20 Great Anarchist Movies That Are Worth Your Time

  • Posted on: 19 April 2015
  • By: rocinante

From Taste of Cinema by Brian Bergen-Aurand

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of films that address the themes of anarchism—some favorably (like most the films listed here) and some unfavorably. There are, as well, dozens of respected lists of “anarchist films.”

While almost every recent list of films and anarch thought lists V for Vendetta, one version or another of the story of Sacco and Vanzetti, and (disappointingly) either The Matrix or Avatar, this list eschews such titles. Rather, these are twenty films that in their anarchic form and/or content engage in “the conscious creation of situations,” to appropriate Guy Debord.

The films raise more questions than they answer regarding leadership and decision making, hierarchies and egalitarianism, autonomy and heteronomy, equity and coercion, genre and storytelling, and intersections among race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Such complexity, provocation, and affect make these films especially noteworthy.

20. The Anarchist Cookbook (USA, 2002)

The Anarchist Cookbook (USA, 2002)

“We might not know what we’re for, but we know what we’re against.” Not so much an anarchist film as a hyper-individualist, chaos-driven narrative about a group of drop outs whose motto might be summed up as “Life is just a game,” The Anarchist Cookbook raises the issue of how to make films about anarchism without becoming cartoonish renderings of coercive cinema.

On the surface, this drama / romantic comedy is not about anarchist as much as it is about ill-conceived images of anarchists as counter cultural bufoons without focus.

More seriously, though, for our purposes here, a counter reading of the film calls into question mainstream images of anarchism and asks us to reconsider how the social tensions tweaked by such characters as Beavis and Butthead, Bill and Ted, and The Sweathogs might present more than meets the eye in terms of radical critiques of race, class, and social hierarchies.

19. What to Do in Case of Fire? (Germany, 2001)

What to Do in Case of Fire

Comedy about anarchism is difficult, in part, because comedy has to take its subject seriously. While What to do in Case of Fire takes on the interesting issue of what happens to young radicals years after they have settled into the system, it only half-manages to take its subject seriously enough to be comedic.

This film about former would-be revolutionaries accidentally pulled back into the fray is worth a look for the situation it describes and the few jokes it delivers. However, its reliance on sentiment and stereotype impede it developing authentic targets, such as are found in the best work of Chaplin and the Marx Brothers.

18. The Assassination of Trotsky (Italy/France/UK, 1972)

The Assassination of Trotsky

The Assassination of Trotsky was once voted one of the worst fifty films ever made, and in a 1972 New York Times review, Roger Greenspun referred to it as, “a very odd project indeed,” but one of director Joseph Losey’s which he preferred.

The film is a reenactment of the final months of Trotsky’s life beginning on May Day, 1940, in Mexico and is based on books, diaries, and journals about and by the Bolshevik-Leninist agitator and founder of the Red Army. Thus, it bears the weight of a certain history that is both heavily staged and cinematographically compelling.

17. Naked (UK, 1993)

Naked

Mike Leigh’s film is a controversial choice for this list. The rough story of Johnny (David Thewlis) escaping Manchester after he rapes a woman and is threatened by her family does not address community, direct action, or larger political movements against elite or coercive authorities. Yet, the film does provide a blunt critique of any “work ethic” and an assault on middle and working class morality.

After the opening crime, the anti-hero flees to London, where he avoids associating (let alone connecting) humanely with almost anyone and refuses to engage in work or constructive activity.

In sometimes lengthy speeches, he harangues those around him and accuses everyone of being bored and says that is the problem because he is never bored, never needs to be doing anything productive to pass the time. His special target is the women he encounters. The film remains ambiguous about the causes (political and/or social) behind Johnny’s anti-conformity and anti-humanist outlook, prompting viewers to consider him carefully.

16. The Anarchists (South Korea/China, 2000)

The Anarchists

Directed by Yoo Young-sik and written by Lee Moo-young and Bangnidamae, The Anarchists is not as much an anarchist film as a film about the use of anarchism for nationalist aims. Set in 1920s Shanghai, the film recounts the activities of a group of young Koreans trying to destabilize Japanese control of their penninsula. Through an anti-occupation terrorist campaign, the five men hope to inspire a resurrection throughout their penninsular homeland.

The film addresses the ambivalence, violence, betrayal, and economic uncertainty that are themes in most such stories. Interestingly here, after “the anarchist” lose their financial backing, they turn to street crime and gambling.

Thus, the film raises issues about the connections between crime and terrorism not always broached in other cinematic depictions of direct political action and counter action. In its look and feel, The Anarchists deploys a mise-en-scéne similar to the one Ang Lee develops in his 2007 film about Chinese nationalist insurgency in Lust, Caution.

15. The Anarchist’s Wife (Germany/Spain/France, 2008)

MCDANWI EC014

Set during and after the Spanish Civil War and World War II, this film directed by Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr and written by Noelle and Ray Loriga is one of the few films addressing anarchism written, directed, and produced (Marie Noelle) by a woman.

It depicts the story of a woman and her family as they struggle to reconnect with her husband who fought against Franco’s forces, was caputured and deported to a concentration camp, and was unable to contact anyone for years.

The film is important for its engagement with personal and familial elements of anarchist and resistance warfare, for telling stories about the lives of those left behind—especially women and children. While The Anarchist’s Wife does portray its separate spheres in terms of a gendered binary—the man fights / the woman stays behind—it also takes the time to reconnect the “action” of the front to the “long-suffering” of the ones left behind the lines.

In this light, the film recalls especially Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), about a wife who is not allowed to connect with her husband until it is too late for either of them. Comparing the two films, one can begin to see a more subtle gender politics at play in both.

14. Viva Zapata! (USA, 1952)

Viva Zapata

In April, 1952 Elia Kazan was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to identify Communists he had associated with in the 1930s. First, Kazan refused; then, he provided the names of eight people, all of whom were already known to HUAC. Kazan said he took what he thought was the least bad option, but his actions have affected his critical reception ever since.

In February, 1952 Kazan released Viva Zapata!, starring Marlon Brando as “the Robin Hood of Mexico.” While the bio-pic lionizes Zapata, it also overtly endorses a collectivist and anarchist ideology of people’s self rule against the Libertarian and Authoritarian-Leftist models espoused by other characters in the film, ultimately portraying the leader as an instrument of the peasants.

Such ideologies will appear reversed in later Kazan films, such as On the Waterfront (1954), where individual needs are shown to supercede social necessities.

13. Behold a Pale Horse (USA, 1964)

Behold a Pale Horse

Directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gregory Peck (as the anarchist bandit Manuel Artiguez), Omar Sharif (as the young priest Francisco), and Anthony Quinn (as the Francoist officer Viñolas), begins and ends in defeat and conveys a sombre, fatalist tone with regard to civil war and personal vendetta.

Thus, it recalls the overall “social realist” timbre of Zinnemanns’ films and the actors with which he worked, men who often played men obsessed with losing causes, internal struggles against injustice, and a measure of masculinist “endurance,” combining elements of American modernist novels by Hemingway or Faulkner and Italian neorealist films by DeSica.

Twenty years after the war, Artiguez is hiding in France when he hears his mother is dying in a Spanish hospital. His sworn enemy, Viñolas, sets a trap for Artiguez. However, Artiguez learns—indirectly from Francisco—that his mother has already passed away. Artiguez still confronts Viñolas’s trap at the hospital, kills a sniper and several other officers, and is killed himself. The film ends with all the bodies on gurneys in the morgue.

The film is important as a 1960s Hollywood feature about the Spanish Civil War; yet, its focus on individual men and their personal motivations as the central active agents in this story neglect larger social, political contexts.

12. Lady L (Peter Ustinov, France/Italy/UK, 1965)

Lady L

Perhaps every list of political/leftist/anarchist films needs one Peter Ustinov sex comedy. This film—starring Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, and David Niven—focuses on the life and loves of the Corsican Lady Lendale (Loren), who grew up doing laundry in a brothel but later became an aristrocrat through her marriage to Lord Lendale (Niven).

