Thursday, April 25, 2019
A Response to a Reconsideration of STARSHIP TROOPERS(Paul Verhoeven Movie based on Robert Heinlein Novel) by Trevor Lynch
Of course Verhoven could not film a straightforward adaptation of a novel that glorifies war and denigrates democracy in favor of something that sounds like fascism. So he claimed his movie was satire. But that’s not how the fans see it. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Starship Troopers contains over-the-top depictions of brutal military training and combat that actually function as recruiting propaganda.
But why couldn’t he make such a movie? Was STARSHIP TROOPERS really such a bold statement to come out of Hollywood? What about RAMBO and CONAN THE BARBARIAN? Stallone’s Vietnam revenge fantasy says elected politicians were just a bunch of wusses who didn’t allow brave gung ho US soldiers win the war(just like ‘liberal’ politicians stand in the way of ‘fascist’ cop Dirty Harry). And Rambo is one-man Wehrmacht who takes on all the Vietnamese commies and the Soviet war machine… and comes out on top. (Though John Milius’ RED DAWN is also anti-communist, the Americans in it play the reversed-role of humble partisan guerrillas, like the Minutemen in the American Revolutionary War, than ubermensch-like fascist warriors who are represented by the Soviet War Machine.)
And didn’t STAR WARS conclude with a grand Riefenstahlean finale? Furthermore, the rebels in the first movie are all-white and seem to constitute yet another empire not so easy to distinguish from the Vaderian Empire. It’s fascists vs fascists, or ‘Good Nazis’ vs ‘Bad Nazis’ as critic Ray Pride once remarked.
Incidentally, BLACK HAWK DOWN(directed by Ridley Scott) is far more gung-ho and bang-for-the-buck in its depiction of combat than anything in STARSHIP TROOPERS where silliness renders everything cartoonish. A few critics, especially the black Elvis Mitchell, complained of BLACK HAWK DOWN’s ‘racism’ of the retro-imperialist kind, but most ‘liberal’ critics were admiring. (For some reason, most ‘liberal’ critics don’t seem very offended with ZULU either. Perhaps because it was directed by a 'communist', and furthermore, maybe Jewish critics see the British soldiers as akin to Zionist defending Israel from Arabs.)
I didn’t see the BATMAN sequel with Michael Keaton & Danny De Vito, but some commentators hinted at possible cryto-antisemitism in the depiction of Penguin as a composite of what might now be called ‘Anti-Semitic Tropes’. Among the most un-PC movies were Tim Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES and Zach Snyder’s 300, but the latter seems to have gotten a pass as Neocon War Porn.
BLADE RUNNER also had quasi-fascist characters whose stature underwent transition from villainy to heroics. Roy Batty is like a blonde Aryan god-man who ultimately earns our respect and sympathy despite or partially because of his terrifying side.
Now, part of the reason why Jews and the so-called ‘left’ became okay with(and even enthused over)fascist imagery or ‘fascistery’ was:
(1) It was too profitable to ignore at the box office. Even when the bad guys are ‘fascist’ villains, they are regarded and idolized as uber-cool: Terminator and Darth Vader. Also, even the ‘anti-fascist’ heroes must act like ‘cool’ fascists to win: Ultra Violence. Why do kids play video-games? To feel like Mother Teresa? No, to feel badass like Robocop. Even when they are fighting Nazis in video-games, they are ‘playing nazi’. This goes for the cinema of Hayao Miyazaki too. Ideologically, he’s a peacenik(like Cameron and Lucas) but, like his Western counterparts, he waxes awesome about militarist and ‘fascist’ imagery even as he ultimately comes around to condemning it.
