Alita: Battle Angle (2019) review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

So when this first came out, there were some mixed reactions to it. Then Captain Marvel came out, and a lot of people were like, “See Alita instead, it’s way better.” Then it went from that to, “Alita is the best female action movie of the year!” Like Captain Marvel was driving these people to proclaim Alita as the holy angel of movies this year due in-part out of spite. So I decided to check it out when I saw it available at my local library.

It took me a while to get used to her CG face…

… ok, that’s a lie. I never got entirely used to it. Or any of the CG robo faces. They’re just so fucking weird. It’s like having CG mouths to get animals to talk in those kid flicks, except worse. But I eventually got around to tolerating it.

And then there’s this one aspect I just fucking knew was going to be in this film because Hollywood makes this a requirement in every movie now. The doctor’s black nurse assistant. She’s just fucking there, and doesn’t do shit except make reaction faces. They could’ve scrapped her entirely from the film and not one goddamn thing would’ve changed. It’s one of the purest examples of forcing that diversity quota, and I find it irritating.

Well Look At You Alita Movie GIF - WellLookAtYou LookAtYou Look GIFs

“But wasn’t she in the manga?”

No, the cunt wasn’t in the manga either. I’ve read a bit of the manga, I would know. She looks nothing at all like the assistant in the manga. Mr. GrumpyGramps Bolthead or whatever you want to call him (yep, they changed both the race and the gender, let alone the age and the top of the head).

But I’m not one to harp on the changes made compared to the manga too much, especially since I haven’t read the entire series and thus am not qualified to determine if the changes made are ultimately better or worse in the long run (assuming a sequel gets made, which Disney is trying not to have happen) as I don’t have the knowledge of things to come. But I will say for a film that is meant as an introduction to the character and the world, it bit off more than it could chew. Especially with a sort of cliffhanger ending.

As for the positives, I have to admit, once I got past the first 20-30 minutes where everything is getting introduced (and I got adjusted to the damn face), I actually started to get into this thing. In fact, the first major action scene that happens, they managed to do something that isn’t done enough in CG action films (not by a long shot). There was weight to the movement. The swinging of weapons, and the hopping around, it wasn’t just some lightning fast speed, they had to put some effort into lugging around the weight of that axe/drill/rocket thing, and the cyborgs with their body parts. They couldn’t dodge each swing because they aren’t capable of moving that fast. Same thing with the swinging of the weapons. This was a nice refreshing change of pace compared to what I’m used to in films like this. Now if only it could just keep doing tha–

And of course they say “Fuck that” to the weight system the moment that fight sequence ends. From that moment on, every action scene after that is the typical weightless CG fighting schlock. Not to mention the protagonist being ungodly capable of dodging just about everything thrown at her. I mean, I get it, I understand she’s the product of a bygone era (yeah right, like they still wouldn’t have androids like her kept hidden somewhere) and has fighting techniques that no one else uses because they didn’t have knowledge of this stuff, let alone the means to train with that style. And as tough as she is already, they just couldn’t resist giving her a power-up that pretty much makes her invincible for the rest of the film. Talk about a lack of tension (Mary Sues are boring, and so Superman).

And despite all that, they run with this line of dialogue on a few occasions, including with the protagonist herself, that she’s an, and I quote, “insignificant girl.” FUCK YOU! You wiped the floor with virtually all the antagonists in this film, let alone the ED-209s and the bounty hunters. And you have the ovaries to state you’re insignificant? Blow it out your shiny metal ass!

“You’re more human than anyone I know.”

Oh fuck off. Try sticking your dick into her and see what happens. What’s that? There’s no hole for penetration? Well that sucks for you Mr. Headless who never got any head, doesn’t it?

*takes a breath*

Anyway, despite the negatives, I remained invested enough in the film up until the chapel scene. “Let’s meet at the Chapel. There you can save me, like the Angel you are.” Man does the film go downhill from there. In hilarious fashion. Well, ok, it already indicated it was going to go downhill when she literally offered her heart to her boyfriend. Seriously, that’s a top contender for biggest cringe moment of the entire movie; it really seemed out of character for her, and it was just stupid. But then it got even more stupid from there once the chapel scene happens. If I was drunk and watching this, I would be laughing my ass off. But I’m not, so I just rolled my eyes instead. And it was all fucking pointless (almost as pointless as the black nurse), because the dipshit gets killed anyway. Spoiler by the way.

Christ, the more I think about what went down in the last 20 minutes the more irritable I get. The movie was decent for the most part up to that point (even if it got ridiculous with her fending off that one macho cyborg with only one arm).

You don’t need 2 hands to eat a chocolate bar.  Use just the tip of one finger you pansy!

I mean, if nothing else, it is better than Captain Marvel (a film which likely passed the billion dollar mark because Disney cooked the books, never mind bought the tickets to their own damn movie). But overall, it’s just meh. It was entertaining for a while, but not long enough to overcome the faults in it. I’ll stick to the manga on this one (try to get the original translation; the revised version kinda loses some of its character).

 

Song of the South (1946) non-review

Rated: 3 / 5

(calm, soft spoken, yet above a whisper)

You know, I remember seeing this as a toddler, off of a VHS recording from a television broadcast, shown at a Daycare center at my school. I don’t recall much of the live action bits (boring to kids like me at that age), but was all into the animated sections. How we enjoyed Br’er Rabbit, how we laughed at some of the antics. How we would try to imitate him by hopping around with our feet turned 45 degrees (we tried 90 degrees, but that’s kind of impossible), like Charlie Chaplin on steroids. I remember going on the ride at Disneyland for the first time, the smooth log ride through various areas, seeing the characters and their antics, and the shadow animations, the slide down, the water splashes. We loved seeing remembering, and acting out as those characters. We also hummed or sang that zip-ah-dee-doo-dah song, and smiled whenever we heard it in commercials for either the film itself or for some Disney commercial, about as often as we heard, “It’s a small world after all.” It was pure entertaining bliss as a child.

 

(hardens just a tad, volume goes up ever so slightly)

Only to find out many many years later once I’m well past the innocence of my youth that other children are to grow up deprived of this. Because some people look at it in a completely different way, in a way a child cannot comprehend. They see some form of racist propaganda that goes against the intentions of Walt Disney and those who made the film. They see this as something that glorifies the age of slavery, rather than something that envisions a period in time during the Reconstruction when plantations were around, that slavery was dying off, the Civil War ended, and a time of healing was to begin. A time where children could grow up not needing to be aware of the violent past, but of the blissful present (with some shadows still upon it). A time when everyone is starting to put all that behind them and focus on entertaining tales with good moral lessons to teach children, and how adults of any race and any position could appreciate the good that it’s all doing.

 

(hard, not quite loud)

And so they take it all away. The current people who run Disney going against Walt’s wishes. Those who have been brainwashed by these sick twisted demented hypocritical motherfuckers to spit upon all those lessons because of a misguided hatred dredged up from the past. They dare say it’s not ok to watch this, not ok to show this to children, not ok to have them be entertained by this. They became the very thing this film was made to allow us to move past. They have decided that those who have tried to move past it have been delusional this entire time, and we are still stuck in that same period after all these years. Despite how much we’ve bled and sweat and clawed away from all this, they drag us back in. Just when we thought we were out during the late 90s and early 2000s, they pull us back in. And they tarnish everything the film stood for in the process, so that characters like Br’er Rabbit and songs like zip-ah-dee-doo-dah can only be acceptably viewed as offensive.

 

(volume goes down a notch)

I’m past being angry about this. I just don’t see how anyone who views this film both through the eyes of a child, and through the eyes of an adult in retrospect, can view this the way the NAACP (unofficially) does, let alone the way those currently running Disney. I don’t see how they can look past all of that above, plus what Walt Disney himself did. How Walt, upon hearing James Baskett’s (actor who played Uncle Remus) voiceover of one of the butterflies in the film, met with him personally and offered to give him the bigger role that defined his career that ended too soon. How Walt let Remus land the role that became one of the first Hollywood portrayals of a black actor as a non-comic character in a leading role in a film meant for general audiences. How Walt would refuse to attend the theatrical premiere of the film (outside of making introductions), and would stay at his hotel, because the segregated city of Atlanta wouldn’t allow the black actors to attend the film’s screening. How Walt maintained personal contact with James well after the film was done, how he campaigned for James to receive an academy award for his role, which resulted in James winning an Honorary Academy Award in 1948, a few months before James would die of heart failure.

 

(LOUD!!!)

The hell I’m past being angry. Does any of this sound like the actions a racist company and a racist individual would make!? Does any of that sound like they had devious intentions behind any of this!? Walt would be rolling in his grave with how despicable the company he founded has become. Fuck the Disney vault. It’s shit like this that makes us sympathize with professional thieves who break into vaults for a living and steal shit. This is why I feel no regret whatsoever for getting a hold of unofficial copies that don’t support the company in any way. If they’re going to steal away our childhood, I say it’s only fair that we steal it back. And not only do the thieves steal it, they polish it. This is why I took it from archive.org, in all it’s fan-remastered glory, and enjoyed it.

 

(normal)

To hell with what anyone says. People of all ages should still be able to watch and enjoy this movie. Even if taking on that feeling and lesson of a blissful happily ever after where everyone gets along in the end is just a vain pipe dream, as modern mainstream culture has dictated.

 

The Time Machine (1960 vs. 2002) review and comparison

“Be careful what you wish for.”?  What the fuck does that have to do with this movie?  This isn’t fucking Wishmaster!

1960 rated: 3.5 / 5

2002 rated: 2.5 / 5

So having rewatched this film and the 2002 remake, I figured now would be a good time to compare the two (ie state why this film is better than the remake).

