Sunday, February 26, 2017

Game Over Man, Game Over!!

RIP Bill Paxton

Make America Great Again?

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) - Peck
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American writer James Baldwin is the subject of Raoul Peck's searing documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Baldwin, extremely articulate in his own words (narrated serenely here by Samuel Jackson), tells the world, especially whites, what it is like to be a black man in America. Through the death of Medgar Evers, Macolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin examines the hateful history of the US, supposedly the greatest nation on earth, the land of freedom and aplenty.

Juxtaposing the footage of slavery, hanging, police brutality and what's been going on these days with Ferguson, Travon Martin and Black Lives Matter, Peck never let you forget what Baldwin taught us - being optimistic means very different in the lives Americans. Being alive is optimistic for blacks. Peck shows that nothing has changed since the Civil Rights Movement era. I Am Not Your Negro is an extremely pessimistic movie in that regard. Make America Great Again? You mean for whites? On the blood and sweat of all the others? Because America was never great to others, EVER.

I watched the film with the sold out crowd at Film Forum. It is sometimes comforting to watch a film in the room full of so-called cultured left-wing intelligencia. But I couldn't bring myself up to join them applauding at the end of the movie because I Am Not Your Negro is a definitely depressing movie, not a joyous one.

Cyber War and Its Presentation on Film

Zero Days (2016) - Gibney
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At the height of 'Iranian nuclear program' scare in the early 2010s, Obama administration and Israelis developed a internet virus called Stuxnet. The cyber attacks on nuclear centrifuge sites in Iran, Gibney presupposes in Zero Days, which interrupted Iran's nuclear ambition just for a little while, was carried out by impatient Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu after tweaking the virus without Washington's approval. Hence the appeasement from Obama administration with the historic nuclear deal in 2015 and brought on sour relations with the Israelis ever since. Also, this cyber aggression set the precedents for other nations doing the same on the US- glaring example being Russian hacking of the 2016 election.

It's all eye opening, mindboggling stuff. Gibney supports his thesis with interviews of countless heavyweights in gov intelligence community. But as with his other documentaries, Gibney almost ruins it with cheesy, completely unnecessary graphics. It's important information delivered badly, almost unbelievably so. There needs to be some sort of revolution in documentary filmmaking because so called reputable mainstream docs make me wanna vomit.