Guerilla Traveler http://guerillatraveler.com A different voice, a different message Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:43:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 http://guerillatraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-guerilla-traveler-icon-32x32.png Guerilla Traveler http://guerillatraveler.com 32 32 The Long, Happy Life of Pero Jelinic http://guerillatraveler.com/the-long-happy-life-of-pero-jelinic/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:36:06 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=293 Guerilla Traveler
The Long, Happy Life of Pero Jelinic

Deep in the South African outback, the hunter drew a bead. The lion paused and was perfectly situated in his crosshairs. Bang! The hunter dropped to the ground. He was an old man who would hunt no more. He was dead. The restauranteur named Pero, who was from Croatia, had gone to Africa to shoot lions, not to tame them. He had already hunted everything that could be hunted in Europe, his friends said. So…

The Long, Happy Life of Pero Jelinic
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
The Long, Happy Life of Pero Jelinic

Deep in the South African outback, the hunter drew a bead. The lion paused and was perfectly situated in his crosshairs.

Bang!

The hunter dropped to the ground. He was an old man who would hunt no more.

He was dead.

The restauranteur named Pero, who was from Croatia, had gone to Africa to shoot lions, not to tame them. He had already hunted

everything that could be hunted in Europe, his friends said. So he went to Africa.

There was one big difference. In Europe, he went hunting. In Africa, he would go shooting.

He would participate in a canned hunt. What is that? you may ask.

A canned hunt is a trophy hunt. The animal is kept in a fenced-in area. This makes it easier on the hunter and increased the likelihood of a kill.

The mild-mannered Croat, whom neighbors described as kind to children and dogs, went to Africa to shoot big game

in a risk-free setting.

It is a popular pastime with certain types of men, those who like sure thing. Those who need trophies to show they are the real thing.

In this case, the Croatian big game hunter was preparing to shoot a lion during a hunting expedition in South Africa when he himself was shot and killed.

Pero Jelinic had already killed one lion and was sighting in a second recently at a remote lodge near Setiagole.

Initially, the bullet that hit Jelinic was described as “stray.” The police are now investigating the incident as a possible homicide.

The lions were captive-bred. They had been farm-raised to be hunted in a legal yet controversial sport. It is a sport also practiced by luminaries like the sons of the President of the United States.

Total Croatia News reported that Jelinic, 75, was killed by “unknown assailants.”

South Africa’s News24 quoted police as saying it was not clear who fired the fatal shot but that a case of “culpable homicide” had been opened and were investigating possible illegal firearms charges.

Note: There is currently no prospect of a ban on canned hunting in S.A. There is no ethic of animal welfare in S.A. Government structures; on the contrary the President himself has stated publicly that “compassion for animals is ‘un-African.” There exists a strong hunting culture at all levels and across the racial divide.

The comments on the dead man’s facebook page were not kind. See below.
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Rob Lohmeijer Hope its true!

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Simona Fricker Rob Lohmeijer Looks like 

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Matt Mildvex Hahah, dead shit 🤣
Rest in pieces.

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Igor Mihalj E vala neka

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Ramiz Delic Svaka cas pa je govno krepalo . Ubijat zivotinje a pogotovo lavove koji su na izumiranju zbog zabave i hobija je starsno . Rip lion kojeg je ovo pasce ubilo….

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Patricia Markač Sramite se! Kako drugome zelite tako ce vam se i vratiti.

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Ramiz Delic Ne zelim ja nikom nista . Dok je on zelio ubijati neduzne zivotinje karma je cudo 😎😎😎

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Kevin Auzins 🦁 K a R m A 🦁

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Stephen Dobson

GIPHY

 

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Do Ma Can’t escape fate.

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Daniel Keitel Karma is a bitch, now rot in hell.

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Tyros Yamaha Sramota na tebe! ubica!

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Tony Watson pLEASED YOUR DEAD CUNT.HOPE IF FUCKIN HERT LIKE HELL ASSHOLE

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Stef Cho Bye bye murderer, old shit 😂🤣

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Kati Schroeter Rot in hell you old sick pathetic murderer

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Bernd Mögsi Mögele Burn in hell ASSHOLE! The Lions Revenge got you!

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Gary Mark Donaldson Will the lion be mounting his head on a wall as a trophy?

That old Karma is a bitch isn’t it! 🦁🦁

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Bartek Maciuła Rot in hell worthless shit ass motherfucker.

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Lazarte Renzo His death was worth celebrating indeed.

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Mark Arend hope you rott in Hell bastard

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Staud Andrea He deserved his death. For me he was a disgusting person. Pitty that it happened not earlier. Hope he is in hell!😈

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Nastazja E Mei “live by the sword die by the sword”😏

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Olesya Vul THANK YOU, DEAR KARMA, FOR F*CKING UP THIS ASSHOLE!!!

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Fra Frigolo agree with you 1000 % Olesya

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SHerry Fusco Null Good, he deserves this death. To bad it didn’t come sooner.

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Tom Whiter Hope he suffered before drawing his last miserable breath, still, a good laugh😂😂😂😂

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Tom Orloff I wish I had shot him!

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Tom Whiter Lion: 1. Asshole: 0

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Jasper Vonk Bye bye, glad to not see you back in SA

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David Allen Glad you are dead you fucking price of shit!

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David Smith What a decrepit, depraved bunch of stupid, sick fucks you people are, celebrating the loss of a man’s life. To your eternal shame.

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Tim Nooncaster

TENOR

 

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David Smith

TENOR

 

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Tim Nooncaster

TENOR

 

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Jane Galley FOOL with obviously too much time & money on his hands probably thought he was helping “conservation”…duh, tough luck fool! You endorsed the exploitation of an easy kill (canned hunt!) of a country’s magnificent beast & paid the price! Bye!

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David Smith Idiots venting hate. Sorry to break this to you numbnuts, but he won’t be reading any of your dumbass comments. Utter morons…

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Tina Louise Dobson No, but someone in his sorry family will

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David Smith You are a depraved and hollow soul.

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Jane Galley David Smith thinks people TYPING words & expressing their total despair & utter disgust at someone who paid to kill a trapped animal are worse than someone who PAYS to kill African wildlife…I pity him.

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Tina Louise Dobson Hahahaha, I hope your family has to deal with all the shit you did you dead mother phucker.

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Ed Spika Cornejo What is the attraction to traveling the around the globe and killing animals that don’t have a fighting chance – often tied down? He has a rifle with a high-powered scope. Where is the challenge in this type of “sport”? Absolutely pointless “sport”. I’See More

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Bo Maradi Nielsen You are so absolutely right. He could have done good things for the world.

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Mike Mayhew He was in a civil union? No wonder he killed trapped animals, because homosexuals are not really men…so they have to do something to feel like a man. Hey, was it his homosexual gay boy lover that killed this little twerp? Was he cheating on his homosexual lover with a goat while out in the wild? Hahahahahahaha

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Krystyn Lee Kavanagh You’re an animal rights activist who harbours negative feelings towards the gay community?

Your dog is gay. Like super gay. See More

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Mitch Stein …and the world just got exponentially better. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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Krystyn Lee Kavanagh Shame on South Africa.

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Matias Fuertes 🎉🎊🎉🥂🥂🥂🎉🎊 fuck you death old man, and fuck your fucking family for allow you to be a shit murder

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Bo Maradi Nielsen Karma. You should never have been born. Your death came not a minute to soon. You took joy in killing innocent animals. You got killed doing that. Karma

Jelenic, a retired hotelier on the island of Pag, was passionate about stalking and shooting animals of all sizes. A friend of Jelenic told Total Croatia News that the lion trophy was to be the crowning jewel of his rich hunting career.

Earlier this month, the Dallas Safari Club condemned the practice of canned hunting, stating that “there is no evidence or scientific research to suggest that captive bred lion hunting contributes to the conservation of wild lion.

The Long, Happy Life of Pero Jelinic
Will Richardsson

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The Irony Bowl: Georgia vs. Alabama http://guerillatraveler.com/the-irony-bowl-georgia-vs-alabama/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 01:30:22 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=272 Guerilla Traveler
The Irony Bowl: Georgia vs. Alabama

The game is about to start in Atlanta. And the irony is palpable. Let’s look at how and why. It’s Kirby Smart (did that surname) versus his mentor, Nick Saban, The Great Saban as he is ironically called. It is the student against the teacher–Smart coached defense for Saban in all the Alabama wizard’s previous title matches with the Crimson Tide. There is also the irony of neighboring states in the same conference playing for the NCAAF…

The Irony Bowl: Georgia vs. Alabama
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
The Irony Bowl: Georgia vs. Alabama

The game is about to start in Atlanta. And the irony is palpable. Let’s look at how and why.

