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Robert  Harper

Trump and the Unspeakable? Part II

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Posted (edited)

Robert:

You mean THE Norman Lloyd?  The guy who worked with Orson Welles on Broadway, and then was a producer for Hitchcock's TV series?

Rosemary Murphy was in what was probably Spielberg's first and worst film, one that no one knows about, Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies.  Naturally , he does not play it up a lot in interviews.  But he was part of the script writing team and was then I think replaced as director.  But to her credit, Murphy was also in To Kill a Mockingbird.

I understand about seeing fifty films a year.  When I first came to California, I must have seen maybe 3-5 films a week.  One day, and I still do not believe I did this, I saw five in one day.  I started bright and early in the San Fernando Valley and ended up in Santa Monica at 11 PM  watching that POS Altered States with about three people in the audience.  The one saving grace at that time was that LA had about four very good revival houses--this was before DVD's broke that market down.  And there were still a few art houses.  But as time went on, like Susan Sontag, who I quote in the Afterword to my book, I just could not take it anymore.  There were just too many really bad movies being produced.  

And also, as I again note in that Afterword, when the boundaries of what can be considered For Your Consideration, as they put it, are so influenced by the likes of Hanks and Spielberg, I mean, c'mon.  Kay Graham and Ben Bradlee as the heroes of the Pentagon Papers and the Vietnam War?  I mean, even for Hanks, that is bad history.  

What really worries me is that films that cut across the grain are finding it harder to be produced and then distributed my the majors.  Take for instance, that really fine film about the late Gary Webb, Kill the Messenger.  Jeremy Renner, who was really hot at the time, could not get a major distributor for that film.  Even though it was very well done with some good people in it.  Same with Snowden.  If you do not get a major distributor it hurts because it cuts down on the number of theaters you enter into and also the ad budget.  In other words, it marginalizes the market.  

One of the great advantages Oliver Stone had with JFK is that he had a major distributor and production house behind him: Warner Brothers.  Therefore, he got into many premium exhibition venues, with good marketing behind him on TV, in the press and billboards.  And then when the Oscars broke, he could stay in a lot of theaters.  Therefore, the film ended up doing something  like 300 million worldwide on a budget of forty million.  And then there was the so called ancillary rights: VHS, DVD, cable, network, syndication . So Warners made a lot of money on that film. But because they had the muscle to do it. 

I totally agree with you about why would anyone want to see that many films a year now with all this dreck out there.  I mean there are a lot of bad books out there also.  But in any recent year, there are many more good books than there are good films.  Which is another thing I touched on in that Afterword.  It is hard to believe that not that long ago, you could have seen Chinatown, The Conversation, Hearts and Minds, Lenny, and Murder on the Orient Express within six months of each other.  Now, exaggerating only slightly, it might take six years to see that kind of really quality cinema from American studios.  And the point is, we really need good films today.  

But what do we get: Avengers: Infinity Wars. How the mighty have fallen.

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

it was that Norman Lloyd,

Yes Jim. A great figure in American arts. A few weeks ago, he turned 104 years old. I spoke with him and he was as lucid as ever. His wife, surnamed Peggy Cohen, died about 10 years ago in her 90's. She was from the equally admired Cohen family that produced the philosopher, Morris Raphael Cohen and the Indian rights litigator, Felix Solomon Cohen. A fantastic couple, each of whom enriched my life.

For those who might be interested: Mr Lloyd was on the winning tennis doubles team in the DGA competition when he was 90. Around that time, I recall talking with him on the phone. I told him I was in the midst of reading a book that focused on Sandy Koufax's perfect game from 1963 , when I heard:

 I was there.

 You were? I asked.

 He then proceeded to name EACH Dodger player in the starting line-up.

God has paused making people like them; we have to earn such company. & behave better.

