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When Life Starts Imitating Art: The June 2020 Movie Edition

June 5, 2020 10 comments

Since I am feeling a bit lazy today, thought it might be a good idea to finish a short post that was in my drafts folder for a couple of weeks. So.. there are a couple (or more) movies from the past few years which bear an interesting, and at times eerie, resemblance to what has been occurring in this country for the past two weeks. I am sure the more conspiracy-minded among you might see something else. In any case, here is the first relevant clip.

This one is from ‘V for Vendetta’ (2005). While not the best adaptation of original graphic novel, the material from this clip is particularly relevant to how seeming invulnerable institutions and systems of governance that are no longer connected with reality can be overwhelmed by the consequences of their own stupidity- in this case, reaction to civil unrest. The especially relevant bit is that the ‘fingermen’ in the novel (and movie) have a rather strong resemblance to police in this country. The graphic novel talks much more about general dissatisfaction with the system among most people. Long story short, ever increasing demonstrations of force create a cycle of more sympathetic victims and ever increasing levels of resistance among populace.

V for Vendetta: The Dominoes Fall

The second clip is from a more recent movie- ‘Joker’ (2019). As many of you know, the titular character in this movie is a withdrawn “loser” living in near-poverty who has nothing to lose. His actions (killing three bankers and that TV show host on live TV) ends up sparking large-scale civil unrest against the police and plutocrats in the fictional Gotham city. The key to understanding this clip is that, once again, most people in the city are already tired of the system and the Joker’s action just provide the perfect spark to ignite a large pre-existing collection of tinder. If either clip seems far fetched, let me remind you that WW1 was ignited by the actions of an incompetent assassin who got lucky and WW2 was started by the most unlikely rise of a certain failed landscape artist and drifter to power.

Joker: Anarchy in Gotham

What do you think? Comments?