(2) Once Jews and globo-homo took over America’s elite institutions/industries, they were in charge of the War Machine with its myriad planet-blasting contraptions. Just like a child with a BB gun wants to shoot at something(or anything), those with lots of power can’t help wanting to bully or blow up some part of the world. Also, Jews are an ambitious people, and homos are a vain people. In order to fight more Wars for Israel and spread globo-homo as new messianic faith, militarism was back in vogue. And to make it work, Jews had to get goyim all excited about war and empire. So, even as Jews rhetorically rail against ‘nazis’ and ‘fascists’, they are the New Nazis with vision of 1000 Year Jewish World Reich. Jews are no longer starving partisans hiding in the woods from Big Bad Aryan Nazis. They are no longer ragtag Zionist guerrillas as Neo-Zealots struggling to found a new nation. They are the oligarcho-uber-commanders of the biggest war machine in the world, and so, they promote militarism to persuade goy suckers to fight for ‘glory’ in more Wars for Israel.
(3) Jews figured one of the most effective way to subvert and weaken white power is to promote a kind of Afro-jungle-fascism. In the Jewish promotion of black athletics, rapper thug antics, and black sexual mania, the current ‘idology’ is no longer about racial equality but the superiority of blacks as the savage-badass-god-race to which white women must put out sexually and to which white boys must cuck. Egalitarianism sounds nice and all, but it’s rather dull and boring, especially to Americans who love winners and champions, not the Average Joe or Median Man. Queen’s hit song wasn’t "We are Average" but "We are the Champions".
If whites were to regard blacks merely as equals, the negative impact on white pride would be limited. In order for whites to lose racial confidence(and power), they must see blacks as SUPERIOR to whites. So, just like Leni Riefenstahl featured Teutonic Aryans(and later Sudanese Nuba) as the most impressive races, Jews employ images of Black Superiority to turn whites into cowering submissive cucks. Of course, promotion of blacks as uber-race is never called ‘fascism’ or ‘racism’ but sold as ‘progress’ and ‘justice’, but the overwhelming impression of the current message is no longer "blacks are as good as you" but "blacks are better than you, white boy, so get on your knees and cuck."
Because Jews now control neo-Heinleinism, the ideas in STARSHIP TROOPERS may seem more appalling than appealing to those in the Alt or Dissident Right. After all, the men in STARSHIP TROOPERS are mental robots not unlike young US servicemen who stormed into Iraq with ‘Rock the Casbah’ ringing in their ears. They never ask questions. They never speak truth to power. They never wonder what it’s all about. Instead, they are cookie-cutter creatures who are easily manipulated by the Power and obediently do as told.
Now, in the movie of course, Earth faces a grave threat from invasive space bugs, so humanity is on high alert and desperately struggling to survive. But, the actual Power that rules over us is not above fanning hysteria and paranoia to fool us into ‘serving’ and ‘defending’ the Order against threats that are, more often than not, bogus or exaggerated. The Deep State and Big Media can turn anything into the New Space Bugs out to destroy us. Russia Collusion Hoax for instance and Putin as New Hitler. We saw how this worked in the lead up to the Iraq War. Back then, Hussein was the New Hitler or the New Space Bug. He had WMD! US had to fight a War on Terror! (Never mind the US did more to build up Alqaeda Jihadis[to use against Soviet Union] while Hussein's Iraq and Iran had been fighting them forever, the ONE thing the two hostile nations had in common.) Shock and Awe, baby! So many people, even the best of Americans, were fooled into supporting the War on the Space Bugs of the Middle East. Many men of HONOR served in the Iraq War. They fought bravely and served honorably. But the lesson of that war is that HONOR is never enough. Honor without understanding and the will to ask questions of the Power is useless. The Power can exploit honor to spread horror. After all, a soldier can serve HONORABLY in any war. Plenty of Germans believed in Der Fuhrer and served with courage and loyalty on the Eastern Front. But seen in the larger context, they were serving a mad regime hellbent on genocide and enslavement. Honor needs to be tempered by skepticism about power and individual conscience.
To the extent that Jews control the deep state & mass media and do NOT want us to ask tough questions, and instead, just trust the Narrative and serve and fight HONORABLY as obedient dogs, those in the Alt Right & Dissident Right must shelve the Honor Cult for the time being. They must ask WHAT is worthy of support, worthy of honor? Certainly not Wars for Israel. Certainly not Wars for globo-homo. Certainly not the new ‘cold war’ with Russia to appease insatiable Jewish rage. If honor is valuable(and it is), it must not be wasted on the wicked agendas of dishonorable tribal supremacists such as globo-homo Jews.
