Upcoming Leftist movies to look forward to this year:
1. Fair Game
This is based on the lives of Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple drawn into a D.C. firestorm.
The tone sounds quite left-leaning politics wise so there’s already a huge section of the right who will ignore and condemn the film before it even hits. Right now there’s also the question of when in the world it will get a release.
This is based on Rula Jebreal’s book about the real-life Palestinian woman Hind Husseini, who started the Dar Al-Tifl orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Jerusalem, 1948. On her way to work, Husseini comes across 55 orphaned children in the street. She takes them home to give them food and shelter. Within six months, 55 had grown to almost 2000, and the Dar Al-Tifel Institute was born. At the age of 7, Miral was sent to the Institute by her father following her mother’s death. Brought up safely inside the Institute’s walls, she is naïve to the troubles that surround her. Then, at the age of 17, she is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she is awakened to the reality of her people’s struggle. When she falls for political activist, Hani, she finds herself torn between the fight for the future of her people and Mama Hind’s belief that education is the road to peace.
3. CASINO JACK & The United States of Money
Formerly titled “Burning Down the House”, this is about the murky world of political lobbying, this is a subject that has caused huge controversy in the US since political lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sent to prison after being convicted on a series of criminal felony counts relating to his lobbying activities.
documentary by Alex Gibney who did the far-leftist documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side” (An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.)
This portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah—confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. A tale of international intrigue with Indian casinos, Russian spies, Chinese sweatshops, and a mob-style killing in Miami, this is the story of the way money corrupts our political process.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney returns to Sundance, once again wielding the tools of his trade with the skill of a master. Following the ongoing indictments of federal officials and exposing favor trading in our nation’s capital, Gibney illuminates the way our politicians’ desperate need to get elected—and the millions of dollars it costs—may be undermining the basic principles of American democracy. Infuriating, yet undeniably fun to watch, CASINO JACK is a saga of greed and corruption with a cynical villain audiences will love to hate.
4. Godard’s “Socialisme”
A symphony in three movements. Things such as: The Mediterranean, a cruise ship. Numerous conversations, in numerous languages, between the passengers, almost all of whom are on holiday… An old man, a war criminal (German, French, American we don?t know) accompanied by his granddaughter. A famous French philosopher (Alain Badiou). A representative of the Moscow police, detective branch. An American singer (Patti Smith). An old French policeman. A fired female United Nations officer. A former double agent. A Palestinian ambassador. It’s a matter of gold, as it was before with the Argonauts, but what is seen (the image) is very different from what is heard (the word). Our humanities. Visits to six sites of true or false myths: Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Hellas, Naples and Barcelona. Our Europe. At night, a sister and her younger brother have summoned their parents to appear before the court of their childhood. One of the parents in fact has to appear on television to stand as a candidate in the local elections at… The children demand serious explications of the themes of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
5. Meek’s Cutoff
The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon team of three families has hired the mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants must face the scourges of hunger, thirst, and their own lack of faith in each other’s instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as the natural enemy.
6. Mildred Pierce
by Todd Haynes
sounds like another “Help! my Suburban Life is repressing me!” movie…
7. Habemus Papam
“this is being billed as a drama that would see Moretti play a shrink called in by the Vatican to resolve the problem – the issue at hand, and this is where Moretti’s genius commentary stands out, is that the Pope coming in decides he doesn’t want the job as soon as he’s elected.”
8. Route Irish
“Scripted by Paul Laverty, this is set on the most dangerous stretch of road in Baghdad where a British mercenary soldier is killed under mysterious circumstances. The story of two men who work as private security contractors in Iraq who risk their lives in a city awash with violence and greed. When Frankie is killed on “Route Irish” — the road linking Baghdad airport with the Green Zone — Fergus, wracked with grief and guilt, rejects the official explanation and determines to investigate the truth of his friend’s death.”
i have no idea if this is a leftist movie, but it’s directed by Paul Haggis… no further words are necessary…
10. The Debt
“A remake of Assaf Bernstein’s 2007 Israeli film “HaHov”, the Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman spec follows a trio of 1960s Israeli intelligence agents who pursue a Nazi war criminal only to have him escape. More than 30 years later, their target re-emerges, forcing one of the agents to track him down and preserve their decades-old cover-up.”
sounds like another “Munich”
A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, the story concerns a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous female philosophy professor and atheist Hypatia of Alexandria. […]
The Christianity-bashing as well will deliver some divisive opinion, while others may go in expecting something more akin to “Gladiator” or “300” than the more solemn and theatrical tone which this seems to adhere closer too. Like all historical epics, this is bound to do significantly better by a large margin in the global market than it will do States-side.
