Category Archives: Sunset Boulevard

Life imitates art. Film relating to life.

Hanson : Our ‘Face in the Crowd

obama_face_in_the_crowd_on_brick_wall_8-17-14-1Elia Kazan’s classic A Face in the Crowd is a good primer on Barack Obama’s rise and fall. Lonesome Rhodes arises out of nowhere in the 1957 film, romancing the nation as a phony populist who serially spins yarns in the most folksy ways — confident that he should never be held to account. Kazan’s point (in the film Rhodes is a patsy for conservative business interests) is that the “folks” are fickle and prefer to be charmed rather than informed and told the truth. Rhodes’s new first name, Lonesome, resonates in the film in a way that Barack does now. Finally, an open mic captures Rhodes’s true disdain for the people he champions, and his career crashes. Continue reading

A New Biography Shows That ‘John Wayne’ Was His Own Best Creation

Scott Eyman’s new life of the actor John Wayne portrays an extremely complicated man who invented his own public persona and played it beautifully.

searchers“Truly, this man was the son of God.” Thus speaks a Roman centurion at the end of George Stevens’s inaptly named The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). It’s a line that always gets a big laugh, partly because the idea of anything so irreligious as Hollywood hokum commenting on the provenance of Jesus Christ is axiomatically funny, but mostly because the centurion is played by John Wayne, a movie star who might have known a son of a gun when he saw one, but who patently knew precious little else.

Except, one learns from Scott Eyman’s exhaustive new biography, John Wayne: the Life and Legend, Wayne was a rather more cultivated man than his movie persona allowed. He was a talented chess-player and no slouch at bridge, and he had a penchant for reciting Milton and Dickens and Shakespeare from memory. Among the titles on his bookshelves were first editions of Lolita and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, as well as a complete set of Winston Churchill’s prose. True, he got into the University of Southern California on a football scholarship. But at high school, in Glendale, he had won the essay of the year award, had written for the student newspaper, was a lynchpin of the debating team and was both President of the Latin society and Chairman of the Senior Dance. Continue reading

‘Catching Fire’ in the Coming Century: Will We Heed Its Pointed Warning?

Once in a while, Hollywood gets it right: for example, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. As Breitbart News has already noted, it’s a distinctly dystopian take on the future, seen from the perspective of year five of the Obama era.

catching-fire_webAnd as with its predecessor film from last year, The Hunger Games, this new film is a big hit. As a commentary on Obama’s America, that’s all the more revealing since movie audiences tilt young. In fact, Americans aged 12-24 represent only 10 percent of the US population, although they account for nearly a third of US moviegoers. So it’s the young—supposedly a cohort of Obama loyalists—who are bulking up the audiences for this PG-rated film.

Yet it must be observed that the source material precedes Obama; the first novel, The Hunger Games, appeared in 2008. Indeed, author Suzanne Collins has said that George W. Bush’s Iraq War was a major inspiration for the whole Hunger Games trilogy.

In other words, if American presidents, and their policies, are to be given “credit” for Collins’ dystopian fantasies, the credit must then be apportioned between the two parties. Continue reading

The Greatest, Most Relevant Speech Ever

charliechaplinEvery so often we are reminded of our roots – back on the old Hollywood lot. The Federal Observer has posted this video in the past, yet it seems even more relevant today. There are great lessons in movies – not all – but the true classics – and this is one of them. Thanks to the good folks over at Zero Hedge for reminding us. See you at the movies… (Ed.)

Every now and then, it is good to refresh knowledge of what is truly important in life. So it’s time to post “The Greatest Speech Ever” by Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin was known as the greatest silent actor ever. The most powerful excerpts from his speech, still very relevant today, in my opinion, are below:

“And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” Continue reading

Hedy Lamarr: Inventor of more than the 1st theatrical-film orgasm

Hedy Lamarr in "Boom Town" by Laszlo Willinger (MGM, 1940)Hedy Lamarr, Old Hollywood sex symbol, had a brain. It’s a fact that may be nearly as overlooked as the inventor’s wartime creation: landmark technology that was a precursor to Bluetooth.

