so remembering that the great 1855 quake in japan gave the world kaiju via grassroots pop culture media versions of mythical monsters as vehicles for dialogue on the proper roles of government and its failures & internecine class warfare brought to light by cataclysm in which some manage to profit at the expense of others’ lives (x) (x) (x)
& in the hastily-suppressed-by-the-govt namazu-e cartoons the blame was ascribed to the god whose job it was to keep the giant quake-causing catfish under control being away on a business trip & his stand-in being asleep @ the wheel
the land’s guardian w the sword & shield-stone being supplanted by a god of merchants IS IN NO WAY A SATIRICAL COMMENTARY ON THE STATE OF MUNDANE AFFAIRS & POLITICS IN MORTAL REALMS NOPE NOTHING SUBVERSIVE HERE
& hope for justice & renewal expressed in the great solar goddess who had been reduced to an imperial endorsement BREAKING FREE IN HER WHITE HORSE FORM to gallop in over all the earthly powers of corruption & exploitation & obstruction of aid to those smitten by the natural disaster
of course that didnt happen BUT EVEN SUGGESTING IT OUGHT TO WAS SOMETHING THAT HAD TO BE SHUT DOWN HARD & FAST BY THE GOVT bc we cant spend any time or money trying to fix things BUT WE SURE CAN SPEND TIME & MONEY & ENERGY SHUTTING UP PPL WHO POINT OUT THAT WE ARENT DOING OUR JOB — & havent been for a very long time to let things get this bad , either ! !
so again THERE IS LONG HISTORICAL PRECEDENT FOR KAIJU AS BOTH SYMBOLS OF HUMAN HUBRIS AND OF COSMIC CATHARSIS - at least 100 yrs old when the first GODZILLA movie was made
just keep all this in mind as possible connective strands providing paths between getting from Aurora the wise warrior-child of CRONOS to Mako the princess-who-returns in PACIFIC RIM via the desolate dried-out stubble fields of DEVIL’S BACKBONE & a rosy-fingered warrior-Miranda foiling her sorcerer-father’s plans of returned Imperium in the MIthraic catacombs of an alternate Prague of BLADE 2 and the prophecies defied in the HELLBOY duology along with the very idea of a separation of realms and times—
because the setting-up of the Shatterdome as a hallowed Mirrorverse of the Homes of the False Heart in HELLBOY 2 & PAN’S LABYRINTH & BACKBONE is almost as blatant as the positioning of Princess Nuala as a blue-gowned Belle-who-is-the-true-Beast in the Library in HELLBOY 2
& almost as blatant as the hallowed tarot-reversal of the stepfather-stepdaughter relationship from LABERINTO — which last is what opened my eyes to the existence of the web of connections that meant — among many many other things — that the blatant reference to DR STRANGELOVE in the final battle (x) wasnt a casual or throwaway invocation @ all—
but while ive been able to find appropriate mythic precedents for all kinds of invocations in PR & guillermo’s previous films — & likewise w more digging appropriate fannish genre precedents either homaged OR tarot-reversed OR BOTH that explain how the horrifying muddle of the original script got reconfigured into ALL THE FIXFICS EVER
El Dorado revisioned, becomes the Blue Lion destroys the gold-coded Place of Sacrifice—
i still hadnt found anything like the DR STRANGELOVE or LOEG: CENTURY links hotwiring Olympian mythology to the PPDC via Royallist Spain bc Hapsburgs bc Tudors bc Plantagenets on the one hand & via the Raj on the other bc MOBILIS IN MOBILE, that provided a direct linear — instead of an oblique / resonant — connection from Mako-the-passively-aggressive anime girlprize for Action-Stu to rescue from either her family’s “Osaka penthouse” or her glass coffin, to either MAKO AS AVENGING ARCHANGEL or MAKO AS AMATERASU HIDING FROM HER JEALOUS BROTHER’S RAGE IN THE CAVE-THAT-IS-ALSO-HER-SHATTERED-HALL (to say nothing of MAKO AS ALL THE CHTHONIC & ASTRAL GUARDIAN GODDESSES FROM ALL PAST EMPIRES)
but V FOR VENDETTA ? explains ALL OF THAT plus the STAR WARS DARKFIC | FIXFIC aspects of both PL & PR
bc the movie of V FOR VENDETTA — in one of the several major & deserving-of-lauds changes the Wachowskis made to the Arch-Fedora’s grossly sexist original book —
Jason Jones talks to a Russian woman protesting against Russia’s anti-gay laws.
