Hey folks, Harry here with our first report from this year's BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL and the first "official" screening of V FOR VENDETTA. Our screening of V FOR VENDETTA at Butt-Numb-A-Thon 7 was a legendary screening that was an "unofficial preview" type of thing. That screening was amazing and magical - and I have to say I'm not the least bit surprised from the love this film apparently is getting from Berlin. It really is that fucking great. Now - here ya go...
Hey Harry, hey Moriarty,
love your site. Checking it every day for scoops or a funny “lets bitch about x-men3”-talkback. Talking about cool news: What about “The whole bloody mess – Kill Bill DvD” or an “E.E.” of King Kong? Any word on that?
Anyway. Thought you might be interested in my point of view of the “Berlinale06”-screening of “V for Vendetta” and on my point for what the “V” stands.
It was held at the “Berlinale-Palast” today which usually is the venue for Berlin`s version of the “Blue Man Group”. Lucky enough to have witnessed the European premiere of “King Kong” in there as well I knew the screen is big and the sound loud which for me makes it quite ok.
The stars were there to introduce and watch!! the movie with the audience. Natalie Portman (hair is growing back) looked cute as expected although while watching her on the red carpet I got the feeling that this woman was a bit shy, lost and not really happy with all this stardom. Jeez, if I could have I would have gone out there, hugged her and protected her from every evil that might come her way!! With my life!! Na I wouldn`t but anyway, give me a shiny knight moment here…but damm I would have hugged her!
Hugo Weaving looked very hairy (full beard!) and really nice while Joel Silver had this “god-i`m-good”-attitude around him.
Before the lights went out a german actor/host welcomed everyone and surprisingly claimed that this screening was a world-premiere! Now…I`m getting a little bit confused here. Don`t you guys say to have had a Butt-a-numb-Thon-screening of this? Was this a different cut? Did they just want to sound all cool and important or what the fuck was that? Perhaps you can spread a bit of magic and find out?
I have read those Butt-a-numb-thon reviews (stopped when it said spoiler) and combined with the trailer I thought I had a slight idea what to expect, cause I don`t know the comic. In short: “A shadowy freedom fighter known only as "V" uses terrorist tactics to fight against his totalitarian society. Upon rescuing a girl from the secret police, he also finds his best chance at having an ally.” There. Thank imdb.com for that.
And for those of you who don`t want to read through the whole thing, here is my “I don`t know the comic but have seen the movie”-verdict: It`s good. Really good.
There you have it, lazyboys. Go ahead to do whatever you have to do and when this comes out, go see it. I think you`ll enjoy it.
Still here? Want to hear more. Ok. I don`t want to spoil anything so please be pleased with me giving you only small details. But still please let me try…
The first ten or so minutes are “pure-genius” cinema. They have so much speed, so much drama, so much energy you will be kind of numb, dumbstruck and overwhelmed. Because you haven`t seen something like this in quite a while. I kid you not. I was starting to jiggle after “the concert” (AWESOME!) was over and the “slow” moment begun. I couldn`t resist. I had to. The “introduction” of “V” is in my view “teach that to everyone who wants to make a kickass movie”-material! And one has to wonder how long it took for the Wachowskis to come up with so many “V-words” that actually make sense combined!
After this fantastic intro we get to know the history and the situation of the world this is located. But not all of it. Just a necessary part to get hooked. You`ll have the whole picture in the end, don`t worry. And from that on… you`re on. On for a ride. And let me tell you. It`s not an easy one.
Hell no. And you wanna know why? Because this movie does not push you in a certain direction. This is not “See this? We want you to THINK and believe THIS”. This story tells you a story and lets you decide. It WANTS you to decide. It gives you different aspects. Different views. And it`s up to you to choose which one you want to take. You can take this and compare it to many different times of the world`s political situations. The “Third Reich”? Do it. “Stalinistic-Russia”? Be my guest. For myself, I would lay this on to the history of divided germany. On the “DDR” the “German Democratic Republic”. I think this fits the best. But you could also take “McCarthy-Era-USA” if you want to. Aspects of everything I`ve listed are in this. But to make my point here more easy and to ad another layer here: What would YOU do if you would live in a totalitaristic regime?
And all along the way it also will piss of a lot of people cause it also touches nearly every aspect of our day to day life. Sometimes just a hint. Sometimes by swinging a bat directly at the ones it wants to hurt. Don`t get me wrong. I get it that the producers/makers want to cause controversity. By god, they will!! People will rave and rampage about this movie. They will call it a “frightener”, an open call for anarchy and chaos. Damm, I wouldn`t wonder if some people will say that this movie is anti-islam (considering the “sketch” or is it “stretch”? I mean the “comic-strip” dispute which is happening right now! Some will interpret “the Koran of Stephen Fry Incident” in that kind of way! You know it, I know it).
