Cold Grub for Wikileaks Sidekick: THE FIFTH ESTATE

Friday, October 18, 2013

The social structure of The Middle Ages established The Three Estates - The First Estate: Clergy; The Second Estate: Nobility; The Third Estate: Commoners; The Fourth Estate: Press and Journalism, didn't come about until 1787 with the first reporting of the goings on in the House of Commons of Great Britain. Now in the age of the internet and Citizen Journalism a Fifth Estate has been born!

T & T The Fifth Estate Synopsis: The movie starts out with a frenzy happening in a news room, which others probably would know is The Guardian in the UK, but not having followed the Wikileaks story closely back in 2010, I wasn't aware that Wikileaks and this news outlet developed a somewhat uneasy partnership in revealing this controversial information to the world.  The story gets easier to follow when the movie goes back two years, when founder Julian Assange (who reminds me of the Albino Monk in The Da Vinci Code) played by Benedict Cumberbatch is trying to get a slot at a Geekfest/Techno Expo and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) puts in a good word for him, having been a follower of Julian's site.  The two strike up a friendship and Assange enlists Domscheit-Berg's help in verifying the sources coming into the Wikileaks site from whistleblowers at a major banking institute involved in tax fraud.  The success of this venture has Daniel hooked and thinking he's part of a big movement/grassroots organization with a network of volunteers. How surprised is he to find out it's only one white haired weirdo/genius behind the whole operation.

Director Bill Condon's (Dream Girls, Kinsey, Twilight: Breaking Dawn) film is based partly on Daniel Domscheit-Berg's book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website and a book by David Leigh one of the investigative journalist for The Guardian newspaper, so you definitely get that insider feeling and a good sense of tension building up to the uh-oh this whole things gone too far climax.

I do feel Daniel Brühl's character is a bit too idealistic, sympathetic good guy, totally opposite from the role he plays as Niki Lauda in Ron Howard's Rush; however, both movies deal heavily with male bonding type relationships (See T&T's Rush post). In The Fifth Estate, the friendship/power struggle between Assange and Berg is what most drew me into the movie. That, and being both off put by Assange's massive ego and at the same time drawn into his vision.  After all, can you imagine if this technology had existed when Kennedy was shot?  Just think of all the whistleblower info that would have come into this anonymous site.

Around the Web: There are also some strange decisions made in terms of what makes it into the narrative. One of Berg’s love affairs takes up a disproportionate amount of time while the claims of sexual harassment against Assange by two Swedish women are largely ignored. Equally Bradley Manning – the whistle-blower around whose leaks the film revolves – barely gets a mention, when surely his plight is central to the story of WikiLeaks and the rights and wrongs of the site’s actions...READ MORE Chris Tilly IGN

Around the Web: The film has already made Assange -- still holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London -- so angry, he's launched an all-out WikiLeaks war against it. He leaked, then critiqued screenplays. He begged actor Cumberbatch not to take the role...READ MORE Kelly Cobiella CBS Evening News

Around the Web: Condon uses some fantastic visuals in order to navigate the tricky task of depicting online journalism. He not only uses the now-familiar trick of writing texts and e-mails over the action (as opposed to only looking at what’s on the device’s screen). For the “newsroom”, he brings Assange and Domscheit-Berg into the idea of what a digital newsroom looks like: endless desks in a dark grey landscape. Woodward and Bernstein have left the building because there is no more building. There is only the idea of the building, and the ideals therein are hazy...READ MORE Matt Goldberg

Food in Film: My title of this post refers to a scene where Daniel finally emerges from behind his laptop and headphones to eat the dinner prepared for him by his neglected girlfriend (Alicia Vikander) and has the nerve to complain that it's cold.

T &T's LAMB Score: 3 outta 5

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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