grandmother (& fangirl ! ! ) protesting for justice for future generations — this is where hope is real not sentiment
an old friend came thru w temporary shelter for human & feline DPs — under duress yes, but still came thru to their immense credit — and another, older friend is relocating us to their side of the country as soon as the practical details can be arranged
so a week or so of uncertainty & logistics hell and then some new normal —which cannot be worse than the old normal, albeit loathe to entertain hope after so many losses —
but at least not another blighted spring in a blighted city that has taken three decades of my life, a city that only takes and takes and wonders why all the young who can afford it flee, generation after generation— and no more of a place where “ice-out” is a verb, a caution, and a moveable feast—!!!
so there’s that, and i will continue posting as I can — V FOR VENDETTA is where the phoenix imagery comes from, and the masks, and the stealing-back of the trains in equal part with LOEG:Century’s wanton destruction of the Hogwart’s Express — because it’s where the blown-up train in LABERINTO comes from, along with the not-cartoonish (tho the ignorant think it so) presentation of the glamour and dread of historic fascism alike, the glittering of sacred golden eagles over alchemical thunderbolts (aka “bullets”) and the locked granaries together — things that neither Alan Moore nor the Wachowskis know anything of, save as tourists & voyeurs—
Well, the odds were not in my favor & I got turfed out so not sure when I will be able to post next, but will do my best, as ever—
Look, I’m glad ‘12 Years [A Slave]’ got made and it’s wonderful that people are seeing it and there is another view of what happened in America. But I’m not real sure why Steve McQueen wanted to tackle that particular sort of thing.
[‘Fruitvale Station’] explains things like the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the problems with stop and search, and is just more poignant. America is much more willing to acknowledge what happened in the past: ‘We freed the slaves! It’s all good!’ But to say: ‘We are still unnecessarily killing black men’ – let’s have a conversation about that.
Samuel L. Jackson (via artyartyhadaparty)
I think in light of 12 Years a Slave winning the Oscar for Best Picture, this needs to be remembered. Because it is a very important point in terms of the palatability of 12 Years a Slave and why Fruitvale Station didn’t even get nominated when it has such acclaim outside of the Oscar world.
I agree that there are some palatability issues there, but in defense of 12 Years, a lot of the reason that people can’t admit what is happening today is because they won’ face the reality of the past. In my experience, it’s only when people fully accept the past that they are even able to make sense of the present…(via commiphora)
both important points — history is “safe”, safely dead & past, and so can be made into stories told today — but history is NEVER dead, never past, and never over, and so the stories told with/about/via it are never safe either, whether they’re meant to reveal, or to cover reality with pretty paint.
yes, V FOR VENDETTA is the crucial link in the chain binding Civil War era Spain to Star Wars — and Napoleon, and thus Goya, and London and not just Paris, and the web from THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE to alien suns under sea, under stone, past the Wood Between the Worlds by way of the guillotine is absolutely watertight—
and I definitely didn’t see it before, or I would have recognized a lot more of PAN’S LABYRINTH | EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO when I saw it, and also before that would have understood just how harsh a satire of Hollywood there is in PACIFIC RIM —
well, not quite how harsh, because I hadn’t seen BLADE 2 either, & didn’t know how much the the Wachowskis had ripped off BLADE 1 for their breakout hit THE MATRIX, and how BLADE 2 was an overt calling-out of that and Hollywood’s racial image-making on top of the anti-imperialist arguments
but VENDETTA has visual after visual that don’t come from the comic books, and which either come from del Toro’s earlier work in B2, or are in turn echoed | mirror-reversed in LABERINTO — or in PACIFIC RIM
(I also would have recognized what spurred the oversized replica-of-real-artifact statuary that so irritated me in HELLBOY 2 the first time I saw it, because the Wachowskis & McTeigue did it first, making a famous, but small Cycladic figurine from the Met (x) into a free-standing statue, right along with actual-size replica Van Eycks (x) etc from London’s National Gallery)
This set very obviously borrows from this one —
and so one response results in this—except the earth mother known as the Venus of Willendorf & Sekhmet overthrowing enemy royalty are actually plot-related to the movie and the overarching-story-cycle both
I am very disappointed in the lack of visual acuity in science fiction & comics movie fandom, really — I don’t expect modern fanboys to get call-outs to 1930s movies (that weren’t themselves included in a big-name superhero movie) or Olympian mythology (at least where it isn’t being quoted in big-name fantasy movies)
—but when prominent movies, made in the same genre within the same decade, discussed endlessly on fansites when they come out, ping shots off each other — I do sort of expect some of the paid professionals doing the discussing at IGN and AICN to notice at least some of the quotes! (Especially when one of the directors tips us off in the DVD commentary track to one of the more notorious of them.)
