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V for Vendetta

by V Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 5:09 PM

"People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments…governments should be afraid of their people." The following is a review of "V for Vendetta" by James Wolcott that appeared on the Vanity Fair website. It is surprising that there has not been more discussion concerning this film on Indymedia... perhaps this post can initiate the conversation. Read Wolcott's full review here: http://jameswolcott.com/archives/2006/02/the_red_and_the.php

V for Vendetta may be--why hedge? is--the most subversive cinematic deed of the Bush-Blair era, a dagger poised in midair. Unlike the other movies dubbed “controversial” (Fahrenheit 9-11, The Passion, Munich, Syriana), it doesn’t play to a particular constituency or polarized culture bloc, it’s working on a deeper, Edger Allen Poe-ish witch’s brew substrata of pop myth. Cultural conservatives will loathe it without seeing it (they love not having to leave their houses to lament the latest installment of civilization’s decline and fall) once they hear of and read about the movie’s disturbing political parallels (a fascistic TV host with a witty resemblance to Berlusconi, fertilizer explosives a la Timothy McVeigh; torture, renditions, and subway bombings; black hoods that will be forever associated with Abu Ghraib).

Yet lots of cultural liberals with educated tastes will find it anxiety-producing and irresponsible too, not only because they’re more comfortable with humanistic stories and documentary techniques than with pop spectacle (as Kael discovered whenever she praised upstart movies like DePalma’s Carrie or The Warriors and received letters from profs and Ph.D couples complaining about her soiling the New Yorker’s space on trash), but because V for Vendetta doesn’t just depict a 1984’s dystopia--it advocates radical remedy, and illustrates what it advocates with rhapsodic, operatic, orgasmic flourish. It follows the course of its own logic to its Kubrickian conclusion, but this isn’t a clinical exercise, like Kubrick at his most voyeuristically detached.

This movie is fully engaged. Its masked, caped vigilante is both Batman and Joker, nocturnal enigma and nimble trickster, the Count of Monte Cristo, Zorro, and the Phantom of the Opera tucked into one suavely tormented frame, the antihero’s secret lair a gothic sanctuary equipped with its own Wurtlizer jokebox on which Julie London’s Cry Me a River sultrily plays. The river of tears is the Thames, on the bank of which sits London’s House of Parliament, the movie (based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel) drawing its inspiration from Guy Fawkes and the foiled Gunpowder Plot to destroy Parliament on November 5th, 1605, a day celebrated annually in Britain with fireworks and parties.

In V for Vendetta, monochromatic tyranny so oppresses, represses, and depresses Britain in its totalitarian condition that the only proper way to honor the memory and insurrectionary spirit of Guy Fawkes is to finish what he started. V for vendetta, v for violence, v for vindication. The return of the repressed with a vengeance.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 14 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
A for Anarchism johnk Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 5:27 PM
No kidding,johnk Lord Locksley Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 5:50 PM
A is for Asinine Fawkesy Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 9:14 PM
Freedom Forever! Edmond Dantès Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 10:34 PM
Details... johnk Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006 at 11:32 PM
"watered down" pointer Sunday, Apr. 02, 2006 at 12:48 AM
Watered Down or Not - Still Magnificent! Mildred Pierced Sunday, Apr. 02, 2006 at 10:01 AM
It was good! johnk Monday, Apr. 03, 2006 at 9:24 PM
reply Jammer CC Monday, Apr. 03, 2006 at 9:47 PM
V Rachael leDrew Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 4:15 AM
SOS take on V V Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 12:22 PM
it was pretty entertaining... charismatic megafauna Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 1:14 PM
SOS johnk Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 11:11 AM
Libertarians johnk Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 at 11:24 AM

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