Archives for posts with tag: Arbitrage

Blue Jasmine

Embarrassing for a white nationalist to admit, Jewish pervert Allan Konigsberg (alias Woody Allen) remains one of this writer’s favorite directors despite the auteur’s corrosive persona and poisonous cultural influence. Now, with Blue Jasmine, the seriocomic pedo-provocateur furnishes Cate Blanchett with her best and strongest role to date as the fallen Park Avenue socialite spouse of sleazebag Wall Street operator Alec Baldwin, who, after being caught “up to his ass in phony real estate and bank fraud” and committing suicide in prison, has left her penniless, alone, and psychologically brittle. Moving in with her blue collar adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, Jasmine struggles to adjust to her lowered station in life – a situation Konigsberg expertly fondles, balancing audience schadenfreude with surprising sympathy. The cast is perfect, the jazz is hot, and Woody is in top form. Fans will enjoy.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Blue Jasmine is:

7. Drug-ambivalent. “You drink, you become a jerk.” Characters imbibe throughout, sometimes to the impediment of their judgment. Overcoming addiction is presented as an accomplishment, but Blue Jasmine constantly runs the risk of promoting a kind of nervous breakdown chic given how good Blanchett looks in the film – at least until the concluding scenes, when her traumas and bad habits show on her face. “Have you ever gotten high on nitrous oxide?” asks randy dentist Dr. Flicker (Michael Stuhlbarg).

6. Liberal. “The government took everything,” moans hypocrite Jasmine. “The first thing you gotta know,” her husband earlier warns, “is how to not give half your money to the government.” Resistance to taxation and redistribution of wealth is thereby framed as the scheming of a white financial criminal to avoid paying his fair share of the common burden. Working for the State Department, meanwhile, is “glamorous”.

5. Multiculturalist. New York and San Francisco appear as peaceful and orderly multi-ethnic metropolises. A note of discord is struck when Jasmine, working as a dentist’s receptionist, snaps, “Can you just put someone on [the phone] who speaks better English?” Presumably, though, this is only supposed to mark the character as a bit of a bigot instead of a person with a valid dislike of America’s multicultural experiment.

4. Pro-miscegenation. The film includes multiple white/Asian pairings. In one scene, a white man and Asian woman gawk in bemusement as Jasmine hallucinates and talks to herself. The mixed couple is thus the face of normalcy, the fair Nordic that of pathology.

3. Pro-slut. “It’s not like we’re engaged, so, you know, I’m free.” Ginger, quickly seduced by a man she meets at a party, shamelessly discusses her sex life within earshot of her children.

2. Anti-marriage. Baldwin plays a serial philanderer. Jasmine says her sister’s husband “used to hit her.” Louis Szekely (alias Louis C.K.) plays another cheater.

1. Crypto-Zio-capitalist. As with Arbitrage (2012), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Assault on Wall Street (2013), it is the hated European gentile male and not the Jew who serves as the representative figure in financial shenanigans. “Jesus Christ almighty,” Konigsberg’s script has “philistine businessman” Baldwin gripe when arrested. Jews instead come across as the victims, with Baldwin bilking brother-in-law Andrew Clay Silverstein (alias Andrew “Dice” Clay) and his ostensibly Catholic but Jewish-looking and therefore subtextually Semitic wife out of all of their lottery winnings and savings. Audience sympathy is generally with the down-to-earth crypsis-Jews rather than with the snooty elitist blonde. Hilariously, Baldwin’s innocently idealistic Ivy League son and heir Danny, who rejects him after learning of his fraudulent dealings, is played by a Jew, Alden Ehrenreich. All of this, of course, only serves to obscure the reality of Zio-financial hegemony and Jewish supremacism.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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A very impressive debut feature from Nicholas Jarecki, Arbitrage makes the world of high financial malfeasance seemingly more accessible by examining its workings at the personal and intimate level of one man’s life.  Richard Gere, in a career highlight turn, anchors the film as troubled hedge fund magnate Robert Miller [sic. “Can someone please tell Hollywood there hasn’t been a WASP on Wall St for 30 years?” – @AnnCoulter, December 2, 2013].  Miller is an expert at projecting confidence and has built a fortune on the basis of the trust people have invested in him; but, just as financial activity is largely a matter of trade in illusions, so Miller’s personal as well as his professional life is not so secure as it might appear from outside.  When he loses control of his car and pulls a Chappaquiddick with unlucky French mistress Julie (Laetitia Casta) on a deserted road, the ensuing police investigation, led by Detective Bryer (Tim Roth), threatens a run on his relationships with his partners, investors, his wife (Susan Sarandon), and daughter (Brit Marling).

Finding himself in a major pickle, Miller enlists the help of Jimmy (Nate Parker), the black son of a former chauffeur, and sets in motion a cycle of lies that endanger not only his own security, but the well-being of every other person whose life intersects with Miller’s.  His family situation could disintegrate if the truth of his doings and dealings came out; also at stake are the stockholders who depend on Miller for the good stewardship of their wealth.  When Bryer targets Jimmy as a means to nailing his principal quarry, Miller places Jimmy in the unenviable position of being expected to sacrifice himself, potentially going to prison, for an irresponsible billionaire who may only view Jimmy as an expendable variation on the sacrificial Negro.

Though Miller continues to behave reprehensibly throughout the remainder of Arbitrage, the remarkable thing is that he never ceases to be a compelling and pitiable character.  In action, he is a fascinating man to observe, and his professional dealings display a talent and  admirable charisma that make the audience want him to succeed in bringing some order back into his life.  Gere, so handsome and seemingly serene, is the perfect actor to play Robert Miller and creates a wonderful interpretation.  Susan Sarandon is typically great, particularly in one powerful scene in the denouement.  That her character is absent for most of the film is in keeping with Miller’s experience (in consideration of how he neglects her), but increased screen time for Sarandon would be nice.  Marling and Casta, too, are fine and affecting in their supporting roles.  Jimmy, as written, is never an entirely convincing character, which is not the fault of Parker; but he does serve interesting ends for the story.  Tim Roth, naturally, is diverting in his adversarial role.

Tense and filled with devilishly uncomfortable moments, Arbitrage is very recommendable, affording a rare and human glimpse into a closed society.  Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Arbitrage is:

6. Anti-drug.  Julie turns to cocaine for distraction after romantic disappointment.

5. Anti-slut.  Julie, though depicted sympathetically, must be punished for the harlot’s part she plays in potentially wrecking Miller’s home, and so dies in decidedly unglamorous fashion in a wreck of her own.

4. Diversity-skeptical.  That Miller’s chosen accomplice, Jimmy, is a young black man from Harlem is a circumstance that complicates and darkens their relationship, partly because Jimmy’s father was one of Miller’s servants.  Jimmy is sensitive on the subject of his ambiguous, mostly business, but possibly also partly sentimental position relative to his father’s employer.  His blackness makes him an easy target for prosecution.

3. Class-conscious.  Detective Bryer resents the special treatment “rich assholes” like Miller receive in the legal system and demonstrates an unwise zeal in his effort to incriminate him in Julie’s death.

2. State-skeptical.  Police falsify evidence.  Statist economic intervention and nationalization of industry in Russia distorts market processes and, while seeming at first to be a boon for Miller, is ultimately the cause of his financial woes.

1. Capital-skeptical.  Though not an anti-capitalist film, Arbitrage knows its subject too well not to concede the vile, illusory nature of much of high finance.  Those who suffer the most from such malfeasance are seldom the authors of the crimes.

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