12. And Soon the Darkness
A remake of the 1970 British cult thriller. Two American girls set out on a bike-riding trip in a remote part of Argentina. When one goes mysteriously missing, the other must find her before her worst fears are realised. […] The original French-set ‘Darkness’ was an enjoyable if very dated little cult thriller that played up western xenophobia of foreign countries. Of course films like “Hostel” and “Turistas” have since taken that particular scare-mongering to gory new heights, so a remake like this seems a trifle pointless beyond the picturesque South American locales.
13. The Conspirator
And in many ways it’s a post 9/11 parable cum cautionary tale about governments abusing their powers during times of war. And in this respect it gets pedantic in it’s truthy seekingness.
Tom Wilkinson plays U.S. Maryland Senator Reverdy Johnson, the attorney who believes that Surratt deserves a fair trial and is entitled to a proper defense, despite what the bloodthirsty nation and vengeful War Department — hellbent on trying the case as a prejudice military trial despite the Civil War being over by months — think. There’s tons of what seem like, not-so-subtle nods to the Bush Administration exploitation of 9/11 as a means to justify their ends in Iraq and the unfair treatment of suspects in the name of the War on Terror (Surrat’s imprisonment feels a lot like code for Guantanamo).
But since John Wilkes Booth was a Confederate sympathizer who essentially assassinated Lincoln for revenge in the South’s defeat in the American Civil War, the country was still divided into Northern/Southern camps. And since Reverdy is a Southerner who is mocked during the beginning of the trial by the wartime generals, he feels the only course is to have a war hero and Yankee colonel (McAvoy’s character) defend her instead.
Initially, McAvoy’s Aiken is extremely reluctant; he believes her to be guilty too. But because Reverdy is a longtime mentor figure, the educated rookie eventually relents to his passionate pleas and academic arguments. “Fear is the most potent weapon in the Secretary’s arsenal!” he declares while quoting Cicero (see quote above). And constantly reminds Aiken that while he is so eager to toss away Surrat’s rights and throw her to the wolves, he too may need those “god given rights” one day. Yes, it’s preachy. […]
…in Redford’s Liberal, message-friendly and often didactic hands (you saw “Lions for Lambs”), we’re not completely convinced this is going to fully sail. Further worrisome, the “villains” in the film (Kevin Kline, Danny Huston), the black-and-white bad guy prosecution with moustaches (stand-ins for Cheney and co?) are largely one-note.
14. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Oliver Stone’s latest attack on American capitalism – “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” is finally hitting theaters April, 2010, twenty-three years after its predecessor. According to Michael Lewis, who interviewed the moviemaker for his latest Vanity Fair piece, Stone’s biggest problem with the sequel was making a movie based on helplessly diabolical bankers, actually watchable.
Lewis wrote that Stone – an ardent left-wing ideologue, friendly acquaintance to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, and director of “W” and “Platoon” – felt an obligation to reverse the societal damage and unintended consequences of the first installment.
“As a vehicle of change … the movie was a catastrophe,” Lewis wrote. It apparently inspired, rather than deterred, a generation of young men to enter the field and become the next Gordon Gekko (the “diabolical money manager” played by Michael Douglas).
“I was shocked, truly shocked, when I went back [to Wall Street],” Stone recalls from his visit to shoot the sequel. “A million had become a billion dollars. They’d replaced people of substance with people who made money. The Volckers had become Greenspans.”
Lewis also interviewed Douglas, who stars in the sequel as well. “We wanted to capture the hyper-materialism of the culture,” Douglas said.
