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Eric

V for Vendetta

Posted on 2006.08.12 at 00:01

Comments:


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.
drax0r
drax0r at 2006-08-14 07:35 (UTC) (Link)
The last time I made this staement, a friend on LJ stopped talking to me

Your friend must really have liked Green Day. :)



If we were living in a dystopian society - a movie like "V For Vendetta" would not be made

I didn't mean to imply that we were currently living in such a society, but surely we can look at events of late and imagine those events being the types of thing that would preface that sort of regime, given the right circumstances going forward. The stage is set.

In the past 6 years, we've seen the government implement widespread internet surveillance, phone taps without judicial approval, a foreign intel detour around federal domestic surveillance limitations, a much broader definition of "terrorism" that seems to potentially include any violent crime or computer crime, a program that holds U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist connections - without trial or any external oversight, and large scale data-mining on telephone and banking transactions.

Those are just the things we've found out about so far.

No, we're not living in an Orwellian world, but I don't think its too much of a stretch to imagine Orwell writing about these circumstances in a history of Oceania.

WAR IS PEACE: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the nebulous "War on Terror" "so we don't have to fight 'em over here"
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY: Gitmo, detention of Americans without trial, TSA prohibition of a bottle of water or an iPod on an airplane
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH: "The press is helping terrorists by publishing reports of domestic surveillance"


Crappy, digestable anger spoonfed for a mass audience that's looking for it's way out instead of making one.

It occurs to me that that might be exactly what we need.



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'm extremely concerned about both, and think that "V" is the type of "spoonfed, digestible anger" our society as a whole needs to encourage the latter to prevent the former.



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

Perhaps, but its the nature of society that those who are willing to sell out their freedom and privacy for any kind of security can have an effect on those who refuse to.


Blowing up parlament is utterly counterproductive to [fight against the established law and defeat the Big Brother Government.]

I disagree. Its not the destruction of the building that is productive in asserting change, but the act of destroying the building inspires and galvanizes the people -- to show them that they can, in fact, take control of their own fate. V cannot take down the government, but the thousands and thousands of people in Trafalgar Square can. To quote the film: A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. A symbol, in and of itself is powerless, but with enough people behind it, blowing up a building can change the world.



Thats like punching someone to show how nonviolent you are.

No, that's like punching someone to show how tired you are of them shitting on you -- to demonstrate that, despite the shitter having all the perceived power, that you're willing to strike back, in an act of solidarity and defiance, because facing the sword as a free man is better than living complacently as a slave.

In the movie, the government was so oppressive that such acts were the only alternative. We're nowhere near that point -- we've still got plenty of options left, and I certainly don't support that level of direct action, but the film illustrates a scenario where such actions would be warranted. Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants alike." If the setting of V for Vendetta is not an example of that time, then I don't know what would be.


I'll continue in a second response, as, per LJ: Sorry, but your comment of 4705 character exceeds the maximum character length of 4300.
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-14 21:05 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps, but its the nature of society that those who are willing to sell out their freedom and privacy for any kind of security can have an effect on those who refuse to.

What then, is the alternative for the minority? Casting a vote as the minority won't fix anything - violence is frowned upon...in order to stir the massses to action, it requires the embodiment of 'the masses' i.e. the greater number to act. How then is that accomplished in today's society?
drax0r
drax0r at 2006-08-14 07:36 (UTC) (Link)
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?

I can't speak for 'the average person', but given the closeness of recent elections, if a relatively small percentage of the people that have seen the movie go out and vote on election day because of it, I'd say that they could have a demonstrable effect.

While you and I may choose to keep ourselves informed on matters of the day and the implications of the stories on the nightly news, I do think that presenting these sorts of issues in a popular, action-packed, easily digestible Hollywood film will reach millions of habitually apathetic citizens and perhaps inspire them to take a greater interest in what's going on.
ehowton
ehowton at 2006-08-14 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
People willing to believe in any kind of security deserve whatever they get.

I don't think I ever really understood this...until just now. I was in the grocery store thinking about the recent events with air travel and the new imposed rules, and your statement hit me. What we've been told is security, is nothing more than the illusion of security, and for that, we've given up personal freedoms.
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