A Cinematic Model for a Retrospective Film on the Present Drive towards totalitarian power

Cinematic model
Read Time:21 Minutes

Let us perform, not a ‘thought experiment’ of the kind that Galileo engaged in when he was trying to anticipate the behaviour of a falling cannon ball in a vacuum in terms of acceleration, but what one might call an ‘imagination experiment’ of sorts.

Hence, let us imagine an enterprising film director setting herself or himself the task of producing a cinematic work, in retrospect, on the currently unfolding attempt, by what one might arguably call a bunch of megalomaniacal psychopaths1, to bring about a putative ‘great reset’2 – which I shall not aggrandise with capital letters – of society, or rather, of the world economy and financial system3.

Imagine, too, that the director in question is a creative one, of the magnitude of Stanley Kubrick or Bernardo Bertolucci, to grab two suitable names randomly out of my hat of notable film directors.

What genre would our director choose for his or her film? The obvious choice would be a documentary on a series of events that unfolded before the film-production commenced, and would by that time have run their course in negative terms – i.e. after the globalist coup has failed.

This, in turn, might impel the director to decide, fortuitously, to eschew the genre of documentary, and choose a broadly realistic (albeit in film noir fashion), cinematic narrative, analogous to George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the film4 based on it, to reconstruct the historical events which ostensibly commenced with the declaration of a ‘pandemic’ in the early part of 2020.

Our director, being creative does not wish her or his film-narrative to be committed to Hollywood principles of ‘smooth editing’, however. Films such as Nocolas Roeg’s Bad Timing (1980), with their seemingly haphazard scene sequences requiring viewers to reconstruct the narrated chronology themselves, may be a good model to impart method to the madness of the film-narrative in question.

The work of Gilles Deleuze on cinema can be used to understand the complex plot- structure of films like Bad Timing5; they may be shown to be organised by a ‘time-crystal of seeds’, or perhaps of ‘decay,’ which will be explained below. This will enable one to articulate the possible structure of a retrospective film on the (desirable) failure of the current oligarchy’s sustained attempt to hijack the world economically, financially and politically.

What I am thinking of in particular is Deleuze’s discussion, in Cinema 2 6, which offers an evocative metaphor for distinct possibilities of the ‘time-image’ in film. Briefly, Deleuze distinguishes between the ‘movement-image’ and the ‘time-image’ in the history of cinema, where the former preceded the emergence of the latter, and today they co-exist in movies.

The ‘movement-image’ refers to the phenomenon of the cine-camera capturing movement in a ‘mechanical’ manner that the human eye cannot, such as in a (panoramic) panning shot, or accelerated, as opposed to slow-motion movement. The ’time-image’, by contrast, reveals that movement is itself founded on time, which is more fundamental, and manifests itself in what Deleuze calls ‘errant movement’, such as the acceleration of a plant’s week-long growth into thirty seconds, or the capture of a history of ecstasy as well as suffering in a lingering shot of a tracheotomy scar on the throat of the character, Milena (Theresa Russell), in Nicholas Roeg’s Bad Timing: the scar frames her ultimately disastrous relationship with Alex (Art Garfunkel), and is an instance of a ‘time-crystal’. The four ‘states’ encountered in film are described by him as “crystals of time” – In such ‘crystals’ different kinds of image “coalesce”.

Like shimmering crystals, they condense the interactions and relations among events and things preceding and succeeding their appearance. Deleuze characterises this phenomenon as the outcome of a direction pursued in the history of cinema7):

Contracting the image instead of dilating it. Searching for the smallest circuit that functions as internal limit for all the others and that puts the actual image beside a kind of immediate, symmetrical, consecutive or even simultaneous double…If we take this direction to its limit, we can say that the actual image itself has a virtual image which corresponds to it like a double or a reflection…the real object is reflected in a mirror-image as in the virtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envelops or reflects the real: there is ‘coalescence’ between the two. There is a formation of an image with two sides, actual and virtual.

From this it appears that a ‘crystal’ image is one where ‘the smallest internal circuit’ between the actual image and its ‘virtual’ (not yet actualised) counterpart is encountered – in the example of the scar-image on Milena’s neck, above, such a ‘circuit’ obtains between what it tells us about her calamitous (actualised) past with Alex, and the latent (virtual) possibilities that it signals.

A crystal image therefore concentrates different aspects or ‘slivers’ of time in itself, for example where the ‘circuit’ between actual and virtual manifests itself in the form of something like a place for an ‘exchange’ between the two kinds of image (as in the time crystal-image of the scar, above).