Even by mainstream media and Hollywood standards, Lewis’s demonization of bankers and the financial industry is extreme. A sampling:
* “Stone’s greatest challenge: creating a hero for a corrupted, collapsing world.”
* “Arcane subject matter, abstract ideas, unsympathetic characters, shallow motives.”
* “Wall Street firms have been destroyed by young men funning out of control.”
* “Gordon Gekko doesn’t really even exist anymore … he has become so ordinary –the hedge-fund manager – that he blends in with the landscape.”
* “On Wall Street, youth and innocence have long since divorced.”
* “It’s difficult to tell a story about the corruption of character when everyone in it is already corrupt.”
With “Money Never Sleeps,” Stone joins the long list of liberals and socialists to officialy declare the death of the inherently evil and unsustainable model called capitalism: “Why did I go back? Because it’s important. It’s the collapse of capitalism and the collapse of our society. It is. Our way of life is going to change.”
15. Furry Vengeance
A live action family comedy of nature-against-man in which an ambitious young real estate developer, Dan Sanders (Fraser), faces off with a band of angry animals when his new housing subdivision pushes too far into a pristine part of the wilderness. Led by an incredible clever raccoon, the animals stymie the development and teach our hero about the environmental consequences of man’s encroachment on nature.
Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and Oceans boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind—exploring the harsh reality and the amazing creatures that live within. Featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, Oceans offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful motion picture.
thanks to Participant Media’s involvement, this has to have some leftist slant to it…
17. Cemetery Junction [directed by Ricky Gervais]
The premise is rather vague right now with its standard coming of age style tropes, but the 70’s period and insurance industry backdrop could lend itself to some very scathing and pointed humor that hopefully the duo will explore.
18. Hippie Hippie Shake
Follows the love story of Oz editor Richard Neville and Louise Ferrier. Neville and his cohorts launch the London edition of Oz amidst the 1960s counterculture and are subsequently put on trial for distributing a sexually explicit issue.
19. Holy Rollers
An impressionable youth from an Orthodox Brooklyn community is lured into becoming an ecstasy dealer by a friend (Bartha) with ties to an Israeli drug cartel. […] Talking from the set, actor Danny A. Abeckaser says the filmmakers have tried to avoid the stock elements of ‘drug movies’ by making this very much a character based piece with Sam’s strict Hasidic practices a key component of the drama. The themes involved will explore how people come to slowly compromise their faith, no matter what their religion.
20. I Love You Phillip Morris
A fact-based film about Steven Russell, a married father whose exploits landed him in the Texas criminal justice system. He fell madly in love with his male cellmate, who eventually was set free, which led Russell to escape from Texas prisons four times. […] Others however, most notably distributors, balked at the film’s inconsistent tone and unapologetic depiction of all-male love from [Jim] Carrey & [Ewan] McGregor’s tender romantic kisses to comedically-toned graphic sex between Carrey and various one-night stands. […] Still, despite scoring the best reviews of a Carrey comedy in years, it’s not expected to fly at all with audiences beyond a certain niche as mainstream audiences avoid ‘gay’-themed films out of hate, fear, or most commonly sheer disinterest. It reminds me of the sad testament that the notoriously homophobic “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” took in twice as much money as Oscar nominee “Brokeback Mountain”.
21. The Joneses
enjoyable, thought-provoking and a well-performed modern morality tale about American consumerism with a surprisingly inventive premise.
In fact the reveal of the truth about this family happens early on and is good enough that it’s not worth spoiling, suffice it to say it’s a great idea for a film and one that makes you seriously consider that such a situation could’ve taken place in the real world at some time.
Sadly it sounds like things head towards a very run-of-the-mill style ending complete with anti-materialism monologues,
22. The Kids Are All Right
A lesbian couple have raised two smart and wonderful kids. When the older one turns 18, the kids meet their biological sperm donor father Paul and his presence in their lives causes friction within their family.
23. Life During Wartime
Separated from her incarcerated pedophile husband Bill, Trish is about to be married again. But when Bill is released from prison and her sons finally meet their future stepdad, the family is forced to decide whether to forgive or to forget.