  1. It’s Kirby Smart (did that surname) versus his mentor, Nick Saban, The Great Saban as he is ironically called. It is the student against the teacher–Smart coached defense for Saban in all the Alabama wizard’s previous title matches with the Crimson Tide.
  2. There is also the irony of neighboring states in the same conference playing for the NCAAF title. The rest of the country is shut out.
  3. Georgia is playing in their home state.
  4. Both teams play basically the same defense.
  5. Georgia like the home city Falcons of the NFL, who played the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl are playing for the title against the leading dynasty of the time in their respective leagues.
  6. Georgia is starting a freshman. Alabama started a freshman last year in the title tilt against Clemson. (Yet another freshman would come on to win the game for Alabama.)
  7. Alabama has a history of winning big games against Georgia. Heck against everyone. so even is Georgia is playing a virtual home game, Alabama is a 3.5 favorite on most books.
  8. Alabama would win by three points.
  9. alabama got the lucky breaks. Just like New England did in the 2017 Super Bowl. It is very hard to beat great coach combined with Lady Luck.

Back to the game. Bama is driving after a lucky interception on Georgia’s first possession . . .

Bama missed a field goal. Georgia doesn’t capitalize, punts to the Tide.

Georgia stops the Tide and Michel gets a first down on 3rd and 5 with 5 minutes left in the first quarter . . .

Michel gets five and Chub gets 2. 3 and 3 and Bama jumps. Bulldog first down.

Fromm finally connects with Ridley for a first down and Georiga is moving the ball.

Sack puts Fromm out of Field goal territory. Michel rips off a big run down inside the Bama 15

Michel ruled to have stepped out at 26 but this is not confirmed by the replay. Still. Odd.

End first quarter. No score.

Georgia nails 41-yard field goal.

3 zip

Georgia holds Bama 3 and out.

Punt to Hardeman. Clip. Georgia starts deep in their own end. And the clock rolls on. It’s a slow game. . .

The first quarter took nearly three-quarters of an hour . . .

This is a slugfest.

Georgia has driven out almost to the 50. Long 3rd now.

Fromm drops back and hits Ridley! At the 30.

And now Fromm hits Javon Wims to the 10.

Chubb stuffed. And now incomplete to Wims

And now incomplete to Michel. Fromm hit . . . he just missed it

Field goal. Georgia 6 zip.

Bama moving now.. . Hurts rips off a long run. Next play a sack . . . Bama to punt . . .

Georgia starts deep in their own zone back at the five . . .

They work the ball out slowly but Bama is tough. Georgia has to punt.

Bama gets nowhere. Punts

Georgia drives and scores. . . Hardeman run.

13 zip.

halftime Georgia has a lot more yards of offense than Alabama.

One of the worst halftime shows ever . . . but never mind . . . who was that moron?

Bama receives the kickoff. Bama has a new QB. Georgia holds them with a sack on 3rd down.

Bama punts, Blocked. Georgia offsides. Replay is questionable. Another break for Bama

But they still punt.

Gave up here out of sheer nervous exhaustion with the smell of triumph in my nostrils.

Of course Georgia like the Atlanta Falcons before them managed to snatch defeat from

the jaws of victory. The irony of ironies . . .

Wait. what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Irony Bowl: Georgia vs. Alabama
Will Richardsson

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Jim Carrey Does Not Exist: the New Netflix Documentary Jim and Andy http://guerillatraveler.com/jim-carrey-is-not-here-the-new-netflix-documentary-jim-and-andy/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 01:10:51 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=267 Guerilla Traveler
Jim Carrey Does Not Exist: the New Netflix Documentary Jim and Andy

When President Calvin Coolidge, known as Silent Cal, died in 1933 , Dorothy Parker, the famous female wit asked: How can they tell? Presidents can be nonentities. And often are. So why not actors? Jim Carrey is no Coolidge. Yet seems to be saying a similar thing about himself. Just prior to the appearance of his new Netflicks documentary Jim and Andy—the Great Beyond (2017), about the making of Man on the Moon(1999), the sometimes…

Jim Carrey Does Not Exist: the New Netflix Documentary Jim and Andy
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
Jim Carrey Does Not Exist: the New Netflix Documentary Jim and Andy

When President Calvin Coolidge, known as Silent Cal, died in 1933 , Dorothy Parker, the famous female wit asked: How can they tell?

Presidents can be nonentities. And often are. So why not actors?

Jim Carrey is no Coolidge. Yet seems to be saying a similar thing about himself. Just prior to the appearance of his new Netflicks documentary Jim and Andy—the Great Beyond (2017), about the making of Man on the Moon(1999), the sometimes sinister mimic (see the Mask or my personal favorite TV being what it is, the Cable Guy) — told everyone at the Toronto film festival, “There is no me.”

Ponder.  It was total immersion—as if the essence of Kaufmann were the fluid in a tank where Carrey floated.

Was it shtick? A gimmick? A comic turn? Was he serious? Or seriously deranged?

In an odd world, actors are notoriously given to strange poses. As such, it was perhaps an unintentionally revealing admission from an actor, especially one who disappears into his roles as Methodically as Stanislavsky on speed.

It also begs the question, if he doesn’t exist why then are we watching his movies?

Man on the Moon was the biopic of Andy Kaufman, an American comedian so original he changed the parameters of comedy. So first a few words about Kaufman, one of the most original comedians ever to draw a breath.

Kaufman became famous a  cast member of Saturday Night Live and then as the star of Taxi, the late 1970s sitcom set in Manhattan. He was known for his exact impression of Elvis, for reading The Great Gatsby to audiences, for taking an entire audience out for cookies and milk after a performance.

 

His gigs were synonymous with Meta comedy – making running jokes about jokes, pretending to be serious when he was involved in a routine, being serious when people thought he was kidding. His longest running gag was portraying himself in real life: a male wrestler who wrestled only women.

(See the REM song, Man on the Moon and the line: “Mr. Andy Kaufman and the wrestling match yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”)

What is Meta comedy? Well,  the genre can be broken down into simple set-ups and pay-offs. Like this: An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The bartender turns to them, takes one look, and says, “What is this—some kind of joke?”

Kaufman’s routines made fun of making fun, of our expectations, of our prejudices. He turned reality on its head. But he was—and this is important—very funny with a kind of underlying empathy that was inseparable from his routines.

The original film was excellent. Carrey won a Golden Globe. But this is an example where the documentary may be even better than the film. It certainly sheds enormous light on the creative process and in that light is a delectable companion for Hearts of Darkness about making Apocalypse Now.

Carey readily admits that this  was his greatest role. In Chris Smith’s film we see the carrey (which were filmed by Kaufman’s girlfriend Lynne Margulies and his writing partner Bob Zmuda) of Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon. In the 1999 biopic Carrey not only plays but becomes Kaufman (and his vile alter-ego Tony Clifton) throughout filming.

In other words, the Dumb and Dumber  star goes full method – and the results are interesting if somewhat irritating to watch. He regularly torments professional wrestler Jerry Lawler—Kaufman’s pretend nemesis. He frustrates Forman with his insistence on staying in character—something that Kaufman did not do offstage. And yes, he even drives vehicles with a paper bag over his head.

 

***

 

Carrey is odd. He says he once induced his  family to celebrate Halloween by masquerading as a band of axe-murderers. During filming Man on the Moon, Carrey nearly drove cast and director Forman crazy by staying in character as Kaufman throughout the three-month shoot.

Says Carrey: “I was psychotic at times…I don’t feel like I made the film at all. I feel like Andy made the film.”

In the course of his media tour at the Toronto festival, Carrey’s ramblings made it hard to know whether he was acting or believing what he was saying. It called to mind a similar odd performance  by Joaquin Phoenix some years ago.  Smiling and laughing his way up the red carpet while waving to fans, he seemed like a man happy to be “present” and fully enjoying his return to the spotlight.

He also delighted in teasing journalists with vaguely oracular pronouncements such as “We don’t matter,” “I’m not here,” and “This world is not our world.”

The documentary suggests that while Andy Kaufman remains one of the most puzzling figures in entertainment history, Carrey also has his bizarre side.

His experience playing Kaufman served as a gateway to a profoundly personal revelation: “I think it was an existential journey,” Carrey told the press. “By playing those characters of Andy and [his obnoxious lounge singer alter-ego] Tony (Clifton) so completely I realized that at the end of it when I was trying to get back to Jim and it wasn’t so easy, it was like, ‘Oh, wow, if I can lose Jim so completely, who’s Jim?’”

