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The film is hosted by Hollywood star Dennis Hopper and is directed by Hermann Vaske. Shot in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Hopper delivers a powerful performance. Arty as you’ve never seen him before, he puts advertising into perspective of popular culture at the end of the 20th century. Spitting colour, laughing his head off, destroying books, Dennis Hopper sends Hermann Vaske on a mission to talk to the greatest ad men, directors and artists to find out about the crossover between various creative disciplines. In a visually dazzling, wickedly funny slam of creativity and media obsession, Hermann conducts unconventional kinds of interviews.
This long, dense, complex documentary by German filmmaker Hermann Vaske is an exploration of two important questions: What is the difference between art and advertising? And what makes advertising work, if it really does? Dennis Hopper introduces each segment before, thankfully, disappearing to leave the viewer with a series of commercials, interviews with commercial directors, and reactions from various and sundry experts. Anyone with the advertising resistance required to live in this decade probably won't form any new opinions, but Vaske presents his material in such a calculated, clever fashion that it's impossible not to be drawn in. Advertising creators and artists are both given enough rope with which to hang themselves, and by the end of the process, so many contradictory opinions, images, and rationales have been shown that you will be both highly amused and forever immune to almost anyone's marketing schemes. It's hard to say which side-effect is better. - www.avclub.com/
The Fine Art of Separating People From Their Money is a provocative voyage through the evolution of commercials. Dennis Hopper hosts this unique look at the commercial as an artistic medium. The film explores how humor, art and shock-value are used to promote products. Featured clips from classic commercials include the well-known 1984 Apple commercial and the Alka Seltzer "mama mia" campaign. Interviews with directors such as Spike Lee, Hugh Hudson, Tony Scott and Alan Parker offer thought-provoking insights into the advertising world which has strongly influenced the modern feature film and contemporary visual arts. - Sally Barber, Rovi
When I was in high school, I completely stopped watching television because, aside from most of it being soulless garbage and degenerate trash as far as entertainment is concerned, I could no longer bear watching TV commercials and having worthless products and cultural Marxist propaganda rammed down my throat. A couple years later, I completely stopped going to movie theaters largely because most mainstream movies are nothing more than absurdly expensive filmic excrement, but also because I felt I should be the one being paid to watch Coca Cola and shampoo commercials at the beginning of screenings and not be the one paying my hard-earned money so some pornographer of consumer products can attempt to brainwash me and profit from it. In the epic and ridiculously overlooked German documentary The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money (1998) aka Wie man die Leute von ihrem Geld trennt directed by investigative Teutonic documentarian Hermann Vaske (The 10 Commandments of Creativity, Invasion of the Ideas) and hosted by none other than Hollywood actor/auteur Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider, Out of the Blue), the viewer is exposed to the ‘art of advertising’ and sometimes not so fine line between cinematic art and TV commercials. Indeed, featuring candid interviews and commercials directed by some of the greatest (as well as not so great) auteur filmmakers of the late 20th century, including David Lynch, Federico Fellini, Wim Wenders, Spike Lee, Tony Kaye, Abel Ferrara, Alan Parker, Julian Schnabel, Ridley Scott, and Tony Scott, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money demonstrates that in virtually every artist there is an advertiser and in any advertiser there is an artist. Divided into three segments (Art, Humor, and Shock) that take a look at the power and effectiveness of advertising from an aesthetic perspective (as opposed to in the equally worthwhile BBC documentary The Century of the Self (2002), which takes a psycho-historical approach to explaining how psychoanalytic techniques were implemented by Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays to subconsciously brainwash people), The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money discusses, among other things, how Hebrew humor has been implemented in commercials as it brings peoples’ defenses down and tricks them into being sold to, how featuring homo pop(con)artist Andy Warhol and big American Negro boxer Sonny Liston in a Braniff Airways advert together was an act of advertising ‘chutzpah,’ why Jews and Brits purportedly make better humorists due to their distinct histories, how Spike Lee was able to develop a long-term friendship with his favorite basketball player, Michael Jordan, via directing Nike commercials, and why Tony Scott felt he botched his first feature film The Hunger (1983) starring David Bowie because he was used to directing overly-stylized but non-narrative 30 second commercials. Worth seeing simply due to its inclusion of rare commercials directed by David Lynch and Federico Fellini, among countless others, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money is also a shockingly politically incorrect ‘no bullshit’ doc that demonstrates that Jews dominate advertising, how art and advertising are almost indistinguishable due to the lack of spirituality and organic national culture in the post-WWII Occidental world, and that even great auteur filmmakers don’t mind making a quick buck by whoring themselves to a company whose products they would never use in a million years.
