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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:17 PM
Original message
The Guardian: Frank Miller and the rise of cryptofascist Hollywood
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/nov/24/frank-mil...

:wow:

...And yet with action films, the moral and political ideas in play are surpassingly easy to spot. What about the entertainment films that came later, during the era of CGI the big-budget films primarily generated from more imaginary fare, such as the apparently numberless comic book franchises of Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, et al? In these cases, the moral framework of the product is just as simplistic as in action films, if not more so, and the triumph of the social order is just as violent, and just as relentless, though the films are couched in a sugary glaze of graphics and "wow" moments that distract from ideological branding. The CGI sheen is seductive enough that it's sometimes difficult to divine the message at first. You are too busy being bludgeoned by the sounds and lights. Nevertheless, the message is there. Might is right, the global economy will be restored, America is exceptional, homely people deserve political disenfranchisement, and so on. It bears mentioning that these are films that are in many cases being marketed to children. When I was a kid, you could not gain admission to a film such as Dirty Harry or The French Connection. But an American adolescent can now see Batman in The Dark Knight, rated PG-13, without much difficulty.

The film 300, directed by Zack Snyder, based on a Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, is just what you would expect from the heavily freighted right-wing filmic propaganda of the post-9/11 period: the Greeks, from which our own putative democracies are descended, must fight to the death against a vast but incompetent army of Persians (those hordes of the Middle East), who are considered here unworthy of characterisation in fact, every character in the film is unworthy of characterisation and the noble Spartans (the Greeks in question) achieve heroism despite their glorious deaths on the field at Thermopylae, by virtue of the moral superiority of their belief system and their unmatched courage. Ruthless enemy! From the Middle East! Heroic, rugged individualists! A big, sentimental score! Lots and lots of blue-screen! Endless amounts of body parts spewing theatrical blood!

It's a barely watchable film, but what from Hollywood these days is not similarly unwatchable, when so many high-profile releases are based on a medium, the comic book, made expressly to engage the attentions of pre- and just post-pubescent boys. At least comic books themselves are so politically dim-witted, so pie-in-the-sky idealistic as to be hard to take seriously. But in the films of this era, the Marvel and DC era of Hollywood, even when the work is not self-evidently shilling for large corporations (with product placement) or militating for a libertarian and oligarchical political status quo (which makes a fine environment for large, multinational corporations), the work is doing nothing at all to oppose these things. Paying your $12.50, these days, is not unlike doing a few lines of cocaine and pretending you don't know about the headless bodies in Juarez.

With this in mind, an honest recognition of cinematic propaganda, we shouldn't be shocked by Frank Miller's comments about Occupy Wall Street. It is naive to be shocked by them. But let's evaluate the particulars of his remarks just the same. Miller tries to repel the OWS message ("Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty titbits of narcissism you've been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you've heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism") by reminding us that we are at war. This despite the fact that OWS is focused primarily on income inequality, and thus mainly taken up with domestic politics, such that OWS doesn't really take a position on the "ruthless enemy" and doesn't need to. Miller's particular approach, the warmongering approach, is self-evidently reminiscent of the Bush/Cheney years, in which any domestic reversal was followed by an elevated level on the colour-coded risk-assessment wheel. But in this post-Iraq war moment when the most aggravated conspiracies we seem to have in New York City involve, for example, a lone Dominican guy who advertises his hatred of the government on Facebook and who may have been entrapped by local police our "ruthless enemy" just doesn't seem quite as numerous as Miller's Persian hordes.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. I do not agree whole-heartedly....unrec. nt
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Related to this blog entry by Frank Miller...
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 08:31 PM by Lost-in-FL
http://frankmillerink.com/2011/11/anarchy

"The Occupy movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. Occupy is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

Occupy is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the movement HAH! Some movement, except if the word bowel is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves."
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Glad to see folks in the UK know it. Of course, Jack Shaheen and others have
already addressed this to a degree. The author tried to bring to much into the mix and watered it down a bit in the process. I think he should have focused even more on Frank "Get off my lawn" Miller.

