Boogie Nights

Not rated yet!
Director
Paul Thomas Anderson
Runtime
2 h 35 min
Release Date
11 September 1997
Genres
Drama
Overview
Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, pleasure was a business and business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack Horner aspires to elevate his craft to an art form. Horner discovers Eddie Adams, a hot young talent working as a busboy in a nightclub, and welcomes him into the extended family of movie-makers, misfits and hangers-on that are always around. Adams' rise from nobody to a celebrity adult entertainer is meteoric, and soon the whole world seems to know his porn alter ego, "Dirk Diggler". Now, when disco and drugs are in vogue, fashion is in flux and the party never seems to stop, Adams' dreams of turning sex into stardom are about to collide with cold, hard reality.
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Amerika.org Staff1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • A Boogie Nights Theory Of Cuckservatism

    A Boogie Nights Theory Of Cuckservatism

    by Jonathan Peter Wilkinson on March 18, 2018

    As a recovering Cuckservative myself, I can issue you a salvatory warning. Don’t be a Cuckservative. “So why not?” You may ask. Aren’t five moderate Republican Senators essentially setting up a toll gate and successfully taxing the shite out of President Trump’s agenda? Do you see Republicans other than Senators Corker, McCain, and Grahamaphrodite getting favorable press coverage? Don’t you want the important people to like you?

    Well that depends upon what “like” means? Does “like” include respect? Does it ever include a willingness to make any important concessions? If only one person in a friendship ever has to open a vein, that’s only a friendship in the obnoxious, passive-aggressive way in which John McCain talks about his friend so-and-so. It just softens up the target so that the dagger can find the appropriate gap between the vertabrae.

    So what’s it really like to be one of those Cuckservatives? Here we answer that and pay homage to a great and profound philosophical movie about how America got screwed into becoming Amerika. Of what cinematic magnum opis do I speak? Why, of course, Boogie Nights? Boogie Nights!? !?FTW?! What could we possibly learn from that which we couldn’t get out of reading Chateau Heartiste every day?

    Well, Boogie Nights did feature a character named Little Bill. Little Bill graced us with the following line that should tell us all that we need to know about the true existential state of the hated Cuckservative.

    Paul Anderson was sneaky-good at film-making. You initially tend to think Little Bill was just flustered when he said “My wife has an ass in her cock in the driveway…” He was, but that was intentionally written that way. It told you all you needed to know about the nature of their marriage. She had the dick, he was the ass that sometimes blocked it. The woman he had married pretty much conformed to the tranny caricature of Michelle Obama’s official portrait.

    This is the perfect analogy to the role the Cuckservative plays with regard to our nation’s future. They want the leftists to like them the way Little Bill wanted his wife to love him. Like and love both require respect. When your wife deliberately treats you to a choreographed public cucking, that respect is non-existent. Democrats similarly do this to Cuckservative Republicans. The actions of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid towards Norm Coleman after Al Franken had obviously cheated and stolen a Minnesota Senate seat right out from under Senator Cuckshaw drove home the utter and deliberate humiliation. In case you don’t see the point, here is one of Senator Reid’s greatest hits after he had blatantly lied about Mitt Romney’s finances and helped Barack Obama win reelection.

    Again, so what? Can’t we all just get along? Jack Horner paid Little Bill well. They all “liked” him. Just like they luvved on his wife. Eventually, the Cuck catches on. The cuck can no longer withstand the humiliation. Then, there are only two exits for the Red-Pilled Cuck. The cuck can leave the masochist role and seek redemption as a functional man. Or, the cuck can go all the way down, and not just on the likes of Barack Obama or Harry Reid. Boogie Nights shows us what it is like when Little Bill finally realizes the doom in which he lives.

    You don’t want to live that reality. You do not want to be Little Bill. For the love of God, do not let yourself be a cuckservative.

