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2014: TOP TEN FILMS

For Hollywood, 2014 was another year that wasn’t. But while tinsel town continues to sinks in its abyss of big-spectacle, sequels, and pre-pubescent obsession with comic book characters, the rest of cinema continues to run blinding circles around it.

Horror got a meaty surprise with Jennifer Kent’s moody indie effort The Babadook, and social satire lit a stick of dynamite with Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler.

Although I only have one documentary in the list, the genre continues to grow with impressive results. Chuck Workman’s Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles is a must-see for any lover of film. Jodorwsky’s Dune falls in the same category. If you saw Particle Fever or The Unknown Known you know what I mean. Joe Berlinger's "Whitey: United States of America V. James J. Bulger is as powerful as they come.

In any event, here are the top-ten films of 2014.

Fury10. Fury

The look of David Ayer’s World War II drama is utterly convincing. Every period detail of costume, production design, location, and battle action resonates with authenticity.

The film’s centerpiece sequence takes place inside a quiet German apartment where a mother and her teenaged daughter hide in justifiable fear.

This is the scene that explains why David Ayer made the film, and why “Fury” is a great movie.

 

 

 

 

Foxcatcher9. Foxcatcher

“Foxcatcher” presents a game-changing role for Steve Carell as John du Pont, the politically connected right wing patriarch of “America’s wealthiest family.”

Bennett Miller’s nuanced true-crime drama is sobering allegory for a ubiquitous sort of willfully ignorant, privileged, blueblood Republicans buying power in exchange for fleeting moments of futile glory.

The film functions on multiple levels to observe how the American elite use and abuse power toward the destruction of everything it touches.

 

Citizenfour8. Citizenfour

Laura Poitras’s fascinating documentary, about the initial contact with and aftermath of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s earth-shattering revelations, provides a stark cinema vérité perspective on America’s biggest political scandal.

Snowden recognized early on that the Obama administration and the media would attempt to deflect the significance of his leaks by attacking his character in Nixonian fashion. For once the spooks got much more than they bargained for.

In his claustrophobic hotel room Snowden’s fearlessness is unmistakable: “You’re [the U.S. government] not going to bully me into silence like you have everyone else.”

 

A_most_violent_year7. A Most Violent Year

As with “Margin Call” (2011) and “All is Lost” (2013), Chandor’s latest is a detailed study in complex characters responding to extreme pressures — personal, social, and physical.

Oscar Isaac’s bravura performance during the sequence, and throughout the film, smolders with resolute intent. There is no finer film actor working in the business.

“A Most Violent Year” is essential viewing for film-lovers and for the people least likely to see it.

 

 

 

 

Nymphomaniac II6. Nymphomaniac: Volume II

Provocative, droll, fearless, and cinematically sexual in unprecedented ways, “Nymphomaniac” (in its proper unedited form) is a four-hour movie with an unknown potential to alter reality.

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s sexually polymorphic character Joe represents an icon of the contradictions of modern day feminist ideologies.

That Joe’s sexually adventurous self-help therapy places her in the presence of an overeducated male exploiter (disguised as her rescuer) puts a sharp grace note that carries on and on and on.

 


Wetlands5. Wetlands

Challenging and provocative, co-writer/director David Wnendt’s nervy adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s long-presumed unfilmable popular novel breaks new cinematic ground.

Mapping out the terrain of cinema’s previously uncharted psychosexual possibilities, Wnendt opens up a wide range of Roche’s proto-feminist issues around Helen, an 18-year-old German girl with pressing bodily issues.

Here is a female force of nature that rejects religion and societally imposed rules of conduct, in favor of a DIY approach. Helen represents a different brand of one-percenter. The means and the end are evenly justified.

Young & Beautiful4. Young and Beautiful

For his latest filmic exploration François Ozon addresses a complex mix of sexual, personal, social, familial, gender-based, and technological issues.

That he does so via a story about Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a beautiful bourgeoisie 17-year-old DIY prostitute, reflects the growth of one of France’s most consistent filmmakers.

Vacth portrays a force of unbridled feminine and intellectual nature. Isabelle has important lessons to teach, as well as to learn. You will never forget this truly mind-blowing film.