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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. To be fair
that same medium was among the first to introduce liberal ideas into the mainstream such as those discussed in "v for Vendetta"

Please check this out before you think all comics are right wing:
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/06/20/floridan-congres...
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I posted someone's opinion, not mine.
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 08:47 PM by Lost-in-FL
:hi:

And yes, "V for Vendetta" is a great movie with liberal ideas. However, I didn't think blowing up a building was necessary.

Thank you much for that article! :thumbsup:
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
28. That was something which didn't translate well
The book of "V For Vendetta" is much more ambiguous. While Norsefire is still fascist, the V of the book is an outright terrorist. Yes, he's somewhat more sympathetic than Norsefire because you learn more about what drives him but you're never supposed to entirely embrace his views. The book is much more about the conflict between order and chaos and it doesn't give any answers. Alan Moore has described the central question as "is this guy right or is he mad? What do you, as the reader, think of this?".
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Fokker Trip Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
17. The writer never asserts that.
What he does assert is that comics promote the idea that might is right.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #17
29. Still painting with a very broad brush
That's rather like saying that all of film promotes the same message because action movies do.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. knr
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. 300 was about as blatantly fascist as you can get.
Not to mention that the original Italian fascists took their inspirations on fascism directly from the Spartan culture.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. You're correct, but...
Since the comic pre-dated 9/11/01, and the film is acutely faithful to the comic, the article makes a weird blanket condemnation of the film on the grounds that it buys into the post-9/11 mindset.

Still not a great film by any stretch, and Frank Miller becomes a bigger asshole with each passing minute, but that particular critique strikes me as off-base.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. Sin City was much better.....
Anyway, it will always be an argument made does art define the culture or does the culture define the art.
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Tom Ripley Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. Moody nails it! Zap! Pow!
I agree with every word in that piece
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TomClash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. In the end . . .
. . . Frank Miller writes, draws and is part of the 1%.

There are several thousand people at DU who have forgotten more about politics than he will ever know. And that may very well be an understatement.



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Fokker Trip Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
10. The Guardian is spot on.
Pro-war propaganda has been a staple of the US since WWII. Scare the populace and then tell them that they can protect themselves only by having an ever larger military. That's how you end up with 700+ military bases all over the world.

Democrat or Republican, all have been stewed in a bath of American Exceptionalism for decades. Its been in the fabric of American life for so long that few can actually see past it, hence comment #1.

The US trails most of the other developed countries in the world in a whole whack of really critical societal indicators and yet some many still think that the US is somehow the greatest country on earth.

It's not even close, but that propaganda sure works to keep the populace blinkered.

USA, USA, USA...phhhhh.

If it was all self contained then the world wouldn't care very much, but as long as the US is killing people all over the globe with impunity, as though they have a right to do this, the rest of the planet is going to get angrier and angrier and may actually show some relief when the US finally collapses.

911 was a chance for the US to smarten up, but no, the country went with the propaganda route again. Certainly serves the corporate interests.
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Comment number one
Was about the writer of the piece calling all comic books right wing propaganda, which, as the folks in the Guy Fawkes masks can tell you, is not the case. As bad as Hollywood is, not even all films are right wing, as your countryman James Cameron showed. Yes, he made the terminator, but he made up for it with Avatar, one of the most left wing, anti-miltary movies ever made.

And as far as 911 being a chance to "smarten up", if anything, it dumbed down the whole debate by actually reinforcing violence as the answer. Palestine was close to getting it's own state when that happened. Those who wanted violence got mike time they desperately needed.

And last, but far from least, whenever a Canadian kicks the US, I ask two things:

"One, when do you think Stephen Harper will actually lose his job."
"Two, nice job trying to lay that oil pipeline through North America."

and as I do not know if you are a French or English Canadian, I will not ask who your ancestors stole your land from. Granted, we all did a great job of killing First Nations back when we were under English rule, but Canada has that added extra layer where one group of White People (English Protestants) killed another group of White People (the French.) From what the Quebecois that vacation in Florida say, the matter is not settled.

This is not to say "USA ain't we great!" As a Puerto Rican, my relationship with my "native land" can be mixed. As Chris Rock, a great Afro-American comedian put it "being from America is like having a relationship with an uncle that molested you, but then afterwords paid for your college."