I might suggest that you under-valued the work of Rosemary Murphy. She had a stage, film and television career of excellence which included a Tony and an Emmy. She created the role of the floozy daughter in Edward Albee's play A Delicate Balance, directed by the equally respected director Alan Schneider. She was superb as FDR's (Ed Herrmann) mother and Eleanor's (Jane Alexander) mother-in-law, in the teleseries Eleanor and Franklin. She appears of course with Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird - and simply to be a part of a classic is an accomplishment of its own. Her father, Robert Murphy, was a distinguished American diplomat, featured on a stamp, and was, along with Harry Hopkins,  FDR's  trusted foreign envoy.

As a footnote to this information, in addition to working with Norman, I had the pleasure of  working with Rosemary, Ed Herrmann and Gregory Peck and was "discovered" in college by Alan Schneider - who introduced the works of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee  and Joe Orton to the American stage.

The relevance to JFK and the Forum to this piece of memoir?

They were all great artists working in America in 1963. Like JFK, each echoes in the memory of those who encountered them

 

Edited by Robert Harper
correction again

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2018 at 7:20 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Spielberg and Hanks are not only big contributors to the Democratic Party and were close to the Clintons and Obama, but they also have a strong influence on the Hollywood establishment

This same group have flattered and  promoted the views of the  American billionaire, Haim Saban, who famously declared that he was a "one issue guy" and that that issue was Israel. He gave Hillary Clinton over 2M just for the 2016 election; I don't want to even know what he shoveled to the Clinton Foundation. He recently wrote a letter (published in The Intercept) to a dozen US Senators who had the nerve to be concerned about teenagers getting shot in the head for demonstrating for their rights in Gaza. These Senators were scolded by billiuonaire Saban, for co-signing a letter, endorsed by Bernie Sanders, suggesting that The USA pay more attention to the Humanitarian needs of the people occupied in Gaza.  Particularly since there has been, and continues to be, an enormous disproportion - in violence used and homes destroyed and people dead - between the Occupiers and the Occupied, these few Senators felt the need to speak up.

  Like the other billionaire who has the politicos kneel to him,  Sheldon Adelson is a "one issue" kinda guy also. And his issue? Israel. Adelson shovels his cash to one Party; Saban shovels his to the other. It's like when Prescott Bush and his cronies passed their money to the  Germans and the Russians--this way they win whatever happens. If either Mr Hanks or  Mr. Spielberg want to truly understand what the "outsider" feels like, they ought to spend less time with Haim andShledon and Bill and Hillary and more time with Bernie Sanders and the other 12 whose meager efforts to help are still crushed by those who wish to control.

 

 

Edited by Robert Harper

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16 minutes ago, Robert Harper said:

This same group have flattered and  promoted the views of the  American billionaire, Haim Saban, who famously declared that he was a "one issue guy" and that that issue was Israel. He gave Hillary Clinton over 2M just for the 2016 election; I don't want to even know what he shoveled to the Clinton Foundation. He recently wrote a letter (published in The Intercept) to a dozen US Senators who had the nerve to be concerned about teenagers getting shot in the head for demonstrating for their rights in Gaza. These Senators were scolded by billiuonaire Saban, for co-signing a letter, endorsed by Bernie Sanders, suggesting that The USA pay more attention to the Humanitarian needs of the people occupied in Gaza.  Particularly since there has been, and continues to be, an enormous disproportion - in violence used and homes destroyed and people dead - between the Occupiers and the Occupied, these few Senators felt the need to speak up.

  Like the other billionaire who has the politicos kneel to him,  Sheldon Adelson is a "one issue" kinda guy also. And his issue? Israel. Adelson shovels his cash to one Party; Saban shovels his to the other. It's like when Prescott Bush and his cronies passed their money to the  Germans and the Russians--this way they win whatever happens. If either Mr Hanks or  Mr. Spielberg want to truly understand what the "outsider" feels like, they ought to spend less time with Haim andShledon and Bill and Hillary and more time with Bernie Sanders and the other 12 whose meager efforts to help are still crushed by those who wish to control.

 

 

Hanks made shameful efforts to hide the truth on the assassination of JFK

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watching that POS Altered States with about three people in the audience

The older and wiser one becomes, the smarter Altered States reveals itself to be.