While at the brothel, Lady L falls in love with Armand (Newman), the anarchist thief wanted by the police until Lord Lendale arranges a pardon—in exchange for Lady L marrying him. Now that she is 80 years old, Lady L reveals to her biographer that she never stopped loving Armand, who is the father to the heirs of the Lendale estate. In this way, the film ridicules aristocratic pomposity as well as patriarchal coercion and inheritance.

11. Rebellion in Patagonia (Argentina, 1974)

Rebellion in Patagonia

Between 1820 and 1822, in the Santa Cruz region of Argentina, a group of rural anarcho-syndicalist workers, allied with urban workers in Buenos Aires, revolted against local and transnational wool and meatpacking interests. The rebellion was brutally quelled by the Argentine cavalry, and at least 1500 workers were killed.

Most were executed by firing squad after surrendering. Director Héctor Olivera’s depiction of these events focuses on the struggles with decision making within the union and the tensions within anarchist governance. The film features several lively debates where militants and workers argue over tactics and actions.

The film provokes questions about the hierarchical relations between union members and activists, depicting how the simple solution of consensus decisions may, in fact, lead to the deaths of all involved.

Rebellion won the Silver Bear at the Berlin film festival in 1974 and was a popular success with Argentine audiences, who saw parallels in the film to the contemporary situation. After the military junta overthrew the democratically elected government of Argentina, they suppressed the film.

10. Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (Japan, 1967)

Japanese Summer Double Suicide

Oshima Nagisa has always confronted the claims of some that anarchism is a wholly European invention (despite the fact that much of the earliest Taoist thought is anarchal).

In this absurdist “outcast” film, Oshima depicts two alienated youth—the audaciously erotic Nejiko and contemplative death-obsessed Otoko—hiking outside Tokyo. They are captured by a band of anarchists, who have holed up in anticipation of enacting their plans. However, a “lone wolf” American gunman has preempted them with his own violent outburts.

Eventually, Nejiko and Otoko join the American in his battle against the police. As the trailer announces: “Revolution or war? Every conceivable weapon on hand, liberation or destruction? the urge to kill grows stronger. Guns—rifles daggers—swords The signature themes of sex and violence A whirlwind of eroticism explored once again by Oshima, heating up the long hot summer of 1967 with this audacious drama.”

9. Alexander the Great (Greece, 1980)

Alexander the Great

An open critique of private property and institutions of social, sexual, and gendered control and coercion, Theo Angelopoulos’s challenging address of the myth of the Macedonian king is simultaneously a stylized redeployment of the conqueror’s life and a critique of the figure it deploys. This complex dualism makes the film difficult to appreciate and explains its poor critical and public reception.

Set in 1899, the film give us an Alexander who is a revolutionary, an outlaw, and an anarchist struggling against the monarchy as well as the local villagers who have staged their own non-violnet coup and denonced hierarchical social arrangements.

Rather than side with the people, who know what they want, though, Alexander betrays them to the Monarch, who later betray him. In the end, Alexander is deposed by the village women, who transmogrify him into a marble statue that serves as a cautionary reminder rather than a celebratory memorial.

8. Punishment Park (USA, 1971)

Punishment Park

When the state serves as the guarantor of free speech, human rights, and social justice, the game is rigged from the onset. Thus, what is needed is a structural challenge to the success of the system. Written and directed by Peter Watkins and produced by Susan Martin, Punishment Park is a pseudo-documentary that makes this point and emphasizes it without apology.

Featuring amateur actors and shot with hand-held cameras, the film’s confrontational approach provokes a visceral reaction as it stages arrests, tribunals, debates, and the murderous “game” at its center.

In this dystopic version of the 1970s, under title 2 of the Internal Security Act (passed by Congress in 1950 and most recently invoked against Chelsea Manning in 2010), President Nixon has consolidated all domestic governmental authority within the executive branch and instructed the police and military to detain and punish any and all dissent.

Dissident trials are foregone conclusions, and afterwards they are given the choice of long prison terms or the opportunity of gaining their freedom by surviving the guantlet of running fifty-six miles through the desert while being hunted by police and national guard troops.

The film crosscuts between one group attempting to traverse the “park” and one group still on trial. In this way, the film illustrates the theories of the testimonies through images of the practices of the dissidents “in the field.” From the start, we know the authorities will always win, not because of individuals, though, but because the maintenance of the institutions is paramount.

The roughness and direct address of issues of race, class, gender, and imperialism mark Punishment Park as an extremely valuable relentless, didactic composition. This film is a raw version of The Hunger Games, without the fairytale disguise.

7. Eros + Massacre (Japan, 1969)

Eros Plus Massacre

Directed and written (with Masahiro Yamada) by Yoshihige Yoshida, this Modernist biopic of the early twentieth-century anarchist Sakae Ōsugi (Toshiyuki Hosokawa), might instead be called “Past + Present” for its sometimes abrubt transitions, rhythmic jumpcutting, and counter-chronological narrative devices.

In this dialogic (often surrealist) film, Eiko and Wada are students researching the sexual and social politics of 1920s Japan, when characters from this period begin appearing and acting in the contemporary world. In the end, a director hangs himself with film, and the other characters are preserved in a group photograph.

Praised as perhaps the most important film of the Japanese New Wave, it confronts modern industrial political issues through a complicated allegory of the relations among the cinema, desire, corporeality, erotics, history, memory, and social violence.

6. Libertarias (Spain/Italy/Belgium, 1996)

Libertarias

Barcelona. 1936. The Spanish Civil War. Four women join in the fight against the Nationalist government and right-wing elements of the Church. Pilar is a militant feminist. Floren is her comrade in arms. Charo is a sex worker radicalized by the war and her recognition of the gender and sexuality inequalities that permeate the social structure.

María is a nun whose convent is overtaken by anarchist revolutionaries, forcing her into the company of the other women. Once among these Free Women, María begins to challenge Church hypocrisy as well as her own innocent, sheltered life to that point. Although she refuses to pick up a gun, she does learn to see the injustice and violence surrounding her.

The women express desires to confront the totalitarian institutions and serve on the front lines—as fighters or supporters—but other women and men attempt to dissuade them. They are told women should work in factories and cook behind the lines while the men soldier on.

After an initial victory, patriarchal and fascist forces reassert themselves, and the women are betrayed by the allies they had grown to believe in. This film has been recognized for its special focus on the important role women played in the war against fascism and the previous denial of their full recognition.

5. Land and Freedom (UK/Spain/Germany/Italy, 1995)

Land and Freedom

Perhaps the best feature film about the Spanish Civil War, Land and Freedom was directed by Ken Loach, written by Jim Allen, and produced by Rebecca O’Brien. The film is revealed in flashback through the eyes of the main character’s granddaughter, who has discovered his wartime letters.

The focus is on David Carr (Ian Hart), an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britian, who joins the fight against the Fascists. In some ways, the film is a standard war movie, concentrating on the stuggles of a central character within a small band of fighters. Our sympathies are always with these fighters, even after the hero is wounded and leaves to recover and eventually joins a military cadre aligned with the government.

These unites are hierarchical, with imposed ranks and divisions of labor and gender. Disillusioned with the official units, Carr returns to the anarchist brigade—where men and women fight side by side and elect their own leaders when necessary.

Later, when the brigade clashes with government forces, several fighters—including Blanca, with whom Carr has fallen in love—are killed, and the anarchists are forced to surrener. Carr returns to England with a handful of Spanish soil. Land and Freedom won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Prise of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1995 Cannes film festival.

4. Matewan (USA, 1987)

Matewan

Written and directed by John Sayles, Matewan is an ambivalent union film that stages a reenactment of the 1920 coal miner’s strike in Matewan, West Virginia, including the final gunfight between the townspeople and the anti-union thugs that left seven people dead. It falls squarely into Sayles’ style combining history, biography, and social consciousness.