It should be apparent that a cinematic ‘crystal’ is simultaneously a metaphor and a concept that enables the viewer or interpreter to discern threads of meaning along the avenues generated by the exchange between actual and virtual images which, furthermore, need not be restricted to image-instruments such as mirrors, ships or, literally, crystals in film8.

Deleuze9 distinguishes among four different possibilities of ‘time-crystals’, namely those encountered in the films of Max Ophüls, Jean Renoir, Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, respectively. In Ophüls’s films one finds what Deleuze calls ‘perfect’ or ‘complete crystals’, where the characters are ‘imprisoned’ in a crystalline whole of some kind, which rules out the possibility of an outside.

However, Deleuze argues that the split between these two images – the actual and its ‘other’, the virtual – reveals the hidden fault-lines of time in the perfect crystal, which means that even images of perfection are subject to the persistence of time (and therefore change), which is always already split10.

In Renoir’s films, according to Deleuze11 , there are crystals of various kinds, but whereas Ophüls was preoccupied with flawless crystals, in Renoir’s films there is always a crack or a flaw affording something or someone an escape-route, hinting at the (latent) possibility of an unpredictable event surpassing the constraints of a certain ‘time’.

Deleuze12 associates the third kind of cinematic crystal, which is in the process of “formation and growth” through “seeds” as means of crystallisation, with Fellini, in whose films he discerns “entrances” of various kinds (historical, psychic, urban). These constitute the crystal as something growing, but accessible via various avenues, which are comparable to “crystalline seeds”.

The fourth cinematic crystal may be related to the films of Visconti13 , and represents the crystal in a process of decomposition or decay; here, what Deleuze describes as the “crystalline environments” created by Visconti are shown as being excavated or destroyed from the inside with the passing of time.

One could elaborate on these temporal ‘film crystals’ through a discussion of paradigmatic film-examples like those adduced by Deleuze – or others, for that matter14 – but that is not the issue in this paper.

Recall that it is with an ‘organising principle’ for a hypothetical film, in mind, that Deleuze’s reflections on ‘time crystals’ in film have been invoked. Further, that such a film is supposed to capture the colossal attempt, by a bunch of sociopathic billionaires (in retrospect), to subjugate the world to totalitarian rule.

Hence, how would these ‘crystals’ enable one to visualise the film we’re trying to conceive, and what genre would be the best for it? Documentary was mentioned as a candidate, above, but having briefly reflected on Deleuze’s time-crystals in film, it seems that documentary – at least of the ‘reconstruction of events by a narrator’-type – could not do justice to the temporal dimension of such a film; successive events in time require narrative events, not merely narration by an omniscient perceiver’s voice.

To return to Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) might be regarded as a model of sorts in this regard, keeping in mind that its prevailing past tense narration signifies a retrospective orientation (regarding a state of affairs that no longer exists), as would those in our hypothetical film concerning the salient events that constituted the ‘pandemic’ and subsequent developments.

A first inkling of the type of time crystal (see above) that events of this significance call for, is afforded by Van der Pijl15 where he writes:

Society as we know it—global capitalism with its home base in the West —has entered a revolutionary crisis. After years of preparation, the ruling oligarchy, which today exercises power across the globe, has seized on the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the respiratory disease attributed to it, Covid-19, to declare a global state of emergency in early 2020. This seizure of power is intended to prevent the Information Technology revolution…the impact of which can be compared to that of the coming of the printing press at the end of the Middle Ages, from ushering in a democratic transformation.


What matters is that the Covid seizure of power, even more comprehensively than previous states of emergency in the name of terrorism, is working to prevent a democratic transition to a society beyond capitalism. The revolutionary crisis that has become acute resides in the fact that governments have now taken their populations hostage and cannot or dare not release them. This is another reason why the entire effort at suppression is doomed to end in failure. Too much has been set in motion too early, too disjointedly, and the contradictions between the different interests and institutions, only apparently all in agreement, are bound to turn into overt conflict.

Two things strike one in these excerpts: the first is that the “seizure of power” is envisaged as all-encompassing. All the participating nations of the world were, or are, expected to work in tandem (Sweden was the exception), to subjugate the world’s people to ‘health emergency measures’, which have turned out to be political by nature, as Van der Pijl demonstrates at length.

This suggests that the idea of a Deleuzian ‘perfect crystal’ underpins the aspirations of the global oligarchy. Secondly, however, Van der Pijl alludes to the tensions between different interests (within the globalist group) that, according to his assessment, are bound to torpedo the whole attempt to impose a totalitarian world regime on the world’s citizens. In terms of Deleuze’s differentiation among different cinematic time-crystals, this insight points towards a ‘flawed’ or ‘cracked’ crystal that might guide a director’s conceptualisation – or perhaps rather ‘perceptualisation’ – of the hypothetical film in question here.