So first of all, right from the get-go, the protagonists have completely different motivations for going through time. In fact, both films have a different concept of time travel altogether. Regarding the former point, the protagonist in the 60s film (I’ll call him George) wants to see the future mainly for curiosity’s sake, for science. But he does have an implied personal reason. A feeling of being born in the wrong time period. Wanting to see how he would be in other periods of the future where there would be more like-minded scientists like himself. Hence a feeling of wanting to belong. Yet the ironic part is that he winds up in a place where he ends up in the same position. A time period where he isn’t surrounded by any like-minded individuals, though their reasonings for having not much interest in what he does and what he proposes are different from those from his time period (near the turn of the millennium, to 1900).

The 2012 protagonist (I’ll just call him Alexander), on the other hand, builds up this whole endeavor primarily just to get his girlfriend back, and is willing to ditch the machine (which is very impressive looking, I must say, especially compared to George’s machine) once he has accomplished that, in spite of all the potential that machine can carry, in spite of all it could do, what wonders it could show. It seems pretty fucking petty compared to its reason for existence in the 1960 film. And even going wit this, lame-ass Alexander only makes an attempt to alter the past to save his girlfriend’s life once, and only once, before throwing his hands up in the air (“Whyyyyyyyy!!!????”) and deciding that it’s impossible to change the past, so he must find out why it’s impossible by getting the answer from some intelligent mind in the future, when minds are supposed to be more advanced and intelligent. For fuck’s sake, he’s a fucking scientist! His experiments are supposed to be all about trial and error, making mistakes, analyzing what the mistake is, and retrying the experiment again while avoiding those mistakes. Haven’t these fuckers ever seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?

“Don’t worry, I’ll hook up with a brown chick after you die.”

And this isn’t even bringing up the time paradox factor, which we’ve been told ever since Metal Gear Solid 3 that we’ve got to be careful of (I don’t give a fuck if that was released a few years after the 2002 movie, it’s still a valid point, even if I have to utilize another fucking time paradox to make it!). Alexander goes back in time. So where the fuck is his double? Is no one going to make a big deal about the big fucking time machine device that just spontaneously appeared in his laboratory, in his house, with his maid?

Which brings me to the latter point I mentioned in the second paragraph, the concept of time travel. George expresses no interest in going back to the past outside of simply returning to his own time after visiting the future, and even then making sure it’s at a time after when he initially left. Even near the end of the film (or the very beginning, depending on how you want to look at it), he doesn’t say anything in the hopes of trying to change the future in a way directly affecting those in the present (thus allowing the film to avoid paradoxes altogether, without even needing a reason to bring them up). Allow me to clarify.  Alexander goes back for the sole purpose of taking action to save the life of his girlfriend, and goes about trying to do it. George, on the other hand, knowing that his best friend is going to get killed in World War I doesn’t make any attempt to make this statement to his friend, encouraging him to avoid the war. Why is this?

To answer that, you’d have to go to the middle act of the 1960 film, where George becomes outraged at the state of society, how they show no interest in the past in the hopes of improving the future. They have no ambition, no sense of duty to their fellow man. And George states at the end of all this that he would rather be back in his own time to die alongside his fellow countrymen, who would at least be able to die with honor alongside one another, at least trying to protect one another, even if the effort would be in vain. Because he recognizes that valuable trait that is also a shared bond between soldiers in the army. They fight more for each other than anything else. Creating a strong bond. And that bond isn’t just broken in that futuristic time period, it is completely non-existent. Why try to take that away from his friend, even knowing what fate will befall him? Or worse yet, what are the odds of that somehow making the future worse?

None of that is in Alexander’s world. Rather his ideals are more selfish and personal. Everything else be damned, he wants to spend the rest of his time with the love of his life. As if his entire existence revolves around her and only her, even though just the opening act of the film indicates his own hypocrisy (too busy doodling on the chalkboard to prioritize thinking about his fiance-to-be). And there is no self-awareness of this hypocrisy present in the entire movie. The speech by Morlock Jeremy Irons during the last act doesn’t directly address this issue either, that covers a different aspect entirely.

Both films have a similar yet different take on the future. In regards to the near-future it’s either the Cold War, or science going too far and nearly destroying us all. Either way, the message is the same, that mankind will create the tools of its own destruction. In the 1960 film, it’s because we destroy each other. In the 2002 film, it’s because we overestimate ourselves with using technology responsibly. … Thinking about it, I guess it’s still not much different, just the context.

But they also have something to highlight about society’s evolution. Naturally, the 2002 film has an advantage over the 1960 film in this regard.  George notes the changing of clothing styles, yet for the most part they don’t change all that much. Alexander notes something more relevant and accurate. How women’s clothing became more and more revealing, with dresses that once went down to the ankles, now are up above the knees. How modesty fades away. Of course, that could change if muslims take over, then that’s going to bring modesty back with vengeance overkill. We’ll see if a 3rd major Time Machine movie has something to say about that (considering Hollywood’s lack of ambition and churning out of uninspired remakes, I’d say that’s as inevitable as the Home Alone reboot).

Clothing aside, George’s observance of the future is considerably more subtle (likely for budget constraints). Only in the background, if you squint to look, do you see structures that look somewhat futuristic (at least by 1960 standards).  Alexander has the privilege of seeing credit swipe bicycles (either that or the card acts as a key; cool either way). And then there’s the library. There are some physical books, but it all seems mostly digital. With a black AI librarian who has a slightly pompous attitude, even going so far as to roll its eyes at the white time traveler for asking reasonable questions that it deems ridiculous (someone programmed this AI to be this way). And no access to any data from any scientists, not even ones who would’ve made public records/articles, of even the theory and concept of time travel, not even on a quantum physics level, even though some of those concepts exist today (not that they can be applied in a working-fashion in the way these films allege mind-you, but they’re there). Seems like this digital library is holding some information back, or is intentionally deprived of this sort of information, which may have been available in physical form at one point in time. Actually seems like a fairly accurate depiction of 2030 to me. Rather funny to see how many films at and before 2002 had a more ambitious future in mind for mankind’s progress, only to miscalculate that we would focus our progress more in the digital realm rather than in the physical realm.

Then we get to the future itself, after all the destruction caused from either nuclear war or the shattering of the moon (the latter of which I sure would’ve resulted in Earth being obliterated, especially after about 800,000 years; but whatever).  George observes an all-white society has managed to survive. Alexander observes an all-brown society. Homogeneous either way. But the society Alexander witnesses has also accomplished setting up homes attached to the side of cliffs, accompanied by some uplifting tribal music sung by a choir of kids or something. Because it has to be blunt about this society being grand and great, without any downsides whatsoever aside from independent forces external to this society.

Here is another instance where both films try to tell something similar in a different way, yet the 2002 flick shoots itself in the foot as a result. The society in George’s timeline is so passive and uncaring and unambitious because they were bred that way. The Morlocks breed and raise the very society they will eventually consume; rinse and repeat. So the society is raised to be like this, to allow history and knowledge of the past to wither away to nothing, to have the achievements made by those in the past come to nothing. And to respond to certain sounds automatically as if they were hypnotized/brainwashed into doing so. Thus they were not only bred to be incapable of fighting back against their oppressors, but to not even comprehend that they are even being oppressed. After all, their oppressors provide them what they need, food and a shelter (and I presume clothing).

The society in Alexander’s timeline, on the other hand, is more independent and yet more stupid at the same time. They’re not bred and raised by the Morlocks, they can do that on their own. They can build on their own, acquire food on their own (though we never actually see what they eat; not that this is a fault in the film, I’m just curious about what the 2002 film would show a society like this eating as opposed to oversized pears in the 1960 film). There’s no air-raid sound (or anything like that) to lead any of them to their doom. Nope. The Morlocks just raid them whenever these people go off and, uh, spend time at a place dedicated to their ancestors (as opposed to scavenging for food in gardens or something). And they don’t fight back, they just flee, not even fighting back as a last resort. Why? Because they say they take the ones who fight back first. That’s just dumb.

Both films have the protagonist fighting back against the Morlocks, and thus inspiring the people to also fight back by following his example. But it’s carried out far better in the 1960 film because there’s a more logical reason as to why they needed George to inspire them to fight. Just the concept of fighting never occurred to them, no more than the concept of “stealing” seems to occur to these perfectly peaceful cabbages in the 2002 film. In the 2002 film, they know what fighting is, they just choose not to do it, until some schmuk shows up to remind them that it’s more logical to do so. Stupid.

Honestly, the only interesting thing about the 2002 film is when Alexander meets Jeremy Irons. The speech Irons makes, the philosophical points being stated, about the harshness of how a species evolves in relation to the environment, about the nature of existence and non-existence in relation to events of the past. It was the most investing part of the entire movie. But then the movie reminded everyone that it’s designed to be a dumb B action movie for dumb B audiences, and then a fight ensues along with a chase and an explosion, and then it lost any goodwill it gained from Jeremy Irons, which faded away about as quickly as he did.

Lastly, how each film ends. The 2002 film ends with Alexander’s BFF tossing his hat into the air, making a callback to the line of Alexander stating he wants a generation of students to go against the norm and offer some diversity of style and thought in a plain mundane society. This seems to go against his BFF’s attitude and character, what little there was, setup during the first act of the film, not to mention goes against the fact that there were a ton of great scientific minds during that time period who would end up changing society at one point or another with their inventions (they mention that hack Albert Einstein, don’t mention Nikola Tesla). Yet this doesn’t leave the viewer to ponder anything, to even encourage them to act independently against the norm for progress.

The 1960 film on the other hand, has George go back to the future (heheh), to that age where society has regressed in terms of knowledge, to where it has practically reset without any of the knowledge to be had from their distant ancestors. But he doesn’t go back with nothing. He takes a few books with him to help society grow. Which books did he take? The film doesn’t say. We are left to ponder with this question:

“Which three books would you have taken?”

It encourages the audience to ask themselves the question as to what limited sources of information would they utilize to make the best society they could? What should we be teaching our children in the hopes that they too will make society better for them, and their children, and their children’s children? When was the last time a film was made that posed an open-ended question like that which makes the viewer think critically?

