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Nordling On THE CONSPIRACY! Fantastic Fest 2012!

Published at: Sept. 21, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST by Nordling

Nordling here.

While watching THE CONSPIRACY, it occurred to me that people who believe in wild theories about, for example, how our government was complicit in 9/11, or the assassination of John Kennedy, take comfort in their obsessions.  It's almost like they have a secret, that no one else knows, and there's an incredible sense of power that it brings.  The first half of the movie definitely feels like the audience is being shown some back-alley sordid stuff, and for a few moments, we share in the thrill of it all.

It's unfortunate that the filmmakers couldn't be consistent with that vibe, because in the end THE CONSPIRACY becomes yet another routine found footage movie, with lousy cinematography and seizure-inducing shaky-cam.  The movie had a nice build and a real sense of paranoia in the first half, but as we dive into the story the tone and feel of the movie can't stay consistent.

Jim (James Gilbert) and Aaron (Aaron Poole) are documentary filmmakers who decide to make a feature based on the ramblings of "Terrance R" (Alan Peterson), an older man who tends to bring his own podium and shout his theories with a bullhorn to anyone willing to listen. Aaron and Jim can't take "TRex", as he's called online, seriously, until one day Terrance disappears.

After a few weeks of trying to find Terrance, Aaron dives into his clippings and notes and discovers that Terrance may have been actually on to something after all.  An article leads them to discover The Tarsus Group, a meeting of intelligentsia, corporate executives, and politicians who seemingly help dictate global policy.  As the two dive deeper, it becomes apparent to both of them that they may be over their heads, with guys on bikes and mysterious cars following them everywhere..  It's not paranoia, after all, if they are truly after you.

It's when the third act clicks in, and the duo attempt to infiltrate the organization, that the movie falls apart - the film passes itself off as a documentary and is competently shot, and then it goes into found footage territory and every sad cliche of that mode of filmmaking rears its ugly head.  There's a bit of a twist at the end, but it's not clever enough to justify the piss-poor filmmaking of the previous twenty minutes.

But when the movie is dwelling on all the crazy theories that have popped up in recent years, it's almost convincing enough to make believers out of the audience, and that was the strongest filmmaking in THE CONSIPRACY.  Like I said before, diving into these mysterious worlds and viewpoints takes on the power of a shared secret, and there's a real sense of paranoia about the movie as Aaron and Jim begin to become overwhelmed by their shared experience.  Fans of documentaries from Alex Jones and even Michael Moore can appreciate the thrills of the first half of THE CONSPIRACY, but it's all done in service of entertainment and thrills.  But when the movie actually has to deliver on the answers to the questions it raises, it falls sadly short.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 21, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    I thought I was first?¿I could've swore I was first?!

    by Barnald

  • Did you say Piss Poor Nord? I cant fuckin wait for this one! :P Just goes to show , if your insane cabal movie doesn't have a Nicole Kidman Orgy, dont bother!

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    What's the twist Nordling?! SPOIL THAT FUCKER!

    by Dandelion.

    It's what you're best at. And seeing as how these lame ass conspiracy theories have been around for at least a decade...

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Taurus = Tarsus

    by Flim_

    Just sayin'.

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Nuts...I was looking forward to this one.

    by Bill C.

    I might still catch it on VOD just to be sure, but if it really does fall apart in the last act...ouch.

  • you know pick up traffic a bit?

  • Sept. 21, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    On of the pitfalls of the internet,

    by macheesmo3

    was that it gave a venue for all the nuts to not only intermingle with each other, but to spread their goofy ,self aggrandizing ideas to others. All the conspiracy culture is, is a way for people who feel lonely and unimportant to have that one thing that "only the know" or "I alone know the truth!!!!". There really should be a separate psychological condition just for those types of people. It's almost singular.

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    This should be easier to copy

    by Nichole

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvsTjMjmAi0

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    No I dont think thats the problem Macheesmo

    by magnetoelectric

    Dont get me wrong, stupid people are the problem in most situations. The real thing you need to ask yourself is why do they think "that"? Why cant people who are overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful just be simply overwhelmingly wealthy and powerful? Why does an asshat like David Icke make a quantum leap to "They're Reptile Aliens" and then an asshole like Alex Jones bounces back with "No ,Aliens are probably really demons" Because you know , you cant become extremely wealthy and powerful without satanic rituals and sacrifices at Bohemian Grove. FML

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    @Macheesmo

    by Chris

    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Oh, cuz he's a lazy fuckstick, that's why.

