Nothing to do, nothing to say
    Blue, blue

    — David Bowie, “Sound and Vision”

    Just as Nietzsche, at the end of his sanity, only wanted to be a professor in Basel,[3] or, perhaps more modestly, just as George Costanza always wanted to be — or at least pretend to be — an architect,[4] I always wanted to have attended (note the past perfect tense) the London School of Economics [2], graduating with a M.Sc. in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.[5]

    Just as Harvard was classier than MIT,[6] and Oxford classier than Harvard, the LSE topped them all by combining both class and a sleek, technocratic edge; more EU mandarin than Big Bang nerd. And, of course, philosophical study in the midst of science would cut down significantly on the bullshit factor.[7]

    But although my scholastic fantasy may have been purely subjective,[8] the hard edge I imagined philosophy having there (unlike the difficult but superficial academic twaddle of “analytic” philosophy stateside) resulted in some pretty significant work being done there, by the likes of Sir Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, and, ultimately (and admittedly to their despair)[9] the “anarchist epistemology” of ex-Luftwaffe pilot Paul K. Feyerabend.[10]

    Briefly,[11] Feyerabend insisted that the study of the history of science revealed that actual scientific progress requires a multiplicity of rival theories to generate the data that empiricism requires to test theories;[12] conversely, science stagnates during periods of theoretical conformity (such as mediaeval scholasticism, or Kuhn’s “normal science”).

    Such theoretical conformity results in what Lakatos called “degenerating research programs,” which fail to make new, confirmed predictions, and handle disconfirmations through ad hoc “auxillary hypotheses;” for example, the epicycles of Ptolemaic astronomy.[13]

    So imagine my delight to find this former University of London academic (close enough and we’ll look at that “former” business) employing the radical philosophy of science of Feyerabend and his mentors, Popper and Lakatos to one of my favorite areas of post-war culture distortion . . . . [T]he [H]olocaust.

    Kollerstrom, a now former professor of the history of science, had the novel idea, as explicated by James Fetzer in his Foreword (The Holocaust Narrative: Politics Trumps Science), to apply the Official Methods of Science to the claims of the Holocaust.

    Specifically, he applied the following simple experimental test to the core of The Holocaust Hypothesis:

    Hypothesis: Six million Jews were exterminated by the National Socialists.

    The method used to exterminate many if not most Jews was Zyklon B in human gas chambers.

    If Zyklon B was used, the corpses would have been a bright pink, and the walls of the chambers blue.

    There is no photographic, eye-witness, or current physical evidence of either effect.[14]

    Therefore, the Holocaust Hypothesis is false.

    Surprisingly, the reaction to his little contribution to scientific debate was rather not as he had anticipated:

    Naively, I did not apprehend that what I reckoned or hoped to be a scientific question was apparently more like a deeply religious one.

    The fastest way to get expelled from a British university is by saying you are looking at chemical evidence for how Zyklon was used in World War II . . . This is considered absolutely forbidden. How strange is that?

    Searching for answers to this further puzzle, Kollerstrom discovers he’s stumbled into an area that can only be called a Public Religion, heresy from which is subject to social exclusion, or worse. As Andrew Hamilton wrote in another context:

    Reason and empiricism have been banished, outlawed by governments or suppressed by dominant cultural elites and institutions in a manner essentially replicative of Communism. Bizarre fantasies and cult beliefs of the most primitive sort reign in their stead.

    In particular, the history of Germany, 1933–1945, has been subsumed to the needs of a bizarre new religious cult. Its elaborate mythology . . . was constructed and imposed during the lifetimes of people who actually lived through the historical events, proving the supremacy of collective social constructions, even false ones, over the limited personal experiences of individuals. Surprised National Socialists formally accused of genocide universally responded with half-belief: “This is the first I’ve heard of it!”[15]

    In all this, Prof. Kollerstrom resembles those 9/11 skeptics who have eschewed black ops and reptiles to focus on questions of purely scientific plausibility.[16] Reflecting on how so many bodies could have been disposed of, he muses, like an engineer confronting the Towers’ collapse, that the official narrative is:

    a bizarre explanation of how they were all burned, which tends to violate known laws of physics.

