This movie tells the intersecting stories of various people connected to the music business in Nashville. Barbara Jean is the reigning queen of Nashville but is near collapse. Linnea and Delbert Reese have a shaky marriage and 2 deaf children. Opal is a British journalist touring the area. These and other stories come together in a dramatic climax.
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Nashville. dir. by Robert Altman
Several friends of mine, one of them a professor of film, reacted to this picture with almost identical words: “I know this picture is significant, but I’m damned if I know what the significance is.” Before I even saw Nashville, then, I knew one thing: that the film was a failure, since it puzzled even intelligent and knowledgeable viewers, and that its chief success was in provoking discussion.
For those who care about movies, there must be esthetic and ideological war to the knife between the Old or Movie-Movie, and the New Movie, spawn of a culture in an advanced stage of decadence. The Old Movie, true to the classical esthetic of fiction and drama which ruled until the twentieth century, and which ruled in movies until recent decades…
10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s
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."
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Cultural Marxism & a Race-Mixing Agenda: 13 Reasons Why
(”Nashville” is briefly mentioned in this.)
13 Reasons Why, a novel by Jay Asher and now a Netflix original series, follows the trail left behind by the late Hannah Baker, a high school junior who committed suicide. She leaves behind thirteen tapes – each dedicated to a specific individual at her high school, each of whom served as the building blocks to her suicide.
The show has many messages one can take away, both good and bad. Some of those could better society, and some could make it worse. We’ll examine the negatives first.
A Race-Mixing Agenda
We’ll begin with the most obvious element: its multiracial theme. Given how far Hollywood, and many Jews, have pushed race-mixing, this show made it as casual and nonchalant as possible. Race wasn’t even mentioned at all, despite how much race-mixing was going on. It was the perfect image as described by ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who once stated:
The goal is to meet the challenge of racial interbreeding. The challenge of racial interbreeding that faces us in the 21st Century.
It’s not a choice, it’s an obligation. It’s imperative. We cannot do otherwise. We risk finding ourselves confronted with major problems.
We MUST change; therefore, we WILL change. We are going to change ALL at the same time. In business, in administration, in education, in the political parties. And we will obligate ourselves as to results.
If this volunteerism does not work for the Republic, then the State will move to still more coercive measures.
The challenge of racial interbreeding that France has always known. And in meeting the challenge of racial interbreeding, France is faithful to its history.
This show provides many examples, like when the main character, Clay Jensen (portrayed by Dylan Minnette), who is white, kisses a black girl in his bedroom while doing “homework,” or when Hannah Baker’s character (Katherine Langford), also white, decides to go out on a Valentine’s date with a very mocha character. When that falls through, Hannah seemingly becomes the target of an Asian character, Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler), who seems to have rather honorable intentions, as befits his race. There is another character, Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), who dates the character Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), who is white. Jessica’s mother is white, her father is black, and she herself actually appears to be mixed. Whether or not that’s intentional (which I doubt), it certainly plays into the narrative being pushed by multiculturalists and those who seem to desire this evolution of the species into one, blended type. There is even a female Asian character (a closeted queer; has two gay dads, but the show emphasizes that this had no effect on her sexuality whatsoever), Courtney Crimsen (Michele Selene Ang), who gets drunk and kisses Hannah Baker’s character in a moment of weakness. And finally, to add even more fuel to the fire, you have a gay Hispanic character, Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro), who is also dating a white character. According to a TeenVogue headline, “13 Reasons Why Made Tony a Gay, Latinx, Catholic Teen – Here’s Why That Matters.”
And that’s the point, isn’t it? To represent everyone. And it continues to build until you have ABC’s Modern Family featuring a transgender child while all of Hollywood praises its “modern” approach. And it’ll only get worse.
This criticism of race-mixing isn’t a stab at those who genuinely fall in love with someone from another race, but I am pointing a finger at those who push this onto people of European ancestry. This can be seen in pop culture as well in politics, on a far more serious scale. Take New Zealand, where the Minister of Business, Innovation, and Employments (MBIE) suggested that New Zealanders are not mixing enough with migrants. The President of Auckland’s Ethnic Council, Dinesh Tailor, seemed to think there had necessarily been a decline, but that “there should be . . . more awareness and more education required on both sides, including the New Zealand community, and including the ethnic or the migrant community.” This sentiment, of course, is foolish. People of the same heritage, more often than not, prefer their own folk.