He added: “And a kind of a separation happened and it’s been going in that direction ever since. More of a unity consciousness rather than individuality. I don’t feel so much like an individual anymore. At the end of it you go, ‘Jim Carrey’s a character too. He’s actually been playing me.’ Once that realization happens, there’s kind of a rack focus, Steven Spielberg-style, you just go, ‘OK, I’m not at stake here, there is no me.’ I spent my whole life looking for anchors, for the perfect phrase, or the perfect thing to add to myself, and the fact is, there’s no boat to anchor. And once you know that, all of this stuff is OK.”

An extraordinarily gifted painter  and performer, Carrey has long been an advertisement for identity crisis. Meanwhile, one of the biggest stars ever, hasn’t had a hit film in well over a decade and for the past several years has devoted himself to the art of painting.  He erased the wildly popular movie star (once earning $20 million per film) to create a new, more interesting, version of himself. After all who ever said that Hollywood stars are– by definition—interesting? They are not. Take it from me.

“I go down all kinds of crazy paths,” Carrey admitted.  “Many people get into this thing of not wanting to lose your place in the ‘statusphere.’..I truly believe if you’ve made it and become a big thing that you owe it to people to get out of their faces, go away, and learn something else.”

It isn’t hard to think of celebrities who should heed this advice.

Today, Jim Carrey says he believe that only fragments of his old self remain and that he is engaged in an ongoing process of transcending whoever he might have been.

“There is no me,” he claims.

A long-time follower of spiritual guru Eckhart Tolle— Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.—Carrey exudes an air of serene indifference. “I don’t care” is his standard response to existential questions. According to Jim, neither we nor our individual pursuits in life have any meaning.

“I don’t think we matter. And to the extent that we just give ourselves a purpose, if anything matters at all, maybe it’s the alleviation of suffering. But that only matters to us – it doesn’t matter to the universe. And we are the universe, so you’re free of this thing.”

Very Tolle.

Back to the film. One of the more fascinating facts to emerge from “Beyond” was that during the making of Man On The Moon, Carrey only briefly allowed himself to step outside of his self-imposed Andy Kaufman alter ego on occasional weekends with his then two-year-old daughter, Jane.

“The fact is you don’t exist. You’re nothing but ideas. We take all those ideas and cobble them together and make sort of a personality charm bracelet, an ID bracelet we wear in life. But that’s not who we are, because we’re nothing. And it’s such a fucking relief.”

Another telling moments in the documentary comes when Carrey discusses how he felt “empty” at the height of his success.  His career soared while making comedies such as  “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” “Dumb and Dumber,” and “Liar, Liar” prior to shifting his focus to more serious fare, most notably “Man on the Moon” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

But it was during this time that he began struggling with depression.  His mother had suffered from the illness to the point where she was bed-ridden and Carrey’s comedy genius evolved while trying desperately to make his mother laugh. Young Jim also dealt with the sadness that came from watching his father Percy lose his job as an accountant which forced the family to move into a trailer park.  Recalled Carrey of those darker moments in his life:

“The character of Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask was modeled after my father who felt stifled and worthless and devalued for so much of his life. Still, if I hadn’t witnessed that kind of process and lived with that situation, I probably wouldn’t have accomplished half of what I’ve been able to do in life. So I have to say that a lot of my life has been about coming to terms with a lot of the difficult things I went through with my family.  And my comedy has been about turning around the unhappiness and seeing all the absurd humour in life.”

“And that’s basically why comedians are born: Generally, sick moms…. I know so many other comedians who have had sick moms…You want to make them laugh, you want to make them feel better…I spent years at my mother’s bedside trying to make her feel happy. Sure it’s sad when you think about it but in another sense it was also a beautiful thing, too.”

Carrey was so determined to become a success that as a budding stand-comedian he even wrote himself a cheque for $10 million that he swore he would be able to cash one day and give to his father.  His father, who also had a bizarre sense of humour, did live long enough to see his son become a major movie star, prior to his death in 1994.  At his funeral, Jim tossed the big cheque into his father’s grave.

Those memories no longer haunt Carrey, however.  Today, clean-shaven and eyes twinkling with that familiar manic zeal, Jim has found peace of mind.

Revealed Carrey: “I have no depression in my life whatsoever. I don’t have meds, I don’t have supplements, I don’t have anything. I’ve got a couple of fish oils a day and the rest of it is just good diet and a little bit of exercise and understanding that I don’t exist.”

He may not trust his own existence – or his perception of himself – but Carrey is fully involved in his painting and sculpting, new forms of expression for a man regarded as a comic genius who is seeking to find a new path.  As far as acting goes, he says:

“I don’t care. I just want interesting things to happen. There’s no pressure whatsoever. I truly am kind of needless in the universe.  I”m just doing. Because doing is happening.”

 

 

Jim Carrey Does Not Exist: the New Netflix Documentary Jim and Andy
Will Richardsson

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Your Mother Should Know, Jennifer Lawrence http://guerillatraveler.com/your-mother-should-know-jennifer-lawrence/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:12:12 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=257 Guerilla Traveler
Your Mother Should Know, Jennifer Lawrence

  VENICE – Does her mother know where she is? Her latest film begs the question, showing that Mother does not always know best. Here’s the thing: It would be hard to find a more refreshing Hollywood personality than Jennifer Lawrence.  She has trouble being anything other than who she appears to be – a spirited, talented, and charismatic young woman with a taste for mischief. That’s an astounding feat for someone working in a film…

Your Mother Should Know, Jennifer Lawrence
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
Your Mother Should Know, Jennifer Lawrence

 

VENICE – Does her mother know where she is? Her latest film begs the question, showing that Mother does not always know best. Here’s the thing: It would be hard to find a more refreshing Hollywood personality than Jennifer Lawrence.  She has trouble being anything other than who she appears to be – a spirited, talented, and charismatic young woman with a taste for mischief. That’s an astounding feat for someone working in a film industry known for training its high priced movie stars to maintain a prefabricated, PR-savvy facade.  During the course of a recent American talk show appearance, not only did she admit to being “morbidly hung over,” but she also confessed to having engaged in a minor bar fight in Budapest a few days earlier while shooting a movie in Hungary.

 

“I was drunk and this guy asked me for a selfie and I was like, ‘No, thank you, no,'” the actress explained. “Then he was like, ‘Please, my girlfriend will never believe me (that I met you),’ and then (my friend and I) were like, ‘Just go away.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, well f–k you.’ Something in me just snapped, it couldn’t have been the alcohol, and I was like, ‘Did you just say f–k you to me?’ (Then) I grabbed him, took some beer glasses, and started dousing them all over him.” (Laughs)

 

Arriving by motorboat at the pier to the Excelsior Hotel in Venice where she was promoting her new film, MOTHER!, Jennifer Lawrence looked casually chic in a black sleeveless top and black and white checkered pants.  She would later appear for the film’s premiere on the Lido in a stunning Dior dress that dazzled fans and paparazzi alike.

 

The 27-year-old actress pushed herself “beyond my limits” in Mother!, a psychological horror story directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan).  Not only does the film see her give a tour-de-force performance (she’s on camera virtually the entire time) but she and Aronofsky have been inseparable ever since the film finished shooting last year.

 

The film stars Lawrence in the title role, that of an unnamed young woman trapped in an increasingly hellish relationship with a self-absorbed writer played by Javier Bardem.

 

“I think that the way that my character is a muse for Javier’s character is that she almost worships him,” Lawrence said. “He’s this creator, this writer, and so powerful and she really just wants to be there to serve him.  That’s how this relationship works and it’s not until she gets pregnant and has a baby that she serves a bigger purpose and that affects their dynamic.”

 

Her world similarly begins to fall apart when mysterious strangers arrive uninvited to the house (located in the middle of a forest) – a doctor (Ed Harris), his wife  (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their two sons who display increasingly aggressive behaviour.  Pfeiffer’s character in particular takes delight in tormenting and intruding on Lawrence’s character’s fragile psyche.  The film resembles Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby on many levels, particularly in the Lawrence’s character’s hallucinatory journey that casts doubt as to whether what we’re seeing is actually taking place or something which is part of the “mother’s” distorted imagination.

 

Without doubt, Lawrence will once again earn serious Oscar attention for her work in Mother! which is destined to be one of the most controversial films of the year.  Speaking to reporters in Venice, Aronofsky described Lawrence as an “incredibly gifted technical actress…Much of film acting is so technical and in this film where she’s almost dancing with the cameraman and having to walk over wires and through walls she took this autodidact skill and absorbed all this information and then she was still able to fully engage on the performance.  I’ve never seen anything like it.”

 

 

Q&A

 

Q:  What are your thoughts about Mother!  It’s a film that many people are going to find unsettling?