Beginning with Dennis Hopper hopping on a small trampoline and saying, “Hi, I’m Hopper” in what is clearly a goofy and intentionally moronic parody of the ‘cutesy’ and ‘quirky’ essence of so many bad American TV commercials, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money immediately establishes a tone of cultural cynicism that might offend couch potatoes and philistine commercial connoisseurs. From there, Hopper, who is sitting on a fancy sofa in what seems to be mountains in Bavaria, proceeds to tell a number of anecdotal tales about successful (con)artists, with the following story being a great example of the monetary-motivated joke that is modern post-national/post-traditional art: “Marcel Duchamp once said that the artist of the future would be able to just point his finger at something and say it was art and it would be art, so he picked out a bottle rack and he sold it for $5000. Someone came and asked him, “What’s the different between your bottle rack and the one I can buy for $5?,” and he said I’m an artist and I chose it. Now, was he a true visionary artist or just a fucking dork?” Undoubtedly, like his fellow culture-distorting comrade Picasso (who Hopper also tells an absurd story about), Duchamp was a fucking dork who used to dressed in drag under the persona ‘Rrose Sélavy’ for his bud Man Ray and his only talent was juvenile iconoclasm that is typical of modern art, yet he made a ton of money doing it. From there, Hopper introduces director/interviewer Hermann Vaske, who is on a mission to uncover the link between ‘feature films and advertising’ and how a number of British advertising directors, like Alan Parker and Adrian Lyne, have turned into major Hollywood filmmakers, with belated director Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance) being the first person he interviews. Scott confesses that his first film The Hunger, which I think is his best work, was a mess because he was only used to directing 30-second adverts and was a novice when it came to feature-length storytelling. On the other hand, a number of already established filmmakers later decided to get into advertising for mostly monetary reasons. For example, David Lynch had free reign to make an ‘avant-garde’ commercial for Adidas where the only rule he had to follow was depicting a man running out of hell and into heaven. Needless to say, Lynch’s commercial is quite curious, if not totally incoherent, to say the least, as if the Eraserhead director was intentionally attempting to make the product he was advertising the most unappealing thing in the world. When director Vaske asks Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever) what attracts him about commercials, the all-American Negro auteur stoically responds, “money…it most enables me to do what I do and that is to direct. It doesn’t have to be films, you know. I enjoy directing commercials and music videos.” German auteur Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire) sees directing commercials as a necessity, stating, “And as we're living in a time where one cannot say anymore that advertising is imitating movies or art or whatever…but as we more and more advance to an age where it is the other way around I think it's important and to know how they are done and to know how to do them. And you cannot any longer have an attitude where you say, 'Well, I’m doing this and this is a whole different field and profession and I’d rather not touch it.' Maybe that was a possible attitude during the 60s or 70s, but things are changing.” Indeed, as The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money readily demonstrates, Hollywoodization, globalization, and ‘democracy’ have destroyed anything that was once sacred of the artistic medium of cinema.
During the second segment of The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money, host Dennis Hopper hilariously states, “In the next section we're going to be looking into such questions as: 'Why were all the really great New York creative teams made up of a Jewish copywriter and an Italian art director? Was it because the Jews got the brains and the Italians got the style? If so, what would happen if you had an Italian copywriter with a Jewish art director?'" While it is never really answered as to why it is that most NYC art directors are supposedly of Italian extraction, the Jewish question is beaten to death like a Judeo-Bolshevik revolutionary in a concentration camp. American art director George Lois, whose work for Esquire magazine has been exhibited at the Museum for Modern Art, goes on to discuss how in 1958 or 1959 he got the brilliant idea to “sell a Nazi car to a Jewish town,” stating of his successful advert for Volkswagen, “If there ever was a miracle advertising story, it was Volkswagen. We took this German car designed by Hitler and Porsche and sold the hell out of it. It is the magic of advertising.” When Lois is asked what the criterion is for good advertising, he states, “Jewish humor…New York humor, which basically derives from Jewish humor, which became American humor.” American Hebrew sex therapist ‘Ruth Westheimer aka ‘Dr. Ruth’ backs Lois’ claim up, remarking, “I know the value of humor because in the Talmud, in the Jewish tradition, it says, 'A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.'" As to why members of the Hebraic faith are so good at comedy, a rabbi named Henry Sobel speculates, “I’m convinced that there is a Jewish humor as a consequence of our own history. We had to laugh. Sometimes we had to laugh at others. More often than not we had to learn to laugh at ourselves in order to survive.” A British advertising executive gives a similar reason for the prevalence of British humor and its value in Brit society, stating, “In the Victorian times, there was very little humor at all in this country. Queen Victoria said in her famous line, 'We are not amused.' There was very little wit, but it was a very serious country of serious business middleclass aristocracy basically fulfilling their duty to god by running the world […] they had this responsibility, they conquered the world, and they better run it. I think what happened then was Britain started to lose the opportunity to run the world…people left, we had wars, and we’ve got no money, and suddenly we weren’t very powerful. The only mechanism we could find to cope with the loss of power was to laugh at ourselves because otherwise we of cried, so we started to tell jokes, started to make fun of ourselves. It’s much easier to, as Jewish people do, to make fun of ourselves than someone else to make fun of you because that you can live with.”