    Which is pretty ironic, since while it’s no surprise that he’s a UK 9/11 sceptic, it turns out even the UK skeptics turfed him out at the first sign of “Holocaust Denial.”

    Sure, empty radar-guided planes and missiles striking the Pentagon, that’s just good solid investigative work and speaking truth to power, but ask whether the walls of the “gas chambers” show evidence of, like, actual use of cyanide gas, you know, and everyone loses their minds [3]![17]

    For all this, we have to ask: cui bono?

    Kollerstrom’s answer is: having genocidally destroyed Germany,[18] the Allies looked around and at each other and said: Well, we can’t take the fall for this.[19]

    So, by various means, including the use of torture,[20] a Holocaust Hypothesis was concocted and leveraged onto wartime propaganda to shift the blame for “the destruction of a people” to the defeated National Socialist regime.

    Now, what lifts this from a mere historical footnote is that this Hypothesis has become an all-purpose excuse for intervention everywhere to “prevent another Shoah” or “head off [literally] the next Hitler.”

    At Nuremberg the foundation was laid for a civilization based upon Horror and Untruth: horror because we were asked to believe that six million Jews were gassed for no reason whatsoever, and untruth because it never happened.[21]

    And that’s what terrifies the Powers That Be:

    People who don’t have the common sense and curiosity to ferret out the truth end up as nothing more than compliant, subservient, slaves. This is as the Ruling Class and big money special interests want it. The biggest threat to a corrupt regime is when truth moves away from the “conspiracy theory” fringes and into the mainstream.[22]

    Speaking of “moving into the mainstream,” the reader will have noted that I’m taken with this blue business. It brings to mind, at least to my mind, an appropriately Aryan archeofuturist angle to Kollerstrom’s project:

    The permanence of the ferrocyanide bond carries with memory of what happened seventy years ago. We here seek to remember what happened then.

    As the cyanide percolated through those walls, sixty years ago, our truth percolates through the solid walls of establishment Denial.

    Two can play the “never forget” game.[23] As Kollerstrom sums up the situation:

    What is here going on is a Clash between Science, which represents the human capacity of rational thought, and religion, whereby a high priesthood decrees what the people have to believe and threaten and “excommunicate” those who will not bow down.

    All of which connects up with another of Feyerabend’s themes: since Science will use the State to enforce orthodoxy, and the State will have its own reasons to do so,

    The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.[24]

    Thus, Feyerabend supported the right of American parents in the ’80s to exempt their children from being taught dogmatic Darwinism in the name of “science,” since all theories, even ones as apparently “stupid” as Creationism, are capable of producing the data needed for rigorous testing of even — or especially — the most accepted hypotheses.

    If you don’t like standing alongside creationists, and for more modern instances, consider IQ:

    If neo-Stalinism wins the battle by shutting down research on the genetics of IQ — and especially the science of race differences in IQ, that will represent the victory of politics over science, of language over legitimate research.[25]

    Or, perhaps, childhood vaccination raises your Federalist or Distributist hackles:

    No less a champion of government in your face than Hillary Clinton jumped into this debate with a whacky Tweet that argued that because the Earth is round and the sky is blue and science is right, all kids should be vaccinated. What she was really saying is that in her progressive worldview, the coercive power of the federal government can be used to enforce a scientific orthodoxy upon those states and individuals who intellectually reject it.[26]

    Four Appendices discuss the “Hoefle Telegram,” the “Tall Tales” of Elie Wiesel and others, a dryly humorous recitation of the all the crimes attributed to NS Germany (from a “pedal-driven brain-bashing machine” to head-shrinking and compulsory violin-playing), and a compendium of EU and UN laws relating to Holocaust speech.

