Steve Bannon once really wanted to make a documentary about Nazis.
In an 11-page outline obtained by The Daily Beast, President Trump’s chief strategist aimed to cover an array of topics, including eugenics, Adolf Hitler, abortion and cloning. The draft, written in 2005, was tentatively titled “The Singularity: Resistance Is Futile.”
Bannon, who was set to write, direct and produce the film, penned one segment on “blood purity” and Nazis, which would aim to discuss “the perfectibility of life through a human-controlled elite race that will bring about a better world.” The movie was also set to explore ideas of “survival of the fittest” and “Aryan elite.”
When reached by The Daily Beast, Julia Jones, Bannon’s former writing partner, said that Bannon had been courting Mel Gibson to finance the film. The two allegedly met in person to discuss “The Singularity.”
“Yup, he certainly enjoyed name-dropping Gibson,” another source close to Bannon told The Daily Beast.
Jones and Bannon have since gone their separate ways, thanks, in large part, to Bannon’s involvement during Trump’s campaign.
“I don’t want to know him anymore,” Jones said back in October. “I don’t care if I lose the friendship anymore.”
She added: “I’m so disgusted at what Bannon has become. He’s been behind Trump’s campaign for over a year.”
A BBC weather forecast in Wales recently told viewers that they could expect to encounter some “Nazi ghosts” along with a cold front in the days ahead.
The subtitling of the forecast delivered by the BBC Wales presenter Sue Charles was supposed to read the “North Sea coast.” But a glitch in the automatic subtitling mis-transcribed the phrase as “Nazi ghosts.”
Viewers picked up on the snafu quickly. “For a moment you might have thought the Nazis had come back from beyond the grave to invade the country from the North Sea,” one quipped, according to the Daily Mail.
The forecast was filmed in Llandaff, Cardiff. A BBC employee told the Daily Mail that it was a problem of automation and not a human error. “Our auto subtitling automatically transcribes the words it hears.”
Every once in a while, the employee said, “there will be the odd blooper and this was one of them.”
This wasn’t the first time the station encountered some technical difficulties.
In 2002, one broadcaster asked for a “moment of violence” during the Queen mother’s funeral.
(JTA) — In his new film, “Imperium,” Daniel Radcliffe plays FBI agent Nate Foster, who goes undercover to take down skinheads planning to set off a dirty bomb.
The film, which opens Friday, is taut and exciting. It is also a movie the former “Harry Potter” star doesn’t want his 93-year-old Jewish grandmother to see. (More on that later.)
“Imperium” is loosely based on the experiences of FBI agent Mike German, who spent 16 years with the bureau, a dozen undercover. German co-wrote the screenplay with director Daniel Ragussis.
Both Daniels are on the phone to promote the enterprise, one definitely more tired than the other.
Radcliffe’s critically acclaimed, sold out off-Broadway play “Privacy” had closed the night before, followed by an apparently lengthy closing night party. But despite the joking promise that his exhaustion might lead him to reveal something juicy — “You never know what I might say” — Radcliffe stays on message, painting a self-portrait of an intelligent young actor who has survived fame without a semblance of pretense or affectation.
On the face of it, Radcliffe does not seem the obvious choice for the role. For one thing he’s a Brit, though you couldn’t tell by the mid-American accent he adopts for the film. And for another, he doesn’t fit the burly Jason Bourne tough guy image we’ve come to expect from our movie heroes. But that’s exactly what led Ragussis to cast Radcliffe.
“When I first met Michael German, he was so different from the prototype FBI agents,” Ragussis said. “He was very intelligent, a soft-spoken guy who studied philosophy in college. I spoke to him and said you’re not what I expected.
“He told me being an FBI undercover agent isn’t about physical powers but social skills, dealing with people, and once I realized that it enabled me to conceptualize the story and turned me on to an actor like Daniel.”
In fact, Radcliffe’s relatively small stature — he is listed as being 5-foot-5 — only ratchets up the tension as Nate Foster is forced to use intelligence to ingratiate himself within various extremist groups and maintain his cover.
Radcliffe’s nuanced performance as an agent with no field experience who has jumped into potentially volatile waters without a life vest almost certainly will win critical raves. His character must do battle not only with the Nazis and Klansmen, but his own superiors, who at a critical juncture want to pull him out, believing he is on the wrong track.
Radcliffe said he “was lucky to have Dan here with me.”
“He did an unbelievable amount of research, so I had him to go to as a source,” said the actor, who added that he prepared for the film “like any other role.” Radcliffe also consulted German, read books and went “online to look at terrifying message boards.”
He also shaved his head on screen, wore Nazi regalia and of course offered the Nazi salute. That brings us back to grandma.
Radcliffe said his maternal grandmother — he never knew his granddad — “was an evacuee during the war,” taken to the country to stay with people away from Nazi bombers. He recalls her telling him stories “about how our family came to the UK and where we came from.”
“We originated in Russia and left because of the pogroms. I don’t know if the story is true, but supposedly my great-great-grandfather was on a ship from Russia bound for America. It stopped off in London, and he thought, ‘oh, that was quick’ and got off. He went to work in a textile factory and married the owner’s daughter.”
Radcliffe was raised in a very secular environment — “I’m going to be a real disappointment to you,” he told a reporter for a Jewish news service — but with a keen awareness of his Jewish background and “what it means to my mom and her mom.”
