Trumbo

Not rated yet!
Director
Jay RoachJay Roach
Runtime
2 h 04 min
Release Date
27 October 2015
Genres
DramaDrama
Overview
The career of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo is halted by a witch hunt in the late 1940s when he defies the anti-communist HUAC committee and is blacklisted.
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Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Attitude Filmmaking
    Trumbo in Hollywood and privilege in Manhattan. Jay Roach’s Trumbo is another example of how political self-righteousness can throw filmmakers off their game. Roach, the director of such trite fare as Meet the Fockers and the Austin Powers spoofs, takes on the story of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, mythified for being blacklisted by the film industry during the 1950s and then being resurrected by Kirk Douglas, who hired him to write the script for Spartacus (1960). Trumbo is an unsatisfying mixture of tones — from flat comedy to dull hagiography. This is the same Roach who directed HBO’s Game Change, a similarly uneven and mostly not-credible satire/exposé of the John McCain–Sarah Palin campaign in the 2008 presidential election. Roach’s sense of displaying political consciousness is to make sure you know which side he stands on. It resembles the impertinence of those TV “journalists” and Internet pundits who think broadcasting their opinions and feelings is more important than reporting, more relevant than historical truth and accuracy. This slots Trumbo into a genre of attitude filmmaking, a peculiar millennial genre, as in the films The Butler, Selma, and Suffragette. That these social histories are all as trite as Fockers is less significant than the explicit, unrestrained partisanship that garners either raves or simple approval but rarely the disdain it deserves. Attitude filmmaking contributes to the polarized atmosphere that makes taking sides easier, more popular, than commiseration or understanding. However, Roach’s emphasis on comedy — his non-seriousness — doesn’t lack for sanctimony. He has the baby-boomer impertinence that has led to the snark of what’s called “political humor” on Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central. When snideness is mistaken for smartness — or when it passes for an argument, as it does here — the lack of seriousness makes the product uninteresting and ultimately ungenerous: which is why Trumbo is such an awkward mess of historical legend and desperate wit. Roach’s political and artistic crudeness — his insensitivity — is most apparent in the casting and performances that wind up mocking Trumbo lore. Roach seems to have lost a comedy director’s crucial sense of what looks funny; he doesn’t establish a credible tone for the film’s clash of famous Hollywood types – Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, and Edward G. Robinson are impersonated by actors who are ludicrously unconvincing. This is the most inadvertently laughable blacklist movie since Guilty by Suspicion. The fumbling of cultural history is not unrelated to this era’s ignorance of and indifference to the moral and political complexities of the past; Trumbo may simply be a cheesier example than The Butler, Selma, and Suffragette of contemporary Hollywood’s promoting the idea of historical equivalency: that today’s campus and street protests and Hollywood liberalism are as valiant as political positions of the past — especially the hallowed, hindsighted Fifties and Sixties. Share article on Facebookshare Tweet articletweet Bryan Cranston, who portrays Roach’s hero, is himself an icon of anachronistic idiocy. Essentially a vulgar comic like Roach, Cranston rides the popularity of his role in the morally ugly TV series Breaking Bad, which brought him a totally unjustified reputation as a great dramatic actor. (Simply put: Cranston hypes “subtlety.”) His cartoonish Trumbo pays back the bad taste of the “golden age of nihilism” by oversimplifying the Trumbo legend of the gruff, mustachioed, urbane social philosophe. Cranston and Roach seem to take their cue from the famous photo of Trumbo writing while soaking in his bathtub, cigarette-holder in hand. Cranston plays that image to the extreme; his Trumbo is like the little top-hatted man in the Monopoly game. Cranston’s bad mimickry recalls Meryl Streep’s Pankhurst in Suffragette tootling, “Defy this nation!” (function($){ var swapArticleBodyPullAd = function() { if ($('body').hasClass('node-type-articles')) { var $pullAd = $('.story-container .pullad').addClass('mobile-position'); if (window.matchMedia("(min-width: 640px)").matches) { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('desktop-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-desktop-position'); } } else { if ($pullAd.hasClass('mobile-position')) { $pullAd .addClass('mobile-position') .insertBefore('.article-ad-mobile-position'); } } } }; $(window).on('resize', function(){ swapArticleBodyPullAd(); }).resize(); })(jQuery); Trumbo’s equivalent defiance comes in his famous House Un-American Activities Committee rebellion: “Many questions can be answered ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ only by a moron or a slave.” Trumbo’s sophistry is so favored by West and East Coast liberals alike that Allan H. Ryskind’s excoriation of Hollywood blacklist mythology, Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters — Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler, published earlier this year, was largely ignored by the media. Ryskind, son of the famous Hollywood screenwriter Morrie Ryskind, tolerates none of the mythology, doggedly castigating Trumbo’s propaganda in the Writers Guild house publication (alluded to in the film’s final speech), and is especially hard on Trumbo’s personal politics: ‘The Trumbo legend — a feisty, funny, indepedent spirit who bucked Red-hunters and the Hollywood studios —lives on. Yet few of the Hollywood writers served Stalin so faithfully.’ “The Trumbo legend — a feisty, funny, independent spirit who bucked Red-hunters and the Hollywood studios — lives on. Yet few of the Hollywood writers served Stalin so faithfully. So far as Moscow was concerned, Trumbo, though he sold the party line with zest, wit, and imagination, was for years a stolid Communist conformist. There appeared to be no corkscrew twist in the Soviet line he wouldn’t embrace. He was anti-Nazi when Stalin demanded it, virulently anti-British (and virtually pro-Nazi) when the Soviets made their Pact with Hitler, an extreme advocate for unilateral disarmament after Stalin had blessed Hitler’s war against the West, and a bellowing warmonger when Stalin was betrayed by his good friend in Berlin. During the Cold War, Stalin had no more trustworthy ally.” Although Ryskind comes from the opposite side of the political fence from Roach, his righteousness throws off his research and undermines his understandable conviction of the need to correct the covered-up history of Hollywood Communist sympathizers. Though prone to overstatement, Ryskind does a better job than Roach of contextualizing Trumbo’s fall and rise and showing how it still haunts Hollywood as a legend of individual fortitude in a profession not known for its principles. Roach and screenwriter John McNamara still idealize Trumbo as a totem of the industry’s ingenuity as well as of its moral and political evolution — from censure to apologetic remorse and rehabilitation. (While writing under a pseudonym, Trumbo won Oscars for Roman Holiday and The Brave One, on both of which his proper name was eventually reinstated. That was some kinda blacklist.) If it’s true that we get the bad politics we deserve, Trumbo proves it’s equally true that we get the bad movies we deserve. *      *      * Director-writer Josh Mond keeps his debut film, James White, short and pointed, yet this story of a millennial learning to deal with grief and privilege (both class advantages and the spiritual good fortune of family and friends) still bears the narcissistic over-indulgence reminiscent of Mumblecore movies. (Too much close-up facial anguish, too much Huck-and-Jim bromance with Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi.) But the film has moments of distinction whenever James and his dying mother (Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon) enact a pietà — two undisciplined personalities falling in sync. Arrogant and aggrieved, Abbott’s James suggests the autobiographical character James Toback was never lucky enough to cast in Fingers or The Gambler, and Nixon, except for an unnecessary political jibe, goes through stages of suffering that recall the great Harriet Andersson in Cries & Whispers. — Armond White, a film critic who writes about movies for National Review Online, received the American Book Awards’ Anti-Censorship Award. He is the author of The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the World and the forthcoming What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about the Movies. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff1
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Bryan Cranston on Trump: 'He's Refreshing,' 'Good for Politics'
    PJ Media var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Bryan Cranston on Sanders: America should not 'overextend' itself with spending', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Actor Bryan Cranston said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “talks from his heart” but America should not “overextend itself” with spending.Cranston, the star of the television series Breaking Bad, also shared his opinion of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling the real estate mogul “refreshing” and “good” for the political process.Cranston, who stars in the new film Trumbo, was asked where Dalton Trumbo’s political views would fall on the political spectrum today.“He was a member of the Communist Party of America, to my belief and what I sussed out, he wasn’t a communist – he was a socialist. He loved being rich. He didn’t want to stop being rich but he had tremendous compassion for the poor and the working class,” he said at the Washington premiere of Trumbo. “So he wanted to do what he could to help them and that’s really socialism. Labels are very tricky and can be very dangerous.”Cranston explained that he personally identifies with fiscally conservative positions but said Sanders, a self-described socialist, is a genuine person who adds value to the presidential race.“I do like him. I feel that he’s a genuine guy. I think he talks from his heart and his head. I think he makes a lot of sense. I consider myself rather fiscally conservative, however.  I don’t think America should over-extend itself in its spending,” he said. “It can’t sustain so I agree with more conservative issues when it comes to finances and more social issues when it comes to those freedoms and civil liberties we fought for.”Some Republicans and Democrats have said the U.S. could not afford to implement Sanders’ ideas for new government programs.“But thank God he’s in the race and his ideas are coming up and I think that’s emblematic of Trumbo so it has a place. The message of Trumbo is that this is a wonderful place of freedom so we can have a Dalton Trumbo who talks about workers rights and American communist ideology or we have a Donald Trump who talks from an extreme capitalist point of view,” he said. “Then we have Bernie Sanders and we have Hillary Clinton and we have Marco Rubio, from the full spectrum, and that’s good, good to share all these experiences and let the American people hear everything and decide on their own.”When asked about Trump, Cranston said, “He’s refreshing. I don’t agree with a lot that he has to say but I think it’s good for politics in general.”Director Jay Roach said people often forget that Trumbo joined the Communist Party in 1943 when the U.S. was allied with the Soviet Union.“He mostly joined for what would today be called just progressive, kind of liberal reasons, he was pro-union, he was pro-civil rights and he was anti-fascist and all his friends worked on those issues, and they just all happened to be members of the Communist Party so he joined,” he said. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/blog/bryan-cranston-on-trump-hes-refreshing-good-for-politics/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Counter Currents Staff2
Counter Currents Publishing



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • The Nightboy Cometh: Reflections — In a Jaundiced Eye — on Calder Willingham’s End as a Man & Jack Garfein’s The Strange One
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]3,530 words

    The Strange One [2]
    Columbia Pictures, 1957
    Screenplay by Calder Willingham, based on his novel, End as a Man [3](1947)
    Directed by Jack Garfein
    Editor: Sidney Katz; Music: Kenyon Hopkins; Cinematography: Burnett Guffey; Art Direction: Joseph C. Wright; Sound: Edward J. Johnstone
    Cast: Ben Gazzara, Pat Hingle, Peter Mark Richman, Arthur Storch, James Olson, Julie Wilson, George Peppard.
    B&W, 100m.