    The Bibliography presents a guide to the Essential Books (there’s only seven, so feel free to master the literature!) as well as Carlo Mattogno’s “technical studies” of the various camps, British Intelligence decrypts, the three volume report compiled by the International Red Cross (before the appearance of the Holocaust story), and even a guide to searching of the online transcript of the Nuremberg proceedings.

    Kollerstrom suggests, perhaps facetiously, that readers might consider putting a brown paper cover on the book (which actually would draw more attention, I would think) or else using the Kindle. Those taking the latter course will appreciate that the kindle is well-formatted, including the all-important linking of text to endnotes. There is also an index, apparently based on the print edition, which, the entries not being linked, does not really supplant the use of the “search” function.

    Trying to suggest where Coleman Francis had gone wrong in filming his brilliant notion of combining aviation and adultery, The Skydivers, one critic suggested that “Instead of having the actors do their own skydiving, he had the skydivers do their own acting.” In the same spirit, I could say that as a science writer, Kollerstrom’s talents lie on the science end of the spectrum. Despite a superficial appearance of organization, the actual text is often vague and meandering, leaving the reader unsure of the significance or of where this is going. He also tends to overuse common metaphors, like “breaking the spell,” as if he were proud of having discovered them.[27]

    But these are superficial criticisms, in the face of the amount, and importance, of the factual information offered here. Literary flaws don’t really matter since Kollerstrom isn’t doing literary writing, or even, in the end, science writing. To avert back to the spell breaking metaphor,[28] he’s conducting a counter-spell, turning the Elite’s magic — science — back on themselves. As Williams S. Burroughs wrote, in the voice of Hassan i-Sabbah:

    Boards Syndicates Governments of the earth Pay – Pay back the Color you stole –

    Pay Blue – Pay back the blue you stole and bottled and doled out in eye droppers of junk – Pay back the blue you stole for your police uniforms – Pay that blue back to sea and sky and eyes of the earth –

    Not the ovens . . .[29]

    This book would make an excellent start for someone new to the “revisionist” idea, since it introduces a new, simple, entirely scientific argument against the official story, while also providing a guide to further research. And purchase, of course, will be a show of solidarity with another martyr to Liberal Orthodoxy.

    Notes

    [1]  “Dachau Blues,” Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica (Straight/Reprise, 1969).

    [2] Bitter Blue: Tranquilizers, Creativity, Breakdown (London: Peter Owen, 1995), p. 14.

    [3] “In the end, I would much rather be a Basel professor than God.” Letter of January 6, 1889 to his mentor at the University of Basel, Jacob Burckhardt.

    [4] “George: Why couldn’t you have made me an architect? You know I always wanted to pretend that I was an architect.” – Seinfeld, “The Marine Biologist” (1994).

    [5] Despite its name, even in its extended form (London School of Economics and Political Science), the LSE like most fancy schools, offers a degree program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics ( or some variation on the phrase — PPE, PEP, etc., like the variations on “Peace on Earth/Purity of Essence” (POE, EOP, etc.) that Capt. Mandrake tries out to find the recall code in Dr. Strangelove.

    [6] In terms of The Big Bang Theory, Wolowitz is uncool not because he has “only” an M. Eng., but because it’s from MIT.

    [7] Above the gate of Plato’s academy, a sign read “Let no one enter who doesn’t know geometry.” Oxbridge and Harvard did the same thing by requiring that philosophy be studied in the context of classical languages (which of course Plato had taken for granted; barbarians (those non-Greeks whose speech was just “bar, bar” need not apply). Cf.: “Mathematical studies were scarcely ever “supervised” ideologically in the Soviet Union, as even the omniscient high priests of Marxism did not pretend to understand them; consequently, standards were upheld and Russian mathematical science was saved from temporary destruction. (Leszek Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism: Vol. III, The Breakdown [Oxford,1978]; “Marxism as the ideology of the Soviet state,” p. 102 )

    [8] “He imagined himself doing picturesque things in a picturesque manner” says a classmate, mocking Fr. Rolfe/Baron Corvo’s claim to have had a vocation to the priesthood. See A. J. A. Symons, The Quest for Corvo: An Experiment in Biography (1935; London: Folio Society, 1992) and my “E-Caviar for the Masses!” here [4].