As the miners in a company town begin to organize for better working and living conditions, the company attempts to replace them with Black and Italian-immigrant scabs. When he sees the company’s plan to foment conflict between the groups of workers, organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) convinces the townspeople and the new workers to unite agianst a common foe.

Tensions escalate as the company employs union busters against those who have organized, and these enforcers evict, injure, and kill several resisters. After the showdown between the forces, the film ends with an epilogue recounting how the violence continued to plague local social relations for years.

The film depicts the complex, dynamic intersections among race, class, ethinicity, and gender involved in twentieth-century labor organizing. While it clearly stands for the miners and townspeople—including the local police and politicians—against the company and the hired guns they employ, its ending—with the labor organizer sparking the violence he sought to avoid—leaves open questions regarding unions as the best possible solution to the exploitation of workers.

3. Born in Flames (USA, 1983)

Born in Flames

The one example of feminist, queer, science fiction on this list, Lizzie Borden’s film takes a “documentary-style” approach in presenting its futuristic image of America reborn as a socialist democracy pushed toward anarchist activation by women’s pirate radio.

In New York City, ten years after the peaceful socialist revolution, two feminist radio stations—one led by a white lesbian and one led by a soft-spoken black woman—give voice to the shortcomings of the revolution, which some argue has led to a dystopian system of governmental control and aggrevated patriarchal abuse.

After a prominent feminist is detained and dies in custody, three investigative journalists are fired for their coverage of FBI agents, and both radio stations are burned down, the radio groups unite and join with the Women’s Army in direct actions against the authorities.

Eventually, a group of these activists mobilize against a speech by the President of the United States, urging reforms to the system. They demand the right for self-rule from the elites and blow up the radio tower atop the World Trade Center to end all future hegemonic media messaging. The film emphasizes alternative aesthetics, direct (rather than representative) democracy, and women’s roles in what is deemed as “necessary violence.”

2. Zero for Conduct (France, 1933)

Zero for Conduct

This forty-seven minute film remains one of the two best-known anarchist documents from the first half of the twentieth century—the other being Luis Buñuel’s Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan (Land Without Bread), also a short film of thirty minutes, and also from 1933.

Directed by Jean Vigo, who based the film on biographical experiences in school and his socialist father’s anecdotes concerning contemporary childrens’ prisons, and addressing images of juvenile rebellion against boarding school authority, the film was banned in France until 1945.

After returning from their summer holiday, students are reminded that they must adhere to the school’s strict code of conduct or receive a “zero” for behanvior in their educational records. The faculty and staff are absurd characatures whose outward appearance mimic their inward ineptitude, in the students’ eyes. The children mock the ridculous demands of the adults and ignore their attempts to discipline them.

Because the scenario is depicted from the student’s perspective, we do not realize the serious critique of coercion drawn out by the smallest moments of this film until the final scene. Suddenly, successful in their revolt, we find the rebels hoisting their skull and crossbones flag atop the school while symbolically hurling chamber pots and refuse at the figures of authority on the grounds below.

1. Salt of the Earth (USA, 1954)

Salt of the Earth (1954)

Cited frequently by Noam Chomsky as actual engaged filmmaking—in contrast to the disguised right-wing politics of Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (also from 1954)—Salt of the Earth tops this list because it combines multiple aspects of anarchist form and content with regard to production, distibution, exhibition, and reception.

A neorealist-inspired collaborative endeavor to dramatize the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Companty in Grant County, New Mexico, the black and white film deploys actual miners and their families and is constructed around the tensions between the work place strikes and the home front difficulties as gender and hierachical situations are fractured and shifted by intersecting responsibilities.

Although the film is a remarkably collective story—of the miners and their communal struggles to work freely and live the lives they have made—it also uses the microcosm of Esperanza and Ramon’s tale to focus on the gendered aspects of resistance.

Esperanza, who narrates the film, is pregnant with their third child; she at first supports Ramon’s leadership in the workers’ organization but quickly challenges his patriarchal abuse at home. After the striking men are denied the right to continue their collective action, the women of the town take up their places in the picket line, marching for the rights and recognition of all the workers.

Thus, Salt of the Earth is one of the first modern films to directly align feminist and working-class issues without subverting one hierarchy to the other. The film was written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico.

All three men had been blacklisted as communists by the Hollywood establishment. The film was originally blacklisted and banned as subversive but in 1992 was selected by the Library of Congress for archival preservation on the national film registry.

Author Bio: Brian Bergen-Aurand is a professor of film and writes about film, ethics, and embodiment from an anarcho-queer/social collectivist perspective at foreigninfluence.com.

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Comments

Loach's Land and Freedom deals with the POUM, not an "anarchist brigade". What did you do at the weekend?

Given the (highly predictable) first 6 or 7 movies, person who did this list is an obvious anarcho-leftist. Interesting for the other lesser-rated movies though.

There we're anarchists who fought along side the POUM and anarchists are heavily featured in it and the main character eventually burns his communist party membership card, but...yeah at the end of the day it's dishonest to call the POUM anarchists let alone the CNT.

Well there appear to be this trend in NA of idiots calling "anarchist" anyone on the Left or equating socialism as anarchism... The academic leftists seems to have done their job well.

where's natural born killers; salo; el topo; jubilee; satyricon; pan's labyrinth; brass's howl; doom generation; raspberry reich; bicycle thief??

natural born killers is not anarchist. Where's For Whom the Bells Tolls or The Call of Cthulhu?

Yeah, or the Devil's Rejects, Pulp Fiction, Minority Report, or the Shining for that matter?

Heshe was right about "Salo", though... you can't deny it's one of the most hardcore anarchist, antifascist films ever made.

not liberal enough.

also, 'liberal' is now spelled 'anarchoqueer/social collectivist'.

man, so many of the 'sentences' in these 'reviews' are basically just lists of cultural studies buzzwords:

"hierarchies and egalitarianism, autonomy and heteronomy, equity and coercion, genre and storytelling, and intersections among race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Such complexity, provocation, and affect"
"community, direct action, or larger political movements against elite or coercive authorities"
"ambivalence, violence, betrayal, and economic uncertainty"
"issues of race, class, gender, and imperialism"
"relations among the cinema, desire, corporeality, erotics, history, memory, and social violence"
"free speech, human rights, and social justice"
"alternative aesthetics, direct (rather than representative) democracy"
"patriarchal" x4
"intersect" x3

straight up a movie about trotsky, are you fucking kidding me?

"the urge to kill grows stronger", indeed.

brian bergen, please eat a neorealist, socially queer, allegorical image of my dick. then go back to your ivory tower and meditate on the complex interrelations of desire, the cinema, history, memory, and the fact that you can't write for shit and most of these movies sound terrible.

fire to the arthouses!

Backdoor liberals Reality TV x 1

I find most of the list odd, but after all it's not a list of movies that certain types of anarchists like. I should be happy that at least nobody (so far) has included the crypto-fascist Fight Club...

Provide review that exposes crypto-fascism or you are a liar. Fight Club is very anarchistic.

Not the commenter above, but tons of themes, including the Fight Club's hyper-strict, militaristic hierarchy; the black uniforms; disciplined insurgents repeating the same dogmas imposed by the Leader as their Swiss knife reason; obvious patriarchy; idealized return to a hunter/gatherer social organization as a way to reject the liberal, rationalist and Judeo-Christian values; the complete rejection of the female's role and power; the enlightened minority imposing its will on the blind masses; the resurgent worship of manlyhood through a "save the males", "gimme back my peniiiis" mentality; the Turner Diaries-like violent, infinitely destructive anti-civilizational agenda (where they'd even be using nukes on cities if they could)... Also the use of unrestrained violence, both endo and exo, as a method of domination and acculturation. There may be some other stuff but that's the most obvious.

Obvious retard above is not me.

