by Joe Middleton
(Swans - April 24, 2006) The question "Is there a Scottish Road to Socialism?" begs the obvious answer, "yes there is and it's called Scottish independence."
Without independence it won't matter what fantastic dreams Scots enjoy for socialism because without the power to run our own Government those dreams will remain just that, fantasies of a better society in a democratic vacuum.
Luckily, Scottish independence isn't some far off dream. According to opinion polls it's the favourite constitutional option of the Scottish people and the main question is how to organise the independence movement in a way which will show the British state that we want out of it.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
by Joe Middleton
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I finally saw V for Vendetta tonight (04/04) with my brother Donald. Expectations were high as I had heard decent reports from my pal Ray and the comic book it was based on is one of my all time favourites.
The film was interesting and the basic theme was there and the idea of freedom was also there and some pokes at the New Labour Government however it was a far cry from the book which remains far superior on every level.
The film tried to draw too close comparisons with Hitler, even naming the leader 'Chancellor' and John Hurt's portrayal was entirely one dimensional, a ranting demagogue who retained none of the original's general creepiness (the leader in the book is in love with his computer, Fate which runs the lives of millions).
Almost every subtlety, every inch of character detail was lost, the performances weren't all bad it's just the story had been subverted and Moiore's wonderful original dialogue was mostly lost.
David Lloyd's input on the artistic front was obvious and the scenes in the dark and particularly the 'Shadow Gallery' were fairly close to the original. Also the design of V's mask and the fact he never removes it show that some genuine attempts were made to be faithful to the story. A lot survives but a lot also feels tacked on and pointless compared to the original stories complexity and beauty.
The only part that remains largely untouched is the inspirational story of Valerie and Evie's captivity. As this is the crucial heart of the piece we should be grateful for that however the fact this part survives makes one wonder why the rest of it was so disastrously excised?
Evie's clumsy and heart breaking attempts at prostitution - gone!
Finch's experiments with LSD which lead him to V's state of mind - removed!
An unnecessary additional character, Stephen Fry, completely out of place in a tacked on bit which added nothing to the story, replaces Gordon, Evie's lover who takes her in when V abandons her.
Instead of that affair V is given the unlikely role of love interest, and a lot of the film now becomes the sad tale of broken hearted Evie when the original was about ideas.
There are obviously enormous changes in the script. In the original there had been a nuclear war which (later) tipped the balance in favour of the fascists (though Moore himself said later that the S28 experience and other actions of Thatcherism proved it wouldn't need a nuclear conflict to push the UK into fascism). This is removed in favour of a more contemporary story about terrorism and virus plots.
Some of the ideas do survive and it is watchable so I would recommend it but check out the book as well.
Posted by Joe Middleton at 9:54 PM