Julian Assange

Assange

This weekend, Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate suffered the worst opening of 2013, bringing in an unfathomable $1.7m from 1769 theaters. Getaway opened better. Movie 43 opened better. Naturally, nobody is more pleased with this news than comic book supervillain Julian Assange, who has sent signals from his lair inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to consistently voice his disproval of the project. Assange’s boycott against the film, which he condemned for portraying him in a biased and negative light, finally cumulated in the release of his own WikiLeaks film, a free documentary available on the website called Mediastan. In what is sure to definitely not be biased at all and portray him with a glowing halo, the documentary depicts “Operation Cablerun,” in which thousands upon thousands of American diplomatic cables were posted by WikiLeaks in collaboration with The Guardian and The New York Times. “This weekend,” Assange said in a statement, “instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood propaganda, why not get all your friends around and spend your time watching Mediastan instead?”

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It’s not exactly a secret that Julian Assange and the rest of WikiLeaks are displeased with the upcoming Assange biopic The Fifth Estate. They’ve leaked the screenplay, described the film as “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful,” and even released a two word mini-review of the film via Twitter. Those two words: “it’s bad.” It turns out that the rabbit hole goes even deeper; in January, Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Assange in the film) contacted the man behind WikiLeaks and asked to meet with him. Today, WikiLeaks has published the letter that Assange sent back. It actually starts off rather fondly: “My assistants communicated your request to me, and I have given it a lot of thought and examined your previous work, which I am fond of. I think I would enjoy meeting you.” But after a few compliments to Cumberbatch’s character and acting ability, the letter takes the turn down Righteous Fury Lane that we were all expecting it to take.

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We Steal Secrets

At this point, Alex Gibney — the Oscar-winning documentary director behind Taxi to the Dark Side and many more — seems like the only man that can get inside the politically inflammatory world of current events. It’s like if Errol Morris had made Fog of War while Vietnam was still going on. This subject matter is volatile, immediate and directly impacts our lives. So if the first goal of a documentary is to find a compelling focus, it’s clear he’s done that again with We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks. Chronicling the inside world of Julian Assange‘s website, Gibney digs into the largest security breach in United States history — facilitated by Private First Class Bradley Manning — as well as the evasive rock star life of Wikileak’s founder, the concept of controlling information in the digital age and what that means for world powers. Check out the gripping trailer for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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