This is to say that people that stick their nose in the air tend to bump it against the roof of reality. Especially when Ottawa is getting it's hands just as dirty.
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Fokker Trip Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. That`s not in the article, so you`re assertion is false.
I read the article, I did not see where the writer said that all comics are right wing propaganda. Can you quote that? What the writer did say was that all comics are targeted towards adolescent boys, and I agree with that. James Cameron's professional life is virtually all Hollywood, the fact that he was born here has little effect on him as far as I can tell.

I'm not interested in fighting and I believe that you missed my point but since you called me stuck-up with no evidence of that being the case...

"whenever a Canadian kicks the US". This is very funny to me. You seem upset because I'm saying that a country of 300+ million people who have killed millions globally to enhance corporate power over the decades since WWII and that there is a vast propaganda machine employed to keep people on board with this idea. I'm from a country of 30 million that until very recently was known for peace keeping (in fact pioneered the idea). And you think you're being kicked?

The marines primary duties for many years after their inception was to protect corporate interest. Look up the United Fruit company and Marine involvement. That's what your military is for.

Stephen Harper is a Religious right wing zealot who was put into power by 30some% of our population and was funded and assisted by...that's right...the Koch brothers, Frank Luntz, a whole bunch of US religious fanatics and US oil and global oil interests. Alberta is the problem as once they found oil your country decided that we had your oil in our tar-sands. The Majority of Canadians are totally opposed to his agenda, but with as much US backing as he gets it'll be hard to oust him. So I don't know when he'll lose his job but I imagine it will be after his has dismantled our health care system and he'll soon have mandatory minimums for pot offenses too. Where did he get that idea, maybe the DEA head who briefed him several times ? With Fox news backing we now have our own right-wing radio station too...yee-hah.

Do you know that Trans-Canada pipeline, the company building that abomination is a US company don't you? More propaganda by using inserting Canada in the name of the corporation. The oil corps who are mining the tar sands are mostly global and US interests.

Extra layer? Does the religion or color of people matter when they are being killed? The Canadians of the time, really the British, actually made treaties with at least some First Nations people. Neither countries populaces should be proud of what happened back then, but neither you nor I are responsible. I love Quebec, they are the only thing that has stopped us from being completely absorbed by the US in my opinion. They don't feel the matter is settled because once it is they will be subsumed. They are smart to not let it be settled.

Don't forget that the US invaded Canada at one point and were rebuffed. If they hadn't been rebuffed we would be part of your country now.

I have no beef with individual Americans, they are generally great people but I also want the US to stop taking other peoples resources by force. Can we agree on that? or do you think that your country has a right to do that. Your country was taken by the US and it doesn't bother you at all?

What do you think is going to happen over the next 20 years as the Southern US becomes once cast desert? And Canada becomes better and better for farming and living with a warmer climate? Will the US just tough it out or will we have Americans migrating North in large numbers perhaps assisted by Northcom troops? The latter seems very likely given the US track record.

Every country has committed violence, but to me in a reality based world its a matter of degrees. The US pentagon budget is a pretty good indicator of where US priorities lie.

And you think I`m kicking your country...Your country kicks itself with every drone strike on innocents and wedding parties and with every military action to promote a corporate agenda.

Wasn`t Puerto Rico conquered or annexed by the US? Does that ever bother you?

I really like Chris Rock.

And, yes, the scum in Ottawa are getting their hands dirty, for the last 6 years anyway. We have a ways to go to reach US levels of dirtiness though. Size does matter and for a country that so often tells everyone how great it is, Americans seem awfully sensitive to any criticism of thier murderous foreign policies and the propaganda that supports that agenda.



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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #16
33. "all comics are targeted towards adolescent boys"
This is why comic fans (like me) get annoyed. It's as mindless as saying that all cartoons are made for kids. There are numerous examples of comics made by and for adults. Start with the entirety of DC's Vertigo line, pretty much everything Alan Moore has ever written, most of what Frank Miller has written (both before and after he turned into a fascist), Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series and so on. Are most comic books made for adolescent boys? Sure (although they're still more complex than the author seems to believe) but just because most cartoons are for kids doesn't mean "Family Guy" doesn't exist (although one may wish that was the case). The author is damning the medium by distaste for what mant creators do with it.
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
42. reply
you said
"whenever a Canadian kicks the US". This is very funny to me. You seem upset because I'm saying that a country of 300+ million people who have killed millions globally to enhance corporate power over the decades since WWII and that there is a vast propaganda machine employed to keep people on board with this idea. I'm from a country of 30 million that until very recently was known for peace keeping (in fact pioneered the idea). And you think you're being kicked?