The men(and women) in STARSHIP TROOPERS are like so many clueless idiots in the US military. Sure, they are tough, brave, and capable. But their hearts and minds are so EASY to toy with. They are suckers who don’t ask questions; they’d rather out-source all thinking in blind faith to the ‘cognitive’ elites. Lest thinking lead to anxiety and emotional distress, they prefer being trained and ordered about as attack dogs. Take orders, fetch as told, and bite the ‘enemy’, the New Nazis or Space Bugs.
It’s likely Paul Verhoeven was being rather sly. He claimed to satirize fascism, but it’s more likely that he was spoofing the US war state. After all, the society-at-large in STARSHIP TROOPERS is pretty degenerate, trashy, and hedonistic, much like Modern America as a Giant Mall. It is saturated with dumb pop culture and insipid youth mania. Soldiers take to war and mayhem like it’s college football season. Female soldiers are little more than walking barbie dolls(to their G.I Joe male counterparts). Society is so trashy and degenerate that it’s hardly worth defending from space bugs. Military even has coed showers.
What sort of society is likely to be better governed: a society that reserves political power to an honorable minority proven to have the courage and responsibility to risk their lives for the common good—or a society that gives equal power to everyone, allowing the selfish, cowardly, and irresponsible majority to outvote their betters? The answer is obvious.
Sparta didn’t turn out so well in the end. Also, the ‘noble’ military caste in peace-time turns almost invariably corrupt and parasitic. Japan’s eventual fate under Tokugawa rule wasn’t pretty. And judging by American and European military men, I see little evidence of battle-hardened warriors as ideal elites. It appears many people enter the military mainly for stability and sense of order. They need be told what to do because they, as individuals, are sorely lacking in autonomy and independence to forge their own paths. They are afraid to be free. In the military, one’s place is decided by rank, not notable assertion of individual worth or ability. To move up the ranks, one must flatter and please the superiors(politicians as well as higher-ranked officers) than prove them wrong when they are. Most are careerists like Colin Powell who signed onto Iraq War because it was the thing to do at the moment. And then, consider all the military cucks who cravenly muted their opposition to open enlistment of ‘gays in the military’, women in combat, and even trannies. In the end, brains beat brawn. We think of military guys as tough, but they are tough in the way dogs are. They are incapable of agency and independent thought. They are incurious about what is really happening. They have all these guns, tanks, bombs, and planes at their disposal, but they are never the ones to decide the when and why of war. Instead, they wait around idly until commanded from above to invade a nation they never heard of and drop bombs to kill people about whom they know nothing. The German military failed to stand up to Adolf Hitler even as he spiraled into recklessness. And Japanese military men led the nation to ruin, from which it hasn’t politically and psychologically recovered. A nation run by the likes of John McCain would be a sorry one. And of course, military commanders rarely see real combat. They give orders and take all the credit while their minions do all the dying in gory combat. They use binoculars than rifles.
Democracy recognizes that leadership virtues can be found in all social classes, but it fails by politically empowering everyone indiscriminately, simply by virtue of being born.
That may not be the main problem with democracy. If US politics had indeed empowered everyone, the nation would be in much better shape. Rather, democracy invariably turns into rule by plutocracy and oligarchy. Even when the elites pander to the masses, it is less to serve the people than to serve themselves. They dole out bread-and-circuses to placate the masses so that they themselves can buy time to attain even more profits and privileges. Notice how most Americans are too distracted with junk culture and idiot dogma(pushed by elites) to have much sense of what is going on. 50% of Americans don’t vote. And when politicians renege on their promises, people fail to rise up and just turn to more junk on TV.
If majority demands had shaped policy, the US would be better off. But against populist wishes, the US has been driven by oligarchic donors and their whore politicians with the backing of corrupt activist courts. Politicians mostly ignore the people and just do as donors tell them. US is a moneytocracy before it’s a democracy.