 

 

 

Goodbye to Language3. Goodbye to Language

“Goodbye to Language” is a vibrant think piece about modern man’s constant state of fear of the Frankenstein culture of violence that governments and corporations have created.

“Is society willing to accept murder as a means to fight unemployment?” Godard provokes and dares the viewer to listen and think. Think for yourself.

Godard views the dichotomy between nature and industrial degradation with a sardonic eye. God couldn’t humble man, so he humiliates him. Absurdly visually abstract, the film keeps its audience on their toes.

 

 

Boyhood2. Boyhood

Just when you thought there was nothing new under the sun, Richard Linklater goes and makes the most anti-Hollywood movie ever conceived.

Linklater instinctively de-emphasizes anything that might be construed as “dramatic“ while following the life trajectory of a boy named Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) from age six to 18 growing up in Texas.

The invisible mechanics of “tempo, tone, mood, time, and place” that Linklater uses to flesh out his preplanned narrative form fit almost perfectly within the rules of a “Dogme 95” film.

 

 

Mr. Turner

1. Mr. Turner

Mike Leigh’s reputation as an unrivaled inventor of cinematic dramaturgy once again over-delivers on his promise.

J. M.W. Turner was a misunderstood artist during his lifetime, but with the help of Mike Leigh, Timothy Spall, and a cast of infinitely gifted actors, audiences can begin to comprehend the life, purpose, and experiences of that tremendously inspired soul.

It is worth noting that the stellar performances from Leigh’s stable of actresses such as Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, and Ruth Sheen are all of an elevated quality rarely experienced by modern movie audiences.

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Posted by Cole Smithey on December 16, 2014 | Permalink
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Kino Lorber 2014 Home Video Highlights and Gift Guide

Kino Lorber 
Kino Lorber 2014 Home Video Highlights and Gift Guide
   
 
The Conformist 
from Raro Video
(Blu-ray & DVD)
Bernardo Bertolucci's acclaimed masterpiece returns in a dazzling new restoration supervised by the director and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro! One of the enduring masterpieces of the 1970s, Bertolucci's breakthrough film is an elegant portrait of the death throes of Italian Fascism and a triumph of pure style. With a gorgeous score by Georges Delerue and incandescent performances by a star-studded cast, The Conformist is a towering accomplishment that for the past four decades has enraptured audiences and influenced filmmakers around the world.

 

Blu-ray: $29.95
DVD: $19.95
Street Date: Now available

 

 
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

(Blu-ray & DVD)

In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. This authoritative edition of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 4K restoration scanned from the (mostly) preserved camera negative at the German Federal Film Archive.

 

Blu-ray: $29.95

DVD: $24.95
Street Date: Now available

 

 
The Bubble 3D

(Blu-ray) 

THE BUBBLE is the "eerie and enjoyable" (Los Angeles Times) science-fiction spine-tingler that shocked audiences and revolutionized the cinematic world of 3-D! THE BUBBLE introduced the ground-breaking Space-Vision 3-D system, which pioneered a new way of both shooting and exhibiting 3-D film. Now fully restored from the 35mm negatives by the 3-D Film Archive. 

 

Blu-ray: $29.95
Street Date: Now Available

 

The Long Goodbye
(Blu-ray & DVD) 

  
Elliott Gould (Busting) gives one of his best performances as a quirky, mischievous Philip Marlowe in Robert Altman's (Thieves Like Us) fascinating and original send-up of Raymond Chandler's classic detective story. Co-starring Nina Van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden, Mark Rydell and Henry Gibson with a screenplay Leigh Brackett (The Big Sleep), The Long Goodbye is a gloriously inspired tribute to Hollywood with an ending that's as controversial as is it provocative. Private eye Philip Marlowe (Gould) faces the most bizarre case of his life, when a friend's apparent suicide turns into a double murder involving a sexy blonde, a disturbed gangster and a suitcase of drug money. But as Marlowe stumbles toward the truth, he soon finds himself lost in a maze of sex and deceit - only to discover that in L.A., if love is dangerous... friendship is murder. 