At least the 1960 film poses a question that could be utilized somewhere along the lines of, “What would you do if you had a time machine?” The 2002 film, all it says is, “It’s just a machine.” As if technology should be tossed aside for a more simplified way of living, ala some shitty episode or film of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The 2002 film exists only as a statement at best. The 1960 film exists as both a statement, and as a question to the viewer as how to take that statement (ie the statement is made for the sake of leading up to the big question at the end).

So despite the superior looking time machine, and the impressive-looking Morlocks the 2002 film provides, the 1960 film is ultimately superior with its themes and ideas, and even warning of the future, which are still relevant today.

 

PS: Oh, right. And the 2002 film ends by showing the next generation in this future society being taught the the AI librarian. That’s taking the easy way out, and not even addressing the set of problems even that could bring (that hard drives could last that long, that data wouldn’t be corrupted, that a power source could last that long, it’s information that is selected by a corporation that deems it worthy of the public to access, etc). Besides, that doesn’t include those bitchin’ spinning ring devices from the 1960 film. Seriously, what other movie did something as awesome as that? Seems like a great concept that no one else has ripped off yet, even if it is a bit impractical.

PPS: The Morlocks were built up far better in the original than in the remake. Always just a brief glimpse of them through some bushes, or out of the corner of your eye, dashing from one corner to the other, through the light back into the shadow, building the suspense until they are finally encountered. In the remake, they are named once, and then they just show up.

Schindler’s List (1993) review

Rated: 2 / 5

Rather than telling a story with universal meaning, however, Spielberg has instead made what can only be called a “Jewish” film; that is, a film by Jews, about Jews, and for Jews to use against non-Jews.

Greg Raven

“It’s human nature.  ‘We’ll do this to avoid that.'”

“That’s what they have done since thousands of years.  It’s what they do, they weather the storm.”

“But this storm is different.  This is not the Romans.  This storm is the SS.”

 

This is one of those movies that packed a punch felt through the nation at the time of release.  Everyone talked about this film.  About how it was one of the most important movies ever released.  About how it should be shown to students in school which was almost the case for me when I was in middle school.  Well, those of us who didn’t get to see it in school, we usually found a way to see it outside of school.  Because it was an obligation.  We had to experience what it was like for the Jews in Nazi Germany amidst World War II.  We had to know about the gritty experience, so as to fully appreciate (if that’s the right word for it) that event in history when genocide was committed.  To know the full depravity of humanity.  To know what humans can be like at their lowest levels.  To know what the Nazis were like, and why it is important to know all this hindsight history so as not to repeat it, so as not to create a new generation of a race or religion that has been through a genocide event.  To pity those who survived it, and spit upon those who caused it.  And to thank those who did what they could to help those living through those times to survive.

And what better director to encapsulate all that than Steven Spielberg.  Arguably the movie director most famous for emotional manipulation, particularly ever since Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind (1977, where it was becoming obvious but still slightly restrained) and E.T. (1982, where any restraint he once had had completely diminished).  I do sometimes wonder how often people knew they were being emotionally manipulated, didn’t know, or knew but were willing to go along with it because it was entertainment.  Then again, don’t most films, especially dramas, tend to go for emotional manipulation anyway?  Is that not part of the movie-going experience?  In any case, emotional manipulation or not, it won Oscars, and has been put on virtually every list of “Movies to See Before You Die.”  Quite an achievement, especially since I doubt that’s the only movie of his that has been placed on such lists.

And I was one of those people back in the day, who saw this at a young age, who broke down at the end of it crying and all.  The film got to me, as it has gotten to many others.

So today, I decided to revisit it, on a different level of maturity, criticism, knowledge, and guard against such manipulation that got to me in the past.  And what did I think of it?  Well, that depends on how you look at it.

Judging it purely as a film in-of itself, it’s well-made in terms of camerawork.  Filmed mostly in black and white, and moving amongst people at ground zero to give it an aura of historical authenticity.  The violence that occurs is realistically explicit to maintain this aura, and it certainly had enough extras in it to give the film a semi-epic feel at times.  It’s some of the best camerawork done in film for capturing the elements it depicts in the manner it wished to depict it.  If anyone didn’t know any better, they would say it’s a borderline real-time documentary.

However, the more in-depth thematic elements get laughable in how blunt and obvious they’re implemented, even in the more horrifying moments.  I can give three examples where the film blasts you in the head with it so hard you’ll be seeing stars of David carried by blue birds circling  your head.

1.) When the SS evicted this upper class Jewish couple from their home, and continually cut between Schindler moving into their home, and them moving into the crummy ghetto.  To the point where these lines were uttered between two takes:

Schindler: “It couldn’t be better.”

********************************************

Jew wife: “It could be worse.”

2.) The second time got more eye-rolling than that.  With Schindler’s one-armed semi-senile worker coming to personally thank him for the work and saving his life, before he gets killed in literally the next scene.  Talk about an obvious emotional setup.

3.) The Jews who have been moved in the Krakow forced labor camp, and this line is uttered between a couple women:

“The worst is over.  We’re workers now!” 

In the same scene, this is followed by Amon Goeth shooting the more lazy workers.  Wawahhhhhhh.  Another obvious emotional setup that’s borderline comical when you think about the timing of it.

I mean, Jesus Christ, you’d think Spielberg would pad it out with at least 2 scenes before having the whole waawaaawaaaaahhhhhh moment hit.  Fucking Bridge to Terabithia was more subtle with the foreshadowing and emotional warning than this movie!  And that’s saying a lot!

But anyway, it’s a bit amusing to hear Ralph Fiennes’ character say the line, “Wakey wakey,” to his, uh, girlfriend, after the above segment.  And this seems to be referenced in a later film Ralph Fiennes starred in.  Spider, directed by David Cronenberg.

Other than all that, when one puts aside that the film primarily exists for sympathy points for one race/religion and shame points against another, there really isn’t much more to it than that.  Sure, Schindler goes through this character arc (with each moment of change signified by the girl in the red dress; subtle), and Goeth has his false-redemption angle.  But everyone else, including Ben Kingsley’s character, is about as one note as it gets.  There’s literally no dimension to anybody else in this movie.  They make a marginal effort of trying to add some depth to the jews who became ghetto police (they were known as Ordnungdienst), talking briefly about their position, but it’s never expanded upon other than they exist and they work for the nazis now.  The Nazis are as one-dimensional as you would expect (even to the point where one would play the piano amidst all the shooting in the ghetto), and the Jews are as one-dimensional as they are for entirely different reasons (pure pacifist).

I mean, putting aside the sympathy/shame points, there really isn’t all that much to this film.  Not enough time is spent with the interesting characters to make this all that investing (unless you’re invested in the events as depicted), and because of that the plot didn’t maintain my interest this time around (as opposed to the first time I watched this film many years ago).  Plus I found it questionable that Schindler would make this dramatic of a turn against Germany during the last third of the film when he goes so far as to discourage the workers from making artillery shells that work, and in-effect attempting to sabotage the German war effort (though that being said, from what I’ve researched, he did actually do this to an extent; it’s just that the film doesn’t make his character complex enough to allow for this to seem natural; more on that later).  It’s not one of those movies that ages well past the first viewing or two.  It’s about as surface-level of a movie as you can get.  There isn’t much to dig into.  It gets about as dull as the color scheme.

But in terms of cinematography (though those close-up shots of the faces get very tiring real fast) and camerawork and having actors move about here and there, there is plenty to admire.  So it’s worth a watch for those interested in trying to make a career out of directing.  If nothing else, Spielberg at least knows how to shoot a scene.  It’s just an issue of how much he tries to indulge in the emotional factor.  In this case, he clearly overindulged in the emotional factor more than Tarantino indulged the cult-hip-50s-to-70s factor in, well, anything made after Jackie Brown (Pulp Fiction cut it close).  And whenever a film overindulges in something like that, it doesn’t really hold up all that much.

So the main thing this film really has going for it is the historical significance of the events it covers.  It has entombed itself as the definitive Holocaust film.  For better or worse, that’s all this really has going for it.

Although there is an alternative opinion about that.  By alternative, I mean that it feels the film put more emphasis on Schindler’s character than on the Jew’s plight, and is shallow for that reason instead of vice versa:

Some feel the film, which won a best picture Oscar, serves to embed a narrative of Jewish weakness and passivity, in which Jews were nearly always portrayed as undeserving victims. By choosing to focus on Schindler (Neeson) and the commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Amon Goeth (Fiennes), Spielberg marginalised the Jews to supporting roles (with the exception of Schindler’s accountant Itzhak Stern, played by Kingsley).

Spielberg portrayed them as cardboard cut-outs, a monolithic mass of feebleness, lacking in psychological depth, to be saved or murdered at the whim of the non-Jews. From this point of view, then, Schindler’s List is not about the Holocaust or the Jews at all, but a biopic of Schindler and his conversion from ambivalent antihero to righteous gentile.

Source

Tips For Spring Cleaning | Her Campus

 





 

More needs to be done for Holocaust education, Spielberg said: “It’s not a pre-requisite to graduate high school, as it should be. It should be part of the social science, social studies curriculum in every public high school in this country.”

Source

So this portion of the review won’t be placed on Letterboxd, at least not entirely.  Why?  Because:

Firstly: dangerous fascist and white supremacist ideologies can go to hell. We remove such content from our service regularly. We want to catch it all. We’ve changed our community policy as of today to reflect this, adding in an explicit line rejecting content that “expressly praises, supports, promotes or represents white nationalist ideology”.

Letterboxd terms of service

Anything questioning the holocaust is deemed to be against their community policy, which is why the shadow-banned, then removed, my review of Europa.  Knowing that, I know this portion won’t last on that website.  So, to quote a line from the film being reviewed:

“Not essential?  I teach history and literature!  Since when not essential?”

