Thursday, September 10, 2009

Attention all Jedis! Call to Action! George Clooney in THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

(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.[1] 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):


Ciao from the 66th International Venice Film Festival,

Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog


  1. "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."

    ...for real? I'll look forward to its release! George's stuff is always good. To me, he's a timeless-type actor - like Liz Taylor and others.

  2. Cat, for those of us who are thinking of you, could you tell us how you are doing? I am assuming that you have shelter and are doing somewhat better than recent weeks.


  3. Well, Christopher, it depends on the day. No, I do not have a real shelter. I have been staying in youth hostels or literally sleeping on the street. Cleopatra has been staying in an office and she is a nervous wreck. The weather is starting to change and I have one small suitcase full of summer clothes, as everything else is locked inside my apartment, and they have changed the locks. Some days I don't eat ANYTHING because I don't have any money, and, apparently local agenices have been instructed not to help me. One Catholic agency gave me food but I must be there at 7PM or I can't eat, and it is difficult if I am over here on the Lido. This has been going on since June 10th. It's INHUMANE. They are waiting for me to give up, but I WILL NOT because no one should be treated the way they are treating me.

    For example, on Friday, I went to the Carabinieri to denounce my landlady for physically attacking me. They told me to wait for 20 minutes to half and hour. After an HOUR AND A HALF a senior Carabinieri official came out and told me I could not do it there. It made me angry because they keep running me in circles and deliberately waste my time, and of course it is exhausting and difficult to work.

    They keep trying to block Google and my blog, but Google is standing strong. MediaSet (the company controlled by the Prime Minister, Berlusconi) keeps suing Google; harassing Google. I had drinks at a conference with some people from Google the other night, and I thanked them for allowing me to exist, and giving me a voice. Really. It is a little miracle that I can still reach you by the Internet.

    If you want to follow the trail, start by googling Endemol and see how you are being affected there in America without your knowledge:

    A consortium headed by Mediaset, and also consisting of Goldman Sachs and John de Mol's Cyrte Group, acquired Dutch television production company Endemol in 2007.[2]

    If anyone knows how to figure out PayPal (I no longer have a credit card), please let me know.