    by Chris

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST

    @eryder

    by Chris

    Honestly, I read a lot. I like to read documents obtained via the Freedom of Information act, in addition to historical anecdotes. The quote I posted was from Major General Smedley Butler, who in the 1930's was approached by Big Business interests to head a march on Washington and hold a coup against FDR, installing a military dictatorship. Butler was very outspoken against FDR, as he saw FDR as a socialist, but despite his views on FDR, Butler was a patriot. Butler came forward to congress, many of them paid for and elected by the same people who asked him to head this coup, and they basically ended his career. Years later, doing the lecture circuit, he was quoted as describing his duties when working for the military (which is where this quote I posted earlier, but will post again, comes from), "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." The thing is, many CONSPIRACY THEORIES, many that are laughed at and ridiculed, later turn out to be true or to some degree true. For example, MKULTRA for years was denied by the CIA until a congressional committee uncovered that it actually did exist. From that they uncovered many other CIA projects, from spreading 'harmless' bacteria through the NYC subway system just to see how it would spread, putting LSD in the water supply of Washington, D.C., all the way up to Operation Northwoods, which was a Military/CIA plan to fake the hijacking of several american commercial aircraft, blame it on the Cubans, and crash them into Miami hotels. The idea was people would see the Cuban Communist Government as a threat and the American people would be behind another invasion of Cuba. There are other examples of conspiracy theories and government lies that were laughed at and turn out to be true, aside from MKULTRA, there is COINTELPRO, the Lusitana, Iraq having WMDS, Air America, the Formation of the FED, the Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, and many more. George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” If you understand history, you understand that some men desire to rule the world. Just because we're living in a technologically advanced, 'civilized' aged doesn't mean that no longer applies. Greedy, evil men will still attempt to steer things in the direction they wish it to go. There's no greater example of what the wealthy elite and government manipulation can do to its people than Nazi Germany. The thing is, History becomes cyclical because of people like Macheesmo, who refuse to look, listen, and think for themselves. They don't see the warning signs, they don't understand, because THEY are the true conspiracy theorists. They believe what they're told on FOX, CNN, CSPAN, without evidence, without basis in fact, all because the person telling them what to think has a title and authority. You remove peoples understanding of history and human nature and people will believe what you tell them to believe. In closing, I would like to share with you a quote from page 405 of David Rockefeller's autobiography entitle MEMOIRS, "Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--- one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    The conspiracy

    by sengoksa

    If Alex Jones isn't getting paid anything for this he is going to be ranting and sulking for years to come...like usual... from the trailer it looks like his so called sneaking into bohemian grove stunt back in the day...)

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Dude

    by magnetoelectric

    First , I knew about the Smeldley Butler Coup attempt. And its a really interesting story for those that dont. Most folks know about MKUltra too (It never worked is the part that they forget.) I can appreciate that you read and that you're interested in history. The problem isnt Macheesmo or what he learned from mass media. The problem is people who think thats the problem. Remember during the height of the tea party there was an old man with a sign that read: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare? I guarantee - That man went from "Ignorance is bliss" happy, to "I know just enough to be pissed off" overnight. He didnt know the facts. But he knew just enough to know he didnt like it at all Thats what's really going on with "Theorists" Its not the Illuminati or The Knights Templar or Free Masons. The Robber Barons and Plunderers have always been the Robber Barons and Plunderers. From JP Morgan to Captain Morgan. How they managed to get all their wealth is evil enough in itself. Theres no logic behind attaching these other "evils" to it. But the need to understand why anyone can be such a complete douche is how they jump all over: "Well, they must be Aliens" FFS. Not only are they Aliens but the dude knows what type of Aliens they are. "The Reptile ones! Not those faggoty Grey ones from Communion ,the ones from V!" When its all said and done , and Alex Jones is finished screaming "Mayday" Into the microphone. When the day never arrives where he had the chance to say "I told you so" He'll be fraught with regret. He'll wish he went white water rafting. He'll wish he spent more time with his kids. He'll wish he built that Log Cabin. I promise you. He definitely wont look back and say "I lived a full life attempting to convince people those planes were holograms!" No. Way.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    re: Alex Jones

    by spire_walk

    He's paid to spread fear, which makes him SO different from the rest of the media, and the government itself. He can do all the docs he wants about the coming police state, but the truth is, it's already here. Don't believe me? Try making a video criticizing islam. You'll get a call from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or they'll come and arrest you in the middle of the night. (Terry Jones, "Sam Bacile", etc...) Make statements critical of the government on facebook. Then they show up and arrest you without charges to take you to an institution (Brandon Raub). Or you can get indefinitely detained thanks to the Patriot Act and the NDAA. You have to right to go to work and consume, and that's it. Police State already came. Did you or Alex Jones expect them to proclaim that it was here? The sad thing is, I don't think anyone at the top even realizes/cares it's here.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    My guess for the "twist"

    by TheSeeker7

    That this guy Terrence is actually already a member of this group. Or, the one of the pair of filmmakers is who doesn't want to dive into Terrence's findings.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Peter_bishops_popped_cherry

    by spire_walk

    Eat a bowl of dicks kid. I've been in the army for the past ten years. I don't need some gay-ass documentary to tell me about Iraq. We're in a fucking police state. Don't believe me, just wait. You're just a balloon in a needle factory. Sooner or later they catch you for something.