From a technical point of view, Starship Troopers is a brilliant achievement. I recently rewatched it on Blu-ray on a large-screen OLED TV, and I found the special effects to be stunningly realistic. The arachnids are genuinely terrifying.
No way. The special effects in STARSHIP TROOPERS are on the level of STAR TREK TV shows. Despite the considerable budget, everything looks cheap and plastic. We see Earthlings in toylike spaceships doing battle with giant beetles that shoot lasers from their butts. It’s like a movie made with STAR WARS action-figures and cereal boxes from which they came. At best, one might say the aesthetics was intentionally goofy and cartoonish to make the whole thing look like a straight-faced spoof, more SPACEBALLS than STAR WARS. Verhoeven’s clumsy treatment lacks the aesthetic flair of the anime GUNBUSTER that is visually arresting and strikingly realized. Compositions are crisper and the editing sharper.
How was it even possible that such an appealing anti-liberal movie was ever made?
Why? Maybe because Jews became the commanders of the US as Lone Superpower and wanted goy suckers to be like dimwit Rico to go fight the Arab-Arachnids? Jews are loving ‘fascism’ now. Jews bought Disney which then bought STAR WARS, and all that nihilo-fascist-imagery(taken from Riefenstahl, fascist spectacles, classic myths, samurai legends, etc) is being used to promote globo-homo-shlomo-Afro fascism.
Whatever the explanation, Starship Troopers is an anti-liberal classic which has done far more to promote than to undermine Heinlein’s vision of military meritocracy.
No, the movie takes fascistic ideas & images and associates them with multi-culti globo-homo US as the lone superpower, the New Hope. It’s like what happens in James Cameron’s TERMINATOR Part 2. Via reprogramming & appropriation, the once techno-fascist robot is turned into a pro-human-fascist-robot and acts as traitor against his own machine kind. Any side can use generic ‘fascism’, which is more about idolatry than a strict set of ideology applicable only to distinct groups. Though communists were ideologically anti-fascist, one could argue their militarism, the cult of great leader, and collectivism were almost indistinguishable from certain key features of National Socialism(and the more militarist wing of Zionism).
‘Fascism’ doesn’t necessarily favor one side over the other, one nation over another, one people over another. ‘Fascist’ Japan fought White America, i.e. ‘fascism’ could be used by yellows. Fascism has many faces, and perhaps its most vulgar form is the blind worship of power for power’s sake. So, whoever has the most power commands the respect and servility of vulgar fascist passion. It’s like the mass psychology of sports. When whites were champions, white boys and girls idolized white athletes as ‘gods’ and ‘heroes’. When blacks defeated whites and took over sports, white boys and girls began to idolize black athletes. If fascism in its crudest form is about worship of naked power, then whoever has the most power or most trophies becomes the focus of pop fascist passion. When Germany conquered France, French women idolized German soldiers as alpha warriors. Vulgar Fascism favors WHOMEVER has the most power(by any means necessary). After all, the prestige of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy rested on their ability to win. Once they lost the war, they lost all respect as well. In contrast, some ideologies are more about right and wrong(despite who has the most power) than about might-is-right. A Christian or Marxist will value his creed regardless of victory or defeat as the best means to understand and judge the world. Now, more elevated forms of fascism weren’t merely about might-is-right, but the hubristic fatal fascism of Mussolini and Hitler seared into popular psyche the impression that fascism was nothing more than a ruthless game of power. As in sports, the winner takes all, the loser stands small. As German-and-Italian Fascism lost WWII, it had to lose everything in accordance to its own terms of zero-sum gamesmanship. Ironically, the current US politics, aka ‘liberal democracy’, is largely predicated on vulgar fascism. There is so much cucking to Jews, blacks, and homos because they are seen as top winners in fields that matter most to most Americans: Money, Entertainment, High-Tech, Gambling, Sports, Sexuality, Celebrity, and Narcissism.
