the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

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the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby justdrew » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:15 am

ImageWalker is a 1987 Acid Western film directed by Alex Cox. The film based on the life story of William Walker (played by Ed Harris), the American filibuster who invaded Mexico in the 1850s and made himself President of Nicaragua shortly thereafter. It was written by Rudy Wurlitzer and scored by Joe Strummer, who also plays a small role as a member of Walker's army. The film, released in 1987 and which by the end is intentionally full of anachronisms such as helicopters, Zippo lighters, automatic rifles, and a car passing a horse carriage, was made in Nicaragua during the American-sponsored Contra War.

< ... >

Director Alex Cox was never employed again by a major Hollywood studio, and his subsequent films have received only limited distribution in the United States. In a 2008 interview with The A.V. Club, Cox said, "Distribution is controlled by the studios, and I've been on the blacklist of the studios for the last 20 years... The last movie I was asked to direct was The Running Man… which was actually quite a good film, I thought. I would have liked to have done The Running Man. It was just that Walker happened at the same time."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walker_%28film%29

Here Alex is interviewed and talks about the movie in some spots, worth listening to the whole show, but the key points are made starting abut 48 minutes in.

listen to the show here
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Alex Cox. Part of BBC2's Moviedrome series 1988-1994

Postby MinM » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:33 am


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justdrew wrote:ImageWalker is a 1987 Acid Western film directed by Alex Cox. The film based on the life story of William Walker (played by Ed Harris), the American filibuster who invaded Mexico in the 1850s and made himself President of Nicaragua shortly thereafter...

Here Alex is interviewed and talks about the movie in some spots, worth listening to the whole show, but the key points are made starting abut 48 minutes in.

listen to the show here

Image
Interesting theory about the impetus for Walker Texas Ranger.
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby Hammer of Los » Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:41 am

Alex Cox is great. We've discussed him before here.

He used to post on his own forums about 911 inside job. He's a smart guy, he knew something was up.

I used to love the videodrome series of cult classics he selected and introduced on BBC2 oh so many years ago.

A big Hammer thumbs up to Alex!
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby vince » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:22 am

Always wondered what happened to him.
Of course, his REAL CRIME was exposing Courney Love to the world!
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby nashvillebrook » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:01 am

one of my all-time favorite movies. recently got the Criterion edition. it's dark and funny and more dark. these interviews with Cox are treasures.

Here's another from The AV Club:
http://www.avclub.com/articles/alex-cox,14213/
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:49 am

Walker is a great little film with big politics. That usually doesn't go unpunished.

I remember my surprise at discovering Cox was still making films. Where were they? Why couldn't he find distributors?

Repo Man was a helluva calling card.

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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby justdrew » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:34 pm

Jeff wrote:Walker is a great little film with big politics. That usually doesn't go unpunished.

I remember my surprise at discovering Cox was still making films. Where were they? Why couldn't he find distributors?

Repo Man was a helluva calling card.


well, per the OP interview, none other than David Lynch is dragging his heals distributing Repo Chick (not a sequel), although there may be problems due to that damned Repo Men movie (that he had nothing to do with, tons of people think it's a sequel, but he can't afford to sue).
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Alex Cox Back in Possession of Repo

Postby MinM » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:14 pm

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A not-quite sequel to the 1984 L.A. punk classic Repo Man, Alex Cox's Repo Chick is both extreme formal experiment and a genre-mashing goof-off. Starring some of the same actors but none of the same characters, and still using the grungy edge-of-L.A. milieu as ground zero for apocalyptic panic, Cox's latest is a mix of digital and small-scale model animation, with live actors shot almost entirely in front of green screens. (With productions fleeing L.A. thanks to a lack of local tax credits, Cox's cost-effective solution is to digitally composite unglamorous SoCal locales like Commerce rather than spend costly hours actually shooting there.) The result feels like a gonzo homemade comic book/conspiracy-crazed zine brought to life.