Blu-ray: $29.95
DVD: $19.95
Street Date: Now available

 

 
Man of the West
(Blu-ray & DVD)
  

 

Screen legend Gary Cooper (Vera Cruz) powerfully demonstrates why he will forever be remembered as one of the most original and authentic stars of the screen. Tight-lipped, capable yet vulnerable, Cooper's portrayal of a former outlaw whose past returns to haunt him ranks among his best. When the train he is on gets robbed, Link Jones (Cooper) finds himself unwillingly reunited with his old gang. Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb, 12 Angry Men), the gang's sadistic, half-crazed patriarch, was like a father to Link some twenty years ago welcomes him back with open arms, to survive his old vicious gang, Link must take up his old killing ways. Renowned for its breathtakingly cinematography and violent fist fight between Cooper and Jack Lord this strong allegorical film directed by the great Anthony Mann (The Naked Spur) is now considered one of the finest achievements from the western's golden age. 


Blu-ray: $29.95

DVD: $19.95 

Street Date: Now available

 

 
Pocketful of Miracles
(Blu-ray & DVD)
 


Capricious, winsome, whimsical, and all together delightful! Superbly directed by the peerless Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life), this remake of Lady For A Day is pure Hollywood magic - an unforgettable combination of comedy, whimsy and romance that was nominated for three Oscars including Supporting Actor (Peter Falk, TV's Columbo). Impoverished Broadway peddler "Apple Annie" (Bette Davis, All About Eve) has a problem, her daughter Louise (Ann-Margret, Tommy), educated abroad since infancy, is coming for a visit and bringing her wealthy fiance with her. The problem is that Louise has believed all her life that Annie's a wealthy dowager, and the poor old women doesn't know what to do. Enter "Dave the Dude" (Glenn Ford, 3:10 to Yuma), a kindhearted racketeer who enlists the aid to pass Annie off as a high-society granddame so Louise can marry her fairy-tale prince and everyone can live happily ever after! 

 

Blu-ray: $29.95
DVD: $19.95
Street Date: Now available

 

The Quatermass Xperiment

(Blu-ray)
 
 



Val Guest (The Day the Earth Caught Fire) directed this chilling film about a spacecraft returning to earth with a frightening surprise on board. Two of the ship's three astronauts have mysteriously vanished, while the third is sick with an unidentifiable illness. While doctors try to help the third man recover, an investigation takes place to figure out just what happened to his comrades. As it turns out, the survivors body has been taken over by an alien fungus that needs blood to survive. After the astronaut escapes from the hospital, he transforms into a monster, attacking everyone who gets in its way. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard detective Lomax (Jack Warner, The Blue Lamp) and Professor Bernard Quatermass (Brian Donlevy, The Glass Key), a determined scientist, attempt to track down the creature before it finds new victims. Also known as The Creeping Unknown. 


Blu-ray: $29.95

Street Date: Now available

 

 
The Death Kiss

(Blu-ray & DVD)

Reuniting three of the stars of Universal's Dracula (released the previous year), this low-budget production was, on the surface, a blatant attempt to capitalize on a major Hollywood hit. But THE DEATH KISS is anything but a cheap knock-off. A Pre-Code murder mystery that plays out on the sound stages, screening rooms, and dressing rooms of the fictitious Tonart Studios, the film offers modern viewers a precious glimpse at the workings of a Poverty Row studio during the Great Depression. Bela Lugosi stars as the head of a struggling studio, who tries to contain a scandal after an actor is killed during the making of a film. While the police investigate the deepening mysteries within the studio, a quick-witted screen-writer (David Manners) decides to solve the crime himself, in order to clear the picture's leading lady (AdrienneAmes) from suspicion. 



Blu-ray: $29.95
DVD: $24.95
Street Date: Now available
 
The Max Linder Collection

(DVD)

 

Kino Classics and Lobster Films celebrate the legacy of Max Linder, a pioneer of comedy whom Charlie Chaplin referred to as "the great master." With his trademark silk top hat and cane, the French-born Linder blended slapstick with sophistication, and invested his films with a layer of cleverness that elevated them above mere knockabout comedies, paving the way for such multi-dimensional screen comedians as Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. The collection includes four of Linder's American-made productions, meticulously restored from archival materials: THE THREE MUST-GET-THERES (1922, a parody of The Three Musketeers), SEVEN YEARS BAD LUCK (1921, a masterpiece of physical comedy), and the romantic farces BE MY WIFE (1921) and MAX WANTS A DIVORCE (1917). 