In the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an American man arrives in Shanghai to find his friend recently murdered. In investigating his friend’s death, he stumbles upon a secret the United States government has been keeping and falls in love in the process.
In the early 1980s, in small-town Texas, dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager to look at his life in a very new way. […] The early 80’s East Texas setting should mean an interesting soundtrack and some beautiful landscapes, while the family infighting influenced by standard coming of age tropes and Bible belt rebellion will hopefully have more weight and gravitas than your regular sports drama.
26. The Special Relationship
Follows the unique and sometimes turbulent political relationship between newly installed British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
An Irish photojournalist on a dangerous assignment during the Kurd-Iraqi conflict in 1988 returns home a shell of his former self. His girlfriend sets out to find out what exactly happened out there to him and his friend David who never returned. […] Like “The Machinist” with Christian Bale, “Triage” will probably be remembered long after as the film in which Colin Farrell went anorexic. Having kept in pretty good shape beforehand, the Irishman lost a drastic 20 kilos (44 lbs.) to play the war photojournalist suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in this $20 million project based on a novel by American veteran war correspondent Scott Anderson.
Somewhere in the US, three nuclear weapons are about to detonate. Younger has hidden the devices and the authorities lead by FBI agent Brody with the help of “H”, an interrogation specialist, must find them before time runs out. How far will they go to get the information?
Samuel L. Jackson to Star in Basically ‘Torture: The Movie’ […] Jackson Does the Unthinkable: Samuel L. Jackson will star in Unthinkable, a suspense thriller about a single terrorist who knows the locations of three nuclear bombs on U.S. soil, and the lengths to which we’ll go to make him talk. Our guess is “two steps beyond waterboarding,”
Fassbender gives some idea of his character’s journey in an interview with Empire, “There’s certainly a lot of head-chopping. I guess you can always make modern-day parallels, to the occupation of Iraq. But it’s the idea of someone who believes in an ethos, becomes disillusioned and comes to his own sort of beliefs. So there are parallels, and it’s interesting when you take it out of our timeframe and stick it back 2,000 years.”
30. The Eagle of the Ninth
Whereas “Centurion” opts for pure action genre kicks, Macdonald intends his film to be historically authentic and much more an exploration of anti-imperialist themes.
Even so, while Marshall and MacDonald each have one eye on the past, the other is firmly fixed on the present. Both depict a clash of cultures between a Roman Superpower and an occupied people, and the parallels between ancient Rome and the US are obvious and intentional.
That’s nothing new of course as such parallels have been recognised both inside and outside the US for years, with the notable difference that the parallels identified by those on the outside tend to be less favourable. And it’s a difference of perception that has only intensified in recent years with military activity in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the US’s ever-expanding cultural dominance.
Rightly or wrongly, the US’s cultural success is experienced by many as another form of Imperialism.
American RomansIn a recent interview with Times Online MacDonald explained that his casting of American actors as Romans was always his “concept for this film.” Channing Tatum has the role of Marcus Aquila, an idealistic Roman soldier, and Donald Sutherland is his uncle, Aquila, who is convinced of the superiority of the Roman way. While it’s not unusual for non US movies to cast American actors as a draw-card in the US, MacDonald’s comments suggest that his chief motivation was to emphasise the parallel between Rome and the US. How successful this will be remains to be seen: we’re so used to Americans on screen that MacDonald’s point risks being missed.
It’s instructive that having established a parallel between ancient Rome and the US in Centurion and The Eagle of the Ninth, both British filmmakers then set about providing their symbolically American protagonists with a life changing experience that alters their perception of themselves and their homeland. Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) who plays Quintus Dias in Centurion told Empire, “I guess you can always make modern-day parallels to the occupation of Iraq. But it’s the idea of someone who believes in an ethos, becomes disillusioned and comes to his own sort of beliefs. So there are parallels, and it’s interesting when you take it out of our time frame and stick it back 2,000 years.”
MacDonald describes an almost identical scenario in his movie, “It’s a film about a guy who believes wholeheartedly in the values of Rome, and believes everyone else must want to become a part of the great family of Rome.
