Archives for posts with tag: reporter

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Erik Bloomquist writes, directs, and stars in The Cobblestone Corridor as Allan Archer, hardworking editor of the elite Alfred Pierce Preparatory School’s newspaper, The Pierce Gazette. Archer is straight-laced and by-the-book – a young man who still believes in authority and the dignity of institutions – the sort of person one might expect to carry a picture of William F. Buckley in his wallet. He is also an amateur detective and has his inquisitiveness piqued when he learns that the circumstances of a teacher’s recent dismissal are more than a little fishy. Adding interest to the story is Lizzie Merriweather (Madeleine Dauer), whose simultaneous attraction and opposition of journalistic philosophy adds another layer of tension to the narrative.

The Cobblestone Corridor is a low-key comedy hybridizing genres from teen fare to mystery, and Mike Magilnick’s cinematography does a good job of compromising between tones, referencing noir while keeping things light enough for a chuckle. The film succeeds largely due to a cast of interesting faces, which include Bloomquist’s as well as that of Nicholas Tucci, whom viewers may remember from the outstanding slasher homage You’re Next (2011). An assortment of young women in school uniforms adds to the visuals. Finally, while something of a morsel at 25 minutes, there is a measure of substance to be detected down these halls.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Cobblestone Corridor is:

5. Anti-drug. Archer is contemptuous toward stoners.

4. Green-ambivalent. When classmate Claire (Alex Sarrigeorgiou) says paper publishing “just wastes trees”, her professor (Tucci) replies that this is “an interesting environmental argument”; Archer, however, dismisses Claire’s opinions as “shortsighted and ignorant”.

3. Feminism-ambivalent. Archer reviles “sluts” and puts a stop to an all-girl fight club. Lizzie’s contribution to his development as a journalist suggests, however, that women can contribute as professionals, giving the lie to a threatening note she receives informing her “little girls don’t belong in the big leagues.”

2. Tobacco-ambivalent. Archer cock-blocks a quintessential film noir ritual when he stops Lizzie from smoking a cigarette in his office. She later discovers that he has lied about not being a smoker, however.

1. Media-ambivalent. The Cobblestone Corridor’s best scene – crisply written and delivered by Mr. Bloomquist – concerns the question of the continuing relevance of the print medium. Journalism instructor Mr. Brown (Tucci) asks his class, “Are newspapers still important in today’s society, or are they well on their way to fading into historical oblivion?” Claire assails print as irrelevant in the age of the instantaneous dissemination of information; but Archer, who hates “supermarket tabloid drivel” and does what he can to uphold traditional journalistic standards, holds forth as follows:

People who write for newspapers understand that a story is more than just a clickbait by-line. These message boards that Claire talks about aren’t avenues for intellectual discourse, they’re a mosh pit of pseudo-scholars trying to outsmart each other. It’s not about the news, it’s not about the facts, it’s about being the loudest [. . .] and if one day the servers crash and everything goes to Hell we’ll still have a thoughtful piece of analysis we can touch and feel. That sure as Hell beats a tweet by some self-important high school drop-out hiding behind a screen name.

At stake in this scene and for the remainder of the film is the credibility of “conspiracy theories” and the post-9/11 alternative media, the latter being personified by blogger Lizzie. Archer naively believes that the major newspapers’ reporters are as thoughtful and idealistic as he is, is impressed by the Fourth Estate’s centuries of superficial prestige, and disparages the internet. He suggests, furthermore, that the anonymity of the blogosphere is an invalidation of its credibility, failing to consider the fact that alternative journalism is not, in most cases, a living, and that these writers might be putting their employment in jeopardy by signing their real names under their controversial interpretations of events.

However, after Lizzie’s insights prove to have been valuable in solving the mystery of the dismissed teacher, Archer is moved to establish an online edition of The Pierce Gazette, the idea being that online and print news media can coexist and mutually strengthen each other, and that independent researchers’ contributions can make a difference. This, Archer effuses with idealism, heralds the “beginning of a renaissance for The Pierce Gazette” – a revolution by technology and turnover in personnel. Bloomquist, though, by setting his story in the innocuous world of a non-profit student newspaper, has avoided the fundamental corruption of commercial “news” by controlling financial interests. Archer, once he ventures into the Orwellian sphere of professional journalism, will find his masters reluctant to publish material that strays off-script.