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PJ Media Staff9
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Sex Bots Have Arrived
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Last month Dr. Helen blogged about the development of sex-robots.Now Susannah Breslin -- the most talented journalist writing about pornography today -- has a fascinating report on an industry in transformation.Via The Porn Convention - Forbes:Fixx is the market research manager for the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, an online adult company that bills itself on its website as “THE #1 ADULT VIDEO ON DEMAND THEATER IN THE WORLD!” Among other properties, AEBN owns PornoTube, an X-rated YouTube, and xPeeps, an adult webcam site that encourages users to “xpose yourself.” It also produces the product Fixx is hawking.I stick my finger into the rubbery, flesh-colored slit on the side of a plastic grey peanut the size of a very large loaf of bread. This is RealTouch, an “award-winning male masturbator” designed by a former NASA engineer that syncs with adult movies to simulate sex for the male with which it is interacting through your computer’s USB port. The device retails for $325, and the package includes 120 RealTouch VOD minutes, anti-bacterial cleaner, and a 90-day limited warranty.More recently, the company has begun marketing the RealTouch JoyStick, the lingam to the RealTouch’s yoni, which is to say it looks like a dildo. Available only to adult webcam models at this time, the joystick serves as a remote control for the RealTouch device, enabling users in remote locations to have “True Internet Sex™!”Per Fixx’s instruction, Savannah Steele, a busty blonde porn star in a lab coat, moves the joystick, and the mechanism tightens around my finger and increases speed.“It feels like having sex with a robot,” I announce. I extract my finger and wipe it off with a wet wipe from the box on the table.Earlier this year I reviewed Doug Rushkoff's graphic novel A.D.D Adolescent Demo Division. The sci-fi vision of a near-future with hyper media-savvy youth. He predicted this development and also the response many Millennials will have: class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/8/6/the-sex-bots-have-arrived/ previous Page 1 of 3 next   ]]>
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  • P.T. Anderson's Paradoxical Cult Drama The Master
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle If you’re thinking, “Master of what?” the answer is “Master of filmed images,” and that virtuoso is Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer and director of Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love who is justly acclaimed as one of the most singular and fascinating talents of his generation. Only moments into The Master, Anderson is already spellbinding as he presents strange moments from the life of Freddie Quell (a first-rate Joaquin Phoenix), a mentally disturbed sailor who is goofing around on an unidentified Pacific island in World War II when the war ends. Quell has a strange sexual obsession he shows when he, bizarrely, cuddles up next to a sand sculpture of a nude woman, and throughout this long, engrossing but at times repetitive, static, and frustrating film Anderson will refer back to this odd episode without ever furnishing much of a clue as to what it means.Quell is a drunk and a n’er do well who has seen combat, though what horrors he experienced also remain a mystery to us. After the war, he gets a job as a photographer in a department store (in a scene Anderson, typically, turns into an amazing fantasy set piece scored to dreamy music of the period) but loses that gig in a moment of unexplained rage, then is forced to work as a farm hand until he is literally chased out of the fields when his secret moonshine (made with paint thinner) causes the death of a fellow worker.Wandering by a docked boat where a group of swells are having a party, he climbs aboard and wakes up with a hangover, a new life, and a new guiding light: charismatic Lancaster Dodd (played brilliantly by Philip Seymour Hoffman), better known to his family and followers as the Master. The sci-fi-inflected self-help gospel he preaches is simply known as the Cause, and as Freddie is allowed to stay aboard for a voyage from San Francisco to New York, he is gradually attracted to and subsumed by this cult. In perhaps the most arresting scene of several intensely dramatic ones in the film, the Master interrogates Freddie about his past with a series of rapid personal questions until the younger man starts to break down and slip into a hypnotic state in which he confronts his crushing secret: He left a sweet girl named Doris back in Massachusetts and all he wants is to get back to her. If he can ever deserve her.After Freddie becomes a fully paid-up member of the Scientology-like “Cause” and functions as virtually another son to the Master (who is obviously modeled on the sci-fi novelist and founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard), he takes to proselytizing on the streets and slugging anyone who dares question the faith. At a fancy party in New York, the Master’s hypnosis party trick and disquisition on the importance of recalling details from past lives earns derision, and the Cause packs up and moves to Philadelphia. It won’t be the movement’s final move. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/9/25/p-t-andersons-paradoxical-cult-drama-the-master/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Tom Cruise Unhappy with P.T. Anderson's Cult Drama The Master
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Here's the first teaser trailer for The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a period piece set after World War II: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Master Official Teaser Trailer #1 - Paul Thomas Anderson Movie (2012) HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); via Tom Cruise, other Scientology members dislike portrayal of a cult leader in new film 'The Master' - NY Daily News:Tom Cruise’s fellow Scientology members would like to master “The Master.”A source familiar with Paul Thomas Anderson ’s film about the founder of a Scientology-like religious movement tells us officials of the controversial church group “hit the roof” when they learned — presumably through Cruise — that the movie contains a scene which suggests the belief system was little more than a product of the leader’s fertile imagination.In May, Anderson, who is friends with Cruise and directed him in “Magnolia,” the 1999 film that earned Cruise a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination — reportedly screened his film for the “Rock of Ages” star.“The Master” is said to be loosely based on the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the founder of a 1950s religious movement called The Cause.Anderson is one of my favorite filmmakers. Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood get better with each viewing. And the second teaser showcases pieces from a performance likely to earn Hoffman another Academy Award nomination: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/7/9/tom-cruise-unhappy-with-p-t-andersons-cult-drama-the-master/ ]]>
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  • 10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s
    (”Boogie Nights” 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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  • 65 Movies & Shows Come to Netflix in July. Here Are 10 You Should Watch
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) Classic Trailer - Rick Moranis Movie HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. Honey, I Shrunk the KidsI suppose in one sense, Netflix serves the same purpose as Facebook: perpetual high school reunion and never-ending nostalgia fests, reminders of a time before adulthood and the weight of responsibilities.Nowadays when I go back and watch some film that was fun or memorable from childhood or adolescence I tend to see it more from the parents' perspective, relating to those characters, rather than the kids. I wonder how Honey, I Shrunk the Kids will hold up when rewatching it. Rather than experiencing it as a child wandering through the grass and inner-tubing in a cheerio, I'll consider it as the father searching for his lost children... class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/7/1/65-movies-shows-come-to-netflix-in-july-here-are-10-you-should-watch/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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  • An Honest Answer: Darren Aronofsky Should Direct Everything
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Stephen Green asks the question and I give the answer: Darren Aronofsky, director of the upcoming $125 million biblical epic Noah, has been my favorite director since I was a senior in high school more than a decade ago. All of his films are awesome and anyone who disagrees with me on this is wrong. They have just not learned how to engage intellectually with the layers of meaning embedded in Aronofsky's films. His five movies are each stand-outs in their genres:1998's low-budget, sci-fi thriller Pi is smart, artsy, and visually unique. It's hard to think of more intelligent, creative science fiction films in the last 15 years. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Pi (1998) Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 2000's unrated, ultra-depressing drug drama Requiem for a Dream remains my favorite film of all time, one I saw four times while it was in theaters. I have never experienced a film that delivers as intense of an emotional experience than Requiem. It is perfection in all realms across editing, music, acting, writing, and cinematography. The best drug film, the best movie about addiction, and really the scariest, best horror movie of all time too. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Requiem for a Dream (2000) Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 2006's deeply under-appreciated sci-fi fantasy epic The Fountain is overwhelmingly beautiful, the opposite of Requiem. It's Aronofsky's 2001 except with soul. I could have this move on repeat all day. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'THE FOUNTAIN Official Trailer HD', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/10/23/an-honest-answer-darren-aronofsky-should-direct-everything/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • Philip Seymour Hoffman's 10 Immortal Film Performances
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Neil Young - The Needle And The Damage Done (Lyrics in description)', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Generation X has lost another of its greatest acting talents. Academy Award-winning star Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead at 46.What makes the news even more tragic is how predictable -- and preventable -- it was. When my wife told me the news while we were driving home from buying groceries at Ralph's this morning I had only one question: "Was it drugs?"He was found with a needle in his arm.Here's the blog post I wrote by hand in June last year:Hoffman left behind some of the last two decades' most incredible screen performances. Here are my [personal and biased] picks for the ones that have made him a Hollywood legend, immortal and iconic. Counting down to his most important work: var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '"Pirate Radio" - Official Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); 10. 2009: The Count, leader of Pirate Radio class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/2/2/philip-seymour-hoffmans-10-immortal-film-performances/ previous Page 1 of 10 next   ]]>
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  • The 5 Best Generation X Filmmakers
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle Generation X has taken over the movies. Just this fall, new films from David O. Russell, Ben Affleck, and Quentin Tarantino promise to be major players come awards time. So who are the five best American filmmakers under 50?5. Darren AronofskyArrogant enough to turn down the opportunity to direct Batman Begins, the Brooklyn-born filmmaker has made some surprising choices. After starting out in David Lynch territory with Pi, he threatened to disappear in a fog of epic sci-fi weirdness with The Fountain but returned to Earth in triumph with the agreeably gritty and surprisingly straight-on The Wrestler, which relaunched Mickey Rourke and showed an unexpected depth of feeling and humanity. Then came Black Swan, a worldwide sensation that deservedly won Natalie Portman an Oscar and managed to be cerebral, trashy, arty, and sexy all at the same time. Now Aronofsky is going off in yet another direction, steering the mega-budget Bible epic Noah with Russell Crowe, which sounds like either a disaster or a sensation but seems guaranteed to make an impression. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/10/19/who-are-the-5-best-generation-x-filmmakers/ previous Page 1 of 5 next   ]]>
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VJ Morton6
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • P.T.A. ♥ S.K.
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    P.T.A. ♥ S.K.

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 2007) — 9

    Paul Thomas Anderson wears his influences and inspirations on his sleeves. His previous three films have all operated under the heavy shadow of Martin Scorsese (BOOGIE NIGHTS), Robert Altman (MAGNOLIA) or Jonathan Demme (PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE). His latest film, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, though it has other antecedents, seems like Anderson’s attempt to do a remix job on Stanley Kubrick. Ya gotta say this much for PT — he only steals from the best.

