Thursday, July 31, 2008

V for Vendetta

(Guy Fawkes Night Fireworks)

Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gun powder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gun powder treason should ever be forgot.

The film V for Vendetta was originally scheduled to open the night of November 4, 2005, the night before the 400th Anniversary of the The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an assassination attempt of King James I of England. Crafted by Catholics upset with Protestant rule, the plot involved blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening on November 5, 1605. While Robert Catesby is generally regarded as the leader, military expert Guy Fawkes prepared the explosives and was left in charge to execute the plan. To this day, in the United Kingdom people celebrate Bonfire Night or Cracker Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Night) on November 5th with fireworks or bonfires.

The plot was conceived in May 1604, and that summer, London was particularly hard hit by the plague, which postponed the opening of the parliament. Skipping a lot, writer Alan Moore wrote a ten issue comic book series V for Vendetta during the 1980s (think Thatcher and Reagan) about a dystopian near future where England is run by a totalitarian fascist regime that embraces corporatism at the expense of individual rights, liberty, or prosperity (familiar?).

The Wachowski Brothers, most noted for their Matrix trilogy, adapted the comic series into a screenplay for a film Joel Siegel would also produce. They got James McTeigue to direct the picture and for film buffs, the lead role "V" is played (although hidden behind the mask) by Hugo Weaving, the same actor that played "Agent Smith" in the Matrix films.

The People should not be afraid of their government.
The Government should be afraid of their people.

Delays prevented the film from opening as planned, and it opened in March 2006. The themes pointed directly to the heavy handed tactics and bullying of the Bush administration and America’s descent into a world where the US constitution has become a complete farce. I recently saw the film again, and it occurs as more applicable now than it did in 2006. The film is fantastic with stellar performances and well crafted ties to fascist intolerance and the notion of "undesirables" that threaten national security (homosexuals) and the frightening change in the meaning of certain words like "collateral" and "rendition" and how the idea of "different" became dangerous.

Certain scenes represent precious moments in cinema, including Natalie Portman raising her arms in the rain, Stephen Rea putting the pieces together, the falling red and black dominoes, and the masses of people removing their masks and exposing their faces in a wave starting from front to back as they watch the Parliament building. If I had my way, everyone in the United States would watch this film before voting in this year's election.

I shall die here.
Every inch of me shall perish.
Every inch, but one.
An inch. It is small, and it is fragile.
And it is the only thing in the world worth having.
We must never lose it or give it away.
We must never let them take it from us.

The video below only runs 43 seconds. By the way, November 5th is the day immediately after the 2008 election.

God is in the Rain.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blogging beat you follow isn't published in the blog handbook.

Great movie.

8/01/2008 7:51 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I also really enjoyed the film. Are you suggesting it's time we storm the Capital building and/or the White House and set it all ablaze?

Not a bad idea.

8/01/2008 3:47 PM  

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