[For full disclosure of this writer’s diet of news and infotainment, he will admit to getting the vast majority of it online – from sites ranging from fluff like Yahoo! to deeper-digging content like Global Research – but also subscribing to a fortnightly print newspaper, Willis Carto’s populist American Free Press.]

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Closed Circuit

Forget neoconservative junk like Zero Dark Thirty. Closed Circuit is the real deal – or, anyway, as close to it as a major motion picture is likely to get in the present climate. After a 7/7-reminiscent terrorist bombing in London, attorneys Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are assigned the task of defending Farroukh Erdogan (Denis Moschitto), the alleged “mastermind” of the attack. It soon becomes clear, however, that nothing is as it seems in this self-described “conspiracy thriller”, as Bana discovers that the case is “being managed” from above and that the “suicide” of the previous barrister handling Erdogan’s defense might actually foreshadow his own demise. Unremittingly grim and realistically paranoid, Closed Circuit moves at a healthy clip, sustained by the lead actors’ earnest performances, and suffers principally from its anemic chromatic palette and visual drabness.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

4 out of 5 possible stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Closed Circuit is:

7. Anti-marriage. Bana is going through a divorce.

6. Feminist. Hall portrays an assertive, tough, and detail-oriented professional woman.

5. Anti-drug. Government patsy Erdogan is a heroin addict who, in the great Islamic fundamentalist tradition, has a drunk driving arrest on his record. The poor quality of the horse made available to him in prison causes him to be nauseous.

4. Anti-racist/multiculturalist. An East Indian complains that he is regularly stopped by police. The War on Terror, Closed Circuit suggests, has exacerbated racial prejudices. The multicultural wealth of London’s Turkish population proves to be an asset to the investigation.

3. Media-skeptical. The British press is characterized as unscrupulous. Closed Circuit strains credibility, however, in suggesting that The New York Times, of all publications – the “newspaper of record” that, for instance, covered up the Holodomor – would be the beacon of honesty in such a scenario, and that one of its reporters (Julia Stiles) would risk assassination to bring the truth about synthetic terrorism to the public.

2. Anti-state. Closed Circuit performs a modest service in mainstreaming the concept of government-instigated terror, with “national security” considerations only masking the cover-up; but the movie stops short of accusing western intelligence agencies of actually commissioning false flag terror attacks. Instead, Closed Circuit presents a story in which MI-5, through “incompetence”, has lost control of its counterterrorism operation.

1. Defeatist. “We’re not strong enough to fight them, are we?”

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

The Howling poster

The Howling (1981)

National Socialists have traditionally appropriated wolf imagery as an expression of their movement’s fierceness, masculinity, and pagan mystique. Hitler’s first Eastern Front headquarters was named the Wolf’s Lair, and Werwolf was the name the Nazis selected for a German guerrilla resistance force during the waning phases of World War II. White nationalists of today will sometimes refer to themselves as werewolves, as well. A close reading of Joe Dante’s horror hit The Howling (1981), however, may convince viewers that Jews are the ones who deserve the mantle of the wolf.

Ilsa She Wolf of the SS

Lupine-themed pop Nazi iconography

“Signed his work,” explains television news producer Christopher (Dennis Dugan), with reference to the gruesome clues furnished by the artistic creations of a murderous maniac – and, as it turns out, a werewolf – in dialogue suggestive of what may be The Howling’s ulterior intention of cluing viewers into the nature of its Hollywood provenance by way of a revelation of method.

The madman is Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo), a sexual pervert stalking anchorwoman Karen White (Dee Wallace). The latter, in an attempt to help police capture Quist, agrees to meet him in an adult video shop, where he lures her into a private booth, activates a sadomasochistic sex loop, announces his intention to possess Karen’s body, and then proceeds to transform and to reveal his true physical nature – that of a wolf.

Dee Wallace

Dee Wallace as Karen White

Thus, in this crucial encounter, key subtext is set into motion. Quist is in his element when surrounded by filth and shows a pronounced interest in pornography – an industry dominated by Jews – and he also seeks to dominate Karen, a character who is significantly beautiful, blonde, surnamed “White”, and a representative, furthermore, of her local news media – another Jewish near-monopoly. Karen’s employer at Channel 6, Fred Francis (Kevin McCarthy), would seem to be one of the last of the WASP old boys’ club.