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2 hours ago, David Andrews said:

watching that POS Altered States with about three people in the audience

The older and wiser one becomes, the smarter Altered States reveals itself to be.

Thank you, David. 

We punk rockers dug it.

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Agreed,I dug it too. But definitely not for young souls.

David, I might be the only other person here who remembers the chorus "I'm MIKE FINK!, King of the River!"

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Posted (edited)

Robert:

Yes, its pretty awful how Citizens United has allowed people like Saban and Adelson to dominate things.  Horrible decision. 

I totally agree also about how, after JFK's death, American policy just essentially fell over into Israel's corner. And, generally speaking, its like that in Hollywood also. The only way I even learned about Kennedy's policy there was 1.) Through my review of that book by Roger Mattson, Stealing the Atom Bomb, and 2.) Larry Hancock once mentioned in passing how he learned through author James Bill that Kennedy seriously contemplated an attempted return of Mossadegh to power. Kennedy's Middle East policy was literally buried by historians.  A good example being Dallek.

I mean since then, only Carter really tried to approach the subject with any kind of fairness.  But after Nasser's passing, there really was not an Arab leader who had the stature to lead their interests in that area.  Each time, a new president comes in, says he will try to be fair, and presto a few months later its out the window.

 Happened with Obama, and also Trump. 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2018 at 9:56 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Happened with Obama, and also Trump.

How many people know what a recent NYT story proclaimed:
A UN bloc of 135 countries, 80% of the world’s population, has chosen the State of Palestine as its next leader. The US and Israel object.

 

The United Nations General Assembly voted 128 to 9 on Thursday to denounce the U.S. President’s December 6th claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, despite explicit US threats against those nations by both Donald Trump and the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

The US vowed to cut aid to any nation that voted in favor of the resolution, which is likely what led to the 9 votes against and the 35 abstentions to the resolution. But how the US would be able to cut aid to nations like Jordan and Egypt, which are allies with the US in its Mid-east policy.

The French ambassador to the United Nations, François Delattre, noted the impact of the U.S. claim about Jerusalem, and its impact on the Israel-Palestine peace process, saying, “It is more important than ever to rally the international community around the agreed parameters of the peace process, and this of course includes the United States, as everyone is aware of its particular role and influence on this issue.”

Edited by Robert Harper

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Shameful the way the USA bandies about its influence at the UN.

 Same thing for that silly presentation by Powell about Iraq' s mythical WMD.

But let me say this, one of the things that the wonderful Malcolm Blunt has sent me is the 1963 correspondence between Kennedy and Israel.  Fascinating stuff.

I am going to try and put together an article for Consortium News about it.

 

 

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On 6/23/2018 at 3:26 PM, Kirk Gallaway said:

Agreed,I dug it too. But definitely not for young souls.

David, I might be the only other person here who remembers the chorus "I'm MIKE FINK!, King of the River!"

Paddy Chayefsky (Network) wrote Altered States.  It's pretty smart if you listen.

 I watched Disney's Davy Crockett on DVD a couple years ago.  The good parts were as good as remembered from childhood, the bad parts were worse.

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Robert:

Just to close off the point about the UN, and take it back to 1963.

When you look back at what Kennedy did with the UN in Congo, its really a demarcation point. I am pretty sure that was the first UN armed mission.

Kennedy decided to take over Hammarskjold's role there after the guy was murdered in that plane crash.

The documentation on this coming out of the archives is really strong today.  What he was doing was in tune with what the mission was according to Hammarskjold.  That the UN should serve as a forum for the young and weak who really did not have a voice outside of it.

And there was also something else in these documents.  The UN had a resettlement plan for the displaced Palestinians, in which they would give them a choice of where they wanted to go. And the UN, plus the USA, would pay for the resettlement costs, and this included in Israel.   JFK backed that plan.

Today of course, Ben N would get on the horn, make all those threatening noises, and that would be it.

 

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