FILM: New World Order by See Think Films
New World Order by See Think Films
I just finished watching the See Think film New World Order on Comcast On Demand. This is a film I had never heard of before, but a quick check shows that there have been two earlier blog posts here on the film:
After seeing the film I'm quite curious to know where else it is showing on cable, how many of you have seen it and what you all think about the film.
I find it particularly interesting that a film about the 9/11 truth movement would get this kind of exposure on a giant corporate network like Comcast when films exposing the serious problems with the government's conspiracy theory are completely shut out.
Here's WIRED magazine's review of the film:
Underwire Taking the Pulse of Pop Culture
SXSW: New World Order Illuminates Conspiracy Theorists
By Lewis Wallace
March 14, 2009
You’ve probably heard the conspiracy theories — the Bilderberg Group secretly runs the world, 9/11 was an inside job, a group of elites is working to establish a "new world order."
The documentary New World Order, which had its world premiere Friday at the South by Southwest film festival, offers an inside look at the people who dedicate their lives to investigating and spreading the word about such conspiracy theories.
The 83-minute movie, by directors Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel, who worked together on 2006’s Darkon, focuses chiefly on Alex Jones (pictured), a documentary filmmaker and talk-radio host with a loud voice, an urgent message and, many times, a bullhorn in hand.
Jones, whose movies include such dire polemics as Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement and Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove, certainly seems sincere enough as he tries to shine a light on the annual Bilderberg meeting, where world leaders meet in secret to talk about … something.
As New World Order follows Jones and some of his fellow conspiracy mongers, it delivers a fascinating look at true believers who are desperate to expose the supposed sins of politicians and business chieftains. Without delving deeply into the conspiracy theories themselves, the movie introduces the real people whose lives are in some instances consumed by these exotic ideas.
The grim scenarios outlined by the conspiracy theorists are familiar to anybody with a yen for exploring the information rat holes so prevalent on the internet. One of Jones’ cohorts calls the web the conspiracy theorist’s best friend — the cheapest and easiest way to disseminate information that’s ever existed.
Jones has turned his Infowars concept into a cottage industry. But the truly telling part of New World Order is its revealing depiction of the individuals who spend their spare time establishing alternative communities or burning DVDs to hand out at the World Trade Center site.
Alternately amusing and poignant, New World Order peels back a layer of mystery to show the conspiracy theorists’ strange world. Meyer and Neel set out to make an even-handed documentary that lets Jones and his people speak for themselves, and they’ve succeeded. It’s an interesting and compelling portrait of a thriving subculture.
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Review in Film Threat:
NEW WORLD ORDER
by Don R. Lewis
(2009-03-14) 2009, Un-rated, 85 minutes
Got about seven hours you want to spend wrapped up reading stuff on the internet? If so, google search some of the following: “Bilderberg Group,” “WTC Building 7,” “911+ truth” and then top it all off by going to Alex Jones’s conspiracy wonderland, Info Wars. In that seven hours (or more) you spend reading about vast conspiracies, mostly centered on the impending “New World Order,” one of two things will likely happen. You’ll either shake your head in amazement at how some people can be so insane, paranoid and obsessed or, you’ll see that there are some pretty damned convincing arguments to be found about where our country is headed as well as the events surrounding the 9-11 attacks. Documentary filmmakers Luke Myer and Andrew Neel’s “New World Order” take us into the world of the “conspiracy theorists” in their outstanding new film, “New World Order.”
Myer and Neel hit big on the doc scene in 2006 with the criminally underrated “Darkon,” a film about a group of folks who stage medieval battles on soccer fields in suburbia. And much like “Darkon,” Myer and Neel back way, way off in terms of telling you what to think about the characters and truth-is-stranger-than-fiction worlds they’re showing us. While watching “New World Order,” I really found myself trying to grasp what it was these conspiracy theorists were saying and couldn’t bring myself to dismiss them as just plain crazy. Sure, there are some really weird and random theories they cling to and they all seem really into Ron Paul (I’m sure he’s thrilled), but damn it, there’s also some things about 9-11 that just don’t make sense.
The film mainly focuses on the Godfather of the 9-11 conspiracy school, Alex Jones. The Austin, TX shock jock has truly made a career out of trying to expose “the truth” behind 9-11. Or, maybe he’s made a career-and a very lucrative one at that-trying to convince people there’s a conspiracy behind 9-11. In “New World Order” we follow Jones and some other like-minded individuals as they live their life consumed by an effort to prove that 9-11 was an inside job. They show up at ground zero in New York City on the 9-11 anniversary to hand out flyers. They travel to where the Bilderberg Group meets and try to get access. They make their own videos for you-tube explaining why everyone who ever had any kind of money and power is in on this mass conspiracy to enslave the world. While many of their acts seem equivalent to children poking around a graveyeard looking for ghosts, there’s also an excitement and a hope that they might find “something” out that’s real, and tangible, and will make people stop thinking they’re crazed.