Jared Taylor’s book, White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 12st Century, is a stunning book which documents not only how whites, but blacks, Hispanics, and Asians as well, all have a preference for being around their own, and that diversity is not a strength but a weakness. Those who push diversity, and those who ignore the signs of racial tension and violence (California jails and high schools being good examples), are actively endangering people and are in some way responsible for the pain of those who have lost a loved one due to ignoring the reality of race. The book is highly recommended and is full of statistics that completely counter the “diversity is our strength” nonsense slogan.
As was reported on White Rabbit Radio back in 2015, on the blog of a French media outlet, Nouve L’obs, a doctor wrote an article entitled “Impregnate the Women of the Front National,” in which it was said that any woman who votes for the Front National has a “reptilian brain” and should be raped and impregnated to produce “multicolored descendants.” The article went on to describe a vile sort of cruelty commonly advanced by Cultural Marxists, Jewish academics, and the antifa. And with pop culture really starting to crank out the race-mixing agenda, anyone who goes against it will be publicly shamed, shunned, and have to worry about the threat of violence.
The following examples alone show that not only are they pushing race-mixing, but that they are using the power of the media, film, TV, pop culture, and anti-white race-baiting in order to manipulate the natural flow of nature and steer it in their direction. The recent Disney disaster, Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, had two black and white mixed-race couples, set in a multiracial French village set in a time so far back that it was ridiculously unrealistic. Likewise, ABC’s American Housewife features a character (portrayed by Katy Mixon) who allows her daughter to date a black boy. In recent months alone, CMT’s Nashville (formerly of ABC) features the daughter of Rayna James (Connie Britton) dating – you guessed it – a black boy. These casual, nonchalant, unrealistic portrayals are getting even more common, and it seems recently that many white women are, in fact, dating black men. Is this by natural choice, or due to a slight manipulation?
This is all a building block to a multiracial society devoid of actual diversity, but one which many Communist-minded fools truly believe would lead to greater peace.
13 Reasons Why introduces multiracial interactions in a way I’ve yet to witness in any other TV series or film, and it is completely unrealistic in terms of how the world actually operates, yet it is still portrayed as healthy and normal. For some, yes, a multiracial society many very well fit their lifestyle. For the rest of the world, however, it’s annoying, exhausting, and dangerous because of how it is foisted onto the rest of us.
One of the major themes throughout the series is rape. Two women are raped: Hannah Baker and Jessica Davis. Toward the end of the series, one of the main characters, Clay Jensen, confronts a black high school counselor about the time Hannah Baker came to visit him to try to open up to him about the experience, only a day before she killed herself. The counselor recalls an interaction he had had with Hannah which is depicted as follows:
Counselor: Did he force himself on you?
Hannah: I think so.
Counselor: You think so? But you’re not sure? Did you tell him to stop?
Counselor: Did you tell him “no”?
Counselor: Maybe you consented and you changed your mind.
Hannah: No, it’s not like that.
Counselor: Should we involve your parents or the police?
Needless to say, the situation is never resolved between these two characters or the rapist himself. Though it is true that one should know simply from common sense when someone wants sexual contact or when they don’t, this show’s setup plays into the third-wave feminist agenda, most visible on American college campuses, which holds that if a female sexual partner at any point says “no” or “stop,” you can later be accused of rape, even if there is no proof that she actually said these words. This leaves the door open for any woman who later regrets having sex with someone, possibly because she feels like a slut, to later accuse any man with whom she has sex of rape.
According to Breitbart, regarding Rolling Stone’s University of Virginia rape hoax:
The story about Jackie’s rape set off a firestorm at the university and in schools nationwide. Eramo received hundreds of angry letters and emails calling her the “dean of rape,” among other things, and faced protesters outside her office. The story crumbled after other news outlets began asking questions and police found no evidence to back it up. The article was officially retracted in April 2015.
Over the course of the more than two-week trial, the jury of eight women and two men watched 11 hours of video testimony, heard from a dozen live witnesses and examined nearly 300 exhibits. At issue were three statements made about Eramo in the article and several comments Erdely made about the “university” and “administration” in media interviews before the article was retracted.