What you are describing is hardly what I would call 'crypto-fascism'. You see those characteristics in pretty much all 'movement' based ideologies. Ideology is not cryptic. I've never seen Fight Club though I am aware a lot of new right types like it. It came from the mind of Chuck Palahniuk, someone who, by all accounts, is not a fascist and has numerous fans(not including me seeing as I've never looked into him) across the political spectrum.

Not only you haven't seen Fight Club (indeed), but you neither don't know what fascism is. Any ideology can be crypto, as long as it is kept discreet or hidden. As always, you are so dead wrong, and you appear to like that. I won't deprive you from this pleasure of course, as I feel generous tonight.

"Any ideology can be crypto"

No it really can't anon. Ideology is about 'elective positions' and 'proposed solutions'. Open and shut. You don't keep those things hidden or cryptic. The way that you idiots define crypto is to simply note CHARACTERISTICS in a given world view that might have some commonalities with Fascism and define it from there. You're not even being definitionally congruent when it comes to what cryptic entails.

I know what fascism is and define PROPERLY in its historical context which is a context of unified movement in regards to economic and political capital.

The list above is quite good at listing the problems I had with the novel and the film adaptation of Fight Club. I would add that "obvious patriarchy" is putting it mildly; there's banal sexism and then there's misogyny. The fear and loathing of the only female character with agency (unseen women getting liposuction are treated as objects of scorn, as if the partiarchal imposition of body image had nothing to do with it) turns into an exclusive relationship that by the end of the story becomes an echo of the Adam/Eve story of a new human beginning... making their relationship totally instrumental (for presumed procreation).

The liposuction residue being turned into soap? Did you miss that? Even if it wasn't true that the nazis rendered Jewish bodies into soap, the myth of it lingers. Reframing it as somehow amusing and/or ironic to sell it back to the women who had the procedure done might make many readers/viewers not catch the reference.

Then there's the beginning of a death cult. Then there's the idea that a New Man (definitely not a New Woman) can be created through transformative/redemptive violence, that fist fighting (and eventually the use of bombs) is the beginning of a cure for consumerism and the other forms of capitalist alienation. Speaking of capitalism, destroying the buildings that house people's credit reports -- as if debt were the primary contradiction of capitalism -- is truly a petit-bourgeois fantasy. This fits in quite well with what I see as a deliberate avoidance of any sort of class analysis. This stems from a truncated (that is, a decidedly unradical) analysis of capitalism, which, some would argue is what leads to "structural antisemitism" (true story, look it up), where "bankers" (traditional code-word for Jews) or "finance capital" are the problem, rather than capitalism as a whole being the problem.

No (Nien) you're conflating multitudinous racial/religious political myths using class analysis as your methodology when you should be applying a nationalistic metaphysical/identity analysis. I used Nien just to stir up all the residual slaves of historical fallacy to do their usual indignation rant. Sooo predictable, wish I could barter on outcomes on internet threads, alas, the Jews have monopolized methods of global currency exchange, boohoohoo!
Fight Club is no more fascist than Ronald Reagan in " The Fastest Nun in the West"! Its all in the context, and unfortunately the Western liberals need a little bit of shock to snap them out of this soft superficial analysis of anything threatening their smug complacency. Fight Club is firstly a tongue in cheek parody and should be viewed as such.

Agreed. Tho Grumpy and his boyz gots some points. Fight Club challenged a lot of people to break with liberal politics and look towards what seems similar in this film. Unfortunately American anarchists are so entrenched with the left they alienated these people out of fears of da patriarchy. Throwing around accusations of manarchy and other shit just pushed these people into right libertarian niches rather than finding a way to merge.

Those that would throw stones at Fight Club for its patriarchy are ignoring their own patriarchy and the patriarchy of every other social organization in society. What is attacked for patriarchy is more often confused associations with aggression and violence.

Also...not a parody...it is a satire.

"Unfortunately American anarchists are so entrenched with the left they alienated these people out of fears of da patriarchy."

Good point. The issue is that many anarchists are not willing to let go of the language based sensibilities which for me completes a more post leftward approach. A lot of these people forget that the youth culture in the 60s was actually quite messy at first when it came to their analysis. Before the language of California there was Kansas and other parts of the US hinterland that were major breeding grounds for the eventual cultural revolution in the US. The problems of Fight Club are the problems of greater US culture/history that anarchists who stick to leftist language behavioral norms are in no position to dealt with.

To your point about patriarchal behavior, I think of the smooth talkers who master this PC liberal language who are ugly within. Someone like Jian Ghomeshi comes to mind. He had all those talking points down yet used his power to fuck with a lot of women. There might be some 'red pill' type male that has these reactionary flaws but deep down has some potential as apposed to a scaly liberal progressive like Ghomeshi who mastered smooth talking language.

I would also say the matriarchy is ignored as well, but that's another discussion.

Did Stormfront became so lame lately, so that you morons had to hang out here, in the vain attempt of "disrupting" those anarchist slaves Jewish-controlled morality!?

It's pretty clear that the Fight Club (the group in the movie) is patriarchic. Not only it's male exclusive but it's ideal for a post-apocalyptic world excludes any notion of female power... where it actually accuses feminism of having corroded the moral fabric of males in society. That's about as Alex Jones as one can get. No actually Alex Jones isn't that hardcore.

Yes anon. Anyone with a thoroughgoing post leftist punch to them who violate leftist langauge norms is a stormfronter(shakes head)

Nah, it's more specific: if you like fight club, you're an antisemite, because soap. Just like if you're against Zionism you're automatically not antisemitic because Palestine.

Seriously though I liked the point about populism fetishizing finance capital as 'structural antisemitism' (something occupy and the tea party shared). The soap thing I took as more of a mockery of the biopolitics of self care and cleanliness. Soap has been made from animal day since time immemorial.

*animal fat......autocorrect is holding back the revolution.

Not since times immemorial. Only since industrial era, or perhaps a bit before. Putting that aside to cultures based on hunting which of course used the fat for soaps (especially ducks and pigs have got tons of good fat). Originally soap was made out of oils or other greasy substances, especially olive oil. In very ancient times people were just bathing in oil.

So, you think hunting cultures didn't preexist industrialism, or that they simply don't count as people? Do you lack a grade schoolers concept of history, or are you just too vegan for words? Or do you not know what immemorial means? Srsly confused

True, maybe just 5% parody of Hollywood blockbuster genre to draw the audience levels and then Kaboom, hit them with satire they least expected. A very clever way of voluntary education for a complacent population.

What's satire?

A very clever way of educating people using humor and hyperbole.

i don't know, i don't think that movie really depicts power over women as a theme in masculinity? i may be misremembering but i felt like it was more about reclaiming your own power and corporeality, finding a 'crew' (remember when everyone was talking about those a few years ago, lol) and generally making total destroy to teh banalitiez of daily life in commodity society. it happens to be from a male perspective that is not too interested in exploring gender issues, but more just having a particular experience of being a domesticated herd animal and trying to escape. also lumping in hunter-gathering/anti-civ with fascism is pretty off-base but i'm sure some primmo will turn up soon to rant about that.

There is the thing where fight club is obsessed with dicks. The main characters meet in a testicular cancer support group (including the female character) and there are multiple threatening artificial penises scattered throughout the movie.

i'm not entirely sure how to read these things, but to say the film is disinterested in gender is clearly misremembering

Yeah, disinterested is not the right word exactly (nor what I was trying to say) , more like disinterested in engaging consciously/explicitly. It was more like a read on the idea that a certain type of masculinity is what all males are supposed to aspire to, but if it was ever real it's now largely just a fake prop image to keep males in line, and to reject our nonbeinghood as whatever identity-form that we can't even live up to has a fuse connecting it to collective action against the existing social structures and concepts. I actually still kinda love that little speech about "our Great Depression is our lives"...

