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Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties


Douglas Caddy
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I like that he did a lost era in Hollywood - TV actor Wayne Maunder gets a name-check, for cryin' out loud. 

There's broad brush and there's fine brush, and I'm glad for both.  Where's the fine brush on this?  You read the O'Neill book - is Hollywood really going to throw its arms around a definitive Manson picture, when even Peter Bart remarked that the mass stonewalling by actors and musicians O'Neill tried to interview was the most significant part of the tale?

I'll admit that DiCaprio looked like Burt Reynolds in that mustache.  But if there's Asian bashing in the film - better consult all the black and Hispanic actors who got stabbed and strangled playing Shakespeare for Joe Papp's productions in New York's Central Park in the late 1960s through mid-1970s.  His Titus Andronicus must have been a bitch.

Edited by David Andrews
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I’m not sure what to make of this odd and sometimes meandering film. Portions of it had me thinking it was one of QT’s lesser works, but afterwards I wondered if, after some time has passed, it might be reconsidered as one of his best. The “Once Upon A Time” in the title is enough to stifle any expectations of historical fealty. Instead, the attention to detail consists of a pastiche of geographic landmarks, period graphics, and radio and TV soundbites to evoke the time and place in which it’s set - late 60’s Hollywood, which was arguably shattered irretrievably by the impact of the Tate murders. The ending, then, posits a sort of revenge fantasy to correct this loss,  enacted by tropes of the pop cultural moment itself. But the film is in no way “about” the Manson Family.

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Two hours ago my wife returned from our local theater showing of "Once Upon A Time ..." ( packed audience ) and I asked her what she thought of the film.

She said she liked it very much. She loves anything retro LA and the music and such kept her quite entertained.

She said to her it was a movie about films. And the story of DiCaprio's Burt Reynolds character and Brad Pitt's Needham.

When I asked about her feelings regarding the Manson and Tate murder aspect of the film and Tarantino's fairy tale take ending contrary to the true life tragic one, she shrugged as if she hadn't even thought about this part of the film in any historically correct critical way.

I think the viewers of this film in general will have just about the same reaction to it as my wife who had a similar upbeat feeling entertained reaction to "La La Land."

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Late sixties Hollywood was shattered by the Tate/LaBianca murders?

That era was wrecked by the destruction of the studio system. And the growing might of the independent producers who stepped into the breach e.g. Jospeh E. Levine. (I am just waiting for David to now say, "Well Jim, they did play Mrs Robinson from The Graduate  at the beginning, and Levine produced that film. So there!")

Wayne Maunder, James Stacy?  Does anyone really give a GD about these guys today?  I mean besides Tarantino? How about a film about Richard Speck built around Charles Napier?

An Asian American member of the Family.  That really takes the cake,  And what about that little girl that DiCaprio/Reynolds talks to before his western scene.  What the heck was that about? QT later said she was based on Meryl Streep?  When did Streep ever play in that era of TV? She debuted on TV when she was 27.

And this is the problem I have with this guy.  Its the same one the late, great Dwight MacDonald had when he announced he was quitting film criticism.  In reviewing the successful film Morgan! he said that the problem with that fantasy comedy/drama was one of point of view. Just what was Reisz trying to say, and how was he saying it? He compared people going to the film with 18th century Europeans visiting an insane asylum for their amusement. That is the way I feel about this guy. He turns the Third Reich into a comic book, slavery into a spaghetti western, and now Tate/LaBianca into a fantasy about Reynolds and Needham. And people try and bail him out by saying, oh it is really about the end of the Hollywood studio system. 

Oh please. Stop making excuses for this guy. He is the worst excuse for a real director since David Lynch. And the worst thing about that is the sorry and corrupt state of film criticism allows Lynch's pretentious pastiche, Mulholland Drive, to be called the best film of the new millenium.  Which shows you that Dwight MacDonald is dead and buried.  And the closest thing we had to him, Stanley Kauffmann, is also gone. And there is no point in quoting Ebert.  He is also dead, they are just keeping up his site.

