When donating means lending

Image result for donating lendinWe have attended the past few days to the development of the Donor Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. Euphoria, demagogy and triumphalism, apart from whoever organized it, the truth is that the summit of donors or of what hypothetically was going to be from donors was not so much. To donate means to give something without compensation and therefore free of charge -animus donandi-, but it seems that in this case to donate means to lend, to do business, to accredit Iraq and the Iraqis, and hopefully they are not with usurious and leonine interests neither neither with burdensome mortgages of the future. Of the results that have been disseminated, there seems to be no reason to be too optimistic and much less triumphalist. Things and facts by name. It is enough that we all read with minimal attention the amount of the amounts as well as the concept in which they have been made and will be made.

So the things of thirty-three billion dollars that are shuffled as final figure, although it is not said when or how they are going to be used or if the money already delivered is already taken into account in it, the truth is that only a very small part responds to real donations, or what is the same thing, in the form of lost funds without the need for reimbursement or interest payments. Of that amount we must discount the twenty billion dollars that it contributes and, it does not contribute at the same time, the USA and that still depend on the final approval of the North American Congress. This somewhat illogical situation is explained by the fact that the US does not include its money in this common fund, which is directly managed by the Bush administration and, therefore, compromises its destiny and its application according to its interests, which means that a good part of this money is already specified and directed in good measure to the North American companies that already work in Iraq itself and that are linked to the interests, among others, of Vice President Cheney. This is undoubtedly a good example or what is the same, a great hypocrisy on the part of the Bush Administration that does not tire of asking for the responsibility of all in the reconstruction of Iraq but that follows his own by not sharing his money nor neither their strategies in that common fund.

In this way, from those first thirty-three billion of the Conference we pass to some thirteen thousand million that are still susceptible to be further disaggregated. Of this second amount, it really deserves to stand out as a donation figure for free, only four billion dollars of which only the 700 million contributed by the European Union are actually donated, without subjecting anything to any investment and without reimbursement of any amount . The rest of the contributions from other Arab countries, some of which attract attention such as the 300 million Iran or the 1.5 billion from Kuwait, the five billion from Japan or the three hundred million from Spain (of which the American press does not dedicate a single line), they are really a mixture of not very clear and less clarified amounts donated, amounts loaned at low interest and with soft depreciation and amortization periods, as well as quantities conditioned to specific investments and even some items that they constitute a kind of conditioned subsidies.

Image result for de palacio foreign ministerThis being the case, and above all, if donating does not mean lending, the role and the attitude of De Palacio, the foreign minister, is not well understood when, once the countries participating in the Conference have shared out the crumbs of the investments and the business expectations that the North American interests leave to the rest, proclaims euphoric that to see who denies the success of the Conference. Success that undoubtedly will be, especially if the expectations of an Iraq based on millions of oil reserves are pondered, to which many of these donors, camouflaged by good Samaritans, solicitously go, but who are more aware of the distribution of the future cake.

The truth is that, for a long time and above all if we follow the trajectory of our minister, they misunderstand how well their actions and their statements, especially when it has shown us over and over again their ability to reach solutions and synthesis to the we hardly get the rest. Who does not remember his uncompromising stance that February 5 before the UN Security Council, once heard the reports of Blix and ElBaradei in which while the Iraqi regime was accused of not collaborating everything necessary was also asserted the non-discovery of the so-called weapons of mass destruction and that, in the end, have proved to be the great petty fallacy of the trio of the Azores.

At that moment, the minister pronounced a very hard and pre-war speech that did not correspond to the situation given and described by the inspectors, who simply asked for more time and did not close the doors to diplomacy. It is probable that he did not have sufficient and necessary capacity for reaction or simply did not want to have it and read the prepared and not improvised speech that he had to stage at that moment at the request of others. But aside from its political as well as diplomatic capacity, the truth is that the foreign minister continues to mark its erratic course as has the president of the government, but yes, things by name and demagogues on the sidelines.

