Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Not rated yet!
Director
Tomas Alfredson
Runtime
2 h 07 min
Release Date
16 September 2011
Genres
Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Overview
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet mole within his former colleagues at the heart of MI6.
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PJ Media Staff2
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Top Ten Must-See Films of 2011
    Lifestyle The year 2011 went almost as badly for moviegoers as it did for Barack Obama. Nevertheless, a few titles sparkled and some of them are already on DVD. So consider this list of the top ten must-see films of the year:War Horse: Remember Steven Spielberg’s Munich? Neither does he, apparently. With this return to David Lean-style sweep, Spielberg veers away from his failed attempts to make political statement films and proves that when he’s doing what he does best, no one else alive can match him. This wonderfully heartfelt and entirely irony-free story follows "Joey," a stallion who gets separated from his young owner in England because of World War I. As we experience the horrors of the war through the horse’s eyes, Spielberg plays on the heartstrings like a virtuoso. (Some scenes may be a little intense for younger kids, but there is no explicit violence.)Captain America: Marvel’s Thor was a disappointment but the studio that gave us Iron Man is back on track with this patriotic superhero story set in World War II. A scrawny little guy from Brooklyn (endearingly well played by Chris Evans) gets a chance to be the guinea pig in a scientific experiment that turns him into a super soldier. Contrary to Hollywood expectations (lefty execs thought having America in the title would be a problem), the movie was even a hit in Europe.Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A cool, dense, cerebral thriller set in dismal 1970s London, this adaptation of the John le Carré spy classic stars a superbly self-controlled Gary Oldman as retired spy George Smiley. Smiley is re-hired to figure out which member of the upper echelon of Britain’s intelligence service is actually working for the Russians in a sobering and skillfully designed puzzle that reflects on the Cambridge Spies. A top-notch supporting cast includes John Hurt, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth and Mark Strong.The Artist. Believe it or not: A silent film is one of the year’s freshest, most original efforts. This throwback movie starring little-known French actor Jean Dujardin is about a hambone silent movie star discombobulated by the advent of talkies. Thanks to his noble retainer (a dryly funny James Cromwell) and his trusty Jack Russell terrier, though, he gradually finds his way back to the limelight. This delightful comedy is likely to get a bunch of Oscar nominations.Crazy, Stupid, Love: Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling make one of the year’s most surprisingly effective comedy duos in this complicated romantic comedy for mature audiences. Carell plays a sad-sack office drone who, after being dumped by his wife (Julianne Moore), gets his groove back with the help of a local lothario (Ryan Gosling) who turns out not to be as shallow as he looks. Raunchy and hilarious moments mingle with more lyrical scenes in an expert mix. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/1/4/the-top-ten-must-see-films-of-2011/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
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  • What Makes a Great Movie?
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The LEGOu00AE Movie - Official Main Trailer [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Often film critics like to break a film down to its elements and weigh each of them independently, as though great cinematography, editing, acting, whatever adds up to a great movie. Not necessarily. These trades can all be brilliantly done or poorly done but they aren’t the reason we go to the movies. A film about industrial lathing techniques could be impeccably shot and edited and carry the most magnificent musical score since Wagner, but it probably wouldn’t make anyone’s top ten list -- because film exists to tell us stories.The acting, sets, score and everything else are on hand to serve the story and characters. Does the narrative hold your interest? Do you care what happens to the people (or animals, or plants, or Lego figures) in it? Are you caught up in their quest? Movies are simple. In the words of David Mamet, when you’re watching you want to know, “Who’s this guy? What does he want?” class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/10/18/what-makes-a-great-movie/ previous Page 1 of 4 next   ]]>
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Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    DramaMystery/Suspense We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewIn popular culture there is but one British secret agent, and he is called Bond. Mr. 007 has made us believe that spies wear tailored tuxedos, drink vodka martinis and drive Aston Martins. That they live in a world of glamour and wealth … and fame. When a tourist points to James Bond in The Man With the Golden Gun and exclaims, "You're that secret agent! That English secret agent! From England!" our suave hero doesn't even blink. He is famous, this secret agent, as inconspicuous as Fourth of July fireworks. The Secret Intelligence Service in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy would have little use for Bond. There is no Q there in the Circus (the nickname for the agency), no standard-issue ejection seats or exploding pens. Here, work is done without fanfare or glamour. It is done in nondescript offices by nondescript people. They are a quiet, secretive lot, these spies—as out of place in a casino as Bond would be in a cubicle. If you met one, you might assume he was a clerk. An accountant. A middle manager. And you'd probably not notice the gun in his pocket. Not unless he wanted you to. It's 1973—the same year The Man With the Golden Gun came out—and there's a problem in the Circus: a mole. "Control," longtime head of the Circus, had suspected it for some time, and he's narrowed down the potential traitors to a cast of five. But there are complications. Control's dead now, and much of his regime has been discredited after a mission in Budapest goes disastrously