MACHO MACHO MACHO RETURN TO NATURAL MACHO NEVER ASK QUESTIONS MACHO MACHO IN THE END KILL THE ONLY WILD PART OF YOU AND GET THE GIRL MACHO MACHO

- no Luis Bunuel, for his entirely anarchist repertoire, that's sharply anti-clerical and anti-statist, and his HUGE influence on other surrealistic cinema that followed (the guy was also openly a radical anarchist)...

- no Michael Haneke, for the obvious nihilistic social critique, coldly exposing authoritarian relationships in all their ugliness...

- no Mary Harron, for I shot Andy Warhol, American Psycho all exploring the sheer untapped violence of patriarchy in today's world.

...plus many others I can't think of right now.

Also "Libertarias" was an excellent historical presentation on radical women in the Civil War, though it suffered of stupid sexist stereotypes, like the good ol' "women can't shoot" and "women won't defend themselves physically against retarded fascist brutes who barely know how to punch properly".

...and Pasolini!

Bunuel admitted in his autobiography "My Last Breath" that he made a propaganda film for the Spanish state praising Franco (in the 1950s if I remember correctly). Not that that diminishes the innovations of "Un Chien Andalou" and "L'age d'or"- clearly subversive in their own way at the time (for instance, "L'age d'or" provoked a riot by right-wing Catholics!). Still, once you define yourself as a "film-maker" you trap yourself into a celebrity cultural role that this society wants you trapped in, and you accept the alienated notion that "being" is with what you do for money.

Dalí, bunuel's more famous collaborator, openly supported Franco.
Certainly not all surrealists were fascists, but the link must be more than incidental. See also: futurism.

See also: transhumanism, nihilism.

How is nihilism related to fascism you tell me, idiot. Got any insider intel on Novatore partying hard with Mussolini?

Dali and Bunuel were buddies in the '20s, but the guy was so much a gargantuan wingnut that he lost touch with the political critique behind his former art. Also his paintings had this half-hidden glorification of domination, the totalitarian and the godly, making despotism and phallocracy sexy. Comparable to that lackey Ezra Pound, with less desperation to make himself a name.

But it's true that surrealists had this sub-current rooted in Futurism, who were positive about the main themes of fascism. Kinda like the proto-transhumanists, who really got something neo-Nazi in them, just in a completely different angle than conventional neonazis.

You must have misread somewhere... Bunuel was making movies for the Republicans in the late '30s, until he flew from Spain when the fascists took power. If he had been in contact with Franco's regime his next contact with them would have been the garrote or just summary execution.

He has indeed been doing not-so-memorable stuff for money in the '40s and '50s, but his '60s movies were also obviously anti-clerical and ferociously sharp against the bourgeoisie, where they could have been interpreted at first level by catholic idiots as sympathetic to their faith, like "The Milky Way".

Can't for the moment find the reference to making a propaganda film for Franco. But you're wrong about him never returning to Spain unless it were to be for a suicide mission: after having been in exile for over 2 decades he went to Spain in 1960 to make the film Viridiana, an anti-clerical film made in a disgustingly fascist-Catholic country. It's true, I may have misremembered the Franco propaganda film - certainly don't have the interest or time at the moment to re-read half his autobiography just to check one way or the other.

Yeah, he returned, after having some international recognition and support, especially by the French art networks. Franco in the '60s could still go down hard on anarchists, but not against celebrities like him.

I contend that his '60s films were quite blatantly anti-bourgeoisie and anti-clerical (hence contrary to fascist ideas), unless he was really some incomprehensibly twisted pervert. Bunuel did not-too subversive stuff during his exile in Mexico because he needed money and probably didn't wanted to attract the same death squads that were waiting for him in Spain. (for as you may know, the '50s-'60s in Latin America was riddled with top Nazi officers who were having the full support of the CIA... But this stuff was only uncovered in the '70s through the work of people like Simon Wiesenthal) That's where he also developed the technique of voice dubbing in films, because it paid well as there was huge demand for it.

Also... you realize that saying Bunuel was a propagandist for Franco (where he actually has been officially propagandist for the Republicans) is pretty much like saying Einstein was a Nazi collaborator?

Well, I apologise if I got it wrong - I'm sure he's rolling in his grave at this very moment because of my comment. But that's how I remember it from when I read it about 15 years ago. I suppose I'll just have to re-read it to see if I've got it wrong. As I remember it (possibly misremembered it), he wasn't really excusing himself, except to say he needed the money, and seemed a little sheepish about admitting it. Obviously outside of this he was consistently anti-fascist.

As for Einstein, he did work for the same country as Werner Von Braun eventually worked for. His help in developing the atom bomb is indefensible, anti-Nazi or not.

That's okay. You're withdrawing in a place where some trolls here would go lower and deeper down their shit pit in the vain hope of having the last word.

Well Einstein sure did a deal with the devil that he later publicly apologized about (though that wasn't enough). Werner Von Braun, on the other hand, wasn't very apologetic for the dark story of inhumane enslavement of Jews that allowed him to make his advancements with the rocket systems (though there was more to it than just rockets... who appeared to be a cover for some secret technology, perhaps the Nazi's A-bomb itself), so were the rest of the Nazi scientists, officers and collaborators rehabilitated by the US army and OSS/CIA after the war.

He made propaganda films in Mexico, as a precondition for his working there.

Libertarias also had that bizarre horrifying ending that got cut in certain versions, wherein the whole group of women gets raped and murdered by Moors. There's a lot of really nasty dynamics going on it i.e. virginal "pure" Spanish nun who just learned about freedom gets brutalized by Muslim/P.O.C. fascist brutes. It has a lot of unfortunate implications.

I felt that too, and it's good to read that at least another person seen this. That part in the end was screaming fascist torture/snuff porn all over, even though it was probably aimed at demonstrating the brutality of the fascists. Good filmmakers know how to represent horror without merely showing it.

There was also some rampant sexist stereotypes about the Mujere Libres. Victoria Abril especially did a bad job (or good, if intended) depicting the usual macho prejudice about women using guns.

Trigger Warning: Discussion of rape and sexual assault.

"Libertarias also had that bizarre horrifying ending that got cut in certain versions, wherein the whole group of women gets raped and murdered by Moors. There's a lot of really nasty dynamics going on it i.e. virginal "pure" Spanish nun who just learned about freedom gets brutalized by Muslim/P.O.C. fascist brutes. It has a lot of unfortunate implications."

First off, it's not just the women who get butchered at the denoument; all the men are also killed. You must have forgotten the immediate foreshadowing (when a couple of the men proudly bring the stolen sheep back to their campt to slaughter and eat it); the nun, horrified, runs into the shack, and the sounds of the struggling sheep comingle with the sounds of the Moorish shock troops killing the whole squad. The savior of the nun is the Nationalist officer, who intervenes in the attempted rape (a nice bit of fiction; the Moors were renowned for their looting and raping, specifically encouraged by their Spanish officers). That has plenty of "unfortunate implications" as well.

But back to your anti-racist outrage. There was a tremendous amount of anti-Arab/anti-Muslim racism in both sections of Civil War-era Spain. The Republicans refused to seriously consider declaring Morocco's independence (despite the CNT's attempts to negotiate for it within their limited capacity as government ministers, despite their pre-war contacts with the forces of Abd el-Krim, and despite the official adoption of a policy of pro-independence at various CNT congresses throughout the early 1930s) for fear of alienating the British and French governments, both with their own colonies in North Africa. The Nationalists had perhaps the most incoherent policy: they needed the Moroccan forces as shock troops, but privately loathed them as cultural and racial inferiors. The Nationalist portrayal of their cause as a Christian crusade was obviously undercut by the presence of Muslim soldiers fighting Spaniards in Spain at the behest of other Spaniards (quite the change from the mythology of the Spanish Reconquest), but the Catholic hierarchy declared them "temporary Christians" for the duration of the war...

