domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011

The ides of March.

Right now, I'm paying attention to two electoral campaigns: the Spanish legislative and the US Republican Primaries. In both two cases, it's difficult to find differences between the main puppets... sorry, I mean candidates. The programs have just been hidden and the debates are focused on the Romney's mormonism or on different Rajoy's salaries. So, to spend Saturday's evening, I went to the cinema to watch the fourth film directed by Clooney, set in the Presidential Primaries of the Democratic Party.

Clooney is not only one of the best payed faces of the star system, but also a citizen worried about the political involution of American society. He is a “liberal” in the American meaning of the term. He produced and starred the great “Syriana” to show the inextricable mixture of corporations' interests, corruption, lies and money squandering from federal budget, which is the very essence of US foreign politics. Who overthrew and killed Gaddafi? Are the Talibans enemies or friends? Are really the nowadays protests in Syria a spontaneous rebellion against a dictatorship?

Now, Clooney's back to political arena with “The ides of March”, an adaptation of “Farragut North”, a play by Willimon. He played the central role: the perfect Democratic candidate (neutral, moderate, constitutionalist), surrounded in his electoral campaign by some of the best actors of this time: P.S. Hoffman, M. Tomei, P. Giamatti. The result is a lucid portrait of politics hypocrisy. The only important thing is to sell the product and to control the maths of the complex Primary system, where the decision of a corrupt Regional baron can decide the destiny of a candidate. The persons behind the public image of candidates can be insignificant idiots, lacking any ideal or morality, but with the support of an adequate electoral machinery, anyone can be a public leader. It seems there aren't many differences between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

domingo, 16 de octubre de 2011

V for Vendetta (the comic)

The city where I am living is not an American ordinary medium-size one. There's, even, a comic shop! So, I had to buy a volume with the complete compilation of this famous comic-book series, (1982-85 and 1987). On this blog, we already reviewed the homonym film (2006) inspired by the comic. Nowadays, the characters and the dystopia imagined by Allan Moore have become more fashionable than ever, in this rare Fall of massive demos against the plunder of public budgets and the democracy's kidnapping.

Unfortunately, I am not very keen on comics, but I have enjoyed nicely the drawing by David Lloyd. But not only the arts impressed me. I read repeatedly some of the chapters in order to grasp the deep and abundant topics suggested by the story.

There are several important differences between the comic and the film. The comic doesn't stress so much the discussion about the justification of political violence to change an oppressive regime. In the comic, the British Norsfire regime, with its omniscent “fate” is depicted as an abominable one, so V's terrorist violence against the power is immediately justified. Which will be the future of our “bank-ruled” democracies if the impoverishment and the loss of legitimacy go on?

Other important nuance of the comic is the idea of self-liberation, an indispensable step in the path of social liberation. V is able to fight successfully against the dictatorship, because he has defeated his own personal weaknesses, in some kind of enlightenment. The climax of the story is maybe when he is transmitting Evey the flag of liberty. The reader can feel along these unforgettable two dozen frames that change is not only necessary, but also unavoidable.

“Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all. Is that happiness worth more than freedom? All convicts hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells; the weight of their chains; the unfair of their sentences. I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
You were in a cell, Evey. They offered you a choice between your principles and the death of your body. You said you'd rather die. You faced the fear of your own death, and you were calm and still. Try to feel now what you felt then.
The door of the cage is open, Evey. All that you feel is the wind from outside. Don't be afraid. Five years ago, I too came through a night like this, naked under a roaring sky. This night is yours. Seize it. Encircle it within your arms. Bury it in your heart up to the hilt. Become transfixed, transfigured forever”