A stock footage–heavy prologue sets the scene: The present-day financial crisis has turbocharged the repossession industry, and a pile of Cold War–era missiles has gone missing. These two seemingly disparate story strains will converge in the adventures of Pixxi De La Chasse (Jaclyn Jonet), a Hiltonesque heiress and professional dilettante permanently flanked by a trio of sycophantic club kids who video her every move for broadcast in "a really exclusive hotel in Dubai." Accused of behavior unbecoming to the De La Chasse name (driving with a suspended license, "having unprotected sex with backup dancers"), Pixxi is disinherited and forced to get a real job.

When her ride is repossessed, Pixxi offers her services to repo dude Arizona Gray (Miguel Sandoval) and surprises all by turning out to have a unique savvy for separating debtors from their homes and vehicles. Swiftly adapted to her new life, but still longing for the old luxuries, Pixxi sets her sights on the ultimate repo job: bringing in three long-lost antique locomotive cars for a million-dollar reward.

That mission brings Pixxi into conflict with a crew of green terrorists (key goals: forced veganism, the banning of golf and — oh, yeah — the annihilation of downtown L.A.), leading to a loosely plotted, train-bound standoff that makes up all of Repo Chick's second half.

Written, directed and edited by Cox in 2009, Repo Chick debuted at the Venice Film Festival 16 months ago to mixed reviews, and it has been basically MIA since. It's now being released in New York and L.A. by Industrial Entertainment, an offshoot of David Lynch's production company, to promote an early February Blu-ray release.

It's a testament to Cox's unique brand of reference recycling and stylistic approach that Repo Chick's 2-year-old skewering of the zeitgeist doesn't feel dated. Maybe it's because his thematic focus hasn't changed much in 25 years: As in Repo Man, the repo trade itself is presented as a surprisingly safe haven for reckless rebels, through which outsiders can game a system that would otherwise screw them, and come out as heroes. And while Pixxi is more like a Hilton than like the circa 2011 Kardashian celebutante model, it hardly matters: The cult trope of a smarter-than-she-looks megababe saving the day is more valuable than anything Cox has to say about princess culture, and Jonet — a blistering comic discovery who has apparently, and inexplicably, not worked since shooting this — expertly transitions from wide-eyed victim of mock-the-rich kicks into the perpetrator.

While Repo Chick sat on the shelf, Cox spent much of 2010 preparing a restored and extended cut of his manic 1987 spaghetti Western, Straight to Hell, the last film he finished before the anti-imperialist parable Walker essentially killed off his mainstream filmmaking career. Available on DVD via Microcinema International, the new Straight to Hell is a classically gorgeous, languidly paced meditation on the slippery slope between sexual obsession and violent rage — pretty much in every conceivable way the polar opposite of Repo Chick's desktop-software, speed-of-the-net sensibility.

The energy behind that sensibility does flag in Repo Chick's second half, as the pleasant shock of the movie's comic precision and scrappy-fantastic virtual reality starts to wear off. And if Cox — a self-proclaimed "conspiracy theorist" who has spent the past two decades living more or less off the grid in rural Oregon — is trying to make a cogent political argument, he's failed. His allusions to current-day corruption and political absurdity are too vague, and his satire is often flippant or friendly instead of cutting.

Which is not to say that Repo Chick's humor is easy — in fact, Cox seems to take pleasure in setting up obvious jokes just to knock them down with out-of-nowhere punch lines (such as when a wink-wink reference to Repo Man resolves in a riff on another movie featuring repo men, Sunset Boulevard). Goofy-funny, fluffy yet sharp, for all its flaws Repo Chick is a midnight movie blast.

http://www.laweekly.com/2011-01-20/film ... n-of-repo/
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Re: Alex Cox. Part of BBC2's Moviedrome series 1988-1994

Postby Simulist » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:43 am

MinM wrote:[...]

Image

Interesting theory about the impetus for Walker Texas Ranger.