Simply put, you are the one insulting America, saying we will not be missed. Would Canada be missed, maybe slightly more, but not that much. Did anyone else in this thread make this about Canada versus US before you did?

You said:
Your country was taken by the US and it doesn't bother you at all? "

Oh yes it does, especially as other Latin Americans (Cubans) get warm welcomes, while we are told to stay out, even though we never needed green cards. I am also a realist though, and I know that if Puerto Rico became independent, we would simply go from being colonized by one group to being colonized by Cubans, Brazilians and Venezuelans. Geography plays a role, and were it not for the US, do you think the Russians would not have tried putting more pressure on you by now? heck, they have pretty much claimed the Arctic Ocean. In short, as long as people still idolize Che (who killed a lot of Latinos), PR will not be safe, and Uncle Sam will be the Devil we know.

You said:
I love Quebec, they are the only thing that has stopped us from being completely absorbed by the US in my opinion. They don't feel the matter is settled because once it is they will be subsumed. They are smart to not let it be settled.

We agree on something. However, you should hear what Quebecers really think of you down in Florida..it is NOT pretty. Many of them are Bloc Quebecois, and feel that they are tired of you English using them as color while forcing government upon them.

and no, I am not interested in fighting, we Borciuas are pacific, which is why we get mauled by Cubans. But I did get tied, ever since 9-11 (which again, YOU brought up) by people who I hoped would be friends in helping turn the country leftward, simply using the chance to say "nyah Nyah, ain't we great!" You might not have intended that, but that is what happened.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
11. My wife and I just saw The Watchmen ($3 at Big Lots)
That has to be the most right wing slanted comic book based movie we've ever seen.

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SwampG8r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. i would watch it again
it does show a world thru right wing eyes but i think the view is more scary that way
and the heros end up losing everything to the system they build and having to rebel against it
it is a view of a right wing world but that view is in no way pleasant
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #11
26. Read the book
The book is both better and a lot more ambiguous.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
32. Which is a complete misreading of the source material, then.
The comic it's based on was a deconstruction of the right-wing tropes that infected comics at the time it was written.
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. Both comic and film point out the inherently fascist nature of the superhero genre
And Rorshach is based on Randroid superhero The Question, showing just how psychopathic Ayn Rand's ideas were.
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RZM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. 300's greatest sin wasn't it's symbolism and themes
Though those were lame. The worst thing was the
fact that it is just an atrocious piece of filmmaking. I found it unwatchable. Just my opinion, I guess.
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quinnox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. 300 was a piece of shit - thank you
I had to turn it off eventually within an hour, it was among the most juvenile movies I have ever seen.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #14
36. It was indeed one of the very worst films I have ever watched...
...absolute dross...
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. here is a vile right wing comic
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
18. It's true that most action flicks promote simpled-minded nationalism and militarism
Edited on Thu Nov-24-11 11:50 PM by themadstork
But are we to expect much more of them?

Probably should have stuck to pointing out what an unthinking asshole Miller is. He makes several sweeping claims about comics and film that are pretty silly in their sweeping-ness.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
21. Frank Miller is not fit to clean Alan Moore's toejam...
Seriously, he is a hack

Alan Moore is a MASTER

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Sirveri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Warren Ellis with Transmetropolitan is also an amazingly good read.
Talks a lot about the corruption of power and the types of people who seek it out.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. Transmetropolitan was completely amazing.
Warren Ellis is everything Frank Miller wishes he could be.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
35. Well, Moore is an asshole of a different stripe
Personally, I wouldn't want to have dinner with Miller or Moore.