    And right from the very start. The very first shot of BLOOD plonks us into 2001 territory — a rocky landscape in untouched nature, accompanied by music that so sounds like Gyorgy Ligeti’s famously-strange dissonant modernism (You can hear it as the film’s Web site starts to load) that I was surprised to learn later that it was not Ligeti. Instead, the virtuoso score is all-original work by Jonny Greenwood, who just as often turned out themes in completely different styles like Bernard Hermann with the high-pitched fast strings here, Michael Nyman with the legato weeping-strings passages here and here, and some of Giovanni Fusco’s work for Antonioni here. (The soundtrack is an obvious steal at any price here.) Other sound touches that Stan the Man would have been proud of include the impressionistic use of silence on the soundtrack. The explosion that deafens a character in BLOOD reminded me of the deadness of space in 2001, and its blending into sound as Dave comes back into Being and re-enters creation on the Discovery.

    Like in 2001, a lengthy, wordless sequence of maybe 20-25 minutes begins the proceedings, only instead of apes escaping nature through the discovery of tools, we see a man, Daniel Plainview, prospect for oil. He starts out as a tradesman, a genuine wildcatter before he really becomes a “businessman.” In this sequence, the basic threads, setup and motifs are laid out. The trailer at the film’s site gives you more of an impression that Day-Lewis is imitating John Huston in CHINATOWN. But that’s mostly voice — it gives no indication of either pitch or body language,where the primary influence is Jack Nicholson from THE SHINING, particularly when he cracks up near the end, something Noah Cross never does in CHINATOWN. And appropriately, Lewis in the dialog-free beginning also had more of Nicholson and also the feral quality of the 2001 apes. Kubrick always wanted Big, conceptual performances from his actors and Day-Lewis can do that without collapsing into caricature better than anyone today (I weep to think what he could have done under Kubrick’s direction). It’s no surprise to me than Dan Sallitt, with whom I’ve butted heads on “Kubrick acting” before, didn’t care for this movie.

    BLOOD is also Kubrickian in narrative structure, space, rhythm and worldview. The “acts” are clearly segmented and delineated with title cards (“1898,” “1911” “1927” and “1931” if memory serves) and the plot is even somewhat telescoped at the end, with single scenes covering years of offscreen story events. The soon-to-be-famous last scene of BLOOD, set in a rec room that evokes the Overlook Hotel in its hyperpolished wood (and a butler who’s a dead ringer for the SHINING bartender/washroom-attendant) but also via a couple of bowling lanes that, when centered in the frame, stretch the central perspective lines off into infinity like the hotel’s never-ending corridors. PTA makes the room call more attention to those qualities by its being only the second (maybe third) scene in the film to show serious opulence.

    Then there’s the pacing — whatever else might be said about particularly MAGNOLIA and BOOGIE NIGHTS, they *moved* (Mike semi-dissed them as “all flow, no ebb”¹). But PTA standards, although it is a short-feeling 160 minutes, BLOOD is not action-heavy and is almost as PTA-glacial and single-character-focused as EYES WIDE SHUT and BARRY LYNDON, with a mood of dread hanging over every stylized and heightened scene. As for worldview, I can’t improve on my Kubrick-loving bud Bilge Ebiri’s description of BLOOD as “an epic with a coal-black heart.” Whether we’re talking about characters covered in oil, underlit heavily-shadowed pre-electricity rooms, or domination by a soul stained in sin, BLOOD is dark, dark, dark — on the surface at least (like SK, on both counts), and thereby a notable departure from PTA’s earlier work.

    But what’s ultimately most Kubrickian is that the unique way BLOOD gets under your skin — well, my skin anyway. This is a more personal, subjective reaction Kubrick had on me and it isn’t as easily explained as some of the objective style similarities I can point out. It’s like this: you never doubt while watching that you’re seeing something special. And even when you’re thinking about the film later and it isn’t quite coming together on this or that point for you (and I was only an 8 on BLOOD as my friend Shawn and I discussed the movie on the drive back from Georgetown at 3am), you can’t shake either the film or the conviction that you’ve seen a movie that was even better than you thought. This was a reaction Kubrick, unique among my pantheon directors, has on me in a way that even other equally great mannerists like Hitchcock and Dreyer don’t. I haven’t settled on BLOOD’s thematics, exactly (as opposed to generally, which is pretty obvious — the conflict between capitalism and religion, and the effects of greed on both). Not any more than I was settled on thematics after my first viewing of EYES WIDE SHUT (pretty obviously about marriage and sex, and the effects of jealousy on both). But I sure as heck am gonna go back and see what more can be gleaned.
    ——————————
    ¹ Curiously, in that review of MAGNOLIA, he said “I get a bit giddy imagining what Anderson might accomplish one day if/when he finally calms the fuck down.”

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  • Brokeback president
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Brokeback president

    DEATH OF A PRESIDENT (Gabriel Range, Britain, 2006, 8)

    To cite a friend from The Religion of Peace, I guess I’d better “Eck-fucking-splain.” I at first refused to see this movie, a fake documentary purporting to be from late 2008 about “last year’s” assassination of President Bush. When it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. I expected, and not for no reason, for it to be an exhortatory “let’s assassinate the bastard” film, a wish-fulfillment fantasy of Bushitleretardespot aka Dubya McChimpburton finally getting what murdering, torturing liars deserve. Something for the Kossacks, DU, etc., to masturbate to while congratulating themselves about what humanitarian peacemakers they are.

    While I caveated that I didn’t object in principle to using a real-life personage in a fiction film, I noted that seeing it at Toronto would likely pose further issues, given the nature of the audiences there. And frankly, the film’s British provenance and some of the words of the film-maker didn’t help.

    But before and during Toronto, I took some mild criticism from my friends. Josh Rothkopf of Time Out New York said something like “Who cares what others make of it. You and I should see it together. And discuss it after.” Scott Tobias of the Onion (who liked the film quite a bit and took some of the nation’s top film chains to task for refusing to book the movie) saw the film and then told me words to the effect of “I don’t think you’d have a problem with it if you saw it alone.”

    How right he was. I knew while I was at the Virginia Film Festival that it’d be playing at a non-chain screen (the Vinegar Hill) a block from the downtown Charlottesville theater where I’d be. At 1050pm, I decided on a whim to duck out of the 2nd episode of the Jay Bakker reality-TV show I was watching to take a chance on the 11pm show of DEATH OF A PRESIDENT, a 3-minute walk away (if it had been so much as a drive to the UVa campus, I wouldn’t have bothered). When I walked into the theater, I realized I was absolutely alone. I was happy because now audience reaction wouldn’t be an issue, but I was still stunned. I realize that 11pm isn’t prime-time, but it was also opening night. (DOAP apparently is tanking in general.) So without having to listen to anybody laughing at certain moments or yelling “yeah!!” at others, I was free to look at what was in front of me.

    What I saw was a formally brilliant film, one that uses the conventions of the History Channel special (by coincidence, I’ve been watching them a lot recently) to create a gripping thriller to the point of the crime and then an interesting police procedural thereafter — a structure rather like Akira Kurosawa’s great film HIGH AND LOW. It is of no great import and doesn’t do anything beyond be supremely entertaining while it’s unspooling (like Stanley Kauffmann once “complained” about HIGH AND LOW). I don’t know how well DOAP would hold up to a second viewing, given that its pleasures are just about entirely narrative (I was torn between 7 and 8 grades), but it’s never anything less than impressive. I felt like a Martian watching a special on the sensational trial of some earthling named Ojay Simpson. DOAP is somewhat of a stunt movie, still it does often leave you wondering “how did they do it” (well, not really, you know it’s CGI, stock footage, and careful use of angles and editing).