Parallels between the community policy and depiction of the dangerous Nazi ideology in this film, anyone?  I mean, when you consider how the film portrays one side as pure and innocent while completely demonizing the other without giving them any sense of humanity whatsoever, it’s a lose-lose situation.  From the viewpoint of revisionists and non-revisionists.  Either the Holocaust did happen, and media then and now deem it ok to completely dehumanize Nazis and Germans, without any consideration that these were multidimensional people with flaws and good sides, thus encouraging hatred towards them; and that people are capable of committing that much evil against those of another religion/race regardless of any good they have in them.  Or the Holocaust didn’t happen, and many have been brainwashed into hating on people of a certain race/religion/nationality for something they didn’t do.  Either way you look at it, the worst of humanity has already been demonstrated.  The reason people get so emotional about the historical significance of the Holocaust, whether it happened or not, is because it evokes the worst in humanity, it showcases the worst case scenario of judging other human beings and viewing them as lower lifeforms not worthy of remorse.  The worst part is that many are fully accepting of this simplification, almost as much as many Americans are ok with the acceptance of the simplification of Confederates being one-dimensional black-hating assholes during the Civil War.

So on the note of historical significance…

Judging it as a film that is shown in schools and such as an educational tool to inform those of the Holocaust, it’s one big pile of shit.

 

First of all, the book this film is based on is stated as a work of fiction.  Yet the film tries to pass itself off as being based on a true story with its documentary-like look.  Considering how they offer free screenings of this film from time to time to students for educational purposes, I have to dock a point for that reason.

Second, the film opens (discounting the Jewish song opening) stating that Germany conquered Poland in 2 weeks.  WRONG!  While Germany (which invaded Poland on September 1, 1939) did conquer enough of Poland to ensure it would completely fall to its invasion in a little over two weeks (basically around September 18, 1939), it was closer to 5 weeks when they completely took over Poland and put down virtually all forms of military resistance (October 5, 1939).  And there’s some complex history regarding not just Poland’s relation to Germany and Russia, but also Poland’s relation to the Jews.

After the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union, the Polish government fled the country and established a government-in-exile in London. Polish refugees in eastern Poland faced the prospect of a long exile from home.

When the Soviets annexed eastern Poland, about 300,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland were trapped. The vast majority of these refugees remained in Soviet-occupied Poland. In 1940 and 1941, Soviet secret police officials arrested and deported—as “unreliable elements”—hundreds of thousands of residents of eastern Poland, including thousands of Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland. Those arrested were deported to Siberia, central Asia, and other locations in the interior of the Soviet Union. About 40,000 Jewish refugees continued their flight from Poland, fearing arrest and persecution in either German- or Soviet-occupied territory. More than half of those who fled Poland went to Romania and Hungary. 15,000 went to Lithuania, most to Vilna, Kovno, and the surrounding regions.

[…]

Some refugees could not escape Poland before Soviet and German authorities established their control of the country. By the time some refugees reached the German-Soviet demarcation line as well as Poland’s borders with her neighbors they found both closed and heavily guarded. Some refugees attempted to sneak across, often at great danger. Those caught trying to cross between occupation zones or trying to flee without papers faced arrest and arbitrary violence at the hands of both Soviet and German border guards.

For others, the prospect of permanent exile away from home was overwhelming. Penniless, tired of aimless wandering, and despairing of seeing their families in the German-occupied zone of Poland again, some refugees headed home, back across the German-Soviet demarcation line into German-occupied Poland.

Source

 

However, in the early twentieth century anti-Semitic tensions began to rise. Poverty caused many Poles to oppose the disproportionate role of Jews in their country’s economic elites and intelligentsia. Until his death in 1935, Poland’s de facto ruler Marshal Jozef Pilsudski vigorously opposed anti-Semitic policies. Nonetheless, post-Pilsudski governments officially discriminated against Jews by, for example, excessively taxing them while many universities introduced quota systems to limit the number of Jewish students admitted and conservative organizations boycotted Jewish businesses, thus pauperizing Poland’s Jews.

Source

 

 

Third, Oskar Schindler himself.  Aside from the first third of the movie, his depiction in this film is about as fictional as it gets compared to the real life individual.  Starting with the inconvenient fact that Schindler was working for a powerful Hungarian Jew.

Keneally mentioned that Schindler worked for the powerful Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kastner. Nowhere will this information be found in Schindler’s List because in 1944 Kastner helped Eichmann deport hundreds of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz, in return for favorable treatment for Kastner’s Zionist cronies. The fact of high level cooperation between Nazis and Zionists was too embarrassing to be included in Spielberg’s pro-Zionist film.

Hoffman, Swindler’s Mist

And it doesn’t end there.  Schindler didn’t even have the lists written up in the way depicted in the film.  He was in jail at the time.

But several of the nine separate lists enshrined by history as Schindler’s list were actually compiled by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish member of the security police, Prof Crowe reports.

Schindler was hardly in a position to oversee any of the details involved: he had been arrested on suspicion of bribery by SS officers investigating corruption charges against Amon Göth, the concentration camp commander played by Ralph Fiennes in the film.

Source

And there’s more:

Schindler is also accused in the book of having headed a German unit responsible for planning the Nazi invasion of Poland – a far graver allegation than the fact, already known, that he had spied for Germany in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.

He was described by several of his former employees as an angel. But he was viewed so ambivalently by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance authority, that it failed to grant him the official status of “righteous gentile” until 1993, when Mr Spielberg’s film was already in production, Prof Crowe wrote. That appears to contradict the Oscar-winning film’s claim that he was granted the status in 1958.

[…]

Since his death in 1974, his legacy has already lost some of its lustre, not least at the hands of his wife, Emilie, who in the months before her death in 2001 gave interviews condemning him as an amoral womaniser who had denied her the credit she deserved for her role in helping to save almost 1,200 Jewish workers.

Source

 

Mr. Crowe said the legend of “the list” arose partly from Schindler himself, to embellish his heroism. He was trying to win reparations for his wartime losses, and Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial organization in Jerusalem, was considering naming him a “righteous gentile,” an honor given to someone who risked death to save Jews.

[…]

It has long been known that Schindler was a spy for German counterintelligence in the late 1930’s, but he played down those activities. Yet Mr. Crowe said that Czech secret police archives refer to Schindler as “a spy of big caliber and an especially dangerous type.” Mr. Crowe also said that Schindler compromised Czechoslovak security before the Nazi invasion and was imprisoned. Later, the Czechoslovak government tried to prosecute him for war crimes. Schindler was also the de facto head of a unit that planned the Nazi invasion of Poland.

[…]

There were also rumors, briefly mentioned in the book and film, that after Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 as a carpetbagger following the Nazi invasion, he stole Jewish property and ordered Jews beaten. Although the charges were unproven, Mr. Crowe discovered that Yad Vashem was so concerned that it delayed designating Schindler a righteous gentile. The film’s epilogue says Schindler was named in 1958, 16 years before his death in 1974. But Mr. Crowe found that he was officially named in 1993, after Yad Vashem learned that Schindler’s widow, Emilie, who also behaved heroically, was coming to Jerusalem to participate in the film. Both received the honor, he posthumously.

[…]

After the war Schindler was a failure. He squandered money given to him by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and moved to Argentina, where he attempted to breed nutria. He then returned to Germany and bought a concrete factory, where workers attacked him for saving Jews during the war. That factory went bankrupt. Schindler continued drinking, and begged Jews he had saved to help him financially. He died from alcoholism and heavy smoking, Mr. Crowe said.

Source

Schindler did rely on funds from Jewish organizations (such as that named above) after the war, and tried to start up some more businesses afterwards, all of which failed.  He squandered all the money he was given, he didn’t remain faithful to his wife, and he died of liver failure (likely from heavy drinking).  The only thing he kept the jews from were forced labor camps which were only somewhat worse than being at one of his factories (ie not as bad as depicted in the film, which is something Europa and my responses to Myles Power’s videos point out).  And even then, the jew ghetto police also utilized Schindler’s funds to have Jews moved to the more lenient (ie more luxurious by comparison) labor camps when there wasn’t room in Schindler’s factories.  Likely because, near the end of the war, Schindler could tell that Germany was going to lose, especially after the failure of taking Russia, and when the Americans got into the war (June 1944).  And on last note about Schindler, and this is a very very interesting little tidbit Spielberg decided to leave out, which completely goes against the pacifist depiction of the Jews:

Mr. Crowe said that the only part of the film that angered him was the ending, in which Schindler flees as the Russians advance. The Jews are shown as defeated, but in fact, Mr. Crowe said, Schindler had created “an armed guerilla group of Jews.”

“They were armed to the teeth, ready to fight till the death,” he said. Hours after Schindler left, they hung a Jew who worked for the Nazis.

Source

That all being said, this doesn’t mean Schindler was a bad man.  It makes him a complex one, with many layers.  A man who did good things and bad things.  If we were given this character in the film, the film would be a much more interesting one.  He may have been a man who was only helping the Jews and sabotaging the Germans for his own personal benefit knowing the end of the war was nigh, or he may have been doing it out of the good of his heart, or somewhere in-between.  The testimony of his wife seems to indicate the former, but we may never know.  Would be nice to have a film with a portrayal of that character which leaves those viewpoints open to interpretation by the viewer.  Of course, in order for me to fully appreciate that film even with a character like that in it, it can’t portray the Nazis unfairly either.  And as far as I can tell, no modern film (let alone older ones) seems to be capable of doing that, mainly because they all go with the assumption that 6+ million Jews were killed in the Holocaust due largely in-part to the Final Solution, which is something I’ve come to no longer believe.

 

That being said, I don’t buy that the forced labor camps were picnic parties either, even when some revisionist documentaries, including Europa (for all the great insights it provides, it does have some false or misleading info from its biased point of view, as most documentaries do), try to convince people otherwise.  There were labor camps run by reasonable SS leaders, and some were run by terrible SS leaders, such as Karl Otto Koch and Amon Goeth (the latter depicted by Ralph Fiennes in the film as the main antagonist).

The fact that the SS, under orders from Heinrich Himmler, attempted to operate the concentration camps (KZ) in a humane manner, in part by prosecuting, jailing and even executing brutal Nazi concentration camp personnel, has been nearly completely suppressed in much of the discussion of the history of World War Two.

