Posts Tagged ‘MPAA’

CIA Invited to Special Screening of Goldfinger

Published November 4th 2016

In November 1959 CIA Director Allen Dulles sent a copy of the new Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger to Jackie Kennedy. In October 1964 the CIA Deputy Director Marshall Carter was invited to a special screening of the new James Bond movie Goldfinger at the MPAA headquarters in Washington. The film was later banned in Israel because of the actor playing the eponymous villain’s Nazi past, as noted in the CIA’s records on Bond, making Goldfinger one of the most important 1960s films to feature the CIA.

CIA and State Dept Documents on Jack Valenti

Published July 16th 2016

Recently released documents on former White House consultant and MPAA capo Jack Valenti strongly suggest that his appointment as president of the MPAA in some way involved the CIA. The new documents on Valenti come from the CIA and the State Department. Though they are tiny fragments in themselves the details they do contain are eye-opening. Valenti was a State Department consultant with a Top Secret clearance in the early months of taking over at the MPAA. At the same time the CIA were interested in Valenti ‘in connection with certain sensitive matters’.

BBFC Report: Complaints about violence and torture in Spectre, Kingsman and Minions

Published July 7th 2016

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) recently published its annual report, which details complaints against various movies including Spectre, Kingsman and Minions. As is so often the case, sex and violence were the focus of the complaints, leading the BBFC to explain why they had allowed these scenes into films aimed at young people. The effect of on screen fictional violence in desensitising people towards on screen real violence is an important phenomenon, illustrated well by the public apathy towards war and torture. The significance of Spectre and Kingsman being sponsored by the British state should not be lost on anyone – clearly the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office had no problems with these scenes, or just shrugged their shoulders and let the BBFC sort it out at their end.

US Customs and Border Protection Film and TV list

Published April 8th 2016
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Since 2003 the US Customs and Border Protection agency has become part of the Department of Homeland Security. They have their own entertainment liaison office – the DHS Office of Public Affairs Multi-Media Division. While the DHS are not very forthcoming about the productions they have worked on the CBP recently provided me with a list of projects they have assisted since 2003. It may not be a complete list but it is further proof that virtually every arm of the US security state is involved in the entertainment industry.

MPAA Ratings, the Pentagon and Jack Valenti

Published March 30th 2016

Jack Valenti’s career as head of the MPAA spanned nearly 40 years and saw the end of the production code and the establishment of the movie ratings system, the failure of the Vietnam War, the arrival of home cinema followed by the internet, and culminated in the post-9/11 propaganda push. New details provided by the FBI files on Valenti show that throughout this period (1966-2004) he remained close to the establishment. The Pentagon and Jack Valenti maintained good relationships as the Entertainment Liaison Offices grew in importance.