Image
"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."
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Brand X (1969): victim of a Nixonian conspiracy?

Postby MinM » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:56 am

Image
Accompanied by friends, Wynn Chamberlain pushing his 2-month-old twins, Sara and Sam, to a Central Park picnic in May 1968. His film “Brand X” will be screened Saturday at the New Museum.

In the 1960s, the Pop artist Wynn Chamberlain often toyed with making a movie and spent time visiting various avant-garde filmmakers on their sets. In 1963 he bought 10 rolls of 16-millimeter film, only to come across Andy Warhol using them, on a visit to Mr. Chamberlain’s country house, to shoot the poet John Giorno sleeping for the early “anti-film” “Sleep.”

When Mr. Chamberlain finally did make a film, “Brand X,” in 1969, it did not turn out to be the sort of hard-to-penetrate work that friends like Mr. Warhol had been creating.

“We thought we were making an art film,” Mr. Chamberlain, now 83 and based in Morocco, said in an interview recently. But eventually “we realized that it was a populist film.” A satirical take on television, with fake programs and commercials, “Brand X” anticipated TV and movie comedies of the next decade like “Saturday Night Live,” “SCTV” and “The Kentucky Fried Movie,” though in a more absurdist vein and with a more political view.

The film, which featured Abbie Hoffman, Sam Shepard, Sally Kirkland and the Warhol superstars Ultra Violet, Candy Darling and Taylor Mead, was released in 1970 in New York, Washington and Los Angeles. Vincent Canby endorsed it in The New York Times as “a tacky, vulgar, dirty, sometimes dull, often hilarious movie” with the tone of “a liberated college humor magazine.”

After that initial run, it turned up for a while on college campuses, and then it vanished, never to be screened again or released on video. Even Mr. Chamberlain did not have a copy. He believes it was the victim of a Nixonian conspiracy to suppress its countercultural message; New Line Cinema, its on-campus distributor, says the company simply moved on from underground film. In any case, “Brand X” gained a reputation as a lost relic of its era — something many underground film fanatics have read about but few if any have actually seen.

But now Mr. Chamberlain, who reclaimed a print of the film from New Line in 2007, has brought it to New York, and on Saturday afternoon it will be screened for the first time in nearly 40 years, at the New Museum on the Bowery (newmuseum.org). A panel discussion will follow.

“To finally see a film like that is very exciting,” said Jed Rapfogel, the film programmer at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village. “It fills in a kind of gap.”

“Brand X” was born on a snowy weekend in early 1969 in Staatsburg, N.Y., where Mr. Chamberlain and his wife, Sally, had a weekend cottage.

“We couldn’t get out; the only thing to do was watch television,” Mrs. Chamberlain recalled during an interview at the Upper East Side apartment that the couple is borrowing during theirNew York stay. “We hadn’t watched much daytime television, and Wynn was immediately struck by its banality and superficiality.”

Mr. Chamberlain was by then an established Pop-realist painter and a fixture in the New York art scene, with work in the Whitney Museum of American Art and what is now the Smithsonian American Art Museum and a social set that included Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara and John Cage as well as Warhol and the Factory denizens. He was also, like most of his friends, enamored of the counterculture and dismayed by the conservatism of mainstream culture, as embodied by the television he watched that day.

He wrote a script, cast Mr. Mead as his lead and cobbled together $10,000 from supporters. Much of the rest of the cast came together “sort of by osmosis,” Mr. Mead, now 86, said in a telephone interview. “There were just 100 of us downtown hanging out at Max’s Kansas City,” he said, “and we melded.”

The 87-minute film that resulted follows the on- and off-air shenanigans of Mr. Mead’s Wally Right, the manic head of a television station. It takes on President Nixon, the Vietnam War, sex, drugs, technology and advertising, alternating between vignettes riffing on TV programming — an exercise show, a soap opera, a financial report — and Dadaist commercials like one for “Food,” in which the film’s cinematographer, John Harnish, is seen sitting with a naked blond woman at a table covered with fruit.