 DVD: $29.95 

Street Date: Now available

 

 

 

Afternoon of a Faun:
Tanaquil le Clercq 
(DVD)
Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story) brings to the screen the magnificent and tragic story of Tanaquil Le Clercq.

Of the great ballerinas, Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent, mesmerizing viewers and choreographers alike. 
At the age of 27, she was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again. The ballet world has been haunted by her story ever since. 

With a soul-stirring soundtrack and exquisite visuals, this is a story of how one woman passionately influenced an entire art form. Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq is a frighteningly real, gracefully candid portrait of an artist. Rarely has a film revealed such a dramatic experience on such an intimate scale.

          

DVD: $29.95
Street Date: December 10, 2013

 



Who is Dayani Cristal?
(DVD)

 


The body of an unidentified migrant is found in the Arizona desert.  In an attempt to retrace his path and discover his story, director Marc Silver and actor/filmmaker Gael García Bernal (Amores Perros) embed themselves among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border.  WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL? provides rare insight into the human stories that are so often ignored in the immigration debate.

 

DVD: $29.95
Street Date: Now Available

 

 

 
Kids for Cash
 (DVD)

 

Kids For Cash is a riveting look behind a notorious scandal that rocked the nation. In the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years over petty crimes. When one parent dared to question his harsh brand of justice, it was revealed the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids were incarcerated. In this thrilling true crime documentary, director Robert May exposes the scandal behind the headlines, featuring extensive, exclusive access to the judges behind the scheme. 


DVD: $29.95
Street Date: Now Available

 

Boy Meets Girl
from Carlotta Films
(Blu-ray & DVD)
 

Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first attempted murder: Alex tries to strangle Thomas, but gives up and wanders the streets. That evening, Mireille, a girl from provincial France who has come up to Paris to make commercials, is left by her boyfriend. Alex witnesses this separation. These two tormented souls run into each other at a party....Boy Meets Girl, Leos Carax's first feature film, reveals an extreme sensitivity. This atypical masterpiece bluntly displays the social uneasiness of young adults suffering from the torments of their waning teenage years, echoing Carax's own blues and the disillusionment of the 80s generation. Glowing with a melancholic and nocturnal poetry through his brilliant, reference-crammed stage direction, Boy Meets Girl has revealed the director of Holy Motors and Mauvais Sang as a first-rate author and aesthete. Available for the first time on Blu-ray in a stunning new HD digital restoration! 
 
Blu-ray: $29.95
DVD: $24.95
Street Date: Now Available

 

 
Mauvais Sang
from Carlotta Films 
(Blu-ray and DVD)
  
Marc and Hans, two old gangsters, plan to steal the vaccine for a mysterious virus, STBO, which affects those who make love without being in love and is wreaking havoc among teenagers. After the death of their associate Jean, the two accomplices call on his son, Alex, known as "Chatterbox", who is a talented conjuror. Alex, who has just left his girlfriend Lise, falls madly in love with a girl in a white dress he sees on a bus. Her names is Anna and she turns out to be Marc's mistress...

Leos Carax's second movie, Mauvais Sang is a stunning masterpiece, midway between a thriller and a romantic tale, which multiplies references to master filmmakers (Godard in particular) and seduces with its poetry and lyricism. This emblematic film of 80s French cinema established Leos Carax as one of its most talented directors, twenty-six years before Holy Motors. Starring Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli, and Juliette Binoche, Mauvais Sang is available for the first time in a stunning new HD digital restoration.

 

Blu-ray: $39.95

DVD: $29.95

Street Date: Now available

 

 
We Won't Grow Old Together
(Blu-ray & DVD)
 

 

Maurice Pialat's We Won't Grow Old Together is the "ultimate bad break-up movie" (J. Hoberman), a combustible portrait of a couple whose love tears them apart.

Pialat's (Á nos amours) second feature was a hit in France upon its release in 1972, won actor Jean Yanne Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, and screened at the New York Film Festival, but it never opened in the United States (and is here receiving its U.S. home video premiere). Heavily autobiographical, "it tells the story of endless breakups and makeups of a highly unstable yet apparently indissoluble couple... depicting the protracted end of a five year affair" (Dave Kehr). Jean (Jean Yanne, Weekend), a married 40-year-old filmmaker, and his young working class lover Catherine (Marlène Jobert, Masculin Féminin) engage in a circular series of spectacular blow-ups and tentative reunions, their mutual desire a fire that burns them again and again.