 

LAWRENCE:  I’m proud of this film and it’s one of the most difficult and extraordinary films I’ve ever been part of.  My character spends most of the film trying to understand what’s happening to her and what’s going on and it was a very demanding role.

 

Q:  Michelle Pfeiffer’s character is very cruel to you in the film.  How did you feel about working with her?

 

LAWRENCE:  I love Michelle’s character.  My character is shy and lonely while her character is very scornful and scandalous…But I have so much admiration for Michelle and I was so proud to be able to work with her.

 

Q:  Mother! is a reflection on fame amongst many other things especially when it comes to Javier Bardem’s narcissistic writer character.  How do adapt yourself to the fame and adulation that comes with your work?

 

LAWRENCE: If it weren’t for fans I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. And I would be no use to society if I couldn’t act because this is the only thing I know how to do.  I love my job and so if I didn’t have fans then I wouldn’t be able to do it.

 

The people who are (standing) outside – there are no words for the amount of gratitude I have towards out fans.  I’m happy to sign as many autographs as I can and say hello to as many people as I can.

 

But sometimes I’m just walking outside or going to a grocery store or getting out of my car going to a restaurant and I have to find the balance in myself… It’s important to have boundaries….

 

Sometimes I don’t want to have fashion sites say how they don’t like my pyjamas and so sometimes I say no (to autograph or selfie requests)….It’s necessary to find a balance. You need to be accessible but also maintain your own private space.

 

Q:  One of the important themes in the film is how Javier Bardem’s character is perverted by fame and success.  Do you ever worry about how your personality or outlook on life is affected by all the adulation you receive as a movie star?

 

LAWRENCE:  I know that the fans love a character through my movies but they don’t really know me.  So it’s important not to walk through the crowds thinking, “God, they love me!” They love a character, they love a movie…It’s a job and it’s very fickle and sometimes that hate you just getting out of a car and walking to a restaurant.

 

Q:  What made you play this rather meek woman in Mother after you’ve normally played such strong and more assertive female characters?

 

LAWRENCE:  It was a completely different character from anything I’ve ever done before, but it was also a different side of myself that I wasn’t in touch with and I didn’t really know, yet. We had a rigorous rehearsal process for three months and it was a part of me that Darren helped me get in touch with and it was a part of me that Darren really helped me get in touch with. But it was difficult. It was the most I’ve ever had to pull out of myself.

 

Q:  How stressful was it for you to play this character and be part of this terrifying world of hers?

 

LAWRENCE:  It’s a hard film to watch and then when you go home and think about that you’re only left with these intense feelings because your reaction is so visceral…

 

I’d never had to go that far and a couple of days before we started shooting I was really worried about what this woman has to go through which no woman should ever have to endure.

 

Q:  Mother! is steeped in allegory.  Does this make it more difficult for you to play a character?

 

LAWRENCE:  I had been asked in interviews earlier that, when you’re doing a film with so much allegory and metaphors like this, how that affects your performance.  But (the answer is) no. You find your character and your character’s truth separately.

 

The only time I remember where in one scene the allegory affected how I approached a scene was something that the audience wouldn’t even have noticed.

 

As part of my character’s connection to the house, I would walk down the staircase holding only the banister from the top to the bottom.  It would never have been right for me to wear shoes in the house, although in real life I like to wear slippers.  And I was wearing slippers off camera. But then Darren gave me a note and after that note I (took the slippers off) and went barefoot again.  That (reinforced) the connection between me and the house which was very strong.

 

Q:  What kind of preparation did you do to get ready to play this woman who experiences so many extreme situations?

 

LAWRENCE:  Darren and I spent hours talking and shaping the character and when I read the script at first and I didn’t really know who she was and the three months we had to prepare the film helped me get in touch with this hidden part of myself. I’m hopefully always going to be playing different types of characters but we had the understanding that were was much more going on underneath.

 

Q:  You’ve been hailed as a very naturally gifted actress.  Did you always know that you had acting in your blood?

 

LAWRENCE:  It’s all I wanted to do with my life.  I knew it was something I could excel at.  That’s why I finished (high) school early. Nobody wants to hire someone who’s still in school, so I’d lock myself in my room and work for eight hours to finish all my courses and graduate early because my mom insisted I finish school.

 

I knew what I wanted. It was weird. I knew what I was made for, what I was meant to do with my life and I didn’t want to let it go. Acting has always been my destiny and that’s kind of made it easy for me in life.  A lot of my friends have just graduated university and they still don’t know what they want to do or whether they can even find a job.  So my life is pretty easy and you’ll never hear me complaining about staying in great hotels or getting to wear beautiful designer dresses.

 

Q:  Have you always had confidence in your raw ability as an actress?

 

LAWRENCE: Pretty much! I’ve never done theatre or taken acting classes which I think has helped me. I just have good instincts when it comes to playing characters and acting is something I have a natural feel for. I loved watching movies on TV but it was only when I started doing some modelling that people began telling me I should also try acting.

 

Q:  Tell us about how you got your start in the business?

 

LAWRENCE:  I kept bugging my parents to take me to New York and let me go up for auditions and then finally my mom took me there.  Then this talent scout spotted me when we were walking in Union Square and asked to take my photo.  He wasn’t creepy, he was very professional.

 

 

Then all these agencies started calling and I auditioned for a commercial and that’s how it got started.  After that acting was all I talked about and my poor mother had to deal with my obsession.”

 

But I convinced her that we should move to New York and I had the best time of my life riding the subway and going to auditions and living there as a teenager.  It was just a surreal and amazing experience for a Kentucky girl. Eventually producers started flying me out to L.A. for auditions and it’s kind of been a blur since then.”

 

Q:  Acting also helped rid you of a lot of anxiety issues as a teenager?

 

LAWRENCE:  Yeah…It was kind of like I finally found something people were telling me I was good at, which I had never heard, ever. And that was a big reason why my parents let me do this. One time, my mom was on the phone with my dad, saying, ‘We’re paying for therapy and all this medication, and we don’t need it when she’s here (auditioning and finding modelling and acting work). She’s happy.”

 

Q:  You’ve played a wide variety of characters during your career thus far.  Do you like mixing things up creatively?

 

LAWRENCE: My imagination is the most crucial part of what I do. I can’t look for roles that are identical to me in any way. I want the creative flexibility to imagine a life outside of my own. And I can’t go around looking for roles that are exactly like my life. So  I just rely on my imagination.

 

Q:  You give the impression of being very direct and uninhibited yourself?

 

LAWRENCE:  I don’t want to present a manufactured version of myself.  I sometimes make my publicist cringe when I start talking about something and I’m liable to say something outrageous or a little strange.  I don’t have that much control over my mouth and I never prepare what I’m going to say before I do an interview.

 

I need to feel that I’m being as truthful and natural as I can be because I know that works for me.  That’s why I do basically no research for a part because I like the idea of getting to the set and operating from instinct.  I think I do my best work when I’m functioning instinctively and letting the emotions flow naturally into my character.  I like not knowing how I do what I’m doing – it lets me be much freer and more uninhibited and fearless when I’m working.

 

Q:  Have you ever felt awkward or embarrassed doing certain kinds of scenes?

 

LAWRENCE:  (Laughs)  Sometimes it feels odd kissing actors you’ve been friends with and you have to be intimate with in front of the camera and the crew.  But the most awkward time for me ever was on X-Men.

 

The first test where they painted me blue took around eight hours of makeup. I would stand, lean, or sit on a bicycle seat naked while they painted me. I have no modesty left after X-Men — I had blue in places I didn’t even know existed. Afterward, I had to go around naked, with scales over my private parts, surrounded by men. That cures you of all inhibition! (Smiles)

 

Q:  You’ve complained of having problems with anxiety in the past.  Apparently you’re not that fond of flying?

 

LAWRENCE:  (Laughs)  I don’t know why, but I’m getting more and more nervous on planes lately.  For some reason I start to get claustrophobic and I worry about losing control and screaming that I have to get off the plane.  I remember on one flight we hit an air pocket and suddenly the plane dropped and I started screaming, “We’re going down!”  (Laughs)  It was awful.

 

Another time I was taking a night flight to Berlin (on her way for the December 2016 premiere of Passengers – ED) and the turbulence was the worst ever.

 

That was the closest to accepting that I was going to die.  One of the luggage doors on the underside of the plane had opened and there were these crazy sounds, the plane was (moving) from side to side and I was screaming at the flight attendant, ‘Is everything going to be OK?'”