Picardo

Robert Picardo as Eddie Quist

A search of Quist’s apartment reveals obsessive drawings of monsters (i.e., autobiographical deviant art) and newspaper clippings illustrative of his resentful preoccupations with violence and Christianity. Two visible headlines from articles on his walls read, “The Dismembered Corpse in the Burned Out Church” and “Weird Case of the Murdering Messiah”. Murdering or murdered? Either way, the headlines speak to Quist’s sense of Jewish supremacy and hatred of gentiles.

Appearing as a guest on Channel 6 is a pop psychiatrist, Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee), who advises his audience of the benefits to be had from slackening their moral standards when he says, “We should never try to deny the beast, the animal within us.” Psychiatry, of course, being another field famously lorded over by Jews hostile to the traditional ways of Christendom. Dr. Waggner, like Quist, has designs on Karen White, and – using the pretext of her post-traumatic stress resulting from the meeting with Quist – invites her to his rustic retreat, suggestively named the Colony, for what is supposed to be group therapy along with her husband, Bill (Christopher Stone).

Elisabeth Brooks

Elisabeth Brooks as Marsha Quist

The Colony, unfortunately, is a forested den of werewolves, among them folksy locals Charlie (Noble Willingham), Erle (John Carradine), Jerry (James Murtaugh), deceptively friendly sheriff Sam (Slim Pickens), and shapely seductress Marsha (Elisabeth Brooks), a quintessential scarlet woman who sets about dissolving the bonds of Karen’s marriage by making herself aggressively available to Bill. Marsha’s love shack in the woods is adorned by pelts, which – with their six points of paws, head, and tail – abstractly approximate elongated Stars of David.

Pelt of David

Pelt of David

“Karen, you’re really gettin’ paranoid,” Bill accuses when his wife confronts him about his infidelity. “I know,” he says sarcastically, “it’s all a big conspiracy as far as you’re concerned.” Bill’s tactic, then, is to attempt to distract from the fact that he has plainly sold his soul and his services to the alien by smearing his accuser as a “conspiracy theorist”. Sound familiar?

Karen’s new Colony acquaintance Donna (Margie Impert), also a crypto-werewolf, lets slip a hint of her hidden identity when she and Karen happen upon a mutilated cow. “Oh, Jesus,” she blurts with embarrassment, to which Karen automatically tacks on “Christ”. It is Karen, and not crypto-werewolf Donna, who identifies Jesus as the Messiah and not a head of slaughtered cattle.

Donna and Karen

Donna (Margie Impert) and Karen (Dee Wallace)

An isolated redneck community might seem an unlikely representation of Jews, if not for their legendary prowess at passing themselves as common whites. “Your classic werewolf can change shape anytime it wants, day or night, whenever it takes a notion to. That’s why they call ‘em shapeshifters,” explains occult bookseller Walter Paisley (Dick Miller). “Silver bullets or fire,” he goes on. “It’s the only way to get rid of the damn things. They’re worse than cockroaches.”

Joe Bob Briggs

“That’s why they call ’em shapeshifters.” An example of the crypto is John Irving Bloom, who made a career as ersatz good ol’ boy Joe Bob Briggs

The strength of the wolf is in the pack. A single Charles Schumer or Dov Zakheim might pose no threat to the United States; but taken together, as an organized infestation, Jewry comprises a nearly unbeatable hydra. “A secret society exists and is living among all of us,” Karen duly warns her viewers when she returns to television. “They are neither people nor animal, but something in between.”

The less-than-sympathetic and decidedly utilitarian view this secret order of carnivorous creatures takes toward the goyim is made explicit during the scene in which they reveal themselves. The script is worth quoting at this pivotal juncture:

     Jerry: It was a mistake to bring her to the Colony.

     Erle: We should have stuck with the old ways. Raising cattle for our feed. Where’s the life in that?

     Charlie: The humans are our cattle.

     Erle: Humans are our prey. We should feed on them, like we’ve always done. Screw all this “channel your energies” crap.