    “Could Hollywood bear the eternal burden of a tough fruitcake? No! Anything but that!” — Morrissey

    Some time ago, I was reading some classy book that was being packaged as a “racy” read a UK paperback publisher — I think Robert Musil’s Young Torless, in fact — and the cover promised something along the lines of “the heartbreaking beauty of City of Night; the raw power of Last Exit to Brooklyn; the shocking honesty of End as a Man [3].”[1]

    Needless to say, these works of apparently academically legitimate porn made their way onto my teenage reading list. While the first two were — and are — readily available, the last was not, and it wasn’t until the Age of the Internet that I was able to lay my hands on a copy of Calder Willingham’s novel.

    My Constant Readers are likely to have never heard of Calder Willingham, or perhaps long ago forgotten,[2] but Wikipedia remembers, and tells us [4] that

    During the late ’40s and early ’50s, Willingham was considered at the forefront of the gritty, realistic new breed of postwar novelists: Norman Mailer, James Jones, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, and others, many of whom also made up the Greenwich Village literary scene at the time.

    While in 1969 Newsweek said his fiction “deserves a place among the dozen or so novels that must be mentioned if one is to speak of greatness in American fiction.”

    Not so great as to deserve their own Wikipedia entries, however, including his first novel, End as a Man [3]. The main CW entry does give some idea of what the fuss was about: after dropping out of The Citadel, he moves to New York, where

    Willingham’s career began in controversy with End as a Man (1947), a withering indictment of the macho culture of military academies, introducing his first iconic character, sadistic Jocko de Paris. The story included graphic hazing, sex, and suggested homosexuality, which in a period celebrating military victory, led the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice to file obscenity charges against its publisher, Vanguard Press. The charges were ultimately dropped, but not before a trial which made the book a cause célèbre, famous writers rallying to its defense. Reviews singled out its savage humor and realistic dialogue.

    Wikipedia also tells us that “Before the age of thirty, after just three novels and a collection of short stories, The New Yorker was already describing Willingham as having “fathered modern black comedy,” and the cross-reference to Vanguard Press tells us that Vanguard was

    Established with a $100,000 grant from the left wing American Fund for Public Service, better known as the Garland Fund. Throughout the 1920s, Vanguard Press issued an array of books on radical topics, including studies of the Soviet Union, socialist theory, and politically oriented fiction by a range of writers [including] the first books of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Marshall McLuhan, Joyce Carol Oates and Dr. Seuss.

    A verifiable echo-chamber, with a few Shabbos goyim thrown in for cover. So you know what to expect.

    And yet, not so. Although End as a Man is supposedly the first in the genre of ripping the lid off the seamy underbelly of military education – another small but spicy part of the Judeo-Marxist “culture of critique” imposed on us by the victors in World War Two, “proving” with monotonous predictability that all “all your sacred institutions are filthy schools for homosexual sadism” — I did not “get that” from the book at all.

    By the time I had gotten a copy of End, I had already become fascinated and absorbed in the mysteries of the Männerbund, first by the late Alisdair Clarke,[3] more recently Wulf Grimsson,[4] and of course Jack Donovan. So I was reading it through my own, perhaps distorted, lens of an awareness of the crucial role of male bonding in the creating and sustaining Aryan cultural institutions — a separate but parallel function to the physical procreation handled by the family, as Socrates noted in the Symposium. Since all this is ultimately derived from the warrior band, it is perhaps no surprise that military education should be first on the list targets for postwar subversion.

    Whatever Willingham’s intentions, the book leaves the reader — at least, this one — with an admiration for an institution that functions well at its role: turning boys into men.[5] Yes, there’s brutal hazing, but just like the off-campus drinking and gambling that are main interests of the cadets, it’s all clearly against the rules. And while the administration seems a bit obtuse from the start, by the end of the book the school’s crusty old Commandant[6] has ruthlessly ferreted out the truth, delivered harsh but appropriate disciple — including the public disgrace and expulsion of Jocko and the worst of his clique — and delivered a rather stirring speech that explains the book’s curious title:

    Gentlemen, I have said this before and I will say it now: No youth can pass through four years of the Academy and not end as a man. We expel the failure; I present our diploma only to a man. Think of that word: listen to it. Man. A simple monosyllable, but it has a great force. Nothing is stronger than this word, for without the quality it signifies, the life of our race, and your own, is rendered utterly futile. Let adversity fall upon you. Fools insult you. Illness strike. Your head will be unbowed and your courage as sure as the turning of the globe — if you are a man.

    I guess we’re supposed to giggle, like wise-asses at a high school assembly, but if it weren’t for all the “context” of the book’s history and surrounding trappings, I’d have to say this sounds straight. Good triumphs; Jocko is not a man and is spewed out.

    Even the Citadel itself has no hard feelings, proudly listing it as a “famous novel” in its online “Bibliography of the Citadel [5].”

    And speaking of “straight,” most of that history and trappings suggests some kind of homosexual “subtext” throughout.[7] There is one obviously, though of course closeted, “gay” character — a budding novelist, hmmm — and indeed way too much attention is paid to him; even after being expelled, the protagonist, Cadet Marquales, has to journey to visit him at home, a crumbling New Orleans ruin, of course, with dotty relatives and Negro retainers, and the reader has to endure[8] almost a hundred pages of sub-Tennessee Williams pastiche, until one wished Ignatius Reilly would burst in, as he does in Confederacy of Dunces, and teach these cadets how to really handle a sabre.

    With all its flaws — it is a “first novel,” after all, overwritten and overly autobiographical — it’s well worth a look, and far more Aryan masculinist than Judeo-subversive than one might expect.

    When I learned that there had been a movie, apparently just as forgotten and, in the nature of such things, of course a “classic” of some sort, I looked around for it, but here the Internet failed me; until recently, it was unavailable on DVD, and now only at loan shark prices.

    So I leapt at the chance to finally see it when TCM recently programmed it as the first part of a double bill of the only two movie made by Jack Garfein (of whom more anon).

    Here’s the blessed IMDB’s rather blunt synopsis [6]:

    At a military school in the Deep South, unrepentant sociopath Jocko DeParis engineers events leading to the expulsion of the son of the school’s headmaster and officer-in-charge. DeParis attempts to terrorize, coerce and manipulate his reluctant conspirators in the crime to ensure their silence, but they ultimately turn against him, leading to his peers banding together to deliver their own form of justice.[9]

    While only the lamest kind of nerd expects a movie to be “just like the book,” the changes here are remarkable.

    Since CW wrote the screenplay, it’s hard to figure out why so much has changed. Why, for instance, are so many hazings packed into one opening scene, in one cadet’s room? Obviously, it’s a hangover from the play (which I haven’t seen or read) but why not open it out as a movie,[10] especially since one location, the off-limits tavern, appears later on anyway?[11]

    The weird slang, part military (“Pop to!” for answer me, “Brace!” for stand at attention) and part boy’s school (random words like “morbid” or “gruesome” are valorized and freely used to indicate distaste for anything and everything, like the later “gross” or “icky”) occurs once or twice, jogging the memory of those who’ve read the book but just puzzling moviegoers and failing, as in the book, to gradually weave the texture of this strange environment.[12]

    The Academy as a background has almost completely disappeared; if not for an opening shot of the gates of “Southern Military College”[13] and an occasional uniform and a brief parade ground scene, you might as well be at Holden Caulfield’s Pency Prep.

    More importantly, the whole emphasis of the work has shifted. I recall reading somewhere a propos The Caine Mutiny that the hero of the book is Ensign Keith, the hero of the Broadway play was the defense attorney, the hero of the TV production was Capt. Queeg, and the hero of the movie was the Navy.

    Here the shift of emphasis is signaled by the change in title. The titular oddball is of course Jocko DeParis, and from the first scene the movie revolves around him and his antics.

    [7]And oh boy, is he strange. Swanning around during his off hours in some kind of karate coat/Hawaiian shirt thing, and smoking from a cigarette holder Cruella De Ville would reject as ostentatious, the best part is that no one notices; either they’re quite used to it by now, or they’ve been terrified into submission, like the unfortunate family in the contemporaneous Twilight Zone episode, “It’s a Good Life.”[14]

    All this is perhaps best symbolized by one small but telling, and certainly puzzling, change. The homosexual novelist character, who’s supposedly writing a book about DeParis, apparently to blackmail him into a relationship, dubs the fictional DeParis “Caesar” in the book, appropriately military yet suggestive of ambisexuality.[15] In the film, he tells DeParis he’s been dubbed “Night Boy.”[16]

    What happened here? Just as I had been exposed to the Männerbund literature before reading the book, by the time I saw the film I had been alerted to telltale signs of the “culture of critique.”

    Calder Willingham wrote both the play and the screenplay, but as directed, both times, by one Jack Garfein, you could call The Strange One a “Judaized” version of End as a Man.[17]

    The first clue is that the play was developed at The Actor’s Studio, the Mecca of Method Acting, and the film was promoted as the first movie with an all-Method cast[18] and director.

    “The Method,” of course, was another postwar agent of Judaic subversion, aimed at replacing the dignified performance style of a Laurence Olivier[19] or Noel Coward[20] with the bumptious ethnic mumblings of a Brando or Dean.[21]

    In Garfein’s version, SMC is presented as a factory of sadism and authoritarianism. It’s the Frankfurt School’s theory of the authoritarian nature of the family, perversely projected onto the Männerbund, which is traditionally an alternative to the family structure. I guess wherever the goyim go they produce fascism, just as wherever the Jew goes he brings sweetness and light.

    And yet . . . Just as the novel, if intended to be subversive of the Citadel, had exactly the opposite effect on me, The Strange One also subverts the filmmakers’ intent. And again, it starts with the title. By choosing to de-emphasize the Academy and focus on Jocko, the filmmakers reluctantly acknowledge that he’s so damned interesting, far more so than anyone else.[22]

    As Trevor Lynch has cogently observed, in the modern, PC world, only bad guys and psychopaths, such as the Joker or Hannibal Lecter, are allowed to voice the Traditional truths that Evola, on trial for subverting the youth of Italy, called “the common sense of every educated person before the French Revolution.”

