One hundred years ago, the first motion picture was filmed in the area which only a little after twenty years previously had been christened Hollywood. Some accounts claim H J Whitley, the real estate developer who turned the dry sunny fruit laden hills into a hotel and recreation centre, himself dreamed up the name while honeymooning with his wife, perhaps the name originates from the distinctive local shrub Toyon, which due to its small red berries became known as Californian Holly, this shrub covers the hills of the surrounding area. But the precise reason for naming the area Hollywood have never been discovered.
The land was owned by Harvey Henderson Wilcox and his wife, named their ranch Hollywood who claimed to have heard the name from a lady on a train but others assert that she heard the name from a neighbour who in turn had heard the name mentioned by H J Whitley himself. However it was Harvey who registered the name and was the first to record its name on a title deed. The reasons for the uncertainty of the origin of the name ‘Hollywood’ could be because in truth, because its name has rather different origins and a perhaps un-guessed significance in the name ‘Hollywood'.
What is known with certainty however is that some very well connected gentlemen had big plans for this particular piece of land. His business partners were media tycoons General Otis and Harry Chandler who owned the Los Angeles Times and railroad magnate M.H. Sherman.
As we have previously seen, the physiological effect of watching television is to induce alpha waves in the brain, these waves are produced when the brain is awake but in a restful state with the eyes closed . We must try to remember that there is nothing ‘natural’ and ‘normal’ about sitting down for 2 hours or more, in a darkened room watching a collection of moving images moving around a white screen. Of course we are so used to the idea of going to the movies, and the media parading all the latest Hollywood stars to us, that we see these people as heroes and saviours of the modern age. But surely a hero, someone to respect and admire, is someone who does something ‘real’ to make the world a better place, the fact is that all people like Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and all the rest of them do, is ‘pretend’ to be heroes. They ‘pretend’ to do brave and courageous things. They ‘pretend’ to do good things and make the right decision, everything has been written for them, they rarely even do their own dangerous stunts.. As far as we know, apart from their fictional acts of bravery and heroism, there is nothing good about these people at all! Would we admire someone who told us how he had climbed up a tree to rescue a cat, or how he had fought with a terrorist trying to plant a bomb in a busy London shopping centre, we probably would, but what if he later told us he was lying about it and he had done no such thing, but that he had been given a large reward all the same because people enjoyed the story he had told them?
Hollywood stars do just this. They lie and they pretend to do things. They pretend to be in love. They lie to us so we feel sorry for the characters they play. They move us to tears, or they make us tense with their shenanigans, but the chances are they feel nothing at all. They are ‘actors’ paid to deceive us. What if actors were to migrate into other walks of life, that is assuming they haven’t already. How do we know that George W Bush’s sadness over the deaths of the people who were killed on 9-11 is even genuine? Do we have any reason to believe it is. Bush it must be said, was a very poor actor. We are used to seeing a better class of sympathetic fraud on our TV screens and most people saw straight through Georgie boy's B movie performance. In fact when watching George W perform I had the distinct impression that the man had trouble keeping a straight face.
Now we have a new president who doesn’t need to be a particularly good actor, he just reminds us that he is a black man and that the people who disagree with his policies are hampered by their ‘reptilian brain’ into being racist. Well, it doesn’t matter what kind of actor you are as long as the script is good right?
But what is it with this adoration of film stars? Well perhaps a major part of it are the physiological brain changes which take place while we are watching the moving lights on the screen. Our brain switches from using the left portion of the brain, to right, very rapidly, thereby ensuring that we are held in the spell of the movie screen and on a subconscious level, we ‘believe’ what we are seeing. This is the right hand side of the brain. Our core programme. It is essential that on a subconscious level at least, we believe the film because otherwise we would not be at all engaged in the storyline and the plot. The fact that the viewer subconsciously believes what they are seeing is essential to the film’s success and our emotional response. Whether it be fear, tension, or tears.
The film gets under your skin and interacts with the human mind in ways we are not consciously aware of.
Why are vast sums being spent on producing Hollywood films, and even vaster sums spent by the public to watch these films when nothing in the film is real, but the labour and time and energy needed to create the money to either make or watch the film is? This is an example of something real tangible and above all USEFUL being wasted on something which doesn’t even exist, worse, on something which can actually have a negative effect on the human mind.
