(Venice, Italy) I've always suspected that George Clooney was a Jedi. Now I am sure that he is. If you are a Jedi, too, you will understand.
Based on a true story by Jon Ronson, who was here at the press conference, The Men Who Stare at Goats is about the American military's top-secret program to harnass pyschic powers to create a New Earth Army. Originally formed with the best of intentions to prevent wars, like many things on this planet, something beautiful was perverted by the darkness.
From the synopsis:
In this quirky dark comedy inspired by a real life story you will hardly believe is actually true, astonishing revelations about a top-secret wing of the U.S. military come to light when a reporter encounters an enigmatic Special Forces operator on a mind-boggling mission. ...A legion of "Warrior Monks" with unparalleled psychic powers can read the enemy's thoughts, pass through solid walls, and even kill a goat simply by staring at it.
In real life, journalist Jon Ronson tumbled down the rabbit hole into this bizarre military world, which feels a lot like the rabbit hole I find myself in. If you think I am relating too much on a personal level to the films we are screening, you have to understand the genius of the people in charge -- Marco Mueller, the Artistic Director of the Venice Film Festival (and another Jedi:), in particular. We are screening these particular films because the Venice Film Festival THINKS THEY STAND OUT, WANTS YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THEM AND THINKS YOU SHOULD MAKE AN EFFORT TO SEE THEM. Going to the festival is like an intensive catch-up on current world events from a Jedi point-of-view.
Venice has always been a kind of Jedi Headquarters, with all sorts of magical people practicing their arts throughout the centuries. (That image is the Palazzo Ducale, the most fanciful palace in the world.) On Sunday, George Lucas (Emperor of the Jedis:) himself was here to present the Golden Lion to John Lasseter and the directors from Disney-Pixar (nothing but Jedis over there). In addition, I had the good fortune to participate in the Pixar's Master Class on Monday morning where they revealed their secrets. At Pixar, the artists have the most power, and the producers have the least. There are no politics. They say they live in fairyland, which, as you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, is exactly where I want to live, and was living before the military and other dark forces decided to try to take over our sweet town and force me out on the street with an illegal eviction.
I have always been very vocal about expressing my belief that Venice has the real possibility of becoming the Magic Kingdom, and now that I have seen The Men Who Stare at Goats, I understand better the dark force that keeps trying to prevent this.
What is a Jedi? This from Wikipedia:
The Jedi are an ancient monastic peacekeeping organization in the fictional Star Wars universe. They are connected with the Force. They specifically use the "light side" of the force and reject the "dark side" of the Force, as well as the Dark Side's adherents, the Sith.
While various sources and ideas have been brought forth as the initial inspiration for the idea of a fictional "Jedi" order, the most apparent are the current and past chivalric orders that exist in Europe.
To read the entire article, please click here:
Andrew Stanton, who directed Finding Nemo, shared a Walt Disney (one of the greatest Jedis ever born:) quote during Pixar's Master Class:
"Fun and wonder are the important elements, in addition to quality in production and performance, which are most responsible for the success of Disney productions. Fun in the sense of cheerful reaction - the appeal to love of laughter. Wonder in that we appeal to the constant wonder in men's minds, which is stimulated by imagination."
I had planned on making this blog much longer, but they have managed to find a way to block me, even here at the Film Festival; thanks to the help of a techie, we just hacked our way back in. One quick note: I just came from a conference here entitled Cinema and Human Rights. One of the speakers, Mohsen Namjoo, the "Iranian Bob Dylan," made a comment that struck home. He said, "Even if you are not concerned about politics, it is politics that becomes concerned with you." I feel the same way. The real irony is that I am a citizen of the United States of America, the country that is supposed to be setting the example for democracy and freedom of speech. How can we condemn other countries if I can't write about the movies?
To read more about Namjoo, please click here (or cut & paste):
JEFF BRIDGES HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciao from the 66th International Venice Film Festival,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog