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Kultural Komissariat

Round the decay/Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,/The lone and level sands stretch far away.

After the negative reviews, I went to see "Watchmen" with trepidation but that fear was all stripped away by how good the movie was. The acting was uniformly excellent, with all the characters well-cast (most especially and importantly Rorschach), the story managed to stay focused while keeping the elegeic quality of the book with its quirky details and moral ambiguities. The one thing the reviews correctly identified was the action: bone crunching and well-shot so you could see what was happening.

Why then the bad reviews? Today's media come from greater privilege than in the past but are poorer educated. Like Stalin, they hate ambiguity and don't want to leave who's right and who's wrong in the eye of the beholder. They want easy answers to easy questions rather than lie awake at night wondering or scratching their heads over literary or cultural references. But most of all they want us unquestioning. Because our doubt infects and threatens them and their overlords. That's why they panned "V for Vendetta" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," both brilliant and original films which questioned (or more like assaulted) the status quo. "Watchmen" is not some simple revenge picture, bleached of all political content. It is directly political without forsaking issues of friendship, wisdom, democracy and the vagaries of history. It is a film without heroes or villains that makes you ponder the nature of heroism and villainy, that makes "The Dark Knight" pale in comparison.

As for the media, they may be millionaire children of privilege, but their tastes are strictly bourgeois.


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Mar. 9th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
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