    And speaking of the French Revolution,[23] another salient difference from the novel is that in the former, as already pointed out, the Academy itself discovers and roots out the cancer of Jocko ends his reign of terror,[24] in the movie, DeParis is able to easily outwit the Commandant[25] and is only brought down by the cadet body itself, which finally tires of his terror and rises up to mete our vigilante justice after a kangaroo court.

    The Academy is bad, because it creates subservient, obedient officers. But it is good when the cadet corps finally turn on Jocko, bring him before an illegal, “kangaroo” court and then beat, (psychologically) torture and “expel” him by dumping him on a train heading north.

    The Academy — “Authority” if you will — has failed to suppress the White individualist — after all, authority itself is the main “authoritarian” menace; the group must gather to take care of him.

    But isn’t this the Jewish nightmare — the White masses rising up and lynching the Strange One, the Alien? Isn’t Jocko, in fact, right to call them “no better than the KKK”?[26]

    Well, yes, but the paradox is easily explained. When the cadets follow orders, they are a disciplined White force that might turn on the Jews. The KKK or a lynch mob is also bad, because it targets Jews. But the corps, when it becomes a vigilante mob, is good, because it targets the Alpha Goy, who might threaten the Jews by providing leadership of the mob. The question of consistency is moot; what counts is, “is it good for the Jews?”[27]

    Best for the Jews would be a leaderless mob of “individualists” who have been taught (by you know Who) to despise charismatic leaders (“the Next Hitler!”) like Jocko, but are easily led by some clever Judaic “public intellectual.”[28]

    But by this time the Judaic has lost control of the narrative, and, as I said before, Jocko remains the most telling presence onscreen. Jocko before the cadet tribunal, in fact, reminds me of another Judaic misjudgment: Fritz Lang’s M. Here, the bad guy is an obvious psychopath, and is only brought to justice, or at least captured, by the criminal underworld, who despise him as much as the police, but cannot go about their normal criminal acts while the city is on lockdown.

    According to Lang, [29] when Goebbels called him into his office, he was afraid that the National Socialists had realized the film — originally called Murderers Among Us — was “really” about them. Instead, Goebbels congratulated Lang on his depiction of the inability of the Weimar Republic to maintain order, necessitating the Party to step in extra-legally, and offered him the directorship of the German film industry. Lang left the country that night.

    Garfein has essentially made Goebbels’ film: he and his kind hate the Academy so much that they regard it as too fascistic itself to outwit a super-fascist like Jocko, so the cadets must take the law into their own hands.

    The resemblance extends to the final scene. The Judaic mind cannot understand the Aryan, and so projects (that very Judaic notion!) his own pathology onto the goy.[30] Here, we see Jocko break down into hysterics, pleading for mercy; a most unlikely fantasy of the Untermensch that “the bully” is “really” a coward and will run away when confronted — by the tame Gollem.[31]

    Jocko’s breakdown resembles Peter Lorre’s final scene in M, and here we see self-subversion again: while intended to evoke sympathy for the child-killer, the scene was later used in The Eternal Jew as an illustration of Judaic hysteria.

    Unlike the pitiable Lorre, but as usual with such Aryan villains, Jocko — like, say, Dr. Hannibal Lecter — has the last word, as the train pulls away:

    I’ll be back! I’ll get you guys! You can’t do this to Jocko DeParis!

    Garfein no doubt intends to warn us about the irrepressible fascist, genocidal spirit of the White race, which, as we have seen in post WWII Europe and America, must be ruthlessly held down and relentlessly policed by our Jewish elites, lest another outbreak of anti-Judaic “madness” occur.[32]

    Having come to the end of the film, and (almost) this essay, I have to add here that Morrissey, of all people, devotes a couple pages of his recent Autobiography to The Strange One, and gets the source of Jocko’s appeal. It deserves to be quoted in extenso:[33]

    De Paris pathologically infects the entire population of the world with his talent for bully tactics and his persistent offensiveness. Only articulate disdain for humanity saves him, and his rein of terror at a military school in Florida is remarkable solely for lasting as long as it does — even though it seems morally inevitable that he will end up being tied to a tree. His looks and style are far more penetrating than the God-fearing toothsome goofs around him — all of whom he breaks and wounds because they pay him far too much attention (or even because they show him none)

    De Paris is star quality and is not short on wit, thus I cannot help thinking that the common evil of his childishly dangerous ploys should be accepted by reason of his magnificent oeuvre alone — which in itself is certainly worth having. I think so, anyway. Ben Gazzara plays de Paris perfectly, relishing the humiliation of others.

    De Paris is too cute to be caught, and his contribution to immortality (what?) is suggested by the number of camera shots where the victim cadets are either kneeling before de Paris and looking upwards, or somehow seen from between the breeched legs of de Paris. If it sounds sordid, it isn’t.

    There are no lines of cruelty on the de Paris face, but we assume that he is that rare thing: a confident sodomite. . . . Could Hollywood bear the eternal burden of a tough fruitcake? No! Anything but that! 

    In any case, de Paris must die soon because he is just as real as life, and since he is free of sexual loathing there is slim chance of the obligatory suicide. It takes dominantly handsome Mark Richman, with a civic duty to sexual custom, to turn the nature of suffering back on de Paris, who, yes, is tied to a tree and tortured. For this, we are all purified and we return to the ideal vision of manliness untroubled by that nasty game of thinking. But it is all too late because we already prefer the richer intellect of de Paris to the bullheaded correctness of Mark Richman. But de Paris must perish, because he is neither correct nor dull, and by the closing credits we are left to assume that he is as dead as a pansy from last spring.

    But spare a thought for those who rock the boat. They challenge your attention, and even in your rage you find you quite like them for poking at you as if you were a dead mule. Perhaps you are?

    Well, so what? Why make anything at all out of such films? Mr Cringle and de Paris — the colorful and exciting disturbers of the peace — are impossible to miss and impossible to overlook as adventurers on thin ice, exhaling a secret stream of inspiration, having far too exciting a message to deliver, and — even worse: not without a sense of humor. The arts translate life into film and literature and music and repeat a deadly poison: the monotonous in life must be protected at all costs. But protected from what? From you and I.

    Morrissey has the makings of a fine film critic, perhaps even a paranoiac-critic.[34] He certainly hits the two notes we’ve emphasized: Jocko as the Bad Guy who’s far more charismatic and real than the dullards and Untermenschen offered for our approval, and the concomitant necessity of DeParis’ demise.

    But true to his miserablist soul, he somewhat misinterprets the ending. Yes, the “successful sodomite” must die, and being an unlikely suicide, must be murdered. But this is merely an instance of a more broad category that I’ve called a “genre convention”; the bad guy dies to satisfy social conventions, but really only because, more deeply, the author is done with him, he can be developed not further, like Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.

    Morrissey seems to imply that Jocko dies tied to a tree. In truth, he is only briefly tied and blindfolded, but Morrissey is right to hear the note of Christ, hated by Jews and Liberals alike for his relatively successful Männerbund; a “successful sodomite” indeed.[35]

    Even more profoundly, he dies because he has indeed successfully transcended the material plane and, having slipped the surly bonds of Earth, disappears from view.[36]

    Jocko will return, not because, like the others, he is bound to the wheel of recurrence, but precisely because, having transcended that wheel, he returns, like Krishna, to reestablish dharma in the Dark Ages of unrighteousness, ”exhaling a secret stream of inspiration, having far too exciting a message to deliver, and — even worse: not without a sense of humor.[37]

    “I’ll be back!”[38]

    Notes

    1. Paton Oswald — whose movie Big Fan was reviewed as an implicitly White critique of sports culture here on Counter-Currents — has a bit somewhere in which the variables in a breathless Coming Attractions blurb — “From the director of X and the stars of Y comes the heartbreaking brilliance of Z” — are replaced by various flatulent noises, in a perfect simulacrum of Hollywood’s contempt for its audiences.

    2. A line from Paul Simon’s version of “Scarborough Fair,” featured in Mike Nichols’ film The Graduate (1967), with which Willingham had a hand, as we shall see.

    3. See “MANNERBUND: ASPECTS OF MALE MYSTERY CULTS (published in New Imperium magazine March 2006),” online here [8] at his blog, Aryan Futurism, which see generally.

    4. See his Loki’s Way: The Path of the Sorcerer in the Age of Iron (2nd ed.), Lulu.com, 2011, and my review “A Band Apart” here [9] and reprinted in my collection The Homo and the Negro (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012).

    5. In discussing these works, I felt the same hesitation as I did when reviewing Sam Finlay’s excellent Breakfast with the Dirt Cult — lack of military experience; as well as lack of military school experience (unless attending a boys-only Catholic high school counts). So I reached out to a couple of vets, neither of whom had heard/seen either film or book, or attended a military school; but after the plot was described both recalled similar incidents in the service, and one recalled that after the first two weeks of boot camp, when supervision was slacked off, exactly the same power dynamic had arisen, including the rise to power among them of a diminutive sociopath, who was, in fact, a military school graduate. So there seems some verisimilitude here.

    6. I was reminded of the Base Commander in The Starfighters, apparently “not an actor,” whom Tom Servo described as “You know, he’s crusty but . . . unlikeable.” MST3k, Episode 612.

    7. Most of the paperback covers seem to take the currently campy “’50s gay pulp” approach.

    8. “They endured.” — William Faulkner

    9. As I access this page, I find myself confronted with a huge advertising banner promoting the no doubt hagiographic Trumbo; for more on eternal Judaic revenge for “blacklisting” see below.

    10. “We could use a flashback here; this is a motion picture!” – MST3k, Episode 603: The Dead Talk Back (filmed the same year as The Strange One, but not “released” until it was sent directly to MST3k in 1993).

    11. On the other hand, the new ending equips the cadets, most implausibly, with cars and even features a train. For a brief moment we see Jocko drive up the bar in a bizarre futuristic bubble car, with a pop-open lid and room for a passenger behind the driver; there is no explanation of how or why Jocko obtained such a vehicle, nor does anyone on the street — in 1957 Dixie! — even notice.

    12. This is apparently the book reviewers called “realistic” dialogue, which might have suggested some kind of Frank Norris or even gritty, Mickey Spillane, sort of stuff.