Among the statements in the article that Eramo claimed were defamatory was one in which she is quoted – through Jackie – as saying that the university doesn’t publish all of its statistics about sexual assault because “nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.” Eramo says that was fabricated by Jackie.
This is, and indeed should be obvious to any halfway intelligent person, not an endorsement or encouragement of the automatic dismissal of any female, or even male in certain cases (primarily in regards to prison rape), who comes forward with sexual assault allegations. In 13 Reasons Why, the characters of Hannah Baker and Jessica Davis are legitimate rape victims, but the show’s underlying message is that “regret equals rape.” It does not. But many male students have faced accusations of rape and had their lives ruined at the hands of angry women concocting false claims. If one truly does not want sexual contact, saying “no” or “stop” is a big help.
Standing against Real-Life Bullies
The overall theme of the series in summation is to stand up to bullying, be a good person, and do the right thing. It’s a mushy sentiment propagated by this series, yet seems to be fueled by hypocrisy. It talks of sexual assault, but where is Hollywood when Islam forces women to cover their faces or causes acid to be thrown on them? Or when women under Sharia law are caned for going out without a male family member? Or how about honor killings, many of which take place in Muslim-dominated parts of the world, where a rape victim can be killed because they brought dishonor upon their family . . . for being raped? For that matter, why do they never discuss the many rapes perpetrated upon Western women by immigrants? All of this sounds far worse than bullying – because it is. And yet, as gloriously self-righteous as Hollywood and the entertainment industry are, they remain silent on these matters.
They’ll poke fun at Christians for being backwoods-dwelling flat-earthers, or mock Donald Trump supporters for being racist rednecks, or even stoop as low as Fox sports reporter Pete Blackburn, who tweeted, “Baron Trump has killed no less than 100 small animals.” Harmless, right? Well, Katie Rich, a writer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, tweeted, “Baron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” Imagine if it had been the other way around. Then again, why would the real bully care about hypocrisy, right?
What about when 19-year-old Maria Ladenburger was raped and drowned by an Afghan refugee? Where was the outcry? Both rape and murder. Far worse than bullying, no? What of Ebba Akerlund? She was eleven years old and was cut in half by a Muslim invader in Stockholm. And yet no matter how many women have suffered at the hands of refugee invaders, whether they’re raped and have it livestreamed on Facebook, raped and drowned in a ditch, cut in half by a truck, it doesn’t matter, because Hollywood actively works against anything that could be construed as Islamophobia. Where are those victim’s TV shows and movies? Why haven’t media figures or A-list celebrities posted about it on social media, which could potentially reach millions worldwide? Because they are hypocrites. And they do not fucking care.
On a Positive Note . . .
Despite all these flaws, 13 Reasons Why still has a high-quality cast, fantastic acting, and builds to a climax that is emotionally stunning and which paints an honest depiction of teen suicide and its effect not only on the parents, but those at school and others who you may not have even thought of. It is a beautiful and tragic story, and despite the Cultural Marxist propaganda, it remains a show worth checking out.
And there is something anyone could take away from the show, despite its mushy sentiment: try being less dickish. You really never know what’s happening in another person’s life. And you could be the only person to help them in a moment of pain.
Actors loved Robert Altman. When he died earlier today, the tributes came pouring in from his thespians. From Meryl Streep:
“Bob’s restless spirit has moved on. I have to say, when I spoke with him last week, he seemed impatient for the future. He still had the generous, optimistic appetite for the next thing, and we planned the next film laughing in anticipation of the laughs we’d have.”
From Tim Robbins:
He’s “a great friend and inspiration to me since I had the honor of meeting him in 1990. His unique vision and maverick sensibilities in filmmaking have inspired countless directors of my generation and will continue to inspire future filmmakers.”
From Elliot Gould:
Altman’s legacy would “nurture and inspire filmmakers and artists for generations to come … He was my friend and I’ll always be grateful to him for the experience and opportunities he gave me.”
From Tom Skerritt:
“No one can match the sense of joy in filmmaking he gave. I’m sure others who’ve shared the Altman experience have longed for an experience the equal of what Bob gave us, that only Bob could give us.”
