1179 – The Atomic Cafe (1982)

timespace coordinates: 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s United States, the Marshall Islands

The Atomic Cafe is a 1982 American documentary film produced and directed by Jayne LoaderKevin Rafferty and Pierce RaffertyIn 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States’ National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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The film covers the beginnings of the era of nuclear warfare, created from a broad range of archival material from the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s including newsreel clips, television news footage, U.S. government-produced films (including military training films), advertisements, television and radio programs. News footage reflected the prevailing understanding of the media and public.

Though the topic of atomic holocaust is a grave matter, The Atomic Cafe approaches it with black humor. Much of the humor derives from the modern audience’s reaction to the old training films, such as the Duck and Cover film shown in schools.

The Atomic Cafe was released at the height of nostalgia and cynicism in America. By 1982, Americans lost much of their faith in their government following the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, and the seemingly never-ending arms race with the Soviet UnionThe Atomic Cafe reflects and reinforces this idea as it exposes how the atomic bomb’s dangers were downplayed and how the government used films to shape public opinion.

the-atomic-cafe-cartaz-original-cinema-D_NQ_NP_790329-MLB26502423408_122017-FBob Mielke, in “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Nuclear Test Documentary” (Film Quarterly) discusses the release of The Atomic Cafe: “This satire feature was released at the height of the nuclear freeze movement (which was in turn responding to the Reagan administration’s surreal handling of the arms race.)”

lfPatricia Aufderheide, in Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction touches on the significance of The Atomic Cafe as a window into the past of government propaganda and disinformation during the years following the advent of the Atomic Bomb. “Propaganda, also known as disinformation, public diplomacy, and strategic communication, continues to be an important tool for governments. But stand-alone documentary is no longer an important part of public relations campaigns aimed at the general public.” (wiki)

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Bikini Atoll

Because the site bears direct tangible evidence of the nuclear tests conducted there amid the paradoxical tropical location, UNESCO determined that the atoll symbolizes the dawn of the nuclear age and named it a World Heritage Site on 3 August 2010.

Bikini Atoll has conserved direct tangible evidence … conveying the power of … nuclear tests, i.e. the sunken ships sent to the bottom of the lagoon by the tests in 1946 and the gigantic Bravo crater. Equivalent to 7,000 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, the tests had major consequences on the geology and natural environment of Bikini Atoll and on the health of those who were exposed to radiation. Through its history, the atoll symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of peace and of earthly paradise.

1160 – Miracle Mile (1988)

timespace coordinates: 1980’s LA (Johnie’s Coffee ShopLa Brea Tar PitsMiracle Mile DistrictPan-Pacific Auditorium in the Fairfax District)

Miracle Mile is a 1988 American apocalyptic thriller film written and directed by Steve De Jarnatt, and starring Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. The film takes place mostly in real time. It is named after the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, where most of the action takes place. (wiki)

(trivia) The real life Johnie’s Coffee Shop, actually located on the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, ceased functioning as a real restaurant in the late 1990s. However, the building was never demolished, continued to be used from many other films and was designated a historical landmark in 2013. It is now rented primarily for film and television productions as well as for pop-up shops and similar temporary functions. The building again gained notoriety in 2016 as a campaign headquarter for US presidential candiante Bernie Sanders.

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882 – The Minds of Men (2018 Documentary)

minds of men poster“The Minds of Men” is a 3+ year investigation into the experimentation, art, and practice of social engineering and mind control during the Cold War – a mind-bending journey into the past that gives startling insight into the world we are living in today.


(Directors: Aaron Melissa Dykes Runtime: 3h 43min)  imdb


Project MKUltra / The Human Use of Human Beings / Teleology / Cybernetics / Rockefeller Foundation / BioelectronicsBSR / Sensory deprivation



 

848 – New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle (2018 book)

As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.new dark age
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime. (VERSO)

James Bridle on New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future



man always makes it clear to himself: “You are using things which have the intention of not being penetrable.” 1180

807 – Mercury 13 (2018 documentary)

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Mercury 13 is a remarkable story of the women who were tested for spaceflight in 1961 before their dreams were dashed in being the first to make the trip beyond Earth. NASA’s ‘man in space’ program, dubbed ‘Project Mercury‘ began in 1958. The men chosen – all military test pilots – became known as The Mercury 7. But away from the glare of the media, behind firmly closed doors, female pilots were also screened. Thirteen of them passed and, in some cases, performed better than the men. They were called the Mercury 13 and had the ‘right stuff’ but were, unfortunately, the wrong gender. Underneath the obsession of the space race that gripped America, the women were aviation pioneers who emerged thirsty for a new frontier, but whose time would have to wait. The film tells the definitive story of thirteen truly remarkable women who reached for the stars but were ahead of their time. A Netflix original documentary directed by David Sington and Heather Walsh. (rottentomatoes)

https://www.netflix.com/ro-en/title/80174436