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Eric

V for Vendetta

Posted on 2006.08.12 at 00:01

Comments:


This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2006-08-12 13:36 (UTC) (Link)
I felt manipulated and invalidated by the hackjob message it seems to have. "Agree with our counterculture revolution - or you're Hitler"
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-12 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. Yes I saw the symbolism, but I'm sure a movie like this will mean very different things to different people. For me, all I saw was the signing of the Patriot Act after the events of 9/11.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2006-08-12 17:16 (UTC) (Link)
It's certainly a movie that is darned sure it has a message but can't even begin to figure out what it's supposed to be. It's one of those movies that idiots think is clever, like The Matrix. (As opposed to, say, Fight Club. Fight Club is a fairly smart movie ruined entirely by people, V is a fairly stupid movie treated the same way. I'd say there's still something to Fight Club; It's not the amazing meaning of life that every disaffected myspace user has been insisting for the past several years, but it does say something.)

V, though, is pretty far from subversive. Just the opposite, even -- it removes things from the comic to make it more appealing to general people... and all the stuff it adds are really really generic obvious modern jabs. The overwhelming sense you get from the comic is that it's just a 1984 pasthche - the overwhelming sense you get from the movie is that it's artistic cannibalism to remove points from the original plot to substitute whats popular to fight against in 2006.

"V.." was written as commentary against anti-gay politics in 1980s England. The movie still has all the stuff about the British government putting gays in concentration camps and the obvious message there -- but at the same time, V himself isn't gay in the movie, when he is a homosexual in the book.

I think the movie is dated a lot more than the comic is, though, because lots of it comes off as clear attempts to glob modern commentary to a story where it doesn't belong and makes no sense. The comic has a taken-from-Orwell radio voice of authority who reports all the news - And they're part of the evil British fascist government and responsible for the concentration camps and such.

But the movie turns that into a Bill O'Reilly angry news commentator character. So the incredibly subversive message is that if you disagree with {our subversive viewpoint}, you're not only wrong, you're also Hitler.

And this is what you people think passes for intelligence? Interesting storytelling? You think that this is important or valid? What was a fairly entertaining movie is undermined by some supremely vapid political points and subjective views deligated to people that automatic want to agree with them. You go to a magic show to see magic - you go to see V For Vendetta because you want to see someone with your "moral outrage" against 2006.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2006-08-12 17:24 (UTC) (Link)
(This is actually copied and pasted from a journal entry I had made. I don't think you an idiot, buffoon or dullard - so don't take my tone as something against you, so much as my being too goddamed lazy to edit it)
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-12 19:48 (UTC) (Link)
I appreciate that disclaimer.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2006-08-13 18:25 (UTC) (Link)
just because she disclaims it, doesn't mean that it isn't true or that she doesn't think it. Rather, all it means is that publicly she has tact and will therefore not call you out on being an ass unlike people such as myself.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2006-08-13 22:00 (UTC) (Link)
I should stop and say hey. I met your husband here on LJ and he told me how hawt you are. It's been a pleasure meeting you.
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-14 03:37 (UTC) (Link)
wtf?
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-12 19:47 (UTC) (Link)
I usually dislike politically motivated films. I refuse to see anything by Oliver Stone or Michael Moore. Michael Bay, for example, is bad - but not out to make a political statement. I didn't know anything about this movie. I didn't read the box, I've not seen any previews. A trust source told me it was fantastic. That's good enough for me. I was actually surprised to see Natalie Portman in it when the film started, as again, I knew nothing about it.

So going into the film ignorant - I was shocked at how well laid out it was, and for a 'political' film, the Orewellian overtones were well done. Again, what struck me most about it (having not even known it was based on a comic until the opening credits) was that it ignited my strong feelings toward the Patriot Act. I don't know what other people saw in the film, or how they reacted, but I know how I felt. Not only was that a logical conclusion to the signing of the Patriot Act, but in many regards, it's going on right now.

I enjoyed The Matrix but it did not change my life. Few do. Office Space was one. This is the other. I was actually impressed that the Wachowski brothers didn't turn this one into The Matrix, as they had so many opportunities to. The fight-scenes served a purpose, were quick, few between and not over-the-top bulletime-style. And I'm so grateful they didn't pull his mask off at the end in a Scooby-Doo ending. I found the entire thing very well done and will watch it again and again.

And for the record...I couldn't stand Fight Club. I didn't get it then, I don't get it now. I mean, I understand what they were trying to impart, just not why. One of my top-ten most boring films of all time, right behind The Crow 4 which I had the misfortune to see. I'm aware many, many people enjoyed it, and that it in fact changed their life like V did mine. So be it. We all have different external motivators. I'm probably the happiest, most secure, person I know - which is why I found it so bizarre.

Thanks for reposting!

This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2006-08-13 16:29 (UTC) (Link)
May I suggest Born On The Fourth Of July?
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-13 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
*shiver*

I own the laserdisc. This was prior to my anti-Stone viewpoint. And in all honesty, perhaps it was because I was in the Air Force at the time, but I watched the first half (side one) and couldn't stomach to watch the second half.

I never finished the movie.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2006-08-13 18:29 (UTC) (Link)
I think it's due to the fact that Fight Club speaks to a younger people. You saw it at the wrong time in your life.
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-13 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
Agreed. That is indeed a possibility. It's also possible that the movie was just dumb. Perhaps I'll never know.
drax0r
drax0r at 2006-08-14 03:31 (UTC) (Link)
But [I] can't even begin to figure out what it's supposed to be.