Apart from Orwell’s dystopian novel – which appeared as a noir film4 in the year 1984 (probably deliberately) – what film(s) could be considered as possible models for a cinematic work tracing the emergence, development and eventual (desirable) demise of the would-be global power-grab by the technocratic oligarchs?

With increasing signs of growing resistance17 against attempts at totalitarian control worldwide, referred to by Van der Pijl, above – from lockdowns to ‘vaccine’ mandates, and more recently, indications of attempts at complete control via so-called Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs18 – a likely cinematic candidate must surely be George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977) and its sequels (as well as prequels), for reasons I’ll detail below.

It will be recalled that the Star Wars narrative revolves around resistance (by the ‘Rebel Alliance’) against the ‘Empire’ and the latter’s sustained attempt to subject all the creatures of the galaxy to its relentless totalitarian rule. Lucas – who wrote the script too – pitches these wars as a struggle against the ‘dark side’ of ‘The Force’ by those (the rebels) who, presumably, represent the Force’s ‘light side’ (a framing with distinct Manichaean overtones, with this ancient religion’s division of the world between dark/evil and light/good).

The narrative revolves around the so-called ‘death star’ – a colossal space station built by the Empire, and capable of obliterating an entire planet, the plans of which the rebels have stolen and entrusted to Princess Leia of the planet Alderaan. This was done in the hope that an analysis of these schematics would reveal a weak spot or flaw in the destructive machine, which could be targeted by the rebels (something to be kept in mind for an interpretation of the film, as related to the present global power-grab).

At this point something – the technical construction of a ‘death star’ – in the narrative of Star Wars resonates with what one knows about the technocratic globalists: their valorisation of technology, particularly of Artificial Intelligence19 , but arguably also of the destructive kind20.

In passing one should note that two time-crystals function in Star Wars: that of aspirations to a ‘perfect crystal’ of power, perceptible in many cinematic images, such as that of the ’death star’, on the one hand, and of a ‘flawed crystal’, discernible in images of the vulnerabilities of the very same ‘death star’, successfully targeted by Luke Skywalker on behalf of the rebels.

In light of the elevated status attributed to technology by the globalist oligarchy, and mirrored in the actions of the ‘Empire’ in Star Wars, the question concerning technology in the ranks of the former invites further elaboration. A useful place to look is the work of Kevin Kelly – undoubtedly an important influence on the globalists – whose fanciful projection of the technocratic future discloses the degree to which such a future would be one where, incrementally, humans would disappear – as intimated by the title of Kelly’s book, What Technology Wants21 .

In passing one should note that this resonates with the science-fictional scenario of James Cameron’s Terminator films, where the machines aim for nothing less than the complete ‘termination’ of the human species22. This is precisely what Kelly seems to want, too. Like a metaphysician of old, he conjures up a society of the future, governed by an encompassing ‘force’ called the “technium” – a fully interconnected global technological system, integrated with the social superstructure. According to Kelly’s quasi-mystical vision, this would be a world suffused with interconnected, self-conscious minds, which would eventually culminate in a collective, endlessly expanding (supra-) mind whose ‘destiny’ seems to be the actualisation of “the infinite” (minus human beings). In this vision of the rule of technology, we can detect a Deleuzian time-crystal of perfection or completeness.

Gil Germain’s disparaging comment on Kelly’s technocratic dream is simultaneously applicable to the global oligarchs’ estimation of technology in relation to what they, too, appear to perceive as ‘redundant’ humans23:

The notion that our seeing ‘the infinite’ is conditional on getting out of the way of humanity’s co-evolution with technology is a bad advertisement for the cause. Apart from its ridiculous hubris, the assertion that our progress as a species is best served by disappearing into our creations is profoundly anti-humanistic and deeply disturbing for that reason.

There is a lot of conspicuous self-loathing going on in much of the technology-will-save-us literature. The suggestion is that the human species is a mere way station in a process leading to its self-transcendence. And, importantly, what gets transcended along the way is our corporeality and the limits imposed on us by our embodied condition. We are told, in effect, that we are spirits in the material world about to be released from the prison of creaturely existence.