It’s not surprising that she’s known best for her sultry persona, given her film role that made everyone sit up and take notice. In 1933’s “Ecstasy,” a Czech film, she raised eyebrows and drew condemnation around the globe when she appeared nude in one part of the film and simulated an orgasm in another.

Lamarr is seen going skinny-dipping and, still without a stitch on, chasing a runaway horse. The orgasm scene comes later, and, yes, she does smoke a cigarette afterward. “Ecstasy” is considered the first theatrically released movie to feature an actress simulating an orgasm on screen. Continue reading

FLASHBACK: CBS’S ‘AN AMERICAN STORY’ HIGHLIGHTED NEED FOR SECOND AMENDMENT

American StoryA television movie like An American Story couldn’t get greenlit today. In fact, it’s still surprising the Hallmark Hall of Fame and CBS joint production actually got broadcast back in 1992.

Yet this fictionalization of the Battle of Athens, the last and best modern example of American citizens forcefully asserting their Second Amendment rights, was actually shown only 21 years ago. The telepicture earned two Primetime Emmy nominations, one for music and another for cinematography.

This well made TV movie, starring Brad Johnson and directed by John Gray, depicted the last time in modern American history when a large group of decent, ordinary citizens were involved in an armed confrontation with criminally corrupt representatives of their own government. Continue reading

‘Les Misérables’ – A Fitting Lesson for the Age of Obama

The groundbreaking new film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Les Misérables” features desperate people suffering under soul-shattering unemployment, naive university students decrying the rich and stoking the flames of socialist revolution, an unyielding government official interested not in right and wrong but in following his government’s rules and one heroic individual who follows his faith in God to guide him from one success to another all the while truly helping others by using his own private wealth rather than through the ineffective and neglectful government.

In short, it is the perfect allegory for Americans living in the Age of Obama. Continue reading

Americans Will Find The New Les Misérables Film Hard To Stomach

I saw the new Les Misérables film this week. It was rather like being hit by a truck, which then kept reversing and ploughing resolutely forward again.

Generally, I prefer my musical politics a tad more Nixon in China. Still, the decision to shoot the numbers largely in single shots means the singers are forced to act, not simply bawl X Factor-style. Brit Eddie Redmayne is revealed to boast not just cheekbones, but a sterling tenor, too, the old hoofer, and Sacha Baron Cohen will be wasted if he is not booked for panto next Christmas.

I’m not sure how it’s going to play in the US, though. For a start, the bromance is subdued for a nation that brought us Top Gun’s bros riding bros’ tails.

Moreover, the various poxes, STDs, boils and not just British but also French teeth are likely to inspire hysteria in the neurotically sanitised US of A. And this before the male leads spend several scenes literally covered in shit. Still, it will serve to confirm everything Yanks feel about contemporary Europe.

Written by Hannah Betts, and published at The Guardian, December 14, 2012. Continue reading

Get out the vote

“Let me tell you about Florida politicians. I make ‘em out of whole cloth, see – just like a tailor makes a suit.

Yeah, that’s right – I get their name in the newspaper. I get ‘em some publicity and get ‘em on the ballot, then after the election, we count the votes… and if they don’t turn out right – we recount ‘em – and recount ‘em again until they do.”Edward G. Robinson as ‘Johnny Rocco,’ Key Largo, Warner Bros Pictures; 1948

Opens 09.11.12: Last Ounce of Courage

Synopsis:
Last Ounce of Courage is the story of a grieving father inspired by his grandson to take a stand for faith and freedom against a tide of apathy and vanishing liberty. Alongside fellow citizens of courage, faith, and integrity, he is a champion for the cherished principles we the people hold dear. A tale of family bonds and free expression, the film seeks to encourage all Americans to take a stand and raise their voices in support of their beliefs. Last Ounce of Courage and Veritas are proud to partner with StandUSA, an online community for American values, in standing up for the ideals of faith, family, and freedom in a pivotal time for our country. StandUSA, along with its partners and affiliates, encourages all Americans to take the inspirational message of the film to heart and let it spur them to raise their voices in support of freedom. Last Ounce of Courage opens September 14 in 1,200 theaters nationwide. Continue reading

