The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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A recent issue of Harper’s Magazine was devoted to a debate on the Shakespeare authorship question. Interest in the topic is high, and the exchange brought an avalanche of mail. Spreading belief in the Earl of Oxford’s authorship of the Bard’s works has now driven Sylvan Barnet, editor of the Signet paperback editions of the... Read More
A week before his death in 1547, Henry VIII — obese, syphilitic, demented — groggily approved an order for the execution of Henry Howard, the young Earl of Surrey. Henry was too bloated to walk, or even wield a pen, so he used a stamp that had been provided for the purpose. Surrey was a... Read More
As I keep saying, the Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare works. Let’s approach the question from a new angle. The Shakespeare authorship debate can be distilled to one central point. The champions of William of Stratford rely on testimony that he was the author. The champions of Oxford rely on circumstantial evidence: the internal... Read More
Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky should be called Vanilla Movie — and I LIKE vanilla. It achieves a near impossible feat. Although it is a product of Hollywood and is set in New York City, the only non-whites in the movie are extras! I think that one Negro utters a line. He is a doorman. In... Read More
At one minute past midnight on Wednesday, December 19th, 2001, I was one of hundreds of people assembled in several sold-out theaters to see the Atlanta opening of Lord of the Rings. I was astonished that hundreds of people had gathered to watch a three-hour movie starting after midnight. Surely most of these people had... Read More
April! That can mean only one thing — the Earl of Oxford’s birthday. On April 12 he will be 452 years old. That would be Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604), the one who, as independent thinkers now generally agree, wrote under the name William Shakespeare. Of course if you are an... Read More
1. Network (directed by Sidney Lumet, starring William Holden, Peter Finch, and Faye Dunaway) This is the best movie ever made. The story is wonderful, the script brilliant, the acting stunning, the satire cutting and hilarious, and the message serious and profound. Network shows how capitalism works in the realm of culture, how the culture... Read More
Definition: A minority report is a statement of a dissenting viewpoint defeated by majority vote. I saw Minority Report this weekend. Since I liked the last Tom Cruise movie Vanilla Sky, I thought I might like Minority Report too, even though the quality of a movie has far more to do with the director than... Read More
My cat and I saw Men in Black II this past weekend, along with a cheerful bunch of white college students. My cat found the movie complex, challenging, and fully engaging. I was less impressed, but I admit that I was much amused. The cartoonish nature of the film was underscored by the fact that... Read More
I loved M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. And I love his new movie Signs. Signsdoes not have the amazing twist ending of The Sixth Sense, but it has a twist of its own. Ostensibly a suspenseful, scary sci-fi thriller with many wonderful comic scenes, Signs turns into something far more serious and... Read More
I liked the first Spy Kids movie a lot. It was a simple, enjoyable adventure story, told with humor and style and livened up with imaginative sets and great gadgets. I liked the premise: Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are spies, a job they have to keep secret from their kids. The kids are smart, though,... Read More
Because I have a certain respect for Shakespeare, I usually avoid productions of his plays. Too many directors falsify them by trying to modernize them. I don’t mind modern-dress performances; I do mind modern-ideas performances, which turn the plays into parables of fascism or feminism or existentialism — current fads that are totally alien to... Read More
I finally saw Gangs of New York, and I wish that I had gone much sooner. Gangs is an absolutely magnificent movie, the best movie I have seen since The Two Towers. It is Martin Scorsese’s best movie — ever. Better even than Taxi Driver, which has been my favorite of his films until now.... Read More
Sick of Hollywood? Try Bollywood. “Bollywood” is the world’s largest film industry, the Indian film industry, centered in Mumbai (Bombay). My first exposure to Bollywood was over lunch in an Indian Chaat House. A music video compilation was playing on a big-screen TV, and I was totally captivated. Although the words were all in Hindi,... Read More
In this age of compulsive commemoration, you might expect the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death to attract some notice, but it has passed almost unobserved. That’s because his pen name has been mistaken for his real name, and all the honor due to him has gone to the wrong man. “Shakespeare” — Edward de Vere,... Read More
Who was Shakespeare? The answer to this old question depends on when his works were written. And I think there is vivid evidence, right under the noses of the academic scholars, that William Shakspere of Stratford was too young to have written them. The first two published works of “William Shakespeare” weren’t plays but two... Read More
A new, annotated edition of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories has just appeared in two volumes; ditto a new best-selling “biography” of Shakespeare, Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World. Neither one is urgently needed. Two scholarly editions of the Holmes stories already exist. As for Shakespeare bios, there’s at least one new one every year,... Read More