    13. I could here the MST3k boys shouting “Generic college for generic soldiers; just as good, but cheaper!”

    14. A few nights after watching I was reminded of Jocko when Nicky berates his pal Ace in Casino: “Nicky Santoro: [to Ace] I lost control? Look at you, you’re fucking walking around like John Barrymore! A fucking pink robe and a fucking cigarette holder? I lost control?” Are Scorsese or De Niro referencing, perhaps parodying, Gazzara’s “method” performance? (For more on Casino, see my “Essential Films . . . & Others,” here [10]). Late in the film, Jocko is hanging out with some town broad at a cramped table in a tavern, and his cigarette holder almost puts out her eye, and she still doesn’t say “Put that ridiculous thing away,” although the actress herself looks annoyed. Earlier, they arrive in Jocko’s bizarre mini-rocket car, with inline seats like a jet plane and even a bubble top, and again, no one, even among the citizens of “hick Southern town” pays any attention, even though it would have been less noticeable if he’s driven up in a time travelling Delorean. Next year, 1958, The Screaming Skull opens with our protagonists driving up in a gull-wing Mercedes, prompting Tom Servo to quip “Yes, shocking horror arrives in style in your 1953 Mercedes!” (MST3k, Episode 912).

    15. Julius Caesar was reputed to be “every woman’s husband and every man’s wife.”

    16. Whatever the movie’s intent, this can only remind the modern viewer of The Nightman, the child-molesting night visitor in Charlie’s autistic musical The Nightman Cometh [11], the fourth season finale of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia [12]; hence my title above.

    17. Willingham is likely better known today as a screenwriter, but his career was punctuated by numerous disputes over authorship, most notably perhaps suing to have his name alongside Buck Henry for The Graduate (another Jews expose the gentiles tale); in this, he kind of reminds me of Ian Fleming’s nemesis, Kevin McClory; see Jef Costello’s “The Cat is Back! The Spectre Behind S.P.E.C.T.R.E.,” here [13]. I suspect he’s the sort of writer that absorbs influences around him without being able to later sort them out; the discipline of the Citadel having failed him he was likely exceptionally susceptible to the Judaic influences of Strassberg, Garfein, et al.

    18. And what a cast, all making their film debuts: Ben Gazara (The Big Lebowski), Pat Hingle (Tim Burton’s Commissioner Gordon), George Peppard (before Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The A Team), and even Mark (later, for “spiritual reasons,” Peter Mark) Richman, later to play the smarmiest of middle-aged, yellow cardigan wearing Bond rip-offs, Agent for H.A.R.M. and, later still, Spock’s father!). Storch’s acting, however, is so broad and “comical” that he might as well have been replaced by Larry Storch.

    19. An excellent refutation of “Method” can be found here [14]. While filming Marathon Man, Dustin Hoffman (star of Willingham’s The Graduate) arrived on set for the dentistry scene all dirty and unslept, to find Sir Laurence sitting at ease. How can you deliver such great performances and me so relaxed, Hoffman asked. “My boy, it’s called acting.”

    20. “In a series of articles for the Sunday Times, ‘Consider the Public’ [Coward] diagnosed and rebuked  . . . the bad new actors who use a pretentious and unreliable ‘Method’ to justify an inflated sense of their own intellects as well as a contempt for audiences, actors of the older generation, [reasonably educated people who behave with restraint in emotional crises are necessarily “clipped,” “arid,” “bloodless,” and “unreal”] and the theatre itself, expressed mainly through coprophilic stage business, slovenly dress, and dirty fingernails. Against all this Coward praised simple, unpretentious craft—‘You must have the emotion to know it, then you must learn how to use the emotion without suffering it’—which he had honed the hard way entertaining troops; ‘Noël distrusted every emotion on stage and dealt solely in the illusion’ (Payn, p. 42). And above all, respect for theatrical tradition, and the audience itself, without which there would be no theatre at all.” See my “Sir Noël Coward, 1899–1973, Part 2,” here [15] and reprinted in The Homo and the Negro, op. cit., and in North American New Right, Vol. I (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2013).

    21. According to Gazarra, Dean was bucking for his role of Jocko in the stage production. Jef Costello might have to revise his low opinion of Robert Vaughn as Napoleon (like Gazara’s Jocko, a diminutive tyrant) Solo (Jocko) — “nice looking . . . but hardly physically imposing.” — when he considers that Vaughn was quite successful as the masterful Jocko in a road company production; see “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.—A Cautionary Tale, Part 2,” here [16]. Actors Studio bumptiousness ultimately backfired, though: “One day, Garfein, who had already learned how to be pushy from his experiences with Lee Strasberg, did exactly that, thus completely poisoning Spiegel against him. Spiegel ended up taking the film away from Garfein before he even had a chance to edit it and add a score. When several pivotal scenes dealing with homosexuality were removed by the censors, Garfein’s original vision had been altered beyond recognition. ‘Sam’s vengeance was long-lasting and far-reaching,’ Gazzara stated in his autobiography. ‘The Strange One was a good movie, very well made, but Jack’s film career was hurt badly by his run-in with Sam. He messed with the wrong man, and it hurt all of us.’” — TCM.com.

    22. “What distinguishes The Strange One from other fifties attacks on military abuses is the filmmaker’s decision to force us to see the action significantly from Jocko’s perspective — it’s as if The Caine Mutiny had been told from the viewpoint of Captain Queeg.” — David Lamble at Claudesplace.com, 6/7/09, here [17]. Say, didn’t I already mention Caine?

    23. Jocko deParis, get it?

    24. Cancer, because Jocko is a diseased form of what the Academy is designed to produce, leaders of men. His clique is what I have called a “bad Männerbund,” imitating the Aryan warrior band but actually run for the benefit of Leader himself; I base this idea on Tony Tanner’s analysis of Capt. Ahab, and I apply it to Brian De Palma’s Al Capone in ““God, I’m with a heathen.” The Rebirth of the Männerbund in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, here [18] and reprinted in The Homo and the Negro, op. cit.

    25. “Well, sir, it’s got to be one of two things. Either you’re lying, in which case there’d be no whiskey in that tube — or you’re right. I did it all, just as you say. Now, if I was such a Machiavellian, crafty, conniving character as all that, would I be so stupid as to leave whiskey in that tube for you to come along and find it? I don’t think so, sir. It stands to reason that thing would be washed with loving care.”

    26. Nicely foreshadowed by the first scene, where Jocko interrogates two freshmen and asks “I suppose you think we all belong to the KKK down here?” Lamble, op. cit., notes that “All through the film Willingham knowingly mocks the dying days of Jim Crow, particularly through a clever use of a lynching motif — first in a joking reference in Jock’s first monologue and finally in an ironic twist of the bully’s fate which is sealed on a segregated railroad car.” In his TCM interview, Garfien says he was inspired by seeing segregated trains while filming in Florida, due to his being (of course) “an Auschwitz survivor.” The studio refused, supposedly because “Southern markets” would be offended, so Garfien snuck in some token, as it were, Negroes literally through the studio back door. I’ve heard this story — that Southern theatres would refuse to book films with “black” actors (Ray Dennis Steckler claims he replaced a black actor in Wild Guitar for that reason, and then proudly adds that he cast that same actor in his next film — Incredibly Strange Creatures [gee, thanks, that must have helped his career]) — and I call bullshit. Negroes in subservient roles were perfectly acceptable — who protested Gone with the Wind? As always, the Jew brings moral enlightenment to the goyim. Columbia Studio head Harry Cohn was rather immune to judeophilia, from sponsoring the goyishe Three Stooges (so unlike the subversively intellectual Marx Brothers) to asking, when solicited for a donation to a society to save the Jews, “How about a society to save me from the Jews?”

    27. It’s little known, because little taught, that the “infamous”: anti-American laws and committees of the ’50s were created in the ’30s at the instigation of Jews seeking to suppress the peace movement (smeared as “isolationists” and “German agents”). I suspect McCarthy was a naïve goy “conservative” manipulated by Troyskyites (today’s Neocons) into a purge taking care of their Stalinist rivals.

    28. Rather than M, the ending more closely emulates Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront. Kazan, who “named names,” intended Terry Molloy’s lone stand to be a cinematic justification of his own role as a “friendly” witness (the bad guy, a union leader, is named Friendly). In his interview with Robert Osbourne on TCM, Garfein cites an occasion when he was rehearsing Gazara, James Dean, and others after hours, prompting Kazan to stop in and predict they would all become famous for such dedication. Kazan’s later A Face in the Crowd would again mine the idea of the charismatic hick leader (Andy Griffith, fresh from his military comedy No Time for Sergeants), not so secretly manipulated by rich goys, one of whom is explicitly identified by the horrified Patricia Neal character (no Dominique Francon here) as “the last of the isolationists.”

    29. Like most Judaic stories, Lang’s accounts of his pre-exilic activities are hard to verify.

    30. I discuss this in my critique, “The Fraud of Miss Jean Brodie,” here and reprinted in my Green Nazis In Space! (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015).

    31. “Let’s you and him fight” is the Judaic motto, as we see in the Middle East. The current “anti-bullying” hysteria is a symptom of our Judaic culture; the idea of that the bully is “really” something else is the telltale clue to a Judaic, Frankfurt-style analysis.

    32. Again, one recalls Kazan’s Face in the Crowd, which ends with Griffiths’ “cornpone fascist” (a favorite term of James Kunstler) shouting from his penthouse “Come back! Come back!” to Patricia Neal’s wised-up character, while smug Vanderbilt liberal Walter Matthau smugly smugs that “I don’t figure him for the suicide type.”

    33. Though I’ve added the paragraphing and italics. Published in 2013 as a Penguin Classic, oddly enough. Amazon reviewers say the American edition has been censored, but I haven’t compared the two; there’s no mention of it in the Wikipedia article here [19]. To check the accuracy of my quote, you can read a pdf of the actual two pages from the (presumably UK) Penguin at jack Garfien’s own website here. Yes, Jack’s still around — thus the TCM interview — no longer a Young Turk but as feisty as ever, running his website — Le Studio Jack Garfien — from an apparent French exile. The French, as we know, are very welcoming to immigrants, especially Semites, especially anti-American ones, and though his people make up less than one-sixth of one percent of the population, I’m sure Jack feels right at home.

    34. Meaning, he says things I agree with. Is it just me, or does it sound like Morrissey rather identifies with Jocko? Check out the full list of “films under the influence of Morrissey here. [20]

    35. To read an actual Christian scripture that portrays Christ as the leader of a warrior Männerbund, see G. Ronald Murphy, The Saxon Saviour: The Germanic Transformation of the Gospel in the Ninth-Century Heliand (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989) and his English translation, The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). Why don’t we ever hear about this authentic gospel, and only about lachrymose fabrications about Mary Magdalene and Leonardo Da Vinci? Don’t ask me; ask the Tribe that owns the movie studios and cable “history” channels. As for sodomite, it’s interesting that when Jesus alludes to the “sin of Sodom” it clearly amounts to the failure to offer hospitality to strangers (“Shake the dust from your sandals,” etc.), and when the Roman centurion asks him to heal his sickly “boy” Jesus finds him to have “greater faith than I have found in Judea.”