In the final section of The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money, the value of shock in humor is discussed in decidedly degenerate, if not insightful, detail. One of the more humorous scenes from this segment is when a British art director gives the following rant regarding a scatological piece of art by the gay concept artists Gilbert & George: “This is one of Gilbert & George’s ‘naked shit’ paintings. Some people find the representation of the turd shocking. They don’t find it shocking that there is more goodness, more vitamins, minerals, and protein in a single everyday turd than a starving third world child gets in a week. All the millions of third world children are dying cause they don’t even get as much goodness as the everyday turd that we flush down the toilet […] people find the picture of an everyday turd more shocking than the fact our four biggest High Street banks make millions of pounds of profits from these deaths. Maybe people treat children in the third world the same way they treat their turds; they pretend don’t exist.” Indeed, the bitchy Brit ad-man is certainly right regarding humanity's lack of concern for other humans as it is revealed in a very popular commercial for the ‘tough clothes’ company Kadu; featuring a killer shark eating a surfer, the commercial concludes with a photo of the dismembered entrails of said killer shark revealing that the eaten surfer’s swimming trunks survive the shark attack. Of course, sex also sells as demonstrated by pornographic sexual contraceptive ads, including an image of a black cock in the shape of a gun (the message being: black cock = AIDS), as well as a ‘vagina dentata’ picture of a vicious vag with wolf fangs. Of course, sleazy degeneracy also sells as demonstrated by the fact that British Jewish art director Tony Kaye directed a cinema-vérité-like Morrissey-esque ‘PSA’ of a real-life deranged junky shooting up and talking nonsensical mumbo jumbo while high, which led to the director getting noticed by producers and ultimately getting the opportunity to direct American History X (1998), which he later regretted (he was denied the final cut, while dork Edward Norton was given more screen time). Quentin Tarantino’s dubious influence on pop culture is also discussed, with Wim Wenders remarking regarding the recent prevalence of ultra-violence in TV commercials, “Seeing PULP FICTION is a great experience…but seeing the imitators is painful.” Indeed, it is probably impossible to quantify how negative Tarantino's influence has been not only on cinema and pop cultural, but society in general.
In the end, Dennis Hopper closes The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money by stating with his tongue placed firmly in cheek, “No matter what you thought of this program…at least it was not interrupted by commericials…yet.” Undoubtedly, Hermann Vaske’s documentary is the most fun I have ever had watching commercial after commercial and talking head after talking head, as if The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money was a MTV documentary with some actual food-for-thought and lacking the usual loony LGBT-Cultural Marxist-miscegenation-propagating bullshit. Featuring a superficial score by Malcolm McLaren, who ironically almost single-handedly invented punk rock by contriving the ‘boy band’ the Sex Pistols and utilizing sensational advertising techniques via his anti-aesthetic fashion trends, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money is a virtual unintentional manifesto for artists living in the postmodern world, where superficial/sensational images and messages are everything and anything requiring the use of gray matter is considered an abject bore. With the industrial revolution, the rise of the mass man, and globalization, art has been taken out of the hands of cultivated aristocratic patrons and has become proletarianized, thus turning ‘art’ into something that is mostly special tailored for human rabble and the lowest common denominator. And, of course, the ultimate ideal in a liberalized multicultural world where no one has anything in common is wealth, with the modern artist’s ‘greatness’ and worth being judged by his net worth, as the dubious legacies of Picasso and Warhol certainly demonstrate. Ultimately, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money tells the viewer that serious art does not sell, but humor and shock do, thus one can only assume that advertising will continue to influence people into turning into Judaized philistines who are addicted to mindless violence and pornography and lack any sense of seriousness, cultivation, and intellectual aptitude. During one especially telling scene during the documentary, a Jewish advertising creative remarks, “Not taking yourself serious or, you know, being honest about your shortcomings is again a sort of very American thing that I think Americans find very appealing,” which is most certainly true as demonstrated by the anti-reality, humor-addled, and fantasy-driven essence of Hollywood. Of course, one of the most important things that The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money reveals is the power of humor as a weapon, as it enables certain hostile aliens that work in Hollywood to create certain misguided stereotypes/pseudo-archetypes (i.e. inbred redneck racists, Negro-lusting trailer park nymphets, sexually repressed white conservative Christian assholes) in a cultural/spiritual war against the American white majority. Indeed, the Harold & Kumar films, which were all directed and produced by neo-Vaudevillian Judaics, certainly put Veit Harlan’s National Socialist classic Jew Süss (1940) to shame in terms of their anti-Europid hatred, but because these pieces of celluloid excrement utilize toilet humor to get their putrid points across, no one suspects they're watching cinematic hate diatribes that have less aesthetic value than Julius Streicher’s Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer. Sadly, as a work made over 15 years ago, The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money makes it quite clear that the aesthetic metaphysical plague that is American mongrelized toilet kultur has only become all the malignant as time has passed, thus making the documentary mandatory viewing for anyone that takes art and/or cinema seriously. Let's just hope that director Hermann Vaske decides to make a sequel. - Soiled Sinema