One of the key officers who was instrumental in Himmler’s campaign to attempt to ensure the human rights of KZ inmates, was the heroic and incorruptible SS Judge Konrad Morgen. His testimony follows:

From Affidavit SS-65 by SS Judge Konrad Morgen, IMT Vol. 42, p. 556:

Individual criminal acts – in these cases having broad implications – included: the assumption of a license to kill by commandants and subordinates concealed through falsification of medical death certificates.

Arbitrary conduct, chicanery, unlawful corporal punishments, acts of brutality and sadism, liquidation of no-longer-convenient accomplices, theft and black-market profiteering.

ALL OF THESE OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED both alone by prisoners AS WELL AS BY PERSONNEL OF THE SS, most however in conspiracy between SS personnel with kapos (Jewish concentration camp guards).

The intervention of SS jurisdiction in the concentration camps commenced with the initiation of my investigations in July 1943 and lasted until the conclusion of the war. It could not have started sooner, because there were no suspicions in this regard.

Arrested were the commandants of Buchenwald, Lublin, Warschau, Herzogenbosch, KRAKAU-PLASZOW.

The commandants of Buchenwald and Lublin were shot.

More than a hundred cases were brought to a verdict. Maximum punishments were imposed on members of all ranks.

Source

 

Fourth, the depiction of Amon Goeth.  Well, I’m not going to lie.  From what I’ve gathered, he is about as big of an asshole as depicted in the film.  However, the film depicts both him and the Germans as if they were the rule rather than the exception.  This was not the case:

Although there were orders to administrators from the National Socialist government that concentration camp inmates were not to be brutalized, the camps themselves varied from well-run, fundamentally decent places of confinement, to pure hell-holes, depending to a large degree on the quality of the Nazi leadership in each concentration camp. Some commandants such as Amon Goeth and Karl Otto Koch were little more than criminals, while others like Hermann Pister were incorruptible and supervised the most humane facilities they could under the circumstances, given the scarcity of food and medicine in wartime Germany under conditions of saturation bombing by the Allied air forces.

There are many instances of attempts by the German military to secure humane conditions within the concentration camps. For example, in 1943 SS Judge Konrad Morgen of the Haupt Amt Gericht (SS-HAG) was assigned to investigate and prosecute brutality at Buchenwald. Morgen was so successful in correcting conditions there that Himmler gave him an expanded staff and unlimited investigative authority in the camps. Morgen’s next target of inquiry was Krakau-Plaszow and its commandant, Amon Goeth, the arch-fiend of Speilberg’s film.

In Schindler’s List Morgen’s entire investigation of Goeth was reduced to a scene in which fleeting reference is made to Goeth having his books “audited.” If you blinked, you missed it. The crucial truth that Steven Spielberg withheld from his audience is that in September of 1944, Goeth was arrested by the Central Office of the SS Judiciary and imprisoned on charges of theft and the murder of concentration camp inmates.

Hoffman, Swindler’s Mist

Hoffman never made it to a trial in Germany though, as he was arrested near the end of the war, Germany had other things to worry about, and they lost the war.  So Hoffman had to face justice at the hands of the Polish rather than at the hands of the Germans.

And on another note, he didn’t have the authority to execute those working at the camp.  And even more interesting, he wasn’t tried as a Nazi when he did go to trial in Poland post WWII, mainly because he wasn’t in a high command position.  They had to make up a new law for trying someone like him.

As the commandant of the Plaszow camp, Goeth had been ordered to carry out the executions that were ordered by others. These executions took place at the Plaszow camp. The people who were executed were not prisoners in  the Plaszow camp.

According to David Crowe’s book, entitled Oscar Schindler,  Wilek Chilowicz was a Jewish prisoner, who was the head of the OD, the Jewish police at Plaszow. Crowe wrote that “Göth sought permission to murder Chilowicz and several other prominent OD men in the camp on false charges.”

In all the Nazi concentration camps, the staff had to get permission from headquarters in Oranienburg to punish a prisoner, but punishment did not include murder.

Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen was a Waffen-SS officer and attorney, whom Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had put in charge of investigating murder, corruption and mistreatment of prisoners in all the Nazi concentration camps in 1943. Dr. Morgen’s first investigation had resulted in the arrest of Karl Otto Koch, the Commandant of Buchenwald, and his later execution by the Nazis.

According to David Crowe’s book, Goeth asked one of his SS officers, Josef Sowinski, to prepare a detailed, false report about a potential camp rebellion led by Chilowicz and other OD men. Based on this report, Koppe sent a secret letter to Goeth giving him the authority to carry out the execution of Chilowicz and several other OD men. The execution took place on August 13, 1944; Goeth was arrested exactly a month later and charged by Dr. Morgen with corruption and brutality, including the murder of Wilek Chilowicz and several others.

[…]

After World War II ended, the American military turned Amon Goeth over to the Polish government for prosecution as a war criminal. He was brought before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland in Krakow. His trial took place between August 27, 1946 and September 5, 1946. Goeth was charged with being a member of the Nazi party and a member of the Waffen-SS, Hitler’s elite army, both of which had been designated as criminal organizations by the Allies after the war. His crimes included the charges that he had taken part in the activities of these two criminal organizations. The crime of being a Nazi applied only to Nazi officials, and Goeth had never held a job as a Nazi official. In fact, at the time of Goeth’s conviction by the Polish court, the judgment against the SS and the Nazi party as criminal organizations had not yet been made by the Nuremberg IMT.

At Goeth’s trial, the Nazi party was said to be “an organization which, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, through aggressive wars, violence and other crimes, aimed at world domination and establishment of the National-Socialist regime.” Amon Goeth was accused of personally issuing orders to deprive people of freedom, to ill-treat and exterminate individuals and whole groups of people. His crimes, including the newly created crime of genocide, came under a new law of the Allies, called Crimes against Humanity.

Source

The point being, his acts and methods were cruel enough to where even the SS had to arrest him and see him punished.  That, and because he was stealing stuff on the side from the Jews, which is something I believe was supposed to go straight to the Nazi party to help fund the German war effort or something.

And on another more minor note, it wasn’t geographically possible for Goeth to snipe Jews from the second story of his house.

 

Fifth, the ghetto jew police (Ordnungdienst / Ordnungsdiest), and the pacifist nature of the jews in the film.  Regarding the German Jewish police, “they were supervised by Polish guards and armed German police to ensure that they performed their tasks correctly and with appropriate strictness,” (Source).  Despite that, there’s a chance they weren’t all that, eh, honorable, since it’s been reported they were “ruthless killers” at times (still need to verify this, so take that information with a grain of salt).

As for the Jews being completely pacifist and meek, that’s a load of bull:

According to Thomas Keneally’s novel, after the first liquidation in 1942, in which many of the Jews escaped, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB), a group of resistance fighters, bombed the Cyganeria Restaurant and killed 7 German SS soldiers. Next, the SS-only Bagatella Cinema was bombed in Krakow. In the next few months, the ZOB sank German patrol boats on the Vistula, fire-bombed German military garages in Krakow and derailed a German army train, besides forging papers and passports for Jews to pass as Aryans.

In the movie, the date of the scene where Mrs. Dresner hides has been changed to the day of the final liquidation of the ghetto on March 13, 1943.  The movie gives the impression that the Jews were killed for no reason and does not mention what the Jews did in the Resistance.

[…]

According to the novel, Schindler’s Ark, around 4,000 Jews were found hiding in the Podgorze ghetto during the final liquidation and they were executed on the spot. However, during the postwar trial of Amon Goeth, one of the charges against him was that 2,000 Jews were killed during the liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto.

According to the novel, the Jews, who managed to escape from the ghetto, joined the partisans of the Polish People’s Army, who were hiding in the forests of Niepolomice.

Unlike the novel, the movie Schindler’s List does not mention the Jewish resistance fighters, who fought as partisans throughout the war.  In the movie, the Jews are portrayed as totally harmless, so there was no reason for the Nazis to shoot them as they were trying to escape.

Thomas Keneally, who is a native of Australia, mentioned in his novel that in 1944, an Australian plane was shot down by the Germans over Oskar Schindler’s factory; the plane was dropping supplies to the Jewish and Polish partisans in the forest east of Krakow, according to Keneally.

Krakow had been populated by Jews for 600 years before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, and the Jews had been discriminated against for years, before the Nazis arrived.

In 1494, there was a  fire in Krakow which was blamed on the Jews; this was the start of pogroms against the Jews.  Because of this, the King of Poland ordered the Jews in the city of Krakow to be resettled in the district of Kazimierz. During World War II, the Nazis ordered the Jews to move out of Kazimierz, into a ghetto in the Podgorze district, which was  across the river Vistula.

Source

So yeah, history is not all that one-dimensional, not as this film depicts it.

 

On that note, some other tidbits concerning where the hatred of the jews came from (aside from the bankers who influenced the laws and the nations, which Europa covers):

You need to understand the true story of what happened to the German people living in these German lands From 1918 to 1939… Twenty years of systematic oppression, taxation, killing, murder, torture, terrorizing, persecution, impoverishment under jews.

This is another part of the true history of Europe which has been covered up and buried. The jews who flocked to Versailles and gained a special dispensation for an independent Polish nation to be recognized: did this because Poland had been jewified and was under total jewish control. It was the closest thing they could get to having their own land and their own jewish nation. Jews had been intermarrying into Polish high society for CENTURIES; for 100’s of years until they had become thoroughly accepted into Polish culture and society: Until Poland became known worldwide as “The Land of The Jews”… And from this jewified nation: their offspring spread like lice on a rat’s ass all over the diseased body of Europe: into Germany and especially into key appointments of power in the occupied territories which had been so ‘generously’ ‘given’ to various other nations by the scum who wrote the Versailles Treaty. The result of the Versailles Treaty: was a systematic racist program of discriminatory laws inflicted by the jews in power over their German victims for twenty years in every land stolen from Germany after WW2….