A few days ago in the maelstrom of the election campaign in Madrid we saw an Aznar taking his chest after Resolution 1511 and asking for explanations from the opposition and flatteringly told them “and now what, what banners would they take out now”, “maybe contrary to the United Nations “. Well, in an election and a campaign many nonsense is said and too many improbabilities are promised. The truth is that he has never given them or he has not thought it necessary to give them, and this fact and attitude in a democracy are not good, since they ignore public opinion as well as the Parliament from which so much has been excused. But let’s not play with the facts and with the transgression of the international legality that both Bush and Blair and Aznar committed in their delirium of going to war and of which until now the worst stopped has been the British premier. The United Nations has not legitimized and less legalized the war, nor for six months has it legalized the occupying forces, because that is what the military forces deployed there are. Resolution 1511 legitimizes and, I insist to legitimize, that does not legalize, the current situation in Iraq on the way to a desirable democratic normalization and especially economic and social under the predominance and the North American directory. Not even a central role is offered to the United Nations, relegating it to humanitarian aid. No sovereignty is transferred to the Iraqi people yet and a timid timetable is imposed on that democratic transition that must go through a necessary constitutional drafting, but no deadlines or dates of departure of the military forces are established.

Effective resolution

Image result for effectiveThis resolution has been approved to overcome the deadlock in which some of the five countries that, more than ever irrationally now, have still had the right to vote in the Security Council. Neither Russia nor Germany nor France have continued to oppose the wishes of the US, which perhaps also questions the credibility and firmness of their previous positions, but the truth is that for now neither send troops and less money for the reconstruction of Iraq . We will see what your position is when it comes to talk of condoning the foreign debt of Iraq and of which both France and Russia are two of the main creditors.

For now blind and excessive violence continues to roam at ease in post-war Iraq. Nobody or anything escapes the objective of terrorists and resistant, and that each one calls them as they prefer. Faced with this chaotic panorama, it is not surprising that some are only willing to donate their money when its meaning is overturned by lending. Perhaps they do not see as clear a reconstruction as peaceful as predicted in the medium term.

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The worst movies in history

 Good movies, there are a few. Some of an indisputable quality

 Good movies, there are a few. Some of an indisputable quality

beyond the awards received or its commercial success. But, possibly, the majority of the largometrajes that are released each year do not reach the category of work of art. And, looking a little below, there are some titles that stand out for the poverty of their content. They are the ones that the most critical would qualify as clunkers . They sneak up on the most prestigious festivals and every week a film worthy of this label is released on some billboard of the planet.

As Lluís Bonet, a film critic who for decades has covered for La Vanguardia the most prestigious competitions in the seventh art, explains: “Bad films leave no trace; the good ones, yes, and the masterpieces that have marked your life remain forever in the memory. For this reason, I have always tried professionally to avoid bad films, something that was sometimes impossible even in festivals. Currently, although I follow a cinephile diet, sometimes I am still forced to endure some mess. “

From when can we say that we are facing a bad movie

From when can we say that we are facing a bad movie

Everyone has their criteria and the selection that we present in this article is debatable. The borderline between bad taste and the art of kitsch is often very fine. Roger Ebert is considered the pope of film critics. In his book The Worst Movies of History (Ariel) he has chosen hundreds of titles whose quality – he writes – “varies between deplorable and those that were only graciously clueless. For years, I argued that I would only award zero stars to films that seemed immoral to me in some sense. When making this selection I realized that I have not always complied with this rule. When a film insults your intelligence, your good taste and your patience (all at once), it manages to bring out the worst in you. ” Ebert’s blacklist also includes sacred cows such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Roman Polanski , James Ivory, Steven Soderbergh and David Lynch. And unknown directors, icons of the B-movies. It is difficult to detect a common denominator. Of course, the sequels of successful titles, the second, third or fourth versions of a character or a story that worked at the time succeed. “Before it was called remake (which could ever beat the original), but now the sagas, franchises, sequels and prequels have led to a flood of bad movies. It’s the Hollywood business: to squeeze a hit when there’s nothing clever left to squeeze. Currently, any blockbuster has its continuations, “says Bonet.

Luis Miguel Carmona is the author of Estrellas estrelladas and also planned to make a book about bad films at the time. From the outset he explains that we must be careful, “because negative criticisms without real foundation run through social networks”. Because they form groups of users launch devastating campaigns (for whatever reasons), which then make a dent in the critics and the public. Likewise, he adds, “there are films that are very good, but sometimes they did not come out at the right time and they had a bad reception. This is the case of Blade Runner (1982). O Vertigo (1958). Today no one would say they were bad, but at that time … “. Tastes change and society, too. And criticism sometimes punishes (or rewards) movies unfairly . There are titles that were not properly recognized. For example, nowadays we are sure that Kramer against Kramer would win the Oscar for the best film over Apocalypse now (it was the year 1980)? That Rocky was better – always according to the Oscar, 1977 edition – than Taxi driver ?

