How Sundance Made Indie Movies Mainstream


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What was new here was that formerly fringe filmmakers were now getting big crossover deals and gushy reviews, redefining indie cinema in the public consciousness. This began a snowball effect with other newer and younger would-be writers and directors. Sundance and Cannes 1989 were the first major “Yes We Can!” moments for those who had had studio and network gates slammed in their faces in the past or who’d never had the confidence or connections to go that far in the first place.

The complete article

Telly Davidson — The American Conservative

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Bitcoin: The Most Impressive Speculative Bubble In Modern History


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Do you believe in Bitcoin’s future as the currency of choice?

The same technology that makes bitcoin secure as a means of exchange also makes it hideously inefficient compared to other payment technologies. But the more serious objection to bitcoin is that it enables criminals and terrorist organizations to move value around the world out of sight of national governments and law enforcement. Some nations that have already banned bitcoin include China, India, Sweden and Vietnam. So far none of the Anglo nations have been willing to prohibit this overt act of criminality – at least not yet.

The complete article

Christopher Whalen — The American Conservative

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Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?


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Drone warfare has changed engagement with adversaries at many levels. Rules of war are being rewritten. This needull looks at one of Trump’s decision related to drone warfare.

The issue being raised by some of Trump’s opponents is that the new policy will kill more civilians, as it will be carried out by an unfettered military instead of a “restrained” executive. Those additional deaths will lead to more radicalization of Muslims, which will impede America’s strategic progress toward an unclear goal—maybe a world without radicalized Muslims.

Such logic ignores the fact that President Obama approved 540 drone strikes killing 3,797 people in non-traditional war zones. No one knows how many of those bodies were civilians, although for the record the U.S. says it was precisely 324. The Council on Foreign Relations, however, estimates that drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan killed 3,674 civilians at last count.

Bottom line: There are already a lot of bodies out there under a policy of “restraint.”

The complete article

Peter Van Buren — The American Conservative

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Don’t Breathe: Escape From Detroit


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In spirit of the weekend, today’s needull is a movie review of – Don’t Breathe. The writer is more concerned here with Detroit as the setting for the movie.

And so the frustrating, repetitive unclimaxes reflect the awful Snakes and Ladders quality of the attempt to escape poverty. You make your move and get brutalized, and you get up again as soon as you can and stumble forward, because what choice do you have? Every attempt leaves you more damaged and yet you keep coming back.

The complete review

The American Conservative — Eve Tushnet

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