James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hooray for Hollywood

Last night I went to the movies. There were four previews of coming attractions: three sequels and a re-make.

Fortunately, the movie I saw wasn't such. There are a lot of things to appreciate about V for Vendetta. In addition to Natalie Portman's character and V himself, there is a third lead, the police commander Finch played by Stephen Rea, and he is quite good. I also enjoyed the casting of John Hurt, who played Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the dictator. Reminds me of Victor Garber playing Jesus in the movie Godspell and later playing the devil on stage in Damn Yankees.

I also enjoyed the ideas involved - which have to do not just with coincidence/conspiracy but also coincidence/synchronicity. I imagine I'll see this movie several more times and pick up more and more. See a movie once, and you get the story, but if it's good you need to see it again to really watch it without wondering how the plot unfolds.

Which is why I reserve judgment on initial quibbles. I don't think totalitarian fascism will come to Anglo civilization with changed flags and new offices - heck, we're halfway there already. And I suspect that in "real world" fascism they will come disproportionately for homosexuals, because they are disproportionately non-conformist and free-thinking, but they won't come for homosexuals for being homosexuals. Indeed, current political efforts to make homosexuality mainstream is effective in producing the opposite effect: many people think they are free because they can sleep with whomever they want, but that masks the erosion and elimination of every other freedom. More plausible is the scapegoating of Moslems, particularly if terrorist attacks are blamed on them, but right now Moslems, especially in Britain, seem absurdly over-protected by hate speech laws and the like.

On the other hand, the future scenario in V is that things had gotten so bad that the people would submit to anyone who could restore order and make them feel safe. And totalitarianism isn't the only subject of the movie --I'm not sure if it's even the main one.

But at the same time, the movie does show a good job of showing how relatively "normal" a totalitarian society could look like. People still go to work, go to pubs, have families, and watch tv. It doesn't look all that different from today. And that's the scary part.

1 comment:

  1. I saw the movie on Saturday and was very impressed as well. I would give it an 8..maybe 8-1/2 on a 10 scale....