“Marcus thinks, ‘It would benefit them so much — can’t they see it is the only way to live their lives?’ He comes to realise there are other value systems, other people have a claim to honour in the same way that he as an American — or a Roman — can claim honour. This is a film which in some way reflects some of the current anxieties and the political questions that we all have.”
Not all of us, I suspect.
In MacDonald’s opinion, The Eagle of the Ninth is in the tradition of Ulzana’s Raid or A Man Called Horse, Westerns made in the 1970s with a strong anti-war message and something to say about the right of occupied peoples to retain their culture: “That’s what we are doing — not simply reflecting on the Afghanistan or Iraq wars, but a sense of cultural imperialism. Those films dealt with torture and maltreatment of prisoners, but in the context of Indians. The parallel is definitely there, and it is part of what you would want the audience to take away from the film.”
A fairly predictable reaction to MacDonald’s comments from some quarters has been indignation that the director would focus on the US exclusively when other nations could just as well be targeted. The title of one article says it all: “Kevin MacDonald Admits Eagle of the Ninth is a Hit Piece on America”. The article is heavy with sarcasm and very much aggrieved that MacDonald sticks it to the US when the US has only been at it for 100 years and the “UK did it for a good 400 years, and they were infinitely harsher about ‘teaching’ the ways of the Empire”. Hmm.
It is of course legitimate to ask why MacDonald focuses on the US and not, say, Britain, and MacDonald’s response is simply this: “Britain isn’t a force any more, we aren’t cultural imperialists. That just didn’t seem the right way to go.” And he’s absolutely right. From a filmmaker’s perspective the US is the current Superpower and for the sake of contemporary relevance if no other reason, it is the most significant parallel to ancient Rome.
Kevin MacDonald is responsible for two outstanding documentaries, One Day in September and Touching the Void, as well as the critically acclaimed movie The Last King of Scotland, and most recently an adaptation for the big screen of the BBC’s exceptional 6-part thriller State of Play. He has completed the director’s cut of Eagle of the Ninth, which also stars Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Esca, a Celtic slave, and the incomparable Mark Strong.
One final word then from the aggrieved writer quoted above: Eagle of the Ninth “arrives to explain to you the evils of America in September 24, 2010”.
31. The Dry Land
The story centres on a young war vet who returns home from a tour of duty only to find that his small-town life no longer fits. He sets off across the country with a buddy to find redemption.
An Iraq War vet suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder returns home to a hardscrabble existence in West Texas with predictably bad results in “The Dry Land.” […] James’ violent PTSD-triggered outbursts are such a shock to Sara that she leaves to stay with her folks, and his blocked memory of a truck explosion he survived in Iraq is the impetus to visit Henry (Diego Klattenhoff), a severely injured buddy, at Walter Reed Army Hospital. […] The pic applies a melodramatic sledgehammer to the real issue of PTSD, and the combination of crude storytelling manipulation with undistinguished filmmaking proves counterproductive.
Five years after his last film “A Very Long Engagement” in 2004, he returned this year with this arms trade satire that scored generally positive reviews on its bow in Toronto.
Essentially about a guy and his friends trying to bring down two major weapons manufacturers, the usual Jeunet visual stylings were praised but the plot and something of a missing emotional connection were criticised.
33. Eat, Pray, Love
Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, the story focuses on a married woman who seemingly has it all but realizes that she’s not living the life she wants. She divorces her husband and sets off on a journey around the world. […] Analysis: The guise of self-empowerment is a nice excuse to travel the world, and that’s just what author Elizabeth Gilbert did when she used a book advance to pay for a year’s vacation trying out life in Italy, India and Indonesia. Several years on the book has become a literary hit with some strong reviews, most notably from talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, thus the film adaptation was inevitable.
34. Night Catches Us
In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.
35. Carlos the Jackal
“Co-written by Assayas and Dan Franck, Carlos the Jackal traces the life of Carlos (currently serving a life sentence in a French prison) from 1973-1994. Full of violence and secret-service manipulation, the story includes the 1974 bomb attack on the Publicis Drugstore in Paris, the 1975 hostage-taking of 11 OPEC ministers in Vienna and several planned assassinations. All this unfolds against a geopolitical backdrop encompassing the PLO, Japanese Red Army, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the USSR, East German Stasi, Hungary, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and, finally, Sudan where Carlos was arrested.”
