Sunday, March 19, 2006

re: Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta

Saw V for Vendetta last night. Will give the fan-girl review later. But for now, enjoy this missive I just sent off to Entertainment Weekly...

Re: Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta

Dear EW editors:

I have two comments about Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta in the March 24, 2006 issue.

First, Gleiberman describes Guy Fawkes as "the 17th-century British anarchist hero." While Fawkes may have later become a hero for anarchists, Guy Fawkes himself was not an anarchist. He was a Roman Catholic who conspired to assassinate King James I by blowing up Parliament while the King was there. Fawkes' goal was not anarchy in the U.K, but an end to Protestant rule in the United Kingdom. I thought the film's writers did a good job of providing a brief historical lesson on Guy Fawkes at the beginning of the movie -- especially for American viewers who may not be familiar with the story of the Gunpowder Plot. Sadly, it seems Mr. Gleiberman conducted no additional research on the Guy Fawkes story -- not even a visit to Wikipedia -- when writing his review.

Secondly, I find Mr. Gleiberman's glib dismissal of the film's political themes as being nothing more than "a rage against the machine by the machine" to be ironic. Considering that Mr. Gleiberman is a paid employee of a mega-media conglomerate like AOL Time Warner, it seems hypocritical to fault the ability of a mass media product to provoke thought, foster political debate and promulgate subversive ideas.



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