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"No End In Sight" (2007), Charles Ferguson's Documentary About The 2003 Iraq Invasion


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I just started watching this movie (I am literally not even finished with the opening credits). However, I just noticed something fascinating that I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed before, and I'll bet the answer is no.

When the opening credits roll, there are slow-motion, "Apocalypse Now"-type scenes occurring in the background. Music begins playing, and right before the camera focuses on an Iraqi woman holding up a sign that says, "Thank you, U.S.A.," two chords play in thirds: C-minor (C, Eb, G), then D-major (D, F#, A), and the moment I heard them, I said to myself, 'those chords are from "A Clockwork Orange'" because they are - during the opening credits, immediately before cutting to that first, shocking close-up of Alex with his false eyelash (the c-minor cord is in the first inversion in Clockwork Orange) - and in both films, they're played using a futuristic, "synthesized" sound. C-minor followed by D-major is not a common chord progression, and is disturbing enough to grab your attention.

I went to the Wikipedia entry for No End In Sight, and then linked directly to Roger Ebert's review.

Take a look at the very first sentence in Roger Ebert's review:

"Remember the scene in "A Clockwork Orange" where Alex has his eyes clamped open and is forced to watch a movie?"

I propose that, regardless of what else is in this film - and at this time, I have *no* idea if this is going to be right-wing propaganda, left-wing propaganda, or something else - but I propose that those two chords were intentionally designed to evoke subliminal imagery, and that Ebert picked up on it, most likely subconsciously.

So by the time the movie even starts, you have images of a dystopian government running through your head. And it was so subtle that it was masterful (they abandon the third, resolving, g-minor chord that's in "A Clockwork Orange" and move onto another theme). I happen to have perfect pitch, and can tell that these are virtually the same notes in both movies. But what about Roger Ebert - was he psychologically manipulated? I say yes, and that none of this is coincidence - but I guess we'll never know.

Were they going after Ebert in particular? He did list "Apocalypse Now" as one of his Ten Greatest Movies Of All Time ....

And there's more. Immediately after these chords, the music picks up into a more "action-adventure" theme juxtaposed with a close-up of President G W Bush against the red, white, and blue. Then a bit later, the same two c-minor, d-major chords in a slightly different inversion (the exact same inversion that's in "A Clockwork Orange"), immediately followed by an even perkier rendition of the "action-adventure" theme juxtaposed with a close-up of Secretary of State Rumsfeld. Regardless of what follows in this documentary, the tone has been set.

To summarize:

In the opening credits of "A Clockwork Orange," you have c-minor, d-major, cut to a close-up of Alex (:42 second mark in this video)

In the opening credits of "No End In Sight," you have c-minor, d-major, cut to a close-up of G W Bush

Followed by c-minor, d-major, cut to a close-up of Rumsfeld (1:40:12 countdown-second mark on Netflix, but to pick up the connection, you really need to listen to the entire opening)

[Please note: despite me naming political figures in this post, this is not a political thread; it's about the movie itself - let's keep it that way, please. We've all gotten our digs in before now.]

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