In any case, the image of Moorish troops committing atrocities is 100% accurate and has precious little to do with your moral outrage at "POC" (quite an anachronistic term here) being portrayed poorly. Even the Wikipedia has this to say:
"Furthermore the colonial troops of the Spanish Army of Africa (Ejército de África), mainly the Moroccan regulares and the Spanish Legion, under the command of Colonel Juan Yagüe, in their advance towards Madrid from Sevilla through Andalusia and Extremadura, killed dozens or hundreds in every town or city conquered,[155][156] and several thousands of Republicans in the city of Badajoz.[157][158] Moreover the colonial troops raped many working-class women[75][159] and looted the houses of the Republicans. Queipo de Llano, one of the leaders of the Nationalists said:[160]

Our brave Legionaries and Regulares have shown the red cowards what it means to be a man. And, incidentally the wives of reds too. These Communist and Anarchist women, after all, have made themselves fair game by their doctrine of free love. And now they have at least the acquaintance of real men, and not milksops of militiamen. Kicking their legs about and struggling won't save them."

The only "unfortunate implications" are the ones you insist on covertly imputing to the filmmakers; the ones that hurt your feelings as a pure anti-racist. Like all moralists, you can't keep from imposing your personal perspective on the contextualized realities of actual history.

"Trigger Warning: Discussion of rape and sexual assault."

Like, really. I expect this from social media aged weaklings. One should sooner joke about rape then stoop to this nonsense.

You're better then that.

Well, there goes my last iota of affinity for you...

"The only "unfortunate implications" are the ones you insist on covertly imputing to the filmmakers; the ones that hurt your feelings as a pure anti-racist. Like all moralists, you can't keep from imposing your personal perspective on the contextualized realities of actual history."

Isn't this an awful lot to infer from a one-paragraph comment? The atrocities committed by Franco's Moorish troops are a reality. That is a historical fact beyond contention. But surely you can at least consider, in the context of film criticism, that the image of the attempted rape of a virginal Spanish nun at the hands of Moroccan soldiers is a bit ham-fisted and gauche? I don't mean to suggest that it is necessary to revise historical realities to preserve the sensibilities of modern anarchists. I just feel like it's not out of the question to consider the structural implications of a film, even beyond the (possibly unknowable) intentions of the director.

In this thread, you have made clear your own acknowledgement of the concept of structural anti-Semitism. Is it therefore too out of the question to consider the possibility of similar structural dynamics being reproduced within Libertarias? Is it really too much to ask to consider the implications of a scene wherein virginal white femininity is set upon by the bestial "other?" I don't think it is fair to recognize the film as a purely historical realist work, especially given the presence of the scene wherein one of the women hallucinates and the disembodied voice of Mateo Morral speaks through her to advise the group about explosives!

I concede that I haven't seen Libertarias in several years, and I may be forgetting important details as you mentioned. But in the spirit of discourse in good faith, it seems worthwhile to me not to dismiss out of hand a potentially contrarian perspective as "moralism."

Whatever "awful lot to infer" there might have been is a reflection of your use of strident and vague language.
Sure, the image of a virgin being sullied by a Moor is problematic -- especially if you're looking at the film as an early 21st-century anti-racist American viewer; the anti-Black echo from the days of African slavery is obvious (and has been carried over into anti-Indian, anti-Mexican, anti-Asian, and anti-Muslim portrayals in plenty of American novels and films). But to "consider the structural implications" of Libertarias it is necessary to know more about Spanish culture of the 1930s (what's being portrayed) and the aesthetic options of post-Franco film production (maybe even looking into some Spanish film criticism). The "(possibly unknowable) intentions of the director" are to be found in *that* context, not yours.

Depending on how much Vicente Aranda has been influenced by mainstream American films, it is *possible* that there is a structural anti-Blackness involved in Libertarias, but are you really asking that we extend that concept from its parochial American context onto a culture that does not have a history of African chattel slavery? The anxiety in Spanish culture about Moors and Arabs is a result of the clash of Muslim and Christian civilizations that took place in Iberia from 711-1492, a conflict of more or less equal forces; the history of African chattel slavery in North America was based on White anxieties about incomplete objectification, exploitation, subjugation, and repression coupled with the patriarchal and misogynist idealization of White Womanhood. That kind of unresolvable anxiety does not exist in mainstream Spanish culture, not even in the Middle Ages, even at the height of the Inquisition.

Despite whatever fabulist elements exist in works of fiction, they often occur in a context of historical realism. The "possession" of the bookseller by the spirit of Morral is clearly fabulist (as indicated by the dramatic change in the lighting of the scene/close-up of her face), but the advice is accurate and contemporary to the context. It was perhaps the only way Aranda could dare to express a diatribe aimed at the soon-to-fail policies of an otherwise untouchable Durruti (the broader realist composition is obvious considering that in the scene where Durruti is interviewed by the character of the reporter, the dialogue is taken verbatim from his interview with Pierre van Paassen).

In the spirit of good faith, I would ask that you resist the temptation to read non-American film through the prism of a history of American cultural supremacy.

OK, now this I can engage with. I get the impression that two things were happening here:

1. My use of vague and strident language caused you to jump to the conclusion that I was approaching this from the knee-jerk "anti-imperialist" position which is so unfortunately en vogue within the North American anarchist milieu.

2. My approach to the film was informed, however much I didn't intend it to be, from a knee-jerk anti-imperialist position contextualized within a North American approach to racism.

"The anxiety in Spanish culture about Moors and Arabs is a result of the clash of Muslim and Christian civilizations that took place in Iberia from 711-1492, a conflict of more or less equal forces"

This is really the central point of it all, and demonstrates how much easy anti-imperialist positions deny the agency of non-European groups. Even within an informed, however flawed, anti-imperialism, those conflicts took place before colonialism or what we call racism today even existed. That's my bad there. The scene still comes across as problematic to me, but as you say, it's almost certainly due to understanding it from a North American perspective.

"It was perhaps the only way Aranda could dare to express a diatribe aimed at the soon-to-fail policies of an otherwise untouchable Durruti"

Damn, that's a good point.

So are we pals now?

I wasn't aware we ever weren't pals. I thought we were just debating the merits of a movie.

...and at least we weren't arguing about Fight Club.

Yeah, I gave up on that one...

...and Avatar!?

Avatar sucked, its basically just another 'white savior' film that was only made so James Cameron could cum all over our faces with his expensive CGI.

While openly stating to the media that the tar sands are ecologically fiiine, after his personal visit to Fort McMurray.

i guess you weren't around for the Great @News 'Is Avatar Anarcho-Primitivist' Debate
(answer: no, duh)

Watched Salt of the Earth just 2 days ago. Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favourites. When I was younger, I was more interested in the fantasy aspect, but as I grew older, the civil war aspect really intrigued me, too.

Pan's Labyrinth was alrite... especially for restoring the character of Pan, that was anarchistic in nature (the noun "panic" is actually rooted in his name), yet had nothing to do with the satanic significance the Church and later satanist crazies gave him. Though the idea of a little girl form a conservative background being so insensitive to huge ugly insects is rather odd. Perhaps the only really worthy film by Del Toro.

Uh, I guess you never saw motherfucking HELLBOY 2?!

This ain't Aintitcoolnews, basement kid.

an interesting list and some more in comments for sure.

if i were to name some off the top of my head, i may add:

"the idiots"
from imdb - "The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves."
a dogma 95 filme, and while dogma 95 has strict rules for being categorized as such, it has produced some intriguing films, this being one of my favorites from that rule set.

some chris marker films:
"a grin without a cat" or sans soleil perhaps
while marker wasn't necessarily anarchist, his films have some "anarchistic nature"
to them for sure.

Mic Mac, the city of lost children, sin city

Star Wars The Phantom Menace... 50 Shades of Grey... Transformers 6... and of course GAME OF THRONES!

Kiss a career in script writing away! Splice the best pieces out of all the lame movies mentioned on this thread and waddaya get,,,,,,,,,,,,,,RAMBO 4!

