"Censorship is saying: 'I'm the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.' But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word – even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper." ~Ai Weiwei
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No one’s really defended Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, unless you count his girlfriend Rudy Giuliani, until Melania stepped forward yesterday on CNN with Anderson Cooper.
It was painful to watch but elicited a lot of sympathy for the statuesque penthousewife. What else could she do? Her whole future is tied to the Donald.
They’re all lies, she told Anderson, as the reporter nodded in acknowledgement and looked away from her. She said she “never knew” the PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff who accused Donald of hitting on her. This same writer came to the Trump’s wedding and interviewed Donald at their Mar-A-Lago estate and she said The Donald tried his moves on her while Melania was out of the room. Later on after she quit writing about Don the Dooshbag and says she saw “Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron” where Melania asked about her and why they hadn’t seen her around lately. Melania denies any of that happened and insinuates that she would’t ever be bothered with even knowing this peasant. So she’s a liar and the story needs to be pulled by PEOPLE Magazine. Her lawyer sent a letter saying so.
She asked that people shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but that’s not easy. Some things money can not easily compensate. But Melania makes an attractive surrogate for the Republican front runner. She’s the picture of a devoted wife defending her embattled spouse, and it’s hard to not want to believe her when she says she has faith in her husband, that she knows his accusers are liars, even as her eyes dart away from those of her interviewer as she says this.
Anderson Cooper held back noticeably too. It didn’t seem appropriate for Cooper to bring up the plagiarized speech Melania used with words originally spoken by First Lady Michelle, or about Melania’s website being redirected to Trump.com after it was reported that it had falsely claimed for more than 10 years that she had a degree in architecture and design from the University of Ljubljana.
But now of course we can believe Melania when she looks to the left and tells Anderson Cooper without any momentary eye contact that those women are lying and she believes her husband.
So cap off the interview I think she even said that she’s seen women come right up to Donald right in front of her and give him their number and say they want to “work” for him, as she squints her eyes at Anderson knowingly as if to say she’s fully aware of what they mean by “work” for her husband. Isn’t she admitting that as far as she’s concerned being a female and working for Donald Trump is a defacto sexual arrangement? It sure looked that way.
I really felt sorry for Melania at that point in the interview. The natural reaction is to want to believe a devoted wife who steps up to defend her man.
She’s tough and beautiful, but she’s to be pitied. At least she came out of her period of sequestering. The last we’ve heard of her before yesterday’s appearance on CNN was wit the ruckus over the DailyMail UK’s September 2 retraction of a story from August about allegations that the Slovenian model agency she worked for in Milan was ‘something like a gentleman’s club’ for wealthy clients to hook up with high priced models.
Melania Trump and Anderson Cooper on AC360, 10-17-16.
In SNOWDEN Director Oliver Stone returns with pop culture intrigue
Snowden movie poster
reviewed by Reviewer Rob
In Oliver Stone’s movie SNOWDEN it’s implied his lead character had co-conspirators in the NSA. This is unfair to the viewer because although the screenplay was a work of fiction the real Snowden was emphatic that he alone should have the target on his back. Also this movie’s timing was promoted as being supportive of an eleventh hour end-of-term pardon by President Obama for the whistle-blower currently in exile in Moscow. So maybe sticking to the known facts would have been a better course of action, especially because there are plenty of exciting details to fill out a script. SNOWDEN just glossed over the tense escape from Hong Kong. Something should have been included about how Wikileaks activist Julian Assange organized behind the scenes from afar Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong via a matrix of feints, and although Assange was integral to the story he makes no appearance at all in this movie. Nor does Private Bradley Manning, who started the ball rolling in 2010 when he leaked 39 minutes of U.S. Army video showing the 2007 killing of Reuters reporters by helicopter gunfire in Iraq. Without these warm-up chapters the series of stories Snowden leaked to The Gaurdian and The Washington Post wouldn’t have been given such a receptive audience.