    36. Perhaps even more profoundly, characters like Burroughs’ Wild Boys die or disappear because only thus can they serve ass guides and inspirations; see Timothy Murphy, Wising Up the Marks, and my essay “The Wild Boys Smile: Reflections on Olaf Stapledon’s Odd John, Part 3,” here [21] and reprinted in Green Nazis in Space!, op. cit.

    37. See, for example, “The Babysitting Bachelor as Aryan Avatar: Clifton Webb in Sitting Pretty, Part 2,“ here [22].

    38. But Garfein wouldn’t. Garfein’s next, second, and last film is the misleadingly title Something Wild (which I first saw when I confused it with the Griffin Dunne/Melanie Griffith comedy. It’s a dark, or rather, grey portrait of New York, on which the ungrateful “refugee” projects his own miserablist worldview onto the most prosperous and vibrant society on Earth at the peak of its world importance. Imagine The Honeymooners rewritten by Kafka. It shows Coleman Francis could have achieved with money, talent, and real actors. [38] Fortunately for the world’s sanity, Garfein, like Francis, stopped after an even briefer output of two films, leaving the world in peace.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • An “M” of Our Own: Creating an Aryan Version of Fritz Lang’s Masterpiece
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]3,320 words

    M (1951)
    Directed by Joseph Losey
    Produced by Seymour Nebenzal
    Writing Credits (in alphabetical order): Leo Katcher (scenario revisions); Fritz Lang (scenario) (uncredited); Norman Reilly Raine (scenario revisions); Waldo Salt (additional dialogue) Thea von Harbou (scenario) (uncredited)
    Cast: David Wayne (Martin W. Harrow); Howard Da Silva (Inspector Carney); Steve Brodie (Lt. Becker); Raymond Burr (Pottsy); Norman Lloyd (Sutro); Jim Backus (The Mayor)
    88 minutes; black and white

    As with The Strange One, Turner Classic Movies has once again given me the chance to view a rarely-seen classic of ‘50s black-and-white Hollywood: the 1951 “remake” of Fritz Lang’s 1931 M.

    In “Kafka, Our Folk Comrade [2],” I highlighted the latest literary research showing that, as Margot Metroland so succinctly puts it, “Franz Kafka was no doomed, obsessed prophet of the Holocaust, but rather a millionaire slacker whose ‘horror’ stories were written as absurdist satires.”[1]

    Another prominent figure of that impossibly over-rated period (when “hated by the Nazis” meant “genius”) is Fritz Lang, a somewhat equivocal figure as far as “echoing” goes. He did, after all, direct the epic Nibelungen films, but “in exile” Lang was quick to offload any hints of “Nazi” tropes here and elsewhere onto his collaborator, Thea von Harbou (apparently an enthusiastic Hitlerite).

    M is a good example, at least as Lang told the story (like most “survivors” his stories tended to be unverifiable, self-serving, and changeable). Shortly after the premiere, Lang was summoned to the offices of Dr. Goebbels himself. Lang was terrified that the National Socialists had figured out (he says) that the movie (originally titled Murderers Among Us) was a veiled attack on the party’s rise to power. Instead, Goebbels praised the film, which he saw as an allegory of the breakdown of order under the Weimar government, and the necessity of the people taking power back into their own hands. He then (Lang says) offered Lang the leadership of the German film industry. Lang then went home, packed his bags, and headed for Paris and, eventually, Hollywood.

    True or not, the story illustrates a point we’ve frequently made: being a collaborative medium, film, more than any other art form, is likely to escape the intentions of its “auteur” and take on a life of its own.

    Again, take M. Not only did Goebbels derive a party-friendly reading of it, but Lang’s clear intention — to create a sympathetic portrait of a child-murderer — was subverted by the party incorporating Peter Lorre’s famous trail scene — ”explaining” his obsessions and begging for mercy — into Fritz Hippler’s 1940 propaganda classic The Eternal Jew [3], as an example of both Jewish support for degeneracy as well as Jewish hysterical mannerisms.

    Lang must have thought he was truly cursed when, after the war, his fellow “refugee” (“My God, they tried to make me run the film industry, the monsters!”) Seymour Nebenzal, the producer of M, popped up in Hollywood. Nebenzal asserted that he still held the rights, and, wanting to polish up his stateside résumé, proposed a remake. Lang was outraged, but having divorced von Harbou,[2] no screen credit, and the papers proving his ownership having been “lost in the war” (as per usual), Nebenzal simply got von Harbou’s OK and proceeded along. Lang briefly agreed then refused to direct it, so Nebenzal offered the role to a neophyte with two movies under his belt, Joseph Losey. Losey also refused, but “after looking at his bank account” (according to TCM’s Robert Osborne) decided to go ahead.

    It’s hard to say exactly what M51, as I’ll call it, is, vis-à-vis M31. It’s not really a “remake,” like the three versions Warner’s made of The Maltese Falcon;[3] nor is it really a frame by frame “reshooting” like Gus Van Sants’ pointless Psycho (although we’ll have reason to revisit the original in what follows).

    The Bond films — as is appropriate, when dealing with the creator of Dr. Mabuse, as well as a very different “M”! — offer several not quite exact parallels. The ownership dispute recalls Kevin McClory’s claim to the Thunderball scenario and the Blofeld character, although the subsequent “remake”– Never Say Never Again — reverses the relation of M51 to M31, respectively.[4] It’s not a rip-off, using a Lorre lookalike along with some of the original actors, but avoiding the same character names, like Operation Kid Brother (a.k.a. Operation Double 007, a.k.a. OK Connery, where Sean’s brother takes the place of “your, um, brother”). It’s not a spoof, as when Columbia Pictures (the company that produced M51) reasserted its rights to the first book, Casino Royale, and made the dreadful 1967 version.

    Speaking of which, the Daniel Craig version suggest this is a “reboot” of M31, like the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Very close, but each of these consciously tries to avoid anything that visually recalls the earlier films, and here Losey is hewing very close to the original, either out of piety or uncertainty, or perhaps fear. A reviewer says:

    Watching the remake, I was struck by how humbly Losey bows to the shot sequence of the original. In the original M’s famous opening, a mother in her kitchen glances at the wall clock; meanwhile her little daughter wanders home from school alone. The girl bounces a ball as she walks, and a nice man, his face unseen, befriends her, buying her a balloon from a blind street vendor. Growing fearful, the mother calls down the stairwell, turned into a vortex by a camera shooting straight downward. Medium shots show the little girl’s empty place setting at the kitchen table, and the abandoned ball rolling to a halt; a long shot reveals the balloon caught in the telephone wires. Losey copies this entire sequence; there are some minor adjustments (he inserts a shot looking back up the stairwell at the mother, and reverses the order of the rolling ball and drifting balloon), but they only remind you how beautifully conceived the original was.[5]

    For a closer analogue, I think we need to look at one of Lang’s own films. In the early days of cinema, it was not unusual to avoid dubbing or subtitling by making entirely separate films for two or perhaps more major markets, shooting them simultaneously, using a different cast of native actors and perhaps another director.

    It’s an intriguing idea; by using not just dubbing but actual native actors, the market gets the story recreated by their own people, almost cargo cult-like.

    Needless to say, these are not “exact” copies;[6] necessarily, slight differences in shots and especially editing occur, deliberately or not.

    Thus, Lang shot parallel versions of The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, one in German, one in French, using the same sets, but different actors.[7] An even better example would be Dracula (also 1931!), or rather, the legendary “Spanish Dracula,” shot at night on the same sets by another director, George Melford. Here again, the resulting “alternate take” — as would be the case with sound recordings — is fascinatingly different:

    Of the cast, only Carlos Villarías (playing Dracula) was permitted to see rushes of the English-language film starring Bela Lugosi and was encouraged to imitate the other man’s performance. As well, some long shots of Lugosi as the Count as well as some alternate takes from the English version were used in this production.[8]

    The tradition continues in television, especially between US and Latin America; thus Betty la Fea becomes Ugly Betty, and Breaking Bad becomes Metastasis. Indeed, the Counter-Currents fav[9] provides the closest parallel yet:

    You seem to be watching the opening minutes of the first episode of “Breaking Bad,” but you notice a few differences. The vehicle full of drug-lab paraphernalia and dangerous fumes is not an RV; it’s a decrepit school bus. When the driver staggers out for a breath of fresh air, he puts his shirt on so that he can play the rest of the scene semi-modestly. And when he picks up a video camera to record what he thinks will be his last testament, he doesn’t say, “My name is Walter Hartwell White.” He says, Mi nombre es Walter Blanco.

    “Metastasis,” shot in the high desert in Colombia, is an episode-for-episode, practically shot-for-shot remake, done with considerably less time and money than were spent on the American original. On television, where it plays every weeknight, the telenovela  —  which encompasses the entire story line of five seasons of “Breaking Bad”  —  will play out in about three months.[10]

    And here’s our Fritz Lang:

    “They did all the 62 episodes we did, but made them much faster, on a smaller budget,” says Bad creator Vince Gilligan, who had “zero” input in the adaptation but experienced a “slightly disorienting feeling of déjà vu” watching the first episode. “It simultaneously inspires me and makes me feel a little sheepish that we took as much money and shooting hours as we did.”[11]

    And perhaps, apart from making it cheaper, quicker, and easier for the viewer to binge-watch, it’s also better than the original? Consider “Spanish Dracula” again:

    In recent years, this version has become more highly praised by some than the better known English-language version. The Spanish crew had the advantage of watching the English dailies when they came in for the evening, and they would figure out better camera angles and more effective use of lighting in an attempt to “top” it. As a result, this version’s supporters consider it to be much more artistically effective. The Spanish semiologist Roman Gubern considers that the longer duration allows better development of the plot in spite of the shortened shooting time and smaller budget.

    Speaking of Dracula recalls a final parallel, with a famous incident from the beginnings of the German film industry: F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu.

    The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”). Stoker’s heirs sued over the adaptation, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. However, a few prints of Nosferatu survived, and the film came to be regarded as an influential masterpiece of cinema. As of 2015, it is Rotten Tomatoes’ second best-reviewed horror film of all time.[12]

    Here we see a sort of reversal of the M51 situation: there the first director fails to get the widow to assert his supposed ownership, while she strikes a deal with the new director, who never the less does make some changes. It’s time to look at those changes, and indeed “reversal” is the recurring theme.

    The most noticeable is that the story has been moved forward in time, to 1951, and westward in place, to Los Angeles — “go West” will be the nature of most of the reversals. This is all done implicitly; there are no sly winks back to M31 or other “fan service.”[13]

    Nebenzal thought the story still worked because America had all sorts of isolated psychotics running around; in fact, the inner world conjured up by Losey and David Wayne feels less like the original M than it does the sun-washed nightmare of Psycho.

    For example, these shots, impossible to film in Berlin even if Lang had tried:

    A montage of the killer approaching various girls (one black and another Asian, reminding us where we are and how the lower classes are preyed upon) ends with him staring out into the blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean. A marvelously composed frame shows him getting a shoeshine before a picture window that overlooks an impossibly wide city street. Later the killer sprawls out on a park bench playing his creepy tin whistle, behind him a panoramic view of a main thoroughfare stretching back to the horizon.

    All the landmarks of the soon-to-be razed Bunker Hill section are there, including the funicular railway, Angel’s Flight. We’ve explored this territory before, and sure enough, down in the credits, there he is — assistant director, Robert Aldrich!

    Yes, M51 brings us back to the creepy, sunny apocalyptic landscape that Aldrich would explore/exploit four years later in Kiss Me Deadly.[14]

    On the other hand, M51 lacks any notable cinematography, neither the shadowy Expressionism of M31 nor the blinding chrome and neon lighting of KSD that create their culturally appropriate visions of post-Apocalyptic Hells. Surprisingly, it’s by Ernest Laszlo, who also did KMD! [15] Neither my Portuguese bootleg DVD nor the “restored” version shown by TCM display any more than competent Hollywood camera work, like the element of professionalism William Thompson consistently brought to Ed Woods’ oeuvre.[16]

    Moving on. Of course, Peter Lorre is gone. Apart from any idea of approaching him, or his lack of interest, Lorre simply was no longer suitable, having, during his Hollywood “exile” (“Oh, my God, they’re forcing me to make millions dollars!”), moved, willingly or not, from effectively scary guy to funny little weirdo.[17] Yes, he’s “gone West” too.[18]

    Taking his place is David Wayne, and here the reversals continue and get more interesting. Wayne, unlike Lorre, had a small career playing nice guys; he’s a slightly built, blonde, pleasantly Midwestern guy.[19] Overall, does an excellent job; one miss-step is the scene where he tries to resist his impulses and break away from a potential victim, going to a nearby sidewalk café and downing a drink. While Lorre demands several in quick succession and eventually calms done, Wayne barely chokes down one before plopping face down on the table and sobbing; it’s very fake. On the other hand, in his big final speech — the “To be or not to be” of the role — he easily matches Lorre.[20]

    Film buffs will no doubt miss Lorre’s whistling of the “Hall of the Mountain King” tune; I’m not sure why it was left out, unless it was thought too much of a “classic” bit and thus a cliché.[21] In its place, Wayne plays a little slide flute, and not only is it a pretty good substitute in the creepy department, it also fills a big plot hole in M31. How does Becker (Lorre) attract these little girls? He is, after all, Peter Lorre, and one would think anyone’s reaction to finding him standing next to you would be to more or less quickly and soundlessly put some distance between him and yourself. [22] But not only is Wayne a reasonably friendly-looking guy, the flute is just the sort of thing that would attract a child, and it even has Germanic folk tale resonances (The Pied Piper, of course).[23]

    Pursuing Wayne is Lt. Becker [24] played by . . . Steve Brodie! Brodie’s career would sink into a black hole so deep that he would later “star” in not one but two MST3k favorites — The Giant Spider Invasion, and The Wild World of Batwoman, the latter being a leading contender for the worst movie ever made, or at least, the most cringe-worthy “comedy.”[25] But in 1951 Brodie was still doing OK for himself, with roles in noir classics like Out of the Past and Crossfire (both in 1947).

    M51 would be the last big noir role, or indeed big role of any kind. He’s in The Caine Mutiny but not in the lead he had in the play, and by the sixties Elvis movies were the best he could find.[26] He did a lot of TV, though, and appeared four times on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1957, he appeared in the episode “One More Mile to Go”:

    Sam Jacoby and his nagging wife argue, and he accidently kills her by striking her with a rod. He decides to dump her body in a lake. Jacoby puts the body in his car trunk and takes off. A motorcycle policeman repeatedly stops him after seeing Jacoby’s burned out taillight. Eventually, the officer tells him to follow him to the station where a police mechanic will open the trunk and change the bulb.[27]

    Brodie is quite effective as the cop in mirror shades who seems to be impishly toying with the murderer, who, for many reasons, seems a stand-in for the viewer. Many have suggested that this episode, directed by Hitchcock, contains the seeds of an idea he would expand to the first third of Psycho: the vaguely knowing cop behind the mirror shades, popping up to freak out the criminal we sympathize with. So Brodie connects us to Psycho again, and who played the driver, Jacoby? David Wayne!

    One expansion of the original actually serves to ramp up the Judaic content. We get to seem more clues about the creep’s background, and you know what that means. There’s a photo of a strikingly ferocious woman that we suppose is his mother, and at night he models female figures in clay, then decapitates them.

    Psychoanalysis, like its big brother, Marxism, is another Judaic cult disguising itself as a “science.” Like Marxism, it comforts its believers with an all-encompassing story, while stroking their vanity by telling them that only they are smart enough to know “what’s really going on.” Remember, “America had all sorts of isolated psychotics running around.”

    It particularly appeals to Hollywood types, due to their already weak egos, as well as for a reason we see here: it helps the beleaguered scriptwriter by providing ready-made storylines.

    Speaking of Marxism, some claim that “McCarthyism” was one reason for the film’s virtual disappearance.[28]

    Three of his players on M — Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel, and Luther Adler — were blacklisted, and M was greeted by right-wing picketers in Los Angeles that October.

    As for Losey himself,

    Three months after M was released, he left the United States for Europe to escape being subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, which wanted him to explain his past membership in the Communist Party; subsequently, he enjoyed a long career in Britain and France but he never worked in America again.[29]

    Here we have the final reversal: Lang and Lorre flee Europe for Hollywood, Losey and his actors flee Hollywood for Europe. And despite decades of whining and back-patting,[30] the fact remains that they got what was coming to them: the anti-sedition mechanisms — including the “Un-American Activities Committee” itself — were set up in the ’30s at the insistence of Commies in and out of Hollywood, so as to persecute anti-war activists and Aryan patriots as “isolationists” and “agents of foreign powers.”[31] I say, good on ’em.

    But let us be generous in our triumph — at least, the prospective triumph of our White Nationalist reality. Let us go back to the beginning:

    Losey opens with a shot out the window of the [Angel’s Flight] rail car as passengers board, stepping over tied stacks of newspapers screaming child killer sought, before the killer boards and the car begins its ascent.[32]

    Yes, Losey begins his “remake” by showing the killer stepping over the news of his victims. I suggest we step over Losey’s agenda, and recuperate, as the “critical theorists” would say, the film for ourselves.[33]

    In “Kafka: Our Folk Comrade” I suggested that once we know the facts behind the legend we can “step over” the decades of the Judaic ethnic networking to promote victim/prophet Kafka and retain his work for our own, as he would have wanted. In “Mike Hammer, Occult Dick” — and elsewhere — I’ve suggested that filmmakers are often overtaken by their own work and have their intentions subverted — Aldrich, intending to “destroy” the popularity of Mickey Spillane by portraying Hammer as a sadistic moron, produced a film that was condemned by the Legion of Decency as more sadistically violent that anything in the Spillane canon.

    M51 gives us a chance to do both: take away Lang and Losey’s film and recuperate M as an Aryan film for ourselves: add Goebbels’ interpretation and substitute our West Coast for dreary Weimar.[34] Psychos, but nice, warm, “sun-washed,” if you will. Above all, White.

    In this way, it does, once more, kind of resemble the Daniel Craig “reboot” of Bond, but again, reversed: instead of substituting a blond Jew for a dark Aryan, the dark chaos of Weimar Berlin is replaced by the “sun-washed nightmare” of the West Coast; degenerate Lorre is replaced by the sunny David Wayne; and although the intention was to suggest, Lynch-like, that the evil is right here in sunny White Land — “America had all sorts of isolated psychotics running around”– it’s still nice to be able to watch a movie that’s scary but with only nice White actors and scenery, isn’t it?

    Notes

    1. From Ms. Metroland’s blurb for my latest book, Green Nazis in Space! (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015), in which the essay is collected.

    2. Who had pulled a Savitri Devi by shacking up with a true Aryan, an Indian journalist.

    3. The first, in 1931 (same year as M) is a pre-Code film that emphasizes the sleazy innuendo and is mildly interesting as such; the second, retitled Satan Met a Lady (the winning suggesting in a studio contest) is an unfunny “comedy” starring then-matinee idol Warren Williams and Bette Davis, who hated the picture so much she walked out on her contract. The third time proved to be the charm with John Huston’s 1941 version, featuring  . . . M31’s Peter Lorre.

    4. For the history, see Jef Costello, “The Cat is Back! The Spectre Behind S.P.E.C.T.R.E.,” here [4].

    5. See the excellent review (of both movie and history) “The (re)making of M: Joseph Losey takes another crack at the Fritz Lang masterpiece,” by J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, October 20, 2013, online here [5].

    6. “We don’t have a machine that makes exact copies.” Don Draper to Pete Campbell, accusing Pete of stealing his copy of a rather Frankfurt School-ish “psychological profile” of the “death instinct” of the average smoker, in Mad Men, Episode 1.1, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Lang, in M, Mabuse, and elsewhere, was a first class retailer of Freudian claptrap to the movie-going masses.

    7. You can view and compare both on the Criterion Collection DVD release.

    8. Wikipedia, here [6]. To see for yourself, you can either get a bootleg online, as I did, or, as Wikipedia notes, “It was included as a bonus feature on the Classic Monster Collection DVD in 1999, the Legacy Collection DVD in 2004, the 75th Anniversary Edition DVD set in 2006, and was remastered in high definition for the Universal Monsters: The Essential Collection Blu-ray boxed set. In September 2014 it was released as part of the 4-DVD/6-movie set, titled Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection. The film was theatrically released on October 25 & 28, 2015 as part of the “TCM Presents” series by Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events. Two showings each day played a double-feature with the Spanish film’s English counterpart.”