But for me this movie is in its core about freedom. The freedom of love, of religion, of trust.
Still, THE question the movie is asking is: Does the goal justifies all doing, the means? What would you do? What way would you choose? AND it asks if the way to achieve your goal is an act of terrorism? Or patriotism? Might it even be humanistic? In-humane? Pick yours…
You will be confronted with those questions throughout the movie. I witnessed the beautifull / powerfull, unmercyfull reincarnation, the story of “V” and “Evey”, a story of freeing yourself. For the first it’s the story of freedom through revenge, to defeat the demons of the past as the ultimate goal. For Evey it`s the story of freeing herself from the past to have brighter future. I found my answer to those questions on my way home. I mean I think I knew what I would do. But I was also accompanied by strong images to help me catch it. Make it more clear to myself. Trust me. The sequence of “Evey`s reincarnation” intercut with “V”s and “Valerie”s is pure magic. This “letter” is so goddamm touching…it broke my heart and really made me furious. After that...let me just say…the “concert” is back on, paired with some touching although a bit too sweet moments.
Now for those interested in acting and style of the movie. First of all you can see the Wachowski-influence in this. Whether this is a good or a bad thing I leave up to you. I really liked it although Natalie is going a “bit Neo” after her haircut. The direction is self-assure and never fails. Great work here by Mr. McTeigue (and the Wachowskis!). I could have done without the “Soul Calibur”-effects during the showdown between “V” and “Creedy” but fuck that.
Natalie Portman is brilliant. She brings a very realistic and emotional believable aura to Evey which allows yourself to connect even more to her situation. She is “the” hero. She is the one you identify with. And you will. I mean I did. Ad to that that she does look amazingly hot in a “little-girl”-outfit. I do understand the priest`s lust in that point…and in that only I may ad.
Hugo Weaving: I read about the situation when the actor originally chosen for playing “V” left the production. And I also read about the fact that V`s face is never seen during the movie. So seriously…who cares who plays the guy. It would be of importance when “V” would be mute as well but he isn`t so everything about “V” is about the voice cause the movement can be done by everyone. So I still don`t get what that hustle was about. Whatever. Gladly they brought Hugo in and Hugo is acting through his voice. And I promise you… Hugo rulez!! I don`t want to spoil anything but the way he perceives, intruiges, comforts, shocks is awesome. I go so far as to say that in times when “icons” clash like “AvP” (HERE goes the talkback!) or “SupesVsBatman”, “V” is the only guy to piss of Jack Bauer! And everybody knows that even Supes wears JackBauer-Shorts!!! I am totally serious here. They should put “V” against Jack in 24 Season 6 or from 5x12 on and it would be the first time Jack would worry. Fuck…I would worry about Jack. Or bring on a guy from CNN or BBC`s Hardtalk. They would go down crying!! Hugo/”V” is THE badass numero uno!!
John Hurt and Stephen Rea do solid work here. They don`t have that much to do but other than getting played and fucked by “V” but still. Good work. Stephen Fry is great. What other would you expect?
Anyway. The movie rocks. I sometimes (and then only for seconds) wished it would be a bit tighter, perhaps a bit more badass, but this is great, awesome cinema!
I left pretty quickly when the movie was over cause the guy next to me really smelled (got to get my own cinema) so I don`t know if the stars were there for a Q&A. Thought if there would be the usual “Oh you guys ruled, what do you think, what do you wear tonight” I wouldn`t miss anything. If I read that Natalie gave the audience smooches I will hit myself hard but what are the chances ey?
Please let me end with the following story of which I know people (if this gets to and on your site) will shake their heads in disbelief although I promise here and now that this is true:
After I fled the smelly guy I decided to walk to my place. To get from Potsdamer Platz to my place I choose to take the “scenic-route” by which I mean pass the “Brandenburger Tor” to “FriedrichsstaÃŸe” and on from there.
I was walking through the Gate..looked back through it in direction of “StraÃŸe des 17.Juni” and there was….now comes the part I will get smacked about…..a shape formed of melted snow and ice on the ground. A “V”. And I reconsidered what I have just seen and keeping in mind that I prefer to compare the movie to A situation which MIGHT have happened during the “2 germanys” I found an answer to the “V” in “V for Vendetta”.
For me the “V” stands for “Victory”. “Victory” as in remembering the history of my country. “Victory” as in the last “V” in the movie.
“Victory” as in success for the movie itself.
There you have it. “DoubleEm” out….