July 19th, 2012 : Dissecting the Dark Knight, Gitlin and Occupy Live Conference Call
Continuing the dissection of Nolan's Dark Knight Rises, which we suspect takes the Hollywood path of sensationalizing complex issues in favor of high-tech visual cocktails (disclosure : we've yet to see it).
Readers are reminded that Hollywood at it's best is (was) about story and script and, above all, entertainment. Movies are constrained by both a tight narrative format within narrowly prescribed time-frames, as well as the need to return profit margins to their backers. With the biggest films, the mandate is more so. The more ambiguous the message, the broader the appeal, so the logic goes.
Therefore we don't get our undies bunched over less than ringing endorsements for worker solidarity in Kazan's On the Waterfront (video above) or Coppola's macabre insinuation that the US lacked the “will” to “make a friend of terror” in Apocalypse Now (below). It's rare for Hollywood to venture outside safe ideological confines to produce on-topic material such as Jack Lemmon's and Sissy Spacek's powerful performances in Missing (below), a true story about US intervention and management of the 1973 coup in Chile, for which former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is currently wanted for questioning by several countries.
When we last saw Harrison Schultz, he was getting his ears boxed by Faux-news gatekeeper Sean Hannity, who used a variety of tactics to back the earnest organizer/Ph D candidate into a corner he couldn't fight his way out of. Of course, many others have sat across from Hannity and suffered a similar fate at his hands.
Today, Schultz returns to what no doubt are more comfortable confines - behind the keyboard - and comes up with a tight “protester's review” of the latest Batman installment, reinforcing the notion that Nolan's latest endeavor could never be counted as anything more than a good ride. Dailybeast.com
David Sirota also takes a closer peek at film industry myth-making at Salon.com
Other characters in the post-Occupy zeitgeist carrying big-time film potential : the spooky-voiced hackers at Anonymous, who announce they're responsible for the leak of over 50,000 email accounts from IT personnel on Wall Street via TeamGhostShell on the hashtag. The group has been busy, also announcing a recent online vigilante campaign to crack down on pedophile creepsters on the web. Occupysydney.visibli.com
Occupy LA lines up a new target, the city's Central City Assn, an association of downtown businesses. The organization's members include not merely shops and boutiques expected to be concerned about disruption of daily activities, but also LA's largest corporations, including the nation's biggest banks.
CCA Director Carol Schatz says she's "infuriated" by recent occupy demonstrations targeting the association. She terms the latest protesters more "anarchistic" than the previous, presumably more good-natured iteration of Occupy LA (before authorities brought their heels down on the movement.)
File under : or yeah, what she said For all the conflict, though, it appears the group and Occupy are on the same page regarding the association's purpose.
Occupier Jessica Rey tells a reporter "They take money from all these bankers and developers to basically buy out the City Council."
According to Central City Association's site : “As a CCA member, you also receive personalized issue advocacy and unparalleled access to city, county and state power brokers and decision makers.” LA Times
Speaking of interpretations of Occupy, long-time activist/sociologist Columbia professor and author Todd Gitlin appears in a live chat with 3 occupiers at 1 pm US EDT today to discuss the movement in the context of the big money Presidential campaigns currently on center stage guardian.uk
Occupiers and civil libertarians remain hacked off at the US surveillance community for 1) doing it in the first place, and 2) frustrating their ability to understand the extent of it. ACLU and San Francisco Guardian file federal complaints that urge the FBI to disclose the full extent to which they monitored the group in Northern California, where they say “some of the most brutal crackdowns occurred.” courthousenewsservice.com
Meanwhile muck-raker Jason Leopold reports a “victory,” of sorts, in his federal disclosure case against the FBI as the bureau announces it will now comply with a 'little known provision in the law” that mandates estimated dates of completion for FOIA requests. Truthout.org
Keeping the pivot on truthout, Moyers follows up on the Rolling Stone's (Jeff Tietz) documentation of “the Fallen” – citizens victimized by misfortune and the catastrophic financial manoeuvrings of Lords Blankfein, Dimon, et al. He interviews financial expert Sheila Bair on one of the 99%'s key gripe points : the accountability of big banks to some sort of citizen/democratic control, as opposed to allowing them to hold government hostage. Video interview at Truthout.org
Finally, some occupies continue to fight public space closures and restrictions. It's an uphill climb. Occupy Portland is told to keep their belongings packed as a city judge rules that closing Pearl District Park does not hinder their First Amendment rights of free expression. The occupiers' attorneys call the law unconstitutional and plan to argue so when the arrestees finally go to trial. Oregonlive.com
Updates for this space should be sent to UWS Press