[Marxism] "How I Live", a pre-review

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Tue Sep 24 11:50:42 MDT 2013

"How I Live"

--23 September 2013

It is hard to do a movie review based on a trailer. Based on a script
distilled from a novel I did not read, nor, ever heard of. The novel is
"How I Live" by Meg Rosoff, a British author who penned the novel in 2004.

At the traileraddict.com (better than trailers.apple.com as they show 'Red
Band' trailers that give them a 'R' rating) a new trailer just showed up
with aforementioned title. I happen to really like the star, 19-year-old
Saoirse Ronan. She is known for a variety B-movies (which doesn't make them
bad, just not as well funded, shall we say, as "Lord of the Rings"). Most
notably, 3 years ago she started as an insanely adept child assassin in the
action-thriller-fantasy "Hanna" where she played the title role along side
A-list Actor, Orlando Bloom (co-star, coincidently, of the above mentioned
and GNP changing - for New Zealand - "Lord of the Rings").

I was very impressed by her acting ability, as a 15 year old in Hanna. She
had "presence". She is a not a Hollywood beauty 'type' we all know. He has
a slightly demur look about her and a thin, almost unnoticeable physique.
Yet there she is, radiating a kind of talent without those smokescreens of
model looks or idealized-for-men sex appeal. She gets my respect.

The trailer poster or "movie poster" that is associated with the film
almost made me think "nope, not today" as it shows here in character with a
set up headphones on standing there doing nothing. I thought it might be
one of those teen-age love stories set in San Fernando Valley or anywhere
USA. And boring. Too often, I admit, I judge a book by its cover, or in
this case, a film by its poster. That would be a mistake, or at least for
this film.

The plot of the film as presented in the trailer seems to revolve around a
"Lord-of-the-Flies"/Armageddon situation where she is alone in England
while her parents are nowhere around. Playing an American teenager, with
the typical sort of teenage angst that is so much the plot of even good
movies, like "Juno" to the regurgitated "American Pie" schlock that gets
pumped out on the cheap in Hollywood, she's confronted with these teenage
'things' on a personal level. Then of course the world ends, for real.

It seems that Britain is under nuclear attack. The teenagers hide in their
rural home and are confronted by an aggressive army seeking to sue them, it
*appears* as slave labor to grow food. Kind of like Pol Pot meets
"Threads", the great 1984 post-nuclear war docudrama of how life basically
ends for those unfortunate enough to actually survive nuclear holocaust.

This may, or may not, be a very good movie. It could be shit. But it peaked
my interest.

This is especially so these days with the still-growing Armageddon type
movies that seem to spring up in the forest floor after a rainstorm. From
quite literally several dozen grade-C (this I mean in quality not
production value) zombie movies (don't believe me? See Netflix under
"sci-fi" or "horror") that have been produced in the last 6 years to bigger
budget films such as "4:44 Last Day of Earth", "2012", "Melancholia", "The
Day", "Fin", "The Road", and the list here is endless as well. One wonders
if life will imitate art. Let's hope not, as it would be quite a bore given
the quality of what is released (though "The Road" was wonderfully
produced, directed and acted).

As Hollywood and it's British counterparts have upped the amps on the
coming to an end of our planet and/or species (and/or all other species as
well) which has to reflect the growing world uncertainty that the profound
social crisis we discuss on this and other lists and blogs as activists for
social change, I wonder if Saoirse Ronan will rise the task of making us
feel for the innocent caught up in the demise of Imperialism as it decays
or will she be simply another theatrical pawn to rake it in for the
Hollywood profit machine before it all ends?

David Walters

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