December 29, 2008
Very sad news. Idea Fix contributor (Gino the great) and my friend Greg Maxwell, apparently, died in his hotel room in Nigeria on the weekend. See here.
Greg was a dear friend from my days as a nightclub promoter in the 90’s. He had a leading role in my film Pearls Before Swine. He moved to NZ about three years ago.
More on this later. I am trying to contact his friends in Melbourne. You can contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 28, 2008
We have all thought about it. We have all engaged in the odd murderous thought while some inconsiderate asshole talks or uses his or her mobile during a film we are watching intensely. We have all had these fantasies… but this dude acted on it. See here.
And during the excellent Curious Case of Benjamin Button, no less. Surely, that’s mitigating circumstances?
While we can’t praise his murderous reaction, we can surely understand the well from which it is drawn.
My review of the second adaptation of the F.Scott Fitzgerald story to be completed in 2008 – coming soon right here at Idea Fix.
December 28, 2008
Some quotes against Usury and a reading by Ezra Pound on Usury from his Cantos:
“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
“For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.”
President James Madison
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control of governments by controlling money and its issuance.”
President Abraham Lincoln
“The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”
President James A Garfield
“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”
The Rt. Hon. Reginald McKenna – Chancellor of the Exchequer
“I am afraid that the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can, and do, create money. The amount of money in existence varies only with the action of the banks in increasing and decreasing deposits and bank purchases. Every loan, overdraft, or bank purchase creates a deposit and every repayment of a loan, overdraft or bank sale destroys a deposit. And they who control the credit of a nation direct the policy of governments, and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”
Sir Josiah Stamp – Bank of England
“Banking was conceived in inequity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the costs of your own salary, let them continue to create deposits.”
President Woodrow Wilson
“A great Industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world – no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.
“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.”
(President regretted signing into law the Federal Reserve Act)
Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter
“The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of Banking & Currency Committee
“The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States. It controls everything here and it controls all our foreign relations. It makes and breaks government at will …”
“Roosevelt has brought with him from Wall Street James P. Warburg, son of Paul M. Warburg, Organizer and first Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve System…”
“This same Warburg had the audacity and arrogance to proclaim before the U.S. Senate: ‘We shall have World Government whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by Conquest or Consent’.”
Senator Barry Goldwater
“Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money-lenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States.”
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
“The Liberal State is a mask behind which there is no face; it is a scaffolding behind which there is no building… Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
“Gold is not neccesary. I have no interest in gold. We will build a solid state, without an ounce of gold behind it. Anyone who sells above the set prices, let him be marched off to a concentration camp.”
“When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope”
“Responsible government must now destroy banker rule … or banker mismanagement of public credit will destroy responsible government and the civilization that brought it into being.”
And now the spoken word/poem of Ezra Pound, Canto XLV:
December 27, 2008
Israel, just to show Western Christian Civilisation just why we had the largesse to give our ‘holy lands’ of Palestine over to pro-Zionists, has launched a series of very deadly attacks on Gaza, in the Christian Yuletime period. The timing of these attacks at Xmas, and during a slow media time, is no mistake and couldn’t be a more deliberate provocation. I’m sure it also serves the purpose of letting everyone know exactly who wears the pants in the region. See here.
The Middle East situation is terribly sad. A true tragedy…
But, Israel should beware, one day 1 billion Muslims are going to make the West wonder exactly why it protects a country of 7 and a half million? Holocaust movie propaganda, or no? And forces it through sheer political pressure, terrorism and practicality, to turn its back on Israel. And if that happens, nukes or no nukes, its Hava Nagila time for the Muslim world. As they exact a revenge that, given the chance, would rival the Nazi’s own, for its savagery.
I hope this is not true. I hope I am wrong. But for anyone who has studied History, and who can see the geopolitical changes ahead, you can smell it on the winds of time…
Another thought. Even if there could be peace in the Middle East, does either side now deserve it? Surely, though, a teleological conclusion to the Middle East crisis will one day be in the cards…
December 26, 2008
Perhaps this chap took The Killers song a little too literally. See here.
A Merry Xmas with more bang for your buck. A Psycho goes postal dressed as Santa. “Don’t Shoot me Santa Klaus, I been a clean living boy, I promise you”, indeed.
December 25, 2008
The trailer to the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Informers can be found here. The poster is killer. It is based on the short story collection by Ellis from the early 90’s. It is directed by Australian Gregor Jordon, who shot to prominence with Two Hands, and made the Heath Ledger version of Ned Kelly, a few years back.