“Eat more, think less,” he quips to the camera. Abbie Hoffman plays a corrupt cop who bathes in a tub full of money; Mr. Mead portrays an indignant American president holding a news conference; and Ultra Violet gives an off-key performance on “The Tomorrow Show.”

The film was shot over several months in the spring and summer, in and around places where the Chamberlain family lived and worked: Bard College, where Mr. Chamberlain taught art history; the Staatsburg house; a loft in the Bowery building where Mr. Chamberlain kept a studio. The process, according to Mr. Chamberlain, was “always chaos.”

“It wasn’t like nowadays when you have a project, and it’s all orderly,” he said. “We worked as far away from Hollywood ideas as possible.” There were frequent delays, he added, as when shooting at Bard was held up because students and members of the cast “were all having a big orgy in the kitchen.”

“Brand X” had its debut at the Elgin Theater on Eighth Avenue (now the Joyce) in 1970, to throngs of appreciative downtowners.

“These sort of potpourri parodies were very popular among the underground set,” said Robert Shaye, who founded New Line Cinema in 1967, at 27. “‘Brand X’ was a parody that kids responded to — that I responded to; I was a kid too.”

Mr. Chamberlain signed a distribution deal with Mr. Shaye after the initial run, and “Brand X” went on to tour several college campuses. When Mr. Shaye’s rights to the film expired a few years later, he insists, a print was sent to Mr. Chamberlain.

Mr. Chamberlain says he never got it, and even goes so far as to speculate that a wider conspiracy kept him from his movie: The Nixon administration “certainly didn’t want this film out there,” he said. “The American government does not like to be laughed at. No governments do.”

The artist moved on, too. In 1971 he took his family to Madras, India, where he more or less gave up painting and wrote the first of several novels, “Gates of Fire.” The family returned to the United States in 1975 and built a home 200 miles north of San Francisco, where they grew their own food and their twin son and daughter were home-schooled. “I wanted my children away from television,” Mr. Chamberlain said.

“We didn’t have a lot of time to concentrate on ‘Brand X,’ ” Mrs. Chamberlain added. “But from time to time Wynn would write to New Line. We never could get an answer.”

In 1983 the family went back to India, and Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain moved to Marrakesh in 1997. Then a few years back an acquaintance suggested that they try again to retrieve “Brand X,” and this time they were successful.

Mr. Chamberlain said he was now eager to have the film remastered and is looking into holding more screenings. In the meantime, he is fiercely protective of his one print; as of Friday, not even staff members at the New Museum had been given a chance to watch it.

Perched right across the Bowery from the loft building where much of “Brand X” was shot, the New Museum was a natural choice for the film’s 21st-century premiere. “It’s an opportunity to look at the neighborhood — how it was,” said the screening’s organizer, Ethan Swan, who manages Bowery Artists Tribute, the museum’s ever-growing archive of information about the artists who, like Mr. Chamberlain, lived and worked in the area.

“There was this creative richness that came from a really interesting combination of cheap rent and minimal police presence,” Mr. Swan said. “There was nobody saying, ‘You can’t weld on the sidewalk,’ ‘You can’t live in a loft.’ It allowed for so much to happen.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/09/arts/ ... &emc=tha28
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby Spiro C. Thiery » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:46 am

I hasten to add that it was - irony of ironies - Dr. Thompson himself who got Cox removed as director of Fear and Loathing, which, it could be argued, was the actual nail in his big budget coffin. No matter: he does microfeatures now.

