Films - John C. Kirk
Mar. 30th, 2006
12:37 am - Films
I've just been to the cinema to watch V for Vendetta, which I thought was very good. I've read the TPB a few times (although not in the last couple of years), so I had some initial doubts after Alan Moore had done so much to distance himself from it. I'd say that the film and the comic are similar but distinct, and they are both good. It's not like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where the film was just a popcorn muncher - this film was a lot more cerebral. (They get points for just having a brief title on the screen for a couple of seconds, and not having a cast list flashing up for 5 minutes.) There was one scene early on that seemed a bit contrived, but I don't remember what it was now, and I certainly didn't sit there thinking "this is all wrong".
In a way, it's a bit like the Ultimate universe that Marvel have been running recently, where some writers use your expectations to trip you up. ("Aha, you just assumed that X is a good guy, but actually they're a bad guy!") In this context, that meant that I watched the film thinking "Ok, I know how this turned out in the comic, but this story isn't necessarily going to go the same way", so that gave it a bit more suspense. And speaking of analogies to comics, the discussions of symbols reminded me of Scott McCloud's graphic novel The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln; well worth reading.
As for the casting, I have to say that I was impressed by Natalie Portman - she's a far better actress than you'd think, if you've only seen her in the Star Wars films.
The film also included the concept of anarchy. Although I'm not an expert on philosophy, this strikes me as one of those concepts that lots of people refer to without actually knowing what it means. (Or at the very least, it has been severely distorted from its original meaning, much like the word "decimated".) As I understand it, this comes from the Ancient Greek αν αρχος, meaning "no leader"; it doesn't mean "no rules" (that would presumably be "alogy" or something similar). For instance, Usenet has often been referred to as a self-regulating anarchy. The idea is that rather than having a central authority that keeps everyone else in line, people monitor each other; this has its pros and cons, but it doesn't justify people throwing bins through the window of the nearest branch of McDonalds. And tying in with comics again, this page (part of an interview with Alan Grant), has the character Anarky explaining the differences between Plato and Aristotle to a dog.
On a vaguely related note, following bazzalisk's and gaspodog's example, I thought this was quite a well done quiz (as these things go):
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