I have a real love for The Informers, the book. It came out around the same time as my starting The Hellfire Club in Melbourne and Sydney, and it perfectly reflected the decadent world that I found myself falling into, and that I could see all around me before in the 80’s. It was a fragmented, glamorous, morally vacant puzzle box of a book with movie execs, hookers, rock stars and vampires running amok. A portrait of LA in the 80’s as prescient as anything by Fitzgerald recorded from the 20’s. Indeed, I feel there is a real connection between Bret Easton Ellis and F.Scott Fitzgerald. When making the Beautiful and Damned as a modern story, told now, I was informed by the oeuvre of Bret Easton Ellis, and I have even dedicated my adaptation of The Beautiful and Damned to him. Its a mistake to look at Ellis purely as a period writer (the 80’s). When you think about it, today’s world is even more 80’s than the 80’s! So, unless we have another era about to descend upon us from the ether, I would say, Bret Easton Ellis is our extreme contemporary. Something similar can be said of Fitzgerald…
I have always wanted to make one of Ellis’ books into a film. I don’t even care if another filmmaker has already made one, I believe I would create a version that better reflects the books true nihilistic essence with intense purity. I was born to adapt one of his books.
So, its its with great interest, and I’ll admit, some small professional jealousy, that I cast my eye on Gregor Jordan’s The Informers trailer. Yes, we have doped out existential indifference in the young and the old, we have money, wealth and power breeding only indifference and boredom, we have psychotic characters and acts of violence. In other words, it all looks good…
The trailer is interesting. It doesn’t blow me away, though, immediately, as it should. Parts of the trailer appear a little flat. It also appears as if Jordan has made some of the characters moral, self reflective or sympathetic, a cardinal mistake in the Ellis world. At least up to his last novel Lunar Park, that makes some tentative steps in that direction. But this could be wrong, you can’t tell from a trailer. Plus as a real bonus Ellis himself is screenwriter and EP so that should bode well for this adaptation, having the master himself on hand to advise on the script and production. I’m more than happy to go along with Jordan, to see what he can do. His Buffulo Soldier’s showed real promise. The characters? Bryan Metro, the fucked up rock star, looks cool and right on. Same the short vignette’s with Mickey Rourke, and the abducted child. No doubt Kim Bassinger is playing the zonked out pool boy admiring Mom, and Billy Bob Thornton her hubby. Chris Isaak plays Tim Price’s father Les. Winona Ryder is Cheryl. Brad Renfro in his final role. A good ensemble cast then. Its a strong, clever book, that will make a good film, even if it is not handled perfectly…
A small anecdote: Gregor Jordan was in attendance at a party thrown by Heath Ledger during the making of Ned Kelly, and that I had the good fortune to be invited to. Orlando Bloom and most of the cast of Kelly was there. Let’s just say it was a wild party. The Dj’s alternated between Jordan wanting to play Powderfinger (Pleeeeasse…), and my self wanting to put on the latest Electro mayhem. It was a dueling of the decks by two directors. As Jordan was making the film with Ledger, I didn’t push to hard to get my own way. The party was at the three story penthouse on the corner of Russell and La Trobe streets, that is quite an amazing pad, and it was where Heath was staying during the shooting of the Ned Kelly bio. He was a friendly and congenial host. Not arrogant, or a prick in any way. If Jordan could simply film what went on at that party, he’d have a segment of The Informers already in the can. Rebecca Sutherland from MUFF even fell into the water feature, and had Heath Ledger as host run around after her, getting her dry. It can be assumed that everyone was fairly wasted. Blonde’s walked into glass partitions that abounded in the post modern penthouse. Side rooms were used for God knows what. It was a good night that took a few days to recover from…
I mention this only to say that I believe Jordan obviously knows this world of excess, and high society wastoids, and hopefully can reflect part of it, in his adaptation of The Informers.
By the way, the new Bret Easton Ellis book due in the next 18 months and is to be called Imperial Bedrooms. What a killer title. Again, taken from Elvis Costello. Bret Easton Ellis is one of the most important living authors in my opinion, if not THE most important. Ballard is the other. He hosts weekly dinner parties in his West Hollywood penthouse, holding court to the LA elite. See here. I wonder how one gets an invitation to such a spread? I’d be on the next plane to LA, if I could swing one. Talking nihilism, excess and politics with B.E.E would be a rare treat…
December 24, 2008
I was one of the few people who liked what Darren Aronofsky tried to do with The Fountain, even though it wasn’t fully successful, at least he tried for something grand.