awry. In desperation, the government rehires George Smiley, Control's one-time right-hand man, to root out the mysterious mole—perhaps unaware that Smiley was one of Control's five suspects. Smiley takes the job and returns to a world he's known so well—a world writ in shades of grey. In a world of tricksters, he's always excelled. But spying on spies? This may be his trickiest job yet.Positive ElementsIn analyzing the murky workaday world of the Circus, it's difficult to assign unmitigated praise to anyone. The people we meet are required to lie and cheat and sometimes kill. But they do so for their government. And they do so with a great deal of competence. Smiley is a consummate spy. He's mastered the art of letting others talk while he listens, and he doggedly pursues his quarry through every means available. He does it not out of revenge or ambition—or even a patriotic sense of "queen and country." He's been asked to do a job, and so he will. And that clarity of purpose perhaps makes him a bit of a hero. Many of his colleagues are, in their own ways, also trying to do the right thing. Though they often seem to be breaking the rules (even their own), their purpose is clear: Protect the people. Thus, the film shows flashes of understated courage and conviction; but never are these laudable traits allowed to go without a grimier alloy.Spiritual ContentAn operation is dubbed "Witchcraft." Someone says an interrogator looked like a priest.Sexual ContentTopless dancers perform in a nightclub. A spy looks in a bedroom occupied by a man and woman who are obviously having sex. (We see the woman from the back as she moves on top of the man.) An agent named Ricki Tarr has a fling—and later falls in love—with the wife of a Soviet agent. The two have a passionate affair, and we see them kiss as they begin to disrobe. Smiley is estranged from his wife, and it's suggested this estrangement was precipitated, at least in part, by the fact that she was having an affair with another agent. Smiley walks in to find the agent in his house one day, obviously nervous and not wearing any shoes. It's also suggested Smiley sees the two "together" at a Christmas party. (We see Smiley's shocked face, not the couple.) A homosexual agent splits with his lover for fear that their relationship will be discovered. A former agent laments her lack of a sex life, using some pretty shocking language to do so. Spies flirt with and leer at the women who work with them.Violent ContentThe violence in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is arguably less pervasive than what's presented in most James Bond films. But it's more realistic and thus feels more brutal. In the Budapest caper gone wrong, a man opens fire on a fleeing agent, sending him sprawling with a bullet in the back. Blood pools around him. A woman holding a baby is shot in the temple, the bullet wound clearly visible and trickling blood. Another woman is shot to death, leaving a spray of blood on the wall behind her. The body of a man is found in a blood-filled bathtub. The body of another is discovered with his throat gruesomely cut. A spy is gunned down via sniper bullet. (We see both the small entry wound and the far gorier exit wound at the back of his scalp.) A man endures torture. We hear of fingernails being removed during torture. Someone spits up blood. One man beats down another, leaving the victim to wipe blood from his face. A woman is also beaten (visible through a curtain). We later see her bloodied and bruised face. Control is shown in a hospital bed, apparently dead. When a bird flies into a classroom through a chimney, its wings on fire, the teacher beats it to death.Crude or Profane LanguageAbout 10 uses of the f-word. Three or four of the s-word. We hear "d‑‑n," "h‑‑‑," "b‑‑tard" "p‑‑‑" and the British profanity "bloody." God's and Jesus' names are each misused at least twice.Drug and Alcohol ContentMany of these 1970s characters smoke cigarettes or pipes, and nearly all of them drink. Control whines at an office Christmas party that the punch isn't nearly alcoholic enough. "It'll take us five hours to get drunk on this," he says, adding some of his own liquor to the mix. A former agent tries to turn down a drink from an old friend, saying her doctor told her to avoid the stuff. But eventually she imbibes. Scenes take place in nightclubs and bars.Other Negative ElementsConclusion"I'm innocent," an AWOL agent tells Smiley. "Within reason." It's a telling line. One that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy might well claim for itself. But is it innocent within reason? Does a movie's context mitigate its content? Can virtues outweigh vices? One could argue that the violence here is harsh, but not gratuitous. One could insist that the drinking and smoking befit the times. Moreover, that this is a beautifully acted bit of cinema that gives us an educational glimpse of a world often unseen. It's a complex task to weigh and measure art like this. And in doing so it's easy to find ourselves sinking into the same sort of murky world these spies inhabit—one in which black and white have been replaced by shades of pewter and gunmetal gray. One in which the means may seem justified in light of the end. Is it innocent within reason? But even as I ask, I think you know the answer. We know, somehow, that when we ask such questions, the very act of voicing them is an effort of rationalization. We rationalize our little white lies. We excuse our insensitivity. We say "pardon my French" when we swear. We know that, relatively speaking, we're pretty good people. But to be good is not relative. Innocence is not a matter of reason. These are empirical definitions—words anchored to a lofty and perhaps unreachable ideal. Good is different than good enough. Innocent means something far better than innocent enough. When we pull these elevated words down to our level—the murky plateau in which most of us live—we do them a disservice. And we do ourselves a disservice too … because when we pull things down to ourselves, that invariably means we've stopped trying to pull ourselves up. I can't say, then, whether Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is innocent within reason. I can only say that it falls well short of innocent.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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Death Metal Underground Staff1
Death Metal Underground