Edgar Ramirez is continuing his revolutionary ways.
The “Che” actor will star in French director Olivier Assayas’ “Ilich: Story of Carlos.”
Ramirez will tackle four to five languages for the complex role as the real life “anti-James Bond” who worked for radical Palestinians and groups in Syria, Libya, Iraq and communist Romania.
Film en Stock, Canal Plus and Egoli Tossell are producing the project, which will be released as a feature as well as a three-part TV series.
The film centers on the true story of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, a Venezuelan-born leftist revolutionary nicknamed Carlos and later Jackal who famously raided the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria, in 1975.
“Story of Carlos” is the reminiscences of the revolutionary, who was manipulated by the secret services of Arabian and eastern countries and founded a worldwide terrorist organization. He ended up ridiculed and alone in exile in Sudan before being picked up by French police. Sanchez is serving a life sentence in France.
Assayas said Ramirez was the right fit for the role because the actor hails from the same place as Sanchez and the two share similarities in build, fluency in many languages and their awareness of complex international politics.
Ramirez was, Assayas said, “the obvious choice to portray the most complex and controversial character to emerge from the revolutionary struggles of our time.”
SCR: Seems that people are beginning to look back at that era and its various manifestations of terrorism a bit more these days. Barbet Schroder did a documentary on Jacques Verges, who was Carlos’s lawyer, among other things, and there’s a recent German feature film about Baader-Meinhof…
ASSAYAS: I suppose that enough time has passed and all of a sudden people can just look back on that time without it being so problematic or dangerous to treat in a film. I’m kind of amazed I have the kind of budget I have to make the story of Carlos in France. I thought that it would be completely taboo, that it would be just too radical for something like French TV. And all of a sudden, I don’t know, there’s like a crack in the system.
I’ve been learning a lot in preparing the film. The research I did, it’s huge. It got me to areas I never really explored before.
You don’t need us to tell you how topical “terrorism” is right now, and to make a film from the perspective of a terrorist, possibly even humanizing him, is a provocative and rather fascinating idea.
36. What’s Wrong with Virginia
can’t tell how leftist this will be… but it’s written/directed by Dustin Lance Black who wrote the script for “Milk”
A sheriff sees his state senate bid slide out onto the ice when his daughter begins to date the son of a charming but psychologically disturbed woman with whom the sheriff has engaged in a two-decades-long affair. […] Analysis: Dustin Lance Black’s first effort since winning the Oscar for his “Milk” script,
37. Climate of Change
Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton narrates this documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Brian Hill (Songbirds) focusing on the efforts of everyday people all over the world who are making a difference in the fight against global warming. From Indian middle school students organizing demonstrations and major recycling efforts to a London PR executive helping companies to become more environmentally responsible to citizen lobbyists in Appalachia protesting the strip-mining that is destroying their communities and livelihood to Papua New Guineans who refuse to allow commercial logging on their rainforest land to one man in Togo intent on teaching his nation’s young people to respect and replenish the gifts of the Earth, these are stories of ordinary humans doing extraordinary things by finding solutions to help save the planet.
38. Countdown to Zero
A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament.
39. Cane Toads
An unconventionally funny and frightening account of Australia’s present-day plague of cane toads from the mind of maverick filmmaker Mark Lewis. Introduced 75 years ago to the local ecosystem as a predator of the destructive sugarcane beetle, the cane toad proved useless in controlling the beetle. The result is a modern day plague that serves as a warning for the unintended consequences of human interference with the environment.
Upcoming movies for Conservatives to look forward to:
1. The Way Back
by Peter Weir
This is a fact-based story of the escape of soldiers from a Siberian gulag in 1940. This is based it on several sources, most notably the Slavomir Rawicz book “The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom” about being account of being captured by the Red Army in 1939 and his journey to freedom with other inmates. The group crossed the Siberian arctic, the Gobi desert and the Himalayas, finally settling in Tibet and India.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
3. Red Dawn
the leftist perspective from darkhorizons:
Maybe it was the blatant militarism and teenage recruitment themes but John Milius’ 1984 cult hit “Red Dawn” never really took off here in Australia or in other international territories in the way other film staples of that year like “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Gremlins,” “Ghostbusters” or even “The Karate Kid” did.
