Sunday, May 28, 2017

Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus: A Conversation With Douglas Rushkoff

By Corey Spondent

The Corporations R Us Report: Interview with author, filmmaker and media theorist, Douglas Rushkoff, exploring art in present day society and its interface with technology


Corey Spondent reports for the Ideology And Culture Corner
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Arts Express: Tommy Chong Talks 'Up In Smoke'

                 Up In Smoke: Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong

** "They asked me, the news, and I said that my bongs were the only weapons of mass destruction that the Bush Administration was looking for - And it got around, it got the ire of Ashcroft, and so I was doomed to jail for that one - And I was very honored by the way, that I was picked to do the time."

Tommy Chong Talks 'Up In Smoke.' And revisiting the enduring stoner classic, honored as the Opening Night feature of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival in California this week. Chong phoned in to Arts Express to ponder what any of this may have to do with banana peels, Trump; Chong as the only person imprisoned under the DEA's Operation Pipe Dreams; his take on 'comedy as the ultimate truth; rejects and loners; and Chong possibly describing golf as a psychedelic experience - I think.


** "Okja is the best film I've seen at Cannes, a kids' ecologically minded, anti-capitalist fable."

Bro On The World Film Beat: Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe is on location at the Cannes Film Festival - with his series report on the art and the politics of Cannes. While Vanessa Redgrave's 'Sea Sorrow' - a 'mundane liberal hand-wringing exercise' about global refugees - not so much. And where in a first, a film was booed on screen simply for its logo - that is, Netflix - with its entry in the festival, the South Korean socio-political fantasy Okja, about a multi-national commandeered pig. So is it a case of Netflix 'hogging' the proceedings, so to speak?  Also, what in the world is FANG, and is Netflix truly evil as part of that infamous quartet.  Stay tuned for Broe's in-depth analysis.

** "I think that it is an extremely human, universal feeling of just needing to be able to stop what you are doing and take another path - unscathed, unpunished, unexplained..."

Wakefield: A Conversation With Director Robin Swicord: First there was Hawthorne, then E.L.Doctorow, and now...Bryan Cranston, in Wakefield. And, the somehow simultaneously enigmatic, elusive and strikingly familiar figure that has apparently endured as emblematic of what is troubling about US culture and alienation through the centuries. In the case of this page to screen adaptation by writer/director Robin Swicord [The Jane Austen Book Club] of the E.L. Doctorow short story - there is an additional scrutiny by this female filmmaker of Howard Wakefield's conflicted male gaze. Along with his flight from a crippling suburban despair - Or does he? Swicord is on the line from LA to Arts Express to explain.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Arts Express: Actor Eugene Simon Talks Genius, Einstein, Game Of Thrones

** "I was drawn to the cauldron of emotional layering that was just such a calling to me - and to tell the story of an iconic man like Albert Einstein, they have brought Einstein in the flesh, in the form of Geoffrey Rush - or the other way around."

Tribeca Film Festival: On the line to Arts Express is young British actor Eugene Simon, as Einstein's mentally troubled son Eduard in the small screen dramatic series Genius, produced and helmed by Ron Howard. And, played here in the persona of Geoffrey Rush, Einstein is considered one of the greatest scientific thinkers who ever lived - yet as a Jew and with his socialist perspective of the world as well, was forced to flee Nazi Germany only to encounter a similar reception here from the FBI under the glare of McCarthyism. And that included a 1427 page FBI file and their investigation into charges that Einstein was working on a death ray, when not heading a communist conspiracy to take over Hollywood.


** "Holding your nose and pulling the lever."

From the Arts Express Paris Desk, Professor Dennis Broe with his on location French Presidential Election Update Alert. Where the fuming French masses in the streets see nothing but 'a choice between fascism and capitalism.'

