Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky

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Best of Enemies Trailer


When an influential and forward-thinking writer locks horns with a conservative author, things get a little intense. Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. made headlines when they were enlisted to debate the Republican and Democratic presidential ideals in 1968 for ABC, and subsequently found themselves in a controversial feud as they became more and more incensed by each other's opinions. With threats of violence and insulting jargon leaving a shocking mark on the legendary televised argument, it became a landmark moment in political media and, indeed, continued - albeit indirectly - with later publications and lawsuits from both parties. While there used to be an element of poise and dignity with political conversation, from this moment, things heated up considerably when it came to fighting about the government.

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The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Review


Good
There's a zing of postmodern fun to be had while watching a film that documents itself being made. And while it's a clever look at the secret world of product placement, you never quite feel like the movie itself really gets up to speed.

In order to make a documentary about the shady world of brand integration in films and television, Spurlock decides to sell his new project to the highest bidders. And discovers that there's a parallel world of public relations, advertising, product specialists and neuro-marketers who make a lot of money doing this. After a slow start, sponsors climb on board, and Spurlock makes sure to keep their products on-screen as he conducts interviews with experts.

But does this compromise his journalistic or artistic integrity?

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American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk.

Noam Chomsky and Jamie Walsh (Historical Society) - Noam Chomsky, Jamie Walsh (Historical Society) Dublin, Ireland - American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk. Tuesday 3rd November 2009

American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk.

Noam Chomsky Tuesday 3rd November 2009 American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk. Dublin, Ireland

Noam Chomsky

American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk.

Noam Chomsky, Jamie Walsh and Robert Fisk - Noam Chomsky, Jamie Walsh, Robert Fisk Dublin, Ireland - American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk. Tuesday 3rd November 2009

American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk.

Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk - Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk Dublin, Ireland - American intellectual Noam Chomsky is awarded The Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to Public Discourse from The Historical Society of Trinity College and is interviewed by esteemed British journalist Robert Fisk. Tuesday 3rd November 2009

Lake of Fire Review


Good
Like the detectives and journalists of David Fincher's Zodiac, Tony Kaye's long-gestating Lake of Fire is the work of a man obsessed. Kaye spent 15 years of his life compiling, analyzing and sifting through a gargantuan number of photographs, propaganda videos, interviews, and medical footage just to make some sense of our nation's most popular pink elephant. Even before he was shaving Edward Norton's head and exploring the ever-popular sport of curbing in American History X, Kaye was deeply submerged in this behemoth documentary about the world after Roe vs. Wade.

Kaye's ambition is daunting: He attempts not only to reiterate the dangers of a society where abortion is illegal but also give balanced criticism to the pro-life and pro-choice sects. The latter debate comes easy: Intellectuals from every imagineable background (Noam Chomsky and Alan M. Dershowitz amongst others) give well-thought ponderings on the freedom to control one's body even in the direst of times. It's with the pro-life argument that Kaye hits a brick wall. Of the dozen or so pro-life interviewees, only jazz historian and Village Voice contributor Nat Hentoff makes an intellectually-backed argument for the pro-life agenda, standing out among the plethora of God-wills-its. Beyond that, Kaye relies on his footage to discuss his subject.

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Stupidity Review


Good
Stupidity... now there's an idea for a documentary. I gotta say, it's fascinating, and as director Albert Nerenberg points out, in modern society we seem to be surrounded by stupidity of all kinds, all the time. Is society genuinely this inane? Or are we just being too hard on ourselves?

Nerenberg's Stupidity is a frequently fascanating but sometimes wandering work that provides some insight into the nature of dumbness. There's a history lesson here: "Idiot" and "imbecile" have specific IQ levels they correspond to, and "moron" is a whole other thing of its own. Talking heads like Bill Maher and Noam Chomsky describe stupidity in our current culture (with Jackass and George W. Bush taking the brunt of the heat), and some of the intellectual discussion here is fascinating. If nothing less, it makes you think twice when you call someone or something "stupid," because of the loadedness of the term.

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The Corporation Review


Weak
There was a popular bumper sticker last year that read: If you aren't completely appalled then you haven't been paying attention. It was most commonly seen on vehicles that also had a Kerry/Edwards sticker or the one with a simple illustration of falling bombs that read "Bush Family Values." The same sentiment could very well apply to big business -- corporations. And indeed the new documentary The Corporation wants you to make that link. The Corporation is a documentary about corporate law. Sounds boring, but not when you have talking heads like Michael Moore and Milton Friedman. It's a polemic film, biased but cutting. Think Fahrenheit 9/11 meets Wall Street.

Few words have the baggage that the word corporate does. It's gone from the economic textbooks, dry and undistinguished, to a near anathema curse. No one, whatever their profession, likes to say they are "corporate." And yet the majority of workers in the United States work for corporations. These days you're most likely to hear the word corporate bandied about as a rallying cry. It's leveled at artists who "sell out," or go "corporate." Thrown like pies at politicians with "corporate" interests. Corporate goons are the lynchpins of countless cuckold and old boy jokes. And yet corporations are stronger now than ever, driven by favorable political winds, fed by a steady stream of willing workers, and nestled deep and safe inside the American psyche.

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Noam Chomsky: Rebel Without a Pause Review


OK
There's no shortage of video material about Noam Chomsky: He's been the sole subject of at least five feature length documentaries since 1992, and he's appeared in nearly 20 more docs as himself -- every one an opportunity for him to rail against the system and the complacency of the American heartland.

For those unfamiliar with Chomsky's rhetoric (and I don't mean that pejoratively), Chomsky claims that -- in a nutshell -- we are being controlled by the government and the mass media, who are co-opted by business and interested in keeping us complacent through warmongering and scare tactics. This would all be dismissable as crackpot theorizing if Chomsky wasn't so erudite and didn't have the uncanny ability to footnote everything he says. Chomsky is simply brilliant, and many of the films about him make that apparent.

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Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media Review


Good
Noam Chomsky, toward the beginning of Manufacturing Consent, tells someone that he can't imagine why an audience would want to watch him talk for an hour. Heh, I wish! Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick give us nearly three full hours of Noam Noam Noam, largely interviews conducted directly with the famed linguist/political meddler, and outtakes from public interviews he gave throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the result of following him around the world. Unfortunately, putting Chomsky on a pulpit for three hours isn't really the best way to get his message across (a deep and thorough indictment of politics, the media, and corporate leadership). A little more context and some judicious editing could have given the film longer legs.
Noam Chomsky

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