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Alienation

The Truman Show

Truman Burbank is a happily married insurance salesman living in Seahaven, an island town in middle America. A regular guy, you might think, leading an ordinary, uneventful life. He jabbers to himself in the bathroom mirror, his neighbours smile benignly at him as he goes off to work.

But the audience is soon made aware that all is not well with Truman, even before he realises it. A cutaway shows us that everything in his life is being dictated by an unseen director to actors through earpieces, while five thousand cameras track his every movement. Truman's whole life is a television soap in which he is the only unknowing participant.

Last Year's US Movies

Humanity has created a mostly "inhuman" society, and it is this condition itself that has become the subject of its art - we look at last year's US movies

Traditionally American narrative cinema has concerned itself with a central character or group and telling a story from their lives. More interestingly, these characters and the landscapes within which they move are symbols of the cultural concerns of the people who make movies: screenwriters, directors, actors, cinematographers and their employers, the producers and financiers. The purpose of this review of the last year's films is to discover these concerns and define any shared cultural/political trends in the American movie industry.

Greasy Pole: Kumar's Story

Greasy Pole

There are about 28 million cars imposing a thrombotic, pollutant tyranny on this country and until recently one of them was driven by Kumar. Not now though; not after he had come up before the magistrates for driving when he had drunk too much. In the dock, shy and nervous, he looked too gentle to have done anything at all likely to put other people at risk. But that is what the law, supported by some impressive evidence, insisted he had done. So they fined him and banned him from driving for a year and if he disobeys that he is very likely to end up in prison.

Book Reviews: 'Work', 'What Price the Poor?', & 'Ancient Americans - Rewriting the History of the New World'

Recipe for disaster?

'Work'. (Anarchist Federation. £1.00)

It might be thought that a pamphlet on work would begin by setting out what is going to be meant by the word. But this pamphlet does not do so. Instead, it uses the word in two different, even contradictory, senses. Work “must be destroyed before it destroys us”, proclaims the front cover. “Work is a disease” says an illustration. “Arguments against work” is one chapter heading.

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