But to understand why this happened… You need to go even further back into European History and understand just why the jews hated the Germans so much… The reason for their racist hatred was because Germany was the last… I repeat, Germany was the LAST nation in Europe to grant emancipation to jews: the right to own property and the right to vote. Germany: the states and duchies of German speaking people kept their jews locked up in ghettos. Far longer than any other nation in Europe the Germans kept the jews apart from their society and did not allow them to infiltrate or intermarry into their society. For this: the jews invented a special vile racist hatred against all Germany and all German people. This was why when they were granted emancipation, when they did gain power over Germans: they became the most brutal, subhuman overseers of any oppressed people in Europe…

So now! jump back to the lands Hitler freed the once-German lands from Jewish control and oppression between 1935-1939. Most of the jews in these lands were of Polish origin. They were Polish jews wreaking ‘revenge’ on a hapless German people who had their rights taken away from them and their land taken away from them. In nearly all cases, they were jews of Polish extraction. Even the jews living in Vienna and Austria had nearly all originally come from Poland. Then suddenly the Anschluss happened. The German victims of jewish oppression were given back their rights, their land and their power!… and in every case: each land that was freed from Jewish rule: DEPORTED their jews by force: they stripped them of their titles, property and wealth and put them on trains.

Source

 

 

One more thing.  The whole propaganda regarding the mass execution of the Jews.

We will therefore find that examination of stories
concerning alleged Jewish extermination that appeared in the New York Times,
spring 1942 through 1943, together with a summary of 1944 propaganda,
which will be presented in Chapter 5, is all that is required to get a satisfactory
conception of the propaganda.

[…]

February 14, 1943, p. 37: “EXECUTION ‘SPEED – UP ’ SEEN
Mass executions of Jews in Poland on an accelerated tempo was re-
ported by European representatives of the World Jewish Congress in a
communication made public by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the
American Jewish Congress.
In one place in Poland 6,000 Jews are killed daily, according to the re-
port, dated Jan. 19. Jews left in Poland are now confined in fifty-five ghet-
tos, some in the large towns and some in the smaller towns that have been
transformed into ghettos.”
This was the propaganda story involved in the conflict between State and
Treasury. As noted in connection with the remarks on the Times editorial of
December 18, if this story had managed to emerge from the State Department,
greater credibility would, apparently, have been attached to it. Unfortunately
for the propaganda inventors at the time, they had to settle for Rabbi Wise as
ostensible source.

[…]

April 12, 1943, p. 5: “NAZIS ERASE GHETTOS IN TWO POLISH CITIES
London, April 11 (AP) – The Polish Telegraph Agency said tonight that the Germans had erased the ghetto at Krakow in a three-day massacre that started March 13, and also had eliminated the ghetto in Lodz.

The fate of the Jews in the latter city was unknown, but the agency said it was believed they also were killed.”

Because almost all Jews outside the Continent, particularly those in the
U.S., believed the extermination claims, they brought political pressures which
resulted in the Bermuda Conference. It was believed, 161 correctly, that the Na-
zis wished the emigration of the Jews from Europe (under appropriate condi-
tions), and this put the British and American governments, on account of the
propaganda basis for their war, into an awkward position, around which they
were obliged to continually double-talk. 162 We have described the conflict be-
tween State and Treasury in this regard. The British had, at that point, no in-
tention of opening Palestine, and both the British and Americans had no inten-
tion of providing the resources, in the middle of the war, for massive opera-
tions undertaken for reasons that were valid only to the degree that their prop-
aganda was taken seriously. No sane modern statesmen believe their own
propaganda. This is the dilemma, which J. Breckenridge Long and other State
Department officials felt themselves facing.

[…]

The allegations of exterminations of Jews do not appear to have had great importance to the public during the war, if one judges from the lack of any prominence given to such stories. Another way to express it is to say that if one spends some time examining the newspapers of the time, a high degree of hostility to the Nazis is obvious, but the specific basis of the hostility is virtually impossible to distinguish. Thus, there is something of an emotional nature missing from our survey, but this is unavoidable.  Two principal observations should be made in regard to the extermination propaganda. First, the legend has its origin among Zionists and, second, Auschwitz was not claimed as an extermination camp until very late in the war.

We have seen that the first extermination claims were not based on one
scrap of intelligence data. Zionists, principally the World Jewish Congress,
merely presented their nonsense to the Allied governments, in particular to the
U.S. government, demanding endorsement of their nonsense. The first reac-
tions in Washington were to scoff at the claims but, on account of various po-
litical pressures, and only on account of those pressures and not because cor-
roborating information had been procured from military intelligence, official
Washington eventually cooperated with the extermination propaganda to the
extent of having high officials make vague public declarations in support of it,
and of having propaganda agencies make more specific declarations of an ob-
scure nature. The early propaganda had features which are retained in the leg-
end to this day, such as the six million figure, and also features which were
quickly forgotten, such as the soap factories, although both features were au-
thored by the same Zionist circles.

— Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed.  Castle Hills Publishers.  February 2015 p.112, 114, 123-124

Anyway, for more information about how Spielberg’s depiction of the Holocaust is rubbish, when going outside the film itself, you can see a debunking of a documentary Spielberg made titled The Last Days where 5 Holocaust survivors were interviewed and given their point of view of events.  The documentary that debunks this documentary (by showcasing the faulty testimony of the people in the documentary) is titled Spieleberg’s Hoax: The Last Days of the Big Lie.

And an Ernst Zundel interview where he bashes on the film for various reasons (I did find his taking offense at the “boobs and butts” to be rather funny).  But it’s insightful for him to mention that the burning of the bodies (an event with an insane orchestral score in the film, to give the impression that you should feel shocked and sad at what you are seeing; Chujowa Gorka, April 1944) was to prevent disease spreading from the dead bodies, thus a health measure.  And that bodies had to be dug up and burned because they were poisoning the groundwater.  That, and crematoriums weren’t supposed to emote much smoke or smell, despite what the film depicts.  And even German SS bodies (and the wives of German soldiers) who died of disease or typhus had to be burned along with any dead Jews at these crematoriums.  And it questions the “number” of people that would have to be burned day by day in order to match up with the official numbers given to the holocaust amidst all this.

Lastly, a video of Jews giving their testimony on the holocaust that tends to contradict officially accepted mainstream views.

 

PS: One more little tidbit I found interesting from the film:

“Ah, an educated Jew.  Like Karl Marx himself.”

Huh, cool to see the film admits that fun fact.

 

 

Sources

Amon Goeth liquidates the last Jews in Krakow ghetto

https://www.grunge.com/142302/the-true-story-about-oskar-schindler-from-schindlers-list/

https://www.big-lies.org/jews/jews-poland-revisionism.html

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/german-invasion-of-poland-jewish-refugees-1939

Re-examining Spielberg’s Portrayal of Polish-Jewish Relations

https://sites.google.com/a/csumb.edu/hcom352-schindlers-list-1993/historical-accuracy-of-the-film

https://www.thejc.com/culture/features/is-schindler-s-list-fatally-flawed-1.43304

https://www.revisionisthistory.org/shindler.html

https://www.revisionisthistory.org/revisionist6.html

http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/schindler-01.html

http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/appendix-1-01.html

Hoffman, Michael A., and Alan R. Critchley.  “Swindler’s Mist: Spielberg’s Fraud in Schindler’s List”.  January 1, 2001.  https://codoh.com/library/document/488/

swindlers mist

ScrapbookPages Blog.  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/did-amon-goeth-have-the-authority-to-order-executions/

Burkeman, Oliver, and Ben Aris.  “Biographer takes shine off Spielberg’s Schindler”.  The Guardian.  November 25, 2004.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/25/germany.film

Smith, Diitia.  “Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend”.  The New York Times.  November 24, 2004.  http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Schindler/OOF1104.html

Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed.  Castle Hills Publishers.  February 2015

Suriyothai (2001) review

aka The Legend of Suriyothai

Rated: 4 / 5

Ok, let’s get this out of the way first. America got royally fucked in the ass by Francis Ford Coppola on this one. We have a 2 hour cut of this film that is an absolute disgrace. Too much happens too quickly, it’s almost impossible to get attached to any of the characters, and it’s a gross simplification of EVERYTHING.

Movie Director Francis Ford Coppola, right, actor Chatchai Plengpanich, middle, and Thai director and Prince  Chatrichalerm Yukol pose for photographs Monday, March 11, 2002 on the set in Ayuthaya. Coppola is in Thailand  to help edit the new version of ''Suriyothai''. The film will be shown in the Thai language with English subtitles. Photo by Mick Elmore

The original Thai version is 3 hours in total, and is much better for it. Things are more fleshed out, some characters who were more relegated to the background have their presence felt more clearly (ex: the badass soldier who lost an eye), and it’s overall paced better. Even so, it still felt like it went by too quickly for its own good. But at least it came off as a solid enough film, which is more than I could say for the Americanized circumcised mess we were left with.

So when I planned on revisiting this film, I intended to see the best version of it, the 3 hour version. As for how I got a hold of it and how I found out about this movie, I’ll just say it was fate and leave it at that. But then I realized everyone on an international level, including in Thailand, got fucked up the ass again. Because when this film first came out on DVD in the early 2000s, there was a limited circulation run of an epic cut of the film that ran for 5 hours. Let me repeat that for those who think that’s a typo, FIVE HOURS! At this point I started to lose my mind, thinking, “What the flying fuck is wrong with these DVD distributing motherfuckers who think we don’t want a hold of the full version of the movie!? What the fuck makes them think we want to settle for a piece of shit version that cuts out 3 fucking hours of footage, let alone 2!? And they make it fucking limited so that over a decade later it’s borderline impossible to track down a copy of the buttfucking thing!? GODDAMNIT!!!!!!”