For its time during the height of the Cold War’s second phase, the conceit was simple but effective in playing on the very real fear of Soviet insurgents and using a cast of then rising young stars to help teens empathise with their plight and essentially radicalise them into taking up arms. Then of course the world changed and these days ‘Dawn’ looks like a highly outdated and quaint anachronism. So why bother to remake it? […]
The question still stands though – what’s the point? While China and India are set to become the superpowers to dominate the 21st century, the idea of the Chinese launching an outright invasion of the United States isn’t just ridiculous but paranoid war-mongering of the worst kind. You also have a global audience fatigued by Iraq and Afghanistan who have little taste for war drama (even those set on their home soil). […]
The casting of Aussie soap stars and former real-life flames Chris Hemsworth and Isabel Lucas is an odd one, but one of the least strange choices for a film that on the surface offers little more than masturbation material for overly nostalgic fanboys and the gun nuts who regard “Wanted” as the “Casablanca” of today.
4. The Exodus – The Fortress: Burnt By The Sun 2
Director Nikita Mikhalkov is up front about the ultimate meaning of his film, dedicating it to “everyone who was burnt by the sun of the Revolution.” This movie is very much an attack on the policies and paranoia of Stalin. The chilling final scenes emphasize the theme as we come to realize just how far-reaching the dictator’s grasp was, and how insecure even the most loyal patriots were.
denouncing of Stalin in this sequel:
Hence a visit to the set from Vladimir Putin, with his newly imposed official view of Stalinism, might raise an eyebrow but the director assures us the film will denounce the tyrant.
5. Harry Brown
Having been gentrified in film roles of late as the wise butler or assistant, Michael Caine returns to his harder-edged 60’s and 70’s characters like Harry Palmer and Jack Carter with this story of a widowed Northern Ireland vet inflicting some old school violence on today’s out of control youth. […] Violent revenge thrillers with a great acting vet in the lead are all the rage thanks to “Taken”, Caine himself is an old pro at the genre, and the setting of housing estates which are becoming more crime-ridden and dangerous each year is both timely and credible. […] Reviews were generally good but more mixed than expected, with both the credibility-stretching plot and its pro-violence attitude dividing a lot of opinion. The film could however cross over well in the States this year where revenge thrillers with that attitude (e.g. “Wanted,” “Taken”) tend to do better.
6. The Mechanic
A remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson thriller, one wonders how much it will resemble or hopefully improve upon the dark and brutal original which was noted for its dialogue-free opening sixteen minutes and its world-weary and often existentialist take on remorseless killing.
7. The Whistleblower
A drama based on the experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper and uncovered a sex scandal surrounding American contractors and crooked United Nation types in postwar Bosnia. […] Shot late last year, the film’s subject matter – a potential cover-up of UN peacekeepers involved in sex-trafficking without fear of prosecution – will incite a lot of debate, which in fact can only help the film’s publicity.
8. Waiting For Superman
this person is saying that this documentary is not leftist:
I was pleased to discover that seated near me in the front row of the non-randomized Stossel audience were fellow libertarians Nick Gillespie and David Boaz, and we spoke briefly about a very different video production I’m rather excited about: the new documentary from the director of An Inconvenient Truth. Astonishingly, his upcoming Waiting for Superman, about public education, apparently does not hew to the leftist party line but rather exposes the way in which teachers unions, probably the most sinister force in domestic politics, systematically and deliberately block innovations such as magnet schools that might help students but weaken unionized teachers’ bargaining power and bureaucratic authority. When Woody Allen’s Sleeper suggested that mid-century teachers union leader Al Shanker destroyed civilization, he wasn’t too far wrong.
Already, the leftists are complaining about Waiting for Superman.
and yet, it’s a Participant Media production… i don’t get it… maybe it’s balanced between the right and left…
check out the leftist content in this week’s new movies and this past week’s newly-released dvds…