Posts Tagged ‘paranoia’

Corporate Monster | #Shortfilm

Posted: September 18, 2019 in -
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Sweden’s Military Madness




Trump’s brand of “freedom,” if you had any doubts:

Upon entering Spicer’s office for what one person briefed on the gathering described as “an emergency meeting,” staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a “phone check,” to prove they had nothing to hide.

Sean Spicer targets own staff in leak crackdown



Jodie Foster’s Death Wish


Everything wrong with this film is summed up in three words by producer Joel Silver: “genre based entertainment.”

I took this as a serious movie, because it features Jodie Foster and in a different kind of role, as a disturbed vigilante.  I too wrote a similar psychological story about a character dealing with violence, a novel that needs a rewrite called American Gun Disorder.  I bring it up for the similarities that stand out: both have main characters in New York City dealing with violence and the desire for personal protection, firearms if necessary, in an inherently dangerous world.  Both main characters devolve and go essentially crazy.

Unfortunately, The Brave One is more of an implausible Charles Bronson Death Wish type plot, for the entire middle of the movie.  In rapid succession, Jodie just happens to find herself in the middle of extreme over the top incidents, where she must blast scumbags left and right.  It’s like the producers called central casting.  They placed an order for scumbag gang, psycho jealous husband, generic gangbanger pair, creepy John and suited elite gangster threatening stepdaughter.  Bang, bang, bang, bang…

What’s more, they took this off the shelf revenge fantasy and threw a British artsy-indie director at it, in order to make it appear more substantive.  Besides insulting the audience, he failed in his stylistic choices.  Such a film where the main character devolves from sane to insane, in way too short screen time no less, really needs to be from her point of view.  It has to be experiential.  The camera must capture experience, real time moments, the personal perceptions of a character.

What we got instead were standard setups, voyeuristic treatment.  The shots are more concerned with making it look cool than the actual psychology of the story.  A style like Black Swan, religiously following the main character throughout, would have been appropriate.  Here, we have a nicely lit commercial TV version of New York City.  It feels absolutely nothing like the actual New York City.  As cinematographer Philippe Rousselot revealed it was primarily shot on long lenses, which of course keep the audience at a distance, and it wasn’t “a panaorama.”  Intimate shooting requires wide lenses, proximity, a feel for the environment.  Long lenses, on the other hand, render the background as less consequential, simply window dressing.

A real character in the actual New York is half your work at selling the fear, the desperate sensibility and feeling of helplessness.  Walking among 40 story towering behemoths makes one feel very insignificant and powerless.  Add to that the hardened, aggressive city denizens, the 24 hour working class struggle and the fringes of civilization and you’re 90% there toward selling a descent into dog eat dog paranoia.  Watch any five minutes of Taxi Driver before you start production.  The Brave One failed glaringly there.  It’s simply overlit and filmed Hollywood style.


The last problem, judging from bonus feature commentary, was Foster herself.  A “public radio junkie,” she was perhaps the wrong person to be steering this story.  NPR liberal head-nodders don’t walk around the city blasting gangbangers to kingdom come.  It doesn’t compute.  It may have been a good opportunity to show off her vocal talents and trade a radio show for unnecessary voice overs (but came off about the same anyway).  Her character, however, didn’t click for this world, for this story.

Now the film had a shot, and some people liked it – that’s why I rented it.  The beginning was okay, and the end had a little bit of inventiveness, not much, but some; I’d rate it 2.5/5.  The stupid action movie one-liners, “who’s the bitch now?” didn’t help.  The film’s middle, however, had no chance to avoid eye rolling and disbelief.  It’s like the various personalities involved took hold of sections of the film ensuring their concerns were included at certain points: just too many chefs.  In the end The Brave One pandered to rightwing conservative notions of payback and the death penalty, the usual point of these “genre based entertainments.”  No surprises on that front, which was a bit off-putting.  It’s like being trapped by conventions, by the idea that doing it differently is somehow verboten.  I found it an unnecessary, poorly done mimicry of harder edged predecessors, just another vehicle that should have stayed on the lot.