In case it wasn’t apparent, I hate butchered versions of films, I hate it when we get a version that isn’t as complete as the director originally intended, I hate censorship, and I really fucking hate it when America mutilates domestic releases of foreign films the way trannies mutilate their own bodies, let alone dipshit parents and jews mutilating baby penises.

This is not my photo.

But guess what motherfuckers? I got a hold of the 5 hour cut (along with the other 2 versions). And I watched it. And eventually I’m going to make it so that others can partake in this delicacy too without having to shell out $150+ to get a hold of a copy, especially when they don’t know if the film is enjoyable enough to be worth that much. For the record, I don’t believe any film is worth that much, and no, I didn’t pay that much for my LEGALLY OBTAINED copy. The point is some assholes on eBay, on the blue moon chance someone is selling a copy, tends to go that high (I got very lucky by comparison). The only time a film is worth that much is if it’s 8+ hours long, or signed by someone who worked on it, or it’s some uber-special edition loaded with extras and trinkets, and fabulous video/audio quality for die-hard fans who only thought something like that existed in their wet dreams.

As for the movie, the 5 hour version, significantly more fleshed out than the 3 hour version. You truly get a taste of Thai history and culture, their practises, mannerisms, rituals, names, places, plotting. It hits you full force. It’s the sort of epic a country would be patriotically proud to have produced in their country, like how Poland got Potop, America got Star Wars and Ben-Hur and King Kong (the original), and Japan got Akira Kurosawa and Akira.

And do those extra hours slow the pacing to a crawl with overly long drawn out scenes? To my amazement, no. In fact, the pacing is as brisk as ever. The new footage doesn’t exactly pad out the movie (though there is this candle ritual segment where they want Buddha, or some god, to determine their fate, which mainly exists for side plot thematic purposes which, while it does have some thematic reference and mirroring later on, isn’t completely necessary outside of spending more time with certain characters and experiencing a bit more of the religion and culture; it becomes a bit of a red herring). Rather, it seems like they crammed in more scenes to give more insight into, well, everything. The plot, the characters, the stuff they did royally and religiously. Virtually none of it felt like it was better left out. Quite the opposite. I’m going to have a very hard time going back to the 3 hour version (the 2 hour version can kiss my ass) without feeling like I’m missing out on some big details. On top of that, the pacing is still rapid. In spite of the 5 hour length, it still feels like the film took some 8+ hour miniseries and tried to condense it into one movie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film of this length that moved through scenes as quickly as this one. I defy anyone to find that kind of a movie out there, epic in length and scope, that feels quick-paced. It’s borderline bizarre.

smallpox

Now of course, for us Americans (and anyone who isn’t Thai for that matter), things will get confusing at times. Trying to grasp the significance of certain people and places, trying to figure out how to pronounce the fucking names and wonder how the fuck that country can function with people and places that have that many letters in them (Nebuchadnezzar ain’t got nothing on these people). And then having to deal with subtitles that come off as being written by someone who has English as a second language some of the time, as a third language at other times, or some English learning intern. There are a couple moments where the subtitles don’t show up at all. That being said, I was still able to understand the meaning and what was going on.

As for the plot, it’s about this time period when Thailand was beginning to undergo a period of civil strife at the highest levels of royalty, along with a smallpox outbreak; how they dealt with it, and then attempted to repel a foreign army attempting to conquer the land amidst all this. Most of the action is saved for the last couple hours (the battle sequences are done well enough, with enough extras to make this feel like the epic it sets out to be). The majority of the duration is Game of Thrones-like political intrigue, maneuvering, backstabbing, plotting, family/regime takeovers, assassinations, etc. And people of all types get killed from this. Men, women, and children. Yep, even some kids get killed, including this one kid who doesn’t look much older than 5. And they don’t slice his head off with a sword. Oh no. They have something that looks like a sword, except it’s cylindrical with no sharp edges, and they bash the little fucker’s skull in. Now don’t panic, they don’t show this. They just have the camera looking up at the executioner as he’s swinging downward in slow-motion before fading to black. But now you know what you’re in for.

And this ought to appease the ladies out there. This is a woman’s movie. The central characters, especially during the first half, are women of royalty, who manipulate the rulers they are married to or close to into doing their bidding, into getting what they want, causing havoc (and attempts to stop the havoc). And there are plenty of women warriors and bodyguards who prove to be just as capable as the men a good portion of the time. And this isn’t done at the expense of the men either, who also have their time to shine. They can be completely compatible with one another, working off each other to accomplish difficult tasks, or against each other (in various ways) to the detriment of many.

As for the central theme in the movie, from my viewing, it seems to be about the pros and cons of putting duty to country and others before yourself, and vice versa.  And how far-reaching the consequences for doing one or the other can be.  Suriyothai becomes the polar opposite of Srisudachan with those concepts of duty and personal desire at the expense of others.  Granted, considering this was a film funded in-part by the Thai government, you could imagine that duty and honor are shown to be far more positive than the alternative.  That being said, it also doesn’t seem to simplify things either.  Suriyothai is shown to have a longing for things that she didn’t have because of her dedication to her king/husband.  And Srisudachan is shown to have inner turmoil at times with the things she is doing, and her motives are relate-able at times (especially since she’s somewhat peer-pressured into doing some of her more terrible deeds).  Plus Srisudachan also did it to have a type of husband she always wanted, and a child/family she’s always wanted.  She’s never shown to be full-on evil, though it definitely shows her doing evil deeds (or at least ordering them carried out).  Suriyothai, by comparison, is mostly kept on the sidelines for the majority of the film, especially when the film isn’t at the beginning or the finale.  She’s still there, and still doing her part with gathering info and influencing the king to do what is right (among other people), but she seems to be a minor character for the most part in her own movie.  Regardless, she does make decisions and actions that end up affecting the entire fate of the kingdom.

Example of amateur-hour subtitles: “make” = “male”

There is a lot of stuff contained in this film. Just the quantity alone makes it an enjoyable viewing experience. As for the quality, well… In terms of budget and set design and acting and music, it’s good. Pacing and directing (in terms of camera placement), it’s acceptable at the very least, great in some cases. But I was left wanting better in that department. It’s not that the pacing or directing is bad, it’s just not as fantastic as one would hope from a film as ambitious as this. But that could just be due to expectations, or what I’m used to getting from films that are 3+ hours in length. It’s different.

Bottom line, I do recommend this, if you have the time for it. Watch the 5 hour cut if you can, maybe settle for the 3 hour version, avoid the 2 hour cut like the plague that ravished the land at one point.

 
PS: The film spoils the ending during the first couple minutes. Just so you know. I hated that, but on the other hand it was made by Thais for Thais who likely know this history by heart, so I can’t exactly fault the film for that.

PPS: There is this great emotional scene in the middle of the film where this early sequence of a childhood promise made completely pays off. One of those, “I promise to come for you if you ever need me,” type of promises. That moment gets to me.

King of New York (1990) review

Rated: 3.5 / 5

It was worth watching just to see Christopher Walken blow away David Caruso. Someone needs to make a meme out of that whenever he looks out the window of a car.

With that out of the way…

The opening moments are very solid. Just the presence Walken gives, that his is a man with a lot going on within him, yet strong-willed enough to keep himself composed. He has gained and earned the respect of those close to him, including these two hot chicks who would probably sleep with him any time he asked, yet they also wouldn’t have a problem finding someone else for him to sleep with; let alone the fact that they would actually put their lives on the line for him. Why? Because he is a badass, a gentlemen when he needs to be, ruthless when he feels it’s necessary, actually has good intentions with his plans for the city, and cares about the people who follow him.

But he’s also a man who has lived a criminal life for too long to live anyway else. On the other hand, he also lived that life long enough to see how fucked up both that way of life is, and how fucked up the straight path is. He has witnessed corruption in both the criminal world, the civilian world, the law enforcement world, the political world, and with the justice system trying to keep things together. He’s lived in the world, and in prison, long enough to know which things are pipe dreams and which are more realistically achievable.

Which is why I think this film had a huge pair of balls on it at the time of its release, when the war on drugs was in full swing. Walken’s character simply looks at the drug trade as a necessary evil when it comes to business and coming out on top, nothing more. Just as he sees the hiring of thugs off the street to be a necessary evil, which also has its upsides to it. Sure, these are the same type of people who would sniff/shoot the same drugs they would sell on the street, somewhat victims of society and the system (though going outside the box, I believe that to be a lesser extent compared to the other reasons), made bad choices in life setting them on the gangster path. But hiring them gives them opportunities, is more cost effective than hiring bodyguards, and involves them in a (somewhat) constructive business. And Walken’s business us utilizing the criminal world for some good, such as using drug money to keep a hospital from shutting down, a hospital that helps children stay alive. Granted, this could be a two-edged sword, with these same children later growing up into the same type of gangsters, thugs, straight or crooked cops/politicians, etc, all thanks to this drug business. But its making the best out of a bad situation that could be worse.

I was worried for a bit, with how some of these cops decided to relentlessly pursue Walken, both in and outside the boundaries of the law. Worried that this film would go with the theme of, “Becoming the very monster you’re fighting.” Thankfully, the film is as smart as I was hoping it would be. Near the finale, Walken confronts the leader of the force that had been after him, and tells him what’s what.

“When the D.A’s office investigated the sudden death of Arty Clay, they found that he left a $13 million estate. How do you explain that? There there’s Larry Wong, who owned half of Chinatown when he passed away. Larry used to rent his tenements to Asian refuges, his own people, for $800 a month to share a single toilet on the same floor. How ’bout King Tito? He had thirteen-year-old girls hooking for him on the street. Those guys are dead because I don’t want to make money that way. Emil Zappa, the Mata brothers, they’re dead because they were running this city into the ground.”

[…]

“You think ambushing me in some nightclub’s gonna stop what makes people take drugs? This country spends $100 billion a year on getting high, and it’s not because of me. All that time I was wasting in jail, it just got worse. I’m not your problem. I’m just a businessman.”

[…]

“You expected to get away with killing all these people?”