Oliver Stone does make a good attempt at dramatizing the moral crisis Snowden undergoes as he changes from idealistic new recruit to disenchanted analyst amid the systemic acceptance of policy corruption and mission creep. Cognitive dissonance turns to personal outrage when he realizes that a hardball form of office politics is being used to silence him when a superior blithely ruins lives of unknowing surveillance targets in order to gain a promotion for himself.
This feeling continues to build up until the end of the movie when the real Edward J. Snowden makes a cameo appearance and somewhat unconvincingly describes to a lecture audience via web-link from Russia that he feels good about what he did. As he says this he appears pained and avoids eye contact with the camera.
Lindsey Mills is fleshed out well here by Shailene Woodley. But her fictionalized departure from Hawaii when Snowden’s on the lam is anticlimactic. In the documentary CITIZENFOUR there’s a scene where Edward is reading an email from her while he’s still in Hong Kong, and after the stories come out in The Gaurdian. The NSA is calling because he told them he’s at home sick. He tells the interviewer that Lindsey said the rent check wasn’t received, which he finds interesting since he had it on an auto-issue system, and his landlord is to begin the eviction process. There’s also “construction trucks” all over his block for some reason, he says.
“I wonder what they’re looking for,” he asks rhetorically, with a wry smile.
Edward Snowden was far more entertaining to watch in person in CITIZENFOUR, especially when you consider he’s being filmed in real time as the act is in play and he’s betraying NSA secrets, possibly incurring a penalty of decades in prison or a death sentence. He’s often reflective and even takes a moment to laugh and offer a “pro-tip” to filmmaker Laura Poitras and the reporters, telling them it’s not a good idea to leave a memory card in their laptop.
This pithy sarcasm and sharp wit reappears quite often with the actual Snowden (seen in a VICE interview and other online appearances) but is wholly absent in the dull two-dimensional character portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His version of Snowden looks like a confused boy scout instead of a computer savant on a mission.
In CITIZENFOUR the clandestine nature of his communication with the director Poitras (Melissa Leo in SNOWDEN) is fascinatingly seen with onscreen text and through voice-over. But in SNOWDEN this basic element of spycraft is only vaguely touched upon during their initial meeting. At least included was his red cloak “magic mantle of power”.
Edward Snowden missed the big Hollywood premier of this movie. As of this writing there isn’t a lot of public support in the media to let him come back to his home country unfettered by handcuffs. Snowden was subsequently hung out to dry by The Washington Post, who said he should be prosecuted rather than defending their source whose information they deemed newsworthy and won them a Pulitzer Prize.
Entertaining as this movie is there will be many auto-patriots who believe Snowden’s status as a sainted whistle-blower is undeserved, and that if you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide. ‘So why do you care if your private conversations through Verizon or AT&T and all your emails are being collected and evaluated?’ You are so fucking naive and stupid if you think that. So fucking stupid. Does anyone really think that the whole real estate bubble which began in 2003, shortly after the surveillance state began in full after 9-11, was just a mere coincidence. Is it merely a coincidence that the spy state and the great post-9-11 wealth transfer to the top one-percent just happened at the same time, all by happenstance?
Anyways, SNOWDEN is a good film, I’d say a solid four out of five, and clearly shows Oliver Stone is still in the game. Nicholas Cage comes back and even plays a small role as a disillusioned C.I.A. instructor and is the designated “big name” actor in this one as John Travolta was in SAVAGES. It’s not matching the comprehensiveness of the constellation Stone included in JFK but it does show he has consistency.
