United Passions started out as a FIFA vanity project telling the story of the men who helped found the organization. Then one month before the film's release in theaters, Fourteen FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges (previously) and president Sepp Blatter announced he would step down from his post. Now, in the wake of incredibly dismal box office and rock bottom ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, Both director Frederic Auburtin and star Tim Roth (who portrays Blatter in the film) have publicly come out against the film and apologized for their involvement.
Former Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il was a noted cinephile with a personal video library of over 20,000 movies. In 1970, he said "The motion picture industry, when dealing with the socialist reality, has not yet reached the standard set by our Party." To help it reach the standard, the Dear Leader wrote a treatise On the Art of the Cinema (PDF), took an interest in minute details of film production (as recounted by film stars), revamped the Taedongmun Cinema House, and kidnapped a director (previously 1, 2.) But did this lead to better movies?.... [more inside]
AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing — foreign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
The day after Kristallnacht, Hitler said: "It was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to explain certain matters of foreign policy to the German people in such a way, that the inner voice of the people all by itself gradually would call for violence." Towards that end, Goebbels commissioned and closely supervised the production of a propaganda documentary titled Der ewige Jude - "The Eternal Jew". Few if any of the inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto who appear in its footage survived the war. [more inside]
Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a pro-Intelligent Design, anti-evolution polemic, arrived in theaters Friday to overwhelmingly negative reviews and anemic ticket sales. In response to the claims made in the film comes Expelled Exposed, a website which seeks to "show you why this movie is not a documentary at all, but anti-science propaganda aimed at creating the appearance of controversy where there is none."
FBI 101 -- "Essentials for Writers," an "exciting and informative" interactive workshop for writers being offered to members of my union -- the Writers Guild of America, East - by the FBI Office of Public Affairs and FBI New York. ... -- Very interesting account of a workshop the FBI puts on for writers in NY. What's in it for the FBI? ...The only question we have for you is 'Will it show us in a good light?'" ...
Al-Zarqawi can't shoot. Lynch said the images he showed indicate that al-Zarqawi "tends to have a problem" with mastering his own weapons system and with finding capable and competent aides. "Why he's their leader, I don't know."
The return of the Movietone? "We fell on this idea of recreating films that looked like and were the length of the old Movietone forms of the 1940s," said Marine Lt. Col. Jim Kuhn, military producer for the undertaking called the Movietone Newsreel Project. Kuhn says the objective is to put together a short film that combines the commentary of real-life soldiers with the kind of footage civilian journalists would be unable to get. (more inside)