 

Blu-ray: $34.95 

DVD: $29.95
Street Date: Now available

 

 
 
About Kino Lorber: Kino Lorber
  
With a library of 1,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including five Academy Award® nominated films in the last seven years. In addition, the company brings over 70 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases under its five house brands, distributes a growing number of third party labels, and is a direct digital distributor to all major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Vimeo, Fandor and others.
 
 

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 12, 2014 | Permalink
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OFCS 2014 AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Ofcs

Best Picture
"Boyhood"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Ida"
"The LEGO Movie"
"Mommy"
"Nightcrawler"
"Selma"
"Two Days, One Night"
"Whiplash"
"Under the Skin"

Best Animated Feature
"Big Hero 6"
"The Boxtrolls"
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
"The LEGO Movie"
"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya"

Best Film Not in the English Language
"Ida"
"The Missing Picture"
"Mommy"
"The Tale of the Princess Kaguya"
"Two Days, One Night"

Best Documentary
"CITIZENFOUR"
"Life Itself"
"The Missing Picture"
"National Gallery"
"The Overnighters"

Best Director
Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, "Two Days, One Night"
Ava DuVernay, "Selma"
Jonathan Glazer, "Under the Skin"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"

Best Actor
Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel
Brendan Gleeson, "Calvary"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, "Two Days, One Night"
Essie Davis, "The Babadook"
Anne Dorval, "Mommy"
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl"

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, "Inherent Vice"
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"
Edward Norton, "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Jessica Chastain, "A Most Violent Year"
Suzanne Clément, "Mommy"
Agata Kulesza, "Ida"
Tilda Swinton, "Snowpiercer"

Best Original Screenplay
"Boyhood"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Selma"
"Two Days, One Night"
"Whiplash"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Gone Girl"
"Inherent Vice"
"Snowpiercer"
"Under the Skin"
"We Are the Best!"

Best Editing
"Birdman"
"Boyhood"
"Gone Girl"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Whiplash"

Best Cinematography
"Birdman"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Ida"
"Mr. Turner"
"Under the Skin"

Best Non-U.S. Release (non-competitive category)
"'71"
"10,000 km"
"Entre Nós"
"Han Gong-ju"
"Hard to Be a God"
"The Look of Silence"
"The Salt of the Earth"
"What We Do in the Shadows"
"Timbuktu"
"The Tribe"

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 12, 2014 in Cinema, Culture, Current Affairs, News, OFCS | Permalink

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Aimee Mann and Ted Leo

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 12, 2014 in Music | Permalink
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WHY ARE AMERICANS SUCH COWARDS? BY TED RALL

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Wimpy Cops and Scared Soldiers: Why Are Americans Such Cowards?

December 8, 2014

 

America has a problem that afflicts both her foreign policy and domestic affairs: cowardice.A nation of wusses. That’s us.

That’s not how we see ourselves, of course. Whatever our flaws – impetuousness, naïveté, our sense of exceptionalism – few Americans count pusillanimity among them. For conservatives bravery as a national trait is a given; if anything, progressives wish we’d walk it back a bit, toning down the testosterone in favor of a little humility.

From the outside, however, we look like a nation happy to inflict all manner of mayhem on people all over the world, yet unwilling to put our own precious skins in the game.

Drones are the ultimate manifestation of America’s newfound risk aversion. After more than 12 years of remote-controlled aerial killer robot warfare, the statistics are undeniable: unmanned aerial vehicles are a ridiculously sloppy assassination method that kills anywhere from 28 to 49 times more innocent civilians than targeted alleged terrorists. With the myth of accuracy thoroughly debunked, drones remain popular with the public for one reason: they don’t expose American soldiers to return fire.

What we see as an advantage, however, sparks contempt among foreigners that our adversaries in this war for hearts and minds exploit in their recruitment and fundraising efforts. You see it in the faces of the Afghans and Pakistanis I have interviewed: if the United States military had any honor, they say, it would come and face our warriors man to man, on the battlefield, rather than pushing a button thousands of miles away. Every “terrorist” we blow up makes us look worse.