The story of the film doesn’t exist in reality, the character Tom Cruise is playing doesn’t exist in reality, the people who are murdered in the course of the film don’t exist in reality. The 125 MILLION dollars spend to make the film however DOES exist as does the 500 MILLION spent on the film by viewers worldwide. This is a lot of money and this is only one movie of hundreds a year that are produced. Without wanting to sound like a bleeding heart liberal I will refrain from mentioning how many real and tangible things like hospital beds etc this amount of money would pay for. But isn’t it a wonder that we blithely accept this situation and consider it normal? Especially as most of the world seems to be having trouble with not enough money for one reason or another.
Because we are so used to Hollywood films and because the media promotes them constantly we are habituated to this state of affairs; but would you call up a plumber to ‘pretend’ to fix the leak in the bathroom? Would you pay a man who pretended to fix your car? Why do we so admire and respect these people who pretend to do things? Why are they are given the same regard and respect and paid the same amount of money as if they actually did the things they pretend to do in the films and TV shows we see? Well, the reason is because the leaders of our society consider it useful.
Holly wood is the wood of choice for a certain type of magic wand used by druids. Obviously druids used to be taken much more seriously by society, and indeed they used to pretty much run the show, until the Romans came and became so disgusted at their practice of human sacrifice that they chased them all the way through Wales, to their stronghold at Anglesea where eventually the Romans followed them and destroyed their barbarous culture. However this wasn’t the end of the druids, they merely ceased to appear as a force in public. They went underground and became a secret cult. They became what we would now know as wiccans. People professing magic powers, jealously guarding their meetings with passwords and secret signs, holding their ceremonies in woodlands under cover of darkness.
Holly wood is a noticeably white wood, perhaps an evocation of its particular colour are the famous Hollywood letters in the Californian hills. In Thomas Malory’s La Morte d’Arthur, It is said that Gawain, the oak king, fought the green knight armed with a holly club, representing the power of winter. Holly, in pagan lore, represents sleep, death and rebirth since it is a shrub which famously has red berries in winter time. One can still purchase Holly wood wands either on-line or at specialist shops, and it is a particular wand which is recommended for the casting of spells which relate to rest or sleep.
Could there be an occult meaning behind the name Hollywood? What if there is a hidden purpose to the film industry, and that it is actually designed to model and modify the viewers sense of reality, in order that you form an opinion about things based on what the people who made the film want you to think. Are you being secretly hypnotised or ‘put to sleep’ when you watch a Hollywood film?
The fact that film has been used to re-programme people’s minds is not a new one but it is not really discussed as part of our modern culture, however, it is certainly accepted by media commentators as being one of the methods used by ‘the enemy’. It is fairly accepted common knowledge that during the Nazi era and soviet era, film was highly prized for it propaganda value and Nazi film makers like Leni Riefenstahl; were often seen standing right besides Hitler, thus emphasising her vital importance in the Nazi machine.
Leni Reifenstahl’s films were essential to conditioning the German people to accepting Nazism and in particular the idea of the racial inferiority of the Jews.
Similarly in Soviet Russia, film makers such as Eisenstein were instrumental in glorifying the leaders of the newly formed Soviet republic and in creating the myths and half truths which were used by the Soviet machine to cement their authority as rulers of Russia. Many of the techniques used back are still in use today by Hollywood and it is no exaggeration to say that film makers such as Reifenstahl and Eisenstein, were early pioneers of a propaganda device which the Americans have now perfected. It is all the more perfect a tool for control and suggestion because people are completely unaware that it is being used as such. Reifenstahl’s technical ability was so effective that she made Hitler into a messianic cult leader. She invented what are today known as ‘tracking shots’ were cameras are mounted on cranes, the use of telephoto lenses, used to give a false sense of the proximity of Hitler to his supporters for example and make him seem more a man of the people. She would use smoke bombs to create drama, she would use montage and cross cuts to create specific impressions in the mind of her viewers. In short, she pioneered many of the effects in use today including the use of semiotic codes which communicate a specific message to a select audience, in the instance of the Nazis, the message was of the purity and innate superiority of the German people over all other races.
The dastardly Nazis weren’t the only government to use film for propaganda purposes and social control. The British secret service employed Alfred Hitchcock to make propaganda films during the second world war. His 1940 film Foreign Correspondent was a film specifically released in order to encourage American public opinion to support a war they had hitherto hoped not to get involved in.