This movie could have used a soundtrack too. It’s been 22 years since Oliver Stone’s NATURAL BORN KILLERS and although in a different genre its music made it great. SNOWDEN would have been firmly set in its era if some current tunes where used as backdrop. At least they could have included the old church hymn, “When The Saints Go Marching In”. It was featured in the online preview trailer but wasn’t in the movie I saw. It would have been appropriate, considering Edward Snowden has martyred himself and is now the target of a persecution some in government would like to be no less strenuous than what was suffered by the victims of Nero in FOX’S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff, Philip Schulz-Deyle, Fernando Sulichin
Screenplay by Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone
Based on The Snowden Files by Luke Harding, Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer
LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage
Music by Craig Armstrong
Cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle
Edited by Alex Marquez, Lee Percy
Production companies: Endgame Entertainment, Wild Bunch, KrautPack Entertainment, Onda Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment
Distributed by Open Road Films
Release dates: September 9, 2016 (TIFF), September 16, 2016 (United States), September 22, 2016 (Germany)
Running time: 134 minutes
Budget: $40 million
Newly acquired: an early Model Contaflex from the German company Zeiss Icon. Looks like the fixed lens version they came out with in the beginning before interchangeable lenses were included. It’s attractive and serviceable in working condition but will most likely be seen as a prop in a photo shoot long before I get around to loading it with a roll of Kodachrome. Although I keep my lenses forever I’ve never been too interested in the antique cameras. They call it progress for a reason.
Talking ink: Low Gallery in Barrio Logan at a mid-summer show during ComicCon
by Reviewer Rob
I had both my Nikons hanging on my neck this night with the goal of playing around with their capabilities. The D5200 and D5300 were set on their fastest ISOs for a shoot at Meegan’s art gallery/performance venue Low. I’d come to see a couple of bands play, Lisa Carver’s Suckdog and The Vaginals (Vaginals sounded great, by the way). It had been a couple of years since I’d last seen Meegan and I noticed she’d gotten a couple of new tattoos.
Meegan Nolan is the stylish owner and proprietor of Low Gallery. She’s all about art — the appreciation as well as the business of it — and only now while ‘shopping this pic did it dawn on me that she was wearing a stylin’ cartoon t-shirt (is that the Tazmanian Devil?). Classic, it was, after all, the weekend of the famous San Diego International ComicCon. Yes as a fashionista Meegan is also a triple threat. On this night her shiny gold pants were amazing. But these classic-era style tattoos were what I really liked. The symbolic “Black Rose” is on her right forearm and a standing nude ‘a la Sailor Jerry adorns her left.
I shot this while the bands were setting up for the show and Meegan was standing against the back wall of the space. No flash was used, just ambient light, so it’s grainy. Like I said, I was pushing what the low light ability of the cameras could do. I think at 1/100th of a second it’s pretty decent. Photoshop brought out more contrast and color from the original RAW image.
Image file info:
Tamron lens 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 DiII VC PZD B008N
Focal Length 18mm (in 35mm: 27mm)
Exposure: 1/100 sec; f/3.5; ISO 12800; Manual; Pattern Metering
Flash: Did not fire
Meegan Nolan with her new arm ink: a black rose and nude in the style of Sailor Jerry. Photo by ReviewerPhoto.com 2016.
Lisa Carver as “The Dying Mother” with Suckdog at Low Gallery in San Diego, July 2016
When Lisa Carver brought her Suckdog show to town last month I was ambivalent about attending but still probably would have gotten out to see it. Then I got (willingly) roped into driving her and her four-woman band up to L.A. the day after it so that made it required I show up. I took full advantage of the event and recorded Reviewer TV videos and shot photos of the Alternative-Popculture Star because few can argue she is anything but newsworthy. She may not be the Queen Of The Underground as some have accused her but she’s certainly the Dancing Queen.
While waiting outside Low Gallery for the doors to open (I found out later after calling Megan that the entrance was out back in the alley) I set my D5200 on one of its higher ISO setting of 6400 to shoot some photos of the neighborhood in the after-sunset streetlamp light of Barrio Logan with the Coronado Bridge in the background. Then when the show was going to start I began shooting crowd shots of the ten or so spectators that arrived to watch, keeping the settings the same. The idea was to use the camera mounted flash as little as possible so as not to distract the performers or the audience. I ended up using the flash a lot anyways but kept the speed fast. So the two pics below are a bit grainy but I fixed them and to some extent removed noise in Photoshop.
I had the camera-mounted tilt-flash on soft and in these vertical photos as in all of them I angled it towards the roof and used my cupped left hand as a block/reflector held above it to bounce some diffused light towards the subject.
