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Films worth seeing!

About Reflections on Literature, Life and the Imagination

Previous Entry Films worth seeing! Aug. 20th, 2007 @ 10:30 am Next Entry
I had the good fortune to find time to see two excellent films this weekend, both having a direct bearing on the literature I have been teaching in these last weeks. First there was Michael Moore's "Sicko" which gives a terrifying glimpse of the way American Imperialism is leaching the wealth of its own people: when will the corruption in high places stop! Moore is a genius film-maker who dares to tackle the issues that no one else can. This is creative film making that demonstrates that "Art" does have the power to interrogate and perhaps even change society. Shelley's "poets are the unacknowledged legislators" was ringing in my ears. Well done Michael Moore! For those of you doing work on Conrad and Coppola in second year, this film is like the next stage after "Apocalypse Now"...

Here is Michael Moore's official web site: http://www.michaelmoore.com/
Next I saw "Amazing Grace", one of the first full-length feature films on the life and times of William Wilberforce the Abolitionist who was ultimately responsible for stopping the slave trade in England in the mid-nineteenth century. This film, like Sicko, gives you a glimpse of all the conservative forces in society that are against real change for the better. In this film, the fear that the English had of the French Revolution spreading to England, made the case of the abolitionists a lost cause. The king and anyone in power immediately assumed that if you were trying to free the slaves then you were inciting revolution and trying to bring down the wealth and strength of the empire.... but Wilberforce did eventually win through... a marvelous outcome. He achieved on the political stage what William Blake -at the same time- achieved on the stage of poetry and imagination. They are truly parallel figures. Anyone doing the unit on William Blake should make this compulsory viewing... and anyone who is doing either first or second year Literature should see it also. For first years, it beautifully supports the work we have just been doing on the sources of convict-ism in Kate Grenville's "The Secret River", and second years will - now that they have finished Nineteenth Century Literature- bring a lot of understanding to the events that are depicted in this film.... enjoy.

Here is the official movie website
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Date:August 20th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
I concur, Michael Moore always produces though provoking material. Another good one for you MG would be V for Vendetta which was in cinemas only last year, especially if you're assessing George Orwell's 1984...
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Date:August 20th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
Thanks Cam... what is V for Vendetta about?
Date:August 20th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
Its a really great film based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. In the near distant future of London, the Government has total control as a totalitarian regime. Everything is controlled by High Chancellor Satler. There is no freedom of speech, houses are tapped, curfews are enforced and anyone who disagrees with the Government is abducted in the middle of the night and is never seen from again.

Enter the Character known only as V (roman numeral for five)played oh so wonderfully by Hugo Weaving. Dressed in an old style vaundeville costume (http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/v_for_vendetta/hugo_weaving/vendetta_portrait3.jpg) with knives and a guy Fawkes mask, V sets about bringing down the regimic Government through acts of what many people would consider as terrorism.

Then of course one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. V's basic plan is to blow up parliment, succeeding where Guy Fawkes failed as he believes that the building is a symbol, and the people need a Government that is there for them.

There are a lot of wonderful lines in the film such as "people shouldnt be afraid of their Governments, Governments should be afraid of their people." and "Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, beneath this mask is an idea, and ideas are bullet proof!" V then sets about getting revenge for all those who wronged him in the past, bringing down the high and mighty, showing that no one is untouchable. V had previously been the subject of a biological experiment over 20 years ago, that the Government kept very quiet, subsequently used a self inflicted biological attack on three of its own sites in the country to amass prominent people to their positions of high power.

The cast also features Natalie Portman as Eve Hammond, a news producer who is accidentally thrown into Vs world and while initially repulsed by what he does slowly comes to understand what has to be done. The same can be said for Detective Finch, who while investigating the acts of terrorism, also slowly begins to understand that the Government he works for is not what he once thought it was.

The movie is quite graphic and violent, but also at the same level very thought provoking. I have it on dvd if you would like to borrow it.

Let me know


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Date:August 20th, 2007 11:10 am (UTC)
I would love to borrow it Cam... may be useful for a few extracts when I am teaching 1984 in a couple of weeks time... thank you
Date:August 21st, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Hey Michael,
If you just let me know what week, I'll bring it in....
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Date:August 29th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
Hey MG

I was thinking about what you said on the drive home. I think you’re right. Hold onto that Godel book, I’ll defiantly borrow it off you in the holidays.

P.S. Cam’s right, V for Vendetta is an excellent movie, and a really cool representation of what a totalitarian society without literature, music and art would be like.
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