And here with The Wrestler, he appears to have succeeded.
I have loved Mickey Rourke’s work since The Pope of Greenwich Village, and especially loved him in Year of the Dragon, Barfly, Desperate Hours, Sin City and Angel Heart.
Rourke was a boxer in the early 90’s and suffered many facial injuries, and has had plastic surgery to boot, all this combines to give us the truly unique visage that we see today.
This story of a washed out Wrestler fighting back some dignity, looks to be the neo-realist Rocky. It looks quite simply, superb. Can’t wait to see it…
December 24, 2008
The Killers, who are pretty fucking ace for a mainstream pop band, put together this classic Xmas song. Don’t Shoot me Santa! I thought, at first, it was someone sending up The Killers, then I realized they were sending themselves up!… and yet still it has that strange Killersesque haunting faux profound quality to it.
Killers are clearly one of the stand out bands of the decade. I like their Neo-Romantic 80’s electro/rock trip, with anthemic and suggestive lyrics care of Brandon Flowers.
December 22, 2008
In a sign of things to come a riot/ revolution is underway in Greece, after the shooting death of a fifteen year old student. Tyler Cassidy, where are you? See here.
With the economic collapse of Later Day Capitalism, and the coming Depression, the return of Politics proper to the world stage is inevitable. The opportunities for Left and Right revolutionary parties is immense. Indeed, they should join forces to fight a common foe! The enemy of your enemy, is your friend. A synthesis of Left and Right is indeed possible. Zizek has explicated its outline, in his political writings, a sort of Fascistic Communism. The Transcendental Fascism, of which I speak, is not so very far away.
Can you imagine it? The media being taken away from private hands and psychotic corporations, and owned by the young people of the world. The vast infrastructure of Capitalism simply being assimilated into a new revolutionary party, with all its resources and power available for immediate mobilisation in the name of the new cause. Bold decisions need to be made, and we can make them for ourselves, living our own lives and throwing off the represive yoke of the post WW2 generation. We should learn from past errors of history, toward a future of our own making, with a smell of Glory in the air. People are waking up from the slumber of Capitalism, and they want their world back…
The swindler International Money people shall pay for the endless cycle of usury and misery inflicted on the bulk of humanity through debt, and credit, and the like. Nothing less than the corruption of the human spirit itself, do they stand accused. They have their own agenda of misguided greed pursued for the selfish plutocratic ends of the few. a few whose only entry criteria is who is biggest lying, cheating swine. A return of Justice, Authenticity, Community, Unity and Freedom is possible, beyond the machinations of the ruling Capitalist elite, and their empty goals.
Lenin said it best, “All I’m interested in is power… It’s lying there on the streets, waiting to be picked up”. Today these words ring could not ring truer. Capitalism is so brittle and empty, it CAN be smashed. You can see how close they are in Greece. The Government is afraid, and on the defensive. Smashing the system of oppression may be painful, but from the ashes shall rise a new Phoenix, and with it a ‘new dawn’.
Australian Capitalism, too, is itself fragile. Our present democracy could be demolished in the name of something grander. The doors of History are opening wide, for all those who wish to step on to the greatest stage of all…
The Greek incident may die down, Western Capitalism may return order, for now. But if Iraq and Afghanistan teach us anything, it is this: who controls the streets, the neighborhoods, the churches, the towns, the mood of the people; it is they who control a country. All the advance weaponry of later day Capitalism can’t be deployed on the youth of Greece. Same with the U.S. A Stars Wars defense systems can’t defend a Government from its own people. To do so would be National suicide.
It will be very interesting to see what is uncovered in Greece, the birth place of Western Culture and civilization. The Left and Right should start talking, and start planning. Fascist leadership notions, tactics and discipline, with Socialist and anarchist ideology and liberation philosophy. Sounds like a winning formula to me?
December 21, 2008
Here’s a little Snog video for their excellent song “Hooray”, that was done a little while ago now (… maybe ten years?). I directed it with Richard Grant who did all the graphics, and I shot the live stuff. We had David Thrussell in a suit (!) wearing completely black contact lenses, and had him lurking at The Melbourne Stock Exchange, Crown Casino, Jeff’s Shed, State Parliament House and some ominous housing commission flats. These all stand in for the various pillars of Capitalism. I think the clip holds up rather well, and the message has only become more relevant ten years on…
Richard Grant also created the titles to Pearls Before Swine, and my new film The Beautiful and Damned. He is a contemporary Saul Bass, and a true genius with what he does.