    Then there’s the performances — some of the most strangely effective “performances” I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know quite how to describe them leaving the theater. Mostly, it’s talking heads, as befits this sort of film and the personages are very generic (there’s not the obvious parallellisms like PRIMARY COLORS had — Billy Bob Thornton as James Carville, Kathy Bates as Betsey Wright, etc.) Range was smart to cast smaller names. I only “spotted” one actor, James Urbaniak, from Hal Hartley’s films, but he was well-cast to personality-type as a forensics expert. DOAP’s talking heads, for fake ones, are incredibly believable, and yet see-throughable *as performing,* in the same way that anyone who goes on a talk show is “performing” in a way, but without winking at the audience.

    DOAP is an ensemble masterpiece of these sorts of deliberate “performances” (the best being the stoic wife of the eventual assassin). DOAP is meant to be “reality,” but because it fits a pre-existing genre, the actors have to produce what in classical terms might be called clumsy acting — one of Bush’s “advisers” chokes-up on cue when describing some advice she gave, say. We see the acting, but the actors never let on that they’re playing characters and their stumbles are as precisely timed as they would be in “reality.” Fortunately, it never descends into camp or aims for “so-bad-it’s good.” It’s a kind of acting that we’re meant to see through, but in ways that we’re used to seeing through. Professional wrestling keeps popping into my head as an analogy (another kind of “stunt” in its own right) and I once had a former pro-wrestling manger tell me that you have to be able to wrestle for real in order to be convincing at “wrestling.” The closest comparison I can think of in movies is the scene in BOOGIE NIGHTS where Amber Waves and Dirk Diggler are shooting a porn film and we see Julianne Moore and Mark Wahlberg trying to “act” in the drama before the sex begins. Moore and Wahlberg are brilliant because Waves and Diggler are terrible, buit convincingly terrible.

    But let’s face it, much of the criticism of this film from conservatives, like with BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is based on a kind of knee-jerk moralism, based on nothing more than the surface subject matter, but sight-unseen. This sort of thread at AllahPundit was typical, though I hasten to add — as happened with GAY COWBOY MOVIE — conservatives were reacting to how the film was in fact being consumed in not a few liberal quarters. (Why does Michael Medved cite box-office stats so much? I mean, why should a critic care about such a thing, in general. Also, Mikey, is the movie “truly awful” or just “relentlessly mediocre”?)

    As for the morality of the film’s content, well … it is possible to construct a moral case that any depiction of a current named real-life public figure in a fictional context is offensive per se. But in those terms, it wouldn’t persuade many people and it’d be kind of stupid.
    Nor is portraying the death of a real-life person itself immoral — were GANDHI or JFK or MALCOLM X somehow “exploitative” of the assassinations of their real-life protagonists? DOAP, in fact, bears more than a slight resemblance to JFK as a film, though Gabriel Range isn’t the stylistic virtuoso that Oliver Stone is. Sure, all those movies were made after the fact, but the immoral exploitation of a past event is still possible (just use your imagination).

    I could also imagine that one could argue — though nobody is doing so to my knowledge — that it’s somehow immoral to mix real footage and staged footage. Argument being, that it hampers our ability to tell truth from fiction, or to care about the distinction since “it all looks the same.” And if DOAP were actually purporting to be a work of journalism, I would agree that this would be a problem, like when ABC using re-enactments as footage on the nightly news. But who’s gonna watch DOAP that way? Everybody knows this is a work of fiction, albeit using some journalistic conventions. And that Rubicon, making fiction that looks “real” was crossed long ago in the movies — from Italian neorealism a half-century ago to today’s reality-TV (which now is even being parodied on a cartoon — Comedy Central’s “Drawn Together”). And the fake documentary from THIS IS SPINAL TAP on is now practically its own genre, though admittedly DOAP is the first to come readily to mind that isn’t largely or entirely a comedy.

    So it seems to me that DOAP could only be condemned as immoral if it objectively made an assassination attempt on Bush more likely. It could do this in one of two ways — either (1) technically or (2) exhortatively. Or (1) “here’s how to do it” or (2) “yeah … do it” or “he deserves it.” (If there are other ways a hypothetical movie could theoretically make an assassination bid more likely, I’d be happy to entertain them.)

    After all, it’s hardly as though the assassination of a political leader is itself a taboo or an unknown concept or an experience so out of the realm of ordinary life that, like sex before a 10-year-old, it’s a subject that should not be mentioned in any way. We do also have the experience of a movie inspiring an assassination attempt on a US president — TAXI DRIVER. Except that not only did Travis Bickle never take a shot at Sen. Pallantine, the senator was more a symbol than a character and politically nondescript to boot (certainly Travis’s possible motive would not have been ideology or any dislike for the senator, but sexual jealousy and anger at personal matters involving his campaign team). So for that reason, I’m not especially persuaded that DOAP’s using a named real-life politician in its very premise is all that important. The gap between Harvey Keitel and Ronald Reagan seems vast enough to make nonsense of the notion that DOAP’s admittedly unprecedented premise will matter that much. Would-be or wanna-be assassins don’t need that much specificity (again absent (1) or (2) above).

    As for (1), it’s not even arguable. This is not the cinematic equivalent of THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK. It’s not as though Range shows how to slip arsenic into the White House coffee or some other novel means. The killing is done in exactly the manner of the Kennedy assassination — shooting from a tall building nearby. But the film leaves hanging the mystery of how the assassin … I will be vague … was able to get the information he needed, though it makes clear that he did get it (and the fact of the information’s generic existence is not news to anybody). The “procedural” material is entirely on the detection end, unlike say, DAY OF THE JACKAL, which very much is (half-)about the methodical depiction of a professional assassin going about his work.

    As for (2), it’s hardly more arguable. I frankly don’t see how anybody with two neurons to rub together who actually sees DOAP can think that the film advocates assassinating Bush or secretly hopes for it. Michelle Malkin, no liberal Bush-hater, has adequately documented that Bush assassination chic in fact exists among those afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome. But the eager, exhortatory tone of what she shows is so utterly different from the tone of DOAP that it’s hard to know what else to say but to state the contrast. I’m tempted to say that this contrast is a matter of objective aesthetic fact (and given how elusive a quality “tone” is, that I’m willing to say anything about tone can be objective fact should say it all).

    The second half, of the investigation and political aftermath of the assassination is more-pointed in its liberalism — the investigators focus on an Arab, there is a bit of a national backlash. But it hardly more damnable in tone, stridency or content to the Democratic National Committee Web site or the press releases that come out the offices of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid every day. I don’t mean that as a particular slam on those estimable personages as extremists (I would cite Kos etc., if that were my intent). But they’re the leaders of the opposition party, and that’s what opposition parties do: criticize the party in power. The maker of this movie is a liberal, but he is not, at least on the basis of this film, deranged. Maybe DOAP simply profits by comparison to the rest of the BDS crap that’s out there, but that point still should be made.