I highly recommend his subsequent works:
El Patrullero (1992) - "Highway Patrolman" received a limited release in the US
The Winner (1996) - though he's expressed dissatisfaction with the cut, I found it thoroughly enjoyable
Death and the Compass (1996)
Three Businessmen (1998)
Revengers Tragedy (2002) - expressing his appreciation for Middleton over Shakespeare
Searchers 2.0 (2007)
Repo Chick (2009)
Straight To Hell Returns (2010) - Courtney Love notwithstanding, this has got flavor (it was screened at Tribeca on the 3rd of March)

It should be noted - if you haven't listened to the interview - that liberal do-gooder American-exceptionalist Rob Red Ford found Cox's Walker to be shamefully disrespectful to an American hero and was said to have wanted to do another Walker film " to set the record straight".
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Alex Cox

Postby MinM » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:22 pm

Danny Leigh ‏@dannytheleigh: One final film-on-TV nugget after last night's stroll down Moviedrome Lane - Alex Cox on Errol Morris & JFK: https://vimeo.com/70200324

Image Cinephilia & Beyond ‏@LaFamiliaFilm: MT @The7thArt: Alex Cox offers an intriguing introduction to THE PARALLAX VIEW for British television in 1988: http://bit.ly/13jiWvY


viewtopic.php?p=351636#p351636

IanEye » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:55 am wrote:
Luther Blissett wrote:Can someone help me out - what's going on with page 19 of this thread? I'm trying to do some research and I believe that the information about CIA posting desk positions at major studios and news agencies in the mid-20th Century exists on that page. However, whenever I try to browse to that page - or even the information contained on that page in the search results - my browser freezes. Unless someone knows that it exists elsewhere.


this what you are looking for?

viewtopic.php?p=487284#p487284
Spiro C. Thiery wrote:http://www.alexcox.com/blog.htm
TONY SCOTT'S SUICIDE NOTE
2012.10.7

The Scott brothers, Ridley and Tony, lived in the north of England at the time of the Vietnam War. So did I. Britain didn't send troops to Vietnam and so Ridley, Tony and I didn't have to worry about being drafted and sent to die. But that vicious and immoral conflict played nightly on our televisions: it was the only non-sanitized war of our lifetime. It left many people - me included - with contempt for the CIA - which ran assassination and torture operations such as the Phoenix Program - and for the whole political/military/industrial machine.

My reaction was not uncommon. The United States and Europe are quite different in that in the US there is a nominal culture of respect for the military (though in practice it is the employment option only of the poor, invariably avoided by the rich and middle class), whereas in Europe armies and uniforms are widely disliked. Most of my generation grew up distrustful of governments, opposed to the military and to the creeps and provocateurs who spied on the peace movement. Remember The Clash song, The Call Up? It is an overt call to refuse to serve in anybody's army. Remember Strummer singing Straight To Hell? "There ain't no need for you..."

The Scotts went down a different path. They made commercials, and when they moved to the States became absorbed intothe Pentagon's Hollywood cheer-leading machine. The bros created glossy, highly dynamic recruitment propaganda like TOP GUN and BLACK HAWK DOWN, and - in the case of Tony - torture propaganda in the form of MAN ON FIRE.

So I wonder as to the contents of the various suicide notes Tony Scott left before jumping off that bridge. For a police force famous for leaking celebrity gossip, the LAPD has been close-mouthed about the matter. Perhaps the notes were merely tender messages to his family. Perhaps they were long screeds condemning the Hollywood studios for being a duplicitious, blacklisting mafia cartel. Or - and this is what I hope - perhaps they have been kept secret because they are a mea culpa: an apology for the years Scott wasted his talents working for the Pentagon and the CIA, promoting torture and war.

David Robb's Operation Hollywood is still the key text regarding the entertainment industryand the Pentagon. It is an important book, citing numerous examples of how studio producers, directors, and writers changed the content of their scripts in order to gain free tanks, battleships, and marines. Recently, three other books have appeared which begin to give a picture of how the CIA has shaped the cinema, and the careers of filmmakers.

