Review: 1971

Last evening I watched the documentary 1971 about the burglary in that year of an FBI office in the Philadelphia suburb of Media, PA by eight people who took away the files, separated out and sent to various people those files that exposed wrongdoing by the FBI, such as infiltrating and spying on peaceful groups and carrying out what were called ‘dirty tricks’ to try and destroy the lives of people that the government thought of as its enemies. The burglars were never caught and only revealed themselves a couple of years ago. (I wrote about this earlier.)
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Frontline TV documentary tonight: Secrets, Politics and Torture

I just learned about a Frontline documentary with the above title and the subtitle The secret history of the fight over the CIA’s controversial interrogation methods, widely criticized as torture that is being shown tonight on PBS stations at 10:00pm though your local station might have it at a different time. The description is:
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Adam Sandler and me

When I was still in my early teens I became a huge fan of comic writers such as P. G. Wodehouse, S. J. Perelman, and Stephen Leacock. I loved the way they played with words to get laughs and dreamed of writing just like them. So I tried writing a comic story, a parody of the hard-boiled detective genre which Perelman in particular was a genius at, such as his famous short story Somewhere a Roscoe.
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Film review: Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

This Woody Allen production that he wrote and directed has a plot that readers of this blog will be able to easily relate to. It is 1928 and Colin Firth plays a famous magician and illusionist who also has a second career as a debunker of all those who claim to be mediums who can talk to the dead or other supernatural powers. He is a total materialist and rationalist and has never failed to expose anyone who came under his investigative gaze. Think of James Randi but even more so.
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Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

The death of Leonard Nimoy a few days ago at the age of 83 has opened the floodgates of memories for the many people who were entranced by Star Trek. I was not in the US during the heyday of the show and so was not sucked into the intense fan loyalty that it generated. But I had seen a couple of episodes here and there and appreciated the fact that its basic message was a very positive one, ahead of its time especially in the way that it treated diversity, and Spock’s mixed parentage offered opportunities to explore that dimension.
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Film review: The Newburgh Sting (2014)

This is an absolutely riveting, must-see HBO documentary directed and edited by Kate David and David Heilbroner about four men accused in 2009 of plotting to carry out a terrorist plot. We all know that the US government uses money and other lures to coax young minor criminals who have no prospects and little sense into signing on to hare-brained schemes of violence so that the government can then triumphantly unmask the plot. They also carefully manufacture a link with a mosque in order to exploit the fears and anti-Muslim sentiment of the US public.
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