By the time STARSHIP TROOPERS was made, the US was pretty much in the hands of Jews. Why should Jews fear ‘fascism’ when THEY got the power? While Jews hate specific forms of fascism such as National Socialism, they love generic vulgar crypto-fascism where hapless minions and careerist cucks pledge their allegiance to the ultimate power. Hillary even pledged to go to war with Russia in the skies over Syria at the behest of super-powerful Jews. As blacks won in brawn and Jews won in brains, vulgar fascism in the US turned into a ritual of whites slobbering over blacks as the badass race and worshiping Jews as the super-rich, genius, and brilliant race. (And later homos as the ‘creative race’.)
STARSHIP TROOPERS is Star-Shit Poopers. Far superior movie along similar lines is ZULU, from which STARSHIP TROOPERS copped some scenes, and ENDER’S GAME, which was almost certainly inspired by Heinlein’s novel(not least because it too has Earthlings at war with space bugs). Instead of just blow-em-up movie, ENDER'S GAME has fun with game theory and ultimately expresses some measure of empathy for the Other Side. As for Heinlein, the Cold War seems to have warped his worldview in some extreme way. In retrospect, his starry-eyed support for Reagan’s SDI defense system and animus toward Arthur C. Clarke for proposing a more peaceful solution with the Soviets now come across as worse than foolish: Clueless.
The military is a meritocracy.
Is it? Military isn’t about the best minds or strongest bodies. It’s about average Joes — the median of society — trained to kill. One may argue a soldier gains in rank for courage under fire or some inspired/extraordinary act in battle, but most promotions are about seniority and hanging around for more stripes. And top officers are more the product of elite academy than performance in war or leadership ability. And those favored for top positions tend to be ones identified as most reliably servile & obedient, especially in our Jewish-controlled order where any white goy with independent or ‘maverick’ streak is weeded out as a threat to the Jewish World Order. To embed white military culture with servility to PC, Jewish Power pushes stuff like homomania via the Pentagon. When big tough white generals must bend over to homos to keep their positions, they are totally owned by Jews.
In the distant past when men battled it out with swords and shields, there was more an element of individual meritocracy. But then, if the toughest men are expended in the battlefield, it will be bad for the gene pool in the long run. Romans got wimpier and wimpier after losing so many tough men over generations. Meanwhile, the wusses who stayed behind survived and had more children with the ladies.
Personally, TWILIGHT OF THE COCKROACHES and GUNBUSTER(despite the insufferable lead character crybaby Noriko) are among the more interesting variations on Pop Fascist themes.
In TWILIGHT, Germany and Japan(cockroaches) are stacked against US and Russia(humans post-cold-war).
In GUNBUSTER, Japan re-fights the Pacific War but this time in space... and it has the ‘nuke’ in the form of the blackhole machine.
Two reviews of the movie:
Despite the explicit multiracialism of Heinlein’s novel, Verhoven massively Aryanizes his cast and setting. Heinlein’s Johnny Rico is a Pilipino who lives in Buenos Aires.
A James-Michener-ish touch? Race-mixing as basis of imperial expansion. Philippines was the ‘good’ Asian nation, the obedient dog of the US. Race-mixed via European Imperialism too. Making Rico a Filipino was less about being ‘progressive’ than using Diversity as tool of New Imperialism. ‘Good’ Asians vs ‘Bad’ Asians(the Red Chinese and North Vietnam). I hear Rico is ultimately supposed to be black. Like Tiger Woods?
Verhoeven’s attitude is simple: “Hollywood is trashy and Americans are dumb, and so, you morons deserve my dumbed-down versions of Philip K. Dick[TOTAL RECALL] and Robert Heinlein.” His movies are less satire than insult to Americans(and an Americanized world). Yet, he is still serving and propagating that very Americanism he holds in contempt because most people enjoy the willfully ‘idiocratic’ elements of his movies as popcorn entertainment(just like kids watching Godzilla movies hardly fret about them as allegory about atomic power).
But more importantly, STARSHIP TROOPERS is less satire than a work of appropriation. Jewish Hollywood in effect appropriated ‘kewl’ fascist themes & imagery or ‘fascistery’ to put them at the service of the Zionist-Supremacist US empire, aka get dumb young Americans all excited to fight Wars for Israel, hate the ‘Muzzies’, and maybe to hate & even fight Russia IF it cuts loose from the Jewish hegemonic orbit.
