Friday, March 17, 2006

And one more thing.

I should just let the haiku speak for itself, but I want to add a few things about V for Vendetta.

Politics aside, I couldn't believe how incoherently the film unravels; it's all muddled backstory, bogged-down rhetoric, and inert action sequences. The sad thing is, there's something there. An undercurrent, that x-factor, that whatever that makes Alan Moore's graphic novel so legendary. In nearly every scene I thought "God, I bet this works really well as a comic." (Forgive me, I haven't read it.)

Now, as for film's much-hyped revolutionary politics... puh-lease. How anyone* can claim this as an important/progressive film, when Michael Haneke's Caché is only two months out of the theater, is beyond me. What's that? Haneke's film is an art-house film that no one would go see? Okay. Fine. Steven Spielberg's Munich was a pop-political MultiPlexer that aesthetically and philosophically shames V. (Manohla summed it up perfectly: "The more valid question is how anyone who isn't 14 or under could possibly mistake a corporate bread-and-circus entertainment like this for something subversive. You want radical? Wait for the next Claire Denis film.")

On an unrelated note, since we see V rock out to Cat Power and Antony and the Johnsons, I was hoping that we'd get a flashback sequence that showed V as a young music-blogger circa 2005. Tell me that wouldn't've made the film a little better. You know it would.

*Like, say, Dave Poland: "Some audiences will be sure that there is a direct attack on George W Bush. Others will make no connection at all. But the truth is, until we are all wide awake most of the time, this film will be relevant forever. Like the Brothers Grimm, Shakespeare, and the Bible, V for Vendetta is a work of parable."

(Emphasis mine.)

8 Comments:

At 7:51 PM, Blogger B.A. Slattery said...

Dave Poland's review is ridiculous. They should make a whole movie out of how retarded and utterly blind he is. I haven't even seen the movie but I know, already, it doesn't revolutionize politics in the megaplex. Shit ... it's in the megaplex to begin with! How could it possibly even want to change the world?

I'm partially angry, but mostly amused. Someone send me a carbon of Mr. Poland's paycheck. I'll double it to make him die.

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

Stephanie Zacharek's take on V (in both book and film version):

"I have a problem with "ambiguous" heroes who are really just thinly disguised assholes."

 
At 6:05 AM, Blogger B.A. Slattery said...

Ben,

I mistakenly saw V for Vendetta this weekend. I should've heeded your review. What a boring piece of shit. Two and a half hours of blah-blah-blah. I wanted some goddamn action in my movie -- but no, it had to be a talkie. A boring talkie ... like Cliff's Notes for 1984 or something.

I became sick of the Bush Administration/1984 analogy back in 2003. The fact that, three years later, these talentless douchebags decided to puke it out again in the longest "action" movie ever made is reprehensible. However, like you, I kept imagining the comic book must be good. Just not the movie. Definitely not the movie.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Seriously. What am I supposed think when I walk away from this movie thinking? That we should overthrow a facist government and blindly follow a violent, messianic asshole? No thanks.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Poland's argument seems to be that the film's ultimate target is our own complacency, that, say, the re-election of Bush is a product of our cynical disinterest in things we don't think affect us. But, as Ben already mentioned, the film defeats itself with its unwillingness to question or challenge its own ideas. It flaunts its own righteousness and wilfully batters us with it, in ways no more convincing than the side it opposes, turning its main character not into an educated rebel, but Patty Hearst with a buzz cut, tortured to the realization that she should listen to and blindly follow the guy behind the mask, whose revenge plot inspires the masses, who seem eager to drop one dicktard for another, one set of bogus ideas for another.

I can't even begin to imagine that the defense of this failure speaks to the intention of showing that both sides suck, as the masked messiah is nothing but celebrated throughout. Only a month after a self congratulatory, self-righteous piece of shit like Crash won Best Picture, it only seems appropriate that such "revolutionary" filmmaking seems like little more than auto-fellatio.

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger B.A. Slattery said...

Well put, Tim. I haven't read the comic book, but I imagine, given Moore's reputation as a man of letters, that it explains itself clearer, gives opposing sides to the greasy propaganda it pushes. You would've thought that, in two and a half long, long hours, the filmmakers would be able to stuff a little intelligence amidst the reverse-jingoism, but no.

It's just so weak and reactionary ... but the kids, oh, the kids, they're gonna love it. It's gonna rake in millions of dollars and people all over the place are going to think because they dropped $14 on this one movie ticket they've somehow advanced themselves politically and intellectually.

In fact, at the theatre, I heard people shouting out, "He's the man!" and other retarded things like that. Ohhhh think of the children. Why won't anyone think of the children?

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

Does anyone else miss Margaret Thatcher?

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Andrew Sullivan.

 

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