Piper, film on young sandpiper, trailer


This video says about itself:

Piper – First Look – Official Disney Pixar | HD

13 June 2016

In Pixar Animation Studios’ new short, “Piper,” a hungry sandpiper hatchling discovers that finding food without mom’s help isn’t so easy.

Piper is directed by Alan Barillaro (supervising animator “WALL•E,” “Brave”) and the short will debut in front of Finding Dory in UK cinemas on July 29, 2016.

Finding Dory movie, fiction and science


This video from the USA says about itself:

8 July 2016

While Disney/Pixar has produced a wonderful story with “Finding Dory” they have made some rather large mistakes in marine biology and Jonathan is here to discuss his top 3.

1. Destiny is a whale shark, not a whale. How can a whale shark speak whale? Can a Tiger shark speak Tiger?

2. A Beluga‘s echolocation doesn’t work in air and certainly can’t see what is inside a truck on the other side of a mountain.

3. Marine fish (i.e. salt water fish) cannot live in fresh water!

Benghazi, Hollywood propaganda and Syrian war reality


This (audio) video says about itself:

Matthew Alford on Military Media Manipulation (1/6)

4 August 2011

Matthew Alford has taught at the Universities of Bath and Bristol and is now an independent scholar working on issues of American cinema, power and politics.

Author of “Reel Power: Hollywood Cinema and American Supremacy

And these five videos are the sequels.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Benghazi: The real story

Monday 21st March 2016

HOLLYWOOD, as lecturer Matthew Alford explains in his 2010 book Reel Power, “routinely promotes the dubious notion that the United States is a benevolent force in world affairs.”

Thus Michael Bay’s $50 million recent film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the story of the September 11 2012 attack on the US consulate in Libya, which killed the US ambassador and three of his colleagues.

As with movies such as Black Hawk Down (2001) and Lone Survivor (2013) the audience watches as a small band of brave US servicemen heroically fight back against hundreds of faceless Arabs, with no apparent motive other than a hatred of Westerners.

13 Hours is clear about the benevolent intent of the US in Libya, with the initial credits explaining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had an annex close to the US consulate, where operatives gathered intelligence to try their best to get weapons taken off the black market.

In an extensive February 2016 investigation into the US intervention in Libya, the New York Times repeats this official narrative, explaining the US “struggled against weapons proliferation” after Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi had been overthrown and killed.

However, a number of reports show there is far more to the story than the US government, 13 Hours and the New York Times would have us believe.

In August 2013 CNN reported that dozens of CIA operatives had been on the ground in Benghazi and that “the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.”

According to one source quoted by CNN, the CIA has been involved in an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out. All of which begs an obvious question: if the CIA were simply attempting to stop weapons proliferation in Libya, why would this need to be covered up?

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s reporting on US actions in Libya may provide the answer. According to an article he published in the London Review of Books in April 2014, the CIA, with the assistance of Britain’s MI6, set up a “rat line” to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya to Syria via southern Turkey. “The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,” says a former intelligence official quoted by Hersh.

Citing a classified annex to a US Senate intelligence committee report, Hersh notes the funding for the weapons transfers came from US allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

A formerly classified October 2012 US Defence Intelligence Agency report echoes Hersh’s discovery, noting that “during the immediate aftermath of … the downfall of the [Gadaffi] regime in October 2011 … weapons from the former Libyan military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya, were shipped” to Syria. Importantly, the report explains the shipments ended in early September 2012 — the date the US consulate was attacked and when Hersh also says the shipments ended.

Michael Morrell, the former deputy director of the CIA, confirmed the existence of the weapons shipments in testimony to the US House intelligence committee in November 2012. However, the part of the transcript showing Morrell’s response to a question asking whether the CIA was involved in co-ordinating the weapons transfers is redacted. “Long story short: the CIA was watching closely as our allies transferred weapons to Syrian rebels,” explained the independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, summarising Morrell’s testimony and the CIA report.

So, while many of the details are fuzzy, it seems clear the US was transferring weapons from Libya to Syria or, at the very least, was fully aware its allies were doing this and did nothing. Weapons, it should be noted, that a plethora of experts and observers — from former Nato secretary-generals to the United Nations — have warned will only escalate and deepen the war in Syria.

In addition to contradicting the Establishment-promoted image of US-British power as benevolent and positive, the real story of Benghazi fatally undermines the dominant narrative that, as BBC Today programme presenter Nick Robinson recently noted, the Obama administration has had a “deep unwillingness to get engaged in” the Syrian war. Or, as well-respected think-tanker Shadi Hamid argues, US policy in Syria has been one of “defensive minimalism.” Furthermore, the Libyan-Syrian “rat line” story also highlights another inconvenient truth: Hersh notes that “many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.”