39.siJustin Carter could serve 8 years in federal prison for banned online speech


Hey — take fucking heed.  America has officially gone into paranoid schizophrenic meltdown.

“Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’” father Jack Carter told KKVUE News, “to which he replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.’”

According to the parent, the teenager from Texas followed up that remark with the phrases “LOL” and “JK”— Internet shorthand for “Laugh out Loud” and “Just Kidding.”


Teenager in jail since March for sarcastic Internet comment faces 8 years in prison



High schooler arrested for science project
State Attorney Jerry Hill: Drop charges against Kiera Wilmot

Sign Petition

Kiera Wilmot has been described as an exemplary student and a wonderful young woman. Why is it then that an experiment gone wrong is being dealt with by the police and school as a felony offense? According to the Miami Times:

“7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.”

The principal has said that that he doesn’t believe she had any malicious intentions. Yet she now faces two felony charges as an adult. These includ making, possessing or discharging a destructive device and with possessing or discharging weapons on school grounds!

I’ve learned that the charges have not yet been filed and this means that Florida State Attorney Jerry Hill and Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty have an opportunity to the right thing, use common sense, and drop these charges against Kiera.

Please sign this petition to challenge any decision to so drastically charge this young woman for something that was a simple mistake. Her life should not be turned upside down, her future crushed, because someone wants to make a statement. There was no criminal activity here – she does not deserve to be punished like this. Help Kiera find real justice!

I also recommend checking out this article about the situation


Mike Judge was not talking about 500 years in the future when he wrote Idiocracy.  The nation of zombies is not fiction either, it’s here now.  They keep tapping and yapping and playing video games while the earth burns.  Metaphorically, it’s impeccable.

The society is now a top down authoritarian regime under total surveillance.  Corporate / government partnership has erased the civil liberties that once made America different from military dictatorships.  Justice is selective and does not apply to state crimes.  Citizens are trained not to challenge government criminality, first by being harassed as “conspiracy nuts” — as if the government is incapable of breaking the laws of the land — and then whistleblowers who show proof of government crimes are arrested and disappeared into gulags.  Their evidence is ignored by the corporate partners and the media empires they command.

The distraction society has reached a critical tipping point where people can obsess and communicate constantly as long as it is isn’t about anything actually important.  Actual citizenship, diligence, keeping the state in check is no longer even a part of the society for the great majority in America.  They have abandoned their responsibilities as citizens and accepted the dictates of the criminal political class.  By accepting a criminal state and failing as citizens, America is collapsing every day into outright fascism.





Secret Elixir


This hyper-paranoid thriller relates to the next post concerning Google Glass, the real world personal surveillance system.

Lee Evans plays a wretch who videotapes every second of his life in order to have exculpatory evidence if the bastards come after him again. In a twisted tale of total surveillance, murder and intrigue, Evans has devolved to madness, scrambling about and grasping for total security. He lives in an underground bunker, where he maintains his life video library, while the police seek ways of trying to charge him with gruesome crimes. It’s the modern day version of Kafka’s paranoia, where the web can damn you or perhaps save your hide from the cunning forces of evil out there.

Freeze Frame Netflix.

This is your Navy on Bath Salts:


The US Navy with a pretty good PSA on this most fucked-up of new drugs out there.  You’ll recall the Miami man eating the other man’s face last year.  Why would anyone want to subject their brains to this?



RETRO ACTIVE: Red Dawn (1984)

From GreenCine Daily

by Nick Schager

Red Dawn
[This week’s “Retro Active” pick is inspired by the
North Korean-centric remake Red Dawn.]