April 12 was Shakespeare’s birthday. The real Shakespeare, I mean: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. I thought a little celebrating was in order, so I watched one of the best Shakespeare films ever made: Roman Polanski’s 1971 Macbeth. When I was a kid, that was one of my favorite plays. Still is. The language!... Read More
As a boy growing up in Michigan half a century ago, thousands of miles from London during the golden age of Shakespearean acting, I wished I could have seen Laurence Olivier on the stage as Macbeth, or Paul Scofield as Hamlet, or Richard Burton as Coriolanus, or Alec Guinness as Lear’s Fool. England was crawling... Read More
We seldom know what our adversaries are doing behind our backs until it’s too late, but sometimes, when we are fortunate, they expose themselves without realizing it. Writing in the Washington Post, Stanley Wells, doyen of Shakespeare scholars, asserts that there is “overwhelming evidence” that “William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems for... Read More
PARIS - Michelangelo Antonioni died this past Monday at 94, less than 24 hours after Ingmar Bergman. The talk from Paris to Rome is of a cosmic joke by the supreme film buff Up There, like a crossover between Persona and L'Avventura staged by Woody Allen. Antonioni was not only the great painter of the... Read More
PARIS - I had promised a two-part analysis on the new iron triangle of Iran, Russia and China to celebrate the launch of, but I knew trouble was brewing as soon as my Thai mobile started ringing. Still dizzy after a long flight from Asia, still dreaming of the energy/nuclear/weapons love-fest linking Iranian Supreme... Read More
The United States lost the war in Vietnam - which, for the Vietnamese, is more appropriately known as the American War - on the ground. But Hollywood won the war on screen - displaying back-to-back masterpieces from Apocalypse Now to The Deer Hunter. Now history repeats itself as - what else - farce. The US... Read More
Secretary was directed by Steven Shainberg and stars James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I watched this movie for three reasons. First, because it has James Spader in it, who is one of my favorite male actors. (Although Spader is very handsome, for most of the film he has a creepy, waxen, reptilian look about him.)... Read More
Oliver Stone’s Alexander is, well, great. It isn’t perfect, but neither was Alexander. It is definitely worth seeing. But there is a subtle and sinister thread of anti-White propaganda running through the movie, and I would not recommend it to anyone without warning him first. There are many reasons why I enjoyed Alexander. Chief among... Read More
The Interpreter is a new thriller starring Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, directed by Sydney Pollack. It is a well-crafted, well-acted, but ultimately mediocre film. Left to my own devices, I would probably not have seen it at all. But I wanted to spend some time with a friend, and he suggested the film. Which... Read More
The news is: the movie of New Moon, the second installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, doesn’t suck—in the vulgar, colloquial, non-vampire sense of the word—although all the signs were certainly there. First, the book of New Moon is terrible: nearly 600 pages of pedestrian prose, glacially paced, padded to excruciating lengths not with fluff,... Read More
Catherine Hardwicke’s movie Twilight is based on the first novel of a series by Stephenie Meyer. The books mostly appeal to young women, and the advertisements for the movie screamed “chick flick,” so I gave it a pass when it was released in theaters. But I admire Joss Whedon’s series Angel, about a vampire with... Read More
The Feel-Bad Movie of the Apocalypse
The Road makes The Road Warrior look like a utopia. Based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy and directed by John Hillcoat, The Road stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi McPhee as a father and his little boy struggling to survive and reach “the coast” in an America devastated by some sort of ecological apocalypse. This... Read More
David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence (New Line Cinema, 2005) is truly a superb movie, with a tight and economical script (the whole story is told in 96 minutes), a remarkably subtle and gripping performance by Viggo Mortensen (his best ever, in my opinion), excellent performances from the rest of the cast, and an unostentatiously... Read More
Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds [sic, sic] has been hyped as World War II action movie-cum-sadistic gorefest. In reality, it is a self-indulgent snorefest. I thought I would need a gin and tonic before I went in, but it turns out what I needed was a cup of coffee. Yes, there is some gore and sadism,... Read More
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a martial arts movie, a Samurai movie. Its music and style also pay homage to (or shamelessly rip off) Sergio Leone’s great Spaghetti Westerns. Kill Bill is also, we are told from the very beginning, the fourth opus by director Quentin Tarrantino. Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction is a truly great film.... Read More
It was one minute past midnight again, exactly 364 days after the opening of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of The Lord of the Rings movies, and I was back for the opening of The Two Towers. I loved the first movie so much that I was fully expecting to be disappointed. There’s... Read More
It was one minute past midnight, one last time. I knew The Return of The King would be a great movie, and it is. The only question in my mind was, “How great?” Return is not as good as The Two Towers, my favorite Rings movie, but it is a magnificent, moving film, that will... Read More
