SONG OF SPARROWS from 2008 is yet another brilliant and moving film from Iran. Another in a long line of examples of what has become a somewhat surprising constant over the last twenty years: Iran produces excellent movies. If you liked last year’s Academy Award winning Best Foreign Language film A SEPARATION, then you’ve already gotten a taste of it. For whatever reason, Iranian films bring something to the big screen that is rarely seen in filmmaking from any country today. Seemingly unconcerned with reproducing or competing with big budget Hollywood blockbusters, instead Iranian movies tend to be simple, sincere and authentic portraits of humanity with a realness we’ve not seen in cinema since post-World War II Italian films such as those by Roberto Rossalinni. Whether or not Iranian filmmakers are deliberately attempting to start their own version of ‘Neorealism’ or are even aware of the reverred style is not known for sure — it certainly wouldn’t be something they could admit freely under the tightly controlled and watchful eyes of the Islamic Republic’s Minister of Culture — as all Western art and entertainment including film and music is banned in modern day Iran. I myself had the honor of meeting with the Minister of Culture in his office in Tehran in 2008 to discuss a possible musical collaboration with famed Taar recording artist Hussein Alizadeh, and by the end of the meeting felt sadly dissappointed and quite sure that none such collaboration would be permitted under the current laws simply because I am a Western musical artist….
Regardless of restrictions such as these every year Iran still manages to create and release a variety of intelligent engrossing and moving films that usually always make the Short Lists of all major film critics from just about every country. Even the United States. In fact definitely the United States. Hollywood, for lack of interest in politics, or oil, is smack dab in the middle of a regular old fashioned love affair with contemporay Iranian filmmaking. As it should be. I’ve yet to see one movie made in Iran over the last ten years that hasn’t been excellent. SONG OF SPARROWS, as BARAN, A SEPARATION or BRIDE OF FIRE all equally exemplify. This trend does more than just illistrate the obvious, that the 4000 year old Persian people are some of the deepest most poetic hearts and minds on earth today (they’re are after all responsible for giving us Saadi, Rumi, Haafez and Omar Khayam); it also shows what determined artists can do when willing in the face of more than discouraging odds and strict limitations. If you’re a film afficionado, or a lover of great art of any kind, check out just about anything celluloid from Iran from the last ten to twenty years. You won’t be dissappointed. And don’t let the deceptively simple story-line summaries fool or discourage you from making the leap. That’s part of these movies’ charm. They weave surprisingly deep and profound meaning out of the most seemingly simple plots. And that’s what gives modern Iranian cinema it’s ever growing popularity and it’s lasting appeal.
Dear God please help and guide me to become the man I’ve always known I should be, that I’ve always hoped I could be and that you’ve always known I would be. Amen
Yep. Yours truly finally got the chance to sit down and watch some of the movie THRIVE that everyone has been buzzing about over the last few months. I must say right upfront that if this kind of thing just happens to be your “kind of thing” then, like myself, you aren’t necessarily going to find anything new in this film. But you’ll love it just the same. I myself can now sleep. For the first time since observing and predicting that we were shifting into a new age, one I started calling “The Personal Expression Age” in 2004 for the book bearing the same title, I feel like I have finally seen something that truly has the potential to push us over the edge. So yes, it’s that important. Regardless of how much of it you may already know. It’s a damn good flick. One that has the potential to turn into an even cooler movement, or even better help the many movements already in existence continue to grow and expand.
We already know who not so secretly (except to the masses) controls planet earth, that UFOs exist and are being hidden from the mainstream by the governing few, that the 9/11 attacks on the US were an inside job and a hoax perpetrated to start several wars for oil and Middle East dominance, that various free energy machines have existed since at least the early part of the 20th Century and that all you have to do is follow the money to see clearly that through surreptitious private banking cartels disguised as government treasury departments (The Federal Reserve), corrupt Big Oil companies, the so-called “world religions”, medical schools and health insurance systems designed and controlled by giant pharmaceutical companies with ignoble intentions and a few very wealthy and powerful families (Warburgs, Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Carnegies, et al.) and other power hungry groups (the British Royals, the Vatican) humankind is being controlled in a not so secret anymore pretend-democracy and has been for centuries. Cont.