With Jews buying up Disney(whose founder was once charged with ‘antisemitism’ by some) and STAR WARS, they finalized their means of appropriation. Notice how the New STAR WARS is a kind of ‘antifascist’ fascism. The white male empire is the evil ‘fascist’ power that must be destroyed, BUT the rebels(the good guys) are also in ‘kewl’ fascist gear, playing imperial politics, relying on the Force, and blowing things up in blitzkrieg fashion.
It’s like Jews and guns. Jews want to take guns away from white goyim, but Jews love gun-ownership in Israel where their tribesmen constitute the solid majority of gun-owning citizens. Gun or Fascistery, Jews love it when they have control of it.
In the 1940s and 50s, American war movies were more-or-less in humanist mode. It was as if Omar Bradley made them. War is presented as unfortunate but a necessary evil at times. But since the 1980s, esp with the super-stardom of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegger, violence-as-spectacle was placed at the center. It was as if their movies were directed by a Pop version of Patton who loved war for war’s sake. Compare the first ROCKY with Part III. First one is a humanist story about a palooka gaining self-respect. Part III is about Rocky as master of the world(and in IV, he single-handedly or double-fistedly wins the Cold War). RAMBO, a huge hit, re-fought the Vietnam War as cartoon fantasy.
Appropriating fascism for globo-homo-shlomo empire is what the US is about. And even ‘literally hitler’ Trump turned out to be puppet-fuhrer for Israel than leader of White America.
If STARSHIP TROOPERS is satire, it is smiley-faced satire or satire-for-dummies. A satire so goofy and obvious that it becomes a spoof of satire itself. Satire that nibbles and kisses than bites and cuts is useless. Irony is the tool of satire, but when the purported satire itself becomes the object of irony by an audience that isn’t so much laughing at the stupidity of militarism(as in DR. STRANGELOVE) as winking at the gentle mockery as yet another layer of joke, the result is declawed satire that is utterly useless: A cat whose scratches are turned into mere pats. People watching STARSHIP TROOPERS are less likely to see it as a satire of war than a satire of satire of war. The ridicule of militarism is ridiculed, and we know a double negative is a positive. The recruitment ad in the movie doesn't so much ridicule military propaganda as 'leftist' mockery of such propaganda. The overall message is, "Lighten up, anti-war progressives. We are hip to the propaganda and manipulation. We aren't fooled, and the real reason we support war is because USA is cool, the land of the right to party."
The effect of STARSHIP TROOPERS is rather like TEAM AMERICA(by the SouthPark guys), which is more like a satire of anti-war satire. The final message is we must be for Team America, warts and all, because Matt Damon sucks. Satire doesn't really work if it's fuzzy-wuzzy and has us laughing more in the spirit of those being satirized than in the spirit of those who despair. As funny as IDIOCRACY is, it fails as satire because, when push comes to shove, we are entertained than distressed by the Dumb Future World. It's so goofy and over-the-top that we care more for laughs than the point. In the age of vulgar irony, people just wink-wink at the whole thing. Satire has been dumbed down to the point where people don’t know what it’s really about.
What may be most dangerous about STARSHIP is that its Neocon War Porn propagandizing slips through the purported ‘satire’. This way, Jewish Hollywood plays it both ways. It promotes globo-homo militarism while telling people to just lighten up cuz it’s all meant as ‘parody’. But, the laughter that it elicits is not of ironic mockery of militarism but of hipster aloofness that says ‘fascism’ is ‘kewl’ too…. as long it’s on the side of globo-homo empire.
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Dr. Stranglovitz or How Hollywood stopped worrying and learned to love Fascism.
When DIRTY HARRY was released(along with STRAW DOGS and DEATH WISH), there was intense debate about movies with potential fascist messages or nihilistic view of power.