About twenty minutes into The Matrix Reloaded I was feeling sick to my stomach — literally. The scene was in “Zion,” the last bastion of the human [sic] race. Picture the ugliest industrial junkyard on the planet and then drop it down a hole to the ninth circle of hell. Morpheus, played by the ugly,... Read More
Spoiler: Neo and Trinity die and the machines win. Bummer. Most of the rest makes no sense. I hated this movie. I didn’t hate it for its racial politics, which are the absolute worst I have ever seen. There are wise, powerful, competent, heroic Negroes everywhere. (The fact that they are all in Zion, a... Read More
Recently, I went to see Predators, a sequel to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator, about a group of American Special Forces commandos in the Central American jungle who find themselves being hunted by an extraterrestrial, the Predator. Predator was not that good a movie, but the premise was interesting. It was ripped off and... Read More
Twilight: Eclipse is the third movie based on Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally popular four volume Twilight Saga. I reviewed the first two movies, Twilight (here) and New Moon (here), and I was gratified to be contacted by several readers for my opinion of Eclipse. First, some background. In Twilight, Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart), the protagonist with... Read More
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director whose films I have been watching since I learned he was directing The Hobbit, which is being produced by Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a LOTR fanatic, I wanted to get a sense of how Del Toro might handle The Hobbit.... Read More
David Lynch is the greatest director working today, one of the greatest of all time. Mulholland Drive is his latest film. It is one of his best. Those who took their grandmothers to see Lynch’s last film The Straight Story should not take them to Mulholland Drive, which most closely resembles Lynch’s Lost Highway. Like... Read More
Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy (2004) is grounded in a highly entertaining fusion of occult history and lore—including elements of Traditionalism, Esoteric Hitlerism, and even H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos—although cut and pasted and juggled around without any regard for truth. Hellboy begins with the character’s origins. In 1944, the Nazis send a secret expedition, Project... Read More
Burn Notice is now more than half-way into its fourth season on the USA Network. It is one of my favorite TV shows. The premise is that spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) has been burned by the government agency that employed him. He has been dumped in his home town Miami, placed under surveillance, and... Read More
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) looks like director Guillermo del Toro’s audition for The Hobbit. (He got the job, but backed out because of scheduling problems with the studio.) The root mythology is Tolkienesque: In remotest antiquity, elves, trolls, and other beings shared the earth with mankind. The visual style is pure Peter Jackson:... Read More
German director Uli Edel’s The Baader-Meinhof Complex (2008) is a riveting portrayal of the career of the Red Army Fraction (Rote Armee Fraktion), a left-wing terrorist group better known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang after Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, two of the group’s founders. The other founders were Gudrun Ensslin and Horst Mahler (now a... Read More
I finally went to see Inception. I wish I had gone on its opening night. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Inception is one of the most imaginative and brilliantly plotted movies ever, and it is also one of the most thrilling and emotionally powerful. Think Vertigomeets The Matrix—but that... Read More
I saw Machete on Friday afternoon. It was gross, it was hilarious, and it communicated an important message: Mexico is a filthy, impoverished, backward, corrupt country inhabited by ugly, treacherous, cruel people. Mexicans are invading the United States, bringing Mexico with them. Mexicans corrupt every American who comes into contact with them, and their power... Read More
After being blown away by director Christopher Nolan’s Inception, I decided to give his Batman Begins (2005) another chance. The first time I saw this film, I did not like it. Not one bit. I must have been distracted, because this time I loved it. Nolan breaks with the campy style of earlier Batman films,... Read More
Weaponizing Traditionalism, Transvaluing Values
Batman Begins In Batman Begins (2005) and its sequel The Dark Knight (2008), director Christopher Nolan breaks with the campy style of earlier Batman films, focusing instead on character development and motivations. This makes both films psychologically dark and intellectually and emotionally compelling. Nolan’s casts are superb. Although I was disappointed to learn that David... Read More
In my review of Christoper Nolan’s Batman Begins, I argued that the movie generates a dramatic conflict around the highest of stakes: the destruction of the modern world (epitomized by Gotham City) by the Traditionalist “League of Shadows” versus its preservation and “progressive” improvement by Batman. I also argued that Batman’s transformation into a Nietzschean... Read More
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is a 2009 French film directed by Jan Kounen, starring Anna Mouglalis as French couturier Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (1883–1971) and Mads Mikkelsen as Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971). Based on the novel Coco & Igor by Chris Greenhalgh, this movie tells the story of a reputed affair that took... Read More
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.