 

Everyone was trying to be very calm and not freak out the other passengers, but not me. I was alarming everyone.  I felt it was my duty to get other people to panic more.  I felt people weren’t panicking enough.  Chris (Pratt) kept trying to calm me down. He reached over across the aisle and I was just like “Aaarrggh, get off me…”

Hardly surprising. Lot of weirdoes in Hollywood these days. Watch out, Jennifer. . .

 

by GT correspondent Jan Janssen

 

Your Mother Should Know, Jennifer Lawrence
Will Richardsson

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Richard Gere in Rome http://guerillatraveler.com/guess-whos-coming-to-dinner-richard-gere-in-rome/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:48:09 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=248 Guerilla Traveler
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Richard Gere in Rome

    ROME –Richard Gere discovered long ago that he was happier making smaller, more personal films than working within the confines of the Hollywood studio system.  Though the paychecks are far smaller, he’s done some of his finest work over the last five years in films such as Arbitrage, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and last year’s The Benefactor.  What drives him at this stage in his career?   “I like doing this,…

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Richard Gere in Rome
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Richard Gere in Rome

 

 

ROME –Richard Gere discovered long ago that he was happier making smaller, more personal films than working within the confines of the Hollywood studio system.  Though the paychecks are far smaller, he’s done some of his finest work over the last five years in films such as Arbitrage, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and last year’s The Benefactor.  What drives him at this stage in his career?

 

“I like doing this, strangely enough,”  Gere says. “Maybe when I grow up I might finally decide that I’m going to “be” an actor. (Laughs) I still keep finding things that I want to do and people want to do with me.”

 

Walking into his hotel suite Gere looks energetic and still impossibly handsome at age 68, his flowing white hair a perfect match for his neon smile. Dressed casually chic in a black jacket, white shirt open at the collar, and jeans, he radiates his familiar aura of positive energy buoyed by over three decades of devotion to Buddhist teachings. He’s currently enjoying his romance with stunning Spanish socialite/publicist Alejandra Silva and spends much of his free time hanging out with his 17-year-old son, Homer.

 

His new film, THE DINNER, sees him play Stan Lohman, a charismatic New York congressman whose gubernatorial campaign is jeopardised by a potential scandal involving his son and nephew who have committed a serious crime.  Trying to figure out how to handle the situation – either engage in a cover-up or go to the police – Stan sits down for an extended and tortuous meal at a pricey restaurant with his history teacher brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and their respective wives (Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall).  Complicating matters for Stan is Paul’s lifelong struggle with mental illness and distorted view of reality that constantly threatens to derail the proceedings.

 

The result is a tour-de-force acting display by Gere & co. and precisely the kind of intense indie drama gives him the most pleasure at this stage of his career.  The film is also notable in reuniting him with Linney, his co-star from Primal Fear (1996) and The Mothman Prophecies (2002).

 

Richard Gere has spent the last three years in a relationship with the 34-year-old Alejandra Silva and they divide their time between New York and Spain.  In addition to The Dinner, Gere will soon be seen starring in Three Christs, a true-life story in which he plays a psychiatrist treating three schizophrenics (Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage plays one such patient) all of whom believe they are Jesus Christ.

 

Q:  Richard, your politician character in The Dinner is both a skilled manipulator yet also a caring father and sibling.  How did you approach the role?

 

GERE:  I play in this film a politician whose son has committed a crime that will change his career and the life of the whole family when the case is resolved. The two couples who sit down for dinner all know the facts and everyone is trying to imagine how each of their lives will be affected by how things play out. And if the facts don’t fit the way they see things, they change the facts to suit their own wishes.

 

Q: Is this a basic flaw of the human personality?

 

GERE: I think so. We tend to continually reinvent reality in order to be able to cope with life better. That’s how it’s always been – it’s part of human nature. The only difference in this setting is that this particular alternative reality takes the form of a political strategy. It’s the result of very deliberate professional planning.

 

Q:  How do you avoid the usual clichés that come with playing a slick politician like Stan?

 

GERE:  You try to subvert it.  I wanted to take the stereotyped image of the slippery politician and turn it upside down.  He’s a very influential and successful figure, he’s a womanizer, he’s used to getting his way in every aspect of life.  I wanted people to look at him at the beginning and think they’ve already figured him out as this typically narcissistic, arrogant guy.

 

But then as the story evolves it was exciting for me to show how he was a much more complex and thoughtful character than you were expecting.  He is thinking very deeply about what the best thing would be for the kids’ future.  He knows how hard the road might be for them.  He understands the consequences.

 

Q: The politician you play in The Dinner desperately tries to help his brother and his son.  Have you always felt that sense of loyalty and closeness to your own family?

 

GERE:  Family is very important to me. My mother died last year, but I still have my 94-year-old father, three sisters and a brother, and we all have a very close relationship. We talk constantly, everyone supports everyone. When I hear horror stories about other families where siblings don’t speak to each other for a year or where children are disinherited, I realize how lucky I am that I can rely on so much emotional support from my family.

 

Q:  What is your father like?

 

GERE:  My father is a very compassionate and sociable man. When people meet him, they’re surprised that he’s my father because they’re expecting a much older man than he appears to be. But he’s still full of youthful curiosity and he’s been like that for as long as I can remember.

 

He grew up on a farm and milked cows. And as a very young man, he went into the navy to fight in WWII. He’s a typical American and has always been a farmer at heart. He’s a very down-to-earth man and his spirit has been a great influence on me.  He still inspires me to this very day.

 

Q: You have a teenage son.  Did The Dinner make you think about how you would handle a similar situation and how far you would go to protect him?

 

GERE:  Of course!  My son Homer has is now 17 and I was constantly thinking about how I would have reacted had he been involved in something similar. There probably wasn’t one day while we were shooting the movie that I didn’t consider that question. And I think anyone who sees it will also be forced to ask themselves what they would do under those circumstances.

 

My inner voice tells me that I would do anything to protect him. But if I think carefully and ask myself would I do something that would involve hurting other people. I don’t think so.  That’s a line I wouldn’t be able to cross.

 

Q:  Teenagers often experience moments where they are testing their limits and figuring out their way in the world.  What kind of approach have you taken with your own son and the kinds of guidelines you’ve given him?

 

GERE:  With Homer, I’ve always tried to encourage him to trust his instincts and be adventurous in life.  I remember how difficult my own teenage years were and I want to help him enjoy his life and maybe not suffer as many doubts as I had when I was his age.  I have also tried to give him a sense of how far he can go in discovering things about himself and the world and knowing what those limits should be.

 

Q:  Are there any particular Buddhist teachings that you have tried to impart to your son?

 

GERE: The Dalai Lama once said that if you want your children to appreciate certain values that you want to teach them, teach them to respect the life of an insect. An insect is not a creature we tend to like – we’re usually afraid that it’s going to bite or sting us.

 

But it’s also a living thing. It feels pain and joy, it has brothers and sisters, a mother and father. We’re not so different. And the Dalai Lama’s advice works! My son is always very conscious of trying not to step on insects whenever possible. He’s a good boy and I’m very proud of him.

 

Q:  You vacationed with your son in Italy this summer.  Do you like taking trips with him as often as you can?

 

GERE:  I decided many years ago that I would never to be more than an hour away from my son. That’s why I’ve only played in films lately that were filmed in and around New York. The only exception to that rule was “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2” – but I made sure I was only going to be in India for two weeks.

 

Q:  You were once the biggest movie star in the business and you’re still portrayed in the media as a sex symbol.  How has that public perception of you affected you in your personal life?

 

GERE:  I’ve never for a moment believed in the sexiest-man-life kind of nonsense and that superficial way of looking at me.  I was never comfortable with that image and being a so-called movie star meant nothing to me.

 

I’ve always felt that it was much more important to be a good man, to be a useful member of society, and to have compassion and empathy for other people and especially those who are less fortunate.

 

Q:  How do you feel when you see yourself in some of your early classic films like Pretty Woman or An Officer and a Gentleman?

 

GERE:  I almost never watch my own movies and whenever I do I usually feel very dissatisfied with my performances – there’s always this or that scene where I wish I had done it better.

 

I also don’t like looking at myself at that much and I have very few mirrors in my home!  (Laughs)  Sometimes I might be lying in bed in my hotel room when I’m making a movie and I’ll turn on the TV and one of my old films will be playing.  Then it still takes me a few seconds to realise that it’s me on the screen!  (Laughs)

 

Q:  Your other new film coming out is Three Christs.  This marks your third film of 2017 and it seems you’re busier than ever these days as an actor?

 

GERE: Did I think that was going to happen? Unlikely? But maybe this is a run where I keep finding interesting things. There is something inherently fascinating about the story of Three Christs, and mysterious, and a little scary.  I was thinking, ‘Can you pull this off? Where is the movie?’

