Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Conspiracy Cinema The Book

CONSPIRACY CINEMA: Propaganda, Politics & Paranoia (book)
Author: David Ray Carter
Publisher: Headpress Books

Friday November 22, 1963 President J.F. Kennedy was assassinated. Thursday April 4th, 1968 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr was struck down by an assassin's bullet as well. Approximately 9:02 am, April 19, 1995 Timothy McVeigh parks a van full of fertilizer bombs in front of the Arthur P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Creating to that point, the largest act of domestic terrorism in the United states until... September 11, 2001 when two hijacked air planes crash into the twin towers in New York city causing them to ultimately collapse as well as the third tower below. Killing an estimated three thousand innocent people.

These moments in American History and many more are the focal point of a new sub-genre of quasi documentary film that has sprung up in the wake of what many have called desktop filmmaking. Films that that have been enabled in the digital revolution because the very medium has been democratized thanks to technology, enabling those with the tools at their finger tips and the ideas in their heads to make a movie on their own. This used to be the domain of Public Access TV, but now thanks to the internet, and free downloading these “Conspiracy Films” have found a much wider audience.

Author David Ray Carter has taken on a massive undertaking with this book to attempt to not only explore this brave new world, but attempt a catalog of the films as well, A job that in and of itself is no easy task considering the width and breadth of material at hand. Carter says up front that the material is sometimes hard to deal with, and that he doesn’t always agree with it, often finding it offensive. But he doesn't a more than admirable job of giving each documentary a fair shake, standing back to take it on it's own cinematic terms. Leaving political views at the door as much as possible. He interestingly enough in the introduction talks of discovering these films after burning out on doing normal film criticism and growing up on horror films. Coming to them as almost an act of rebellion to the mainstream cinema norm. Comparing them to Rock and Roll in that way because as you first are introduced to the Conspiracy world you get seduced by the bad boy nature of it. Sucked into the shadowy underworld of forbidden knowledge and low hanging fruit. Just by virtue of looking you are doing something transgressive, you become momentarily part of an underground that normal people don't see, It feels naughty and good. Eventually you start seeing the flaws in the logic, the mis-communication of ideas, and how most of the puzzle pieces do really fit, but for a while the ride is terrifying, fun and exhilarating. As long as you eventually DO get off the ride.

But in this book we meet a myriad of people who not only did NOT get off that ride, but rode it long and hard enough to make multiple movies about how the shadow government is part of the ride too. People who have made millions off the idea like Alex Jones, or Lizard People chaser David Icke, or Holocaust Denier David Cole. How about Cathy O'Brien who believes many Presidents, luminaries and Country and western singers have used her for Satanic Sex Rituals since she was a child? Or what about a dude simply named “Freeman” who takes the whole Obama Birther thing one step further as he believes Obama is actually the reincarnation of the Egyptian god Akhenaton and his family also descendents of Egyptian royalty...

There is a lot of fun crackpot stuff in her to read about, loads of it dealing with the “New World Order” and the “Illuminati” theories and films about them. But there is also a lot of films discussed that seem to have put a of effort in to try and be researched and as convincing as possible. One series discussed in several chapters is something called EVIDENCE OF REVISION. Which is in 6 parts each on covering a different topic from the killing of JFK and RFK to the 9/11 Towers crash. What sets these apart is there is only footage used that is already in the public domain, but much of it unseen for years. These are well researched and put together documents the shows the major events thought looking glass of time, unfettered too much manipulation. The book makes them look highly recommended. Unlike something such as the very popular LOOSE CHANGE documentary that was really the first Conspiracy Film to catch the attention of the public. The book goes into a lot of depth on this film, and the various revisions that movie went under to arrive at the cut we see now. What the book doesn't spent much time on his how those revisions ended up discrediting the whole LOOSE CHANGE project because if the entire thesis changes as the movie changes then it makes the entire argument sound false and useless.

Other topics discussed include the Moon Landing or in this case the lack of it happening (you can feel the authors disdain in this chapter, but he keeps his cool), The murder of Tupac and Biggie, Princess Diana, Weather Control, AIDS and other Health issues (actually a few of these documentaries sound kind of interesting), WACO (once again here he points out the well rounded work on the docs, not so much in production value, but in presentation of facts and ideas), Conspiracies on Religion (this is where it gets dicey for the author as there is some Holocaust revisionism stuff and other demonizing of people that clearly doesn't sit well with him, and rightfully so. But he still treats all his cinematic subjects with the same level of respect.) Carter makes it all easy to read too, with a breakdown in each chapter of the actual event's facts, how it historically went down, then how the Conspiracy people seem to think it went down. Then he dives into capsule reviews of each relevant film. A lot of work went into this project.

In fact it is the professional detachment that makes this book so valuable, It never becomes a parade of freaks, but a consistent study of the underbelly of the world and the outre' ideas the shift under the crust. This book does an entertainingly and admirably job of diving in deep into a pool that very few would even think to swim in. It is a read well worth taking. And a genre of film just getting revved up I'm afraid.

Review © Andy Copp

Here is an Extract on the Headpress Website
Conspiracy Cinema Extract

Below are some films discussed in the book. Some of these are interesting ( the first one on JFK) others completely offensive (JEWISH RITUAL MURDERS which seeks to use horror movies histrionics to prove that Jewish Folks actually commit Blood Libel and eat people!) The one on Satanism, the Anti-Christ and Jack Parsons Scarlett Women is more Occult Hooey, but good for a laugh, and lastly some 9/11 stuff that out of those films is actually one of the better made of the bunch. Make up your own mind about it's content though.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful piece, with interesting timing since the hubby and I were just discussing some of the assorted conspiracy theorists we have been friends with. (Past and present.)