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It’s too bad about Sydney Pollack, who died yesterday, he was a mere 73 and seemed to have a lot of creative energy left in him. His last completed project as director was a competent documentary about the architect Frank Gehry and it was exciting to see an old-school Hollywood director moving into a new cinematic genre. Most casual film-goers might only be aware of Pollack as an actor, my first introduction to the man was probably his role in Kubricks “Eyes Wide Shut”. As funny as “Tootsie” is I prefer “Three Days of the Condor”, it largely started the conspiracy film trend and still looks good after 30+ plus years, as Dave Kehr observes: “This was the man who made Robert Redford seem interesting”. A toast to one of the last.

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My good friend Jake just got his new blog, Insider Agitation, up and running. I highly recommend it, he’s got a great eye for media and and is one of the best on-line researchers I know. He makes interesting connections and anyone interested in the War on Terror, media studies, surveillance, and international relations should keep this site in mind. Let’s hope it’s a big success.

Pyramids, ancient civilizations, aliens, psychic mumbo-jumbo, when did “Indiana Jones” become “Stargate”?

 

.Poor pebble
Ignored by sculpture, architecture, mosaic and jewellery
It dates from the beginning of the planet, perhaps even from another star
Warped by space, like the stigmata of its terrible fall
It per-dates man, and man has not embodies it in his art or history
He did not manufacture it and thus decide its place
The pebble perpetuates nothing more than its own memory
Obviously, minerals are neither independent nor sensitive
Thats why it takes so much to stir them
The heat of a blowtorch, for instance, or an electric arc…
…earthquakes, volcanoes, or aeons of time..

-from Godard’s “Weekend”

 

 

Demand for biofuels is destroying tribal peoples’ land and lives, according to indigenous representatives at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), meeting currently in New York. 

A report presented to the UNPFII refers to ‘increasing human rights violations, displacements and conflicts due to expropriation of ancestral lands and forests for biofuel plantations.’ One of the report’s authors, UNPFII chairperson Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has said that if biofuels expansion continues as planned, 60 million indigenous people worldwide are threatened with losing their land and livelihoods.

More at Survival International

Eric McDavid was sentenced to 19 years and seven months in federal prison on Thursday for allegedly conspiring to blow up targets including the Nimbus Dam and the U.S. Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics . McDavid’s attorney, Mark Reichel, vowed to pursue an appeal “vigorously”. Reichel went on to say that “there has never been a case in America that has involved this much entrapment, this much pushing by an informant, by the U.S. government and by the FBI behind it.” If you would like to send a donation by mail, make a check/money order out to: “Sacramento Defense Fund” and send it to: Sac Prisoner Support, PO Box 163126, Sacramento, CA, 95816. If you are organizing a fundraiser for Eric, please contact his support team at sacprisonersupport[at]riseup[dot]net. Eric is currently being held in “Total Isolation” and is in dire-need of human-contact and support, follow these instructions to mail a letter to him.

 More on the sentencing at Green is the New Red and the Sacramento Bee

 

Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, and Fritz Lang(!) star in Jean-Luc’s most successful attempt at a pure commercial movie. The cinematography alone, by Godard regular Raoul Coutard is worth the price of admission. Plays at the Castro through Thursday. This kind of film-going opportunity doesn’t come often, so forget Speed Racer and get thee to the Castro!