    [9] “I heard what you were saying. You — you know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy [sic] is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.”– Marshall McLuhan, Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977); for my meditation on McLuhan’s odd wording see my blog post “You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong!” here [5].

    [10] Paul Feyerabend, Against Method (London: Verso, 1975). 4th ed., with introduction by Ian Hacking, New York: Verso Books, 2010.

    [11] James Fetzer gives an excellent concise account in his Foreword.

    [12] Since all so-called “data” are actually determined by theories (“theory-laden”) only rival theories can produce rival data.

    [13] To anticipate, “Holocaust Studies” is such a degenerating research program; for example, the “dean” of such “scholars,” Raul Hilberg, has explained the absence of any documentary or eye-witness evidence for an extermination plan by invoking the otherwise unknown idea of “bureaucratic telepathy.” Indeed, the very core of the theory of the Holocaust is a textbook example of an ad hoc hypothesis, described by Kollerstrom as, “An especial and unique weapon of mass destruction was used: one which did not exist before the war, nor after the war, but only during it.”

    [14] Apparently, as no one had thought of this test being used, no one thought to manufacture evidence of the expected result. Similar embarrassing lacuna occur in the early Holocaust narratives, such as the use of electrocution, geysers of blood, etc. As a side note, the walls of the delousing chambers are bright blue.

    [15] Andrew Hamilton, “Alfred Rosenberg in Translation,” here [6]. That the total lack of awareness, apparently genuine surprise, not merely obstinate denial, of every defendant at Nuremberg, to say nothing of the complete lack of any documentary proof — orders, manifests, what have you — could be accounted for by postulating “denial” or “cover-up” is a paradigm example of an ad hoc hypothesis in defense of a degenerating research program.

    [16] Such as, obviously, Physicists and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

    [17] “In a ‘free’ society we can’t suppress dangerous truths altogether. So we have to be immunized against them. That’s why Hollywood lets dangerous truths appear on screen, but only in the mouths of monsters: Derek Vinyard in American History X, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York [7], Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, the Joker in The Dark Knight, etc.” — Trevor Lynch reviews The Dark Knight, here [8] and in Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012).

    [18] The real Holocaust (which of course means, as Kollerman points out, massive buring, not gassing) happened to the German people. Hellstorm by Tom Goodrich, details all their appalling torture, enslavement and mass murder at the end and after the Second World War. See J. A. Sexton’s review here [9].

    [19] Neocons and Iraq, anyone?

    [20] Is it any surprise that today’s JudeoCons are the leading cheerleaders for torture, both for “national security” here and to fabricate “evidence” for interventions abroad? See “Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots; After waterboarding, 9/11 mastermind told interrogators what ‘he thought they wanted to hear’” by Michael Isikoff (December 9, 2014) here [10]; and for the case of Alan Dershowitz, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman Finkelstein (University of California, 2005).

    [21] Literally as I write these words, O’Reilly is ranting about Nazis, and last Tuesday Bibi Netanyahoo has demanded that his pocket politicians (“our” legislators) listen to his harangue on the topic of Iran delenda est.

    [22] “Gallup CEO: America’s Unemployment Rate is One Big Lie,” here [11].

    [23] See my review of Timur Vermes’ Look Who’s Back, here [12].

    [24] Feyerabend, op. cit., p.295.

    [25] “The Sharks of Marx: Science vs Censorship;” February 4, 2015 by Tobias Langdon http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/02/the-sharks-of-marx-science-vs-censorship/ [13].