The best of these books is the most general: Frances Stonor Saunders' Cultural Cold War (in England its title is Who Paid The Piper?). This is a broad look at how CIA money was used to influence the arts. It explains how the work of a talentless boozer, Jackson Pollock, found its way into museums owned by the Rockefellers, and thence onto gallery walls all over the US. Pollock's slap-dash canvases were bought and sold - at US taxpayers' expense - to show that American art was "better" than the crude naturalism which Russians supposedly preferred. Unfortunately, most Americans prefer crude naturalism, as do I: given a choice between a Pollock or a Norman Rockwell I would gaze on the Rockwell any day. Heck, I'd rather spend an afternoon in the Thomas Kinkaide store.

But intel influence didn't end with paintings. For some reason the spooks hated the writer Howard Fast, and managed to get him blacklisted by the American publishing industry. FBI agents visited Little, Brown and seven other publishers to persuade them not to publish Fast's great popular novel, Spartacus. Alfred Knopf sent the manuscript back unopened, saying he wouldn't read the work of "a traitor". Fast, a Jew, was no traitor: he served time in jail rather than "name names" to the House Un-American Activities Committee. And when Kirk Douglas made a film of Spartacus, he gave the screenwriting assignment to Dalton Trumbo, another blacklisted writer who had been jailed rather than betray his friends.

Nevertheless, buoyed by the blacklisting of Fast, the CIA went all out on a massive book-burning binge. A terrified State Department was obliged to remove from American libraries in foreign countries the work of Fast, Dashiell Hammett, Langston Hughes, John Reed, Tom Paine, Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, and many other authors: Herman Mellville's Moby Dick, magnificently illustrated by Rockwell Kent, was also deemed unAmerican, and removed from the shelves. As Saunders observes, many of the books banned by the State Department had been burned by Hitler's Nazis, too. Some writers became active, witting agents of the CIA - including Peter Matthiessen and James Michener, "who used his career as a writer as cover for his work in eliminating radicals."

But, as Allen Dulles - head of the CIA till he was fired by John F. Kennedy - said, "nobody reads". So the spooks threw a wider net - arranging concerts and art exhibits, coming up with a $20,000 poetry prize for the fascist Ezra Pound (who at the time was in a hospital for the criminally insane), and quickly turning their attention to the propaganda possibilities of film.

According to Saunders, a secret campaign was undertaken by the CIA and Pentagon in 1955, called "Militant Liberty". This was designed to insert the theme of "freedom" into American movies, and to remove any elements which were critical of the United States. In June and July of 1956, representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with a group of Hollywood acolytes which included John Ford, Merian C . Cooper, John Wayne, and Ward Bond, to promote the illegal domestic propaganda program. A producer named C.V. Whitney, not coincidentally the cousin of CIA agent Tracey Barnes, signed on and made THE SEARCHERS (in the light of which we might view the film as an anti-Communist parable, with "redskins" standing in for "reds").

Saunders also observes that when, in 1946, Ford and Cooper set up their independent production company, Argosy, the principal investors were all intelligence men: William Donovan (former head of the OSS), Ole Doering, David Bruce and William Vanderbilt. C.D. Jackson, a CIA agent and vice president of Time, listed as helpful "friends" Cecil B. DeMille; Spyros P. Skouros and Darryl Zanuck at Fox; Nicholas Shenk, president of MGM; producer Dore Schary; Barney Balaban, president of Paramount; Harry and Jack Warner; James R. Grainger, president of RKO; Milton Rackmil, president of Universal; Harry Cohn, president of Columbia; Herbert Yates, head of Republic Pictures; and, inevitably, Walt and Roy Disney.

If Jackson's claim is true, then all the studios except United Artists were in the CIA's pocket by 1954. But CIA influence didn't stop with studio heads. A CIA agent, Carleton Alsop, worked undercover at Paramount, where he prepared lists of actors and technicians to be blacklisted, ordered script changes, and shut down films of which he disapproved. Alsop was quite powerful: he killed the project GIANT at Paramount because it was unflattering to rich Texans and depicted racism against Mexicans.

How many other studios had in-house CIA censors isn't clear: but it's unlikely that Carleton Alsop worked all alone.