     Dr. Waggner: But the danger of exposure! We need this shelter to plan! To catch up with society! Times have changed and we haven’t! Not enough.

     Marsha: Shut up, Doc! You wouldn’t listen to me! None of you! “We can fit in,” you said. “We can live with them!” You make me sick.

True to the bookseller’s lore, the werewolves prove to be vulnerable to silver bullets and fire – which is, of course, to say Holocaust – when gentile news producer Christopher, presumably following in the imaginary footsteps of Julius Streicher, rides to the rescue and burns the lot of the flesh-devouring good-for-nothings alive in their barn-synagogue of Satan.

Marsha, the Zionist Werewolf Whore of Babylon, is seen to be the only survivor of this horrible Howlocaust, and one can only assume that she will now be more bloodthirsty than ever, an assumption corroborated when she gazes into the camera and orders a hamburger – specifying that it be cooked rare. The Howling’s end credits then roll over a close-up of the sizzling hamburger patty – a macabre reminder of the final significance of what is meant by “goy cattle”.

“Rare.”

Wolfshiem

Jewish werewolf Meyer Wolfsheim (Amitabh Bachchan) in The Great Gatsby (2013)

Paul Wolfowitz

Jewish werewolf, warlord, nose picker, and comb licker Paul Wolfowitz

Wolf Blitzer

Jewish werewolf Wolf Blitzer, fiendish face of Cabal News Network

Till Death Do We Scare

Till Death Do We Scare (1982) ****

Poor Irene (Olivia Cheng) – every man she marries dies as soon as they tie the knot! Fortunately (?), her three dead husbands, who loiter around the house as ghosts, want Irene to be happy, so they determine to locate another, hopefully more durable husband for her and pick incompetent radio horror show host Alan (Alan Tam). What follows is essentially a series of slapstick shenanigans as the ghosts, invisible to Irene and Alan, pull various stunts to bring the couple together. Complicating matters are the machinations of evil spirits who would prefer to see Alan dead. 

Till Death Do We Scare is typical fare for the Chinese ghost comedy genre, but with the odd, added attraction of stretchy Beetlejuice-style special effects by none other than Tom Savini. The best comic set piece in the movie is probably the haunted chair that refuses to let fat guy Eric Tsang sit in it; but other highlights include a deflatable ghost face, an animated pig’s head on buffet table, a decomposing princess with amorous intentions, and an unfortunate sucker who rolls down a hill and gets flattened by a steamroller. Till Death Do We Scare has the madcap energy viewers have come to expect of the Hong Kong film industry in the eighties, and should please devotees of the Chinese horror comedy.

4 out of 5 stars.

Breakfast

Vampire’s Breakfast (1987) ***1/2

Fat Piao (Kent Cheng) is a portly Hong Kong photojournalist investigating a series of what appear to be vampire murders, but police refuse to believe his stories, and only a sleazy thief (Keith Kwan) is willing to help him. Vampire’s Breakfast, like The Haunted Cop Shop (1987), is not a typical indigenous Chinese hopping vampire movie, but a horror hybrid featuring a rotten-looking blond Caucasian bloodsucker (Simon Willson) with the usual western susceptibilities to crucifixes and wooden stakes – or, as the subtitles would have it, a “mahogany nail”. Pretty, pouty Emily Chu, whom action enthusiasts may remember from John Woo’s classic A Better Tomorrow (1986), adds a deal of grace as Piao’s love interest, Angie, while Parkman Wong contributes irksome antagonism as skeptical Inspector Chen.

The movie drags a bit in the middle, but does feature a handful of suspenseful sequences, generally drenched in creepy blue moonlight and city shadows. A clandestine visit to a morgue makes for one of the more memorable scenes, while a spurting decapitation at the end should please gorehounds. One does wish, however, that the nastiness of one early scene in a strip club had been sustained throughout the film. Veteran viewers of Hong Kong horror will probably enjoy Vampire’s Breakfast, but prissier audiences accustomed to Criterion disc production standards are hereby warned that the subtitles on the Fortune Star DVD release are more than usually sloppy, resulting in lines of dialogue like, “Tow big eyes were ataring at me”.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Vampire’s Breakfast trailer

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