 

I started to realize this was really about community. It is about how you create community. And how can we find a way that we can all live in a universe where we’re trusting and free enough that we can communicate with each other? You listen. That’s how you do it: by listening; by just listening.

 

Q:  Is it important for audiences to see films and interesting stories like The Dinner and Three Christs?

 

GERE: You don’t “need” this story. You don’t “need” any of this. But we do it anyway. We like stories. We were built for stories. Why did God create men and women? Because He liked stories. We all like stories.

 

 

by Harold von Kursk in Italy

 

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Richard Gere in Rome
Will Richardsson

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Blade Runner 2049: The Great Escapism http://guerillatraveler.com/blade-runner-2049-the-great-escapism/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 11:29:45 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=212 Guerilla Traveler
Blade Runner 2049: The Great Escapism

Doctor Labyrinth, like most people who read a great deal and who have too much time on their hands, had become convinced that our civilization was going the way of Rome. He saw, I think, the same cracks forming that had sundered the ancient world, the world of Greece and Rome; and it was his conviction that presently our world, our society, would pass away as theirs did, and a period of darkness would follow. “The…

Blade Runner 2049: The Great Escapism
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
Blade Runner 2049: The Great Escapism

Doctor Labyrinth, like most people who read a great deal and who have too much time on their hands, had become convinced that our civilization was going the way of Rome. He saw, I think, the same cracks forming that had sundered the ancient world, the world of Greece and Rome; and it was his conviction that presently our world, our society, would pass away as theirs did, and a period of darkness would follow.

“The Preserving Machine” by Phillip K. Dick (1953)

 

***

It’s great. It’s nourishing escapism and fine food for thought. No matter how preposterous the plot, the story remains curiously human and we are at home in its atmosphere. It is Philip Marlowe as android against a forbidding urban background, both seductive and repellent, that Marlowe would well have understood. We are off balance yet mesmerized by a world we intuitively understand but which is still somehow completely alien.

Physicists tell us that human beings are not very good at determining what is real. That thought leaps out as the central message of Philip K. Dick’s (PKD) seminal story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the basis of the Blade Runner films of 1982 and 2017.

The title and plot stray far from the original writing. The core message, however, remains the same. And it is a message that transcends, like much of PKD’s work, the science fiction genre in which he found his voice.

The novel is set in post-apocalypse San Francisco, following a global nuclear whose radiation has rendered Most animal species are endangered or extinct. In this dystopian world simply owning an animal becomes a sign of status and empathy towards the vanishing animals with whom we once shared the planet.

The main plot of the book like the original film, follows the movements of Deckard (Harrison Ford), a PI/bounty hunter whose job is to retire six escaped Nexus-6 model androids, who look and act like humans, the only difference being their limited lifespan (about which they have learned) and their lack of human empathy, which can be detected by asking a series of question while testing the reactions of their retinas for signs of empathy.

Blade Runner 2049 takes place thirty years after the events of the first film. Now a new blade runner, the LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), uncovers a secret that might plunge the remainder of society into chaos. K must find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

A central question posed by the story and both films remains: who is actually more human, the androids or the human beings and how can this be ultimately determined?

 

***

“The position of writer’s like myself  in America is very lowly.”

Philip K. Dick

 

And that was true. PKD struggled against the convention that sci-fi was not serious and against his own poverty-stricken paranoia for years. There is something of Dostoevsky in his suffering, much of it self-induced.  He never made much money until Hollywood came calling near the end of his life and began optioning his books, making him a wealthy man. He wrote 44 novels.

 

Now, in hindsight, it seems easy to see that this amphetamine-popping genius was something of a predictor of the future. See not only the two Blade Runners but Minority Report, Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly.

 

PKD was obsessed with portraying the uncertainty of reality, what is real, what is unreal. This led to his famous statement in 1977 before an audience in France: “We’re living in a computer programmed reality.”

 

The stunned audience gasped. The fellow had gone quite mad. That was in 1977.  (PKD died in 1982, the year Blade Runner appeared and made him famous worldwide.)

 

Now, of course, anyone who is paying attention is familiar with Swedish philosopher’s Nick Bostrum’s theory which says that we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. From this “It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false unless we are currently living in a simulation.” And his further assertion that with artificial intelligence we are like children playing with a bomb.”

 

***

We are just pixels . . .

Rutger Hauer

 

He played Roy Batty in Blade Runner 1982, a seminal film that built on older classics like Metropolis and Things to Come in fundamental ways, using the present to illuminate a far distant future. The role made Rutger Hauer famous beyond his native Holland and is with Soldier of Orange, one of his two finest performances. It was an unforgettable role that he relished, having turned down the lead role in Das Boot, the WWII submarine movie that made Jurgen Prochnau a worldwide star.

 

Here is what he had to tell me about that seminal moment in the film where he reaches out his hand to save Deckard (Harrison Ford) from falling to his death, the exhausted replicant, on the edge of death, proving his empathy. It is one of the great scenes in cinema.

 

Q: “One of the great Hollywood stories is about how you modified the monologue at the end of Blade Runner. Would you talk about that?”

 

“I did work on it to make a simpler version. That’s very much part of my talent. I tend to like what is not written what is usually not filmed. In Roy’s last words there was a page of like 300 words or something. It was a really looooong speech. But I thought after four big opera-style deaths we needed to go very quickly or the audience would see the end coming. And that ruins everything. . . So I cut all the lines except two—it was after midnight when we were shooting. I thought what if I could wrap up the character in one sentence. I chopped it down to:  ‘I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those … moments will be lost in time, like tears…in rain.’

 

I cut 40 or 50 lines—but what I really wrote was the silence of the scene. For me to sit there at four in the morning on one of the last days on the shoot, well this was me and Roy fighting for our big moment . . . and for the line to travel for all those years into people like a fucking arrow. I’m so happy that it meant something. It was fun you know. I danced through that movie. . . This movie really liberated me because as an actor I felt I was really in the right place with the right director and I worked hard to do some crazy, funny, excellent work.”

 

Q: “Definitely. Are we all living in a virtual reality?”

 

“Sure, sure. What the fuck else are we? Come on though. We aren’t even virtual, really. We are just pixels . . .”

 

***

 

It’s taught me to be nicer to electronics. 

Ryan Gosling on Blade Runner 2049

 

 

It is rare that a movie based on a book equals the primary material. It is still rarer for a film sequel to rival or even surpass the original. See Godfather II. Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning film.

 

In the new Blade Runner movie, it’s Gosling’s turn to take over from Harrison Ford.  In the role of Officer K, Gosling is a new “blade runner” assigned – like Deckard before him – to terminate rogue “replicants,” artificially engineered beings virtually indistinguishable from humans.  Unsettled by his duties, Officer K seeks out Deckard, who had vanished in the original, thirty years before.

Gosling was as enthralled by the story as audiences surely will be. Fans of the first film will be demanding and those demands, for the overwhelming majority will be fulfilled.

 

Gosling says, “Everyone involved, including me, knew that this film would come under intense scrutiny and there was that pressure to live up to the ambitions and standard set by the original Blade Runner. Also, for me personally, Blade Runner was one of those key films that fed my love for movies. So when you enter a universe that you know from childhood, that’s something very special. When you’re lucky enough to experience that it makes you all the more determined that you invest yourself into your work with total dedication and love.”

“[Blade Runner] was one of the first films that I saw that I didn’t know how to feel when it was over,” Gosling says. “The line between heroes and villains was so blurred. It’s not a hero’s journey in any way. When I was a kid that was the storyline I had seen. Thematically, there’s just so much there — it was rich, it was melancholy, it was romantic. It’s so special. So many other things have stolen ideas from it, but they could never steal its soul. I felt lucky to enter that world.”

How did he approach the complex character of Officer K?

“I thought it was such a compelling character,” says Gosling.  “As massive as the world is, as massive as this film is, interesting as it is conceptually, there are these very intimate, personal, emotional storylines as well. So it’s operating on this kind of amazing scale, and this character, there’s such a complicated journey that he goes on. And it’s just amazing to me that the film could honor the original in the way that it did, and the storylines, and the questions, and the themes, and yet still accommodate this very different character and a story that felt totally enmeshed in the DNA of the original. And yet it still felt original in its own right.”
Director Denis Villeneuve contributed his own perspective to the universe first created by Ridley Scott, evoking a neon nightmare of glittering Los Angeles sprawl. There’s that Metropolis influence, too. Blade Runner 2049 distinguishes Villeneuve – who put this together since making Arrival – as a director of rare accomplishment, perhaps unsurpassed in his deft feel for our times.