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  • Compared to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy most films appear to simply be extended commercials with music videos for the emotional parts. Telling the story of Soviet infiltration of the British secret services through an interlocking series of clues, this film takes the approach that Agatha Christie might use for one of her cerebral murder cases and applies it instead to international espionage. It will never outsell The Avengers because in this film, every detail is part of the mechanism that builds up to an intense finale for its ultimate revelation. Even more damning, themes in this movie illustrate human narcissism, how the West was destroyed by the same individualistic self-interest that made it strong, and the importance of honor, loyalty and truthfulness.

    Gary Oldman stars as John le Carré’s character George Smiley, modulated from the outsider nerd in the book to a methodical and highly analytical man who finds much of society around him to be short-sighted and erroneous. Like the best characters from literature, he endures civilization as it is but upholds it as it is at its best, creating a worldview that would approve of the mythological analysis of the human soul as found in Slayer lyrics or the darker days of grindcore. Exiled from his position at MI6 because of his refusal to endorse a new and magical source of Soviet secrets, and passed over by those who built careers on it, Smiley hunts for a “mole” or double-agent who is compromising British intelligence whenever it tries to operate in enemy territory. Unlike those who have taken over his former role, he searches through the type of logical analysis and study of the relationship between details that made sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, Hercule Poirot, the Continental Op, Phillip Marlowe and Miss Jane Marple legends in their field.

