May 21, 2009
The New York Times and New York Press attempt to attack and ridicule Alex Jones and the other ‘ranting conspiracy theorists’ in Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel’s latest doc, New World Order. The papers are, thus, reluctant to embrace the largely objective film itself, perhaps because the “unrelentingly tedious” doc refuses to attack its subjects.
Opens on Friday in Manhattan at the Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, Greenwich Village
Premieres on IFC Network May 26 at 6:45 p.m. ET
Conspiracy Theorists Examined
By NATHAN LEE
New York Times
May 22, 2009
Few things are as tiresome as listening to people rant about their conspiracy theories. While there are, no doubt, tantalizing speculations to be made about the “inside job” that demolished the World Trade Center and the nefarious agenda of the global elite, movies about such things do well to involve James Bond and giant explosions.
“New World Order,” an unrelentingly tedious documentary by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel, follows a group of considerably less glamorous truth-seekers. The most prominent of the filmmakers’ subjects, the radio host Alex Jones, who is based in Austin, Tex., rails against the powers that be — all of them — in a manner that reinforces every cliche of the conspiracy theorist loon: paranoid, megalomaniacal, delusional, sweaty.
The documentary’s most action-packed scene finds Mr. Jones throwing a major hissy fit when his hotel fire alarm goes off, thereby proving, without a shadow of a doubt, that “they” are trying to suppress his revelations.
On the (somewhat) mellower side, Luke Rudowski, a 21-year-old New Yorker, spends all his free time distributing fliers and DVDs purporting to uncover the truth about 9/11. Seth Jackson, a relief worker in Louisiana, does his part by heckling Bill Clinton and other dark overlords. A retired police officer, Jack McLamb, meanwhile, has retreated to the safety of a separatist militia group.
There’s a movie to be made about the psychology of such men, their personal lives and private obsessions. “New World Order” merely gawks at them.
New World Order
By Simon Abrams
New York Press
May 21, 2009
Up-and-coming filmmaking duo Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel’s latest doc, New World Order, admirably humanizes the “9/11 truthers,” a seemingly impossible task they accomplish handily by never condescending to or patronizing their less-than-credible subjects. Led by filmmaker/radio personality Alex Jones, the group’s most vocal mouthpiece, the “truthers” insist that the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by The Bilderberg Group, a shadowy international organization comprised of foreign and domestic businessmen and politicians. Meyer and Neel let a few of them tell their stories with a minimum of editorializing, arguably only inflating beyond its natural scope the fears and unshakable anger that fuels them: They exaggerate only where necessary and only what the “truthers” willingly put on display.
The most potent message New World Order conveys is its refusal to flinch in the face of what many would call fanaticism, training a focused, steady eye on their subjects without hastily making a satisfying knee-jerk judgment. Through the tears, constant rallying, paranoiac rants and hypocritical disclaimers of their subjects, Meyer and Neel remind us that these conspiracy theorists are not to be pitied but rather understood as people doing what they earnestly believe is their civic duty. They’re rabid and frankly more than a little nuts. For example, in the impending apocalypse, red and blue dots on mail apparently determine whether you get taken to a FEMA camp or get shot on sight by stormtroopers–but they’re also a determined and militantly organized group that dares you to ignore them.
This article was posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 at 4:39 am