I plan to begin setting up the GPS location info on my cameras because it looks like that’s been left out for some reason.
Both photos below were shot one after the other and were both vertical and full length but the one on top has been enlarged and cropped to reveal detail.
They were shot in quick succession with no adjustment and here’s the recorded image data taken from the bottom full-length photo:
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di LD Aspherical IF B001N
at focal length 24mm (in 35mm: 24mm)
1/100 sec; f/4.5; ISO 6400; Manual; Pattern metering
Flash: Fired, Strobe return light not detected, Compulrsory flash firing, Flash function present, No red-eye reduction
Lisa carver as “The Dying Mother”, crop edit. Photo by ReviewerPhoto.com.
Getting ready to start the show, Lisa Carver seated in position, holding the mic like it’s the handle of a bullwhip or something. Photo by ReviewerPhoto.com.
The geography out there is exceptional. Lots of wind, dusty air, but the sky was impressive. Clouds would form and grow quickly. Then they’d disappear, blown away down range. I want to go back out there soon with my 600mm fixed focal lens and shoot more landscapes. I liked looking West on the 29 Palms Highway and seeing the mountains off in the distance veiled behind graduating concentrations of atmosphere.
Two Cellphone Videos From Pioneertown’s Epic ‘Burrito-Biker Bar’
by Reviewer Rob
Pioneertwon, California, is a unique place. Founded in 1946 by Hollywood actors like Roy Rogers and Tom Mix and intended to be a working film set that recreates an authentic 1880’s Western frontier town, it has a community that has built up around it of citizens that are arty creative types and who call it home 365 days a year. There’s also a nice music venue called Pappy & Harriet’s you can’t forget to visit if you’re ever in this rustic corner of the high desert.
Here’s a couple of quick handheld cellphone videos I shot when I went there for the first time last month.
Juli Crockett of the Evangenitals talks to Reviewer TV about how she inspired an Academy Award Winning motion picture script:
The amazingly hearty Joshua Tree yucca (Yucca brevifolia) seems to be ubiquitous in Yucca Valley, growing naturally in vacant land, along roadways, and as ornamental landscape in people’s yards. There’s even a national park/monument up the road named after them. Although widespread in range the Joshua Tree’s natural habitat is considered to be diminishing due to climate change. Also lack of Giant Sloths hasn’t helped. You see, in the Ice Age and immediately thereafter mega fauna roamed the Northern Hemisphere, and, when it wasn’t fighting off Saber Tooth Tigers (Smilodons), it’s believed that the Giant Sloth (Nothrotheriops shastensis, or Shasta Ground Sloth) fed on the leaves and berries of the Joshua Tree and dispersed its seeds in their excrement, thereby widening the range of this plant along their routes of travel. No more Giant Sloths means these yuccas can’t expand to cooler and more hydrated climes as global warming continues to dry out the Southwest. Poor old Joshua Trees. Plant one in your yard in Mendocino or Seattle today.
The Joshua Tree growing in its natural habitat, as a weed in a vacant lot or in a city easement .
Local San Diego Photographers Take Note, Kajira Is Looking For Work
Adult entertainment model and perforner Kajira (aka Kajira Bound) is going to be in San Diego in a couple of days and is available for work between July 28 and 29. She’s a dedicated pro and can deliver the good, guys. Contact her for booking by email at KBoundProductions@gmail.com or through her domain KajiraBound.com.
Kajira Bound is an established international model who is traveling through shooting paid stills and video. She has been taking the fine art nude world by storm for over a decade and has been growing in the realm of fetish work. She has worked for many artists, sculptors, and creators as well as video companies such as Kink.com, Real Spanking Network, AAASpankings.com, and more. She has performed at Bondage Ball, The Dirty Show, and Exotica over the years. She is also a pro-switch who specializes in discipline sessions as well as ageplay sessions which are also available. For Bookings email KBoundProductions@gmail.com or look her up at: ModelMayhem.com/26062