The film depicts extremely heroic and entirely fictitious characters engaging in unlikely and heroic acts. But there are subliminal messages which the director can weave into the narrative of the film which the viewer will not consciously be aware of, but will make a connection of a subconscious level. This is known as subliminal stimuli, for example, at the end of the film, the character of Stephen Fisher as head of the Universal Peace organisation clearly means well but is at odds with the reality of Nazi Germany, it is for this reason that in a symbolic gesture at the end of the film, when he realise that there is not enough room on the downed plane’s wing to support all survivors, he ducks underwater and voluntarily drowns himself. This is an example of the art of semiotics, and while people will not consciously be able to say what the significance of Fisher's death is, on a subconscious level they will know that it means that the high ideal of peace must surrender itself for the greater good of helping save more lives by having a jolly old war. It’s very clever but highly unscrupulous.
There were a whole raft of such films during and prior to the war. Before the war the films featuring stars like Gracie Fields and George Formby were aimed at maintaining the present class structure and status quo despite the terrible poverty being experienced in places like Salford and Rochdale. It was necessary to improve the public’s moral in spite of dreadful hardships, so they promoted Northern stars who would be able to relate to the impoverished inhabitants of the North. Their films depicted a cheerful type of carefree poverty were, despite the worst of times, the hero always managed to get their lucky breaks. Gracie films with titles such as: Looking on the Bright side and We’re going to be rich, encourage the public that happiness was only around the corner. While Formby’s film Off the Dole, sees our hero told that he hasn’t made any serious attempt to find work. This film was a response to the high unemployment rate in some parts of the north where a many as 23 percent of workers were unemployed (this figure reflects only those entitled to support, the actual rate would be much higher).
At this time hunger marches from all over England to London were common, and their protests were aimed at means tests which effectively denied many of the poor any income to provide for themselves. In the film John Willie (George) is signed off the dole, without any money things look bleak and for a moment his plight echoes that of many of the unemployed of the real world, however, we do not remain long in the real world because fortunately for John, his uncle owns a detective agency and reluctantly allows George to become its manager. What a stroke of luck! Throughout the film the audience is thrown empty musical platitudes designed to make them bear their lot in life, songs such as ‘the nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat’ are scarcely believable in their assumption that living off scraps is preferable to eating well. And ‘I’m going to stick by mother’ contains the odd line ‘you’re safer with your mother than a wife’ presumably imbues viewer with the message that in these economically fraught times it may be better to not consider having a family of your own.
I hope I have managed to convince you at least that the British Film industry was essentially a propaganda arm of the British government in those days. And although we now recognise these films and songs as rather amateurish attempts, there is no reason to assume that various kinds of subtle message are not still contained in the various Hollywood films of today.
Joseph Goebbels at the time called the film ‘a masterpiece of propaganda, a first-class production which no doubt will make a certain impression upon the broad masses of the enemy countries’ . Of course, as nazi minister for propaganda himself, he knew what he was talking about, and aside from the argument that we Brits were the ‘good guys’ and those Nazis were ‘the bad guys’ it is vital to realise that propaganda is not merely a tool used by a sneaky and devious enemy, but a tool which is used by all governments, up until the present day.
And so we return to Hollywood. Why would Hollywood wish to use techniques of mind control on the civil population? Well the simple answer is control. The cabal of world rulers would like their system to remain in place, and it is clear that we do live in a ‘system’. The governments of varying countries may change periodically every four years or so, but it is still the same ‘system’. A system they refer to as ‘democracy’ when it is more like an oligarchy. An oligarchy is government by select individuals who are not chosen by any form of public suffrage.
Doubtless there are films which have been made by Hollywood which show how brave and noble war is. There are endless films which glorify the lifestyle of Italian gangsters and make extreme violence into an art form which the viewer is supposed to revere. There are movies which make a virtue of casual sex with strangers, there are even films which manage to make American police look good. But I particularly wish to focus on films which may have a far more harmful psychological effect on the viewer than mere fluff about cops and robbers.
I wish to examine Hollywood movies which deal with metaphysical uncertainty. These films are a fairly recent phenomenon and have much in common with the science-fictions genre in that there are often unaccountably strange things happening, there are often sighting of monsters; the laws of physics are often distressed, and often the film’s events do not unfold according to a normal sequence of events, but, in a technique borrowed from people like Jean Luc Goddard and the French new-wave cinema, events are non linear. This leads to confusion in the character who is experiencing time in a disordered fashion and also confuses the viewer as well who tries to make sense of what they are seeing. This technique which surfaced in France in the 50’s and 60’s forces the audience to concentrate more on the film and demands more of a intellectual involvement with the material, in most instances it is an entertaining and interesting use of ‘mise en scene’ but I believe its use in Hollywood has more sinister implications.
It is my conviction that many of these films seek to undermine the viewer’s sense of reality itself. I have no doubts that the actors in these films have no idea what kind of psychological experiment they are being involved in.
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