[Marxism] Re: V for Vendetta

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Apr 2 06:14:00 MDT 2006

Joaquin expressed almost exactly my thought about the WSWS review of V.
It marked their movie reviews' descent to the level of their
reactionary-sectarian politics, for which the movie reviews have
previously provided a certain cover.
I found V for Vendetta thoroughly enjoyable, a movie which manages to be
politically useful and thoroughly entertaining.  In the Wachowski
oeuvre, I think it stands above the mega-grandiosity of the endless
Matrix series, while bringing from them their one real conquest -- the
rhetorical talents of Hugo Weaving, the one truly likable character in
the Matrix series, who plays V.
But while it marks an advance from Matrix 1 through what seemed like n,
it is still qualitatively below the Wachowski's classic crime noir
Bound, in which sexual love truly conquers all.  Please get hold of this
classic movie. You won't be sorry. However, this seems to be a step
toward a more personal and emotional view, perhaps based on the Matrix's
achievement of riches beyond the dreams of avarice.
As far as the mask goes, I liked the Guy Fawkes angle, which should
serve as an introduction to how savagely Catholics came to be oppressed
in England -- a fact of great importance for Ireland and Scotland in
particular.  But as the movie went on, I actually began to feel like the
mask was expressing the emotions he was voicing, a tribute to Weaving's
talents. It began to seem like less of a trick, and more the expression
of a particular person, which eventually became the expression of many
other people who felt oppressed and silenced and forced into hiding..
I think Natalie Portman was excellent.  The moment where she makes the
choice without thinking to defend V against the cops, which inseparably
involves her with him, is very well done, including on her part.  For
her this was a big step up from the interminable second series of Star
Wars, and I certainly understand that she is excited about it and eager
to talk it up in her fashion.
I thought this movie was very much in line  with the developing
radicalization, which has a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-repression,
anti Bush-and-Cheney spirit and morality, of high-school and
junior-high-school youth.  I think Portman would find even more sympathy
for the themes of the movie if she spoke to classes there, and I hope
she gets a chance to do so. I know her views are her own and not mine,
but I think it is great that she is interested in talking the movie up
politically and philosophically.  Completely progressive event.  I think
if I were a high-school or junior high-school activist, I would be
checking out the possibility of getting her to my school.
Nothing is as much needed politically for most people in this country
than this movie's attempt to present "terrorism" as a political
phenomenon, rather than as simply an expression of "evil."  That is a
necessity not just for understanding the fantasy, but for getting an
honest, truthful grip on Bin Laden and much else.  
This is a solid movie, not a great movie, but very good -- and, for
these times, very unusual.  

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