Regardless of how good or bad Altman’s movies turned out to be, the first thing you notice about them is that he habitually assembled dream casts (sometimes they actually got away from him), because he made the kinds of “actors’ films” that everyone wanted to be in. An Altman film wasn’t something an actor did for money (Altman didn’t have those kinds of budgets). For one measure of how much actors loved him, consider that Cher agreed to wear red, which she famously never does in real-life, so she could appear in a cameo as herself in Altman’s triumphant early-90s “comeback” film THE PLAYER. Neve Campbell even returned to her girlhood love and, after a tutu-free decade, retrained and refashioned herself into a passable ballet dancer (at least for the eyes of a nonspecialist like myself; not so much someone like Missy) in order to make THE COMPANY with Altman.
Even a middling or downright poor Altman film will have its moments. That’s what being a lover of actors will do. More films are saved from outright worthlessness by an inspired performance or a “holy moment” from an actor than by any other element of the cinematic art.
I hated GOSFORD PARK, but Maggie Smith was wonderfully tart as a Feisty Old Biddy epitomizing the British aristocracy. Judi Densch plays the same role every time, but seldom with the wonderful dottiness and cheerful girlish ridiculousness that Dame Maggie had in GOSFORD PARK (both have the imperious importance and sheer force of personality). I also hated READY-TO-WEAR, but there was one genuinely great scene — of Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren reprising the famous striptease they had done 30 years earlier in DeSica’s YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW (could any woman other than Loren convincingly play a sex-bomb at 60). With a twist. THE COMPANY was pretty good overall but it had a least one great scene — the rain dance — and a memorable character turn by Malcolm McDowell as the world’s biggest ham in a profession full of them. DR. T AND THE WOMEN was wildly uneven and finally petered out, but there was one moment, a fleeting gesture that if you blink, you miss. But like the girl on the ferry for Mr. Bernstein in CITIZEN KANE, it has never left my head. Altman gives us a lengthy track through a kids party, and the family Hispanic maid is trying to cope with all of them. At the side of the frame, she suddenly grabs a glass of champagne and quickly douses her thirst and her frustration with a sigh, an eye roll and a forehead filled with relief.
DR. T (I’m deliberately picking a noncanonized film) also showed another of Altman’s strengths. He really got the texture of Dallas down quite well (although not without some really nasty sarcasm, one of Altman’s downsides): the ritzy malls and upper-class neighborhoods are spot-on; the way the city has made an industry out of JFK conspiracy-mongering; the sudden, violent downpours; the “style” of the pill-and-booze-sodden upper-class Texas society women played by Laura Dern and Farrah Fawcett, defined by rituals as precise as the 100 families in Edith Wharton’s New York. Whether it was a Chicago ballet troupe in THE COMPANY or the L.A. suburbs in SHORT CUTS, he successfully “Altmanized” every world that he chose to film.
Altman was thus one of those directors both in and out of the Hollywood mainstream. Actors loved him but studios didn’t, because he was so insistent in doing things his way and never “went along to get along” when he thought, rightly or wrongly, that a studio or producer treated him badly. He was nominated for five Oscars as best director, but, though he did get an honorary Oscar for career achievement earlier this year, he never won, tying him with Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, King Vidor and Clarence Brown for the unwanted honor of “Most Often a Bridesmaid.” Apparently, he was being treated for cancer at the time and knew that PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, which was in the can for a release several weeks later, was probably going to be his last film. Indeed, if the time lines in the later-run obituaries are correct, he knew this while he was making the film. Garrison Keillor got bulldozed about the subject of this PHC, which is about a theater’s final show before its scheduled closing and is suffused with images of death, passing and obsolescence, closing with several actors looking into the camera as a Death Angel asks “Who’s Next.”
But his masterpiece is IMHO unquestionably NASHVILLE. What sets it apart is that it’s both dense AND sprawling — in its sound mix, in its performances and in the way the individual moments and characters add up. It’s also *filled* with those kind of holy moments that Altman specialized in creating. I’ll never forget the scene of David Carradine seducing Lily Tomlin with his voice, singing “I’m Easy” while she looks numbed into the camera, moved beyond moving. Then comes the morning after. Gwen Welles’ attempts to be a singer were lump-in-the-throat inducing, between the mixture of her pathetic voice and sincere, loving personage. It made her final gesture of contempt to her audience curiously moving and not the snarkfest that it might have been if mishandled (cf. the dog-shit or the final scene in READY-TO-WEAR).
