“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

VALKYRIE (2008)

VALKYRIE (2008)
A friend passed along a copy of VALKYRIE which, having never been a Tom Cruise fan, is something I probably would not have watched otherwise. Tom Cruise is one of those not-so-rare entertainers that I hated at first sight on a molecular level the first time I ever watched one of his films (Risky Business, I think). I still think his creative output is mediocre at best, only hitting an unexpected head-shot in P.T. Anderson’s MAGNOLIA, but P.T. Anderson deserves more credit for astute casting than Tom Cruise does for delivering a self-caricature as a sleazy “motivational” guru.

VALKYRIE is the story of the failed assassination/coup attempt against Adolf Hitler by a handful of marginalized politicians and high-ranking officers looking to save their own skin during the final months of the Third Reich. Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the key agent in the assassination attempt. His co-conspirators are played by Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp and Tom Wilkinson, all of whom give generally good performances. Tom Cruise delivers his standard Tom Cruise performance.

The film is a generally accurate play-by-play of the conspiracy and actual physical circumstances of the attempted coup. The object of the film is to portray Stauffenberg and his closest associates as idealists fighting “evil” in order to save the “real” Germany from the naughty Nazis. A slight credit is deserved for portraying at least some of the conspirators as waffling cowards only taking the extreme risk in order to possibly save their own skins and advancing their own positions when cutting a deal with the Allies in surrender after Hitler is dead. The overt intent of the film is to present the situation as a clear-cut case of “good” vs. “evil.”

The only way to I could find to salvage any stimulus from this film is to pull the rug out from under it by imagining how the film would be viewed out of context in an imaginary culture that is not saturated with WWII mythology, propaganda, and media constructs. Taken at face value, with only the references and direct depictions of events in the film, our hypothetically detached viewer would have no preconceived reason to think Hitler and his associates are “evil” or that Stauffenberg is anything but a paranoid resentment-driven sociopathic traitor and his co-conspirators are waffling self-serving cowards trying to cover their own asses in the face of inevitable conquest by hostile forces.

At no point in the film is Hitler depicted as a demonic maniac – not because the film-maker has any objectivity, but because he assumes that assumption on the part of the well-indoctrinated audiences he knows will be watching the film. Without that assumption, Hitler appears as a relatively quiet, albeit intense, leader who exhibits little in his brief appearances beyond kindness to his pet dog and the willingness to trust his subordinates enough to delegate authority to them, in this case in the form of signing-off on traitorous standing orders, sight-unseen, because he assumes the loyalty of Stauffenberg.

At no point is anyone directly portrayed as being maltreated by Nazis. There is only a brief reference to “mass killings of Jews” during a phone conversation by Stauffenberg. It could all be hearsay, propaganda, or hate-fuelled delusion on his part. Stauffenberg on the other hand, early in the film, exhibits tendencies and expresses ideas that would be considered traitorous were they coming from the mouth of an Allied officer in another film – at the very least he would be identified as poor officer material. After he is injured and disfigured in North Africa, what is depicted as steeled resolve, could alternately be portrayed as pathological resentment. Beyond this, the film can be seen as a failed plot driven by the pathological Stauffenberg and his sniveling self-serving conspirators, foiled by the loyalty of some and the self-serving calculations of others rightfully regarding Hitler as a better bet. From this perspective the summary arrests and executions of the conspirators at the end of the film is well-deserved.

But of course this is just a fantasy reading of the film, far removed from its intents and purposes, and the film itself is not that good or interesting. It is an average film in every respect. The only redeeming factors are the accurate and well-done sets and wardrobes, including a very nice swimming pool with a giant swastika on the bottom, other than that, not much to see here aside from Tom Cruise demonstrating that he is one of the few Europids who could manage to look like a ridiculous punk in a Nazi uniform.

JDS

3 comments:

Hadding said...

Europid? You should have a look at Tom Cruise in profile.

http://www.italian-fashion-watch.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/tom-cruise-katie-holmes.jpg

http://www.all-photos.net/pictures/d/30159-2/Tom+Cruise+picture+11.jpg

Cruise is most likely an anglicized form of Cruz, which is a typical Marrano-Jew name. Marranos took names with overt Christian connotations as a disguise.

I wonder if the Jewish fascination with the number 6 has anything to do with their noses.

JDS said...

Interesting.

From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Cruise

Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (pronounced /ˈtɒməs ˈkruːz ˈmeɪpɒθər/; born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name Tom Cruise..... Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York,[7] the son of Mary Lee (née Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer.[8] Cruise has German and English ancestry from his paternal great-grandparents, William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker; and Irish ancestry from his paternal great-great-grandfather Thomas O'Mara.[9] It was O'Mara's son Thomas who adopted the name Mapother, the surname of his older half-brothers, becoming Thomas Cruise Mapother I. Tom Cruise's oldest sister, Lee Anne, was born in Louisville. His older sister Marian was born in Syracuse, as were Tom and his younger sister, Cass.

SAA said...

Thanks for the review, I will not be seeing that film . . .:) if you want a real laugh, you should see Knowing. i nearly killed over at the end, during work hours, hunched over laughing (extremely inappropiately) with earbuds in ears and all my little clueless coworkers cocked their heads like small animals. . . real comedy.