    9. See “Breaking Bad: A Celebration” by Jef Costello, here [7].

    10. See “Walter White, Meet Walter Blanco: It’s the Same Story, With a Different Desert, ‘Metastasis,’ a Spanish-Language Version of ‘Breaking Bad,’ Debuts,” Mike Hall, New York Times, June 17, 2014; online here [8].

    11. “‘Breaking Bad’ doesn’t get lost in Spanish translation,” Gary Levin, USA TODAY, June 3, 2014; online here [9].

    12. Wikipedia, here [10]. The article details the changes as: “The story of Nosferatu is similar to that of Dracula and retains the core characters—Jonathan and Mina Harker, the Count, etc.—but omits many of the secondary players, such as Arthur and Quincey, and changes all of the characters’ names (although in some recent releases of this film, which is now in the public domain in the United States but not in most European countries, the written dialogue screens have been changed to use the Dracula versions of the names). The setting has been transferred from Britain in the 1890s to Germany in 1838. In contrast to Dracula, Orlok does not create other vampires, but kills his victims, causing the townfolk to blame the plague, which ravages the city. Also, Orlok must sleep by day, as sunlight would kill him, while the original Dracula is only weakened by sunlight. The ending is also substantially different from that of Dracula. The count is ultimately destroyed at sunrise when the “Mina” character sacrifices herself to him.

    13. Or rather, “pandering to the base.” “‘Fanservice’ is also sometimes used in a more general way, referring simply to any crowd-pleaser thrown in just because. When this is something non-sexual, like needlessly flashy attacks in a Humongous Mecha show, long guitar/bass/drum solos in a concert, or throwing in lots of obscure continuity references in a long-running work, it’s Pandering to the Base. Sexy fanservice is considered the default form, because it is everywhere, and it’s easy to add to any kind of show.” Such as in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig, asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred, says “Do I look like someone who cares?”; or in Skyfall, where Bond and M escape London in an Aston Martin DB6, and Bond lingers over the ejector button “we” know is hidden in the stick shift lever. Not that there’s anything wrong with fan service generally.

    14. See my “Mike Hammer, Occult Dick: Kiss Me Deadly as Lovecraftian Tale,” here [11] and reprinted in The Eldritch Evola … & Others (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014).

    15. Along with an impressive amount of work [12] over a long, Academy-awarded career, ranging from “prestige” anti-Nazi schlock like Judgement at Nuremberg and Ship of Fools and noir like D.O.A., as well as colorful comedies like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and sci-fi like Logan’s Run and Fantastic Voyage; even MST3k favorites Tormented and The Space Children get excellently moody photography. Was he intimidated here, asked to reproduce a Lang classic early in his career?

    16. I have not seen the recent (2015) French DVD, which supposedly is the best version. If you can play Region 2 DVDs, get it from Amazon.fr here [13] and let me know.

    17. On the way, he sample the “campy though surprisingly effective wimp” who earns Sam Spade’s grudging respect in the aforementioned Maltese Falcon; see my discussion of the film in “Humphrey Bogart: Man among the Cockroaches,” reprinted in The Homo and the Negro (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012).

    18. Or not. Lorre actually had better things to do in 1951: he was actually back in Germany, directing his own—and only—film, Der Verlorene (The Lost One). It sounds like the title of a late Beckett piece, and with reason. The New York Times is dismissive: “In look and tone ‘The Lost One’’ shows the influences of Lorre’s early career in the German cinema, especially of the work of Fritz Lang and of ‘M’ . . . It’s a good deal less successful as an attempt to illuminate the Nazi phenomenon, which it analyzes in a series of rather perfunctory clichés. . . . A curiosity” (Vincent Canby, August 1, 1984, online here [14]). I recall seeing it once on TV and it’s really rather effective in its miserablist fashion. Lang is a respectable scientist who for various reasons commits some murders, but the NS government is less interested in some random killings than in the ongoing slaughter of the Allied assault. Even when arrested, an Allied bombing raid destroys the police station, freeing Lorre and destroying the evidence (shades of Lang!). And the occupation authorities are also uninterested in pursuing a minor league serial killer when there’s denazification to handle. Consumed with guilt, he becomes a doctor in a refugee camp, but meeting an old colleague drives him to jump in front of a train.

    19. Kids will probably only recall him as “The Mad Hatter” on the Batman TV series, and, until his death, the original “Digger Barnes” of Dallas; closer to M51, he starred in one of the first three Twilight Zone episodes to be produced, “Escape Clause [15].”

    20. At times he recalls, to me at least, Burgess Meredith’s nervy little characters, such as the Whittaker Chambers clone in Preminger’s Advise and Consent, which I discuss (the film, not Meredith) in End of An Era: Mad Men and the Ordeal of Civility (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015). Meredith did the same little guy in a number of Twilight Zones, like Wayne, (always have a second pair of glasses!) and like Wayne, is perhaps best remembered as a Batman villain, the Penguin.

    21. The classical music trope is still there, as we see early on Wayne listening to it on the radio in his crummy apartment. Lest we fail to identify the music, the announcer asks us to tune in again “for more classical music.” In my KMD review, I note how odd it is that when Mike Hammer turns on the radio, it’s already on a classical station, since he is otherwise played as a knuckle-dragging brute. Later, he reverts to form and “tortures” a witness by smashing his collection of opera 78s one by one. A similar poke in the ribs occurs soon after when, restricted by the Hollywood production code from having the little girls raped (killing them is OK, though) a spectator says “Why do the police keep saying they weren’t ‘abused’ or ‘interfered with’? What difference does it make?”

    22. “It’s also moving in a way he could not have foreseen, in that it demonstrates how his physical being — his distinctive looks and manners — would inevitably limit the sorts of roles available to him in spite of his talent.”—Canby, op. cit. The same criticism can be made of Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Lecter: he’s too obviously evil to ever pass unnoticed as a psychiatrist or museum director; just as Dracula couldn’t show up today and not excite suspicion. Brian Cox’s Dr. Lecktor (spelled as per Manhunter) by contrast is convincing, since, as I’ve said elsewhere, he looks like the sort of guy who’d strike up a conversation with you on a bus, and before long you wake up in his basement. See my “Essential Films … & Others,” here. [16]

    23. I recall in grade school some kind of Music Man like guy showing up in class one day to hawk his flutes; I suppose the idea was to get us interested in music and the arts.

    24. In M31, Lorre is Hans Beckert, and the first victim we see is Elsie Beckman. Jews seem to like this kind of name-play—“onomastic comedy,” Thomas Mann called it, who noted it in himself and Hermann Hesse. In The Producers, notice how all the leads have “B” names—Bloom, Bialystock, de Brie, du Bois—except Hans Leibkind, who was originally going to be played by . . . Brooks himself.

    25. Another Batman link, sort of. See my “Essential Films,” here [16], again. Giant Spider teams him up with Barbara Hale, noted for playing Della Street opposite the Perry Mason of Raymond Burr, who plays a mobster here.

    26. In a final indignity, Wikipedia adds [17] that “at the time of his death, The Los Angeles Times erroneously stated in his obituary that Brodie had been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for 1949’s Home of the Brave. In truth, Brodie was actually not among the five nominees in that category that year.”

    27. TV.com [18]

    28. A better reason from ChrisDFilm at IMDB [19]: “The reason why this excellent Joseph Losey version of M is virtually unavailable in any form is because Columbia, the original studio, lost the rights many years ago. The rights reverted to the original producer Seymour Nebenzal. Either he or — if he is deceased — his family’s estate, seem to be apathetic about doing anything with the film in regards to things like DVD releases or screenings on Turner Classic Movies cable channel (though it might help if somebody at Turner did the detective work and contacted them). The only existing print (at least a publicly known existing print) is at the BFI (British Film Institute) in London. (2008)” Later: “The very mediocre/poor bootleg VHSs and DVDs out in circulation seem to be all from the same original source, a 16mm print from either an uninterrupted cable TV airing in the 1980s or a 16mm film chain transfer. I know, as far as existing prints (that are known to archives), there is only one 35mm because when I was a programmer at the American Cinematheque in L.A. between 1999-2009, we frequently questioned the main film archives to see if they had a print. BFI in the UK was the only one, at least in English-speaking territories. (2011)”

    29. J. T. Jones, op. cit. Jones adds that “When the M remake was released, Lang showed up at a promotional screening and got into a shouting match with Nebenzal; according to film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, Lang ‘was not prepared to acknowledge’ Losey as a member of the directing profession.” Another example of Judaic hysteria and bumptiousness; see my review of The Strange One for another example of the self-defeating hysteria of Jewish directors.

    30. Most recently, the loathesome Trumbo (2015), starring Bryan Cranston, still riding the wave of . . . Breaking Bad.

    31. For the “Great Sedition Trial of 1944” of Lawrence Dennis and 14 others, see Margot Metroland, “Lawrence Dennis, 1893-1977” here [20]; and for more background on “the high art of demonization” see “Tale of a ‘Seditionist’–The Lawrence Dennis Story” by Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, April 29, 2000, here [21].

    32. Jones, op. cit.

    33. “Stepping over” was a phrase of Jonathan Bowden’s that has become iconic for the North American New Right. “But that’s life, and that’s power, and that’s the reality and the vortex of power. What we have to do is to understand that things have been used against us for ideological reasons, irrespective of the facts, and only when we have the courage to do that will we revive. So it’s really only when a leader of revivalist opinion is asked, ‘Well what’s your view of the Shoah then?’ And they say, ‘We’ve stepped over that.’ ‘What do you mean you’ve ‘stepped over’ that? Are you minimizing its importance to humanity?’ You say, ‘We are minimizing its importance to our form of humanity!’” See “Revisionism, Left & Right, Hard & Soft,” here [22].