And, Bro On The Global Television Beat. Reporting from this year's Series Mania Television Festival: Euro-Noir In The Era Of Peak TV in Paris. Referencing corporate conniving; desolation in the wake of the failed economy of the world, surrounding the abundance of serial TV; and Russian humor that relishes the absurdity of impossible situations.

** "It's a strange moment in history right now..."

A Conversation With Alexander Nevsky - no, not that one. Rather, Russian actor Alexander Nevsky who produced, directs and stars in Black Rose - a crime thriller about a possibly Russian serial killer on the loose in LA, torturing and murdering young female Russian immigrants. And the famed Russian crime fighter played by Nevsky who is called in by the LAPD to help solve the case. But Nevsky has much more on his mind as well with Black Rose. Including challenging Russian caricatures on screen, and seeking world peace between the US and Russia. And in this both conventional thriller and subversive political noir, symbolically channeling false flags, US deep state intelligence subterfuge and the new Cold War - even if it's just a movie.

** "Revolution is in the wind."

More Dangerous Than A Thousand Rioters: The Revolutionary Life Of Lucy Parsons. Director Kelly Gallagher pays tribute to Lucy Gonzalez Parsons in this short film, as the buried history founder of May Day International Workers Day, celebrated everywhere around the world as a legal holiday - except here, its country of origin. The Arts Express Best Of The Net Hotspot for this week.

More information about the Tribeca Film Festival 2017 is online at: 

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Arts Express: Paul Sorvino Talks The Last Poker Game

Paul Sorvino Talks The Last Poker Game. And the last movie release for co-star Martin Landau who just passed away.

** "They called me and then the question was, who is going to be the other fellow. And when they said Marty Landau, I said that's it, go no further - that's the guy."

Actor Paul Sorvino phones in from LA to talk about his unusual elder bromance with Martin Landau as feisty residents in an old age home not ready to give up on life, in The Last Poker Game. Sorvino, fond of switching up screen personas on both sides of the law, also shares details about his new cookbook  - and the mystery recipe for a drink he calls The Goodfella. And a conversation peppered with menus and movies, pine nuts, raisins, garlic versus onions, and sharing memories of working with Landau on this film.


** "He's a fascinating character with an incredibly strange life, he fought for the Union Army and he was a spy for the Confederates, apparently - and I guess the challenge is to humanize that person and not make him this crazed, hardened killer."

Hickok: A Conversation With Actor Luke Hemsworth. And a less conventional look at the conflicted man behind the western legend, co-starring Kris Kristofferson and Bruce Dern as the Australian actor's ambivalent father figures in the movie. While probing connections to PTSD psychologically afflicted post-Civil War vets turned outlaws roaming the Wild West;  and actually little known about Hickok as the son of an Illinois farmer whose home served as a stopover for escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad.

** "We're meant to read the lives of important people as if they never bothered with breakfast, lunch or dinner, took a coffee break, or stopped for a hot dog on the street."

Book Corner: What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women And The Food That Tells Their Stories. Food historian Laura Shapiro is on the line to Arts Express to explain exactly what a food historian is; how food defined the disparate lives of these women across the centuries, from poet William Wordsworth's sister Dorothy who cooked and cared for him, to Hitler's lover, Eva Braun. And what any of this may have to do with poetry and food; how you 'can easily see the food flowing through Wordsworth's poetry, even when he doesn't write about it'; Nazis, war, paper trails and Ivanka's champagne popsicles; gooseberries and post WW II cardigans and sensible shoes: and casseroles and the packaged plastic food version of 1950's womanhood.

**Arts Express Best Of The New Hotspot This Week: What does the CIA and Pentagon have to do with the creation and censorship of Hollywood movies? Apparently plenty, according to this investigative report probing just released documents obtained under The freedom Of Information Act. And the Deep State's major influence over approximately 800 films and more than 1,000 television productions - and not all of them war movies where disseminating propaganda and script control acts as a bargaining chip by providing military props and paraphernalia in exchange - but comedies like Meet The Parents too.

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