    Sadly for most modern audiences, this film requires attention. No detail is spurious and every scene follows from the systematic and interlocking pursuit of details. In addition, the filmmakers layer that story with parallel themes of love and loss, loyalty and motivation, and strength of character versus the tendency to appeal to pleasant but erroneous notions that receive the aplomb of journalists, politicians and the faceless voting masses. While its logicality deserves praise, the emotionality of this film in bringing out the loneliness of its characters and the equal isolation of the struggle for truth, as not a motivator but a shaper and revelation of personality, enhances a solid story into an epic one. The acting is brilliant without being self-absorbed — no one in this film looks like they are acting, or resembles other characters they have played in other films — and the soundtrack is minimal and on point, the cinematography both bleak and elegant, and the directing and editing show a perfect sense of timing that both preserves atmosphere and cuts out anything but the powerful. Of the films made in the 2010s, this will either be the best or in the top three, because movies this intense rarely come along at a rate of more than a handful per generation.

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Kyle Smith3
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Review: "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
    A first-rate Cold War mystery, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley. My review is up.]]>
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  • Who I'm Voting for in the New York Film Critics Circle Awards
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The group meets tomorrow morning. I’m going to list my first choice, then parenthetically note others I’d also gladly back. (If, for instance, I’m the only one who voted for X on the first ballot then I’d be unwise not to switch to something else the next time around.) If I forgot something I’d like to vote for here, it won’t matter because almost nothing ever gets decided on the first ballot and I’ll be reminded as the first-round results are tabulated. Best First Film: “Submarine,” Richard Ayoade (“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Sean Durkin, “Everything Must Go,” Dan Rush, “The Muppets,” James Bobin) Best Documentary: “Project Nim,” James Marsh (“Into the Abyss,” Werner Herzog) Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady” (Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy,” Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”) Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life,” though I think Chastain’s was a lead role. (Carey Mulligan, “Shame,” Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids,” Octavia Spencer, “The Help,” Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”) Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” (Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Ryan Gosling, “Drive,” Michael Fassbender, “Shame,” Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”) Best Supporting Actor: John Hawkes, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” (Albert Brooks, “Drive,” Ryan Gosling, “Crazy Stupid Love,” Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult”) Best Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist” (Kyle Killen, “The Beaver,” Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids,” Scott Z. Burns, “Contagion,” Dan Fogelman, “Crazy Stupid Love”) Best Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski, “War Horse.” (Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life,” Guillaume Schiffman, “The Artist”) Best Animated Film: “Rango” (“Winnie the Pooh”) Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist” (Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life,” Steven Spielberg, “War Horse”) Best Picture: “The Artist” (“War Horse,” “The Tree of Life”) Movies I don’t particularly want to vote for in any category: “The Descendants,” “Beginners,” “Coriolanus,” “Margin Call,” “Albert Nobbs,” “My Week with Marilyn,” “Harry Potter and the Whatever,” “Hugo.”]]>
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  • My Top Ten Best Films of 2011 (Art-House Division)
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I’ve given up trying to find the intersection of Hollywood and anti-Hollywood. These are parallel roads. I like both types of movies but this year I’m going to publish two Ten Best lists. In the Sunday paper–call your newsagent now to reserve a copy!–Lou and I will run lists of our Top Ten Movies of 2011. I’m going to stick to mainstream movies in that one. But as for art-house movies, here are my Ten Best of 2011. 1. “The Tree of Life .” I don’t think it’s a perfect film, and I was baffled by the ending. Still, at its best, Terrence Malick’s dreamlike family saga does things no film can hope to do, such as recreating birth and trying to place man in the history of the universe. I found the overall experience mindblowing. 2. “Project Nim .” This documentary about a foolish attempt to raise a chimp as though it were a human boy raises grave and profound questions about what man can and should do with the natural world. But, hey, if you prefer “Rise of the Planet Apes,” then….I really can’t help you. 3. “Submarine .” A sort of British schoolboy take on Wes Anderson, this lonely love story is trenchant, witty and wise. Director Richard Ayoade deploys a beguiling bag of cinematic tricks. 4. “Martha Marcy May Marlene .” Gripping psychological portrait of a girl internally rearranged by a period she spent with a cult in upstate New York. Elizabeth Olsen and writer-director Sean Durkin make unforgettable debuts. 5. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy .” An exquisitely understated Cold War drama about a search for a Russian spy within the British spy apparat, “TTSS” obliquely revisits the Cambridge Spies drama with a quietly spellbinding sense of internal conflict. Gary Oldman’s restraint is a wonder to behold. 6. “Like Crazy .” First love gets its due in an exhilarating romance that makes the most of a marveous lead performance from Felicity Jones. Like “Submarine,” the film recaptures the tender poetry of the French New Wave. 7. “The Beaver .” Mel Gibson with a puppet on his hand. Yes, and it works brilliantly from the first moment, as a fully committed Gibson reaches down deep and finds a gripping sorrow in a successful man who is falling apart mentally. 8. “A Better Life .” In a haunting performance, Demian Bichir plays an L.A. landscaper, one of the legions of invisible men who make up the cadre of illegal immigrants who do so much for this country and yet are not quite a part of it. Full of compassion and understanding. 9. “Everything Must Go .” Will Ferrell gives his best performance to date as a slightly angry man who, after being rightly cast out of the house by his wife, takes up residence on the front lawn. Ferrell is still funny, but his performance contains some bitter truths as well. 10. “Into the Abyss .” Werner Herzog’s death-penalty documentary finds sad ironies and unbelievable waste in the sordid, heartbreaking tale of a Texas triple murder that is initially inspired by lust for a Camaro. ]]>