NASHVILLE is, most distinctively of all, a triumph of architecture — it has the most unexpectedly perfect epic film structure I’ve ever seen. The film seems so jumbled for so long, just seeming to follow 24 characters that share nothing but a setting and a few glancing commonalities, like ships passing in the night. And then the last scene happens and we see what structure the film had been following all along. We had seen a real community in its very creation before it even knew it existed. Wow.
In fact, NASHVILLE may be among the most influential American movies of its era. It was the first big American studio movie to have the apparently-unconnected-but-really-connected narrative structure (that I can think of anyway — Altman’s previous films had mostly been exercises in would-be genre deflation). You can see NASHVILLE’s influence most clearly in Paul Thomas Anderson’s MAGNOLIA (more influenced by SHORT CUTS, obviously — Altman has used the NASHVILLE-structure several times since 1975) and Krzysztof Kieslowksi’s THREE COLORS trilogy, plus such recent award-garlanded or garlanded-to-be films as CRASH, TRAFFIC, BOBBY and BABEL.
In it dense sound mix, lack of a central protagonist, frequent musical numbers, and nonlinear and (apparently) unconnected narrative, NASHVILLE also anticipated the aesthetics of channel-surfing (it even starts out like a 70s TV show ad) and of multimedia net-surfing, long before any of those terms meant anything.
The Altman style from NASHVILLE also profoundly affected American television drama. In the years since NASHVILLE, there have been a score of large-cast ensemble dramas united by location or occupation more than by a single central character — think of LA LAW, HILL STREET BLUES, E.R. Large-cast “town” or “occupation” shows had existed before of course. But they had tended to consistently focus on one character or the same small group of characters rather than have a bunch of approximately equal characters with shifting focus from week-to-week. Also, they tended to have more tightly-focused plots, resolved in an episode, rather than the Altman-influenced technique of having “this week’s” plot off to the side, with the real point being how the characters interact and change over serialized time rather than episode time.
What Altman was probably best known for, style-wise, was what became known as “Altman dialogue.” It was present at the very beginning — in MASH — and at the very end — in PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION. It involved people speaking in incomplete sentences or fully-understood fragments, finishing one another’s sentences, talking over one another, having simultaneous conversations — all in one sound mix. This had been done before somewhat (early Orson Welles comes to mind), but never with the extensiveness and conviction that Altman had. When Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin presented Altman with his Lifetime Oscar, they gave a clinic in how to do it. It’s the most eloquent tribute imaginable to a film artist and it was the high point of last year’s show.
I can’t pretend that I’m the world’s biggest Altman fan myself. I am not, for reasons not really worth rehearsing on this day. But even at 80 in works like A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (where Streep and Tomlin play with that style to just as great effect), Altman was still capable of lighting a fire under young cinephiles who could see, even in his IMHO relatively mediocre works, that Altman was a director worth caring about. Who made his films his way and created through a recognizable world, all his own. That came to me earlier today, when, on a film buff’s discussion board, 26-year-old Brett Buckalew of FilmStew.com said (quoted with permission):
Whenever I re-watch any of his films–and I was fortunate enough to catch PRAIRIE HOME four times before it left theatres–I always at some point have the excited thought in the back of my mind that sometime soon, I’ll get to take yet another trip into his immaculately designed, complexly human universe. No longer, and though I’m a fan of the younger filmmakers who’ve used his influence to form their own particular voices, there sure as hell will never be a replacement.
That ultimately may be the most important thing. Even apart from the specifics of his films, Altman himself was an inspiring figure — the man who made the movies he wanted. The lead quote in the early versions of the Associated Press obits was from the last Oscars, where Altman accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award:
No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have. I’m very fortunate in my career. I’ve never had to direct a film I didn’t choose or develop.
This isn’t to say his career didn’t suffer for it, or that he didn’t endure several significant spans in the commercial and critical wilderness. But he stuck to his guns, made the movies he wanted, in the way he wanted to. And that’s inspiring no matter what age you are.
THE TRIP TO ITALY (Michael Winterbottom, Britain, 2014, 7) Writing the same review twice never really works out, especially if they keep … pulling me … BACK IN. (OK … you have to imagine me saying that like Pacino.) If you saw the first Steve Coogan/ Rob Brydon as sorta-themselves film, you don’t really have […]
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