About him, Gosling says:  “It was an incredibly inspiring experience.  It was a bold choice to let Denis make this film and he went on to create that world and commit to that vision.  He was able to ground it and make this world his own.  They were more than just sets.  They were monuments to how far he was willing to make that world real and it inspired us to go as far as we could into that world.”

Early on in filming, before Ford’s first day, Gosling said the director told him to imagine Ford in the corner during every scene. “I’d always be asking if Harrison would be happy or not,” Gosling says. “And I wasn’t quite sure in my mind what he thought, and then when he arrived, it was such a relief, because he just rolled up his sleeves and got right to work. I think we just sat around a table pretty soon after he arrived and just started working. He was such a wonderful partner, and so gracious, that it really felt like the movie finally began.”
Gosling continues: “The great thing is that you hang out with him and you realize that all those iconic moments from his films that you love are his — like “I love you,” “I know” from Star Wars, or shooting the guy in Indiana Jones. He’s just like that all the time. Normally I’d say there are hundreds of ways to play any scene. Unless you work with Harrison and you realize there’s only one great way and he’s already figured it out.”

The standard focus on the weird nature of reality, memory and the difficulties of empathy pervade this epic. Future angst hangs in a pall.

Says Gosling: “The futuristic setting is a spectacle itself and so massive on a conceptual level and the world is both beautiful and a nightmare. All these characters are isolated by technology which was meant to help them but in the end, has isolated everyone from each other and everyone is scrambling for a connection and scraps of love.  It was interesting in a film to be able to visit that worst-case scenario and I hope that your world can eventually escape that fate.”

Blade Runner 2049 is a ride well worth taking. It is one vision of a terrifyingly convincing path into the future whilst remaining faithful to the previous literary and movie material.  This beautifully constructed blockbuster falls on its feet as it considers the nature of perception, its superficial aspects, and its deeper running currents. Denis Villeneuve’s movie explores both potentials in astonishing fashion creating something monumental.

PKD would be proud.

 

BY Will Richardsson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blade Runner 2049: The Great Escapism
Will Richardsson

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The Quest: Killing Cancer –a new documentary about scientist Howard Urnovitz http://guerillatraveler.com/the-quest-a-documentary-about-killing-cancer/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 16:57:21 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=206 Guerilla Traveler
The Quest: Killing Cancer –a new documentary about scientist Howard Urnovitz

The Quest: Killing Cancer –a new documentary about scientist Howard Urnovitz
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
The Quest: Killing Cancer –a new documentary about scientist Howard Urnovitz

The Quest: Killing Cancer –a new documentary about scientist Howard Urnovitz
Will Richardsson

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MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY –  No Longer Just a Pretty Face http://guerillatraveler.com/matthew-mcconaughey-no-longer-just-a-pretty-face/ Tue, 29 Aug 2017 18:04:33 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=203 Guerilla Traveler
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY –  No Longer Just a Pretty Face

True Detective must be in the top five of the best TV serials ever made. On second thought, it might be the best. It is certainly our subject’s best work and close to the best work of his co-star Woody Harrelson. It is the kind of performance that changes a genre by influencing the tone of other performance and other scripts. It raises the standard.   Matthew McConaughey (MM) stretched himself in various roles getting…

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY –  No Longer Just a Pretty Face
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY –  No Longer Just a Pretty Face

True Detective must be in the top five of the best TV serials ever made. On second thought, it might be the best. It is certainly our subject’s best work and close to the best work of his co-star Woody Harrelson. It is the kind of performance that changes a genre by influencing the tone of other performance and other scripts. It raises the standard.

 

Matthew McConaughey (MM) stretched himself in various roles getting to that career changing role. There was Lincoln Lawyer followed by Killer Joe  and then Dallas Buyer’s Club. A rich tapestry of films that culminated with his Wolf of Wall Street “Martini” scene that stole the show.

 

In Rust Cohle, MM created not just a character but seemingly an alter ego. Drawing perhaps on that eerie second nature of his,  He struggles against the Gunslinger in THE DARK TOWER, an epic western based on the original Stephen King novels.  Hang on this should be fun.

 

Up close, McConaughey exudes a level of energy that does justice to his screen creations. He listens. (The best actors are the best listeners.)  His eyes brighten when a question arouses his curiosity. His face is curiously thin and at the same time projects a vital strength. The charm is there in spades.

 

The Dark Tower stars McConaughey as The Man in Black (aka Walter Padick), a mysterious figure whose destructive agenda brings him in eternal conflict with The Gunslinger (aka Roland Deschain), played by Idris Elba.

 

The highly anticipated summer blockbuster should help McConaughey bury memories of his last two movies, Gold and Free State of Jones.  Both died with critics and at the box office. Not good.

 

The Oscar-winning actor is obviously high on his work in The Dark Tower. He prepared carefully. He had a series of conversations with Stephen King in preparation for the role.

 

“(Stephen and I) spoke about how Walter has the world by a string and he always has a half-cocked smile on his face about it,” McConaughey. “He sees himself as the Minister of Truth.”

 

“It’s a dark tale of Christianity. The epic, mythical battle of good versus evil. There are multiple worlds happening, that you can inhabit simultaneously and you will see me, (Walter) and Idris (The Gunslinger) go head to head.”

 

One of the interesting elements concerning the conflict between these two arch rivals is that Elba’s Gunslinger character has great respect towards McConaughey’s villain.

 

Elba has said elsewhere: “Both want to conquer a world they still know little about. Roland hates Walter, and yet instead of feeling anger or resentment, he has an almost reverent attitude towards him.”

 

In real life, Matthew McConaughey and his Brazilian ex-model wife Camilla Alves live in Los Angeles with their three children, Levi, 8, Vida, 6, and Livingston, 4.  McConaughey recently wrapped filming on White Boy Rick, an indie film slated for release next year.

 

THE INTERVIEW

 

Q:  You shot The Dark Tower instead of taking a break in your work schedule.  What made you change your plans?

 

McCONAUGHEY: I was really looking forward to several months off but when they offered me a part in a film inspired by Stephen King’s books, I couldn’t refuse.  I also loved the idea of playing a very, very bad guy and getting to work with Idris Elba, an actor I have tremendous respect for.

 

Q:  There is talk that The Dark Tower could become a future film franchise.  Would you be interested in that?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  It’s a possibility.  There are a lot more stories to be told and this could be the first of a series.  I’ve never been part of a film franchise before, so I’m hoping that this one succeeds because I would like to do another.  We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Q:  Are you enjoying this time in your career?  Everything seems to have turned around for you in the last several years?

 

McCONAUGHEY: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) was the beginning of that process and it was like the beginning of a new chapter for me.  That film had some commercial pop and I liked the idea of making a film that I would want to go see if I was standing in front of a theatre and trying to make up my mind.  That kind of became my measuring stick for deciding which roles I wanted to play.

 

 

Q:  But you then took a break after The Lincoln Lawyer?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  I didn’t work for 18 months after that because I couldn’t find anything on that level.  As I’ve said before, I unbranded.  I wanted to start doing things differently and it paid off.  So I went off and did some smaller projects like Killer Joe, The Paperboy, and Mud.

 

Those were all antihero roles and even if those films didn’t attract big audiences they changed the way people thought about me and what kind of actor I wanted to be. And I also did Magic Mike, which no one had any idea would take off the way it did.

 

Q:  It must be satisfying to look back at that time even though it was also a risk on your part?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  You’ve got to take risks from time to time.  A lot of people were wondering what the hell I was doing, but those movies had a way of altering peoples’ expectations about me and it helped reestablish who I was not just with audiences but with directors.  I would never have been considered for the part in Dallas Buyers Club if I hadn’t made those smaller films.

 

Q:  What do you think the public impression of you is as an actor?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  I would hope that people think of me as an actor who makes a lot of courageous choices.  I don’t think they have any one idea of the kinds of characters I play, except that I like to play outsiders.  I want to be able to keep doing that and finding characters like Kenny in Gold or someone like Walter in The Dark Tower…These guys are all obsessed in some way.

 

Q;  You’ve often credited your father and your memory of him as inspiring you to play larger-than-life characters?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  I put some of my dad in Kenny and whenever I come across a character who has a huge appetite for living it often makes me think of my dad. It’s important to have a sense of adventure and search for things or opportunities that shake up your life.

 

Q:  You’ve played some pretty wild characters over the last few years in films ranging from Dallas Buyers Club to Wolf of Wall Street and now Gold.  Obviously you feel an affinity for people who have a larger-than-life kind of aura?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  I take after my father in the sense of wanting to live an interesting life.  I’m also an optimist who believes it’s better to look forward rather than backward and that you should be thankful for what you have in life…

 

I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for. Some, I’ve created, and a lot of it has been good fortune, so I’m not one to slide into false drama very quickly.  We’re not fans of that in our family and we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

 

Q:  You’ve always admitted to having an innate curiosity about the world.  Do you want to impart that attitude towards your own children?