The allusion to (most) humans being perceived as ‘redundant’, above, is no speculation, and ties in with abundant evidence that the technocratic ‘elites’ (in their eyes, anyway) have no compunction about decimating the human population by various means, chief among them ‘pandemics’. In ‘The 10-year pandemic plan’ Joseph Mercola – one of the individuals most hated by the technocrats for resolutely fighting against them – discusses the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been quite open about planning for ten years of ‘pandemics’. Referring to the documentary film (that can, and should be viewed by everyone), The Plan, by Stop World Control24, Mercola25 writes:

The World Health Organization, in fact, has planned for 10 years of infectious diseases from 2020 to 2030, as revealed by WHO virologist Marion Koopmans in ‘The Plan’… When asked whether chances are high that there will be a second pandemic, she responds (translated from Dutch), ‘Yes, this has been in the WHO’s 10-year plan for some time. That plan says that there will be a major infectious disease crisis. Well, this was year one.’

To add insult to injury, a little later in the film Bill Gates adds a sinister rider to Koopmans’s admission26:

The WHO virologist’s acknowledgement that the agency has a plan for 10 years of ongoing pandemics mirrors a statement by Bill Gates [in The Plan] that COVID-19 was ‘pandemic one’ and ‘pandemic two’ is coming. ‘We’ll have to prepare for the next one. That will get attention this time,’ he says — while smiling.

Why is this significant? Recall that the decision regarding the most suitable genre, and approach, to a film about the Covid-19 ‘pandemic’ and successive attempts to decimate humans, is guided by the question, which of the four ‘crystals of time’ listed by Deleuze would be most suitable as organising cinematic principle.

Earlier it transpired that Kelly’s fantasy of the ‘technium’ – a putative future technocratic heaven – represents a ‘perfect time-crystal’. Clearly, the WHO – of whom Gates is the major funder – could be seen in this light too: this organisation (as well as the WEF), with its unelected officials, regards itself as being capable of controlling the future, that is, mastering time and history itself to the point where it can ‘plan’ (for) every pathological exigency that befalls humankind.

This, I believe, is a significant consideration in deciding on the structure of the hypothetical film: it has to bring across the belief, underpinning the activities of the globalist dictators, that time can be structured by them, through the organisations they control (such as the WHO and the WEF), like a ‘perfect (or complete) time-crystal’, without any flaws – something suggested, above, by Van der Pijl’s estimation of the oligarchs’ aspirations, too. Recall, however, that Van der Pijl also detects signs of ‘flaws’ in the globalists’ programme.

There are many other indications of this core belief of the globalist tyrants – too many to discuss here, so mentioning one more paradigmatic instance will have to suffice. Referring to globalist billionaires’ annual (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and under the heading: ‘Defeating the demons of Davos’ – echoing the Rebel Alliance in Star WarsThe Acorn27 reports on CEO Klaus Schwab’s address:

Embracing the main title of the event, ‘History at a Turning Point’, Schwab announced grandly, with more than a hint of megalomania: ‘The future is not just happening; the future is built by us, by a powerful community as you here in this room’ [sic].

But although the WEF boss was doing his very best Great Dictator impression, his over-confident puff pointed to an underlying weakness.

The Great Reset was not launched because Schwab and his backers were already in full control but because they knew that they risked losing control as their global Ponzi scheme collapsed and people rose up everywhere to tear down their ill-gotten citadel of power.

Two things strike one here: first, Schwab’s (over-)confident declaration, that the future would be built by ‘us’ – the WEF and their acolytes – again encapsulates the ‘perfect time-crystal’ governing the self-image and activities of the globalist billionaire technocrats. They believe they own the future, and can direct time, through technology, as they like. But secondly, another time-crystal announces itself in this quotation, discernible in the reference to Schwab’s “over-confident puff [that] pointed to an underlying weakness” (also alluded to by Van der Pijl, above), and the billionaires knowing that “they risked losing control” as the global capitalist financial system was imploding.

This time it is the ‘cracked or flawed time-crystal’ that rears its head, insisting that, if a film on the technocrats’ (failed) attempt were to be made, this time-crystal would have to be employed alongside of, and contrasting with, the vaunted ‘perfect crystal’ (desperately) adhered to by the globalists.

Whether or not the hypothetical film in question ever gets made or not, it would appear from the preceding reflections that – with Lucas’s Star Wars as a model in mind – it could be cinematically constructed in the field opened up by the countervailing ‘time-crystals’ of the ‘perfect crystal’ (instantiating the global oligarchs’ overriding, totalitarian ambition), on the one hand, and the ‘flawed crystal’ (representing the weaknesses in their plan, taken together with the growing global resistance against it), on the other.

Moreover, it seems to be no accident that Star Wars seemed to fit the bill as a cinematic model of sorts: in The Acorn, the heading of one article27 reads: “The Great Resist: Uniting against the empire!” This is a sentiment that I wish to endorse here.