Undoubtedly, the time factor can change perceptions. Indeed

when a film is manifestly bad, sometimes it loses this facet and it happens that over the years it becomes a cult movie. For example, there are dialogues that are so absurd that today they arouse almost admiration: in Armageddon (1998) there is a scene in which two Japanese tourists are in a taxi in New York, while a few meteors turn the whole street into a burning wasteland. She complains: “I want to go shopping!”. And, in Rapa Nui , (1994) the king of Easter Island implores: “Tell me you will not make hooks with the bones of my thighs,” he begs with tears in his eyes to his high priest. And he answers: “I’m busy! I have to read the entrails of the chicken. “

In general, when a movie does not work, there are many variables 

It is not necessarily a matter of lack of talent. “There are directors, like Francis Ford Coppola, who need big budgets to make good films,” recalls Carmona. When the tap closes, then the results are not up to par (the last filmography of Coppola is a good example). But beware: not having much money in your pocket is a guarantee that a masterpiece will be shot . Here the school case is that of Michael Cimino. The director won an Oscar for The Hunter (1978) and embarked on a very ambitious project, The Gate of Heaven (1980). According to Ebert, “it’s one of the ugliest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s the most outrageous cinematic waste I’ve seen. ” They say that on the day of the premiere the director asked why nobody was drinking champagne at the cocktail party. “It’s because they hate your movie,” they replied. The original footage was more than five hours. Cimino had shot so much material that it would take nine days in a row just to watch it. The budget at that time was astronomical: 36 million dollars (about 3,000 million pesetas of the time). United Artist brushed the bankruptcy and had to be absorbed by MGM. Cimino’s career could never take off again.
“I think all the films are good,” says Mar Targarona, from the production company Rodar y Rodar, which has recently produced a blockbuster such as El cuerpo (2012). “There are some that you appreciate again , after knowing that they were filmed in difficult conditions, with a low budget and in a few days.

In any case, it is very difficult to always maintain the state of grace 

In any case, it is very difficult to always maintain the state of grace 

All the directors, even the big ones, have had a bad day, “he says. What must be done to avoid failure? “The first thing is a script. Then there must be actors who are up to the task and finally, the budget. In general, comedy is the most difficult genre. From the outset, the viewer comes with a certain prejudice. Because humor travels badly. It is very cultural. You may like it in one country, but not in another. This is what happens with Woody Allen’s latest films, “says Targarona (by the way, Filming and Filming will start this year precisely a comedy: by Santiago Amadeo). Who is the final responsibility of a failed film? Targarona sums it up like that. “The producer is the one who loses money, the director is the one who puts the face, because it is who directs the creative part. The scriptwriter, curiously, is transparent, although the script is perhaps the most important for the project to work. “

As you can see, everything is relative and it would be risky to make very severe judgments. Especially if one takes into account that, although the criticism destroys a film, this does not prevent it from being a box-office hit (this is what usually happens, for example, in the USA with the comedies starring Adam Sandler) . A good thermometer of the bad film industry are the Razzies . They were born in 1981, with the attempt to criticize with an ironic approach the Hollywood industry and have been gaining prestige over the years. The trophy is a plastic mulberry the size of a golf ball, stuck on top of a celluloid reel, sprayed with gold spray paint (that is, it is not gold). Its nominal value is around three euros.

One of the stars of the Razzies is Sylvester Stallone ( Oscar award, do not forget, for Rocky (1976)): he has been nominated up to thirty times in almost all categories. But the most awarded is the actor Adam Sandler, who has received a total of seven awards. There is a film that is unbeatable: Jack and his twin (2011): he got the highest award in ten categories, the maximum possible, a historical record (despite this he managed to collect at the box office about 75 million euros). Of course, sometimes the Razzies can exceed their hardness by rewarding people of outstanding career who may have experienced an occasional stumble. Some example: screenwriter Brian Helgeland received an Oscar and a Razzie in the same year and on the same weekend. He won the statuette for best adapted screenplay for LA Confidential (1997) and Razzie for the worst screenplay The Postman (1997) Kevin Costner. Likewise, Sandra Bullock won the Razzie for worst actress for Loca obsession (2009) and the next day won the Oscar as best actress for A dream possible (2009).

The cast of the Razzies is partial because it excludes the oldest titles.