    The nation’s film critics, who constitute a bohemian bunch where the political spectrum ranges from liberalism on the right, through leftism in the centre, to insanity on the left, have not responded to DOAP so well since its tumultuous Toronto premiere. It only got a 32 percent fresh rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek, dissed DOAP for this relative moderation and lack of fireworks in the second half, calling it undramatic timidity:

    The movie doesn’t make you think; it just confirms what you already think you know … it [doesn’t] take[] any sort of brain trust to figure out that these cowboys are bad news, and our country is in dire straits.

    Others have picked up that cudgel, complaining that it’s not provocative enough. AO Scott in the New York Times said “its provocations are not particularly insightful or original.” Richard Roeper of Ebert & the Other Guy (now “The Other Guy and the Other Other Guy”) “you better gives us something more than this,” and The Other Other Guy (Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune) said the film’s methods “aren’t gonna yield much in the way of political provocation.” Kyle Smith in the New York Post called it “a dose of Nyquil” rather than the presumably preferable “cinematic Molotov cocktail” and even complained that the film DIDN’T fetishize the assassination itself sufficiently.

    The moment you’ve been waiting for since the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival consists of one second’s worth of jumbled images of a crowd of people hitting the deck as shots crackle in the air. This isn’t the tollbooth scene from “The Godfather.” You don’t even get treated to a slo-mo replay. (italic emphasis by VJM)

    Now it’s perfectly fair not to like DOAP, but when a film is being attacked from the left for being insufficiently angry or provocative or overcautious, that also is worth noting.

    If anything, from a liberal’s perspective, all the stuff that happens after the assassination is bad. Two words: President. Cheney.¹ Three more words: Expanded. Patriot. Act. The first part of the movie, before the assassination, has no political content or criticism of Bush whatsoever. It’s mostly interviews with his personal team or security or the investigators. No John Kerry calling him stupid. No Pelosi calling him the head of the culture of corruption. No John Murtha calling him a chickenhawk. No Howard Dean saying he had blood on his hands — nothing. The hypothetical Martian would be hard-pressed even to peg this character “President Bush” on the political spectrum. To be sure, there is the terminal-BDS-afflicted protesters saying the kinds of things that the BDS-afflicted say. But Range simply portrays them as they are, which is to say, as terminally deranged; I actually cheered when the Chicago police began pepper-spraying them. Admittedly, I’m me, but the protesters are hardly the movie’s moral center particularly since we see in DOAP some of their hate-speech, only one step short of what Malkin documents.

    In fact, I could go further. The film opens with an Arab woman (we only later exactly who she is and what relationship she has to the film’s events) saying she wanted to grab the person who squeezed the trigger and say “did you not think what would happen?” It really helps in this matter that Range doesn’t overplay his hand in the second half of the film. I mean, does anybody really doubt that after a presidential assassination linked to Arab terrorism, that there would be more anti-terror laws or pressure to move militarily against one or more Arab states? But the specific things that happen are actually believable, both in where they go and where they don’t go. President Cheney doesn’t deport all Arabs, nuke Tehran, institute martial law or make Cheney-worship the state religion or somesuch. It may run counter to Range’s personal politics, but I think DOAP can be seen as a warning against the excesses of BDS and the protest culture. That in certain situations, public hatred and the kinds of things the protesters do will produce a backlash against dissent broadly and civil-liberties more generally. A Marxist would call it “heightening the contradictions in the system,” but real people have to live under these “heightened contradictions.” Admittedly, a post-assassination aftermath is an extreme one, but there is historic precedent. Two words: Richard. Nixon. Three more words (one concept): “Acid, amnesty, abortion.”
    ———————————————–
    ¹ Which makes nonsense of liberals’ notion that the 1998 impeachment of President Clinton was in any way an effort to overturn the 1990s’ elections. Two words — President. Gore. (One more thought, if Clinton had been removed from office, Republicans would have had to have run in 2000 against an incumbent President Gore, arguing for the third president in three years. Not the best thing to do if you can avoid it.)

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  • What seems to be the trouble, Captain?
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    What seems to be the trouble, Captain?

    OK … you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So I won’t bore you with uninteresting biographical details, and instead give you my pitch:

    Flaming Reactionary meets Geeky Cinephile.

    Roger Ailes and Roger Ebert — in one body.

    Imagine Lily Tomlin wanting to yak about Fellini’s camera movements, the Lubitsch touch, and the Dardenne Brothers’ focus puller, while Steve Martin talks about Hugo Black’s dissent in Griswold as the greatest judicial opinion of the 20th century, withdrawing from the United Nations and all international conventions, and the effect of reading Allen Bloom in college. (And if you perfectly understood every reference in that last sentence, plus the opening title, a marriage proposal may be in order.)

    Anyway, what I found in about 15 years of cinephilia is that I may be the only person in the universe who’s both a political conservative and an obsessive film geek. Hopefully, I’m not — otherwise traffic here will be extremely low. I hope to have three types of content here.

    First of all, my own reactions to the films I see or re-see. Second, my reactions to the reviews and criticism that I read. And lastly, some purely political commentary (hopefully with some film-related peg, but we’ll have to see how that works out). I also hope to learn some HTML in the coming months and build a Web site of which this Blog will be one feature and also have links, personal top 10 lists, some longer essays, my published film criticism (yes, I have some), etc.

    But just as Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has shown that any honest man can perform the Washington-pundit function to the limits of his knowledge and intellectual power, I believe the same thing about the film-critic function. Which isn’t to say, of course, that I believe all opinions are equal (not at all, as will become obvious soon) — simply that the knowledgeable amateur can be just as valuable as the professional.

    Every year, I typically see about 80-90 new commercially-released; if you toss in repeat viewings, home video, revival screenings, film festivals and so on, I would estimate that I see a film about 180-200 times a year (don’t be impressed; I know people who can double that). My tastes would strike most people as fairly “arty,” though I don’t think so. I think there is more depth of feeling and intellect, more craftsmanship, more substance, more artistry in some “low” works than some “high” froufrou, and more joy and fun in some slowmoving foreign films than Hollywoof product. My critical idol (obviously) is Pauline Kael, and my favorite films from each of the years in the past decade or so are as follows:

    2002 TIME OUT (Laurent Cantet, France)
    2001 MEMENTO (Christopher Nolan, USA)
    2000 DANCER IN THE DARK (Lars Von Trier, Denmark)
    1999 THE END OF THE AFFAIR (Neil Jordan, Britain)
    1998 THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO (Whit Stillman, USA)
    1997 BOOGIE NIGHTS (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA)
    1996 HAMLET (Kenneth Branagh, Britain)
    1995 BABE (Chris Noonan, Australia)
    1994 BLUE / WHITE / RED trilogy (Krzysztof Kieslowski, France / Poland / Switzerland)
    1993 MENACE II SOCIETY (The Hughes Brothers, USA)
    1992 GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (James Foley, USA)
    1991 BAXTER (Jerome Boivin, France)
    1990 THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER (Peter Greenaway, Britain)

    The last of these choices will no doubt point out that at least one rightwing film geek, though he is a practicing Roman Catholic, has nothing in common tastewise with Michael Medved (a whole sequence of Hollywood vs. America is devoted to Greenaway’s film) or some of my ideological compatriots (and they *are* my compatriots) who simply have a revulsion for extreme subject matter and want a G-rated cinema. If your idea of film criticism is a Christianity compatability index, or a count of how many nude scenes or swear words are in a film, I’m not your guy. I don’t mind X-rated cinema at all — I just want good and moral X-rated films– and yes, there *are* such films — as the U.S. Catholic bishops recognize with their A-IV rating.