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Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Moves Slowly
    Movies DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012Theatrical Release Date: December 9, 2011 (limited)Rating: R (for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language)  Genre: Drama, ThrillerRun Time: 127 min.Director: Tomas AlfredsonActors: Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon McBurney, David Dencik, Christian McKay “There’s a rotten apple. We have to find it,” says Control (John Hurt, Melancholia), the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligent Service (SIS), at the beginning of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. A mole hunt is initiated. Nearly two hours of screen time later, the line is repeated and the movie completes its narrative journey. But has the journey been worth the time it takes to discover the identity of the guilty party? For those who can endure it, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has a nice payoff. But until that point, the film moves at a snail’s pace. Even viewers appreciative of methodical detective stories and icy-cold character studies will be challenged by this Cold War thriller, which, although well-performed, is mostly just cold. What’s missing is the tension necessary to make the story something more engaging for the viewer. The story starts with a relative bang before settling into a much more glacial pace. In 1973, Control sends agent Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong, Green Lantern) into Hungary on an operation that goes horribly awry. The incident leads to the dismissal of Control and his right-hand man, George Smiley (Gary Oldman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), from the service, but it also underscores SIS’s suspicions that a mole has infiltrated its ranks. The solitary Smiley, estranged from his wife, is soon brought back to ferret out the double-crosser. He works with Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch) in trying to identify the mole among a small group of SIS agents: Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy, Inception), Percy Alleline (Toby Jones, My Week with Marilyn), Bill Haydon (Colin Firth, The King's Speech), Roy Bland (Ciarán Hinds, The Rite) and Toby Esterhase (David Dencik).SEE ALSO: Melancholia Goes from Grim to Grimmer googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); The story, based on a John le Carré novel, is complicated—condensed into 127 minutes. By comparison, a widely admired 1979 British production of the same story, starring Alec Guinness as Smiley, ran 290 minutes. Too much is lost in cutting the story down to standard feature length for a U.S. film. Multiple characters are established and left with little to do. A murderer’s row of great actors—Firth, Jones, Hines—are mainly shown staring at Smiley and looking mildly suspicious. The story doles out dribs and drabs that make us more or less suspicious of the agents’ motives, without ever making us care much, one way or the other, about who the mole might be or how high the stakes are in rooting him out. A slow pace is not inherently a bad thing for a film that draws us in and keeps us watching for clues to the unfolding story. Clues do emerge, slowly, in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but with very little narrative momentum. There’s no sense of a building sense of drama that will lead to an emotionally satisfying resolution. For a tale about a net being drawn tighter around several characters, the narrative rarely feels like it’s growing more taut as the story heads toward its conclusion. Director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) does a nice job of creating the film’s cool mood and icy visual look of scenes bathed in green and beige. He also gets a performance out of Oldman that is better than the film itself. Wearing an expression that rarely changes, Smiley is able to discover the mole even in the midst of emotional trauma related to his marriage, letting the cracks show fleetingly while trying not to let his personal problems affect his mission. It’s another feather in Oldman’s cap, and a hopeful sign that any further films featuring the character of Smiley will be worth watching. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a noble effort that looks good on screen but leaves its interesting characters underdeveloped. A longer running time would have given the story room to breathe, and might have better fleshed out the dense material. Those interested in this story would be better served by returning to the 1979 version of the tale to supplement, or supplant, this new version of le Carré's story.CAUTIONS:SEE ALSO: Green Lantern Lights Up to Entertain googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; “dam-,“ “dam-it,” “s-it,” multiple uses of the “f”-word. Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Several scenes of drinking and smoking; comment about how long it takes to get drunk. Sex/Nudity: A boy and girl kiss; a man and woman have vigorous sex, but only seen from far away by a man looking through a telescope until he zooms in for a closer look (bare bottom seen); a naked man jumps out of bed, but his midsection is obscured; adults kiss passionately with a man groping a woman's buttocks; a man removes a woman’s underwear, but no breasts or genitalia shown; a man stands by a bathtub, his midsection covered by a long shirt; infidelity discovered and discussed; a homosexual relationship is alluded to; partially clothed exotic dancers are seen in the background during a club scene. Violence/Crime: A man and woman holding an infant are shot; a bird is struck (offscreen) with a blunt object; a man assaults a co-worker; a man is tortured; a woman is shot; man shot in the face; bloodied corpses shown.   Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at [email protected]/* ...
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Counter Currents Staff1
Counter Currents Publishing