Which is, I'm sure, a shattering bit of news for both of them.
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Fokker Trip Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 03:47 AM
Response to Original message
24. You all must go read Frank Miller`s screed against the occupy movement.
Its here.

http://frankmillerink.com/2011/11/anarchy

In it he shows himself to be a raving, fanatical, batshit crazy right wing creep. Jesus, its no surprise that he revels in his fascist comic-book universe.

What a fucking asshole.

Here is a lovely take down by David Brin.

https://davidbrin.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/move-over-fr... /

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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 04:13 AM
Response to Original message
25. Is Frank Miller's merely cryptofascist I'd hate to see the real thing (nt)
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
27. Rather harsh on comic books generally
Not to defend Miller's descent into fascism (he wasn't always that way) but the medium of comic books didn't deserve that kind of token dismissal. When the medium has been host to works like "V For Vendetta", "Watchmen", "Transmetropolitan", and Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series, it deserves better than to be dismissed as nothing more than pubescent fantasy.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:41 AM
Response to Original message
31. while the writer is spot-on regarding Miller he knows fuck-all about
the larger world of comics. Some of the material being produced these days in the comic book medium is of astonishing quality.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
34. The Dick Knight:
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. A magnificent send-up!
Now that's a comic that I'd pay to read!
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. +1000!! nt
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
39. David Brin's slam on 300 is worth reading
"Leni Riefenstahl would be proud"

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/11/move-over-frank-m...

Miller's Spartan warriors honestly and openly conveyed the contempt for civilians that was felt across the ages by all feudal warrior castes. An attitude in sharp contrast to American sympathies, which always used to be about Minuteman farmers and shopkeepers - citizen soldiers - the kind who bravely pick up arms to aid their country, adapting and training under fire. Alas, Frank Miller's book and movie "300" ridiculed that kind of soldier...

...even though the first invasion by Persia, ten years earlier - under Xerxes's father - had been defeated by just such a militia army... from Athens... made up of farmers, clerks, tradesmen, artists and mathematicians. A rabble of ill-disciplined "brawlers" who, after waiting in vain for promised help from Sparta, finally decided to handle the problem alone. On that fateful day that citizen militia leveled their spears and their thin blue line attacked a professional Persian force many times their number, slaughtering them to the last man on the legendary beach of Marathon.
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ikri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
40. That wooshing sound
Is the point of most of those films going over Rick Moody's head. He's desperate to see fascism in the films he watches and completely misses the point of what's on the screen.

Moody contends that Gladiator is allegory about George W Bush's candidacy for president, despite it being written in 1998 - before Bush has announced his run for president. That should tell you everything you need to know about the author.

You could see 300 as militaristic propaganda or you could see it as a film about a small group standing up to a bully, simply writing it off as easily as Moody does is lazy. He complains of the simplistic morale framework of films such as the X-Men series (personally I thought it was about homosexuality). Spiderman, Daredevil and Fantastic Four I thought were all unengaging crap but I didn't see the same "might is right" message in the Spiderman and Fantastic Four films as the author apparently did. Thor, Iron Man and Captain America show people being corrupted by power and others standing up to them, that's not a bad thing to show people.

And the new Batman films? Simplistic? Not really. Where's the author's thoughts on the real differences between The Joker and Batman in The Dark Knight? Both characters attack criminals and corrupt officials, they both see themselves as above the law but Bruce Wayne/Batman does it because he believes it is right, The Joker just thinks it's funny. I saw the film more about chaos vs order rather than good vs evil. But apparently ideas like that are overly complicated and I should view the films in terms of Batman being the good guy and cheering stupidly when he punches a bad guy.

I wonder what Moody thinks of David Cronenberg's film A History of Violence since that too is based on a comic. On the surface it's just as simplistic as the films he complains about, it just happens to be extremely well made by a very good director, I doubt he even knows that it was a comic.

The author goes into films wanting to confirm his own preconceptions about them, it's possible to find bias in anything if that's all you're looking for. If he watched My Little Pony: The Movie or Citizen Kane he'd probably find something to confirm his beliefs. Go and watch Bugs Bunny and look for signs that Bugs is gay, you'll probably find something there to confirm the Bugs-Bunny-is-gay hypothesis and completely miss the point that Bugs Bunny is a cartoon rabbit.

Frank Miller is a dick and the author is an idiot.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 06:56 PM
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