Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Q for Queer

The Pentagon admits to surveillance of gay rights groups. They also admit that it was probably wrong.

Yesterday, after being urged by Messiahbomb and a1batross to go see it, I took in a matinee of V For Vendetta. It was a much better film than I anticipated. In fact, I'd go see it again in the theater, which is saying something seeing as how I rarely go see films, especially ones made by Hollyweird. The film got a review somewhere (I cannot remember exactly where) that indicated that the movie makers tried to stuff too many themes into the film. Bullocks! It's a sophisticated, if not subtle, story involving a dictatorial government (headed by John Hurt) that manipulates, controls, and promotes fear in it's population through lies and surveillance. The government does all of this under the guise of religious convictions when it's real motives are money and power. Homosexuality is frowned upon and homosexuals, like many other members of minority groups are persecuted brutally. Citizens are locked up and tortured for confessions and then killed. Into this scene comes a masked person named "V" who makes the case that the people have brought this situation on themselves and they must dig themselves out of it. He also makes the case for vigilante justice, terrorism in the name of a greater good, and "People shouldn't fear their governments; governments should fear their people" (this last a sentiment that Thomas Jefferson would likely appreciate).

Without giving away the plot, suffice to say that this is an action movie of our times. There is a fair amount of killing and blood, but also art, literature, and some philosophy - much more than your average drivel we're fed these days on either the big or small screens. The film is about individuals and collectives and how each might influence the world. It's also about not living in fear and taking control of your own life. Natalie Portman does a very good job portraying the lead female character. Hugo Weaving does a fine job of portraying the man behind the mask. Stephen Fry is terrific as a television presenter who is a closeted homosexual who also keeps banned art in his closet. John Hurt is wonderful as the president cum dictator swapping places as it were with Richard Burton's character in 1984. Go see this film.

Like the film, the tie in between it and the story reported on at the top of this review are not subtle. If you require an explanation, I suggest ordering a coffin now as you're already dead and haven't realized it yet.

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