If, as the independent media icon Amy Goodman has said, “the role of journalism is to go where the silences are,” then the CIA and MI6 role in Benghazi should be the first port of call for anyone looking to shine a light on the nefarious machinations of the Western powers in the Middle East.

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of February 15 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA.” (Nabih Bulos , W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times)

Pro-peace actor Mark Rylance gets Oscar


This video from England says about itself:

Mark RylanceDon’t bomb Syria – Nov. 28th 2015

Protest outside Downing Street, London. Organised by Stop The War Coalition. Protesting against the UK governments newly proposed attacks against Syria.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain:

Oscar win for man of peace Rylance

Tuesday 1st March 2016

PEACE activist Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards on Sunday night — the most high-profile award to go to a Brit this year.

The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) ambassador was awarded an Oscar for his role in Steven Spielberg’s cold war thriller Bridge of Spies, beating favourite Sylvester Stallone.

Mr Rylance has supported StWC and the wider peace movement for 15 years, attending and speaking at many rallies including November’s Don’t Bomb Syria march.

“We don’t accept violence as a solution for problems in any other area of society,” said Mr Rylance outside Downing Street.

“Why are we still being told that this is the way our international problems must be resolved?”

StWC congratulated Mr Rylance on his win yesterday and thanked him for years of support and involvement in its campaigns.

“Mark is a obviously a very fine actor and I very much hope he enjoys every minute of the Oscar celebration, but he is also a man of conviction and principled opposition to war and a fine ambassador of Stop the War,” said national convener Lindsey German.

“He has contributed generously with both his time and his creative energy to our movement over the years and everyone in Stop the War sends their congratulations to him as one of our own anti-war heroes.”

Sunday was a political night all round, with many speakers commenting on the absence of black nominees. Even host Chris Rock described the event as “the white people’s choice awards.”

Oscar nominations in Hollywood, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Oscars‘ horrible lack of diversity, explained in 2 minutes

16 January 2015

The average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man, so it’s no surprise that there is a horrible lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Award nominations.

The Academy Proves That Oscars Are Only For White People, Again. Oh, you thought non-white actors would get Oscar noms? Here.

A Twitter message by Marlon James in the USA on 14 January 2016 says:

#OscarsSoWhite that the bear in [the film] Revenant would have snagged a nomination if she were polar.

By David Walsh in the USA:

The 88th Academy Awards nominations

15 January 2016

The 88th Academy Award nominations, announced Thursday morning, revealed the usual muddle-headedness, liberal good intentions and severe limitations of the social grouping that decides these things. The awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will take place on February 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. …

Two honest films about American life, The Big Short––on the 2008 financial crisis and Wall Street criminality––and Spotlight ––about sexual abuse by Catholic priests––collected a number of nominations. Both films were named in the best picture and best directing categories; both had a supporting actor nominated (Christian Bale in The Big Short and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight, respectively); both screenplays (one adapted and one original) were nominated. The Big Short received a total of five nominations and Spotlight six.

Hollywood scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trumbo – International Trailer

5 October 2015

The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

The hero who wrote ‘I am Spartacus‘!

Wednesday 9th December 2015

PETER FROST remembers one of his greatest heroes – blacklisted Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo

I AM Spartacus! We all remember the famous scene from the 1960 movie Spartacus. Kirk Douglas plays the famous slave leader. A Roman general announces to a group of former slaves that unless they identify Spartacus they will all be crucified.

Spartacus prepares to speak up but then all around him others stand to declare: “I am Spartacus!”

It is perhaps the ultimate demonstration of human solidarity and heroism.

This video is called I’m Spartacus – Spartacus (8/10) Movie CLIP (1960).

The scene was written by Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted and sent to jail for refusing to name his fellow Hollywood scriptwriters, actors and directors as members or supporters of the Communist party.

Once out of prison he wrote under false names for the film industry, but it wasn’t until 1960 that director Otto Preminger and actor Kirk Douglas had the courage to publically credit Trumbo as the writer of Spartacus.

That brave act was the beginning of the end of the blacklist. Trumbo was reinstated in the Writers Guild of America. Over the next few years it would slowly be revealed just how many scripts Trumbo had written under other names while blacklisted.

Shamefully it took until 2011 — three dozen years after his death and less than five years ago — that Trumbo was finally credited for all his blacklisted period scripts, including for the script of the 1953 award-winning film Roman Holiday.

