Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Remember Remember the 31th of....

....aw, huh, that's not as catchy.

Starting at Midnight:

Here's to Guy Fawkes Hanging Day!

Because, no matter the cause, blowing up buildings is stupid, murderous, and not to be sincerely celebrated. That includes for the sake of contrariness.

If Fight Club had been released after 9/11, the ending would've been extremely different.

The ending of 1984 for Vendetta is in many ways preferable to Orwell's vision, precisely because it shows hope in the face of totalitarianism. The other side of that coin, cool as the movie is, is that it's a terribly naive vision, designed quite frankly to rebel against current moralities. I can't imagine a movie getting released right now, set somewhere in the states, that advocated blowing up buildings that harbored seats of power or influence.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and wager that we can protest without being as egregiously melodramatic and simple minded as our ideological enemies.

Why the sudden critique of V? Dunno. Been stuck in my craw since I saw it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but in that amoral way I enjoyed A Clockwork Orange. I don't go to movies for morality's sake, mind, and the final image didn't exactly fill me with outrage. So what's bothering me about a fairly entertaining film? Call it, in those last few, Parliament bombing minutes, that feeling you get when you're confronted by an emo kid explaining how emotional emo is to you. It's that feeling.

Subtract that from the movie (and subtract a little more of its obvious catering to our liberalism, not to mention that oft repeated reduction of the purpose of books), and you've got a helluva fun one.

15 comments:

Lilyiris said...

I really like V for Vendetta if only because it let me live out those fantacies of 'sticking it to the man' if you know what I mean.

Palindromes is on the Q already....I will get there....

Plaid Avenger said...

which is all well and good, and the movie accomplishes that feeling with a gusto, but in the end, I think it's equivocating far too much. Extreme circumstances may take extreme measures, but it's a little troubling to see that kind of glib destruction on the screen. It's nothing but an Independence Day kick for liberals and activists, and I wonder if it's not basically the same thing as a Dirty Hairy movie using arch convservative vigilantism to play out politically opposite fantasies? Is that what we want?

Plaid Avenger said...

dirty hairy? What am I thinking of?

Lilyiris said...

boys, obviously.

Holly said...

Dude, EVERYTHING about that movie, right down to the overseas marketing campaigns, framed it as a propaganda piece. It never pretended to be anything different. You can disagree with its message, but can you really criticize it for doing, by all evidence, exactly what the Wach-Bros set out to do?

Plaid Avenger said...

well, of course I can. I mean, I suppose I should underline more than I have that I actually do like the movie, but the fact is, I'm irked by the kind of irony safety net you're talking about. Yes, they set out explicitly to do that. I don't think I suggested otherwise. But is that an excuse for equivocating? The Wachowski's are slick, but they're also sloppy, and trying to cover up your muddled point (especially a muddled point that embraces a faceless mob, that only removes its masks at the end all at once) with a sheen of supposedly knowing marketing is not, in this case, a terribly convincing final product.
It's entirely possible that it can be, I just don't think it worked here.
The Wachowski's have a way of making their movies real Happenings. I'd like to see them go for it all instead of winking at us.

Plaid Avenger said...

....my slept-in-on-a-snow-day syntax notwithstanding....

david said...

winking is way more interesting than flashing, stripping or fucking. what's left to do, but wink? what's wrong with getting your liberal rocks off to vent a little frustration. Until all the bitching about talk with no action actually leads to some action, I am going to keep applauding the winkers.

I don't advocate large scale violence and destruction without any thought of what happens after they take off the masks, but I also don't advocate building a social theory on a piece of film that exists, fundamentally, to make money for the studio.

one more thing. Malick didn't wink. He went for it all, and we got "The Thin Red Line." I'm not that impressed with going for it, as a general rule.

Plaid Avenger said...

which is the difference between myself and those who say "it's only a movie" I
movies should be more than porn, wether you get off on Dirty Hairy, or damning the man. And "V" thinks it has the answer, which it doesn't, because, of course, all art is perfectly useless.
I find V sloppy, disorganized, and dishonest, but hey, I got some kicks out of it, and if activists and liberals want to get their rocks off instead of going into public service, netflix accounts start at $5.95...

Plaid Avenger said...

and I did it AGAIN with this damned Dirthy Hairy business. YEezus.

Rachel said...

as a general rule, I like spongebob AND rem AND louis sachar AND kurt vonnegut AND hosts of other winkers. I myself am planning a hearty career in this so called "winking"

I dont even think I understand the language and subtext of this whole critique of yours, but I do FULLY understand the meaning of this:

People should not fear their governments. Governments should fear their people.

I guess for those of us who desperately desire to have hope for an outcome that doesnt end in a mushroom cloud and who know that our turn at shitting our pants is just around the corner, this hits home a little more. Im all about getting to the heart of it and I think that it most certainly does....

david said...

two things:

1) you really need to learn to appreciate porn.

2) it's possible to get your rocks off AND go into public service. Just look at Bill Clinton.

Plaid Avenger said...

people should not fear their governments, and governments should not fear their people.
The two should work together.
That requires diligence, education, and sacrifice.
This is not Nazi Germany, or even an Orwellian police state. Could it be, someday? Sure, but even with all the current administration is doing to stifle discent and suspend habeus corpus, none of it has yet directly effected the swarms of youth that would embrace the anarchy of V for Vendetta.
You know what's missing form the end of that movie? TANKS.

Plaid Avenger said...

Which is to say, it's a peurile fantasy. Fun? Why not? But don't embrace is at legitimate philosophy.

I mean, didn't the Wackowski's prove already their shallowness regarding philosophy with The Matrix sequels?

There's a difference between certain kinds of irony and "winking".

Winking is shallow, aww-shucks I didn't mean it back-peddaling, as in, "oh look, we're showing the other side of terrorism, except, wink wink, it's only a movie folks." Really? Well how cute. If they had followed through the full implications of the anarchy they were presented, it might've been art, but instead they give us a conventional plot structure and a fairy tale ending so we can go home "pumped" by it.

Y'all should watch Brazil, or even the original 1984 adaptation. They don't hav e nearly the answers this movie thinks it has.

also, the Wachowski's are neither a Vonnegut or a Malick. They've proven that.

In the end, I think all of this is important to say, because, frankly, I don't embrace careful, demographically marketed rebellion anyway. I understand it takes a lot to sell your movie.

Even a fairly decent one can be shameless.

And in the end, in spite of all I've said, I try not to take it all too seriously. What I find is what I find, but:

"To appreciate movies is to appreciate great trash"
- Pauline Kael

Plaid Avenger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.