Monday, April 26, 2010
Who Says Hollywood is Too Liberal?
After a recent blogpost by Bobby Drake, the time seems prescient for some discussion of films that exhibit conservative values.
Many conservatives consider Hollywood to be far, far too liberal. Often, they'll complain about alleged hostility to conservative values in the entertainment industry. To do so, they'll cite a veritable who's-who of left-wing celebrities.
But there is no shortage of films that exhibit conservative values. Some of them are well-known. Others are a little more obscure.
Equilibrium may fall into the latter category. Years before Christian Bale starred as Batman, Bale portrayed John Preston, a Tetra Grammaton Cleric. A member of an elite secret police-like organization, it's Prestons job to seek out and destroy art, culture and "sense offenders" in a society that has banned emotion.
The film is set in the future, at a time following a global war that nearly extincted mankind. Humankind's leaders blame emotion for the war, and force humanity onto a drug called Prozium, which flattens the affect of its users.
Preston's slide off of his daily dose begins when he is forced to liquidate his partner, Partridge (a brief appearance by Sean Bean). After accidentally missing one of his doses, Preston eventually decides to come off it altogether, and then the worst (and best) thing for him imaginable happens: he becomes smitten with Mary O'Brien (Emily Watson), a sense offender.
In time, Preston recognizes the pervasive evil of Libria, joins the resistance, and helps them destroy it.
The film is a libertarian opus, reminding one what happens when the state begins to think of itself as omnipotent, and begins to interfere in the lives of its citizens (or, more properly described in such cases, subjects) at an existential level.
Hannah Arendt wrote about this: she considered it one of the building blocks of fascism.
It's actually a shame that director Kurt Wimmer followed Equilibrium with a contemptible piece of crap like Ultraviolet.
Tag! The following bloggers may now consider themselves "it":
Bobby Drake aka The Iceman