    [26] “To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate? [14] Judge Joseph Napolitano, Town Hall, February 05, 2015. Remember, as Trevor Lynch said, “In a “free” society we can’t suppress dangerous truths altogether. So we have to be immunized against them.”

    [27] “Award-winning” translator Joachim Neugroschel suggest that one difference between American and British prose style is that American’s eschew what they perceive as “clichés” while Brits welcome them as “idioms,” reliable, tried and true; see his Introduction to Mann’s Death in Venice and other Tales (London: Penguin, 1999).

    [28] Ever notice how obsessed filmmakers are with the whole “breaking the German code” trope, which rivals, or rather, supplements, the Holocaust obsession? Projection, much? Or mis-direction: these are the codes you should be looking at. . . .”

    [29] Nova Express. You can listen to his last words in multiple languages here [15]. For more on Burroughs, magic, and counter-spells, see my review of The Magical World of William S. Burroughs, here [16].

     

    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith2
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Bob Dylan’s Spinal Tap
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Rolling Thunder Revue is the rare rock movie with an eye for absurdity.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Sony Pictures Classics Nears Fake Milestone
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The ever-obliging press raves, “Sony Pictures Classics is nearing a real milestone with ‘Midnight in Paris.’!” Er, no it isn’t. “Midnight in Paris” is about to earn more dollars than any other Woody Allen movie. But so what? Those dollars are worth less and less. Saying “Midnight” is about to set a record is like saying a baseball slugger is about to set a home run record in an era when they move the fences in five feet every year. “Midnight” is going to gross maybe $42 or $45 million in its entire run. “Annie Hall” grossed $38.3 million — in 1977. That’s the equivalent of $143 million today. “Midnight in Paris” is nowhere near being Woody Allen’s biggest hit. Why does SPC care? Because they want to be able to run print and (later) DVD ads proclaiming that this is Woody Allen’s biggest hit ever. In other words, they want to have an excuse to blow some money proclaiming their own marketing genius. The movie hasn’t even broken even yet.]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Louis and Woody
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

Soiled Sinema2
Soiled Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • The Dead Zone
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In what probably is Woody Allen’s most popular film Annie Hall , Christopher Walken makes an appearance as a young suicidal art fag. Walken...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    When most people hear the word Barbie they think of a plastic blond doll with all the right curves. Unfortunately, most people do not ordi...
    ...
    (Review Source)