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  • The Conundrum of the Kipling Rudyard Kipling, 1865–1936
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]1,421 words

    Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born 150 years ago today in Bombay, India, to a cultivated English family of artists and academics. After an often unhappy childhood at school in England, he returned to his beloved India where he worked as a journalist, short story writer, and author of light verse (including the original Barrack-Room Ballads). 

    From 1889 onward he lived for various periods in London; Brattleboro, Vermont (where his American wife’s family lived, and where he wrote the juvenile classics The Jungle Book and Captains Courageous); and then in Devon and Sussex in England; all the while traveling extensively in the Far East, North America, and South Africa.

    By the turn of the century, age 34 or 35, he is said to have been the most highly paid writer in the world. Also one of the most famous personalities, friend to Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Henry James (who had gladly stepped in to give the bride away when Rudyard Kipling married the New England lady Carrie Balestier in London in 1892).

    In 1899 he wrote a poem that became the theme song to the Boer War, “The Absent-Minded Beggar,” set to music with a tub-thumping marching tune by Sir Arthur Sullivan (who at this point had definitively ended his partnership with W. S. Gilbert). If you don’t know the song, just read a few lines and the probable melody will suggest itself—because Kipling verse is like that.

    When you’ve shouted “Rule Britannia,” when you’ve sung “God Save the Queen,”
    When you’ve finished killing Kruger with your mouth,
    Will you kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine
    For a gentleman in khaki going south?

    It’s a highly critical, rather cynical poem/song about the Boer War involvement. If you read or listen to the whole thing, you find many echoes of latter-day opposition to American involvement in recent Middle East wars. (“Oh we were totally opposed to it, but look at our veterans who have lost their limbs.”)