In the film we meet young college student Luke Rudowski who spends all of his free time prosthelitizing about the New World Order and the Bilderberg group. He’s a nice kid, energetic and passionate about his beliefs and again, he makes some valid points. For instance, I didn’t know who or what the Bilderberg Group is or who it consisted of and when you find out, it’s more than a little disconcerting. Apparently once a year the wealthiest and most influential people in the world get together for a top-secret meeting in a secret location. Why is this o.k.? What are they talking about? To quote Tom Waits, “what are they building in there?” We don’t know and we never find out in “New World Order.” However, Rudowski makes a great point when he says (and I’m paraphrasing here) “if 100 of America’s top celebrities got together in a hotel for a secret meeting, the media would be all over it. Why don’t they ever cover this meeting?” A good point. We also meet a good ole country boy named Seth who was so moved by the lack of concern or help from our government during Hurricane Katrina, he changed careers and became a Salvation Army worker in Louisiana and Biloxi, MI. In his spare time, he spreads “the truth,” or what he believes to be true. Another group we meet has moved to very rural Idaho in order to be safe from the impending police state that will soon encompass America.
While I can’t say I’m fully convinced the people profiled in “New World Order” are onto anything resembling “the truth,” I will say again, there are some compelling truths to be found in the film and by the Alex Jones acolytes. But it does seem that every time a reasoned, well thought out point springs forth from these conspiracy nuts, Myer and Neel manage to capture an equally disturbing moment of wackness that completely derails any point that may have been proven. As such “New World Order” is an intriguing, evenhanded peek into a world all around us that we never really see.
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Review from ign.com:
SXSW 09: New World Order Review
A fascinating documentary about conspiracy theorists.
by Christopher Monfette
March 16, 2009 - Sometimes, truth is relative; often, so is sanity. It'd be simple to dismiss the men and women featured in New World Order as 9/11 kooks and conspiracy nutjobs, preaching a system of radical impossibilities and proudly wearing their obvious pathology. It would be simple, certainly, but would it be accurate? Documentary filmmakers Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel, whose last film Darkon chronicled the world of live-action role playing, offer up an examination of the conspiracy theory culture, following its various leaders and figureheads – chief among them, Alex Jones – in what one imagines ranks among the fairest possible portrayals of its subjects.
Like Jerusalem or Mecca, there is a holy-land for those branded as "conspiracy theorists" – the grassy knoll of JFK's assassination or the site of the 9/11 disaster in New York City. The term "theorist," however, can only be used loosely here, as these are individuals who believe wholly and absolutely that their theories are factual – that they are considered theories only in as much as the evidence required to qualify them as history has been forever covered up. Are they the creators of the perfect self-fulfilling prophecy, tragically out of touch with the realities of the world in which they live? Or are they simply the only ones willing to see the truth? There are moments throughout New World Order when one must consider the possibilities: What if 9/11 were an inside job? Or what if there were an organized group of the world's political and economic elite scripting the course of history? And if that were true, how much would it matter? How much would it affect your day to day life? To what degree, if any, is ignorance truly bliss and to what degree can the truth set you free?
Meyer and Neel succeed in doing exactly what any great documentarian should – never turn away, whatever the circumstances. Just when the viewer is becoming concerned that the film might have intentionally set out to be overly symapethic, there's a sequence where the extreme, almost unsettling presence of obsession becomes obvious. This is wonderfully illustrated by a few brief conversations with Jones which play up his humanity – and to a certain extent his believability – juxtaposed moments later by a radio interview in which Jones falls aggressively, uncomfortably into character, unleashing an impassioned rant in an almost hypnotic state of rage. And yet for every moment of relative "craziness," there's a softer, quieter moment where these characters are shown to be people, caring and loving and always with the best of intentions.
As with Darkon, Meyer and Neel seem less interested in the straight up or down truth of the culture as they are in how and why people plug into it. New World Order isn't really about the New World Order; it's not interested in presenting a factual case to prove or disprove any particular theory. Rather, it's interested in the people, striving to examine their personal motivations and show, if only for a moment, the degree to which members of a much-ridiculed fringe group – whether it be LARPers or conspiracy theorists – are first and foremost people. And what's most fascinating is that, at the end of the day, one would be hard pressed to speculate whether New World Order will really ever change anybody's mind. It shows just enough of these people being crazy to support those who'd prefer to simply blanket them with the stigma, and it shows just enough of them being absolutely human to justify the sympathies of those willing to lend it them. And that's without even getting into the arguement of whether they might be right.