The American Conservative Staff1
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Social Change Didn't Kill the Romantic Comedy
    (”Annie Hall” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It feels like at least once a year, someone writes an article wondering what happened to the romantic comedy, and why we don’t make ’em like we used to. And usually, that article concludes that social change is a primary culprit. Thanks to the upending of hoary class and race divisions, thanks to feminism, thanks to the sexual revolution, there are no longer any plausible obstacles – class or racial difference, family disapproval, etc. – to put in the path of true love. And without obstacles to triumph over, there’s no story. So the romantic comedy as a genre must go to ever more absurd lengths to gin up said obstacles. Moreover, since Jack and Jill can plausibly sleep together from the moment they meet, there’s no sexual “payoff” to the central question of the movie, no “will they or won’t they.” So, again, romantic comedies have to resort to ever more elaborate explanations for why two people won’t sleep together, or lumber along a polymorphously perverse landscape in which the “payoff” is whether two people will . . . decide to have less sex with other people than with each other? Share a checking account? You see the problem. For a recent example of this kind of argument, see here. And the argument is wrong. The golden age of the cinematic romantic comedy was pretty much 1940, the year that (give or take a few months) gave us “The Philadelphia Story” and “The Lady Eve” and “His Girl Friday.” So what are these stories about? What are the obstacles to getting boy and girl together? In “The Philadelphia Story,” Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant divorce at the start of the movie, and the plot is about getting them back together. The external obstacle is that Hepburn is engaged to marry another guy – as it happens, a less socially-suitable match for her than Grant was. She’s no virgin, he’s no virgin, and the resolution hinges on her realizing just the degree to which her new fiancee prizes a kind of ersatz virginity in her, which clinches her decision to throw him over. So much for the need for social obstacles, or for sex to be the payoff. In “The Lady Eve,” the obstacle to Barbara Stanwyck getting together with Henry Fonda is that she’s a con artist in the process of taking him for a ride. Which is about as high-concept as the most ludicrous devices of today’s Hollywood – and yet, it works beautifully because as a metaphor for one approach to love and romance it’s enormously resonant. Meanwhile, the plot requires Stanwyck to seduce Fonda a second time, pretending to be a perfect lookalike for herself, just so she can dump him. This is precisely as plausible as nobody seeing through Viola’s or Rosalind’s disguises as men in Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedies – that is to say, completely and totally implausible, and it doesn’t matter a whit. So much for absurd obstacles being a problem. “His Girl Friday,” meanwhile, is another “comedy of remarriage,” (and, like “The Philadelphia Story,” another one involving Cary Grant). Grant and Rosalind Russell were married before, she wised up and left him, and now has found a better match – and he’s going to win her back by . . . getting her to report on a death penalty case for him. Because, you see, the way to a woman’s heart is through her typewriter. So much for the idea that feminism ruined the romantic comedy. I could go on. What’s the obstacle in “Roman Holiday?” Audrey Hepburn is a literal princess, and this is her last (and only) adventure before settling down to her proper role in society. No sexual payoff – heck, no happy ending! Wonderful movie. What’s the obstacle in “Annie Hall?” That . . . well, that . . . gee, the only obstacle is that Alvy Singer is Woody Allen, who’s not somebody you’d want to spend your life with. So he loses the girl, in the end. (Which means maybe that one does have a happy ending.) What’s the obstacle in “The Princess Bride?” The male lover is dead! Well, mostly dead. But that’s no obstacle to true love! The only way to make the supposed formula – which essentially none of the great romantic comedies follow – work is to parody it by exaggeration. Which still works – brilliantly. The most common obstacle in a romantic comedy remains as plausible as it ever was: one of the parties is already engaged to somebody else. If you really want to up the ante, have both parties be already married to other people – and also previously married to each other – and then contrive to have the two exes run off with each other while on their honeymoons with their new spouses. Note the date on that decadent scenario. The point is, a romantic comedy is about being forced, by circumstance, to learn who you are supposed to be with, and stay with, and choosing that person. You don’t really need any proper obstacles at all. Ever see “Oklahoma?” What, precisely, makes Laurey spurn Curly, and even consider Jud Fry, even for an instant? Her reluctance to choose her obvious intended is entirely – entirely – due to the fact that Curly seems so sure she will be his he doesn’t even need to ask her. How, exactly, has social change made that particular obstacle obsolete? The genre that has obsolesced is not romantic comedy but romantic tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is tough to update. You could set it in a community where you still have arranged marriages and honor killings. Or you could turn the “families” into rival mafia clans, or into warring ethnic groups. But all this does is displace the heart of the tragedy away from the lovers and onto the larger society. At the end of Romeo and