Clint Eastwood Hangs ‘Em High

Paint Your Wagon! Clint Eastwood just dropped another nuke on Obama. In the latest issue of The Carmel Pine Cone (Sept 7-13, 2012) American’s favorite actor said,

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

The Pine Cone is the weekly newspaper for Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. Clint Eastwood was the Mayor of Carmel, California from 1986 to 1988 and didn’t run for a second term. Clint was elected in a landslide with 72% of the vote. President Ronald Reagan called Clint to congratulate him on his victory. Mayor Eastwood accomplished all of his campaign promises while in office and cleaned out a lot of the bureaucracy and red tape that riled him enough to run for office in the first place. You don’t mess with The Enforcer.

Maybe Obama should look up from his teleprompter and take a peek at the High Plains Drifter riding his way. The Pale Rider told the Pine Cone in last Tuesday’s interview,

“Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.” Continue reading

Sowell: A Powerful Movie

Years, and sometimes decades, pass between my visits to movie theaters. But I drove 30 miles to see the movie “2016,” based on Dinesh D’Souza’s best-selling book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” Where I live is so politically correct that such a movie would not even be mentioned, much less shown.

Every seat in the theater was filled, even though there had been an earlier showing that day, and more showings were scheduled for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I had to sit on a staircase in the balcony, but it was worth it.

The audience was riveted. You could barely hear a sound from them, or detect a movement, and certainly not smell popcorn. Yet the movie had no bombast, no violence, no sex and no spectacular visual effects.

The documentary itself was fascinating, as Dinesh D’Souza presented the story of Barack Obama’s life and view of the world, in a very conversational sort of way, illustrating it with visits to people and places around the world that played a role in the way Obama’s ideas and beliefs evolved.

It was refreshing to see how addressing adults as adults could be effective, in an age when so many parts of the media address the public as if they were children who need a constant whirlwind of sounds and movements to keep them interested. Continue reading

‘Obama’s America 2016′ Movie: If Obama Wins a Second Term, Where Will We Be?

Exclusive Interview with Author and Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza

Despite it being a limited release film, “Obama’s America 2016” is creating buzz at just the right time. By the time it opens to a wider audience in the U.S. in early August, the film – based on two books authored by conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza – just may play a part in the campaign against President Obama’s re-election.

The film examines the question: “If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?

Produced by Gerald R. Molen, who was the producer of the Academy Award Best Picture “Schindler’s List,” the film shows D’Souza “immersed in exotic locales across four continents” as he “races against time to find answers to Obama’s past and reveal where America will be in 2016.”

Filmmakers say that during D’Souza’s journey “he discovers how Hope and Change became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind’s greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires, into America’s empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations and the shape of the global future.” Continue reading

A Studio With Violence in Its Bones

Warner Brothers and Its Decades of Violent Films

James Cagney, "The Public Enemy" (1931)

LOS ANGELES — Family films are in the DNA at Walt Disney.

Universal Pictures has a weakness for monsters.

And Warner Brothers? Its movies have often displayed a violent streak.

For decades Warner’s films have frequently put the studio in the middle of a perpetual and unresolved debate over violence in the cinema and in real life. That debate has been revived after the deadly shootings last Friday in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at an opening night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” from Warner.

While the box-office success of “Dark Knight” seems assured — the opening weekend produced $160 million in North American sales — Warner executives have decided to delay the planned Sept. 7 release of another film, “Gangster Squad,” according to a person who was briefed on the studio’s plans on Tuesday and spoke anonymously because the change has not been officially announced. The film is a hard-edged cinematic portrayal of the police war on mobsters in mid-20th-century Los Angeles. Continue reading

Takers and Makers

Now that President Obama is out of the closet and stands revealed as a petulant and resentful socialist, who values the collective over the individual and sees the productive class as vampires feeding on the weak and the downtrodden, let’s give equal time to Ayn Rand, via her architect, Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead.