Daniel J. Leab's Orwell Subverted deals with the first feature fully-funded by the CIA, ANIMAL FARM. As anyone who has seen it knows, ANIMAL FARM is an unsuccessful movie. The animation is reasonable, but the end - in which the animals rise up and overthrow their Soviet-Pig oppressors - contradicts Orwell's novel and the purpose of the parable. Reading Leab's book one cannot help but note how like studio executives the film's CIA "investors" were: they had no concept of filmmaking, or storytelling, but they were certainly full of ideas, demanding new scenes in which "a sheepdog, walking beside a kindly farmer, hears word of the revolt and laughs it off; so also does a plough horse, driven by another kindly farmer."

Leab has actually unearthed the stupid notes the CIA execs gave to their underlings: like David Robb he has found real material showing exactly how the spooks went about constructing their propaganda film. Years later, does it matter? ANIMAL FARM did not do well. But the filmmakers - John Halas and Joy Batchelor - were paid by the CIA to make a feature, something no other British animators could afford to do. Thereafter they received work from the BBC and the commercials industry. When I was young, animation from the Halas and Batchelor studio dominated British television. There was no other notable British company in the business till Ardman came along. That the CIA "set up" Halas and Batchelor as feature filmmakers, and that the BBC continued to promote them, gave them an incredible advantage over other animators, and set the rather mediocre tone of British animation for twenty years.

Per Saunders, the CIA was also behind the production of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, pumping at least $100,000 into the picture via the "US Information Agency". Again, Orwell's bleak vision didn't satisfy the spooks, and the end had to be changed: in fact two endings were shot, one for American audiences, and another for the British - in which Winston Smith is gunned down shouting, "Down with Big Brother!" Ironically, the film starred Michael Redgrave, one of 125 people Orwell had shopped to the British secret service for crimes such as Communism, Jewishness, or being gay.

Tricia Jenkins' CIA in Hollywood isn't as comprehensive as one might like. Partially this is due to the spooks' inherent secrecy and refusal to reveal the details of the deals they make with Hollywood filmmakers. But it's also due to a certain authorial naivete regarding the CIA. Jenkins refers to five aspects of the public's perception of the CIA: 1) that the Agency assassinates people, 2) that it is staffed with rogue operatives, 3) that it fails to take care of its assets, and 4) that it is morally ambiguous, and 5) that it is marked by buffoonery and ineffectiveness.

This is an incomplete list. The fact that the CIA assassinates people is not in any doubt: CIA-directed drones perform extra-judicial killings for us on a weekly basis. But what about the DRUG DEALING? After assassination and torture, the biggest complaint, made consistently against the CIA since the Vietnam War, is that it is involved in the international drug trade, and uses the traffic and resale of illegal drugs to enrich its operatives and fund its "black" operations. The reader may consult Alfred McCoy's Politics of Heroin in South East Asia, or Henrik Kruger's The Great Heroin Coup (for chapter and verse detail of CIA involvement in the heroin trade), or Cockburn and StClair's Whiteout, or Gary Webb's Dark Alliance (for the same on CIA complicity in the importation and sale of cocaine). The CIA inspector general, Frederick Hitz, was unable to disprove any of Gary Webb's reporting (the unfortunate Webb was fired from his job, and committed suicide).

Even if Jenkins doesn't believe that the CIA smuggles drugs, the accusations are there, they've been there for a long time, and they're backed up with evidence. A book dealing with the reputation of the Agency and its manipulation of the media should address the issue of alleged CIA drug dealing. This is not done.

This is strange, as it was with Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes - a supposed history of the CIA which also ignored the Agency's "drug problem". This is a re-writing of history, in which some of the worst blowback from US intelligence activities is simply ignored. The Hollywood movie AIR AMERICA - based on a book about CIA drug dealing operations - airbrushed the drugs out, but not all pictures dealing with US intelligence have done likewise. What about that highly intelligent thriller WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN, in which a merchant marine played by Nick Nolte is pursued by CIA agents who want their cut of his drugs operation? Not worthy of mention? It is a good fiilm.