Juliet, you think, “gosh, the way you fall in love as a teenager – it’s never really that powerful again, is it? – powerful enough to kill you?” You don’t think “feuding is so terrible – look how it ruined the lives of these two lovely kids. There oughta be a law.” But a version of the latter is precisely what you think at the end of West Side Story – among other thing, because Maria – not some second-string prince, but the romantic lead – tells you that’s what you’re supposed to think. So why do romantic comedies suck? Well, do they? On the way home from a trip recently, the in-flight movie was “Pitch Perfect.” Now, “Pitch Perfect” is no “His Girl Friday.” It’s a story about rival groups of a cappella singers. The girl group needs to get their act together to finally win the big national sing-off, which means the new “alt chick” brunette and the controlling blonde holding the pitch pipe will have to learn to put aside their petty differences in the interests of general awesomeness. But the subplot is a romantic comedy. Alt chick needs to wake up and realize that the earnest guy from the guys’ a cappella group who’s been wooing her hard the whole film is, like, a great guy for her. Which is completely obvious – but her resistance is also completely plausible because it has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with her and what else is going on in her life. Again, it’s not a great movie, and the romantic comedy subplot is pretty paint-by-numbers. But it works just fine. It doesn’t make you cringe. It isn’t “obsolete.” The romantic comedies that suck are the ones that adhere to a formula that none of the great romantic comedies of yore followed. They try to make both protagonists as “relatable” as possible by making them into everymen and everywomen – thereby depriving them of any interest. They focus overwhelmingly on the romance, treating the rest of the universe as so much “business” for low comedy, rather than exploring other themes that might reflect productively on the romance at the center. And they gin up artificial external obstacles instead of persuasive, character-driven internal ones. But these kinds of flaws bedevil movies in general. And even some classics suffer from them. Have you seen “An Affair to Remember” lately? That’s the movie that nobody will shut up about in “Sleepless in Seattle.” And it’s, well, it’s kind of irretrievably camp. (Don’t take my word for it; I’m a man. Go ask my wife. She’ll tell you.) It’s particularly funny that we’d be talking – again – about the death of the romantic comedy the year that “Silver Linings Playbook” – a romantic comedy – got nominated for just about every possible Oscar (and the romantic lead, Jennifer Lawrence, won for Best Actress). “Silver Linings Playbook” is an interesting movie to read as a commentary on the romantic comedy genre. Remember this story from The Onion?: Denny Marzano, a 28-year-old Torrance man, was arrested Monday for engaging in the type of behavior found in romantic comedies. Marzano was taken into custody after violating a restraining order filed against him by Kellie Hamilton, 25, an attractive, unmarried kindergarten teacher who is new to the L.A. area. According to Hamilton, Marzano has stalked her for the past two months, spying on her, tapping her phone, serenading her with The Carpenters’ “Close To You” at her place of employment, and tricking her into boarding Caribbean-bound jets. Well, that’s the kind of crazy stuff that the Bradley Cooper character might think was a good idea as a way to get his ex-wife back. Indeed, he does stalk her, does flirt with violating the restraining order. Because he’s crazy. In a sense, his arc in the film is precisely learning that his devotion to a particular narrative form – in his case, the comedy of remarriage – was a species of insanity.  (Compare with, say, “There’s Something About Mary,” where the insanity of romantic comedy tropes is much more comprehensively lampooned, but our hero gets the girl he’s been acting crazy about anyway, in spite of his participation in those tropes.) Only after he realizes this can he be open to the possibility of new love, with somebody more appropriate (because she’s also nuts). Lawrence’s character, meanwhile, has been called the first clinically manic pixie dream girl, but in fact her whole (absurd) dance competition scheme is the opposite of the sort of “loosen him up” strategy that the MPDG usually employs. She’s humoring him, because he needs a “plan” to get his wife back. And, meanwhile, that plan will give her ample opportunity to show him just how desirable she is. There are a lot of ways I could criticize the film, but the point is, the best evidence the romantic comedy isn’t dead is the existence of a film like this – again, not in the same league as “His Girl Friday,” but hardly the kind of film that would lead one to question the viability of the genre. Most movies most of the time are terrible. They were mostly terrible in 1940. If you want to make a great romantic comedy today, go back to the great comedies of 1940 and ask why they worked. It isn’t because there were arranged marriages (there were none) and it isn’t because women couldn’t get a divorce (all the female protagonists of the movies I cited are or get divorced) or couldn’t have sex (no virgins in evidence – though I don’t mean to suggest that virginity is an obstacle to a successful romantic comedy; far from it). They work because they go internal, into character, to find both the conflict and its resolution, and they work because they don’t isolate the world of romantic love from the rest of the social universe. That’s a formula that will never be obsolete. Because it isn’t a formula at all. ]]>
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