First, the president:

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Yeah, right. Only someone who’s never accomplished a thing in his life except get elected to various offices could say something like that. His statement bespeaks anger, pettiness, jealousy, destructiveness and rage — in short, everything we’ve come to expect from the Parasitical Left.

Contrast Obama’s “Kinsley gaffe” (defined as when a politician inadvertently blurts out the truth) with Roark’s famous defense speech from the 1949 movie starring Mr. All-America himself, Gary Cooper. You don’t have to be a Randian to cheer sentiments like these:

“The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks; the parasite copies. The creator produces; the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men… The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery.

Look at history. Everything we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots… It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective.”

So there it is, Election 2012 in a nutshell: the individual vs. the collective.

We know which side the president is on. Which side are you on?

Written by Michael Walsh and published on the PJ Media, July 19, 2012.

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Perspective: Millennials seem to have little use for old movies

“Instant gratification is the name of the game today. No foreplay – no after play. Let’s just get it on ‘for the moment!'” - Jeffrey Bennett, Editor

For young people, the focus seems to be on what can be talked about now — new movies serve an immediate social function. Old films are being forgotten.

A lot of folks have wondered whether it is too soon, just 10 years after the release of the original film and five years after the third installment, to relaunch Spider-Man. When questioned, a producer of the new picture snapped that anyone who asked that is “too old.” He may have been dismissively arrogant, especially to geriatrics over 30, but he may also have been right. Continue reading

Florida: A Ponzi schemer’s paradise

It’s 1929 all over again and “Mr. Hammer” is at the auction bloc over at Cocoanut Manor in the Jewish neighborhood. “Why a Duck?” Because it quacks! (Ed.)

When Buddy Persaud promised his investors the moon and the stars, he wasn’t kidding.

Persaud, an Orlando-based financial broker, believed the markets were affected by lunar cycles and gravitational pull.

When — surprise, surprise — the heavens failed him, Persaud paid out their promised high rates of return (up to 18 percent) by simply recruiting new investors and using their funds to pay off the old ones, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges.

Put simply, he ran a Ponzi scheme — the non-sustainable pyramid fraud that invariably ends in ruin.

In the dirty world of Florida Ponzi schemers, Persaud is a small-timer. His enterprise, which totaled $1 million, was a comparable pittance. Continue reading

Jury rejects claims that Costner, partner duped Baldwin, friend out of lucrative BP contract

NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury late Thursday rejected claims that Kevin Costner and his business partner duped fellow actor Stephen Baldwin and a friend out of millions of dollars from a BP contract for using oil cleanup devices in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

The panel deliberated for less than two hours before delivering the verdict in the lawsuit brought by Baldwin and his friend, Spyridon Contogouris. Their lawyer had asked the eight-member jury to award the plaintiffs more than $17 million in damages.

The jury gave them nothing. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Will Hunting

C’mon man, this is 2011 and you’re STILL tricked by “liberal vs. conservative” American politics?

Let me guess, do you LOVE Coke but HATE Pepsi?

Do you LOVE Burger King but HATE McDonalds?

That’s what we’re talking about here, politicians are puppets, it’s a controlled duopoly.

Republicans vs. Democrats is as? real as WWF professional wrestling……..they pretend to hate each other, than they go wine & dine & golf together afterwards…

Big Business & Big War run the USA…

Continue reading

“They? Who the hell is ‘They’?”

The Wild Bunch, Warner Bros., 1969

Pike Bishop: “They set it up.”

Lyle Gorch: “They”? Who in the hell is “they?”

Sykes: [laughs hysterically] “They”? Why, ‘they’ is the plain and fancy ‘they’, that’s who “they” is! Caught you, didn’t they? Tied a tin can to your tail. Led you in and waltzed you out again. Oh my, what a bunch! Big tough ones, huh? Here you are with a handful of holes, a thumb up your ass, and a big grin to pass the time of day with. They? Who the hell is “they?”

….in other words, make sure you get their names while its happening to you, so when the time comes, you don’t have to keep hunting for them the rest of your life…


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