Of all the places to invade America, Colorado—cutoff from any reasonable air or naval support—would seem a pretty terrible choice. But don’t tell that to Red Dawn, John Milius‘ eminently ridiculous time capsule of Cold War paranoia and teenybopper play-acting, which finds small-town Colorado overrun by Russian and Cuban soldiers. The sight of paratroopers landing outside a high school classroom window is the sole iconic image mustered by Milius’ film, which otherwise details, with dreary and unearned self-seriousness, the efforts of a local group of kids to hide in the mountains, school themselves in the ways of resistance, and then fight back against the invading commie hordes as the Wolverines (a name taken from their high school football team). Thus, the fate of American sovereignty rests in the hands of Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey, who along with a few other nondescript twerps co-opt Latin America guerilla tactics in an adventure that—either laughably or insultingly, depending on your vantage point—embraces the role-reversal fantasy of America as the righteously subjugated underdog forced to battle back against tyrannical oppressors.

Red Dawn


Furthering that bizarro-universe situation is the fact that the nominal commander of the communist invaders is a Freddie Mercury-lookalike Cuban named Bella (Ron O’Neal) who repeatedly expresses confusion over how to operate now that he’s not the insurgent, but the aggressor—a notion that reaches its hilarious apex during the film’s climax, when Bella writes home to his wife that he misses her, hates the frigid cold of Colorado’s winter (a sentiment that would no doubt be ridiculed by his Russian comrades!), and is morally lost without a revolutionary cause driving his actions. This upside-down fairy tale would be more tolerable if it were played with at least a bit of self-conscious humor, but no, Red Dawn is all solemn posturing and speechifying, most of it done by a cast of young Hollywood up-and-comers who carry with them not a shred of believable gravity. Milius and co-screenwriter Kevin Reynolds don’t flesh out these kids as three-dimensional characters, but rather as stock types with predefined roles—the brooding leader (Swayze), the loyal brother (Sheen), the tragedy-damaged loose cannon (Howell), the tough chicks (Thompson and Grey) —whose main function is to flip-flop between acting battle-hardened and traumatized.

Red Dawn


Early on, Swayze and Sheen find their father (Harry Dean Stanton) in a reeducation camp, where the elder—before hilariously exhorting them to “Avenge Me!” —tells them that, no matter what happens, they shouldn’t cry. It’s advice that goes unheeded, as there’s endless male weeping in Red Dawn, with everyone bawling after another member of their clan is killed, thereby turning the entire proceedings into some sort of unintentional Big Boys Do Cry comedy. Milius’ story is concerned with the loss of innocence suffered by his protagonists, who are forced to assume adult responsibilities and roles until they can lie down and die near a public park swing set, a symbol of youth finally regained. The problem, however, is that amidst such a ludicrous The Commies Are Coming! scenario, this portrait rings ridiculous, especially given the Breakfast Club-style characterizations on display. Swayze’s tormented alpha-male routine is the silliest of the bunch, all over-the-top agonized screaming, but it’s almost matched by the performance of Powers Boothe as a downed American fighter pilot whose grizzled-vet jadedness merely confirms that both kids and adults alike behave like overwrought G.I. Joe phonies in this Us-vs.-Them universe.

Red Dawn


When not giving the teenage set a Rambo-style saga to call their own—replete with numerous sequences of the Wolverines attacking Russian soldiers and bases with a skillfulness that’s out-and-out absurd—the film also doubles as a bit of unvarnished right-wing propaganda. In Red Dawn, the 2nd Amendment is what allows the kids to resist occupation—note the “They Can Have My Gun When They Pry It From My Cold, Dead Fingers” bumper sticker—and triumph is ultimately achieved through old-school mountain-man camping and hunting in the glorified natural splendor of Arapaho National Forest. With Jeremiah Johnson as their patron saint, the Wolverines are homegrown militiamen whose survivalist skills prove vital and valiant, even when they go loony like C. Thomas Howell and gun down a friend-turned-traitor—an act that’s justified because the victim in question was a wimpy class president, not a venerated jock like Swayze and Sheen. It’s all so much nonsense, even with the participation of the usually dependable Stanton and Ben Johnson (as a Wolverine benefactor). And it’s undone by not only the unbearable affectation of its cast, but by the fact that, ultimately, a world with these kids as heroes seems less palatable than Russian occupation, which at least involves art houses showing nothing but Sergei Eisenstein‘s great Alexander Nevsky.