 

MM:  Yes.  As a child, I was always asking my mother a thousand questions. Who? What? Why?  I would never stop.  I’m very fortunate that my job as an actor enables me to travel and meet new people and learn about different moments in history and different cultures.  I want my children to search for answers about their world and understand as much as they can and try to get closer to the truth. It’s a process that never stops.

 

Q: What kind of upbringing did you have in your own house growing up in Texas?

 

MM:  My mother was a kindergarten teacher, very strong, very determined, who led us by example.  My father has been a very tough football player, but my mother definitely never took any crap from us kids.  One day when I was maybe seven or eight years old, I remember asking my mother constantly about wanting to have a new pair of shoes.

 

Finally, she took me into a poor section of town and showed me children who had no shoes at all.  And she asked me, “Do you understand now?  Do you really need another pair of shoes?”  That was the kind of moral rectitude that both my mother and father instilled in us.

 

Q:  Are you still close to your mother and the rest of your family back home in Texas?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  We’re still very close.  I had a great Thanksgiving dinner with my mom last year and she’s still going strong (at age 84).  She has a lot of energy and I don’t know how she does it.

 

I’m also very fond of my middle brother Pat, who’s seven years older than me. I’ve always admired and been inspired by him.  I remember when I was growing up I thought he was way cooler than James Dean.

 

He had the best sound system I’ve ever seen in his car and he would play the latest songs and let me listen to them.  He would make sure no one would ever try to tease or bully me in school and he also taught me how to play golf and let myself be guided by my heart and not by my head.

 

Q:  Throughout your life, you’ve made it a point to take exotic trips.  Do you still get a chance to do that even though you’re a father to three children?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  Yes. I love taking trips to wild places in South America or Thailand, sometimes by myself, and sometimes I’ll go with my kids if they’re old enough for the vaccinations you usually need.  My wife also understands that it’s important for me to sometimes get away on my own and be able to write or just think a bit by myself although I usually never stay away for more than a week or so now.

 

 

She always tells me that I can stay as long as I need, which is very gracious of her, but I also know that she has to bear a lot of the burden of looking after the kids when I’m shooting a movie so I try to be as  respectful of her time and our time together as a family as I can.

 

Q:  One of your first big trips in your life was when you went to Australia prior to going to university?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  That was what opened my eyes and mind up to the world… I took off to Australia for a year and worked as a barrister’s assistant because I was interested in studying law. I loved the country and its desert and everything.

 

I also learned a lot from Australians in that they don’t take any bullshit from anyone and I learnt some humility from that It’s very liberating to be able to enjoy the kind of mood and sensations that come from meeting new people and exploring little towns.

 

Q:  A turning point in your life came when you decided to switch from law studies to film school. What did your parents say about that?

 

McCONAUGHEY: I remember the 15-second pause on the phone after I said, ‘Mom, Dad, I want to change my courses and head toward film school.’ And I was nervous on the other end of the line. One, because they were paying my tuition. Two, because it was already set that I was going to be a lawyer. That’s what I was going to be.

 

I just wasn’t sleeping well with the idea of four more years of school, then leaving, getting out and practicing something like law in the real world at age 28 and wondering where my 20s had disappeared to.

 

Finally, my dad (a former lineman for the Green Bay Packers football team in the 50s – ED) spoke and I was kind of dreading what he was going to say. But he wasn’t upset or anything like that.  He just asked me, “Is that want you really want to do?” And I said, “Yes, sir.” (Laughs) And my dad said, “OK, go ahead. Just don’t half-ass it.”

 

Q:  You bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to everything you do in life. Do you need to feel that same kind of intensity about the films you make?

 

McCONAUGHEY: I like to be excited by a project. I like a good beginning, middle and end to the films I make. I like to not be quite sure where a story is going so that I can be somewhat surprised along the way.  But I also like a film to be something where I can feel like, “Ooh, I know that part of my life or I know that person. That person was so-and-so in my real life.”

 

I’ve also realised that in life what happens is never what you set out to do. Nothing ever follows a predetermined script. A lot of projects just appear out of nowhere but you immediately know you have to do them.

 

Q:  People are still raving about your work in True Detective and you’ve recently said that you would love to reprise your role as Rusty Cohl?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  That was one of the best things I’ve ever done. True Detective is one of those opportunities that came along and never imagined doing something like that.  But I liked the idea right away and I said yes, period.

 

I also did the voice work on Sing (an animated film – ED) for my children, who are still small, because I wanted them to finally be able to see something of my work.  It’s not hard to figure out that my kids haven’t been able to watch any of my recent films.  That’s why a couple of years back I asked my agent to please find some projects where I can do voice work and that’s how I wound up doing Kudo and Sing.

 

Q:  What did your kids think of your vocal talents?

 

McCONAUGHEY: When we were watching Kudo together for the first time I didn’t tell them I was doing one of the voices.  Then my kids start leaning on my shoulder and looking at me saying, “Papay, that sounds a lot like you.”  But I pretended I didn’t know anything.  Then when the movie was over I told them that it was me and they were so excited and happy.  I can tell you that I was hot stuff around the house after that!

 

 

Q:  What’s the ideal McConaughey evening at home with your wife and children?

 

McCONAUGHEY:  It would be enjoying our time cooking together.  I like to prepare rib eyes steaks on the grill in the garden and be able to sit down an enjoy a bottle of Amarone (an Italian red wine) while our kids are playing in the garden.  That’s home for me.

 

by Will Richardsson

 

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY –  No Longer Just a Pretty Face
Will Richardsson

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My Lai: Report on a Massacre from Vietnam http://guerillatraveler.com/my-lai-report-on-a-massacre-from-vietnam/ http://guerillatraveler.com/my-lai-report-on-a-massacre-from-vietnam/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 09:59:04 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=195 Guerilla Traveler
My Lai: Report on a Massacre from Vietnam

It’s been nearly half a century since the Lt. William Calley led his troops into the hamlet of My Lai and wiped out the inhabitants. Few memories from Vietnam are as nightmarish for both sides. Guerilla Traveler Will Richardsson reports from the site of the massacre.    

My Lai: Report on a Massacre from Vietnam
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
My Lai: Report on a Massacre from Vietnam

It’s been nearly half a century since the Lt. William Calley led his troops into the hamlet of My Lai and wiped out

the inhabitants. Few memories from Vietnam are as nightmarish for both sides. Guerilla Traveler Will Richardsson

reports from the site of the massacre.

 

 

My Lai: Report on a Massacre from Vietnam
Will Richardsson

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Hypernormalization — the film by Adam Curtis (BBC) http://guerillatraveler.com/hypernormalization-the-film-by-adam-curtis-bbc-review/ http://guerillatraveler.com/hypernormalization-the-film-by-adam-curtis-bbc-review/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:00:41 +0000 http://guerillatraveler.com/?p=192 Guerilla Traveler
Hypernormalization — the film by Adam Curtis (BBC)

HyperNormalisation is Adam Curtis’ latest documentary film for the BBC released on Oct. 16, 2016. It is perhaps Curtis’s most compelling work to date. Presciently, it was released on Oct. 16, 2016, just prior to the stunning, surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Curtis compellingly argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers and high-tech engineers have consistently constructed a fake world to replace an unsatisfactory real one. In Orwellian style, that fake world is…

Hypernormalization — the film by Adam Curtis (BBC)
Will Richardsson

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Guerilla Traveler
Hypernormalization — the film by Adam Curtis (BBC)

HyperNormalisation is Adam Curtis’ latest documentary film for the BBC released on Oct. 16, 2016. It is perhaps Curtis’s most compelling work to date. Presciently, it was released on Oct. 16, 2016, just prior to the stunning, surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Curtis compellingly argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers and high-tech engineers have consistently constructed a fake world to replace an unsatisfactory real one. In Orwellian style, that fake world is run by corporations and kept stable by willing politicians for their own perceived gain. The Syria/Libya dichotomy figures as a prime example, where Colonel Ghadaffy served as the perfect bogeyman, often being blamed for actions really taken by Assad and Syria. We also see the beginnings of Trumpism in the 1970s and the development of his P T Barnum persona– the reality show that just won’t quit. Curtis masterfully weaves a stark tapestry of the urgent political and economic problems facing the modern world, which our leaders seem unable to fix.

 

Hypernormalization — the film by Adam Curtis (BBC)
Will Richardsson

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