It is the reason he believes “Imperium” will not be appropriate for grandma.
“It may be a little too close to the bone,” Radcliffe said. In fact, he thought about her during the filming, “about how odd it is. The strangeness of it struck me a few times.”
Radcliffe finds it impossible to define how his Jewish heritage impacts his work.
“I don’t think I can separate the various parts of my life,” he said. “But the view that was always imparted to me by my mom and [Irish] dad is that the Jewish people and the Irish people were hard workers, that the Jews always punched above their weight class intellectually in terms of their numbers of people. I know that influenced me I suppose on some level, gave me a sense of responsibility to continue that. It’s something I thought about. I wouldn’t say it’s a driving force, but it is an influence.”
Considering the film’s topic, our conversation inevitably turned to America’s gun culture.
“The gun thing is alien to me,” Radcliffe said. “But I don’t think I was in Virginia” — the film was shot in Hopewell, a small city south of Richmond — “for more than a day before three separate people said, ‘hey, you’ve got to come shoot with us.’ I’m up for anything and I had a lovely day, but that’s never something I’m going to get used to.
“But the thing that most surprised me is that there is a huge wave of people who are not the slightest bit racist, who are highly intelligent and who love guns. The image that is sometimes portrayed the world over is that the Second Amendment people are sort of crazy, and I haven’t found that to be the case.”
Another American subject — how we seem to allow young actors a moment of fame and then chew them up — also brought out Radcliffe’s positive side. He said he had people around him “who were never going to allow me to become arrogant or obnoxious. But I have to say it’s very human to focus on the negative.”
Radcliffe then mentions Jodie Foster, Elijah Wood and Toby Maguire as positive role models for American actors.
Like them, Radcliffe has literally grown up in front of us, although to a degree none of them could match: He starred in eight “Harry Potter” films in 11 years, starting at age 11 and finishing at 21. While one of the rules for this interview was no questions about the new “Harry Potter” play and book — Radcliffe had nothing to do with either — the old films were not out of bounds, And, no, there are no regrets.
“There has never been a moment where I wish it hadn’t happened, any mistakes I’ve learned from,” he said. “Nobody’s life is all rainbows and sunshine. There were moments, but mostly related to being a teenager.”
Still, Harry Potter will always be with him. Even today, five years after the last film was released, a writer who shall remain nameless will talk about his granddaughter Samantha, who is a big fan and celebrating a birthday and can Daniel send a photo? Of course, he can — a promise stars make all the time but seldom deliver.
Unless they’re Daniel Radcliffe.
Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister had a fascination with Nazi regalia.
Motorhead’s hard-living “Lemmy” Kilmister, who sparked controversy when it was revealed he had an extensive collection of Nazi memorabilia in his home, has died. He was 70.
Kilmister, the band’s frontman and bassist, was hailed by fans as a legend and rock icon after news of his passing was posted on Motorhead’s Facebook page.
He was battling a number of ailments, including diabetes, and was recently diagnosed with an “aggressive cancer,” the band said.
For most fans and other metal legends, his Nazi fascination is a footnote to his years of making music and raising hell. Pal Ozzy Osbourne tweeted Monday night, “He will be sadly missed …He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.”
Kilmister (born Ian Fraser Kilmister) defended the collection after a reporter from the Idaho Statesman included details of the brow-raising hobby in a profile more than half a decade ago.
“It was quite funny, because I brought (the journalist) around to my house, which looks like a shrine to Nazism. But it’s just my collection. I mean, you can’t put it all in the cupboard; it won’t fit,” he told Rolling Stone.
“I only collect the stuff. I didn’t collect the ideas.”
David Draiman, the Jewish lead singer of the metal band “Disturbed,” was critical of his friend at the time.
“That’s super-duper taboo and offensive to me. I don’t understand the fascination. It’s the most provocative imagery that you can brandish, and that’s why people utilize it. And if that’s their goal, I guess they’re achieving it,” he said.
“I don’t give a f—- who you are. If you’re going to brandish Nazi symbolism, I’m going to have a problem with you because I don’t understand how anybody could think it’s OK to wear something on their body that symbolizes the annihilation and genocide of my people. I’m not OK with that and there is no excuse and there is no explanation.”
An avid defender of Israel, Draiman’s maternal grandparents were survivors of the Nazi’s Bergen-Belsen death camp.
No, it’s not a Hitler Youth parade — it’s a cheerleading competition.
One of the teams competing in a cheerleading smackdown in the Mexican city of Guadalajara (in May) got slammed on social media last week when a video surfaced showing their highly offensive routine featuring swastikas, goose-stepping and “Sieg Heils” galore.
The cheery bunch included two dozen girls aged 10 to 16 and one boy, Haaretz reported. All were dressed in camouflage and red armbands. In the ultimate act of subtlety, they also used a huge swastika banner as a prop and saluted, Nazi-style.
As Haaretz points out, criticism of the dance routine has mostly been leveled at those in charge of the competition, as some people point out that the munchkins probably didn’t realize that they were emulating a genocidal Fascist dictatorship.
But just to be safe, event organizer Enrique Casas has decided to keep the team’s identity secret because the commments “have been a little aggressive.”
“The comments have gone beyond freedom of expression … and have included direct insults against the girls.”
Right. I can’t imagine why.
Next time (because apparently, there will be one), Casas assures he will put safeguards in place “to avoid hurting people’s feelings.”
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