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March 17, 2006

V Media

Went to see V for Vendetta tonight. Not bad, but not great, and certainly not the high-voltage cultural lightning flash I was hoping for. Not for me, anyway. That movie still waits to be made.

Part of the problem, I think, is that having one of the leads perform his role from behind a rigid plastic mask robs the action of a lot of its drama and humanity. Natalie Portman holds up her end, but it's like she's playing opposite a manikin. We want to see an actor's face.

It also needed to be darker, more menacing, more chaotic, more filled with danger and dread. It's not enough to tell us things are bad — you've got to make us feel it for ourselves. You've got to make us take it seriously. Compare anything in V with that scene in Syriana where George Clooney gets tortured, and you'll see what I mean. The stakes being what they are, this is no time for a political movie to play it safe.

Still, the movie does get in its share of political barbs, and it's got some memorable images. Plus, the music over the closing credits is a hoot.

Bottom line: worth seeing if you like this kind of movie, but not the electrifying experience suggested by the trailers. That's how I saw it anyway. If you go and see it, let's hear your reactions in the comments.

Posted by Jonathan at March 17, 2006 11:17 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


I haven't seen it, but it is very interesting reading Alan Moore's opinion on the movie. Read one interview here: http://www.comicon.com/thebeat/2006/03/a_for_alan_pt_1_the_alan_moore.html#more

summary: for moore, the opposite of fascism has always been Anarchy - and yet the anarchy seems to have been scrubbed clean from the movie.

Posted by: Jared at March 17, 2006 11:23 PM

"It also needed to be darker, more menacing, more chaotic, more filled with danger and dread. It's not enough to tell us things are bad — you've got to make us feel it for ourselves. You've got to make us take it seriously."

Had they done this with the movie, I think it would have been easier for the audience to see it as pure fiction, and not a reflection of today's reality. At least a reality most Americans identify with, or want to identify with.

You've said numerous times that people take the path of least resistance. There was an article in the The Nation last year, or the year before, titled something like _Hooked_on_Happiness_ that showed how Americans are as the title suggestes hooked on happiness. You had a post recently about a speech Al Gore gave on how people go from disbelief to despair.

Once I learned about our government (a recent discovery), more specifically the ties our administration has with big corporations, namely oil and defense, I went through despair. Hell, it took me a few months just to wrap my head around the enormity of it.

I saw the documentary _Why_We_Fight_ last night, in which they interviewed a number of regular Americans and asked the question 'Why do we fight (go to war)'? About half the respondents had an answer. What was telling were the other half who were so coy when asked with this question. As long as people are happy, as long as they don't have to look darkness and evil in the face, they'll remain content because this is the path that's easiest.

It's easy to avoid despair, especially when the problems we face today have no tangible, drop-in-place solutions. We've built a world completely dependant on finite fossil fuels, two of which, oil and n. gas, will run out, or nearly so by the time I die. If we don't have a solution in place when these two fuels are gone, the world will be a very different place. Much less cozy and most people will struggle with this. I think there are some people who've glimpsed into the future and decided to procrastinate the struggle. So long as what's around them has the appearance of coziness and safety, they'll remain, or choose to be happy.

Maybe the movie makers where trying to mimic the reality most people live with today. I'm seeing it tomorrow, looking forward to it.

Maybe T.S. Elliot can say it better than I can.

I said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;

Wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith
But the faith and the love
and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.

- T.S. Eliot

Posted by: Jeff at March 18, 2006 10:11 PM