It shouldn’t fall to me, off in art history and feminist fangirl land, to spot the STAR WARS quotes in all four movies, really—
yup V = VADER & VIDAL & THE FAUN TOO
bc here is where the chalk in LABERINTO comes from —
altho it is just fair play
since VENDETTA stole this from B2
without understanding what the point of having the arch-villain halo’d by a clockface was
He sighed. “What can I tell you? What do you want to hear? I just wrote down what people know. Mountains rise and fall, and under them the Turtle swims onward. Men live and die, and the Turtle Moves. Empires grow and crumble, and the Turtle Moves. Gods come and go, and still the Turtle Moves. The Turtle Moves.”
From the darkness came a voice, “And that is really true?”
Pacific Rim Alt-Texts : Small Gods, Terry Pratchett, 1992 (x) Xuan Wu constellation (x)
“Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Pacific Rim Alt-Texts : Gospel of Matthew (x)
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
Pacific Rim Alt-Texts : Gospel of Matthew (x)
The millstone stands for many things, I think, not least of which being giants — but a millstone in the office of one charged with the well-being of cadets says something in itself, I suspect — something which the headmasters of Hogwarts and Battle School alike ignored no less than those of Devil’s Backbone…
zempasuchil replied to your post “holy cats the UK connection is there in PL if you know yr civil wars”
This is a neat article by the English guy. I’m in the middle but mentioning Ana Torrent and child narrators of Spanish fascism, have you seen Cria Cuervos? I once heard someone present on it, PL, and Devil’s Backbone re children in post?fascist Spain
No I haven’t — where I live is a real backwater when it comes to foreign films, it’s better than it used to be but not if you don’t have the money to get around, and finding good, trustworthy recommendations online is also a challenge (case in point PL & DB!) so haven’t seen 1/100th of the movies i should , I’m sure — thanks for the pointer!
Think we should raise the minimum wage?
If so, act now: http://wefb.it/RDFkx4
so — being only an erratically self-taught student of the 20th century (since US high schools weren’t doing any of that during my time in them) — I was not aware that the ruins the convoy passes en route to the base at the mill in the beginning of EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO | PAN’S LABYRINTH were of a specific, notorious destruction-site from the war
until I read this review, which is actually informative and perceptive instead of just being horrified and incomprehendingly flaily, by a British professor of Spanish literature (x)
Smith did manage to enlighten me as to HOW, exactly, the tholos and the melissae of Ephesus got into the story cycle — they, too, were already back there in the Labyrinth, even if I couldn’t see them nor even hear them, like the trains in the Shatterdome — & i see I will need to track down & watch THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE soon—
but I know now exactly how the Lions of Spain and the Lions of England become the Lion of Narnia in the Labyrinth, which I had reconstructed down a long careful chain of breadcrumbs from the warrior Queen Isabella of Léon & Castile & King Ferdinand, leading back to Leonora of Castile the sister of Richard Plantagenet —
which isn’t wrong, it’s all part of the saga of resistance-to-empire, from the mysterious Alchemist fleeing the Inquisition to Mexico centuries ago in CRONOS, to the wannabe New Holy Roman Empire in old Prague in BLADE 2 — but it’s the long way round when there was a royal road there all along—
bc the ruined church & homes in the beginning ? are what is left of the never-rebuilt town of Belchite, destroyed by both sides in the fighting—
which is located in
as in, origin of that queen of England, Catherine (x), divorced for not producing sons—
the convergent vectors of the story that would bring everything full circle in PACIFIC RIM? run on rails through Westminster, and the connection between HELLBOY’s Dr. Bruttenholm’s recording of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again,” and the DR STRANGELOVE credits use of the same, and last summer’s canceled apocalypse, is exactly as real and solid as I could have dared dream — but I didn’t & couldn’t know about it because I stayed well away from Alan Moore derived projects, or I would have gotten all this a lot sooner and with a hell of a lot fewer side trips
which, on balance, would have meant I would have learned a lot less history, poetry, and all around awesome weirdness from dusty corners of the world, whatever else it’s brought me—
(but damn, it feels weirdly anticlimactic to be able to say WHOA I WAS RIGHT THIS IS WHERE ALL THESE OTHERWISE UNEXPLAINED IMAGERIES IN THE MIDDLE OF PR COME FROM, AND ALL THESE OTHERWISE UNEXPLAINED THEMES IN PL THAT ARE TAROT-REVERSED IN PR—)