CIA in Hollywood also suffers from an incomplete index, which covers only a handful of the names and motion pictures cited, and an incomplete bibliography, which doesn't contain all the books the author cites.

Jenkins makes an excellent point that by choosing to support certain films and to deny other filmmakers assistance, the CIA is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution. And since the Agency is not allowed to propagandize domestically, its support of Hollywood films and TV shows like 24 is a violation of its own Charter. Not that the CIA is all that worried, I suspect. As Robb observed, the Pentagon, the FBI, the Secret Service and numerous other federal agencies breach the First Amendment in exactly the same way. And Hollywood - an illegal cartel - is unlikely to utter any protest. The CIA has even acted as a TV distributor - pumping episodes of DYNASTY into East Germany during the Cold War "in order to sell those residents on capitalism and the luxury life it could afford."

For your edification, here follow the actors, directors, writers, producers and studio execs who the author links to the CIA, usually found 1) visiting CIA headquarters to party with the spooks, 2) taking instructions from CIA, or 3) actively helping to encourage CIA recruitment. Tony Scott heads the list: Jenkins reports that CIA was particularly fond of his masterpiece TOP GUN, "the single best recruiting tool the navy - and specifically naval aviation - ever had" and "was looking for a project that could help them do something similar."

Tony Scott, RIP; John Ford; John Wayne; Cecil B. DeMille; Darryl Zanuck; Luigi Luraschi (head of domestic and foreign censorship at Paramount in the 1950s); Joseph Mankiewicz; John Chambers and Bob Sidell (studio makeup men); Jack Myers; David Houle; Scott Valentine (VP of Sony Pictures); Jack Gilardi (ICM agency); Rick Nicita (CAA agency); Ron Meyer (COO of Universal); Matt Corman; Chris Ord; Kristy Swanson; Tim Matheson; Roger and Robert Towne; Tom Berenger; Ron Silver; Michael Frost Beckner; Jennifer Garner; Jeff Apple; Roger Birnbaum; Colin Farrell; Ben Affleck; Phil Alden Robinson; Lawrence Lasker; Mark Bowden; Mike Myers; Kevin and Michael Bacon; Mace Neufeld; J.J. Abrams; Paul Attanasio; Doug Liman; David Arata; Kiefer Sutherland; Tom Cruise.

(Not all Hollywood actors are thus inclined. Post 9-11, some have spoken out against CIA and government spying: Jenkins lists Al Pacino, Martin Sheen, Hector Elizondo, Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Kristin Davis, Samuel L. Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal as standing up for the American Civil Liberties Union in a series of advertisements.)


as far as the freezing goes, not sure what to say.
i used to get weirdness on some of my ri blog posts, but i just assumed it had something to do with the amount of images and video links i was posting...
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby MinM » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:11 pm

Image
Pat Speer wrote:I like a number of Cox's movies, but haven't checked out his book. I find it most intriguing that the writer of Rock n Roll High School (Joe McBride) and the director of Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox) have revealed themselves to be JFK conspiracy theorists on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. It kinda makes me wonder if there's an underbelly of JFK conspiracists in the punk rock/art world.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index ... opic=20399

Interesting point by Pat Speer .. not so much about Alex Cox as the intro some 20 years ago to Parallax View demonstrates .. but Joseph McBride. Maybe more will reveal themselves as McBride has...
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McBride Interviews
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby Spiro C. Thiery » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:20 am

^^^^
I can't speak to the punk rock world, per se, but anyone with an anarchist mindset is aware of the machinations of power and the utter bullshit that gets spewed to cover for it. Particular interest in Dealy Plaza in '63 probably has to do with its remaining, still--fairly or not--the most public and prominent example of violent covert democratic regime change by overlapping interests within complex hierarchies.
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Re: the 1987 movie, Walker - earned Cox spot on US blacklist

Postby MinM » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:33 am

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