“I spent half my life in prison. I never got away with anything, and I never killed anybody that didn’t deserve it.”

“Who made you judge and jury?”

“Well, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.”

Walken felt the justice system wasn’t effective enough to put things right, so he chose the criminal life to get things done faster. Likewise, main members of the police felt the justice system wasn’t effective enough to put things right, so they decided to stop doing things by the law to try and put lawbreakers away. And regardless of what either side does, the drug business, the criminal business, will thrive. The best they can hope for is to have some sense of order to it, some sense of honor. Figuring out where their priorities lie.

That all being said, this film isn’t perfect. It’s a bit rough around the edges at times. I thought Walken’s character could’ve shown a little more depth (via the script). And there’s some characters we’re left wondering what happened with, plus some dangling plot threads (Janet Julian’s character; the lawyer being asked to try and reign Walken in, though that scene is the last we ever see of him). It’s still a solid watch.

 

 
PS: Yeah, I’m not a Caruso fan. His face irritates me, and he’s the main guy I think of when someone says, “Orange man bad.”

PPS: You know what, screw it. This gets an extra half star for being a film where Lawrence Fishburne kills Wesley Snipes, who is then killed by Caruso, who is then killed by Walken. I mean, come on, a movie doesn’t get much more badass than that.

PPPS: Is this the definitive Christopher Walken movie?

 

Funny thing is, this gif of Emily Ratajkowski came up when I was looking up images for King of New York.  It has nothing to do with the movie itself, but I’ll take it.

Pump Up The Volume (1990) review

Rated: 3.5 / 5

Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?  You know that feeling?  That the whole country is like one inch away from saying, “That’s it!  Forget it!”  Think about it, everything is polluted: the environment, the government, the schools; you name it.

So begins this little movie about a high schooler launching a pirate radio station aimed at the other high schoolers in his city.  Before social media and youtube videos, there was pirate radio.  And yet not much has changed in regards to the message this movie has.  If nothing else, it seems as relevant as ever, if not more-so.  The topics the film tackles are not only relevant today, but other issues plaguing society today can easily draw parallels to the stuff this film has to say.

The main point of contention is school, followed by parents.  In this film’s case, the protagonist played by Christian Slater finds it easy to rant about the unfair practices of the school, which gets expanded upon further and further until it is revealed that this isn’t just some petty criticism about how hard school is.  It turns out the principal implemented some policies that are questionable at best, illegal at worst.

And it’s this first point that is worth dwelling upon.  Although the film is one-sided about all this, it is worth discussing the pros and cons of it considering the knowledge we (or at least any half-assed independent individual who seeks to gain knowledge outside the system) has about school policy.  So it is discovered the principal (and others who were involved I’m sure) has been expelling students who had scored low on the S.A.T., which causes the school’s S.A.T. average among students to become inflated.  A harsh method that may doom the expelled to living a life without a diploma, yet it also keeps the school funded and doesn’t have many dumb students bogging everyone else down.  And from what I’ve seen of the expelled students, they aren’t really attempting to make anything of themselves.  Then again, “They’re just kids.”

Contrast that with the No Child Left Behind policy that’s been adopted since the early 2000s.  Nowadays, it’s not so much the students being expelled to inflate the S.A.T. scores so much as curving the scores, giving handicap points to the “minorities” to boost their scores, etc.  So now the S.A.T.s are inflated once again, but for completely different reasons, and allowing dumbass kids to drag the others down with them.

Either way, the school policies are fucked.  Either way, they do it for the monetary benefits for pretending to be better than they actually are.  The solution to me is pretty simple.  Get rid of No Child Left Behind, and get rid of the cocksucking S.A.T.s, which at this point are overrated and borderline irrelevant, at least in regards to gauging a student’s potential.  The cons have been shown to outweigh the pros, especially in this day and age.

Not to mention the pressure it puts on students due to expectations that normally can’t be met except by the best of the best.  Creating the “model student.”  And the film depicts how some of these model students are not happy with this facade they put on.  Hell, this isn’t the only film to do it.  Plenty of films just from the decade this spawned from have several examples of model students who either aren’t as cracked up as they appear to be, are suffering from depression and stress from trying to keep up appearances, etc.  That’s not to say there aren’t legit model students out there who are what they appear to be, but others shouldn’t be forced to try and live that way.

They say I’m disturbed. Well, of course I’m disturbed. I mean, we’re all disturbed. And if we’re not, why not? Doesn’t this blend of blindness and blandness want to make you do something crazy? Then why not do something crazy? It makes a helluva lot more sense than blowing your fucking brains out.

And this is where the aspect of the parents come in.  Parents who want more than to just bring out the best in their son or daughter.  They want what they think is best for them, and it’s common knowledge at this point that what they think is best for them isn’t always what is actually best for them.  But they don’t care enough about that to listen to their children seriously.  So their children have a difficult time talking to them about their problems, let alone working them out.  It can get to the point where talking is pointless.

So naturally, if they can’t talk about their problems to their own parents, they’ll seek input from other sources, or drive themselves to suicide (as was the case for one unfortunate soul in this film).  Which is where Slater’s character comes in, as an anonymous voice over the radio.  He speaks brashly, without a filter, being as foul-mouthed and offensive as he wants (primarily for comedy); and doing so allows him to talk about subjects that these dejected students not only relate to, but also wanted to get off their chest but find themselves unable to do so.  They find a voice that expresses what they want to express.  A voice that talks about things they want to talk about, says things they want to say, and offers suggestions on what they can do about it; which some of them end up doing.

We at the F.C.C. feel that democracy is all about protecting the rights of the ordinary citizen.  Unregulated radio would result in programming of the lowest common denominator, the rule of the mob.

Imagine, a fucking political hack in charge of free speech in America!

Of course, once the school faculty, and most parents, find out about this anonymous pirate radio host, they discuss ways to stop his influence, and then ways to shut him down.  Things escalate, from punishing students who sell cassettes of his program (and create graffiti of his best lines), to getting local authorities involved, to eventually getting federal authorities involved via the F.C.C.  The inevitable discussion of free speech is brought up of course; a film like this is destined to go down that road.  But it’s one-sided, in that he shouldn’t be shut down and speech shouldn’t be suppressed.   And it should be one-sided.  After all, to a lesser extent, the same thing was happening to various students all around the campus, which created many of these problems they wanted to rebel against to begin with.  Even a teacher sympathetic to the students’ cause tries to speak out against some of the mistreatment, only to get fired by the higher ups.  That being said, the students go a bit too far at times, in my personal opinion, with regard to how they freely express themselves, such as the graffiti.  On the other hand, what other way to communicate their frustrations towards those who won’t listen?

They think you’re moody, make ’em think you’re crazy.  Make ’em think you might snap.  They say you got attitude, you show ’em some real attitude.

And this is where the parallels of today can be found.  Of course, pirate radio isn’t currently in-style as it was back then.  Nowadays there’s podcasts and videos which can be found online with people speaking and ranting in the same way Slater’s character does in this film.  And the escalation still occurs.  Alex Jones too extreme, he gets banned from every major social media website, from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, his InfoWars app banned from all major app stores.  Twitter banning conservative speakers, Facebook doing this same, YouTube following suit, Amazon banning books they deem hateful/offensive, universities banning conservative speakers, and so on.  In this film, being unable to speak to parents and school staff brought the protagonist to speaking over the radio.  Being unable to have books published on Amazon causes writers to sell on their own website, or through other independent publishers.  Being banned from Twitter causes users to flock to alternatives like Gab.  Banned/removed from YouTube causes users to migrate to BitChute.  Next thing you know, the Internet will be as heavily regulated as radio stations were back then, with the F.C.C. (among others) knocking at your door should you talk about something that shouldn’t be talked about, or in a way they don’t like.

I’m sick of being ashamed. I don’t mind being dejected and rejected, but I’m not going to be ashamed about it. At least pain is real. I mean, you look around and you see nothing is real, but at least the pain is real.

And yet there are warning signs to be seen over this lifestyle of being a radical speaker.  Slater’s character is shown to be socially awkward, having difficulty expressing himself around others, yet feeling the frustration of living as an self-made outcast.  But he made himself unique out of the others because of his talent with being entertaining, edgy, and philosophical on the airwaves.  Today, anybody can be that way.  And there are so many, it’s hardly unique anymore.  YouTube videos, social media accounts that proclaim to be the best at something, they’re a dime a dozen.  It would take a lot to stand out (assuming your natural charisma isn’t enough), and even then, it would be difficult for others to find your voice/opinion on the web.  And this social media generation isn’t exactly churning out healthy individuals, hooked on that dopamine rush and all.

You see there’s nothing to do anymore. Everything decent has been done. All the great themes in life have been used up, turned into theme parks. So I don’t really find it exactly cheerful to be living in the middle of a totally exhausted decade where there’s nothing to look forward to and no one to look up to.

However…

… there is one factor to consider.  The appeal of Slater’s character in that community wasn’t because he was just a (pirate) radio host.  It was because he spoke about topics deemed relevant by the students, the intended audience.  It was because he had ways of addressing the topics that made sense to the listeners (though this outraged and triggered others that demanded his silence, the same “others” causing the topics to be relevant to the audience in the first place).  His voice was unique in how it addressed those social issues.  If his voice wasn’t around for them to listen to, just as there aren’t any serious conservative speakers in the mainstream media, let alone radical foul-mouthed ones that the more modern liberal speakers have in abundance, then another would arise sooner or later.  Because when there is a social environment that silences the heartfelt opinions and legit grievances of enough people, sooner or later, a voice inevitably rises that will cause them to rebel.  A voice that shouts out an idea, a thought, something that cannot be killed due to suppression.  And it will inevitable spread until the unheard are finally heard, or until they’ve determined actions speak louder than words.

I like the idea that a voice can just go somewhere, uninvited, and just kinda hang out like a dirty thought in a nice clean mind. Maybe a though is like a virus, you know, it can… it can… kill all the healthy thoughts and just take over. That would be serious.

Recommended film.