Satan's Trouble With Eve

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Review of "V for Vendetta"

Classfellow Iain brought this review of V for Vendetta by an Office Hour. He was captivated, as I became also, by the audacity of these closing lines:

Will audiences follow him, cheering the implicit detonation of America's institutions? Or will they find it all a bit...jejune? Coming out of V for Vendetta, a friend of mine called it ''radical'' and ''subversive.'' He was awestruck with disbelief that a film with a harlequin terrorist as its hero could actually be released by a major American studio. I was awestruck at his naïveté in a world where fight-the-power anarchy is now marketed as a fashionable identity statement — by the corporations that helped raise a generation on bands like Rage Against the Machine, by the armchair-leftist
bloggers who flog the same righteousness day after day. V for Vendetta has a playful-demon vitality, but it's designed to let political adolescents of every age congratulate themselves. It's rage against the machine by the machine.
Notwithstanding, of course, the Hobbsean characteristic of the film, & its modern personification of the Seventeenth Century's famous son, Guy Fawkes, makes it more than worth our viewing of it.
(With a tug of the forelock to the Presentation from wednesday's seminar that traces the Milton-Metaphysicals Love theme through the film.)


  • This is the forth or fifth time that i've seen or heard the term "Rage Agaist the machine" to describe the movie V. And i think that the Band Rage would not approve. Yes Zack de la rocha is fighting for equality and a socialist perspective. But they don't call for a complete destructiuon of buildings to enact thier agenda's. Rage is calling for change but not at the expence of lives because there was sure to be lives in the parliment building when it went up in a blaze.

    I remember seeing Rage in 94 at loolapoluza and they stopped the show because the t-shirt venders were selling rage shirts for 30 bucks. Rage took all their shirts away and gave them away to the fans for free. Yeah that is not as aw inspirering as blowing up Parliment or as making a video with michael moore in front of wall street but it is still a way to make a stand. I think that Rage is one of the bands that will remain a huge influence on future bands even though most of those bands will not be singing for the same reason that Rage was singing for. And for that reason i think that it is a shame to put a great political Band that actually strived for change onto a movie that raise issues that are quickly gone when the movie patrons are driving home.

    By Blogger Jason, at 10:48 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Bobby, at 2:15 PM  

  • I also love Rage, however if you think rage against the machine is totally ideologically pacifist, I'd have to say you're wrong.

    I'm not saying that the band themselves would resort to acts of violence as part of their activism, nor do they necessarily distance themselves from parties and movements who have used violence as part of their effort.

    I'll also concur that violent struggle in modern context will be probably be largely ineffectual and have an alienating effect on most causes. I think it depends though on who the violence is directed against, who is making use of it, to what extent, and to what ends.
    Either way I'll also concur that the most effective way of strengthening a cause will always be by engaging its detractors in discourse and winning them over or exposing their bankruptcy.

    However, the reality of the world is as such that most of the time, marginal factions are totally subaltern to dominant discourses of power. If the infrastructure of discourse is inherently incompatible with your message or inacessible to you - then I think that trying to take down that dominant discourse using hostile tactics or by basically blowing it open... seems like a fairly reasonable course of action under those circumstances.

    Discourse only works when your adversaries afford you a voice, when you have none, as distateful as it may seem, given your total commitment to your cause - you have a reason to forcibly try and take/get a voice.

    *had to rewrite this.. the first post was largely incoherent.

    Professor Ogden, thanks again for conductng an excellent and very memroable class... will you be teachingn any summer, intersession, or fall sesion classes? Cheers,


    By Blogger Bobby, at 5:04 PM  

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