    A century and more after his heyday, Kipling’s imagination still surrounds us. We can’t escape him. Recent years have seen a movie version of John LeCarré’s espionage classic Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Gary Oldman and Benedict Cumberbatch. (The novel had already been adapted—many people would say far more successfully—in the 1979 BBC series [2] with Alec Guinness, now freely available on YouTube. [3]) Whichever version you like, Tinker, Tailor was loosely based on the career of Soviet double-agent Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby, of MI6, the KGB, The Economist, The Observer, and The Times of London. There has also been a bestselling biography of Kim Philby and his MI6 associates, by Ben Macintyre, called A Spy Among Friends [4] (2014).

    Of making Kim Philby books and films there is no end. But the basic point here is that Kim Philby— his nickname, his profession, his drive and outlook—all derived from the imagination of Rudyard Kipling, the first writer to popularize the notion of “The Great Game,” or espionage. Phiby’s father, Harry St. John “Sinjin” Philiby, nicknamed his son Kim after the character Kimball O’Hara in the enormously popular juvenile novel that Kipling wrote 1900–1901, Kim.

    The fictional Kim, based on Kipling’s youthful friends and peers in the India of the 1870s, was an Irish boy from a British Army family fallen among hard times while serving in the Raj. Young Kim had “two sides to his head”—loyalties to the Raj, and government and order; but also a psychic kinship with the Moslems, Hindus, and Parsees he had grown up around, and whom he regarded as his primary, albeit not ancestral, friends. Both Kim Philby and his father (a longtime friend of Ibn Saud who converted to Islam) highly identified with the Kipling character. Both were devoted to “The Great Game,” or espionage; another phrase popularized by Kipling.

    Before anyone else conceived the expression, “going native,” Sinjin Philby and his son Kim were right there—identifying with and declaring their loyalties to the Third (or Fourth) World.

    A sense of panic and despair rule much of Rudyard Kipling’s work. It’s as though he saw the future that ensued upon the colonial experience of the 1860s–1890s, and he did not much like it. Poets and other artists, Ezra Pound famously wrote [5], “are the antennae of the race.” So perhaps Kipling, a poet of the Raj and the British Empire, was also a prophet and analyst of the Empire’s doom.

    George Orwell tried to analyze this paradox in a famous Horizon essay [6] on Kipling in 1942. Orwell loved Kipling, but in his world it was not politically correct to admit such a thing. Like Kipling, Orwell himself was a child of the Raj, having been born to a prosperous civil servant’s family in Calcutta. He adored Kipling, grew up on his writings, and defended him against accusations of “fascism” on the feeble grounds that Kipling was proto-fascist, a hopeless naïf!

    But make no mistake about it. Rudyard Kipling was not a prophet of the Raj, or the decline of the British Empire, or a fascist. He was merely an everyday artist who dealt with daily despair about the pointlessness of existence, but kept on producing because he sensed that despair itself was merely one more funhouse-mirror distortion.

    This delusion is one of the major themes in his work. It is memorialized in one of his lesser-known poems, “The Conundrum of the Workshops,” which spells out the apparent futility of artistic creation, and gave to us the classic, though usually uncredited, expression, “It’s pretty, but is it art?”

    It’s a very dark poem, so I recommend the whole thing to anyone suffering from ennui or depression. Here is the opening stanza.

    When the flush of a newborn sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
    Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mold;
    And the first rude sketch that the world had seen as joy to his mighty heart,
    Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it Art?”

    It gets worse and worse afterwards, I guarantee you. Scary, bracing stuff!

    Wherefore he called to his wife and fled to fashion his work anew—
    The first of his race who cared a fig for the first, most dread review;
    And he left his lore to the use of his sons—and that was a glorious gain
    When the Devil chuckled: “Is it Art?” in the ear of the branded Cain.

    They builded a tower to shiver the sky and wrench the stars apart,
    Till the Devil grunted behind the bricks: “It’s striking, but is it Art?”
    The stone was dropped by the quarry-side, and the idle derrick swung,
    While each man talked of the aims of art, and each in an alien tongue.