    And away we go.

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  • There Will Be Blood (2007) & The Departed (2006)
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]2,198 words

    There Will Be Blood

    I’m not an eager consumer of pop culture—rock music, television, video games, sports. My disinterest is natural, not something I work at. Pop culture just doesn’t “speak” to me. 

    I’ve probably seen more movies than anything else, because I became an old-movie buff when I was quite young. But, as movies have devolved, my interest in them has declined in sync.

    Large-scale, computer-generated (CG) special effects such as explosions, crashes, etc., are uninteresting in themselves.

    Martial arts films, except for those by Chinese actor-director-stunt man Jackie Chan, also don’t interest me, particularly those in which gravity-defying actors float or freeze-frame in mid-air. Even white actors like Chuck Norris or Jean-Claude Van Damme could not stimulate my interest in that genre.

    Van Damme, by the way, recently made an atypical film that some critics deem above-average called JCVD (2008-Belgian-Luxembourgian-French).

    Of course, the biggest problem with recent movies is their values, their permeation by heavy-handed, hostile racist/feminist/ideological propaganda. If you have a sense of morality or awareness, most contemporary Hollywood fare is simply unwatchable.

    I rely upon reviewers such as Edmund Connelly [2] for information about these movies [3] so that I even know what Hollywood is doing; I don’t watch them myself. Another critic who was very good at conveying information about workaday mass media manipulation was Victor Wolzek in VNN’s early days.

    Without exception, I completely ignore portrayals of Numinous Negroes [4], Jews-as-noble-suffering-Divine beings, Evil or Stupid White Men, and feminist films and TV shows. If they happen to turn up, they immediately go off.

    So I never see Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman. And movies like Roman Polanski’s The Pianist (2002) never cross my radar screen.

    You can see how much is instantly removed from consideration—the vast majority of what is done in the media realm.

    Of course, these negative features leech over into ordinary entertainment. I recently watched Casino Royale (2006) starring Daniel Craig, the first Bond movie I’ve seen since Roger Moore played the part, and it exhibited almost all of the negative qualities you’d expect in a contemporary film.

    Apart from feminism and interracialism, the series is too loud, too fast, and too implausible. Bond is even more the superhero caricature today than he was in the past. And, of course, there is talk of a black James Bond [5].

    Consequently, the movies I typically view are “whiter” than average (of course, nothing truly white can come out of Hollywood) because otherwise I turn them off—not out of principle, but out of complete and utter alienation. I’m just not interested.

    As this process has evolved, I find myself less and less tolerant of Hollywood fare, less charitable, less willing (or able) to suspend disbelief or remain interested in or engaged with the story.

    I now divide movies into “watchable” and “unwatchable” categories. Most Hollywood output, obviously, is unwatchable.

    And “watchable” only means that I don’t shut something off—not that it’s particularly good.

    There Will Be Blood is an example of an unwatchable (bad) movie and The Departed an example of a watchable, but not-very-good movie.

    There Will Be Blood (2007)

    This belongs to the unwatchable category, with the likes of Chinese director John Woo’s Hard-Boiled (1992-Hong Kong) (and, I assume, his other works), Croupier (1999-British-German), Holes (2003), and Elf (2003).

    Greek American director John Cassavetes used to make unwatchable films, like The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976).

    Years ago if I paid for a movie I’d sit through it no matter what. So you know the only two movies I walked out on were unwatchable: director Blake Edwards’ 10 (1979) starring Bo Derek, and a terrible black and white Cuban propaganda film about the historical oppression of sugar cane workers. Communist movies can be mind-numbingly awful.

    There Will Be Blood, the story of an early California oil entrepreneur played (as white) by Jewish actor Daniel Day-Lewis, was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who enjoys a reputation as a serious director.

    For a long time I had Anderson confused with a porn actor/director named Paul Thomas, probably because Anderson wrote and directed Boogie Nights (1997), a movie about the porn industry.

    Paul Thomas had acted “legitimately” in Hair on Broadway and starred (under his real name, Philip Toubus) as Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) before helping himself to an endless supply of shiksas in the San Fernando Valley. (Is there anything whites won’t worshipfully offer in loving tribute to the Jew? Of course not.)

    I thought “Paul Thomas” might have been Paul Thomas Anderson’s porn pseudonym, and that he’d moved into mainstream directing.

    But it turns out that porn actor Paul Thomas is a Jew from a wealthy Chicago family; the Sara Lee food company is named after his aunt, Sara Lee Lubin.

    Paul Thomas Anderson, by contrast, is (apparently) white, from a show business family. His “partner” is Saturday Night Live‘s half-Jew/half-Negro actress-comedienne Maya Rudolph; they have three hybrid white-Jewish-Negro children together. You can bet that many, perhaps all, of them will be able to pass as white in the future.

    I’d read that There Will Be Blood was exceptionally good. The only previous Anderson film I’d seen, Hard Eight (1997), his first, was watchable, but that’s all.

    There isn’t much to say about There Will Be Blood except that it was absurdly over-hyped, overrated, too long, and  . . . unwatchable.

    It lost in most Academy Award categories to the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men [6] (2007), which, though also not-good (it falls apart in the second half and the great promise inherent in fictional characters played by Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, and Josh Brolin is completely squandered), was at least highly watchable and, before you suspended your disbelief, almost unbearably tense.

    There Will Be Blood is profoundly anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, and anti-white. Day-Lewis’s oilman is utterly without redeeming value, a self-centered, evil man.

    Neither Anderson nor any other filmmaker would ever make a movie depicting Jews or non-whites the way whites and Christians are shown here, despite having an abundance of untapped, real-life material to work with. Figuratively speaking, their throats would be cut if they did. But they aren’t even interested.Hollywood is stuffed with racists, frauds, and moral hypocrites like Anderson.

    Reportedly Anderson was influenced by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) when writing his script. If so, he flubbed badly. Treasure is a legitimate classic.

    The dialogue in most movies is passable at best. It really doesn’t matter because artificiality is the norm, one is accustomed to it, and it’s probably unavoidable.

    Anderson’s screenplay attains the norm in that regard, though the preacher’s lines are noticeably unnatural and below par.

    Dialogue in films jumps out at you only if it’s really, really bad or, more rarely, has a disconcertingly authentic ring.

    Woody Allen accomplishes the latter in portions of some of his films, such as the show biz diner discussions in Broadway Danny Rose (1984), or the Allen-Keaton scene with a neighbor couple in an apartment house in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993).

    Another example of uncannily realistic movie dialogue is the job interview scene in director Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) between Overlook Hotel manager Barry Nelson and writer-job applicant Jack Nicholson.

    The Departed (2006)

    This Martin Scorsese yarn about Irish crime bosses and cops in Boston is an example of a watchable though not-great film. It’s entertaining enough that you don’t turn it off, but not so good you’d rate it above average.