The cast of the Razzies is partial because it excludes the oldest titles.

Well, there is some consensus among moviegoers that perhaps the worst director in history was Ed Wood, author of the mythical Plan 9 from outer space (1959) (Vampires of space), a story that mixes vampires with the arrival of the aliens. The anecdotes surrounding the filming of this film are innumerable. Wood found the money for his film at Beverly Hills Baptist Church and, before starting work, as the main condition of the loan, the entire team had to be baptized in a pool. As a decoration, curtains were used. The flying saucers were car wheels moved with threads. The spacecraft cabin was made of cardboard. As special effects, there was a light signal that the team stole from a work. In some scenes you can see recording microphones. One of the actors (apparently without much memory) interpreted his dialogues by reading, in a visible way, a piece of paper stuck on the ground … (Tim Burton shot an acclaimed film about this story).

Things of the past? Absolutely. “We never learn from mistakes. Bad films are still being made, “says Carmona. In fact, we must not forget that in Spain the Yoga prizes are awarded by the Catacritic collective, which awards the worst movie of the year. In 2012 he won The Tree of Life , which was … Palme d’Or in Cannes! In short, a matter of taste . This movie theater is so big!

In his book, the critic Robert Ebert does not establish a ranking, but deals with extreme hardness some titles. Here goes a selection. Caligula (1980): “It is repulsive, it has no value, it is a shameful garbage. I think it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen. ” Battlefield: Earth (2000), based on a novel by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. John Travolta disguised as an alien is perhaps the image that most summarizes the implausibility of this feature film. “It’s not that it’s bad, it’s unpleasant in a hostile way. The visual is filthy and without grace. The characters are careless. The sound resembles a microphone that was hitting the inside of a drum. ” The Blue Iguana (1988), a parody on the films of private investigators. “It is the closest thing to a flat encephalogram that one can find, if there is still something left on the screen. I have no idea why this movie was made. I do not know what the actors could be thinking while doing it. I do not know the reasons that led the production company to release it. ” An Indian in Paris (1996), the story of a native of the Amazon who lands in the French capital: “One of the worst films ever made. I hated every one of his minutes. ” The Immortals II: The Challenge (1991), second part of a successful science fiction title. “It’s the most incomprehensible movie I’ve seen in a long time, almost wonderful in its mediocrity . It will be remembered among whispers as one of the lowest immortal points of the genre. “

“It’s really horrible, a clumsy, mammoth and lifeless exercise of failed comedy.


You can not say that he has an argument. It exists more as a series of annoying sets. ” A boy named Norte (1994), the story of a boy who tries to sue his parents in court to get rid of them. “One of the most unpleasant, forced, artificial and cloying experiences I’ve had in the cinema.” In turn, the British magazine Empire conducted a survey among thousands of its users and readers to compile the list of the 50 worst films in history. The winner has turned out to be Batman and Robin (1997), with George Clooney. He confessed that he did really bad, but that it was a film that could hardly do something good. “It was a complete failure that changed my career,” he said. The critic Anthony Lane of The New Yorker wrote: “

The only thing that gives coherence to the film is that all the actors have achieved the worst performance imaginable. When you are sitting in the chair you feel that you are damaging your brain and pray for this chaos to stop. ” Second place for the aforementioned battlefield: Earth . Bronze medal for The Guru of Good Vibes (2008), a supposedly comic comedy about the world of sects. According to A. Scott, of The New York Times , “it’s the opposite of something fun. It’s an experience that makes you wonder if you’ll ever be able to laugh again. “

The Internet Movie Data Base (Imdb), establishes a list based on the votes of the users. The ranking changes continuously. At the close of this edition, according to the votes, the worst of all was Disaster Movie (2008) (vote: 1.9 out of 10, catastrophic film summit for 20-year-olds, according to USA Today, 98% of the reviews were negative), followed by The Hottie and the Nottie (2008), with Paris Hilton (in the weekend its premiere got an average of 28 spectators per room in the US). Much more interesting is the third place: Hands: the hands of fate (1966).

The story: a family gets lost on a highway in the middle of the night and finds shelter in the house of a devil, called El Maestro and his servant, Torgo. The movie was shot without sound, which was added later. In some shot you can see the recording equipment. In its premiere, in the city of El Paso, several local dignitaries attended the screening: there were so many boos and the team had to leave through a secondary door before the film ended.


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