By ann summers
It’s not too early to cast the heroes of #TrumpRussia media projects … will they be leakers, lawyers, or ‘journalists’.
Neither Masha Gessen nor Gary Kasparov are yet the ‘good Russian’ of the Kremlingate morality tale, but the #TrumpRussia story is presently a good one that should reach the screen with greater clarity than any of the Iraq war films. And no, it should not have the Beltway gossip-boys Halperin and Heilemann anywhere near it.
The Trump film-project saga will be epic, yet in the genre of thriller, not All the President’s Men, but perhaps Costa Gravas Z, or in my fevered brain, something like Stavisky, with a touch of Reilly, Ace of Spies.
It will claim to be fictional to avoid the inevitable Trump comparisons (much like the new Brad Pitt film War Machine ostensibly being about Stanley A. McChrystal ).
It will not be the Citizen Kane William Randolph Hearst biopic, but should be even more absurd than Wall Street or Wolf of Wall Street, even if Oliver Stone or Martin Scorsese should be the directors.
Part of its core plot should be the production story of Steve Bannon’s hagiography of Sarah Palin, interwoven with the history of Roy Cohn, Playboy magazine, Studio 54 arc, including drugs and pedophilia. It wouldn’t be a Cannes-eligible flick unless it included a Berlusconi Bunga Bunga reference juxtaposed with the singing of the Internationale by Putin. Some extra will wind up having Trump’s face inked on their back. Think of the scene with Herbert Marcuse in Hail, Caesar except with Alexandr Dugin. And maybe a gunfight between Keith Schiller and Hank Siemers.
It should bring down neoliberal capitalism in the US, but it won’t, even as it will take years in production wrangling only to fail or be co-opted or superseded by the usual Hollywood production politics. If I could get the funding, it would be produced in a MMORPG format to capture the VR goggle market, think of Trump trying to do another real estate scam, except in Second Life using Bitcoin.
Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.
In this game of high-stakes moral relativism, the Germans clearly have amassed the most chips (six million and counting), though the thuggish Soviets and slick, smiling Americans are doing their best to catch up…
Although he tosses in an occasional beauty shot, framing Jake against a mottled nighttime sky in one scene, the film’s high-contrast austerity owes more to the anti-aesthetic of the modern art house than it does to the back-lot Expressionism of Hollywood noirs or one of the filmmaker’s favorite touchstones,“The Third Man.”…
In a recent interview Mr. Soderbergh said that he would have been happy with a career like that of Michael Curtiz, a workhorse who spent decades churning out entertainments like “Casablanca” for Warner Brothers. The idea that the extremely self-motivated Mr. Soderbergh might be satisfied with a career like Curtiz’s is rich nonsense. Curtiz had next to no say on the personnel who worked on “Casablanca.”
By contrast, for “The Good German” Mr. Soderbergh persuaded the same studio, now owned by a media conglomerate for which movies represent only a thin slice of the pie chart, to cough up millions for what is essentially a pet art project…
Rather unfortunately, and perhaps with an eye to the present, they end up suggesting that in wartime everyone’s hands can become slicked with blood, even a Jew in Nazi Germany. Somewhere, Jack and Harry Warner, who stopped doing business with Nazi Germany before any other studio in Hollywood, are spinning. They aren’t the only ones.
The film began as a commission by Jean-Paul Belmondo to the screenwriter Jorge Semprún to develop a scenario about Stavisky. Resnais, who had previously worked with Semprún on La Guerre est finie, expressed his interest in the project (after a gap of six years since his previous film); he recalled seeing as a child the waxwork figure of Stavisky in the Musée Grevin, and immediately saw the potential of Belmondo to portray him as a mysterious, charming and elegant fraudster. 
Semprún described the film as “a fable upon the life of bourgeois society in its corruption, on the collaboration of money and power, of the police and crime, a fable in which Alexander’s craziness, his cynicism, act as catalysts”.
Resnais said: “What attracted me to the character of Alexandre was his connection to the theatre, to show-business in general. Stavisky seemed to me like an incredible actor, the hero of a serial novel. He had the gift of bringing reality to his fantasies by means of regal gestures.”  (Among many theatrical references, the film features a scene in the theatre in which Alexandre rehearses a scene from Giraudoux‘s Intermezzo, and another in which he attends a performance of Coriolanus. His office is adorned with theatrical posters.)