I think there a number of things that can be taken away from this movie. One of the more poignant being, in my opinion, the examination of how a society could be engineered towards that sort of dystopian existence through the use of fear and media manipulation.

While the government in the film is a necessarily extreme example, it seems far more plausible today than it would have 6 years ago. There are already widespread debates going on about the balance between liberty and safety, and in the past few years, our federal government has infringed on our freedom and privacy in the name of "keeping America secure". Just a little bit at a time, and often behind our backs.

I think the movie serves, among other things, to bring people to question what they're willing to sacrifice for a little perceived security.


V, though, is pretty far from subversive.

While this is true from a counter-culture perspective, I think it would be appropriate to apply the word subversive in reference to the movie's treatment of V's attempt to subvert the established institution, particularly when considered alongside the parallels that are drawn between the world in which V lives and ours.


"V.." was written as commentary against anti-gay politics in 1980s England ... [but] V himself isn't gay in the movie, when he is a homosexual in the book.

I long ago gave up expectations for Holywood's treatment of a story with regards to being true to the original material when making adaptations from other media. As a graphic novel adaptation, the movie is certainly lacking, but as a stand-alone movie I can't hold the film itself at fault for deviations from the book. In making the movie in such a way as to appeal to a wider audience, they provided far greater opportunity for people to see it and not dismiss the overall story because of their own personal feelings about homosexuality, drug use, etc.

If the movie encourages people to examine the world they're living in, then I think that it has great value, even if they don't agree with the message. Just as Orwell's writing accomplished just that for his and future generations, I think this movie has a potential to do the same.

As far as societal acceptance of homosexuality has come, if they had left his sexuality as it was in the comic then this movie would be written off by so many people as just being another "gay" movie. Brokeback Vendetta would be doubleplusungood for the producers and the studio. It would also not benefit the people whose preconceptions led them not to see it, as they would also be missing the other, more critical, story elements.


So the incredibly subversive message is that if you disagree with {our subversive viewpoint}, you're not only wrong, you're also Hitler.

Lewis Prothero being an O'Reilly analogue is pretty clear, but I think the intention was to stretch that association so far into the real world. It seems to me that you are reading too much into it. Liking Bill O'Reilly in real life does not equate to supporting a Chancellor Suttler type government.

Disliking the movie or its 'knock you over the head' style of storytelling doesn't make you Hitleresque. Actually supporting Chancellor Suttler's style of government, on the other hand, would. :)


And this is what you people think passes for intelligence? Interesting storytelling?

Its what I think passes for a means to bring a set of ideas before the common movie-watcher in a mainstream, entertaining format palatable to even today's MTV-inspired "ADD", apathetic, "it doesn't effect me" youth.


You think that this is important or valid?

Absolutely. If nothing else, I think it points to some very real issues and wraps them in an entertaining movie with some excellent action, visuals, and dialogue. Perhaps it will encourage people to start thinking about the government and where we're headed. Perhaps it will encourage people to get off their complacent asses and vote, assert their voice, and take back what's theirs. I think its both important and valid as a cautionary tale.
This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2006-08-14 04:31 (UTC) (Link)
I think there a number of things that can be taken away from this movie. One of the more poignant being, in my opinion, the examination of how a society could be engineered towards that sort of dystopian existence through the use of fear and media manipulation.

The last time I made this staement, a friend on LJ stopped talking to me and that was three years ago. I hope the same words do not affect you as such:

If we were living in a dystopian society - a movie like "V For Vendetta" would not be made, let alone protest marches, National Public Radio or internet chat rooms.

However, it would prevent Green Day from putting out a fucking awful series of songs where they try to tells us why they think the government is wrong. While I don't quite see "V" as insulting as that - it's the same pony trick. Crappy, digestable anger spoonfed for a mass audience that's looking for it's way out instead of making one.

I'd be less worried about an Orwellian future brought on by the government than I would by the apathy of the average man.

I think the movie serves, among other things, to bring people to question what they're willing to sacrifice for a little perceived security.

People willing to believe in any kind of security deserve whatever they get.

I think it would be appropriate to apply the word subversive in reference to the movie's treatment of V's attempt to subvert the established institution.

Not in the slightest. The point of V is to fight against the established law and defeat the Big Brother Government. Blowing up parlament is utterly counterproductive to that end. Thats like punching someone to show how nonviolent you are.

If the movie encourages people to examine the world they're living in, then I think that it has great value, even if they don't agree with the message.

I'll give you that the average person will chew on the ideas of this movie over a couple of beers with friends - but how many will act on it? Or do something to help other people because of this movie? The outrage this movie is suppose to give is hollow - though I suppose given the terrible medium it's become, I can't blame this movie in particular.

Liking Bill O'Reilly in real life does not equate to supporting a Chancellor Suttler type government.

Tell that to the movie's director. :)

Perhaps it will encourage people to start thinking about the government and where we're headed. Perhaps it will encourage people to get off their complacent asses and vote, assert their voice, and take back what's theirs.

Given the events of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the War on Terrorism, the oil industry, the game of musical chairs in the President's cabinet - I don't think that "V" will do anything to spurn anyone else on to do anything for any greater good.
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