So… It’s all an illusion so to speak, all these freedoms and liberties that free peoples everywhere believe they’ve got, and we’re still at best slaves to invisible rulers and perhaps even beings from other planets. The jury is still out on that last bit. But the story is the same. Whether it’s David Icke, Edgar Mitchel or Alex Jones, there’s not much in THRIVE that we don’t already know about.
But don’t let that stop you from watching this excellent movie. What makes the film worth watching is the fact that it does present the information in a new and relatively less “conspiracy theory” manner and it also features more mainstream guest speakers than the usual “let us turn you on to what’s really going on” type of underground films and documentaries that have come out over the last thirty years. It’s professional. Top notch. Grade A. A big budget production. Not a bunch of Birky-wearing dread-having vegans shouting at the top of their lungs that they want a revolution but they don’t know how their going to revolt without killing us all and sending us into an economic depression. Foster Gamble and his wife (the film’s creators) are well-thought out, responsible, intelligent and compassionate people. Frankly they make people like Alex Jones seem like ego-maniacal fruit loops. So from the Transcendence Diaries perspective, the recommendation is WATCH THIS MOVIE AS SOON AS YOU CAN. You’ll have a much better understanding of why the world around you is so messed up and why everything that seems to get done for the good in the world happens through people movements rather than through governments.
[On that point, regarding those inevitable last hold-outs who will invariably assert this last point is bs because “the United States gives more money to other countries in foreign aid than any other country on earth or in history”, let us also remember that the United States government ONLY does so IF the recipient country has already signed over their sovereignty and control over to the United States and has agreed to do whatever the Great Democratic Super-power has demanded of them regarding everything from their military to their water to their votes in the United Nations. Do your research. Keep digging and reading long enough and even the most patriotic among us will eventually see how it all works.]
Nope, it’s not good news. In fact it’s downright sad and disturbing to know what’s what and who’s who on planet earth. But the good news IS there, in movies like THRIVE and many others currently circling throughout the Personal Expression Age arena. People Power, we have now seen through the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movements exploding around the globe, CAN make a difference. One day “we the people” will truly self-govern — as our founding fathers and mothers once intended us to. It’s only a matter of time. As the Ambassador likes to say though, “If you’re not on the way, then you’re in the way.” So don’t be alarmed if you get passed you by or run over. We’ve all been warned. Numerous times. This isn’t the golden old days pre-internet. Anyone with half a brain by now has at least heard what’s really going on. Any last hold-outs just need to continue to be fed the truth and not the TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or any other forms of mainstream media.
It’s household news by now in the United States at least that 60 Minutes News Anchorman Mike Wallace passed away this past weekend. He hosted the show for more than 40 years and before that he was a host, announcer, journalist and even an actor since the mid-1950s. I personally have such a strong sense of Mike Wallace within me that it almost feels as though he is family, having grown up my entire life watching him every Sunday evening on television talk the tough talk and ask the tough questions that no one else dared to ask but we all dreamed we would if we were ever in such a position ourselves. Much like Peter Jennings before him, who lived just a few blocks away from us here in Manhattan and whose children went to school with a few of my close friends, Mike Wallace’s passing marks another milestone in what appears symbolically like the death of real journalism. The kind Edward R. Murrow and even the less serious minded but equally sincere Jack Parr and Dick Cavett used to also represent to the world.
It is after all a new Age in Communications. Shock and Awe are the tools of today’s journalistic trade, not honest journalism of value and integrity. There are reasons for this. Primarily the fact that due to technological advances, and the advent of the Personal Expression Age in general, we now face such an overwhelming abundance of information outlets and vehicles so numerous that the goal has switched from “quality and substance in news reporting” to “gaining the public’s attention through any and all means necessary”. This is more than unfortunate for us all. It is hard to discern what real news is anymore. But that’s for another story later on down the road. For today, let us just remember that men like Mike Wallace and his colleagues at 60 Minutes did exist, and still do today. We will always remember their many great contributions to our lives through both information and entertainment.