    34. “I reject your reality and substitute my own!”—MythBuster Adam Sandler.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff1
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Accidentally Racist Oscars
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The nominations for the 88th Annual Academy Awards were released Thursday morning. For the second year in a row, the Academy handed out a whopping total of zero nominations to non-white performers in the four acting categories. After accusations of racism from the mainstream media and Twitter’s “OscarsSoWhite” hashtag sullied last year’s awards, it’s hard to understand how the eternally progressive Hollywood community behind the Oscars couldn’t correct last year’s error and offer a measly one of those 16 nominations to an actor of color. How did this happen? How did this group of racial-diversity-embracing liberals offer up the exact same offense this year? To answer that question, imagine you’re a person who really values religious inclusivity. In fact, you value it so much that your second favorite activity in the world is inviting Muslim and Jewish folks over to your house for dinner. The problem, however, is that your favorite activity in the world is serving your dinner guests a piping hot plate of barbecued pork. In fact, you love doing this so much that you can’t stop yourself from offering the aforementioned porcine cuisine to dinner guests you know have religious objections to eating it. So even though you really want to practice religious inclusion, and even though you don’t want to get yelled at for offering your Muslim and Jewish guests unclean food again, you fall into the same pit because you just can’t bring yourself to change the dinner menu. It’s not that you’re trying to exclude your Muslim and Jewish dinner guests. It’s just that exclusion happens when you won’t sacrifice the thing you love if that’s what it takes to embrace your guests. Hollywood’s Favorite Stories Are White People Stories This is precisely why the Oscars have, for the second straight year, failed to nominate any actors of color. It’s not that they’re trying to be racist. It’s just that they can’t help it. Of course the Academy wants to give statues to non-white actors and actresses. Of course it would love to have another Hattie McDaniel moment or hear another Halle Berry style acceptance speech. Hollywood’s favorite thing is giving awards for performances in movies about upper-class 1940s lesbian college professors who bravely battled both unjust banking practices and homophobia. But giving awards to people of color is currently the Academy’s second-favorite thing in the world. Its favorite thing is giving awards for performances in movies about upper-class 1940s lesbian college professors who bravely battled both unjust banking practices and homophobia—bonus points if they were persecuted by political or religious conservatives, double bonus points if they worked in Hollywood, and triple bonus points if they existed in real life. Because the Academy insists on doing its favorite thing, because it insists on giving all its awards to films of this nature, it can’t help but exclude those of ethnicities that weren’t terribly prevalent in 1940s upper-class British academic circles or on McCarthy-era blacklists. So, just like the dinner host who won’t sacrifice his favorite thing (serving pork to his guests) for the sake of his second favorite thing (respecting their religious beliefs), the Oscars have no choice but to fail at racial inclusivity as long as they prefer to shower awards on cinematic stories that exclude most of the races. Sorry, Colorful People, You Just Aren’t Interesting For example, it’s not that the Academy was trying to exclude “Creed’s” Michael B. Jordan from the best actor race. It’s just that Eddie Redmayne played a kind-of-real-life transgender European artist, and Oscar voters couldn’t possibly have taken that off the menu include someone who played a character as boring as a pretend boxer. Steve Jobs’ story needed to be told again because the first time it had Ashton Kutcher in it. Similarly, while in a down year Hollywood would gladly have nominated “Concussion’s” Will Smith for playing real-life forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, Bryan Cranston played an ever-so-terribly-persecuted-in-real life Hollywood Communist in “Trumbo,” and there’s no way the Academy could have overlooked a performance of that historic significance just to bring more diversity to Oscar night. Dalton Trumbo’s story, after all, needed to be told, as did Lili Elbe’s (“The Danish Girl”). Steve Jobs’ story needed to be told again because the first time it had Ashton Kutcher in it. And it’s hardly the Academy’s fault blacks were too busy not being allowed to be screenwriters in 1950s Hollywood or that Latinos failed to adequately represent themselves in 1920s Scandinavian LGBTQ circles or that no one of Middle Eastern descent would have been believable as the half-German inventor of the iMac. (Unrelated fun fact: Steve Jobs was also half Syrian! Who knew?) We Totally Can’t Cast Non-White Actors, Either Granted, one might argue Hollywood could fix its race problem by essentially keeping the barbecue rub recipe but swapping out pork for a more inclusive meat—in other words, by casting non-white actors in the kind of roles it most desperately wants to award. In theory, there’s no reason film studios couldn’t make this happen. There’s no reason historical details like ‘Bruce Jenner wasn’t black’ should diminish the power of a biopic called ‘Caitlyn’ with Idris Elba in the titular role. If historical inaccuracies like Steve Jobs not saying most of the stuff he said in “Steve Jobs” didn’t diminish the film’s Oscar-worthiness, there’s no reason historical details like “Bruce Jenner wasn’t black” should diminish the power of a biopic called “Caitlyn” with Idris Elba in the titular role. As much as the Academy would love to support a project of this nature, however, filmmaking is a business, studios need to make a profit to survive, and the harsh economic reality of awards season is that audiences simply aren’t lining up to see films with Oscar-worthy performances from actors of color like they are from white actors. “Creed,” for example, brought in a paltry $106 million domestically, as opposed to “Spotlight’s” $28 million, “Steve Jobs’s” $17 million (on a $30 million budget), “The Danish Girl’s” $8 million, “Trumbo’s” $7, “Carol’s” $7, “Room’s” $5, and “45 Years’s” staggering $341,000. Okay, those might have been seven bad examples, but you get the point—Hollywood and the Oscars really want to give non-white actors an opportunity to shine. Audiences just won’t let them. Perhaps the Oscars wouldn’t have to be so white if people of color could figure out a way to make their history a little more transgendery. So of course the Academy wants to be more racially inclusive. Racial inclusivity is, after all, its second favorite thing in the world. It’s just that, right now, the Academy’s favorite thing is hurling golden statues at films whose settings and characters prevent them from including any blacks or Latinos or Asians or Native Americans or anyone of a skin tone slightly darker than translucent ivory. So perhaps those inclined to once again fill Twitter with the “OscarsSoWhite” hashtag should show a little compassion towards the poor members of the Academy who, bless their hearts, just can’t let religious inclusion trump serving pork for dinner. If we want to fix this problem, perhaps it’s time to look to the other side of the table. Perhaps it’s time to ask those Jewish and Muslim dinner guests to try a bite of the unclean cuisine. Perhaps the Oscars wouldn’t have to be so white if people of color could figure out a way to make their history a little more transgendery or Hollywoody or English-accenty, or, at the very least, a little more staring-at-walls-and-coming-to-terms-with-thingsy. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Mark Steyn1
Fox News



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Hail, Caesar!
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    On the eve of the Oscars, here's a new film from the Coen brothers that's far droller and more genuinely subversive of Hollywood than the self-serving leaden propagandizing of Trumbo. As producers, directors, writers and pseudonymous editors, Joel and
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Unz Review Staff1
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Movies in 2015
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It’s award season for the movies. Here, for example, are the Best Picture nominees from the Producers Guild of America, which tend to correlate decently with the eventual Oscar nominees, with links to my reviews: “The Big Short” “Bridge of Spies” “Brooklyn” “Ex Machina” “Mad Max: Fury Road” “The Martian” “The Revenant” “Sicario” “Spotlight” “Straight Outta Compton” I was pleased that, in my desultory way, seeing about two movies per month, I managed to write about nine of the ten PGA nominees. I haven’t seen “The Revenant” yet and, admittedly, I’ve only written about “Spotlight” so far to draw an esoteric analogy in the immigration insurance proposal. But that’s a decent proportion of the movies worth seeing without too many of the other kind. It was not a great year for great movies, but it was a pretty good year for pretty good movies. None of these nine knocked me out, but I liked all nine. I was most excited going in about “Mad Max” based on its trailer. Indeed, the movie was just like the incredible trailer, but diminishing returns set in after it became apparent that there wasn’t much besides what was in the trailer. Other contenders for a Best Picture Oscar nomination that I’ve written about include Pixar’s “Inside Out,” “Creed,” “Steve Jobs,” “Trainwreck” (a long shot), and the new “Star Wars” remake. Contenders I haven’t seen include the new Tarantino film, “Carol,” “Room,” “Joy,” and “Woman in Gold.” I saw about five minutes of “Trumbo” dropping in at a theater, and while Bryan Cranston in a spiffy 1940s suit was cool, the film didn’t seem exceptionally well written or edited. My favorite film of 2015 was “Love & Mercy,” the biopic of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. But, like “Steve Jobs,” it didn’t take off at the box office. In contrast, the NWA biopic “Straight Outta Compton” sold a lot of tickets (in the U.S., not overseas), and it would look racist if in the competition between the two Socal musical biopics if the old white people of the Academy voted for the Beach Boys over NWA just because the Beach Boys are better, both musically and movie-wise. And, anyway, the rap biopic isn’t bad. So I doubt “Love & Mercy” will get much Oscar attention other than perhaps the superlative Paul Dano as Young Brian (they’re running Dano in the Best Supporting Actor category), but beating Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in “Creed” is going to be tough. “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World” won’t get non-technical nominations, but they subsidize the smaller pictures that do. Hollywood (defined very broadly as the Anglosphere movie industry) enjoyed an okay 2015 at the American box office and a highly prosperous 2015 overseas. UPDATE: Sorry, my next paragraph appears to be incorrect because I was taking on faith the Box Office Mojo list of movies, but my commenters point out that there are Chinese movies that made enough in China alone to make the global top 40. Perhaps the problem is that the Box Office Mojo list only counts movies that have been released in the U.S.? The English language movie industry is incredibly dominant around the world: the top 40 global box office hits of 2015 were all English language productions, with a Chinese film “Wolf Totem,” finally in 41st place. When you read complaints about how Hollywood movies are so bad because of white male privilege keeping out the diverse, note that there are plenty of fifteen year olds in Guangdong who like Hollywood movies just the way they are. It’s not exactly clear to me why the English language movie industry remains so dominant, since there is plenty of talent all over the world and plenty of local advertising and television work to get experience in — e.g., television commercials in a country like Turkey are about 98% as spectacular as they are in America. A dozen years ago I would have said that Chinese language films would become a serious rival for English language films by 2015, but that trend died off. UpUpdate: There are suspicions that the highest grossing Chinese box office film Monster Hunt may have had its reported take juiced by various methods for papering the house. What’s the fun of not putting a thumb on the scale? Forget about it, Jake, it’s China. ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Jay Dyer1
Esoteric Hollywood



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

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  • Clue (1985) as Clue to the...
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    By: Jay Dyer While most board games of the 1980s did not make it onto the big screen, one curious specimen did – Clue.  The 1985 film directed by Jonathan...

    ...
    (Review Source)

John Hanlon1
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Oscar Winners 2016
    (”Trumbo” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The names in bold were the winners of this year’s Academy Awards. Best motion picture of the year “The Big Short” “Bridge of Spies” “Brooklyn” “Mad Max: Fury Road” “The Martian” “The...
    ...
    (Review Source)

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