 

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Judging by the Barbour graphic, it looks like the whole cast of this movie is white. I assume that severely limits the script in using Tarantino's favorite word in his movies (it starts with an N), aside from the F word, of course.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ron Ecker
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1 hour ago, Ron Ecker said:

Judging by the Barbour graphic, it looks like the whole cast of this movie is white. I assume that severely limits the script in using Tarantino's favorite word in his movies (it starts with an N), aside from the F word, of course.

 

 

 

 

Well, you're right about that, but this was that period between the anomaly of Sidney Poitier and the early 1970s rise of Blaxploitation and countercultural influence on urban films (from The Omega Man to The Landlord).  This was also - let it be remembered - the period when Bruce Lee had a difficult time getting his co-starring part on The Green Hornet, and then a hard time getting billing at co-star level in the credits.  Whatever you think of QT's Django Unchained, spaghetti westerns were as white as the Tyrol, and Corbucci could not have starred a black actor in the original Django.  That's part of the Unchained designation.

Edited by David Andrews
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I stayed up until 12:PM last night to hear the Manson story interview on C2C talk radio.

A long time ago I mostly quit listening to Coast To Coast as it disturbed my 3 to 4 hours a night sleep pattern.

When I listen to the program ( especially throughout it's entire 4 hours until 2:AM )  almost always I cannot fall asleep the rest of the night.

This happened again last night.  I am a wreck this morning as a result.

Must say the interview was very interesting however. 

I've read about the MK ULTRA secret programs before and their activity involving social groups and movements deemed a threat to the powers to be in the 60's and 70's.

Doug Caddy's book on Robert Merritt as posted here on the forum details this and the FBI COINTELPRO agenda which obviously reveals we definitely were in the grip of a completely out-of-control, constitutional civil rights violating highest governmental level police state throughout those times. 

The "Law & Order" agenda ( Nixon's campaign slogan) went into such power threatened paranoia and so far out of constitutional rights boundaries it took us into fascist mode.

Some will still argue the violent uprising promoting "Black Panther" movement was so threatening it deserved to be dealt with in this manner but this out-of-control police state power surge ruthlessly went after anyone and everyone involved in even peaceful minded protest movements which our constitution supposedly guaranteed.

Looking back and seeing the illegal no limits pounding reality of this constitutional rights violating hammer it truly shakes your historical perspective of our country and those who ran it back in those times to a frightening degree.

And I am sure this same power abuse had much to do with JFK's removal as our president on 11,22,1963.

 

                                  

Edited by Joe Bauer
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4 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Has a Wild Ending. Let’s Talk.

Quentin Tarantino’s new film doesn’t quite wrap up the way you might expect.

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/28/movies/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-ending.html

If QT had called this picture Hollywood Ending, would everybody feel better about the joke?

It's not a Manson movie.  The Manson character literally has a walk-on part, and no background information is given about the killers, the Family, etc. 

It's a fantasy about what might have happened had the Manson crew gone one road further up the canyon and attacked the house of somebody like Burt Reynolds.  Who didn't live there, though there was a nearly identical house to 10050 Cielo just up the hill.

We need a dedicated Manson thread, so we can talk about the real business.  So I'm going to kill this one later with a disquisition on the creepiness of Hollywood as represented in film.  Nobody can kill a thread like me.

Edited by David Andrews
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To include the Manson/Sharon Tate slaughter horror story to any degree in a film that is conceived as a nostalgic Hollywood film, music and Buddy comedy/drama more than anything else is ...well... kind of weirdly disturbing imo.

I don't see the story value of including this monstrous event no matter how small a part or trivially implied it was.

Some things and events are just so deep loss tragic, sad and brutal that they can only be recounted with somber reverence.

Christ's crucifixion, the Jewish holocaust, JFK's, RFK's and MLK's assassinations and many others including even more obscure events such as the Black Dahlia murder. 