    Yes, I know it won Best Picture and several other Academy Awards. And I know that 10 and Elf made lots of money. So what?

    Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011) belongs to this category as well, with its intrusive racial element (the girlfriend, not the Jews—though Ron Perlman is shockingly ugly) and superhero implausibility. Also, “cool” and laconic are pushed far too far. But Drive nevertheless remains watchable.

    Scorsese has made unwatchable movies such as The King of Comedy (1983) and (I suspect) Taxi Driver (1976).

    Indeed, of the limited number of Scorsese films I’ve seen, the only one that was exceptionally good was GoodFellas (1990).

    Really good films are rare. Off the top of my head I can think of Hoosiers (1986), Home Alone (1990), Get Shorty (1995), The Bourne Identity (2002) and Road to Perdition (2002) as examples. There are many others, of course.

    Oddly, I did not see Hoosiers or Home Alone until years and years after they were made. I harbored an irrational resentment against them because they were so popular and I was convinced I wouldn’t like them!

    Apart from their lack of overly-intrusive racial, feminist, or other propaganda, these films succeed by somehow overcoming the viewer’s reluctance to suspend disbelief.

    It is not always clear why or how they accomplish this. Obviously, individuals have different thresholds of acceptance in this regard. It is also true that the mere fact that something is professionally presented in films to some extent causes us to uncritically “believe” whatever we are seeing.

    Home Alone is a good example of a movie that overcame an extremely difficult plot dilemma at the outset.

    Namely, how does one persuade an audience to unconsciously accept that loving parents—and especially such a loving mother—would ever leave a young child home alone while they flew all the way to Paris in the first place?

    The series of plausible devices director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes invented to accomplish this were ingenious: a big family (many kids), middle-class-chaotic in a way everyone’s familiar with (a type depicted also in Spielberg’s Poltergeist), banishing Macaulay Culkin to the bed in the attic for “being such a jerk,” a Christmastime ice storm that downs electrical and phone lines overnight causing everyone to sleep in late and have to rush to the airport in the morning, the talkative neighbor kid who accidentally gets counted in Culkin’s place, the parents flying first class while sticking the kids in coach (out of immediate sight), and so forth.

    Despite its watchability (entertaining enough not to turn off or walk out on), The Departed does not sustain the requisite suspension of disbelief to be really top-notch.

    Part of The Departed‘s problem is that, despite being scripted by an Irish American and ostensibly being about Irish organized crime, the story is actually derived from a Chinese film, Infernal Affairs (2002-Hong Kong), and its prequel and sequel.

    Scorsese also repeats some Shakespearean errors [7], notably the ridiculous piling on of multiple murders of major characters at the end. (Screenwriter William Monahan studied Elizabethan and Jacobean drama in college; perhaps that’s the problem.)

    Nor does Jack Nicholson make a convincing Irishman. His real-life ethnicity is thoroughly mixed-up-American (even he doesn’t know what it is), and it shows, ethnically.

    Naming his “Irish” mob boss Frank Costello (akin to the Latin names given to Scandinavian characters in Hamlet) just compounds the error, particularly given the fact that the story features a rival Italian mob.

    The police department psychiatrist and dual love interest of Matt Damon (the bad cop) and Leonardo DiCaprio (the good cop) played by Ukrainian American actress Vera Farmiga also is not convincing, either as a character or in her casual violation of numerous professional ethics rules.

    Another big problem faced by all contemporary suspense movies and novels is the convincing portrayal of organized opposition to the System.

    You can’t ignore surveillance in such tales, because everybody knows it’s ubiquitous, from surveillance cameras everywhere to the constant tracking of cell phones.

    More sophisticated surveillance, which is equally pervasive, is so secretive, unrestrained by law, technologically advanced, thorough, and invisible—its ever-evolving techniques known and understood by virtually no one outside the secret police—that any organized group the state genuinely wants to take down or prevent from coalescing in the first place is hard to convincingly depict.

    True, privileged groups such as Jews (e.g., Israeli operatives, Jewish terrorists, mercenaries, assassins, bombers, organized criminals, etc.) do exist and operate completely outside of formal System rules, but they are off-limits to mainstream authors and filmmakers.

    So it is extremely difficult to integrate into a contemporary story anything approximating or mimicking real-life surveillance and double-dealing.

    It would be easier to set suspense fiction in the past, since society was less Orwellian then, and what was Orwellian can be learned more or less accurately through research. The Coen brothers, for example, plausibly avoid most pitfalls such as this by situating many of their crime stories sometime in the past, even the comparatively recent past.

    These are some of the reasons why The Departed is ultimately unsatisfying. I never quite bought into it in terms of the suspension of disbelief. But it is still an entertaining, watchable movie.

    This failure is somewhat puzzling.

    For example, The Bourne Identity—a very good movie—has basically the same flaws, plus an unconvincing comic book superhero to boot. (Bourne is essentially an indestructible android.) And yet, the movie works. I’m not sure why.

    A final amusing twist to The Departed is in the closing credits, where the producers thank various government agencies in Massachusetts, Boston, etc., for their help in making the film. One can hardly imagine worse PR for government than The Departed, yet there it is, subsidizing Hollywood’s giving it the middle finger before the entire world.

    I sympathize with the portrayal of police corruption. Cops are not good guys.

    But, even so, you can only shake your head.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)

Sonny Bunch1
Free Beacon



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘Phantom Thread’ Review
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    BY:

    If Boogie Nights is, at least in part, about the triumph of commerce over art and There Will Be Blood is about the triumph of commerce over religion in the American psyche, I think it’s fair to say that Phantom Thread is the Paul Thomas Anderson film in which commerce has finally met its match: love does indeed conquer all.

    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Underwhelming Elton John Musical
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    His life is strictly lite FM.
    ...
    (Review Source)