May the present, real-world ‘rebel alliance’ find and exploit a similar weakness in the would-be globalist ‘empire’, comparable to the one that the rebels found in the Empire’s ‘death star’, and which enabled them to destroy the latter.

Bert Olivier

University of the Free State


  1. Wolf, N. 2022: The Bodies of Others. The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and the War Against the Human. Fort Lauderdale: All Seasons Press, 13-24; 46-57; 253-254.
  2. Schwab, K. and Malleret, T. 2020. COVID-19: The Great Reset. Deerfield Beach: Forum Publishing; Chossudovsky, M. 2022. Worldwide Corona Crisis Destroying Civil Society, Engineered Economic Depression, Global coup d’état and the ‘Great Reset’. Global Research E-Book, Centre for Research on Globalization. https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-2020-worldwide-corona-crisis-destroying-civil-society-engineered-economic-depression-global-coup-detat-and-the-great-reset/5730652?pdf=5730652
  3. RylandMedia. 2021. Iconoclast one to one Melissa Cuimmei: They want your children! RylandMedia, 23 November: https://www.bitchute.com/video/A1i3YtzVzKXf/
  4. Radford, M. (Dir.) 1984. Nineteen Eighty-Four. United Kingdom: Virgin Films.
  5. Olivier, B. 2002. Identity and difference in Nicholas Roeg’s Bad Timing. In Olivier, B. Projections: Philosophical themes on film. Second, enlarged edition. Port Elizabeth: University of Port Elizabeth Publications, pp. 8-15.
  6. Deleuze, G. 2005. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Trans. Tomlinson, H., and Galeta, R. New York: Continuum.
  7. Ibid., pp. 66-67.
  8. Ibid., pp. 68-73.
  9. Ibid., pp. 80-94.
  10. Ibid., p. 81.
  11. Ibid., pp. 82-83.
  12. Ibid., pp. 85-86.
  13. Ibid., pp. 91-93.
  14. Olivier, B. 2012. Different ‘percepts’ of the human body in cinema. South African Journal of Art History, Vol. 27 (2), pp. 79-97.
  15. Van der Pijl, K. 2022. States of Emergency. Keeping the Global Population in Check. Atlanta: Clarity Press, p. 8.
  16. Ibid., p. 9.
  17. Grand Jury. 2022. First Day. https://odysee.com/@GrandJury:f/Grand-Jury-1-EN:0; Chossudovsky, Ibid.
  18. Redacted. 2023. It’s STARTING! This is how they will track everything you do. Redacted with Clayton Morris, 25 April: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6urS4l5b-6k
  19. Harari, Y. N. 2016. Homo Deus. A Brief History of Tomorrow. Canada: Signal Books; Kelly, K. 2010. What TechnologyWants. New York: Viking Press; WEF. 2022. Explained: What is ChatGPT? World Economic Forum, 13 December: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/12/chatgpt-ai-bot-intelligent-conversation/; WEF. 2023. What is artificial intelligence – and what is it not? World Economic Forum, 8 March: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/03/what-is-artificial-intelligence-and-what-is-it-not-ai-machine-learning/; Wolf 2022, Ibid., pp. 22-23.
  20. Wilson, Rhoda. 2022. ‘Covid ‘tests’ and ‘vaccines’ are delivering a hybrid biological/technological weapon which is activated by 5G, fibre optics and light’. The Exposé, 26 October: https://expose-news.com/2022/10/26/covid-tests-and-vaccines-are-delivering-a-weapon/
  21. Kelly, Ibid.; Germain, G. 2017. Thinking about Technology: How the Technological Mind Misreads Reality. New York: Lexington Press, p. 40.
  22. Olivier, B. 2002. Time, technology, cinematic art and critique in The Terminator and Terminator IIJudgment Day: a philosophical interpretation. In Olivier, B. Projections: Philosophical themes on film. Second, enlarged edition. Port Elizabeth: University of Port Elizabeth Publications, pp. 95-110.
  23. Germain Ibid., p. 40.
  24. Stop World Control. 2022. The Plan – The WHO plans for 10 years of pandemics from 2020 to 2030. On Rumble, May: https://rumble.com/v13ghrb-the-plan-the-who-plans-for-10-years-of-pandemics-form-2020-to-2030.html
  25. Mercola, J. 2022. The 10-year pandemic plan. Dr Mercola’s website, 21 May. (This article has since been removed by self-appointed censors; it is available on request from me; BO).
  26. Mercola, Ibid.
  27. The Acorn. 2022. Defeating the demons of Davos; and The Great Resist: Uniting against the empire! Number 74, 26 May: https://winteroak.org.uk/2022/05/26/the-acorn-74/

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