This video is called Roman Holiday Trailer.

The romantic comedy was directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess who sets out to see Rome on her own. Hepburn won an Academy Award for best actress for her performance.

The costume design also won an Oscar and another Oscar went to the screenplay. On the original credits the screenplay was attributed to John Dighton and Ian McLellan Hunter. In fact the film was written by Dalton Trumbo. It would be 40 years until 1993 before he actually collected his Oscar.

No, Trumbo had already died in 1976, so he received his Oscar pusthumously.

James Dalton Trumbo was born in Montrose, Colorado, on December 9 1905, the first son of shoe store clerk Orus and his wife, Maud.

His family moved to nearby Grand Junction, where he attended high school and became a cub reporter for a local paper. Trumbo continued his writing while attending the University of Colorado.

His family moved to Los Angeles. When his father died young, Trumbo took a job in a bakery to help support his mother and younger sisters.

He worked as a baker for 10 years while learning his writing skills producing short stories and novels, none of which he could get published.

He worked his way through the University of California, paying his way by doing odd jobs.

By the early 1930s, Trumbo began selling his writings to magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Spectator.

He became the managing editor of the Spectator in 1934, a year that also saw him publish his first novel, Eclipse, as well as land a job as a script reader in the Warner Brothers studio.

Then in 1935 Trumbo signed a contract with the studio as a junior writer, launching what would prove to be a long and amazingly dramatic career.

In 1936 Trumbo received his first screenwriting credit, specifically for the crime drama Road Gang. Over the next 10 years he became one of the most successful and sought-after writers in Hollywood.

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum, won Trumbo his first Academy nomination.

In 1939 he married Cleo Fincher, with whom he would have three children, and in September of that year his anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun received a National Book Award.

Like many intellectuals and artists at the time, Trumbo was a member of the Communist Party with left-leaning political positions.

US nazis read into the anti-war message of his novel an opposition to going to war with nazi Germany. Nothing could have been further from the truth — he was a enthusiastic anti-fascist.

When the nazis wrote to Trumbo he passed their letters to the FBI. Rather than pursue the letter-writers, however, the bureau opened a file on Trumbo.

In October 1947, as post-war paranoia about communism was building up in the US, Trumbo was among a group of 10 Hollywood directors and writers called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

Trumbo and the other nine all refused to testify. They refused to betray other communists and as a consequence, the Hollywood Ten were found guilty of contempt of Congress. They were subsequently blacklisted by the heads of the major studios, and in 1950 Trumbo served almost a year in prison for contempt.

Following his release, Trumbo was unable to find work in California and moved his family to Mexico City. From there, he continued to write screenplays, which he was able to sell by using either pseudonyms or other writers to act as fronts for his work.

Finally, in 1957 Trumbo returned to Hollywood. He had written the screenplay for The Brave One under the pseudonym Robert Rich. The screenplay received an Academy Award.

This video is called Writing Winners: 1957 Oscars. It says about itself:

Dalton Trumbo (as “Robert Rich”) wins the Oscar for Writing (Motion Picture Story) for The Brave One; James Poe, John Farrow and S.J. Perelman win the Oscar for Writing (Screenplay – Adapted) for Around the World in Eighty Days; Albert Lamorisse wins the Oscar for Writing (Screenplay – Original) for The Red Balloon at the 29th Academy Awards. Presented by Deborah Kerr and hosted by Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm.

The Peter Frost article continues:

When journalists were subsequently unable to find the mysterious Robert Rich for comment, it emerged that the film had in fact been written by Trumbo, revealing the blacklist as a fiasco.

The year after Robert Rich won the Oscar for The Brave One, Trumbo was hired to write the script for … Exodus, and in 1959 he was chosen by Kirk Douglas to write Spartacus.

This video is the trailer of Exodus (1960).

Trumbo’s authorship of these two highly successful pictures was revealed shortly before their release in 1960, along with the announcement that Trumbo would receive on-screen credits for his work.

Trumbo returned to work in earnest and for the remainder of his life continued his prolific and successful output.

In 1971 Trumbo wrote and directed a film of his own novel Johnny Got His Gun, for which he received two awards at the Cannes Film Festival.

This video is called Johnny Got His Gun 1971.

Now Hollywood is at last recognising the talent and the torment of one of its finest screenwriters. A new film, Trumbo, stars Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted writer and also features Helen Mirren, John Goodman and Diane Lane. It will be released in Britain early next year.

HASKELL WEXLER, the award-winning US cinematographer — and a man who used his camera to support of all kinds of progressive causes — has died in Santa Monica aged 93: here.