    They fought and they talked in the north and the south, they talked and they fought in the west,
    Till the waters rose on the jabbering land, and the poor Red Clay had rest—
    Had rest till the dank blank-canvas dawn when the dove was preened to start,
    And the Devil bubbled below the keel: “It’s human, but is it Art?”

    The tale is old as the Eden Tree—as new as the new-cut tooth—
    For each man knows ere his lip-thatch grows he is master of Art and Truth;
    And each man hears as the twilight nears, to the beat of his dying heart,
    The Devil drum on the darkened pane: “You did it, but was it Art?”

    We have learned to whittle the Eden Tree to the shape of a surplice-peg,
    We have learned to bottle our parents twain in the yolk of an addled egg,
    We know that the tail must wag the dog, as the horse is drawn by the cart;
    But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: “It’s clever, but is it Art?”

    When the flicker of London’s sun falls faint on the club-room’s green and gold,
    The sons of Adam sit them down and scratch with their pens in the mold—
    They scratch with their pens in the mold of their graves, and the ink and the anguish start
    When the Devil mutters behind the leaves: “It’s pretty, but is it art?”

    Now, if we could win to the Eden Tree where the four great rivers flow,
    And the wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago,
    And if we could come when the sentry slept, and softly scurry through,
    By the favor of God we might know as much—as our father Adam knew.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens1
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • “The Future Is Female”
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    “The Future Is Female”

    by Brett Stevens on February 7, 2017

    Leftism operates by inversion. It tells you that what is obviously true is not in fact accurate, so that you can throw away the idea of making sense at all. This allows it to abolish all standards, culture, families and allegiances and like a malevolent virus take over a society, which serves the underconfident individual by removing challenges to their perception of absolute autonomy.

    Neurotic Leftist Hillary Clinton has returned to politics by appealing to her special interest group, single women and minorities, by proposing that the hierarchy which naturally favors the intelligent and family-oriented by replaced by neurotic single people:

    “Despite all the challenges we face, I remain convinced that yes, the future is female,” said Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state.

    “Just look at the amazing energy we saw last month as women organized a march that galvanized millions of people all over our country and across the world.”

    …On the day of the Women’s March, Clinton took to Twitter to thank those who had participated, saying she believes that “we’re always stronger together.”

    Here we see the division between public and private (text and subtext) that is inherent to ideological societies and championed by Leftism:

    • In public, Clinton promotes something which sounds good which is that theoretically vulnerable members of our society are given attention, care and concern. This is an effect masquerading as a cause, in that she is promising to achieve something by force, without setting up the conditions necessary for it to actually occur, a.k.a. “cause.”
    • In private, Clinton continues the 1960s efforts to destroy anything like normal life so that it can be replaced with Communism, at which point every individual will feel safe because they are no longer pressured to demonstrate ability and moral conviction. Individualists want to remain in worlds of their own intentions, and anything that forces them to demonstrate relevance to the world will puncture that bubble.

    The image above comes to us from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), perhaps one of the best films in recent memory that the herd missed while flocking to tired repeats of the Star Wars and Harry Potter franchises. It shows a common slogan from the 1960s and 1970s.

    What that tells us is that Leftism never changes. Its goal is always to destroy the natural sources of power and replace them with the angry herd and its appointed leaders, who hope to profit from the experience like Hugo Chavez who died a billionaire in a country full of starving people. When Leftists say “the future is female,” what they really mean is that females are useful idiots who can be used to create a totalitarian state.

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    ...
    (Review Source)

John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Battle for Oscar Gold: The Actor Edition
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    This has been a year of great male performances in the movie theaters. It’s unfortunate, buy though, page that that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to recognize two of the year’s best. Michael Fassbender’s work in “Shame” should...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 5 Film Roles That Are Propelling Tom Hardy Onto The Hollywood A-List
    (”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Tom Hardy isn’t a household name, look but he will likely be one by the end of 2012. In a series of five films (one of which hasn’t been released yet) from 2010 through this year, stomach the British actor has quickly established a name for himself. This eclectic...
    ...
    (Review Source)

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