Sin city, I hope that was a joke. Frank miller is very right wing. Have you seen 300?

The spectacle, man... it's like... everywhere

I did notice how odd that "The Society of Spectacle" isn't in the list up there. Yes, these anarchoids are sold to the Spectacle as much as any other liberal.

probably because its depressing and boring. anyways, film is totally rooted in bourgeois ontology... but theater like, is for the people

There's really no way to tell whether this is sarcasm or not. My life depends on ruling over this so please respoooooond!!!

(that was sarcasm, and quite obvious, see?)

But if not, explain why usually theater is filled with the petty bourgeoisie and the tickets are 3 times more expensive than for blockbusters. Yeah, sure... theater can be prole. Though not many (enough?) people do that today. It requires some street or public place theater that may or may not be legal, so that rules out most of the anarcho-liberal idiots who really want to do it in legal enclosed spaces where nobody cares aside than their cliques.

Ha! That shit was true 150 years ago but it's long since reversed.

Certain kinds of live theatre were very political and subversive back in the day and a few diehards try to keep those traditions alive (authentic burlesque comes to mind) but they're both just mediums for any message and movies obviously reach more people.

i disagree. i think form is meaningful.
and something done by human beings who you can touch in front of you (or waylay outside the theater, or whatever), is different in kind from a movie.
(obviously this has nothing to do with the explicit content of the message, which i agree can be anything in either format. but scale is real.)

But film is subversive, it can be smuggled into a police state on a USB. Props, choreography, 40 performers and technicians and 1 ton of equipment can't. Street theater has its place parochially as entertainment, not as a method of global political enlightenment.

could not have said it better myself

Wait... you're that kind of idiot? Police States like the US DO grab your USB stick and any other electronics at the customs and airports, just so you know. If it's triple-encrypted it may also be a reason for them to keep them indefinitely, as they did with many people already.

FUCK... in what dimension do you live!? OR didja just woke up to this world a few weeks ago?

I think he means that a USB is easier to stick up ones ass than 40 actors and technicians, props, lighting equipment etc. I suppose the vagina can also be used [pleeease this is not sexism :)]. Anyway, WTF is dangerous about a USB which has a movie whose script is of the CAII genre, that's Creative Aesthetic Insurrectionist Insurgency. If you stick your own head up your own ass you'll see there's not that much room in there with all the dorito chips beer and the 6 McDonalds quarter-pounders you put away for breakfast!

Sigh... can't get rid of that outreach to the masses thing, right? Coz it worked so well over the past few decades. I mean... think of the MASSIVE potential of screening Avatar in every damn horrible plastic suburb in NA to transform complete idiots into the new ELF Megalodon... at least like 12x of what ELF was 10 years ago!!!

And yeah, theater still has got a huge advantage over movies... it doesn't require technology and/or a skilled elaborate, compartmentalized team work process that just creates a dead representation in the form of an complete illusion. Where, as the other wrote, the living, physical nature of theater is irreplacable.

ELF is dead, they all snitched or went to prison for decades and no one wants to do that anymore over burning a couple cars; the new militant green thing is ITS' revival of the unabomber "maim random nerds" strategy. hopefully some of these idiots will blow themselves up first in the process.

There is also the "ask a rich benefactor to buy us land to milk out cows on" strategy

That was not point point of the above comment you imbecile. ELF type tactics have been carried very often since the ELF people went to jail, including the burning of cars and other machinery that became widespread in Europe for the last 10 years. Just that people no longer use the ELF entity.

I know it wasn't the point you made, it was a snide tangent *i* made on your boring primitivist idealism masquerading as a point. Duh.

I'm the OP of the comment you're replying to and I'm not actually a "mass outreach" believer either but if you WERE trying to persuade people with your ideas alone, it seems to me that it would be a numbers game because math, therefore film.

are they ever alone?
i think not...

(why answer the question when you can question the premise! ;) )

"math" and "mass outreach" are two sides of the same quantitative meta-paradigm. Mass-based social relationships is what needs to be abolished first and foremost in our relationships, as the restoration of authentic, eye-to-eye individual and inter-subjective relations and experience is what the system will never be able to do but what WE CAN do. Realize that no State can exist in relationships based on eye-to-eye. It needs a quantitative structure of mass=management, hence why you got a monetary system, census, Fedbook, and yadyyada

Last movie I went to see, the place was a panopticon. Just saying...

But I'm sure you could still manage to hack your way in by asking for the toilets. ;)

Also read on Tom Nomad's distinction between panoptic and deterrent structures.

Commenter above... I meant "surveillance and deterrent structures". Actually panoptic structures are mostly deterrent, more than about surveillance.

Ontology is a word that has gone viral in Anews and perhaps Libcom and actually little of its users really grasp the intricate, equivoqual , multi-faceted meaning of it. Really it's just bad wording, just as those people who went on using "the existent" or "the Being", or now something as mundanely odd as "Friends". Maybe the symptom of a neurolinguistic disease contracted sometime in the 20th century known as "intellectualism".

That's true, context can sometimes unravel some of the nuances when using the 'study of reality'

Metropolis,,,oh wait, that's Marxist propaganda, you know, talented artists aren't allowed to enjoy the spoils and wealth which the proles shower them with. Silly proles and their personality cults, they deserve to be enslaved!

CLEARLY, you don't know anything about Metropolis if you think that's Marxist propaganda.

Marxism and Nazism are the same thing, totalitarian socialism, think big picture like the car you drive (or dream about), they all have engines and 4 wheels. The Nazis attempted to recruit Lang for their propaganda films.
The Luddite similarities, what's sickening is the recuperation in the final seen, worse than a festering colony of 3 billion pregnant thread worm inhabiting my colon. Nuff said

Hum hums! Let's say I didn't read that first line, dog!

You actually are putting the punch lines of your jokes at the very beginning, which is rather tricky but not very efficient on the humor side.

I'd rather have a colony of 3 billion pregnant thread worm taking up residence in my colon than read another one of your asinine comments. How's that?

"How's that?"
Grammatically incorrect.

"Marxism and Nazism are the same thing, totalitarian socialism"

Cool analysis, Glenn Beck!

LeWay is correct.

They both have fundamentally similar features and functions in regards to the ideology of movement(read Agamben on movement) and they both played a major role in unifying economic and political capital. They also helped make and sustain the progressive economic ideology that we are dealing with today.

The Nazis ideology was not based on progressive ideology, it was evolutionist, you pretentious asshole. It was about the edification of an imperial order supported by the restoration of an mythological pure superior race, and the gradual destruction of the lower proletarian and non-White races. Hence the Third Reich, seen as a further evolution on the past German empires in their attempt at taking leadership over all the Indo-European races.

And also... if Heidegger was a Nazi phenomenologist, then all phenomenologists are Nazis.

Wow, that one BIG fart, mister! Suddenly the smallest similarity between two things makes them the SAME.

Srsrly... get an education.

Apparently "Metropolis" was Hitler's favourite movie

Didn't some jackasses in Olympia who misread tiqqun make a movie called metropolis a few years ago?

SWEET MOVIE!!!! a must see!

Yes, and WR: Mysteries of the Organism too!

What about the movie Brazil?

Anarcho syndicalism in practice.

I don't follow.

It's kinda like Anews only with cops as mods.

Oh wait...

trill

Gattaca SciFi future anarch praxis user's manual.

Gotta mention that one even though the anarchic ideas in that are more implicit.

Redemption against the worst of civilized confinement and eventually the confining warden. The ending is positively post-civilized as far as I'm concerned.

The greater message is that the answer to civilized totality as whole is redemption and not revenge.

A couple of anecdotes about the film "Land & Freedom" directed by Loach.

