Monthly Archives: February 2016

Moonlighting (1982)

I’m not sure why Jerzy Skolimowski’s great film about four Poles doing illegal construction work in London isn’t better known. Perhaps it’s because the smirking, vapid TV series with Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd had the same name. Perhaps it’s because the vogue for Eastern European culture in the West disappeared after the fall of […]

A Very British Coup (1988)

What would happen if Jeremy Corbyn were elected Prime Minister? Would he be allowed to govern? Or would the corporate media, the United States government and the ruling class in the United Kingdom do everything they could to sabotage his government short of a coup? In 1982, when both Margaret Thatcher, and left-wing discontent with […]

Man of Iron (1981)

In 1976 the renowned Polish director Andrzej Wajda released a film called Man of Marble. Starring Krystyna Janda as Agnieszka, a young filmmaker based loosely on his assistant Agnieszka Holland, Man of Marble had a complex narrative structure modeled on Citizen Kane, a technique the cagey Wajda used to get around Communist Party censorship. Unlike […]

The Day of the Jackal (1973)

In his review Executive Action, Dalton Trumbo’s masterpiece about the Kennedy assassination, the reliably clueless Roger Ebert compares it unfavorably to another 1973 film about the attempted assassination of another world leader. “There’s something exploitative and unseemly in the way this movie takes the real blood and anguish and fits it neatly into a semi-documentary […]

Executive Action (1973)

Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted communist screenwriter recently portrayed by Bryan Cranston in the film Trumbo, had such a long and varied career in film that it’s hard to keep track of all the screenplays he wrote. His last film was also the very first Kennedy assassination conspiracy film. A low-budget dramatization of Mark Lane’s Rush […]

All The President’s Men (1976) Silent Coup (1992)

When it comes to the three most traumatic events of recent United States history, the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, and 9/11, there is a vast gulf between the political and media elites, and the American people. For the elites, the Kennedy assassination was about Lee Harvey Oswald, a none nut who hated John F. Kennedy for […]

Drugging a Nation: The Story of China and the Opium Curse (1908)

“The mischief is in China; the money is in India.” In 1907, Samuel Merwin, an American playwright and journalist, traveled to China to write a series of articles on the Opium trade. They were published year later in Success, a magazine where he himself served as an associate editor. That Merwin, unlike other progressive journalists […]

The Devil’s Chessboard (2015)

As we’ve seen in books like James W. Douglass’ JFK and the Unspeakable and Russ K. Baker’s Family of Secrets, there is a fairly good circumstantial case to be made that John F. Kennedy was killed, not by the “lone nut” Lee Harvey Oswald, but by the “deep state,” the unelected class of Wall Street […]

The Good Shepherd (2006)

The main problem with The Good Shepherd is its director. Robert De Niro is a great actor, and he had the money to hire a professional cast and crew, but he doesn’t have a good sense of how to edit or how to pace a movie. The Good Shepherd, which stars Matt Damon as Edward […]

The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of Modern China (2011)

If you came of age in the 1970s or the 1980s, you grew up hearing about “the war on drugs.” It wasn’t really a war on drugs. Similar to the it war on terror, the war on drugs was an open-ended call to arms with no clear enemy, an elaborate justification for a counterinsurgency against […]