Not to be the ultimate sour puss but Tarantino's sense of film message and his often main characters unrealness ( Pulp Fiction ) doesn't do it for me.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Jim - don't you think films like Parkland and The Post fit more into your critical perspective, in that they are actually purporting to represent an accurate historical representation? 

Tarantino's movies seem to exist in a referential pop-culture universe sealed off from factual or even mainstream consensus reality. 

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I don't see the story value of including this monstrous event no matter how small a part or trivially implied it was.

Joe, I felt that way somewhat after the ending of Inglourious Basterds.  But, driving home, I reflected that people had cheered when Hitler's face was pulped by submachine gun fire.  So I said, "Who am I deny people pleasure?"  This is why I don't worry much when QT has Brad Pitt pulp one of the Manson girls' faces by banging it on a mantelpiece.  Think people haven't wished the Family had tried their sh*t at Steve McQueen's house?  Here, they got it.  To-a-pulp fiction?

...even more obscure events such as the Black Dahlia murder

Spare your sensibilities and don't see the sodden mess Brian DiPalma made out of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia. If they saw it, people here would object to that picture on the same grounds that they're trashing QT's picture - except the DiPalma picture has zero entertainment value.

Edited by David Andrews
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5 hours ago, Jeff Carter said:

Jim - don't you think films like Parkland and The Post fit more into your critical perspective, in that they are actually purporting to represent an accurate historical representation? 

Tarantino's movies seem to exist in a referential pop-culture universe sealed off from factual or even mainstream consensus reality. 

Exactly.  Does anyone knock Chinatown because it isn't an accurate historical presentation of the California water wars of the 30's?

Forget it, Jim, it's Tarantino.

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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Just now, Cliff Varnell said:

Exactly.  Does anyone knock Chinatown because isn't an accurate historical presentation of the California water wars of the 30's?

Forget it, Jim, it's Tarantino.

Probably the dissatisfaction here is because a filmmaker with a big budget, command of major acting talent, and high visibility didn't make a film of high seriousness and insight.

I wasn't expecting Judgment at Nuremberg when I went to Inglourious Basterds  I had my heart set on The Dirty Dozen with more action-laughs-surprises.  So I got my money's worth.

On this picture, he did what he does.  Seriously - call Oliver Stone now that the interest in Cielo Drive is fired up.

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9 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

I stayed up until 12:PM last night to hear the Manson story interview on C2C talk radio.

A long time ago I mostly quit listening to Coast To Coast as it disturbed my 3 to 4 hours a night sleep pattern.

When I listen to the program ( especially throughout it's entire 4 hours until 2:AM )  almost always I cannot fall asleep the rest of the night.

This happened again last night.  I am a wreck this morning as a result.

Must say the interview was very interesting however. 

I've read about the MK ULTRA secret programs before and their activity involving social groups and movements deemed a threat to the powers to be in the 60's and 70's.

Doug Caddy's book on Robert Merritt as posted here on the forum details this and the FBI COINTELPRO agenda which obviously reveals we definitely were in the grip of a completely out-of-control, constitutional civil rights violating highest governmental level police state throughout those times. 

The "Law & Order" agenda ( Nixon's campaign slogan) went into such power threatened paranoia and so far out of constitutional rights boundaries it took us into fascist mode.

Some will still argue the violent uprising promoting "Black Panther" movement was so threatening it deserved to be dealt with in this manner but this out-of-control police state power surge ruthlessly went after anyone and everyone involved in even peaceful minded protest movements which our constitution supposedly guaranteed.

Looking back and seeing the illegal no limits pounding reality of this constitutional rights violating hammer it truly shakes your historical perspective of our country and those who ran it back in those times to a frightening degree.

And I am sure this same power abuse had much to do with JFK's removal as our president on 11,22,1963.

 

                                  

Here is the coasttocoastam summary of last night's program:

https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2019/07/28

 

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