National Vanguard1
National Alliance



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Turning the PC Racket on Its Head: Michael Crichton’s Disclosure (1994)
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    THE RECENT WAVE of sexual harassment publicity now being tamped down and hidden, the way cop killings, color revolutions, pussy riots, and other socially engineered events have been, calls to mind the old Michael Crichton movie Disclosure. Crichton (Crichton can be either an English or a Scottish surname), who died in 2008 at age 66, was a prolific and phenomenally successful novelist (The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, The Lost World) and, rare among non-Jewish Americans, Hollywood screenwriter and director (Westworld, Coma, The Great Train Robbery), and TV creator/producer (ER). A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, the 6’ 9” Crichton was married four times. His third wife, who co-wrote the script of the movie Twister (1996) with him, was Canadian actress Anne-Marie Martin, the attractive sidekick of Dirty Harry-like detective Sledge Hammer in the old 1980s TV comedy. (Clip of Sledge grappling with a criminal android arm seemingly possessed of a mind of its own in the episode “Hammeroid.”) Crichton had only two children; his parents had had four. He was unable to create and maintain a stable marriage or family life despite his many innate advantages and extraordinary material success. Michael Crichton, 1994 Suggested by a true story, Disclosure, which Crichton co-produced, was based upon his number-one bestselling novel of the same name that was harshly criticized by the Left. Indeed, its modest departure from dogma is instantly recognizable in today’s rigid, unfree, tightly controlled environment. Crichton stated that utilizing role-reversal may reveal aspects of an ideology that otherwise remain concealed. Set in the world of cutthroat corporate office politics inside a dynamic Seattle tech company, the film reversed the Establishment narrative of sexual harassment by making the harasser a powerful female executive played by Demi Moore (who, like Madonna and many other White celebrities, is a religious disciple of the late Rabbi Philip Berg’s [real name Feivel Gruberger] Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre), and the victim her male subordinate played by half-Jewish actor Michael Douglas. Donald Sutherland portrays a devious, smooth-as-silk CEO committed to “breaking the glass ceiling.” Michael Douglas, l., with Donald Sutherland. On average, Whites are bigger and taller than Jews. As drama or entertainment Disclosure is an OK film, deserving perhaps three out of four stars. The steamy office sex scene between Moore and Douglas, though not X-rated, demonstrates the extent to which Hollywood even then banked upon the unadmitted influence of ubiquitous pornography on mainstream audiences. Structured as a thriller, the movie was a huge moneymaker, highly popular at the box office. Its primary interest, however, is social. It is amazing to see the extent to which sanctimonious, twisted sexual dogma had already institutionally penetrated the highest levels of American society a quarter century ago. Well-remunerated lawyers in lush settings engage in costly litigation that hinges upon such weighty matters as “So that was when he put his penis in your mouth?” Just as striking is the movie’s moderately Politically Incorrect stance, deviationist enough to cause elite guardians to pounce at the time. Crichton harbored Politically Incorrect views about global warming and institutionalized environmentalism as well, viewing both as religious substitutes rather than science. Given that he was Politically Incorrect about two major issues in public life, he may have been Politically Incorrect about others as well. Deviation from the Party Line signals the presence of thought crime or potential thought crime — the ever-present danger to closed societies posed by independent minds. Reliably Left-wing movie reviewer Roger Ebert, who married a Negress, rated Disclosure two out of four stars (it’s objectively much better than that as straightforward entertainment), calling it “basically a launch pad for sex scenes.” This from the hypocrite who rated Boogie Nights four stars, calling it epic and a great film. Disclosure has one sex scene, not multiple scenes. Rabid Jewish reviewer Nathan Rabin in 2013 jeered that Crichton’s novel is more transgressive than Hollywood’s watered-down version, which makes sense because far more people see films than read books, and movies exert far greater psychological-emotional-ideological control over the human mind than books do. Jews and governments fine, jail, impoverish, and incite physical violence against dispossessed Whites with no social power — the lower class, children, students, even the disabled and elderly with one foot in the grave — for simply posting tweets and Facebook messages online, claiming they might thereby influence social thought and behavior. If true, think of the infinitely greater power rulers exercise through their multibillion-dollar, ultra-sophisticated, rigidly monolithic, globe-straddling media of mass communications! Using unhinged rhetoric reminiscent of Tim Wise, Rabin wrote scathingly about Crichton’s novel, saying it made him “want to projectile vomit in rage.” He freely vented his hatred of the book’s “whitebread hero” and “white, heterosexual males.” Nathan Rabin vomits hatred from his in-laws’ basement, where he lives. Like other simpleminded tricks that never grow old or lose their explosive effect on awed Gentile audiences, the familiar litany of epithets painstakingly culled from Roget’s Thesaurus is dragged out for the six millionth time: “loathsome,” “sanctimonious,” “shrill sermonizing,” “smug posturing,” “misogynistic,” “self-righteous,” “rancid,” “seedy,” “voyeuristic,” “unrelentingly sleazy,” “smutty.” Sleazy and smutty! When humanity’s pimps, pornographers, and sex traffickers object to their adversaries’ politics they suddenly become noisy champions of sexual morality. Yeah, right! That will be the day. Thanks to Jewish director Barry Levinson, Disclosure is probably the best film that could have been made from its source material. If there were an Academy Award for Best Screen Adaptation Of A Screamingly Awful, Viciously Sexist Novel, Disclosure would triumph. The film takes a preachy, disingenuous, and poorly written jeremiad against sexually aggressive women and turns it into a sleek, sexy, and only moderately sexist piece of Hollywood entertainment. Translated from frenzied hyperbolic Hebrew into Indo-European: “Disclosure is a moderately Politically Incorrect movie.” That about sums it up. Full disclosure: the movie does not directly challenge the premises of feminism or sexual harassment ideology. Had it done so it would not have been produced or distributed even in 1994. Today, notwithstanding Crichton’s high reputation, bankability, and mass appeal, the novel would not have been published or made into a movie at all. Private legal mediation in the sexual harassment context is depicted in detail, which is interesting itself. This is where inane formal discussions about “penises,” “breasts,” “inappropriate touching,” etc., etc., take place, just as in (un) real life. The actress who portrayed Michael Douglas’s feminist attorney looked and sounded Jewish, but is evidently some unspecified “Afro-Caribbean” mix (hybridization again) whose Italian surname derives from her stepfather rather than a blood relative. Mixed race actress Roma Maffia as Catherine Alvarez, Douglas’s heroic Gloria Allred-like attorney The vivid corporate and legal machinations depicted in the movie remind us that though elites enjoy a complete monopoly of power and privilege, they do not love or trust one another, and are not loyal — a lesson rebels should take to heart. It might come in handy someday. A final tantalizing element is an extended scene in a hotel room near the end where Crichton anticipates virtual reality goggles and sophisticated computer-generated environments of the kind now controlled by Mark Zuckerberg. (“The Facebook founder wants to get one billion people using VR technology,” a newspaper has noted.) This new mass medium was envisioned in detail a quarter century ago by Crichton — an impressive act of technological foresight in fiction. Still ahead of its time, an imagined virtual reality environment from Disclosure
    ...
    (Review Source)

The American Conservative Staff1
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘The Master’ and Scientology | The American Conservative
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    What National Review Gets Wrong About Civil War. ... ‘The Master’ and Scientology ... We are told by the cast and crew of the new film “The Master” that their movie is not “about ...

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Seriously, Don't Watch the Oscars
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Are you going to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday? Please don't. You'll only drive yourself crazy. If you love Donald Trump, you'll be outraged at all of the idiotic, self-important protests. If you hate Donald Trump you'll be exasperated that the idiots in Hollywood somehow managed to find the most annoying and counter-productive ways to oppose the Orange Menace. It's a lose-lose proposition. Plus, La La Land is going to win everything. All the statistical models show that it has a 95.3
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Substandard Podcast1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Substandard on the Circle, Techno Thrillers, and ... the Cheesecake Factory?
    (”Boogie Nights” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In this latest episode, the Substandard discusses box-office bomb The Circle and the techno-thriller genre. Vic loves WarGames , Sonny goes on an Andy Rooney rant against elitist foodies, and Jonathan shares an L.A. story. All on this week's "inchoate" episode of the Substandard! This podcast can be downloaded here . Subscribe to the Substandard on iTunes or on Google Play . Endnotes and digressions: * So this is the click-bait Super Nature guy who got Sonny so . . . angry . .
    ...
    (Review Source)

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