A recent question posed from an anonymous visitor: “Doesn’t everyone think that the only reason that the supreme court said it was OK for anyone arrested and taken to a police station in the United States to be strip-searched is so they can abuse the occupy people?!?”
Though I’d love to agree with you, I would have to lean towards a more yes and no. The Supreme Court has had a relatively remarkable history of being surprisingly neutral in many cases throughout it’s history. Though the historical stain caused by their (some might say) illegal and unconstitutional divergence from the election process by usurping the American peoples’ power to choose the president by (s)electing GW Bush as the president of the United States themselves in the year 2000 is a dirty and deeply dug-in one; and perhaps signaled a change for the worse that we may never see shift back. As much as many feel that the Court shifts coyly left and right ala politics as usual between the two-party system that’s taken over US government based on which judges happen to be registered Democrats or Republicans, they often come to uncannily fair and unbiased decisions on occasion.
One could also argue that with the current threat of terrorism on US soil so glaringly eminent due to at least three overtly illegal invasions and deadly wars in foreign countries over the last ten years, that the need to be allowed to strip search anyone seen caught or suspected of any sort of trouble making is high right now, and maybe even downright necessary. This of course begs the question “just who started all this? Regarding the continuously increasing questionable event they refer to as 9/11. But regardless of who did what or how or when on that fateful day, the United States government’s reaction(s) to it have caused more ammunition or “righteous just cause” for terror attacks against the US, in retaliation for these acts, than possibly any country in the history of human civilization. Thus “possible future terrorist attacks on US soil” seem more than just questionable, and rather more like downright definite. More a question of when rather than “possible?”.
If one views things with this in mind, from a more global perspective, historically looking forward in order to look back in time to the present day or near future, the United States seems to be acting quite lax in its stated attempt at “Homeland Security”. Hence strip searches don’t seem like that big of a sacrifice to make on all our parts if it might possibly prevent major damage or harm to a large majority of us or even a few. Granted, someone clearly American out protesting for the Occupy Movement shouldn’t necessarily be treated like a suspected terrorist, no one “should” be. Except for the fact that so many “normal looking white Americans” have ‘gone postal’ over the last ten years shooting up schools and various other public places for no apparent reason and with no warning whatsoever.
Unfortunately what the US government has created, whether deliberately or not, is a world gone mad environment and mentality in America where even the sweetest old lady carrying a baby and smelling like fresh apple pie may turn out to be a crazy revenge seeking turncoat who’s lost her marbles and wants to blow some people up. Strip searches? Sheesh. We should be doing a lot more than that. And I say that personally coming from an extremely liberal if not radical view of life on earth life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But reality here is, sadly, what it is. It just isn’t the quaint 1950s America anymore.
We’ve got a melting pot of every race ethnicity age color and religion in America, all of whom call themselves “American”. Tens of millions of them not even really American at all (which is another issue entirely but pushes the dire need for more heightened security point even further). Whether it’s an American gone mad for some unknown reason (which we see way too frequently now), or a non-American seeking revenge who’s only (legally or illegally) visiting or pretending to be American, it’s clear that it’s become impossible to tell what a potential “terrorist” looks like in the United States of America. Indeed we’ve got internal terrorist attacks being perpetrated here now on a near monthly basis by regular old baseball loving fellow Americans on each other. And all these daily chest pounding threats of war and invading even more countries everyday by our (s)elected leaders is just continuing to stoke the fires of anger rage and hostility against us all as a people and a nation.
Yes, it’s more than sad. But if we are serious about protecting ourselves and our loved ones and neighbors, then permitting strip searches at police stations is the least that we can do until we reshape this government of ours into a more decent, respectful and diplomatic one.