But after STAR WARS and so many action spectacles, ‘fascistery’ or ‘fascisterics’ just became part of the cultural landscape: So commonplace that no one much noticed anymore. Now, there was always an element of fascistery in superhero comic books, but they were considered lowbrow kiddie fare and didn't much affect cinema until the BATMAN and SPIDERMAN movies. Prior to them(and many others that were soon to follow), SUPERMAN was the only superhero franchise that made any real impact on mainstream cinema.
Same happened with the rise of harlotry. Up to mid-80s, the feminists had sufficient clout to press upon the issue of overt sexualization and exploitation the female image. But the double whammy of madonna and her scribe Camille Paglia changed the paradigm of feminism whereupon being a slut wasn't exploitation but empowerment. Now, harlotry is so much a part of the culture that people don't even notice(or remember how feminists used to rail against it).
In the early 1970s, DIRTY HARRY, STRAW DOGS, and DEATH WISH triggered heated debates about movie violence, law and order, and fascism. But when JUDGE DREDD, a far more 'fascist' movie about law and order, was released in the 90s, no one batted an eye. Fascistery had just become part of movie culture. (And the influence of nihilistic anime, blood-soaked Hong Kong action cinema that raised the ante on senseless violence[influencing Quentin Tarantino], and ever more violent video games also fueled the cultural shift.) Today's progs are not about opposing fascistery but about appropriating it for their side.
Susan Sontag proved wrong about Leni Riefenstahl's long-term influence when she wrote the article "Fascinating Fascism" though her views seemed plausible at the time. The 70s were a time of personalism, naturalism, and experimentalism in American cinema. It seemed then that those trends would define future film-making. But, in fact, most such movies never hit it off with the mass audience.
Triumph of the Will and Olympia are undoubtedly superb films (they may be the two greatest documentaries ever made), but they are not really important in the history of cinema as an art form. Nobody making films today alludes to Riefenstahl, while many filmmakers (including myself) regard Dziga Vertov as an inexhaustible provocation and source of ideas about film language.
Most people were waiting for someone like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to come along, and when they did, they really changed everything. Both were more about grand spectacle and owed more to Riefenstahl than to Dziga Vertov, the appeal of whose works were limited to intellectuals, scholars, and experimentalists. The avant garde or personal side of Lucas that made THX 1138 & AMERICAN GRAFFITI gave way to the showman who came up with STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES movies. Sontag wrote off Riefenstahl as future cinematic influence, but the inspiration lived on and grew ever bigger via Hollywood's new love with fascistery(though masked with anti-fascist message) though most people are loathe to admit this(just like the seminal influence of D.W. Griffith has increasingly been muted due to the ‘impolitics’ of THE BIRTH OF A NATION). Just like Cecil B. DeMille movies' main appeal was pagan idolatry and grandeur — what would 10 COMMANDMENTS be without all that awesome Egyptian stuff? — but marketed as morality tale for good Christians, so many of recent movies are excesses in fascistery packaged as lessons in ‘anti-nazism’.
And yet, there was CLOVERFIELD, a nifty movie that managed to blend fascisterics with spirit of experimentalism. It sure did an effective job of making the audience believe as if giant space bugs as Jihadi-monsters were really laying New York to waste. Suddenly, even deracinated hipster kids harden into tough survivors and turn warrior, redeemer, or romantic. In essence, it’s a dumb movie idea but so powerfully and cleverly(even brilliantly) conceived as film-making. It’s a movie that’s impossible to take ‘seriously’ unless seen with one’s own eyes. It became in instant if minor classic.
It’s all the more effective for opening naturally and persuasively as amateur home-video footage. Because the movie tosses us into the spontaneity of daily life, the sudden horror has an extra impact of verity. It seems to intrude into reality than confined to fantasy space of genre storytelling. It is genuinely shocking and ‘believable’. It’s like Star-hipster Troopers. There’s even some food for thought about nature of memory, data, and the world. Just like the video we are seeing was accidentally recorded over an existing footage of a romantic couple in happier times, the world is being ‘erased’ by space monsters for no rhyme or reason. There’s a sense of absurdity, fragility, and futility in everything, from the intimate to the historic.