Overall, New World Order is a fascinating, confusing, moving, frustrating, multi-layered documentary that sheds light on a group we might otherwise purposefully keep in the darkness. Without agenda or judgment, we are left to decide on our own how we feel, and for a documentary in a day when documentaries are notoriously manipulative, that's a mark of excellence.
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Review from Ain't It Cool News:
Published on Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 5:04pm
Monki peels the first day of SXSW: SXSW INTERACTIVE & the conspiracy doc, NEW WORLD ORDER!
Greetings humans, Monki here, partially hungover from my first night at SXSW 2009.
This has the makings of a fantastic year at SXSW. The crowds seem a bit less nuts and the people have all been pretty laid back so far. Hopefully that will keep up. Oh, and the free drinks have been flowing. Only at SXSW will you find a party called "Pastries and Pasties!" Gotta love that. Nothing better than boobs and cupcakes.
This is the first year I've been a part of the interactive portion of SXSW as well. I've been graced with a gold badge so I can get in to all sorts of trouble...interactive trouble. It's going to be interesting hitting the interactive stuff during the day and the film stuff at night. I can imagine this will be an exhausting week by the end of it all.
My first day of SXSW 09 started with a panel on web-design. It could have been dull, but the presenter used some interesting metaphors to compare the evolution of web design to the evolution of film. He posited that we are still in the infancy of design and that the majority of websites out there are just "dead trees," a reference to the newspaper industry.
Using clips from Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon" he went on to show how the first couple of decades of film were pretty much just stage plays put to tape, much like how the majority of internet sites are just digital newspapers. He then showed off a clip from "Birth of a Nation" to show how Griffith took new tools (cross cutting, close-ups, etc.) and put them all together to make something new and unique. An interesting idea and a pretty sweet way to make something like web design a bit less dull. Not too shabby for my first interactive event at a SXSW.
From there I went over to a panel hosted by a group that creates ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) for community and corporate events. I've been a big ARG fan and I'm always curious to see these things work.
The Go Game (the group presenting this panel) has actually created an ARG that anyone can participate in during SXSW. I've only skimmed the surface so far of it, but it involves challenges, scavenger hunt missions and even face to face confrontations with strangers! Awesome. It's called "Running with SXSWissors" and you can play along right here. You earn points as you do missions and the top five folks at the end of the game will get a free badge to next year's SXSW Interactive festival. Not bad at all. You can play along with your web-enabled phone wherever you are. If you do register, make sure you let them know that Monki referred you.
After all those shenanigans, I finally caught my first film. I headed towards the Alamo Ritz to check out "New World Order."
New World Order is a documentary about the guys who dare to question what most people would call "reality." This is a film about the 911 "Truthers," the conspiracy theorists, the Alex Jones' of the world...and what do you know, Alex Jones is all over this movie.
Alex Jones is either a hero or a nutjob depending on who you are talking to. If you haven't heard his daily radio show on the internet, or his local show here in Austin, you've probably unknowingly seen him in films like Waking Life or A Scanner Darkly. (Animated versions of him at least.) He is of the "9/11 was an inside job." ilk. A hugely polarizing character.
This a documentary in the purist sense of the word and I thought it was fantastic. The filmmakers could have easily made this a hokey, "look at these nuts" type of film, but instead they present their characters with an unbiased take. I can imagine the difficulty in creating a balanced film with this subject matter, but these guys pulled it off.
Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer, the directors, are also the guys behind the fantastic film "Darkon," which was a big SXSW hit a few years ago. Before the film I was curious about their choice of subject matter for this one, but during the Q&A they mentioned how, like the LARPers featured in Darkon, the "Truthers" are really just another sub-culture of people, so it wasn't as big of a jump as most thought it was. Makes sense to me.
Check this one out if you get a chance. If anything, for one scene between a husband and wife singing a hymn while footage of 9/11 rolls in the background on a television. A very surreal moment.
From there I went on a whirlwind of Mexican food and various alcohols before ending up on a couch next to Jason Segal. Strange. And then in a drunken genius moment I think I was a dick to Paul Rudd. So, Paul Rudd, if you are reading this, I apologize for being a dick. My bad.
Alright folks, tons more SXSW to come, until next time, back up the tree I go!
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The film appears to be getting its East Coast premiere on May 22 at Cinema Village in NYC.
I look forward to seeing a lively debate on the film, the reviews and the fact that this film is being pushed by the corporate media.
[I'm going to watch the film at least one more time before I render a full opinion, but my first impression is that the film does not portray the 9/11 truth movement in a favorable, or even neutral, light.]
The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.