Moreover, cowardice is unproductive on a psychological level.

During the early years of the American occupation of Iraq, British forces (who patrolled the region around Basra) suffered lower casualty rates in the zones under their control than their American counterparts. One reason, according to military psychologists, is that British troops presented themselves as more willing to expose themselves to the Iraqi public and less afraid of being hurt or killed. Whereas US forces wore wrap-around sunglasses and set up checkpoints behind sandbags and blast walls, sometimes identifying themselves only by shooting at approaching cars – which caused confused Iraqis to floor the gas, prompting US forces to kill them – the Brits acted more relaxed, like traffic agents standing right out on the road. Americans covered themselves with Kevlar and automatic rifles; the British wore formfitting uniforms, eschewed helmets and satisfied themselves with sidearms. Sunglasses were banned. The American approach seemed safer, but the opposite was true. It’s easier to shoot at something – the Americans looked like fascist robots – than someone.

For a country that used to pride itself on a certain stoicism, the United States has become a land of whiny little boys and girls.

Oh, how we cried after 9/11. 3000 dead! Those “Wounded Warrior” TV ads asking for donations to support Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans – excuse me, but why am I spending 54% of my federal tax dollars on defense if I also have to donate to a sketchycharity? – use the same melancholy tone and weepy delivery as Sally Struthers’ classic “save the children” messages. Obviously, it sucks to lose your arms and legs, but let’s grow a pair.Fewer than 7,000 Americans got killed invading two countries they had no business in in the first place.

Let’s put those numbers into proper perspective, shall we? The Soviet Union lost 20 million people fighting the Nazis (who invaded them, by the way). France lost 11% of its population during World War I — the equivalent for us would be 34 million Americans. But the Russians or French don’t bitch and moan as much as us.

Speaking of which, Americans have a lot of balls calling Frenchman “surrender monkeys” considering that nearly twice as many French soldiers were killed in in the 1940 Battle of France over six weeks as the United States lost in Vietnam over the course of a decade. Meanwhile, we’re still whining about the 58,000 we lost in – no, invading – Vietnam.

Here at home, we’re infested with wimp cops.

In recent weeks, we have been treated to grand jury testimony in the shootings of two black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

Both killer cops are bruisers — big, muscular guys. Most of all, they are cops. Cops have partners. They have the backing of the state. They carry tasers. They have nightsticks. They go to the police academy, where they train long hours in the art of subduing human beings. And as we well know, they have access to military style hardware and defensive gear.

As these two sniveling wimps tell the tales, however, they were in desperate fear of their lives.

From two guys, both now dead, who were morbidly obese.

Not to mention unarmed.

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson (6’4″ 210) claimed that Brown (6’4″ 292) terrorized him. “I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan,” he testified. Brown “had the most intense aggressive face,” he said. “The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked.”

The NYPD’s Daniel Pantaleo told a grand jury that, after he got his arm around Garner, he was terrified that the two of them would crash through the thick glass window of a storefront they were leaning against.

Both grand juries declined to indict the cops.

Sure, these were the testimonies of two heavily lawyered defendants following a script that has gotten countless white policeman off the hook for killing unarmed black men in the past. But you still have to ask: aren’t those big “brave” policemen ashamed of themselves? I’m not sure which is worse, pretending to be afraid of an unarmed civilian – in the New York case, the guy wasn’t even resisting arrest – or the possibility that they actually were scared.

There’s nothing wrong with being scared in the face of danger. Bravery, after all, is the act of keeping cool in the face of danger.

In the United States in recent years, however, bravery has been in short supply – even in the face of very little danger at all.

(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and cartoonist, is the author of the new critically-acclaimed book “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan.” Subscribe to Ted Rall at Beacon.)

COPYRIGHT 2014 TED RALL, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 11, 2014 in Politics | Permalink
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Robby Müller Cinematography Masterclass

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 11, 2014 in Cinema, Filmmaking | Permalink

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THE OTHER SIDE OF JIMMY SAVILE


Exposure - The Other Side of Jimmy Savile - 3th... by GerrardOlympic

Posted by Cole Smithey on December 8, 2014 in Culture | Permalink
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