In the film there's a 10 to 15 minute discussion between anarchists and Stalinists about their different perspectives. This was an improvised discussion, and included a couple of former anarchist participants in the revolution of '36-'37. I met one of them a bit before he died about 10 years ago. Apparently the anarchists who took part in the film did so for ideological reasons - to argue their case, but refused to be paid. Nevertheless, they went on strike. What for? Because in the original script Loach, being someone who wanted to present a respectable image of the movement, had the priest who'd been shooting at the militia being captured but not shot. They insisted on a change of script - that the priest should be put up against the wall, shot and killed. And went on strike to get this change of script. They won the strike - probably the only strike by uncredited members of a production in the history of the cinema that insisted on a change of script, went on strike and won!

Another, less interesting anecdote, which I'm telling to explain why we the need to criticise this kind of "radical" cultural commodity:

I went to see the film in London with a friend who taught French at the Ministry of Agriculture, who for a short while went out with the Personal Assistant to the Conservative Party Minister there - Selwyn Gummer (famous in the UK for feeding a beefburger at the height of the mad cow disease scandal to his daughter to show how safe they were; in fact his daughter took a bite out of it for the cameras and the PA was given the rest of it to eat). A PA to a Minister is a pretty bourgeois job, obviously. We 3 went to see the film together, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit. The guy found the film very interesting and liked it very much. Which just shows how irrelevant these kinds of narrative fictionalised films are - even those with an apparently radical take on things. This film is often shown at anarcho-leftist gatherings, but it challenges fuck-all. On the one hand, another country another epoch makes it seem very very far from any of today's concerns and gives it a certain "exoticism" even if it takes the classic social realist form that Loach never deviates from. On the other hand - it's just a sad tear-jerking story, moving but only emotionally - it can never provoke people to move out of their conservatism.

I like where you went with that. Rather than this list of not very interesting or radical seeming films I would rather see some examination of why and how films do or don't have a radicalizing effect on their audience. We are flooded now with popular films about radical social revolt like v for vendetta, hunger games, etc.; some radicals like to embrace this stuff without noticing that in general in these scenarios, the world the rebels are fighting for is the one we live in (or at least not explicitly and fundamentally distinguished). It's not, wow our society is just like this generic dystopia, we should wreck it, it's more wow aren't you glad that we don't live in that society and have to revolt against it, but that we live in late capitalism and can just consume images of revolt vicariously? ("Things could always be worse", the classic mantra of collaboration and reformism. I've always thought that sounded like a threat.) Part of what makes this films is popular is not just this safe, gimmicky appeal to rebellious feelings, but moreso that they're designed to let people see what they want in it - dark knight rises comes to mind.

While I agree that as someone said above, most of debord's films are boring and depressing, at least to us fifty years later, he was attacking both the form of the cinema & the radical/avant garde milieu *practically* as well as the social totality, symbolically. Howls for Sade caused a riot at its premiere. How boring is that?

This whole discussion is making me want to start a nihilist film blog. Who's in?

I'm in - set it up (though of course, it depends on what you mean by "nihilist") .

Yeah like the term has been flogged to death, however, to be specific, one COULD choose apocalyptic nihilism because this genre encompasses many of nihilisms other forms i.e. extreme states of discomfort, horror, slaughter, self-loathing and complete lawlessness. In which case I nominate 'The Divide'.

For existential nihilism I'd recommend Cocteau's Orpheus, though I think it's depth would be unfathomable to many who watch it. Main thing is, if it changes your views on self, love and death, its succeeded in opening doors of understanding the human condition.

The script of "Howlings in favour of de Sade" - has some good lines in it: “Art begins, grows and disappears because frustrated men bypass the world of official expression and the festivals of its poverty” or “And their revolts became conformisms” and other - stranger but evocative - "dialogue". This was in 1952 when Debord was 21 - and it created a bit of a scandal, as you say. It was clearly influenced by Isidore Isou's "Spit and Eternity" (sometimes badly translated as "Venom and eternity") , which was a bizarre and very repetitive but also original and innovative Lettrist movie from the year before, a movie whose main aim was to attack the narrative form but it still remained stuck within the world of avant-garde cultural innovation. Used to be available on youtube but as far as I can see, only extracts are available now.

What you say about "Hunger Games" etc. is refreshingly lucid - for instance- "Things could always be worse", the classic mantra of collaboration and reformism. I've always thought that sounded like a threat.

In fact, the whole notion of "anarchist movies" seems ridiculous if we take "anarchist" to mean having something to do with an attempt to undermine this sick society. Given such a desire, it seems pointless looking at films "...from the banal leftist/ultra-leftist differentiation of films with an apparently radical content and those with a reactionary content and those in between, or whether they provide positive role models for women, gays, blacks etc. Whilst the immediate content of a story and dialogue, etc. might be more or less interesting, this content is certainly not something that should be purely assessed in an uncritically positive manner, within the corny everyday dialogue that gets everyone into playing the amateur critic." - from here: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/culture/escape-from-alcatraz/ There are lots of films that I half-enjoy when I'm tired and need to unwind when I'm alone that are clearly utterly conservative movies - but they are no more of a distraction from reality than, say, "Snowpiercer", which has some vaguely radical pretensions, but which doesn't either clarify real contradictions or incite to serious consequential questioning any more than, say, "Breaking Bad" or a comedy like "Blazing Saddles"(to just mention two off the top of my head).

About the only film that has had such a clearly immediate consequential effect (at least to my knowledge) was a film shown in Switzerland in the 80s which was simply a documentary of the early 80s movement of youths in mainly Basel and Zurich, involving riots every week for a year and lots of other creative/destructive things. The documentary was immediately followed by the audience going out and rioting, smashing things up. Of course, there are almost certainly films by people who aim not to make a name for themselves or fill movie theaters but who want to contribute to a social movement that have a longer term effect (immediacy is certainly not the only criteria for judging effect) - but I doubt if any of them are on the list of the OP.

it makes you seem so . . . quotable. Not to mention self-absorbed.

i'm the one who mentioned a film blog and the comment you liked about hunger games etc. i have actually been talking to someone else about such a project today. you can gmail me at pontos.axinos if you have anything to contribute, or if you just want to stay in touch, i'm not always on here.

i don't have really a heavy investment in the term 'nihilist', i was just up late and have a lot of qualms about 'anarchist' as label/identity too so i said something that felt slightly more on the mark, but i don't voluntarily affix any '-ists' to myself. nihilist like raising radical (fundamental) questions about both form and content, with a baleful eye on the total existent.

i'm not exactly clear what you're saying about breaking bad or blazing saddles, i don't know if i think they have radical pretensions (or if that's what you meant)? breaking bad has some really troubling racial dynamics, as a lot of people pointed out, but i think there's something really powerful in how it's overwhelmingly a story about money and its domination over life, conscience etc. i mean how could a story about drug dealing not also be a story about capitalism, especially when motivated by the fear of destitution for one's family. it's kind of weird to me how strongly people tend to read it as a morality tale. vince gilligan is fucking brilliant, wrote some of the best x-files episodes ever. and mel brooks i will always cherish!

Except the X-Files (aside from the fact that the first few seasons had awesome riveting episodes indeed with some powerful photography) were nothing much more than FBI legitimation at a second level, and also contributing to the "good cop" propaganda.

are you out of your mind? it was a show about aliens and voodoo. i really don't think it had any sincere political points to make....

CLEARLY you don't understand anything about how propaganda works. They've evolved since the days of Frank Capra, didja know that? I'm not out of my mind, just beyond yours.

Emails get sent back. Contact me at: dialecticaldelinquents[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk

what are you selling? at what price?

"Walter Defends Sarajevo"!! Stirring abeyance to the eradication of the Nazi/Bourgeois quest for world dominance.

WHITE GOD

Revolution requires opposable thumbs ;)

synedoche in ny?
my dijner wi andre
felini cotard

Everyone forgot Love and Anarchy by Lina Wertmüller? Plot: "When a friend is murdered by the Facists, a melancholy farmer takes up residence in a Roman brothel as he and an anarchist prostitute plot to assassinate Mussolini." That's fucking awesome.

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